Avatar InterSportball Euroleague 2020

At long last, football fever is here again! Come and join us on the Beans for the lowdown on this year’s best new last year’s footsporting tournament, the InterSportball Euroleague 2020!

How does it work?

All the countries in Europe, excluding some obviously European countries like Ireland and Luxembourg but inexplicably including several countries that are mostly in Asia like Russia and Turkey, are sending teams of footballists to a range of places in Europe and also some places outside Europe to go play footballs at each other.

Every single team of footballsters has about eleven men, and no women at all. The men are all good at kicking, running along doing little kicks to move the ball around without anyone else getting it, running at other men and doing kicks at just the right time to get the ball off them, and sliding along the grass on their knees. The point of the InterSportball Euroleague 2020 is to find out which team of footbollogists are the best ones.

What kind of footballs are being played?

All 24 teams are playing sportball according to the Queensbury Rules, which are:

  • It’s a game of two halves
  • No wrestling or hugging
  • A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered offside
  • The gloves to be fair sized boxing gloves of the best quality
  • No shoes or boots with springs allowed

At the start of the game both teams bring their favourite football to the sports arena and the referee chooses the one they like most to be used for the match. Most teams are bringing circular footballs with a black and white design on them, but England have chosen an orange one that reminds them of 1966, Wales are bringing an oval rugby egg and Germany have opted for a nice stripey beach ball.

Who is playing who?

Every team is playing every other team, making a total of 276 matches in the initial stage of the tournament. Three matches are played every day so this will go on until mid-September.

At the end, there will be the Grand Final, where all 24 teams play each other all at once, with 24 footballs on the pitch, at a specially built ground in Belgium that has 24 sides, 24 goals and a pitch that covers eight floors with escalators between them. The match will continue until one of the teams has scored a hundred goals.

The winners of the Grand Final will be declared the Best at Football and will pick up the Ian Botham Trophy for Best International Kicking.

Time to get out there and enjoy all the football! You can watch the football in every pub in the UK, all the time, or at home on the TV, and if you’re watching a game that’s being shown live from a hot country, don’t forget to wear sunscreen.

Avatar The Ballad of Johnny Bobbins

The time is ticking on,
The passengers rustle and bustle,
The late-night hustle is winding down,
In his box he makes no sound.

There he sits, poised and ready,
A ticket machine in hand,
For those that missed the conductor,
He’s always in demand.

They queue up for his gains,
Without it no exit they have,
The gated gates where heaven waits
A ticket takes for “thems the breaks”.

The punters don’t appreciate
What Johnny does for them.
The abuse he gets for helping,
A champion among men.

No parade is held for him,
No day to cheer and smile.
A lone warrior with a barrier,
Our humble, faithful terrier.

Avatar How doo dey doo dat?

It’s incredible, isn’t it? How does he manage to write four different pieces of something every single month? Each time it’s something fresh and interesting, like a butterfly made of marzipan. He’s clearly some kind of journalistic genius and the world is better off for having him.

All of those things about me are completely correct but don’t be fooled, writing is a serious game and one that takes a lot of effort. You think I’m pulling off (wa-hey!) and pulling out (WA-HEY!) these ideas from thin air like they were biscuits on a plate? You don’t think they take their toil on this mortal body? For sure back in the day I was tossing out so many posts that the Big Men had to put a cap on it to keep me at four whereas these days it’s a complicated and messy process.

Let me walk you through an average month:

1st – thank god a new month, thirty odd days with which to play with.
2nd – I should get organised and write one now but there’s still plenty of time left.
3rd – ooo look, Chris has posted something.
4th – there’s probably a weekend coming up so I’ll post something next week.
7th – that was a crap weekend, oh dear, best knock out some nonsense for the website.
8th – ah, another podcast. Let me type my ‘I’ll listen to it tonight’ comment and get back to doing nothing.
9th – I love corn because it goes with everything.
10th – if I run fast enough could I burst through a brick wall?
11th – nobody else remembers ‘Ovide’ the cartoon and that makes me sad.
12th – ooo look, Chris has posted something.
21st – blimey where did the last 9 days go? I’ve not done anything yet. Find a photo, ooo look it’s funny. First post done.
22nd – scan through previous month’s posts and ride the back of something else someone else wrote.
23rd – two in the can, it’s plain sailing now. Time to knock out a ‘Newsboost’ or something tragic that happened to me. Ha ha, hilarious.
24th – ooo look, Chris has posted something.
25th – is Kev going to reach his quota this month? Could that be the basis of one of my posts? Keep it as a back-up for dire times.
26th – DIRE TIMES ARE NOW! Post that mother.
27th – damn, Kev posted again. My post is superfluous. I’m no good at this anymore, even though young me was an arsehole he was so good at doing this.
28th – here’s a random thought, ‘if cakes were alive, would they try to eat themselves?’ Good enough.
29th – sod it, another photo will have to do.
30th – ooo look, Chris has posted something.

So as you can see, it’s not easy doing this month in and also month out. For all those secret readers out there who don’t make their presences known, you are most definitely welcome.

Avatar From the archives: Constantly Falling, the series

Back in about 2005 we thought we were brilliant at writing scripts and making videos, and presumably sooner or later someone from, I don’t know, Paramount Pictures would be along to tell us they’d seen a bootleg VHS of NiSH and they wanted to commission us for a five year run at a million dollars an episode or something.

That never happened. What actually happened was we kept having half-baked ideas in which we all played basically ourselves, wrote two pages of script, and then lost interest.

Let’s look at another of those stupid projects now.

Read More: From the archives: Constantly Falling, the series »

Avatar ‘Shed Avengers’ – mini review

Like Ian, I recently played a new game, and I wanted to tell you about it, but unlike Ian, I didn’t enjoy mine very much.

‘Shed Avengers’ is a highly lifelike simulation game in which you take on the role of a new homeowner who discovers that the felt covering the roof of his already poorly built garage is now being peeled away by the wind and causing items stored in the garage to become damp.

It has to be said that the graphics are incredibly good, as are the haptic feedback techniques used through the game controllers which really do make you feel like you’re climbing around on a flimsy wooden structure while alone on the premises. I really did feel like there was the potential to fall through the roof, sustain severe injuries and then lie there undiscovered for many hours.

The early part of the game is all about solving puzzles. It begins with the apparent aim of doing the job from the sides, safely standing on a ladder, but it quickly becomes apparent that this isn’t possible, and your hapless protagonist is forced instead to find a way to climb up onto the rickety roof using a ladder that’s a bit too short for the job. Once you figure that out, the first level, removing the tattered felt sheeting, is easily completed, but the game quickly becomes much harder. Level 2 involves painting a layer of wood preserver onto the roof while crawling around on it, but without the layer of felt to stabilise things, the unsecured timbers move around like the keys of a piano when your character’s weight is placed on them, and each must be painted all the way up to the apex of the roof before you can move on.

There then follow several more levels where the puzzles are less difficult and the gameplay less enjoyable, including lifting 20kg rolls of felt onto the roof without them either rolling off or falling through; hammering 400 clout nails into very flexible woodwork that bounces away when you try to strike it; painting a layer of bitumen adhesive under the felt joints while trying not to slide off the roof because it’s started raining; and finally, attempting to secure the last sheet of felt along the apex even though the flimsy stupid god damn roofline is like a rollercoaster so the stupid bloody thing won’t lie flat.

I will admit that my enjoyment of this already frustrating game was marred by my relatively low score on the final level, where I was unable to fully solve the puzzle and ended up completing the game with two wrinkles nailed in to the final felt sheet. If I were truly committed to the game, I’d go back and play it again to try and get a perfect score, but for me this was one to play once and then move on.

I’m not sure I want to play any more in the roofing and tiling series, and anyway my attention is now mostly taken up with the forthcoming release of Impossible Floating Shelf DIY Master, which is coming out in the next couple of months. When I’ve tried it I’ll let you know how I get on.

Avatar Newsboost – Blockbusters is back!

Sensational news today as it was revealed that 80’s stellar gameshow ‘Blockbusters’ is due to come back sometime in Autumn 2021.

A picture of the new set was unveiled on Twitter, Instagram, Faceplace and other social media sites for all to peruse with your various eyes, perusing or otherwise. Not a lot was disclosed but you can clearly see the memorable game board showing the letters in the background. There has been a change of colour, a lick of paint if you will, from the traditional yellow and blue colour scheme of the original.

The new set in all its glory

Yes, whilst follow-up versions were released with different presenters on different channels it was decided that nobody really cared about them. A poll last year showed that 87% of the viewers generally couldn’t give a fuck and so a massive two-fingered salute was erected in a warehouse in Coventry. You can read our article on this using the link below.

Sadly since the tragic loss of Bob Holness in 2012 it has meant that ITV Studios has had to recast and scout for a new presenter. The identity is still a closely guarded secret so we will all have to wait until September for the big big big reveal. It will be a big reveal.

Current odds show Gary Wilmot at 20/1, Sara Cox at 10/1 and our very own Smidge Manly at 100/1. I know where my money is going.

Stay tuned for more information.