Banner boys get sign of approval from boffin

FOOTY fans are the wittiest people in the country, according to a leading academic.
Dr Jamie Cleland, a sports sociologist from Loughborough University, came to the conclusion after studying banners that followers of the beautiful game brought to matches.
“Angela Merkel Think’s We’re At Work’ displayed by Republic of Ireland fans at Euro 2012 after their country was bailed out by Germany is among several that caught his attention.
Now The Art of Banner Banter competition has been launched to encourage footy fans to showcase their talent by creating and sharing a banner with a chance of winning £5,000.
Dr Jamie Cleland said: “Many of the most well-known banners tap cleverly into the news agenda of the time. These banners have more of a cultural and social meaning, providing an opportunity for the creator to comment on topical issues in a sophisticated way.
“The fans creating these banners are often well-educated males who are on the cusp of a new stage of their lives.
“The act of creating the banners is naturally a very social occasion and getting together with a group of friends to create witty banners for display at sporting events allows them to express this mischievous edge to their character”
The competition is being run in conjunction with Tullamore D.E.W Whisky.
Entrants should take a picture of their carefully crafted banner and share on Twitter using the hashtag #bannerbanter.

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Final countdown to Goaltastic Fantasy Football kick-off

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THE countdown has begun to the Premier League season’s start – which can mean only one thing…
Fantasy football!
So far a massive 65 entries have signed up to this year’s competition.
And they may all be in with a shot of celebrating like Manchester City last May – as neither of the previous winners have yet registered to take part for 2012/13!
Of course, there’s room for more – to take part is free. Sign up at fantasy.premierleague.com, register a team and then join the Goaltastic private league sing the code 9287-3710.

Stiliyan Petrov is a dish

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PETROV Pie is on the menu at Villa Park this weekend, after a special filling was chosen to support the Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov’s fight with leukaemia.
When Sunderland come to town this weekend, fans will be able to sample the chicken, leek and Bulgarian kefta meatball-filled pastries, with a percentage from sales of the Petrov Pie will be donated to the Cure Leukaemia charity.
A spokesman said: “As part of a special promotion, fans were asked to suggest their favourite pie filling with the winning entry chosen to be served around the ground on matchday.
“The winning filling was chosen by Villa supporter Mr Hugh Cottrill.
“The special pie promotion comes as Villa look to climb the prestigious Football Pie League.”

Retro football gaming – 01/02 the champ of Champ Managers

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TARIBO West on a free transfer.
If these words mean anything to you, I can guarantee you’ve lost sleep and possibly partners for the love of Championship Manager 01/02.
For me, this edition of the football management franchise was the pinnicle – complex enough to keep you hooked but easy enough to pull you in within minutes.
I can vouch for that first hand, having become hopelessly addicted again and again.
Among the features that really stood out with this edition were attribute masking, which required scouts to be used in earnest for the first time, and the need to keep the fans and board onside – it’s no surprise that this is the only version which has a website dedicated to keeping 01/02 up to date.
How can you not love an alternative reality where one man can guide Stoke City to the Champions League title and win the World Cup with Nigeria in a single season?
• Would you like to win a copy of Championship Manager 01/02 for PC?
I’m offering my very own much-loved (i.e. second hand) copy of the game in a competition open to any UK residents.
To enter post a comment below using a valid e-mail address, which isn’t made public, and the winner will be picked out of a hat on September 24.