Thursday, 9 February 2012
A National Disaster
I hate to have to be the harbinger of bad news, but this last few hours has been one of the saddest and most tragic I've ever had to experience. And I share the grief with countless Northumbrian humans, who are currently sitting in a stunned and bemused silence as they attempt - in their feeble way - to absorb the implications of the news, which was joyfully presented to them by the soothsayers yesterday.
Flavius Capellus - the manager of the Northumbrian football team - has resigned.
This fine son of Northumbria - among whose credentials was an inability (or was it an unwillingness? - I'm not sure) to speak the native Anglo-Saxon tongue - has put an end to several years of glory as the Supremo Grandisimo behind the Glorious Team of the Realm; under his inspired tutelage, the team has achieved glory and prestige for the nation - and not an insignificant quantity of Holy Groats. Its success in the face of its other national rivals has been a triumph of paucity over potential. But considering the overpaid and highly-strung raw material he had at his disposal, this isn't altogether surprising.
As I write, I see the flags and banners of Streonaeshalch, hanging, limp and frozen at half mast as a public response to this devastating development. Doubtless this sight is replicated in every town, village and hamlet in the land. The inns and mead houses are calling the faithful to silent prayer with the questionable solace of Caedmeron's watered-down ale and mead. If I weren't a Cat, I'd be blinking back the tears. But I'm thinking about lunch.
The shlock-and-awe resignation follows - if we're given to understand it correctly - a series of internal squabblings between the High Priests of the Northumbrian Football Sanhedrin over the erstwhile Captain of the squad, Ivor the Terrible, who was reported to have referred to a rival Viking player in a league game against Madcaster Untied as a blond-haired whey-faced pansy. Although he strenuously denies this scurrilous accusation, the overwhelming forces of the feared Fluffy Diversity Commisariat have kicked into gear, leaving him with no option but to resign - despite the fact that his innocence or guilt haven't yet been established in the Moot. But Flavius stood by his man, and as a matter of principle, refused to accept the decision made by the High Priests.
And now, the Beloved Team stands in the perilous position of having neither Manager nor Captain. Certain victory in the next tournament against the Franks (or is it the Westphalians? - I forget) beckons. It's all so terribly sad. A lump comes to my throat. I think it was the gristle from my breakfast.
Unless.. Wade Rune can step in to save the day - when he's finished defeating the dark forces of Redistributionism, that is..