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A family welcome

Posted by Dows on August 20, 2009

Last night I decided to make the trek from Leeds to go to the Steelers shirt launch at Abbeydale. Never making the trip before I expected it to be quite a small, almost working mans club based affair with about 100 people.

I love being hilariously wrong.

About 400+ Steelers fans made the journey to see the new kit unveiled and their was a fantastic buzz and atmosphere about the place.

A word about the venue, the were as usual some negativity about location, time, position of Venus in relation to Capricorn etc. but I have to say how impressed I was by the hospitality shown by Abbeydale. Yes queues were long but they well staffed and kept people moving. The beer was well priced and the food was good value. Next year they should probably sell the shirts outside but these are learning’s that you get from a first year at a new venue. Bouncy castle for the kids, plenty of space to run around and plenty of parking equaled a stress free night for most. The night picked weather wise was perfect and seemed well timed so the players could relax a bit and enjoy a drink before the training got crazy serious.

It’s amazing how much you miss a Brummie accent, for all his critics Simmsy made light of the recent naming issues at the club and got people focused on what mattered, how much we all love the club.

Credit has to go to the Steelers for keeping so many sponsors after such an awful financial year, there certainly must be some reason our sponsors keep coming.

Fat Man Models New Away Kit

Fat Man Models New Away Kit

Ok the kit. First the negative – not stitched. I know its cheaper and its better in the economic conditions, I just love the feel of a quality stitched hockey shirt. That aside both versions of the new design have grown on me and the proof was defiantly in the purchase as I bagged myself the new away shirt. However it also makes it more affordable for families and it was pleasing to see so many kids buying a new shirt for the season.

It was great to see the players again, although worrying that Bolibrock isn’t in this country yet.
My mate Jonathan mentioned to me something that struck him as the players were introduced. Kevin Reiter literally did not stop smiling for the entire time he was up on the balcony. I had the good fortune of having a chat with man and first impressions are that he is an absolute top quality bloke. He took time to chat with me and he shared his excitement at having a competent line in front of him. He seems so eager to get started and even decided to pull faces behind my back whilst snapping a picture young Joey Talbot. We should stop making comparisons now about him and Lehman and get on with the business of backing him.

I say this so many times but I just think we have such a great bunch of players in terms of talking to the fans, i had the pleasure of speaking to most of the lads last night (all of whom signed my shirt) and they just have so much patience with fans.

I was keen to get a word with Jeff Hutchins, after the criticism (unwarranted in my opinion and in some cases just disgraceful) of him on the forums I was surprised to meet a man with a clear head, focused on a new season and someone with a cracking sense of humour. He commented about how different the lockers of Sheffield and Newcastle were so different, how he felt that their was one clique in the Steelers and that was the entire team. I’m looking forward to seeing him play, in his own words ‘I put the puck in the back of the net, that’s just what i do.’

All the new boys impressed me, young Morgan seemed eager to learn (although he confessed that the training was very different to preparations at the Scimitars). Dowdy is looking good and I just feel he’s going to be incredible this year.

So well done to the Steelers and Abbeydale for a cracking night. I echo the sentiments of most the players who just couldn’t wait for the season to start.

Signed Shirt

Signed Shirt

Me neither.

P.S 20/20 Hockey… Best. Idea. Ever. (in theory)



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Posted by Dows on August 19, 2009

So yesterday I realised I was turning into quite the heffer and decided I would so something pronto to rectify this by going to the gym.

The science is all there, 1 gym session removes 2 weeks worth of utterly destroying my body with booze, pizzas and special delicious cake. On my way to creating my Adonis like figure I stopped at a cash point outside the bus station in order to pay for my after-gym MacDonalds. Suddenly I heard a voice:

‘Hey You’ Said the voice

‘What?’ Said your hero

‘I’m talking to you’


My voice trembled as I feared the voice of the Creator, realising my years of Atheism and wild Hedonism were about to come back to haunt me. I could feel His judgement upon me. I wept upon the very face of God

‘Isn’t about time you considered applying to Leeds College?’

‘Well I know my life has hit the skids Lord but I wouldn’t go that far…’

‘At Leeds College we have hundred of courses designed to suit you and see you through the recession’

‘Hang on, are you on commission?’

‘ A stunning campus, great people and a great place to learn’

My new found Catholicism quickly dissipated and I began to investigate where the voice was coming from. It was late at a bus station and I peered around, nothing, nobody. I suddenly noticed an electronic billboard on the side of the wall, advertising the college. As I approached the poster spoke.

‘Hey you’

The poster was designed to launch into this blasphemous tirade every time someone walked past it. And its not like it was quiet, positively booming in fact. To make matters worse it had one of those cheesy, uplifting guitar solos in the background. They type of music they play when BBC 2 has a breakdown. Its outside, its noisy, and it scared the willies outta me. So I gave it a kick and went on my way. Seriously if your in Leeds bus station go find it and shake your head in disappear at the folly of mankind.

Speaking of God…

On my way back from the Gym, looking like a young David Hasselhof, I noticed a group of ‘youths’ at the back of the bus. They weren’t your average youths, baggy clothes, long hair, colourful armbands and neatly packed bags. They were a Christian youth club on their way back from a good praying session. Now the reason I knew they were was the distinct thing you always notice about really hardcore committed Christians. It’s the smile. That permanent semi-grin that they always have. I don’t know what it is but I can guarantee you’ve seen it. That ‘you know what I’ve nailed this life and the next ha ha!’ look. Clean cut, fresh faced with their hair either a throwback to the fifties or eighties metal bands.

I’m not knocking anyone’s religion btw. If you’ve got it, great, I’m actually jealous that you have that security in faith. But its only in religious types that I see that smile.

Maybe its just me, after all God told me to go to Leeds College and I said no.

I just wasn’t ready.


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The Return Of Magic Boy

Posted by Dows on April 27, 2009

So i’m at the  Grand Designs Live! Convention for the rest of this week at the ExCel Centre in London.

I dont watch Grand Designs… for someone who works for a housing a charity for a living I know that sounds crap but I just dont get the obsession that this country has with housing porn, which is essentially what it is. It almost seems to have the element thats its laughing at you. It’s uber tanned presenter mocking you with his sub-concious ‘Ha! Look at what you could afford if you hadn’t of got that cheap whore pregnant which made you give up your promising rock career.’

SO anyways this convention is KING huge. Loads of people walking around looking for ways to show off to their neighbours that the recession hasn’t touched them one bit. It’s all rather extravagant really, and every stall without exception is touting itself as the green way of re-vamping your home. One stall owner proudly told me that the lamp i was gazing at was made of 100% recycled women’s tights. My immediate question was how could he be so sure they all belonged to women, the one that lingered was how the hell does a guy look at a set of tights and think ‘Wait! There’s a market here…’

Laa-Laa had to find his own place after playing with his Tinky Winky

Laa-Laa had to find his own place after playing with his Tinky Winky

I also got a chance to look at the HOUSE OF THE FUTURE! THE WONDER OF MODERN SCIENCE!

I mean just look at it… I know the Teletubbies gag is obvious but i mean would you just fucking look at it. Thats the Future kid’s. Im not a hunderd percent sure but im pretty sure I saw more advanced huts when I last watched ‘Braveheart.’ Still cheerful to know that soon we will all be living in Hobbiton, all be it some kind of Giga-Shire with millions of lost Hobbits.

Still one must venture on.

So Shelter have been given some free space to set up our own little stall. We built our marvellous red house, which is probably going to be its last trip. So we setup and are all ready to engage the eager public. Slight flaws in this simple of plans. First of all most of our materials haven’t turned up, the tv we have is rubbish, the stand for it broken and the dvd itself lasts 16 seconds.

Cocks, was the official outcry.

So my boss leaves me to fend for myself while he skidadles to the otherside of London. What the hell am I gonna do now?

Turns out I had the BEST IDEA EVAR!LOLZ, sorry, a really good idea. The campaign we were promoting was our House of Cards campaign (see it’s well good). I suddenly realise I have brought my old college bag with me for the trip. I wonder… HUZZAH! My old cards were in there.

For anyone who doesn’t know I use to do magic. Street stuff mainly but I did work for in a few places when I was about 17. Could this be the unique hook we were looking for. Bare in mind that I havent practiced this stuff in easily 5 years. I went out and talked to some people. Showed them a trick, got them hooked and signed up to the campaign. Worked a treat for the whole day.

I’d missed that feeling of being able to surprise people, confuse them and make them laugh. The patter hadn’t gone, in fact it was better. My college years of being Magic Boy were coming out again. I realised that it was this stuff that gave me the confidence as a kid to talk to random strangers, that got me into face2face campaigning.

Having a Hotel on Park Lane works out in the end

Having a Hotel on Park Lane works out in the end

Good day then, im now practicing some of my old classics for tomorrow. I mean ive got a week to kill.

Oh and here is our beautiful red house.


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Gimmie a ticket for an airplane…

Posted by Dows on April 25, 2009

I’m now into my third hour of my journey to go home. This should of taken about an hour. I am seriously not a fan of weekend trains.

It was all going so well…

Got on at Middlesbrough and all was right with the world. Direct, simple, efficient. The very pride of network rail. Birds were singing, the sun was setting and boro was bathed in the glow of an ending summers day.

The conductor smiled as I handed him my ticket. He informed me with a cheerful demeanour that we would arrive in Leeds at half nine.

And then Satan himself shat on my face.

Right in my eye.

As we approached Darlo the conductor was heard on the tannoy.

‘This is a passenger announcement. Could all passengers please depart this train at Darlington. Their is a technical problem on-board and this train will no longer be going to Leeds. Once again this train has failed and will terminate at Darlington.’

What the hell do you mean failed? In life? To settle down? How can a train just fail?

This isn’t the first time I had heard this use of broken English. Going to London one day the train I was using also ‘failed’ and was cancelled. But why use such a stupid term. Unless it’s what the computer on-board says when the driver cocks

Train: press the blue button to continue on your journey

Driver: shit just pressed the green one


Would at least make more sense.

So the lady said ‘ I’m sorry sir (clearly wasn’t) but the next train isn’t for another hour’

Stuck in Darlington station, the coldest place on earth, for an hour! The bar wasn’t open so I couldn’t even drink myself better (see earlier post on booze dependancy).

So I loitered…

And loitered…

Had a wee

And loitered

Finally the most beautiful train I’ve ever seen appears. It actually made me aroused. Upon boarding i took to my seat and settled in for at least a comfy ride back.

‘Ladies and Gentleman we would just like to remind all passengers will be going to Leeds via Doncaster and will take approx 1 hr and 340mins to arrive at its desination.’


For the next hour and forty-five I witnessed projectile vomit from the loudest drunken person ever, couples trying to ride bareback on the tables and I wrote this blog out on my ipod (cos im a twat like that)kitten21tl

So to make everyone feel as bad as me here is a sad kitten…


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What did we do all day?

Posted by Dows on April 21, 2009

Evening all,

Over the weekend I enjoyed the delights of staying with my parents. Now I’m one of the rare beasts who actually like their parents. My dad is stupidly funny and I really value the time I have with my Mam since her health scare last year.

I love the nostalgic feel of going through your old front door, sleeping in your bed, heck even dropping one in your old bog has a lot of good memories.

You spend the first  couple of hours catching up, telling them that, seriously, your all right. Finding out how your old mates from primary school are doing. It’s great. Home cooked food, getting your clothes washed for you. It’s all good!

Then into about the third hour the inevitable happens…

It's Dawson crying... That's almost Dowson.

It's Dawson Crying... That' nearly Dowson

You become so bored you could cry.

You miss your PC

Your Xbox

Your DVD’s

Your pub.

I mean what the hell are you mean’t to do after that 3 hour lull. I tried digging up my old Playstation, but that was bricked. I went to go out and play but I realised I was 23. And there is only so many times you can make Lego boobies.

I resorted to drink but im begining to realise thats my default posistion for many of my troubles… can’t be healthy.




As a fatman I can only apologise… Cakes are worth the destruction of the planet. It’s that simple.

Also how hillarious are the pictures they have used. The polar bear on the verge of drowning du to last nights KFC…


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The ‘God Bless ’em they’re trying’ award

Posted by Dows on April 18, 2009

My topic today is something I have been wanting to get off my chest for a long time.

I’ve been playing games now for over 14 years and i’ve seen most of what gaming can throw at me, I’ve bought crap, played crap, enjoyed crap and sometimes designed crap to fuel my need for gaming.

However, every bad decision I ever made gaming wise does not compare to the TWO horrific decisions my parents have made when it comes to getting me video games/consoles.

It’s not that they every did anything intentionality bad, it’s just that they never got why I was into Video Games

Here are the big examples…

Mistake no.1: Its 2002, everybody on the planet owns a PS2 and it sucks balls cos I don’t have one. I take a very crappy job at PoundStretcher over weekends to save up enough money to get my own console.
Months go by and I finally have the moolah to get my very own PS2. Here is when I make my first mistake – I gave the money to my mom to buy the system. Here is my second mistake – I didn’t explicitly say which free game to get when she purchased it. However I wasn’t too concerned as the bundles available all had games i liked (Smackdown Just Bring It, Fifa etc.)

Anyways… So i’m at work and my mom comes to see me.
Mom – Console bought
Dows – Yay
Mom – It came with a free game
Dows – Cool which bundle you get
Mom- Well the deal changed, I could have any game free
Dows – Sweet, so what did you get…

Right before I go on, I was 16, Male, A huge Sports/Wrestling fan, Studying ww2 history at College. (I was so cool at school)

Have a guess at what she got me……

The Weakest ‘F*&@*ng’ Link.

This is the most exciting screenshot I could find.

This is the most exciting screenshot I could find.

I was stunned into complete silence. She just didn’t get it.

What blew more was the fact we couldn’t exchange it. SO when I opened up my beautiful PS2, the only thing I had to play on was one of the worst games of all time.

Anne Robinson forever taunting me about my lack of knowledge has left a scar I don’t think will ever truly heal…

I mean just LOOK AT IT!

You couldn’t even change the name of the character you were playing as.

For a month this game was all I had, makes me so mad just thinking about it.

Moving on…

Mistake No.2 – This is by far the worst call ever made by my folks. Its xmas 1996 and my parents tell me that they have got me a new console for me to play on.
JOY OF JOYS! A ps1? A N64?


An Atari Jaguar.

When your 10 this looks sexy...

When your 10 this looks sexy...

The Jaguar, for the unacquainted,  was designed to surpass the Mega Drive and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in processing power. The console was first released in selected U.S. cities in November 1993, and the rest of the country in early 1994. Although it was promoted as the first 64-bit gaming system, the Jaguar proved to be a commercial failure and prompted Atari to leave the home video game console market.

The damn thing killed Atari…

Now I was like 10 and I had never heard of the Jaguar and assumed that it must be a super-new console that was clearly blessed by Jesus Christ.
The actual reason I had never heard of it is because the system sucked balls and sank like a stone in Europe.
By the time I had the console in my mitts you couldn’t get Jaguar games in this country anymore so I was stuck with the titles I was given, Doom, Syndicate, Club Drive (dear god), Cybermorph and a pretty decent top down flying game Raiden.

I soon discovered that the console was crap but I had to make do with what I have so I merrily played along.  During its 2 year life with me we had to replace the controllers 5 times as they just kept on braking and replace the original power adaptor as it fried itself (when it was switched off apparantly…)

Now many people argue whether the console was actually a true ’64-bit’ console. And many more people simply don’t care. I mean it played like crap and the console was piss poorly designed so game makers actually struggled to code games for the damn thing.

But its biggest killer has to be its utterly daft controller.

This was as much of the controller as I could fit on one jpg. (GOD IM SO FUNNY!)

This was as much of the controller as I could fit on one jpg. (GOD IM SO FUNNY!)

Good God the controller. Never in the field of human history has a company shat on the laws on ergonomics from such a great height. It was difficult for fully grown men to use and I was 10!

Now I know what your all thinking, old small hands Dowson is moaning again, but seriously this beast was huge.  With a normal d-pad and 3 buttons you would think Atatri were onto a winner. And then for some unown reason they added 12 buttons at the bottom. The idea being that every game came with an overlay you put on the top and then you play your game and use it accordingly. Lose the overlay and you were screwed basically.

That comes to 15 buttons overall.

Can you name a single game in 1995 that needed 15 buttons? 15!

So like I said, the awful mess crippled Atari who were only able to sell half the consoles they ever made and it brought an end top the company that started it all.

My parents were trying but yet again they just didn’t get it

God Bless ‘Em


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An Elite Season

Posted by Dows on April 17, 2009

A review of the Steelers Season 08/09

With the Ice Hockey season over in this country for another year I thought I would have ago at reviewing the 08/09 season from a Steeler fans perspective and also looking ahead to the 09/10 season.

What a year for the Steelers. No matter how sceptical you may be about the current state of UK Hockey, it’s hard not to admire the way the Steelers took both the league and playoff titles this year. Something that Paul Thompson, coach of the Coventry Blaze, mentioned at the playoff finals is that the Steelers ‘don’t need to carry anyone’ in their team. That pretty much sums up all the Steelers lines this year. Players that had you worried last year about their inclusion stepped up another gear and those that were signed to excel did just that. There were very few moments for Steelers fan to wince as certain players took to the ice, everyone has simply had a truly excellent season.

Dave Matsos has created a quick and skilled team that moves so well on the break and also created the most enviable defence in the league. Defence’s win Championships. That was personified in the Steelers approach this year.

However the Steelers also had probably one of their cleanest years in terms of being, mostly, injury free this year (which has hampered many of the elite league teams this year, most noticeably Newcastle). With the exception of Sharpy early on in the season, Matsos has been able to choose his strongest side for the big games this season. This is evident in their record against the big teams. Coventry only managed to beat the Steelers once this season, that ultimately cost them the league. Nottingham, although have 3 on 3 record with Steelers this season (excluding the playoff final), dropped crucial points at home.

And we had Jody Lehman.Me and the legend that is Jody Lehman

In some games it was that simple. His, often superhuman, efforts in goal this season have meant that Matsos tactic of absorbing pressure and scoring on the break have been incredibly effective. A record amount of shut-outs in this league have had most people saying he should have been elite league player of the season. However I don’t fully agree.

David Beauregard has been phenomenal this season. 61 Goals and 46 Assists is a ridiculous tally to be making in his first season in the UK. His efforts alone almost won two trophies for the Phoenix this season. Manchester have struggled this year and the fact he has put up these numbers is even more incredible. Jody commented that he had some fantastic guys in front of him to make his record season possible. I don’t’ think David could say the same thing.

But there is one crucial reason why Beauregard won everything this season, defence’s may win championships, but goals sell tickets. The Elite League is desperate to sell Hockey as the fast, sexy, alternative to other sports in the UK. Jody’s season is incredible as a hockey fan but to someone new to the sport it’s a rather boring choice. You don’t go to see Man Utd. play for Van Der Sar, you go for Ronaldo. The Elite League need Sky to increase its hockey coverage, and goals sell.

Now I’m not saying David was my pick, Jody all the way for me. But it becomes more understandable if you take into account the wider sport in general.

I was so happy for Robert Dowd this season, he fully deserved his young player of the year award and he has simply been incredible. I had the opportunity to the briefest of chats with him after they won the league and he is such a well-grounded guy. I’m also biased because, like me, he’s from the North-east and I love to see a local lad do well. I’ll be gutted if he leaves this year for bigger and better things but, like Jody, it may be the best thing for his career.

Speaking of the future, sad to see Basingstoke drop out but not surprising. In my opinion the only way Ice Hockey is gonna fly in this country is if the big cities grab it. We need a London team now more than ever and we could do with a Liverpool or Birmingham based team coming to the fold. The league should be expanding, not shrinking but I understand the concern of the league to not promote any EPL teams, no-one wants to go to Slough…

Hull seem to be doing a few moves in the early transfer market and it would be great I think if they start becoming a real force in the league, their end of season playoff run was pretty engrossing and that can only help their fanbase grow.

Well that’s it from me, feel free to disagree with whatever i’ve posted. I’ve only been involved in the sport for three years now but I’m learning to love it more every day.


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An awfully nerdy way to kick things off but…

Posted by Dows on April 16, 2009

Mrs. PacmanTaken from the latest cahllenge. ‘Video Games In Real Life’

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Posted by Dows on April 16, 2009

Time to get serious about this whole blogging thing.

After two failed attempts to reguarly blog I am finally at a mature point in my life where I actually feel I can keep this up.

Here’s hoping


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