MR PENDLE: Mere mortals catch a cold but footballers have flu

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WITH more and more people suffering from heavy colds this winter, Mr Pendle has stopped short of smiling when he hears of footballers suffering from “the flu” who then make a miraculous recovery to be fit enough to play a couple of days later.

What these pampered, overpaid, over-rated, glove and snood wearing prima donnas have got is the same as the rest of us - a blocked nose, catarrh on the chest, a slight headache.

A heavy cold, yes. The flu, definitely no.

But there must be something in their vanity that makes them think they cannot be seen to admit to only having a cold.

Oh no, that would never do.

They have had the flu, and have recovered far more quickly than an ordinary man and woman could possibly do, hence preserving their deluded visions of superman status.

It’s time someone took a pin to prick the balloons these egotistic people have blown up around themselves and brought them back to earth with a resounding bump.

People have swallowed this guff about footballers and flu for far too long.

So while - at the time of writing - Mr Pendle pauses for yet another sneeze, allow him to wallow in the thought that his three months of purgatory are almost at an end, and the new rugby league season is but eight days away.

Ah! He’s feeling 10 times better already!

WHILE on the theme of football, time was when Mr Pendle was a season ticket holder at Turf Moor and the only thing that mattered on a Saturday afternoon or Tuesday evening was the result.

How things have changed.

Nowadays, we are bombarded with statistics about how far a player runs in a match, how many passes or tackles he makes, how many shots he has had and so on - almost to the extent that the result of a game is secondary to the figures.

It is, of course, all meaningless claptrap and in any case, there has to be a question asked about just how accurate the figures are.

Who keeps count? Who checks them? And at the end of the day, who cares?

Teams get no points for having a certain percentage of shots on target, for having a player who can pass the ball to a team mate 90 per cent of the time or one who runs 5,000 metres in a game.

The sole purpose of the game is to get the ball into the opposing side’s net. Who scores most goals wins.

End of story - and if the statisticians were kicked into touch, who knows?

Rugby League fan Mr Pendle might just show a modicum of interest in the round ball game once again.