Date: 21st June 2013 at 5:10pm
Written by:

Gawd this summer is dragging by, it really is. They say a watched kettle never boils but a watched Chelsea news page never farkin’ changes either.

I keep flicking onto Newsnow all the time.

They say the adult male thinks about boobies and shagging every seven seconds. I reckon I check Newsnow at least that often.

I used to think about sex every seven seconds or so but I’m married and 33 years old so its dropped to about every nine seconds (or whenever a hot woman walks past, tight blouse, great legs, pencil skirt etc, whichever happens first).

But sad as it is to say, I probably think about football more often than sex now.

And Newsnow is still the site I use. For mostly everything else I use twitter but deriving your transfer news from Twitter is a bit like going to an agricultural studies college where they train young farmers. A lot of desperate wannabes and the overwhelming stench of bullsh*t.

I check Newsnow convinced everytime that since I last checked six seconds ago, I’ll see new breaking headlines like:

CHELSEA SIGN CAVANI IN 58M DEAL

or

THIAGO ALCANTARA SENSATIONAL U-TURN TO JOIN JOSE’S BLUES

or even

BLUES MASSIVE SUMMER DOUBLE SWOOP AS ISCO AND DE ROSSI SIGN

But its the same old b*llocks every day. Nothing changes.

And yet you keep checking it.

Someone told me the football fan’s life today is unrecognisable from only 20 years ago, and this is one of those times when that just is not true at all.

Anyone remember Ceefax? Oracle? Teletext?

I’m guessing the majority of this site’s readership have no idea what I’m on about, but for those who do – the constant checking of Newsnow is just modern day Ceefax Page 302.

I remember it being the first thing i did when I got up and the first thing I did when I got home from school – Page 302. I used to sneak into the auditorium at school at breaktime and lunchtime to switch on the TV there to flick onto Ceefax Page 302. It might seem daft now but it was really serious back then – you could have got a fearful b*llocking and to be deprived of your saturday for a day’s detention if caught, but it was worth the risk. You just HAVE to know, you know?

So you switch on the TV, or if someone else is watching it you take (by force if necessary) the remote and bring up Teletext, apologising if necessary.

Cue interminable waiting for the pages to load and shuffle past.

I remember the crushing disappointment as the Chelsea news was always on one page only on how disappointed Chelsea manager Ian Porterfield is about our (slightly unlucky) recent capitulation at home to Southampton and hopes to do better for the very tricky away at Ipswich etc. No new signings etc.

But now and again, you get the news you want and the fact that you’ve reloaded the page 3,996 times since they last changed the news headline on there, makes it all the sweeter when something does actually happen.

This was in the days before blogs, before the internet, and importantly before the sodding transfer window. It seems like years and years ago and yet we’re probably only talking 15 years or so since it was in mass use.

It used to make me laugh when my Dad used to come by the house, wordlessly ignore me, my sister, my mother and all else in the world until he’d checked Page 302. The house could have been crumbling around him in flames in an end-of-days style earthquake and he’d make sure he checked 302. I think maybe it was more important in those days as you had no other means of checking football news, save for reading the papers which we didn’t really do in our house mainly because we couldn’t afford it.

Now of course if Newsnow doesnt have anything interesting, you check cfc-net, Vital-Chelsea, weaintgotnohistory, The Chelsea Blog, the (excellent) Chelsea fancast or twitter or any of the other myriad of info options available, laughably deluded into thinking they may have something that newsnow hasn’t picked up yet. I know I do.

I think the most frustrating thing about teletext was those Clubcall adverts on Oracle, the ITV/Channel 4 version of BBC’s Ceefax.

They used to write things on the Chelsea section of the advert page saying things IN CAPITALS WITH QUESTIONMARKS to make it seem more authoritative somehow, like:

MASSIVE BLUES SWOOP?

SENSATIONAL WINGER DEAL IMMINENT?

CHELSEA POUNCE FOR STARLET?

INTERNATIONAL STRIKER ISSUES COME-GET-ME PLEA?









…And then link it to a premium rate phone number.

B*STARDS?

Of course you had no idea what these things meant (or didn’t mean, in 99.999% of the cases) you had no option to call and listen to the recorded ‘news’.

Invariably the MASSIVE BLUES SWOOP was for the second choice Arbroath keeper you’d never heard of on a 1 year deal, and the SENSATIONAL WINGER DEAL IMMINENT was for a player you had heard of but who was never coming to Chelsea in a million years and ended up at West Ham or QPR or Ipswich because they were better than us at the time. Cue more crushing disappointment.

Of course you can still see Clubcall’s webpages on Newsnow even today weirdly enough, and I always pause before clicking on their links not because of the (usually) wildly spurious information and tenuous links, but because I’m still afraid of the hiding I’ll get from my mum when the premium rate phone calls hit our phone bill…

Old habits die hard eh?

Well, I guess the best you can say for silly season is that, when all is said and done, there is a lot more said than done.

I’m off to check Newsnow to see if we’ve signed someone yet.

CAREFREE.