Chelsea’s victory over Barcelona last night sent the nation’s sport desks into overdrive, spawning headlines such as BLUES CLEAN UP THE MESSI (Express), HOT DROG IS THE MUSTARD (Express), BARC ARE WORSE THAN DROG BITE (Mirror), SALUTES BLUE, SIR (Sun), SLICK AS A DROG (Sun) and DI MATTEO HAILS OLD GUARD AFTER HISTORIC CHELSEA WIN (oh well, Independent, maybe next time).
But is this really the tabloids’ best game? Drogba-related headlines basically write themselves; most of these have probably been sitting around somebody’s notebook for years, along with WHO LET THE DROG OUT, etc etc.
To see real inspiration at work, let’s leave these overpaid stars behind and take a train of thought up to Howden, home of the Press Association (we believe it says this on the train station, but having never taken an actual train there, can’t be sure).
Picture the scene: a group of sports editors are waiting inside their orangey office building for the Chelsea game to start. A story comes in about Cristiano Ronald’s boots being stolen before a game against Bayern Munich. Shocked by the theft, a local radio presenter has sent the player a replacement pair of shoes.
“Dear Cristiano Ronaldo,” says the accompanying note. “Hospitable people live here in Bavaria. We may steal maypoles, but not shoes. We therefore wanted to replace what you lost. Here are a pair of genuine Bavarian brogues for you. With them you won’t be able to score any goals, but you will look really snazzy. Kind regards, Stephan Lehmann and the Bayern 1 team.”
According to our sports desk source: “we kicked around various shoo-ins and footloose ideas”, but finally Kirstie Lovewell hit the back of the net with RADIO PRESENTER PROVIDES SOLE-LACE TO BOOTLESS RONALDO.
Online subs around the country picked up the Bavarian brogue and ran with it, adding WE WUZ ROBBED! (Mirror Football) and REAL MADRID FORWARD CRISTIANO RONALDO SENT “REALLY SNAZZY” SHOES STOLEN BEFORE BAYERN DEFEAT (bit wordy but good use of “snazzy”, Telegraph.co.uk). But Super Caley prefers Kirstie’s double-pun for its rarity.
Every Drog headline has its day, but how often do you get to give sole-lace?