Stoke 3, Fulham 2- Don’t Tug on Quail Man’s Cape

Posted on January 5, 2010


Growing up, at school I usually kept a running list of who I thought I could and could not beat up.  As a short guy it came in handy as a survival skill, and it’s a habit I haven’t been able to break as an adult (Charlie by Troy’s office, no.  Karen by the copier, yes).  Generally that list had a few separate categories-

1) People you knew you had no chance against.  This included the one random kid who knew karate, and the class giant, whose slight case of acromegaly meant that, although 9 times out of 10 he had a soft heart and was just as insecure as you were, if not more so, if pushed too far he could definitely end you.

2) Regular people.  Almost every kid you know, and while you were confident if something went down you could hold your own, it was a wild card and so you weren’t sure.  Mutually assured destruction was assumed, and so everyone usually just played it cool.

3) The Ace in the Hole.  This is the guy at the bottom of the food chain, the one guy that, if pressed to prove you weren’t a sissy, you could dominate.  You didn’t want to do it- you actually are a sissy, as it turns out- but it just felt better knowing you could.

For a while there, it seemed like Stoke was the Ace in the Hole.  Man U, Sunderland, Blackburn, Arsenal, these Karate-Knowers and Regular Dudes may come and go, but there’s always good ol’ Stoke.  Like Hull City, a team that’s there when you need to get right.

Until today.

There’s a Jim Croce song with the line ‘…you don’t tug on Superman’s cape.”  Stoke isn’t exactly Superman (more like Quail Man, from Doug) but we definitely tugged on something and got the reprisal for it.  3-0 at half time with goals from Tuncay, Sidibe and Faye represented the extent of the pimp-slap Stoke gave out in the first half.  In the 2nd Clint came off the bench to provide some late game heroics, but in the end it was way too little too late.  Who knew tapping the glass at the aquarium actually did make the fish agitated?   

So now we’re down one Ace In the Hole.  Time to revise that list.

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