23
May

Naughty pup eats QPR fans tickets for playoff final

It’s not very often that the excuse of “my dog ate my homework” can actually be used. But, for one unlucky Queens Park Rangers fan, his pup really did eat something very important!

Saffa Michail was beside himself after his dog destroyed his tickets for QPR’s playoff final against Derby at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.  It’s safe to say Michail was less than pleased with the dog, telling several people on Twitter that he wanted to kill him (thank goodness he was half-joking or this would be a very different story).

Luckily for him, the club was able to step in and make sure his tickets were reprinted without issue — and he got a tweet from a QPR player, too:

While Michail is thankful the situation was sorted by the club, we’re certain the most relieved being in this whole situation is the naughty pup who surely avoided any further reprimanding. Plus, he’s pretty darn cute. Hard to be too mad at him, right?

(H/T Off The Post)

8
May

Millwall survive relegation thanks to lucky goldfish

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Millwall fans invade the pitch after the Lions avoided relegation. (Getty)

It was early April, and Millwall needed a string of good results through the end of the season to survive the drop down to League One. The outlook for the Lions was bleak.

But their fortunes changed when life-long supporter Tommy Pratt bought what is now known as the lucky goldfish. Pratt is friends with Millwall players Alan Dunne and David Forde, and started jokingly texting them before each game “may the fish be with you.”

Then a strange thing started happening: Millwall couldn’t lose.

"The fish has been everywhere with us - it came out to dinner a few weeks ago," Dunne told News At Den. ”It became funnier and funnier after every game because we were still unbeaten and the fish was still alive and going strong.”

The magical lucky fish was there sitting in its bowl by the TV as Millwall put up a 4-0-3 record in the club’s final seven games of the season. Perhaps Millwall should consider a secondary mascot?

Even manager Ian Holloway placed some faith in the water-dwelling creature. “Maybe we should get some Koi carp for the training ground,” he joked.

It might not be such a bad idea.

Story via New At Den

3
May

Reading fans invade pitch wrongly thinking they clinched promotion playoff spot

imageThe Reading fans’ joy lasted for only a few moments. (Image: Reuters)

Well, that’s a bit embarrassing …

Heading into Saturday’s final round of games, Championship side Reading were in a battle with Brighton over the final playoff spot for Premier League promotion. Thanks to a 2-2 draw against Burnley, all Reading needed was for Brighton to not beat Nottingham Forest and the playoff spot would’ve been theirs.

Unfortunately, just then a rumor spread through the crowd that Forest notched a late equalizer, seemingly giving Reading the result they needed. Ecstatic, hundreds of fans invaded the pitch to celebrate. But elation quickly turned into stunned silence once those fans realized that Brighton had, in fact, held on for the win. Stupid cell phone reception!

As upsetting as this must have been for Reading fans, it could have been exponentially worse. Just ask Schalke fans.

On the final day of the 2001 Bundesliga season, Schalke’s players, staff and fans were celebrating their first title in over 40 years, unaware that Bayern Munich, who were losing away to Hamburg, were still playing deep in stoppage time needing only a goal to tie, and thus, steal the title from Schalke in the final seconds. It happened, and the heartbreak was incomparable.

Watch (unless you’re a Schalke fan):

H/T Deadspin

18
Apr

Wolves win over Rotherham nearly abandoned because of pitch invasions

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Perhaps Wolverhampton fans should take lessons from Brentford fans on how to properly invade the pitch, because on Friday they almost cost their club the match for spending too much time on the field.

The Wolves defeated Rotherham in a wild 6-4 victory, but it wasn’t without frequent interruption.

The invasions started small…

…but slowly got more and more out of hand, and eventually resulted in two huge invasions in the final minutes of the match:

Luckily for the club and that obnoxious group of fans, the referee was incredibly patient, because the madness could have cost them the match.

Wolves have said they expect a fine, and condemned the fans, but let’s be honest: they’re just as excited as everyone who ran onto the pitch on Friday. After all, they’re going back to the Championship!

(H/T SB Nation)

18
Apr

Brentford gain promotion to Championship, both fans and players go nuts

League One side Brentford FC needed all the stars to align to secure promotion to the Championship on Friday.

First, they had to beat Preston North End. Check:

Next, they needed both Leyton Orient and Rotherham to lose. Orient’s match ended just before the Bees won, so that result was secure.

But could Wolverhampton beat Rotherham? This video contains that answer pretty definitively:

And of course, no promotion would be complete without emotional fans letting it all out on the pitch:

Finally, after all was said and done in the Bees’ 2013-14 season, the players went down to the pub to celebrate with their loyal supporters. Party on, y’all. You deserve it!

Congratulations Brentford. It’s been a long time since you’ve been in the Championship — more than two decades — so enjoy while it lasts.

23
Jan

Middlesbrough’s hot streak credited to lucky hamster

imagePhoto: Action Images

For all of you Championship followers, Middlesbrough has made a vicious assault on the rest of the English second division, going undefeated in their past six games (winning five) and jumping from 19th up to 9th place. Now just five points shy of a place in the top six, Boro are vying for a surprise spot in the promotion playoffs.

Now, to most observers it’s been the play of the defense, in particular goalkeeper Shay Given, that has been the catalyst to Boro’s rise. Given posted six clean sheets in ten games since coming on loan from Aston Villa. But if you listen to the 37-year-old, the Teessiders’ luck has changed thanks to a new team mascot — Holly the Hamster.

Indeed, Boro are unbeaten in the Championship since Holly scurried into the training ground “thanks to a secret Santa team-bonding game at Christmas,” whatever that means.

Given told the Daily Star:

“She seems to be our lucky mascot at the moment.

She came into the training ground over Christmas as a bit of a joke from one of the lads, but we’re unbeaten since, so we’re all taking looking after her very seriously now.

She’s got a nice home in with us at the training ground, and we’re making sure we feed and water her every day. She’s got an unbeaten record so far, so we’ll make sure she stays happy and keeps working her magic.”

If Middlesbrough can keep their hot streak going all the way to the Premier League, hopefully we can turn this into a movie or something.

Next stop: Holly-wood?

H/T Dirty Tackle

19
Oct

Harry Redknapp gets hit in head with ball, QPR promptly concedes equalizer

Poor Harry. He just can’t stay out of the way from comical incidents at his expense.

On Saturday, with his QPR side up 2-1 at Millwall, a fan tried to throw a ball back onto the pitch, but hit Redknapp in the head instead. As you can see, Harry was none too pleased about this stunt, and began cursing out the fan.

Those sly Millwall hooligans, always up to some mischief! They must’ve known how much I hate getting hit by balls

Compounding Harry’s headache, QPR promptly conceded the slim lead just seconds later (while Redknapp was still giving it to the fan), and in stoppage time no less.

He shouldn’t stay too mad for too long, considering QPR are still unbeaten in Championship play. Let’s just hope the knock to the head doesn’t stop Harry from churning out his next autobiography.

H/T 101GG

2
Oct

DC United upsets RSL, wins third Lamar Hunt US Open Cup

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DC United entered Tuesday’s night Lamar Hunt US Open Cup final at Real Salt Lake with a clear and concise game plan honed by heavy underdogs the world over.

Keep it tight. Prevent the opposition from playing. Wait for the right time to snatch the winner.

United — holder of three meager wins in MLS play this season and pursuer of a fourth in Open Cup competition on this night — executed Ben Olsen’s instructions doggedly and produced a resolute performance worthy of its 1-0 victory to complete the 100th edition of this competition.

Lewis Neal scored the winning goal shortly before the interval with a first-time effort, but the difference between failure and triumph on this evening hinged with United’s commitment to its defiant and organized work inside its own half.

Real Salt Lake enjoyed plenty of possession without testing United nearly often enough before the frantic late stages. United’s ability to retain its 4-4-2 shape against RSL’s extensive, if somewhat lackluster, work on the ball heaped pressure on the home side to engineer a breakthrough. RSL mined its preferred route between the center backs and the fullbacks — all in a bid to either create numbers out wide to play behind the fullbacks or use the fissures to slot players directly through the line — often enough in a bid to crack apart the United rearguard.

Olsen trusted his central core – defenders Dejan Jakovic and Ethan White, midfielders Perry Kitchen and John Thorrington — prevent RSL from combining deftly in the final third and producing chances in more dangerous areas. Those four players justified that faith and stymied RSL in the process. Their success in the middle of United’s two banks of four forced RSL’s fullbacks forward (they often join in support anyways) to provide hopeful service from the wide areas and left room for United to counter on those rare forays into opposition territory.

It only takes one goal to validate the thought process behind such a display. Neal (an astute selection in midfield in place of Luis Silva due to his considerable work rate) supplied the winner moments before the break after good work from Thorrington down the left created modest chaos inside the RSL penalty area. RSL couldn’t hack clear after shifting somewhat aggressively to halt Thorrington’s run and watched Neal slot home first time for the only goal of the game.

United conceded most of the play on the night and soaked up a furious late siege from RSL with help from Bill Hamid and the goal frame, but the final whistle made the toil worthwhile. United has endured a wretched season in league play. This achievement — fueled by grit and organization — at least provides some tangible relief ahead of the extensive rebuilding project ahead during the winter.

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Images: Jim Urquhart / USA Today Sports