More real than the real thing

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Guardian has a nice piece about Israel, Zionism, and Subbuteo:

The sixth goal hurts the most. I’m miles from home, surrounded by strangers, sweating through a too-small football shirt. And I’m getting hammered. My opponent is openly using me as target practice. I haven’t had a sniff of the ball for about 10 minutes. My tactics are a mess. My players don’t know whether to fling themselves into the middle of nowhere or just to give up and fall over. Another goal goes in. To be honest, I might have underestimated Subbuteo a little bit.

There is, regrettably, the inevitable English bias:

“…And one day you, too, could be wearing the England shirt at the top of the podium with the whole world smiling at you.”

It’s still well worth reading. See it, here.

Rangers 1-0 Celtic

From the Herald comes this welcome (for me) news of a Rangers win. But not at soccer:

IT was a Glasgow derby like no other, and although passions ran high, the teams certainly weren’t.

Instead of a kick-off the crowd got a flick-off, while the clicking of plastic replaced the thud of leather as the first heats of the Subbuteo Challenge Cup got under way yesterday in Glasgow.

The table football game where teams of inch-high plastic men stand in for their real-life counterparts is making a comeback and clubs of aficionados from all over Scotland descended on the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery yesterday for an admittedly small slice of the action.

Hasbro, the company which has resumed production of Subbuteo after it was shelved 12 years ago, has just released its first licensed Rangers and Celtic teams. And while the Glasgow giants are experiencing vastly different fortunes of late, at board game level things were different.

A tensely fought affair between Rangers fan David Kerr, 30, and Celtic man Kevin Perkins ended one-nil in favour of the Light Blues. And although feelings can boil over on such occasions, there were hand shakes all round when the final whistle was blown.

For those of you scratching your heads in puzzlement:

Subbuteo attempts to replicate the rules of football with players shuffling their miniature teams around the pitch using their fingers as they try to get the ball in the net. Opponents move the pieces at the same time as they jockey for position, and possession of the ball only swaps when it strikes the opposite team.

Or see here.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Sr Donbuche

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Sr Donbuche

I’ll finish with a final quote from the Herald piece:

Former Scottish junior champion Gareth Christie, 34, of the Tayside Kickers club, helped the novices get a grip of the game. He said: “The social aspect to Subbuteo is huge – you don’t get this with a PlayStation.”

He shoots, he scores!