Match Report Title and Opening of the Day

Paul Doyle, “Chelsea's potency uninterrupted by limp Bordeaux”, in The Guardian, 17 September 2008.

In 1677, the most unpopular law of the old customary code was finally abolished in France. Congrès was defined by the Frutière dictionary as: "the practice of coitus ordered by decree of an ecclesiastical judge, performed in the presence of surgeons and matrons, to discover whether a man is potent, with a view to dissolving a marriage." The reason it was scrapped had, of course, nothing to do with public decency. Rather it was because the authorities belatedly came to realise that the exercise did not elicit conclusive proof of impotence. "Our organs do not always obey us when we would like them to, still less so in front of judges," blubbed one contemporary, as quoted in Nina Epton's delicious 1959 opus Love and the French.

I emphasise that these are the first two paragraphs of a review of a sporting match. In related news, international voters prefer Obama to McCain by 4-1, and I hereby announce that I will be voting in this election, by proxy, since Chad and I resolved an argument over the obligation to vote by coming to the agreement that he will vote as I direct him to. Now let me think. The man with one car or the man with thirteen cars? The man who was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, or the man who graduated 894th out of a class of 899 at the Naval Academy? A vice presidential candidate who is a long-time member and current chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, or one who argues for her foreign policy credentials on the grounds that "you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska"? An energy policy grounded on the principle that government incentives are required to transition to green energy sources, or a policy grounded on a belief in the unfettered free market principles that have the US economy doing so well right now (with a vice presidential candidate who has said that "I'm not one though who would attribute [global warming] to being man-made", and who when elected mayor of a small town repeatedly asked about the possibility of censoring books in the public library)? It's a tough choice, America.