| Tavita |
AN IMPORTANT alert for all sports watchers. Remember the date and remember the time.
Next Tuesday morning. Round about 4 a.m The last of the FA Cup 4th Round games.
You couldn’t get a bigger contrast. BPL against Division Three. Black and Blue against Red and White stripes. Rochdale versus Stoke City.
The Dale against The Potters.
That’s right, football watchers. The delicious creamy filling spread in the middle of Manchester, between the stale burnt toast of United, the boring dry slice of City and the rancid butter of Liverpool.
But far more importantly….
The birthplace of the Co-operative Movement. It’s where the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society founded the first modern cooperative in the world back in 1844.
They were called the Rochdale Principles and they played in the Industrial Revolutionary League, the 19th Century BPL, the Big Political Losers.
As such, it is the Holy City of Sports Watching.
It’s where the basic principles followed by all proper sports watchers were first laid down.
Self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity.
In the tradition of their founders, co-operative sports watchers believe in these ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others….unless they support Man U, City or Liverpool.
We in the Rimba Branch are consistently loyal to these principles.
1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership to All Faiths
Anyone’s welcome round our way, even Ali so long as he doesn’t bring any religious stuff about Manchester United, or Chong if he doesn’t start praying for City, and even Jimi if he gives up worshipping Liverpool.
2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control
All the mates have have equal voting rights, one mate, one vote, except for Ali who has no vote, Chong who we usually ask to go and support City somewhere else; Jimi who’s told to shut up; and me who has one more than anyone else,.
3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation
Everyone pays for their own noodles, except for Ali,.Chong and Jimi who are only allowed in if they buy doubles portions for all other members.
4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence
We are an autonomous, self-help organization, controlled by everyone who hopes to see Manchester United, City and Liverpool get relegated.
5th Principle: Education, Training & Information
We provide education and training for all members, especially idiots like Ali.Chong and Jimi.
6th Principle: Co-operation among Co-operatives
We work together with all other sports watching organizations who entirely agree with us and dream of seeing ManUnited , City and Liverpool relegated.
7th Principle: Concern for Community
We work for the sustainable development of all except Al, Chong and Jimi.
In this one hundred and seventy year old co-operative spirit we will be gathering early on Tuesday morning.
We’ll be honouring our founding inspiration…. The Rochdale Principles.
In the rich historical tradition of the FA Cup, we place our faith in the ancient, time-honoured coats of arms that forms the ancient crest worn by the lads from the Dale.
It embodies the co-operative spirit. It’s a sack of wool and a cotton plant with eight highly co-operative martlets sitting around them. The martlets are a kind of swallow without any legs, who co-operate by always sitting down since flying without any legs is fine but landing presents a few problems.
On top, there’s a-worn out looking fleece of wool hanging down and an old iron stone in the middle.
This is clearly based on the local football club whose form has traditionally been extremely woolly and whose managers have regularly been sacked.
Four of the martlets represent their midfield. The other four represent their strikers and the missing three symbolize their co-operative defensive strategy.
The fleece of wool stands for their average supporter and the old iron stone is the look on his face at the end of most games.
On the bottom of the crest is a motto saying “Credo Signo”.
Classical scholars who have been following the FA Cup since sports watching time began tell us that this means “I believe in the Crest.”
We in the Rimba Football Watchers Co-operative fully accept this in the spirit of Classic Scholarship.
After all, crests are the designs that players slap with their right hands when they sprint off to the corner flag and roll around after scoring a goal.
It’s a dramatic way of stating “Look at me! I just made a brilliant contribution to my latest club’s awesome history of scoring brilliant goals.”
All club players traditionally do thus, except the Rochdale ones who are still waiting for a suitable opportunity.
We, however, are confident that it could be coming next Tuesday morning, sometime just before breakfast.
All we ask of Stoke is a bit of co-operation.