Monday, August 22, 2005

Mickey faces an [almost] Chelsea takeover

According to Times newspaper columnist Danny Baker, the soccer strips worn on the streets of Disney World in Orlando, Florida, in August are always "an excellent barometer for just how fickle the floating UK football fan can be". He said he expected a groundswell of defection from Arsenal and United consumers. "However, this was an absolute avalanche of blue and what’s more it appeared to be closing in on me, like a zombie revenge film, only satisfied when I had, too, become One of Them."

Lurching and spinning crazily in the forecourt of Cinderella’s Castle, I tried actually to count the examples of Chelsea merchandising on view and it damn near unhinged me. Wild-eyed and with tongue lolling from mouth, I could be heard babbling: “Thirty-eight . . . thirty-nine . . . FORTY! FORTY ONE!” Fortunately, my son stepped in before security did and, slapping my face a few times more than I thought was required, brought me to my senses. "Dad," he said, firmly, his hands pinning my shoulders against the plastic foliage around Tink’s Enchanted Grove, "you have got to get a grip. This thing is ruining the holiday. Look — they’re not all Chelsea shirts, OK? You’re starting to imagine things."
Baker admitted that he’d blindly included totally innocent shirts from Leicester, Ipswich, Rangers — even a defiant Peterborough top. "Now come on," his son continued, "it’s not the colour blue that is evil, all right? Just Chelsea, got it?"

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