Joey & The 2008 Comedy Auditions!
Couch Potato gives his own tribute to the Icelandic international by recalling an article he wrote for When the Ball Moves... in 2008 about a funnier moment involving Joey
On an all too rare excursion off my couch and away from listening to Clarets World, I noticed the advert for a Bfc Burns Night in the Barnsley edition of Claret & You. The advert promised a line-up for the night of Owen Coyle, Sandy Stewart and 'comedian'.
Before I go any further, I would like to extend all good wishes to Scots everywhere (and those folk who their tourist board calls 'affinity Scots') on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of Rabbie Burns. I hope that the occasion is momentous and - for those who do not share Owen Coyle's habits of staying off the booze - at least partially memorable.
I hope this article adds to the occasion in some small way and offers a bit of fun for everyone, not least because the words 'Burnley' and 'fun' seem to have become strangers ever since Barnsley's early and arguably offside goal on the Turf.
I was contemplating the Burns Night advert while 'doing the business' at half-time in an Upper Hargreaves facility, where the advert was widely posted. Who might the 'comedian' be, I wondered?
Listening to various judgements being passed all around me, a good many people seemed to think that there had been numerous candidates wearing claret and blue on the first half Turf, plus one dressed all in black, all of whom were failing to 'do the business` on the pitch.
I hit on the idea of drawing up a short list after the Doncaster game two days later, giving everyone on that list an assessment after their 'comedy audition' over the 180 minutes of the two games, and then nominating a winner of the Christmas Comedy award.
Hopefully this will appear in time for OC to take my recommendation on board when he picks the final member of his Burns Night squad. OC does read WTBM every month doesn't he?
Well he should!
As the shortest member of the squad, Joey Gudjonsson's name came quickly to mind, but the short list that I drew up on the train home from Donny was:
Mr. S.W Mathieson (the ref in the Barnsley game)
Chris McCann: You put through your own net against Barnsley, and then let Donny`s midfield run rings round you till you were substituted. On the other hand, you were voted our Boxing Day man of the match, scored in the right end as well that day, and featured in the new year`s day injury list.
Clarke Carlisle:That ball you sent skywards and then back down to the feet of Donny`s first scorer was a real comedy blooper of a header. But you get special positive mention for your morale-boosting, off-field comedy antics, and for boosting club shop sales, with your Bad Beat Bob line of underpants.
Steven Caldwell: I - like many - thought at first that it was you who surrendered the lead at home, and you certainly did surrender any kind of remaining advantage at the Keepmoat, together with your right to see out the rest of the match. On the other hand you certainly showed the red-carding ref plenty of respect by marching promptly off, and you looked as though you were going to show considerably less respect to those of your colleagues at half-time who had gotten you into this fine mess.
Chris Eagles: A candidate for miss of the year, when your lime-gloss boots flashed wide against Barnsley, was followed by your fastest sprint ever, away from the goalmouth incident with Doncaster`s Sullivan and a potentially wrathful ref. But at least you got in there, pivoting nicely after the keeper`s forearm smash to the back of your headband, and you`re also doing your defensive turns far better than I thought you might.
Wade Elliott:You`re having a laugh! That was my first thought when you went into central midfield at the Keepmoat. But I thought you did well, even before the long run and lay-off to Pato. And evidently Coyle didn`t think you were funny either, because you played there again - and played the part - at Spurs.
Mr. S.W. Mathiesen:I made a special 'bonus ball' place for you in what was originally only going to be a short-list of five. No, not for missing the offside on the first goal, and not for completely ignoring what looked to be a very solid penalty shout. Refs make mistakes don`t they? And where would we be without you? But, sorry, you have to be my 'bonus ball` for single-handedly turning over what`s practically a FIFA directive about keeping multiple balls ready and the game flowing… by insisting that the game be played with just one.
And the winner is...
Initially I thought it was going to have to be you, Steven Caldwell, if only because captains have to take the rap, and need to practice their public speaking, and anyway because you`re Scottish and will probably therefore get into the spirit of the occasion. But that look in your eye when you walked to your early bath… I wouldn`t dare.
Then I thought, it`s obvious: it`s you, Mr. Mathiesen. But if only for your own health and safety reasons, I reckon we don`t want you back on the Turf too soon. Maybe next year?
And then I remembered Joey Gudjonsson! No, not because of the purple stocking you had on your head when warming up along the touchline against Barnsley. (I am sure there must be a polite word for it in Icelandic.) But because you all of a sudden continued your warm-up run through the inflatable pie storage area and on round to the back of the Bob Lord. Got caught short? I don`t think so. I reckon you were having a laugh at the ref with only one ball, and trying to encourage your mates on the pitch to see if they could kick it to you over the roof, so you could sprint back with it and raise a cheer. And then Barnsley seemed to join in trying to kick it over the roof as well! The funny thing is, there were over 13,000 other people in the stadium who thought that the 22 players were all still trying to put it into the back of the net! Brilliant! So congratulations, Joey Gudjonsson, you are the winner of the Christmas Comedy Award 2008.
But, if you or anyone else disagrees, or maybe even think that the comedian is me, send your own nominations to: Owen Coyle, Burnley Football Club, Harry Potts Way. Or shout "Oi! (insert your nomination here)… who do you think you are? Some kind of comedian?" in one of the quiet moments at a future home game. Or write it on the back of your ticket, make a paper plane, and launch it towards the dugout. Only joking.