The Podding Shed Needs You!

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Football – a subject guaranteed to turn normally rational men and women of science, evidence and cold hard fact into superstitious, God-fearing folk who fear that upsetting the Chelsea space-time continuum and those most fickle of deities, the footballing gods will lead to relegation, bankruptcy and Kanu type disasters.

In the next episode of The Podding Shed we will be discussing pre-match rituals and superstitions. Tell us about yours; why you have to walk a particular route to the Bridge, your lucky socks, the need for a packet of Polos in your right-hand jacket pocket and why you fear hideous and disastrous consequences if they are not observed. The odder the better is the order of the day (keep it reasonably clean – family show, and all that).

Leave your tales of superstition and bizarre ritual in the comments section below, tweet us on @chelseablog etc etc.




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  1. Gshahabdul

    I feel that whenever i watch a match, I should only watch upto 70th minute, if i continue to watch it, we generally lose. previously, I have not been able to resist the temptation of finishing the match, hence, i guess, the results. will stop watching the whole match though
     

    • GrocerJack

      Interesting one this, I’m much the same. When we were 3-0 up vs United I seriously thought about leaving the ground, safe in the knowledge that my absence would secure victory. 

      In fact this is so bad I even walk away when playing FM2012 and either of my teams (Chelsea or Plymouth) are a goal up with 10 minutes left. 

  2. Blue_MikeL

    I have a friend who regularly forgets to switch on TV (computer) to watch the game (Chelsea of course). Whenever, I call him to remind about the game we lose or draw. Last time I called him after we went 3:0 uo against Man Utd. Straight after it we have let in three goals. 

  3. cej1796

    I hang my kit on my closet door throughout the week and then I wear it on matchday all day, starting at 12 GBT. Every drink I have is in my Chelsea pint glass. Everything I eat is either in my Blues bowl or on my Blues plate. I also chant for an hour leading up to kick off. 

  4. mark_25

    Look Jonathan, I told you before, that wasn’t a packet of Polos in my pocket, I was just pleased to see you.

  5. TerrenceTheCat

    I have a magic ring (steady) – it’s actually a rosary ring – if the opposition is attacking I have to rub the crucifix on it – which must be facing the palm of my hand. While we are in posession, the ring must not be touched.

    Also, I sit front row of the East Upper – and my programme must sit on the stone barrier in front of me facing the way we are shooting – my season ticket should be on top and then my mobile on top of that – again facing the way we are shooting.

    AND (I have loads – we could be here all night) – when we sing “We all follow the Chelsea….etc” I must not sing the word Wembley or we won’t get to Wembley

    Last one for now….when the team run out both at the beginning of the match and at half time, I have to keep clapping continuously until the 11 are on the pitch. Many a time when they are waiting for one player who seems to be taking ages and everyone has stopped clapping – there is me stood up clapping with everyone looking at me.

    I know – I need help.

  6. Desmond

    Used to be that I couldn’t watch a game without wearing blue boxers (didn’t have to be Chelsea ones, I’m not obsessional!). The last time I did that was for that Monaco semi when Joe Cole sliced his shot in front of an open goal…now of course, it’s the opposite, can’t wear anything blue for a match.

  7. Bryan J.

    Over here in the States, the matches are usually on early enough in the morning that I’m sitting hunched over the grainy feed on my laptop with a cup of coffee (2009 Double Winners mug) in my hand, wearing my JT long-sleeved kit. Hasn’t brought any luck, however. In fact, the mornings when I happen to miss the game or the feed is wonky are the days when we get a result.

  8. Chelsea Ces

    Paint my nails the night before every match
    Stand each time there is a kickoff until ball has been kicked and then mutter ‘Come on Chels’

    Always wear my lucky scarf (circa late 80s) … except I lost it when we won the Double … things haven’t been the same since 🙁

  9. Cunningplan

    Don’t really have any OCD traits when I watch us play, apart from I always eat a tube of smarties before, or during the game, I  just like chocolate.

  10. John

    Must have sweets to hand round which I never eat myself; never join in singing (since the Arsenal game then we lost the two goal lead to the Kanu hat-trick). If not attending tricky/tense televised away games (used to be big CL/United/Arse/Liverpool, now it’s all of them) can’t watch live in pub or at home ’cause get too wound up, so Sky+ and go somewhere like pictures to avoid all news then call someone to get the result. Fucking mental. Never did any of this from early 60s up to late 90s, when the only problem was walking the correct route to the bus stop……

    • Cunningplan

      That Kanu hat-trick still gives me nightmares, I don’t think any game before, or since, has upset me so much.

      PS Perhaps that could be one of the podding sheds future discussions, what’s been the hardest defeat to take?

    • GrocerJack

      Christ all fucking mighty. I could have written this word for word. Are you my clone?

      And keep ’em coming folks because this is excellent stuff………we’ll need to be careful coz this could take the whole show! 

  11. Dylbo Baggins

    Given that i live in Melbourne, most of the matches are on at rubbish times- especially the sunday fixtures.
     
    Monday morning when i roll into work at 7:30am first thing i do is load up BBC. I scroll down the page slowly until the football section is about to be exposed. I then stop, exhale, and scroll down the last antagonising part.
     
    Stupid, really, when the result is always done and dusted but somehow i do it every single time.

  12. ravenous1

    mine’s a bit tricky/weird/depressing/unreal.
    Not being from the UK, me and a bunch (1 united supporting, 3 arsenal, 1 Chels)  from my local footie team get together and watch the game.
    the booze generally flows freely in my cave but not on Chelsea match days. I don’t let myself anywhere near alcohol during the match and obviously, I do drink copious amounts to celebrate our victory after the game. Now the thing is… I have a 100% success rate with my magic formula  so much so that I have been directly responsible for the result in many a game ranging from the CL defeat against Liverpool (on penalties ; started a pint during extra time)  to several of our great victories in the last 6-7 years… sadly though, this has not been foolproof. I have a depressingly large # of Arsenal supporting mates who know of this and try to jinx this every match day. Likewise, my presence during Arsenal games does great disservice to them. So its a constant struggle and mind games with people not picking calls, locking their houses during match days, pretending to have gone out, breaking in etc. and  cue – great banter for the rest of the week. Now, If I have given an indication that I am some sort of West African juju witch doctor or some crazed shaman wannabe – No!. I am as rational as the next person on this blog but it is my destiny to go batshit mental for the greater cause.

  13. Fiftee

    So AVB, what’s the reason Drogs and Kalou can’t play Staurday, but Yaya Toure just did a 90 minute stint in Porto?

    Do we expect too much of these poor little lovelies?

  14. NorthernVA

    English football has truly become Transatlantic. I’m not really big into rituals but my neighbor happens to be. He is a big fan of recently disgraced club roughly 178 miles north of Stamford Bridge. 

    Now my neighbor is a real pyro. I mean he commences every game of this club with a bonfire the night before. However I can’t figure out for the life of me why he feels the need to do it on my lawn.
     

  15. Blueboydave

    OK, my minor foible on the morning of home game match days is to make sure I don’t wear a t-shirt or sweater the same colour as our opponents’ shirts [unless they normally play in blue, of course]. Guess that’s why I don’t have many red clothes.

    If the weather is reasonable and I have time to walk from home to The Bridge I always take the “scenic” route: crossing the river at Putney Railway footbridge, along the side of Hurlingham Park, cutting across Eel Brook Common, then keeping to the side roads so I only reach Fulham Broadway directly opposite the Britannia Gate entrance [whatever happened to the gates that used to be there?].

    Then I always buy my programme from the same bloke in the kiosk on the left just inside that entrance. It goes without saying I never buy from the other vendor in the same kiosk even if that queue is much shorter, ’cause then we’d be bound to lose obviously…..

          • Blue_MikeL

            I told you last time mate: “You can’t clearly articulate, or type your thoughts”.  Talk to doctor while it is not too late. 

        • Musumba_anthony

           

          The only thing
          synonymous with the word Mikel both in club and matters that pertain to
          blogging is slow, erratic judgment and of course in your case “Sycophancy”, an
          awkward term for obsequiousness. As a description, it is the choice of someone
          exhibiting, a defense mechanism, inept intellect or behavioral obsessive
          compulsive disorder, in this case is your unending irrational obsession with
          AVB ,

                     Your “Markovian”nature of being memoryless, your
          “denial” and advocating for the same thing over and over again expecting different results is plain insanity.!!,a very good book i would prescribe is”logic for dummies”authored by Mark Zegarelli,infact we can still loan AVB out just to cater for your stubbornness

  16. Cunningplan

    I wish you guys would have been more forthcoming with your bets, I just but my house on Neil Warnock taking over. Is it too late to ask for my money back from Mr W. Hill?

      • bluebayou

        I still have my betting slip from the around around 1990 sometime, when I bet on Warnock to manage Chelsea and Sweden to win the Eurovision Song Contest in a sixpence each way win double thingammy whatsit. (I don’t gamble much).  I’m halfway there.

  17. bluebayou

    Rather than regale you with my own sad inadequacies I thought I would ponder the meaning of all these match day practices.

    I’d say we broadly break down into three groups, the monotheists, the polytheists and the primordialists.
    The monotheists obviously trade on a personal relationship with the one supreme being and therefore have to face the fact that he/she doesn’t always listen to them and may favour others . The only option is to pray harder, live a better life or admit that Richard Dawkins may be onto something.

    Your polytheist may seek to satisfy the requirements of one particular deity and provided they follow the right method, can place the blame firmly on the inadequacy of the chosen one when failure ensues, as they were obviously trumped by a more powerful one. You then have the option to move to another.

    By primordialist, I mean those who do not base their ritual on any recognised religious belief but on an understanding that there are forces, which control our fate and influence the outcomes of everything in this world. They are neutral in that there is no moral basis in their working. 

    This view is predicated on a sort of chaos theory and argues that if one flap of a butterfly’s wings somewhere in Cuba can cause an afternoon of sharp showers in Halifax, then your own personal intervention, such as the donning of the lucky pants, can be the difference between the ball shaving the outside of the post or hitting the back of the net.

    Now, to varying degrees all these systems of observance, some more rigid than others, have at their centre the assertion of ego.  An insistence that we are in some way at the centre of events: our contribution to the daily turning of the world is important.  There is an unspoken conviction that it is you and you alone who is responsible. We rarely pause to wonder whether our forgetting to wait at a particular bus stop only works if someone else wears the right t-shirt.

    So when there is a breakdown in luck it may be a highly complex intermeshing of numerous tasks too difficult to unravel. When Terry slipped in Moscow it may not have just been because you chose the wrong trap to pass water in, during the break in extra time, but because someone in Staines held their luck Pannini sticker with the wrong hand for more than 30 seconds. This is frightening because you can never be sure how important your success or failure is when it is part of a large web of actions.

    I would wager that there is an unspoken geoprejudice at work here as well. Those like “Terrence The Cat” who are at the Bridge will feel that their intervention is critical due to their proximity to the pitch, to the main actors in the event.

    But what if the key player is a 38 year old woman, not even a football fan, who by leaving the door of her house in Brazzaville wearing a particular pair of shoes will decide the fate of our team, of our happiness? What if this individual is the conduit through which the fates concerned with Chelsea operate in the world? And our opponents are equally dependent on the patterned penis gourd that a man in the jungle of Borneo selects for the day?

    Shocking to even contemplate don’t you think?

    But not as shocking as the unvarnished truth that we, the collective Chelsea “We” are not actors upon the outcome in any way shape or form. Not only that, but that the outcome is not subject to any morality or notion of “deserving” the result. Other than the money and emotion we expend our existence is entirely disconnected from the happenings in the game. We are transient beings, whose contingent existence plays out across time without ever being able to actively change the result of a football game by our superstitions.

    That is a lonely and tough reality for us to cope with.

    But for the monotheists amongst us it might be worse than that.

    There is a God. But he/she just plain out doesn’t follow football.

    http://viraltoob.com/blog/2012/01/23/jesus-prefers-hockey/

    • Cunningplan

      Well you’ve given me food for thought, and perhaps I should start experimenting with my Smarties while watching Chelsea.

      So any ideas on what colour should be eaten for different scenarios?,  us scoring, them scoring, penalties and freekicks awarded, etc etc….
      Of course if a coloured Smartie pattern emerges which sees us win, then I will quite happily become another OCD statistic.

  18. Agh57

    I went for a stage of occasionally nominating a “lucky piss”. This power had to be used sparingly. The best example of it being Beckham’s goal against Greece in 2001. I had just explained what I was about to do to my bemused mother in law just before toddling off to the downstairs toilet to give fate a bit of a helping hand. I recall using it a few times in that season, the away Man U game is one I defintely recall. Of course it’s influence has wained recently. It would only work if (b) beer was involved and (b) you were watching the game on some one else’s telly.

    I have every kit since the early 90s. They are all kept in a suitcase in the loft and I rarely wear them but each time we have been in an FA Cup final I get them down and hang them up around the lounge. 100% success rate so far. I have not tried it in any other game or final for fear of ruining it.

    • Cunningplan

      So it wasn’t JT’s slip and Anelka’s penalty miss in Moscow that lost us the final.
      The finger is now pointing firmly in your direction! 😉

      • Agh57

        I had given up believing in its special power by then (in any event it was my own telly, wouldn’t have worked. See above!) . For the penalties in Moscow, like any proper Chelsea fan,  I was stood in my hallway listening to the commentary but refusing to watch the pictures.

        Enough time has probably passed for me to confess that I was responsible for Sheva’s rapidly declining form whilst he was with us. As stated above, I collect each kit that comes out each year. Before we signed Sheva I’d always maintained that I would never get one with a name printed on the back as it’s bound to be unlucky. With Sheva I abandoned this rule and look what happened.

        Will never get a named shirt ever again.

  19. WorkingClassPost

    While watching the ’94 final against manu in a Kingston pub, crappy little screen in the corner, I decided to wander off at half time and view elsewhere, with the score at 0-0.

    No need to describe the effect that 0-4 result had on my wandering habit.

  20. Fiftee

    Strongish line-up today then.

    Mind you, the midfield three of Ramires, Mikel and Mereiles will take some beating on the boredom front. Uninspiring.

  21. Fiftee

    Seen the bench. Can we really not afford to give at least one of the kids a place? Not even Lukaku.

    As always, stick with the same failing ‘names’.

  22. Benjami

    Whoo 1-1 draw at the moment vs Birmingham with a few mins to go.

    I don’t want AVB to get sacked but the players look unmotivated to play for him. I think they are professionals and will do what the manager says but right now they have not bought in to AVB’s plan and tactics.

    So they turn up and play OK but lack the edge to make us a top top team.

    If today had been against a top premiership team the players would have motivated themselves and we would have looked good and either drawn or scraped a win. (Aka Liverpool of a few years ago)

    Against a mid table or lower side we would have drawn and been even further behind Arsenal.

    Transition is going to be hard, much harder than for Man Utd due to the reliance they can have on Fergie. But I am concerned that AVB has been appointed to Chelsea too soon and simple doesn’t have the charisma, confidence and respect of the players to achieve the changes that are required.

    I do not want to see AVB sacked, I like his attitude and his personality but I am starting to think he just lacks the ability at his current age to achieve this. In 10 years he could be a great manager.

    I expect RA to at least ring Fabio or Guus to have a conversation this weekend ;/

    • SweetDairyAir

      Guus has gone to Russia already.

      Anyway onto the game. The second half we looked a bit better, but pretty much exactly as expected from previous weeks. We didn’t look incisive.

      We can play well though, as shown by the goal we did score, but we need to keep it up. Maybe you’re right and they just don’t buy into AVB’s ideas and can’t motivate themselves like they used to.

  23. NorthernVA

    I’m convinced that AVB is trying to get himself sacked. Lampard on for Mata. What the hell did Meireles do that warranted him staying on the pitch another minute.

  24. Benjami

    This season we have 29 points against the teams that have been in all 3 previous premiership seasons that we have played so far. Under CA we had 38 points at this stage in 2010 and then 31 points in 2011.

    So you could say that Chelsea have declined 9 points since 2010, and 2 points since AVB took over.

    Against relegated/promoted teams our averages are as follows:
    2012 – 2 points
    2011 –  2.3 points
    2010 – 2.4 points

    (Note Proof: Games played vs promoted teams 7 x 2 (average above) = 14 + 29 = current points total of 43)

    We are clearly in decline and how many of us regret not offering that bit more to get Modric (though would Levy have still said no anyway). That kid would have made a big difference being there instead of Meireles.

    It isn’t all AVB’s fault he tried to get Modric in so that shows he identified the issue, but had to settle for the number 2 option.

    That decision may turn out to cost us £30/40m in hindsight 🙁

    I currently expect Napoli to knock us out, and unless AVB grows a pair immediately and starts making the big decisions we will finish 5th

     If we win all our remaining home games and draw all our away games we will finish on 70 points. We are also currently 17 points off the top with 13 games to go. The gap at the end of the season will be wider, this really is a good 3 year project.

    • Blue_MikeL

      Benjani, 
      What are the big decisions you are talking about. I am just asking what are the big decisions AVB should make, in your opinion.  

  25. Musumba

    we have clearly retrogressed, thats 1 step forward and 2  back,keeping this fellow will mean 3 steps back.the only thing synonymous with the name Mikel is slow and erroneous thinking the same applies to the  employee


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