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About Stevo

  1. Craft beer is a pale ale that tastes mostly of grapefruit, rather than beer. Some nice ones around, but there are plenty made by chancers who chuck in a load of north American hops and hope for the best. Echo the thought above that the UK beer scene is great at the moment - I can't remember there being as big a range of styles available in my time in pubs - and there are some outstanding small UK breweries.
  2. If Town get promoted, then Huddersfield will be shifting more than the one game next season. Another club who'll be bending the knee to soccer.
  3. Yep, the commentary box is still a mess. Too many voices, all trying to play a "character", none of them really describing the game in a way that adds insight or drama. As above, would keep Carney and Wells, and be tempted to give Carney the central role. He is a light in danger of being hidden under a bushel. The problem goes further than SKY though - listen to some of the local radio commentary and it's not like there's a load of talent putting themselves forward. Most RL commentary is pretty dire (Dave Woods excepted), and tends to be too much like the voice of a fan cheerleading/ moaning than someone who wants to describe the game as it unfolds. When you hear some of the excellent commentators that work on soccer or cricket, there's a massive cultural gap in RL - we don't know how to talk about our own game any more without shouting slogans. SHOT!!! GET OUTTA THE WAY!!!
  4. Lots of people have used this forum to talk about "difficult" things (or things they've found "difficult"). I'm glad that you feel this is a place that will be accepting of what you've shared, and that you're in a relationship that works for you and your partner- enjoy it!
  5. A fair opinion piece. It would be good if Draper would respond to the "charge" of denigrating the cup final. I'm certain that wasn't his intention, but he's an experienced senior operator and to talk about the final in that way to the press was amateurish.
  6. Yeah, the crowds for T20 aren't so bad that it needs this kind of radical re-think. If the two pressing problems identified with the game are a lack of free-to-air cricket on TV and a county game that is limping so badly that some historic counties can barely afford to run a team then why not address those two problems directly, rather than inventing a new load of problems which won't address the fundamentals?
  7. My assumption is that each of the "regular" test match grounds will host a team, so: Headingley Old Trafford Trent Bridge Edgbaston Lords Oval In addition, I think they'll opt for Cardiff, and as reparation for shafting Durham last season they'll base a team up at Chester-le-Street. It leaves huge swathes of traditional cricket watching areas without natural representation in the premier T20 competition - and given our attachment in the UK to local sporting rivalries I just can't see it working.
  8. The ECB have today announced that they plan to introduce a new T20 tournament in the 2020 season - fair enough, T20 is an established form of the game and while it doesn't get the same profile or attendance in England and Wales as in India or Australia, it does well enough to try and squeeze it a bit harder. Cricket needs profile, sponsorship and fans like every other pro sport for sure. Looking at the new plans in outline though, it looks like a proper dog's dinner - perhaps Red Hall have done some consultancy for them on strategic change in sport? ;-) - counties will be abolished for the new tournament, with city/ regional teams adopted, and players will be assigned to teams via a draft system at a stroke undermining those senses of local identities and rivalries that are the life-blood of all UK team sports. I'm sure the marketing types have done the numbers, and are confident that there are hundreds of folk from Derbyshire who currently don't get down to the County Ground from one season to the next but will leap at the opportunity to visit Trent Bridge to cheer on the East Midlands Eagles Better yet, the current T20 Blast tournament will be retained, presumably as some kind of second-tier offer for those grounds who are not going to be a home-base for a regional side. Confusingly, it looks like the T20 Blast will retain its current county-based set up. It reads on paper like a right mess. Give it a few seasons, and there'll be a need for yet another whole-season/ structure review; another bunch of new sponsors and "broadcast partners" to annoy and another opportunity to further alienate long-standing fans (with the added bonus of being able to confuse any new fans at the same time), because the ECB are unable to make the hard decisions now.
  9. I'm not sure I buy the direct comparisons between UK leaving EU, and Scotland leaving the UK - they're far from equivalent. In the case of the former, the phrase "ever closer union" loomed over the referendum debate - it seems probable to me that at some point in the future, the UK would have had to decide to take the Euro as currency if it wished to remain part of the EU. In the case of Scotland's relationship with the UK I'm not sure I ever heard demands for closer and fuller integration - an historically separate legal system, a distinct way of providing education, more recently a Parliament with certain devolved powers etc. etc suggests to me a very different direction of travel for that relationship.
  10. A man walks into a pub. "Pint o'best please, barman." The barman begins pulling a pint, and pauses. Indicating a chalk-board behind the bar he asks the man: "Sure you don't want today's special, Squire?" On the board is written: Special! A pie, a pint and a woman: £1! The man looks interested. "A pie, a pint and a woman, for a quid! Is that right?" "Sure is, Chief", replies the barman. "Today only, mind." "Well, the special it is then please. A pie, a pint and a woman for a quid!" "Coming right up, Skipper. Just take a seat." Suddenly, the man gets suspcicious. A pie, a pint and a woman for a quid? This was just too good to be true, surely? "Hang on a second, there", the man orders. "Whose pies are they?"
  11. They seemed less inclinded to shout stuff like "gerroffized", or abuse the match officials (I'm sure this will improve with time). Also less scowling was in evidence than is usual in away fans.
  12. A good afternoon out at White Hart Lane's premier sporting venue. Toronto too big, too aggresive and too quick for the London boys. Such is life. I'm guessing that Toronto are using this season as proof of concept of logistics and finances - they are surely going to be too strong on the playing front for this league to be a sporting competition for them. 1500+ in the crowd - likely to be more there today than the fancy dans out West will get against the same opposition at Ealing in a couple of weeks (is it Ealing they're playing at this year? Or have they moved again?) What a testimony to the hard yards Hector et al have put into to pro RL in London over the years - a stable home base, a renovated pitch and ground, a dedicated RL club house and 4 figure crowds. My only regret from today is that the PA's all-Canadian play list only managed the briefest snippet of "YYZ" before kick off.
  13. Show a bit of heart, fella. No need to take the pee.
  14. The article is a bit odd, in that it talks around the issue of age without really quoting the relevant statistics - though the source of the stats answers your question about quantity, rate and population age: =============== Deaths increase in 2015There were 529,655 deaths registered in England and Wales in 2015, compared with 501,424 in 2014; an increase of 5.6% as previously reported in our provisional analysis of 2015 death registrations. This is the largest annual percentage increase since the 6.3% rise recorded between 1967 and 1968. The number of deaths has increased each year since 2011, with the exception of a 1.1% fall in 2014. The number of deaths is affected by the size and age structure of the population. As people are tending to live longer, leading to the population increasing in both size and age over time, we may also expect the number of deaths to increase. Age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) are a better measure of mortality than simply looking at the number of deaths, as they take into account the population size, its age structure and the age distribution of deaths. Compared with 2014, ASMRs in 2015 increased for both sexes with 1,156.4 deaths per 100,000 population for males and 863.8 for females; the percentage increase was larger among females (5.1%) than males (3.1%). With the exception of 2015, mortality rates have generally been decreasing (Figure 1). This is due to improved lifestyles and medical advances in the treatment and diagnosis of many illnesses and diseases. There have also been government initiatives to improve health through better diet and lifestyle. ( ================ There are a few other correlations that are worth drawing out in this context: the region of England with the highest mortality rate in 2015 was the north east; the English local authority area with the highest mortality rate was Blackpool. The areas of England with the lowerst mortality rates are the south Midlands, south east (with some exceptions to the east of London), and southern regions. It is hard to not make links between higher rates of poverty and increased mortality rates.
  15. From Euston, get Victoria line to Oxford Circus, then change for Central Line westbound. Get off at Perivale, then get the 297 bus towards Ealing Broadway, alighting at Scotch Common - from there, a 5 min stroll to the ground. NB - there's no facilities or points of interest at Perivale (no cash points, boozers, food shops). Alternatively, get off the Central line at Ealing Broadway, have a few scoops and a bite to eat and get a Joe to the ground - it'd be about 10 min car ride. Whichever route, budget about an hour from Euston to the ground.