Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Turning Back The Clock

I was reading a review of Robert Winder's new book Open Secrets: The Extraordinary Battle for the 2009 Open the other day.

Interested to read it because Tom Watson's amazing title challenge had me spellbound last year.

It also got me thinking. Many of us would love to have turned back the clock to let Watson hit that eight iron on the 72nd hole again. Even just to force the ball to land a foot earlier, anything to give him the title.

Of course that's not the nature of sport. The beauty lies in the drama. And losing is as central to the narrative as winning. A golf shot hit too well. A free kick that just doesn't dip enough. Fractions make the difference, provide the agonised losers that make the winner's stories more compelling.

But, just for fun, what footballing moments would you like to rewind and rewrite?

Mine, I think, would probably feature Scotland.

David Seaman failing to stop Christian Dailly's header as Scotland enjoyed the momentum in the Euro 2000 play off.

Gary McCallister's Euro 96 penalty hitting the back of the net. Or, at the very least, Uri Geller falling out of his bloody helicopter.

Or a World Cup moment. Jim Leighton holding that late Brazilian shot in 1990. Alan Hansen and Willie Miller combining to stop a Russian attacker and not each other in 1982.

All contenders. But the moment I'd most like to change would probably be the 1974 World Cup. How different could our footballing history have been if Billy Bremner had scored against Brazil?

So what history would you like to change? The defensive mistake that led to a relegation? The refereeing decision that cost a cup tie?

Or a more personal moment? The mistimed sliding tackle that caused your shorts to fall down in a Saturday morning University game when your hair was still dyed blue from the Halloween party the night before?

Actually that might just be me.

Anyway. Let me know. Comments in the normal place. I'm granting you the gift of footballing time travel - use it wisely.

UPDATE: A few comments on Turning Back The Clock from Twitter


@HamieJones @ScotFootBlog Gary Mac, PK, Uri Gellar & the Fat Geordie Maggott

@allanguthrie @ScotFootBlog Don Masson's penalty miss against Peru in '78. Still haven't recovered.

@garyrussell_ @ScotFootBlog Remembering to press record for that game on 02.04.06. (Hearts beating Hibs 4-0 in Scottish Cup semi final if I recall)

@heluvstheshimmy @ScotFootBlog steve kirk's elbows in the united vs motherwell scottish cup final

@SubSceneRecords @ScotFootBlog balde not making that stupid tackle in Seville or hit the changing room in 70 in Milan and tell Jock to rethink his teamtalk!

@theSteve71 @ScotFootBlog Hansen & miller in 82

@madsainty @ScotFootBlog 1966...a confident, skillful West German team beat hosts England 3-0 in the WC Final thereby making my WHOLE life happier ;-)

@JTSmyth @ScotFootBlog I'd travel back to a couple of Januarys ago and buy Steven Fletcher for Celtic, it could have been 5 in a row.

@aland1903 @ScotFootBlog 11th May 1991 - Alex Smith doesn't say to the Aberdeen dressing room "A draw will do here lads"

@StewTodd @ScotFootBlog Easy. Iain Ferguson's "goal" is given in 87 Cup Final v St Mirren. We then win the Cup and go on to win the UEFA Cup.

@DonnyMcI1888 @ScotFootBlog Seville 2003

@Blair_Bookshop @ScotFootBlog June/July 1970. The conception of James Grady > Ha.

@FrugalNory @ScotFootBlog I'd remove the extra time that Gretna were allowed for grady to score the goal that got them promoted in 2007.

@arabtrust1909 @ScotFootBlog I'd change the moment Kenny Clark chose not to see the stonewall penalty in the 2008 CIS Cup Final & Mark Kerr's passback!

@davie050370 @ScotFootBlog Dundee getting relegated in the 1st season of the Premier League. And the day United won the league at Dens. A dark day.