The return…

June 25, 2009

Ok, so after a fairly significant hiatus, the blog returns! *cue the fanfare…or not….*

Now, the hiatus was somewhat enforced – many of you will know the story already, but for the benefit of those who haven’t heard… The blog has been my sanctuary during the times of boredom at work. My boss turns to me and gives me some work to do, i nod enthusiastically, agree to get on with it immediately, and then stick it to one side, and write an entry into the blog to delay the start of the work. this trend worked pretty well for a while, but following a change of boss, standards have tightened. I’ve been disciplined (yes, full a caning…) over my use of the internet for “non-business” (read “Gladiators”) work, they’ve moved my desk so i’m next to the new boss, and they’ve cut off my internet access to the point where i can’t even get onto our internal intranet. Nice. apparently after examining my internet logs my average of 6.5 hours per day online was a little excessive…. Still, i tried!

However, i’ve now decided to stick two fingers up at the establishment (helped by the fact my boss is now based elsewhere!) and i’m writing the blog in an email, before emailing it to my home account, logging on at home, copying the email, and then pasting it into the blog. That’s dedication! In fact, that’s how much i’m fed up of being hassled by the players to get the blog updated!

So, what is there to say? Well, at this point in the season the Gladiators senior team are 6-0, having beaten Milton Keynes (twice), Essex, Lincolnshire, Watford and Bedfordshire. We’ve got two of the hardest games of the year coming up against London Olympians and East Kent – two games that will be full of spice, so we’re all getting ready for that. As for the Youth team, in their debut season they’re 1-0-1 with a victory over Peterborough and a tie against Cambridge. They play Tamworth this weekend, who will be a very stiff challenge for the fledgling team, so we’re all behind them.

So far the highlights of the season have been finding out that Slider can cartwheel in pads, even if it does draw a flag, and that Mark can be as camp as a troop of scouts when yelling random colours… Both events are clearly visible on the game DVDs – DVDs that feature such classic moments as spectators begging the Gladiators to “Please stop scoring” against Lincolnshire, and Slider finding out that he’d broken Leo Beckford’s record for rushing TDs in a game against Milton Keynes with an exclamation of “In your face Leo!” from the sidelines…

Now, i was wondering where the blog should go from here – after all, i’ve introduced some of the team, and this is not the place for match reports (all those are on our website anyway), so what do i do? I was thinking about this, and i was scrolling through some ideas in my mind when all of a sudden the phone rings… The conversation goes a little like this:

TB: Hello?
Caller: You’ll never guess who i’ve just seen?
TB: Who is this?
Caller: Seriously mate, something amazing has happened!
TB: What’s happened? Who are you?
Caller: I’ve just spoken to Brian Blessed!
TB: Brian Blessed? Not sure i’d call that amazing….
Caller: He’s got an amazing beard!
TB: I know who Brian Blessed is, just need to know who you are…
Caller: Hang on a second, i’ve just heard him speak – doesn’t sound like Brian Blessed
TB: I can’t imagine he uses the big booming voice in day to day conversation.
Caller: I’m going to ask him, hang on… Excuse me, are you Brian Blessed?
*Pause*
Caller: Turns out it’s just a bloke with a beard…
TB: Shame, so who is this anyway?
Caller: I didn’t get his name, i just know it’s not Brian Blessed.
TB: Not him, you!
Caller: What? Hang on, who’s this?
TB: I’m Tom…
Caller: You mean you’re not Francis?
TB: Erm, No…
Caller: Sorry mate, wrong number….

Needless to say, that was one of the more eventful 2 minutes of my week….

But it got me thinking, have the Gladiators got any celebrity look-a-likes? I scratched my head for a few minutes on this, scouring some photos… and it turns out that we do have a couple!

So, we all know and love former Chairman and current youth team Head Coach Dave Hogarth:

Small but perfectly formed....

Small but perfectly formed....

Loveable rogue Dave has always been a bit flirtatious with the ladies, but i was a little concerned last year when i read a report in the local paper about a stalker in the Wivenhoe area. Apparently a man was seen prowling the streets, and a young lady came up with the following e-fit….

A familiar hair do...

A familiar hair do...

Fortunately, the man was described as being over 6ft tall, and we all know that Dave barely reaches 4ft tall on a good day, so we know it wasn’t him, but i wonder if he has a long lost twin out there who is considerably taller than him…

However, after that somewhat disturbing revelation, i continued through our coaching staff, and stumbled upon Coach Bourke.

The man with the magic moustache...

The man with the magic moustache...

Defensive mastermind Karl Bourke has been involved with the Gladiators since forever, and he has certainly been one of the more popular members of the club over the last few years. However, what we didn’t know is that during the offseason a couple of years ago he snuck off to make a film. Apparently he needed to work on his speech for it, but the casting people say he had exactly the look they wanted….

Coach Bourke in character...

Coach Bourke in character...

Now fluent in Kazakh and still in love with Pamela Anderson, Karl “Borat” Bourke has returned to the Gladiators for this year.

Anyone with any other look-a-likes please let me know….