The big freeze is over, allegedly, and football is back - just like Extra Time! Anyway, keeping up our vague notion to have a topical theme for every Extra Time! (unless we can't think of one) read on for snow related japes aplenty.
First up is this ludicrously good clip from 1995 as Linfield skip to a 3-0 victory over Glentoran in Northern Ireland. The snowy conditions obviously make the first half a little tricky but the players battle on, orange ball and all. It’s not until the second-half that the real fun and games start though as it becomes apparent that they’ve had to replace the orange ball with a white one – we can only speculate as to why exactly – not exactly ideal when the ground is covered with a thick blanket of snow.
Brilliantly though it creates the illusion that the players don’t even have a ball. They’re just pretending to play in some weird alternative universe where ballet and football have been merged into one bizarre spectacle. It’s also a bit like that advert for Sky Sports with Ronaldo scoring minus ball. Although this clip is with ball ‘cos we couldn’t find the other one, you know the one we mean though, right?! Moving swiftly on.
While the British idea of Spanish weather and culture is sun, sea and sand a bit of snow isn’t unknown over there either. Take this Primera Liga match between Atletico Madrid's and Athletic Bilbao which was delayed after they away following targeted Bilbao’s keeper with a stream of snowballs.
Never one to shy away from pushing our own wares – as this next tale featured in tfs 018's Top 10 Football injuries – we recall the tale of Norwegian hardman Svein Grondalen. A true pro, the defender was out in winter keeping himself in tip-top shape with a morning jog when he collided with a moose - our favourite ever injury. It’s elk and safety gone mad. You can download the PDF of tfs 018 here and subscribe from this link.
Speaking of health and safety the last few weeks has seen absolutely loads of games called off and while we wouldn’t argue that every last one should have gone ahead, surely it was a bit over the top? The majority of postponements were due to local authorities, fearful of litigation, putting pressure on clubs. Even when stadiums and pitches were cleared, games were being called off.
We’re all for giving fans plenty notice but some games were being called off 48 hours in advance. Anyway, we’ve already talked about this enough so if you disagree (and we’re sure there are plenty who do!) check out our reasoning in this article by FSF Chair Malcolm Clarke.
On that note, bad weather or not it didn’t stop them playing in the 50’s. Some classic footage here from a Rangers – Aberdeen clash. “Who worries about snow and ice when they’re playing a match of this calibre?” Indeed.
Lastly, while the weather saw to the postponement of plenty of FA Cup ties too, one which did go ahead was Burnley’s 2-1 win away to MK Dons. An otherwise run-of-the-mill 3rd Round tie will forever live in our memory thanks to Andre Bikey – a man not known for keeping a cool head.
The stereotype of thick footballers was certainly not helped here by Andre’s post-match comments as he proclaimed himself happy with the three points. We hate to break it to you mate, but it’s a cup game. And MK Dons certainly aren’t in the Premier League even if it wasn’t.
Not one to be saved from his own stupidity, after the interviewer tried to help him out, Andre corrected himself and explained how the second leg was going to be very tight. Top work.
Look out for Extra Time! next month and if you got this far you might also want to check out The Week That Was our weekly round up of football news posted every Friday afternoon at www.fsf.org.uk.