Watch a short film of Kanto versus Kansai Old Boys at Koshien Stadium, 1936. The linesman's flag bears the JFA's three-legged crow.
This round matches 47 prefectural champions, the 2015 university champion, 22 J2 clubs, and two of the three clubs most recently promoted to J1.
As usual, I'm completely biased in favour of northern Japan. When was the Emperor's Cup last won by a club from north of the 36th parallel? 1935, and it was Kyungsung FC, from Seoul, Korea. The clubs most likely to end the north's cup drought are: Vegalta Sendai (10th in the 2016 J1 First Stage), Albirex Niigata (13th in the 2016 J1 First Stage), Consadole Sapporo (currently 1st in J2).
Match No. 9, Yokohama FC [5 - 0] Yamagata University
The scene after today's game, if Hibs win. Source. (Get a load of the guy trying to gnaw off a piece of the netting.)
Morton visit Easter Road to see if they can pry a point out of Hibernian. It has been three months and six days since Hibs ended their One Hundred and Fourteen Years of Hurt by winning the 2015-16 Scottish Cup. In the meantime they've hired former Celtic manager Neil Lennon with a mandate to get back to the Premiership by any means necessary.
Since winning the Scottish Cup, Hibs have been knocked out of the Europa League QR2 by Brøndby, the Scottish League Cup by Queen of the South, and Neil Lennon has received a five match UEFA ban for abusing an official. 63 Hibs supporters have been arrested for their part in the Scottish Cup disorder and one of them was jailed.
This is Hibernian's third consecutive season out of the Premiership. What other years have Hibs been out of the top tier? 1893-94, 1894-95, 1931-32, 1932-33, 1980-81, 1998-99.
Hibs have won their first three league games and are in second place, behind Raith Rovers on goal difference. Morton have played to a 1 - 1 draw in each of their first three. A 1 - 1 draw today would surely be some kind of record.
When have Morton ever begun the league season with three draws? 1975-76, Division One: Partick 0 - 0, St Mirren 2 - 2, Arbroath 2 - 2. Also 1960-61, Division Two: Stranraer 2 - 2, Stirling Albion 2 - 2, Brechin City 3 - 3. In both those years Morton's fourth game resulted in a loss.
When did Morton last play to four draws in a row? January 3rd, 17th, 24th, 31st, 2009 against Queen of the South, Dundee, Livingston and St Johnstone.
Morton's record for draw scores in a season is 16, set in 1989-90 (39 game schedule).
If Morton lose today, it will still be the furthest they have gone into the year before losing a competitive match since 1994, when they suffered their first loss on August 27th. What were Morton's best years, in terms of first loss deferred? 1963 (Oct 26), 1918 (Oct 19), 1977 (Oct 5), 1909 (Oct 2), 1912 (Sept 28), 1936 (Sept 26), 1944 (Sept 23), 1928 (Sept 22), 1966 (Sept 21), 1915 (Sept 20).
How many times have Morton played Hibs in the 21st Century? Last season they played four league games. Hibs won two, Morton won one, and there was one draw game. Apart from that there was the 2008-09 League Cup, Round Two, which Morton won.
What was Morton's best result against Hibs? 9 - 2, Feb 15th, 1919. What was Hibs' best score against Morton? 9 - 2, August 28th, 1893.
[Hibs win 4 - 0, leaving Morton in eighth place ahead of St Mirren and Ayr. Match report.]
1898-99. Morton's first home game of the season was against Ayr FC.
Ayr FC was formed in 1879 through a merger of Ayr Thistle and Ayr Academicals. Their home ground was Somerset Park. They wore red and yellow hoops. Ayr played thirteen seasons in the SFL, all of them in the second division. In 1910 the club merged with Ayr Parkhouse to become the Ayr United we know today.
Morton won 4 - 0.
About Strathspey Thistle.
Strathspey Thistle were founded in 1993 and played junior football until 2009 when they became one of three clubs to join the Highland League in its expansion from 15 to 18 teams. Formartine United and Turriff United were the other two. They play at Seafield Park, which can accommodate 1,600, in Grantown-on-Spey, up the Spey Valley. (A strath is a broad valley. A narrow valley is a glen.) They wear blue, and go by the nickname Strathy Jags.
They competed in the Scottish Cup for the first time in 2014-15, and lost in the first round to Culter. The following year they lost in the first round to Edinburgh University. Their first round opponent this year has yet to be drawn from the hat.
In their seven seasons in the Highland League they have finished 18th, 17th, 17th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 16th. Currently they are 18th with 0 points after four games, and a -18 goal difference.
Today: Clachnacuddin [0 - 2] Strathspey Thistle
UEAF Champions League, Play-Off Round, second leg: Hapoel Be'er Sheva 2 - 0 Celtic. Celtic win on aggregate and advance to the Champions League group stage, as opposed to the Europa League group stage, which is where Hapoel go. From this point on Celtic really begin to cash in.
In games so far this season, including friendlies, Celtic have played foreign clubs 14 times and Scottish clubs 3 times. There are six more UEFA matches to play by December 7th. Assuming that Celtic make up all postponed league games in a timely fashion, and go all the way to the Scottish League Cup final, their games against Scottish clubs should surpass those against foreign clubs on December 10th.
CAF Champions League Group B, August 23rd: Enyimba 3 - 1 Mamelodi Sundowns. This was a nothing game as Enyimba were already eliminated, and Mamelodi had already won the group, except for Enyimba's Mfon Udoh who scored twice and leads the tournament with nine goals.
Today it's the final of the Faroe Islands Cup between KÍ Klaksvíkar and Víkingur Gøta. [KÍ win on penalty kicks.]
Kirkintilloch Rob Roy [3 - 2] Largs Thistle
Tomorrow: UCD [2 - 3] Limerick. [Limerick win the division with six games left to play.]
Joseph Bonaparte and Edward Cornwallis shake on the Peace of Amiens, which lasted from 1802 until 1803.
It's the third iteration of the Napoleon Cup, the annual invitational hockey tournament held in Amiens, France. This year's four teams are Gothiques d'Amiens, Nottingham Panthers, EC Kassel Huskies, and UQTR. Amiens and UQTR have taken part in all three Napoleon Cups to date. Nottingham are here for the second time. They won in 2014. It's the first appearance for Kassel Huskies.
Nottingham Panthers play in the Elite Ice Hockey League, the top league in England. Gothiques d'Amiens are members of Ligue Magnus, France's top hockey league. Kassel Huskies are in DEL2, the second-tier league of German hockey. Les Patriotes de UQTR belong to the OUA East Division, which last season they won.
The close level of competition in the Napoleon Cup suggests that these four leagues are about at a par.
The publishers of La Semaine de Suzette were not above a little product placement, so on page 56 of Bécassine chez les Alliés (1917), when our heroine reports seeing a diminuative version of herself in a dream, she says she was about the size of a Bleuette doll. Bleuette was available to subscribers of Semaine de Suzette from 1905 to 1960, along with a closet full of fashions. See. And.
And in a brilliant turnaround, here's Bleuette imagined as an illustrated character -- with her favourite Bécassine doll. Source.
Here we are back in Paris. I was very happy to see my dear mistress Madame de Grand-Air again, and I believe that she was equally glad to see me, but she seemed tired and a bit thin, and I couldn't prevent myself from remarking on it to her.
"It's the strain of this damned war," she responded. "Nearly everyone in Paris is thin."
That made me want to find out if I was losing weight like everybody else. So, when I passed a scale while I was running my errands, I weighed myself, and wrote the number on a piece of paper: 60 kilos, 450 grams. Three quarters of an hour later, when I was returning, I passed by the same scale and weighed myself again. The hand pointed to 60 kilos, 440 grams. Well, I said to myself, I'm getting thin too, but ten grammes is no big deal.
That evening, at dinner, I mentioned it to Zidore. He put on a concerned look, took out a paper and pencil, and began to calculate.
"This is serious."
"What is serious?" I asked.
"Your weight loss, mam'zelle Bécassine." And he explained it, with figures. "Ten grams a day makes a kilo in one hundred days, which is to say three months. That makes four kilos in a year. At that rate, in fifteen years you won't weigh more than 450 grams, which is just not enough for a damsel of your height."
Zidore has an annoying thing about him, which is that you can never tell when he's being serious or when he's joking. I'm pretty sure he was just having fun. All the same, what he said went straight into my head and, that night, I had a strange dream. I saw a Bécassine just as I am now, and in her hand she held another Bécassine, tiny and thin and not much bigger than the doll Bleuette.
This story about becoming thin had put me in a bad mood about Paris. As it happened, the morning after my dream, Madame called me and said, "Monsieur Bertrand is going on a mission to a camp in Champagne, and Madame Thérèse is to accompany him. You must decide if you will go with them, or remain here with me. Reflect on it, and give me your answer this evening."
"Very well, Madame," I said. "I will reflect."
I went to the kitchen and took up a pose that you always see in the pictures whenever people are reflecting: elbow on knee, forehead on fingertip, eyes fixed on nothing at all.
After a moment the cook said, "What are you doing there?"
"I am reflecting," was my reply.
"Ah well," she said. "You can reflect just as easily while you walk. Why don't you go and buy what's written on this list?"
"Very gladly, mam'zelle Victoire."
I took the paper in hand and read, "A pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound and a half of bread." I said to Victoire, "This is easy. I won't be long." She began to laugh so hard that she cried, and said, "Easy! Not long! You go see, ma petite, you go see."
I wondered if she hadn't lost her marbles, but I had no time to cross-examine her, and headed for the butter merchant's. We're old friends, so we chatted for a while, and then I said to her, "So, I'll take a pound of butter."
She lifted her arms to heaven. "A pound!" she said. "And you asked so calmly, as if there was that much to be had! Here you go, I'll give you this, because we're old friends." This was a tiny portion about the size of two nuts. She wore such an air of respectibility as she handed over the tiny portion that it should have been made of diamond, and she made me pay ... no, I don't dare to tell you. It's a scandal.
After that I went to the baker's. I also had a bit of conversation there. When I asked for my bread, she weighed it and handed it over, no problem. I was happy, but I looked at the bread more closely because, not to brag, I'm not one of those maids who shop with their eyes shut. I said, "You've made a mistake. You gave me a gray, stale loaf. I must have white, fresh bread."
She couldn't have been angrier if I had heaped insults on her. She cried, "Do you want to see me put in prison? Fresh, white bread? Don't you know that it's illegal to sell it?"
And her husband, who came in at that moment from his oven, said to me, "Maybe you didn't know that there's a war on?"
To say that to me, who was just back from the war, was too funny. It prevented me from getting angry, and I took their villain bread to avoid a longer discussion.
At the grocer's, for sugar, it was even worse. They wanted to know if I had brought my card. I told them that I was making up some cards for New Year's but that I didn't have them with me. Then they acted like I was mocking them, and they put me out the door. I'm not accustomed to being treated that way by retailers.
By then I had had it with Paris, where everybody is thin, and where it's a long story any time you want to buy something as simple as butter, bread or sugar. That evening when Madame asked me if I would stay or go, I replied, "I'm going, Madame, I'm going. It pains me to leave Madame again, but, definitely, in times of war, there's no better place to be than with the military people."
I have never seen anything as impressive as our departure for the camp. At the station, in a quarter of an hour, I saw a parade of generals and officers from every allied nation, as well as ministers, deputies, and journalists, in a word, nobody but very important people.
At the end of the train there was a car reserved for little people like me, servants, orderlies, and whatever. We were in a bunch by the wagon, and a fat man, who seemed to know everything, identified the grand personages as they passed by. It was interesting and instructive.
He told me that he was named Auguste and that he worked as an usher in one of the ministries. Immediately he bowed to the ground to a gentleman who was approaching, and told me, "It's my minister, the Minister for the Utilization of Aptitudes." I offered that I had heard him spoken of as a very capable man.
"Oh yes," said August. "He never mistakes ability, and he has some fine employees, the ushers especially."
He interrupted himself when he noticed his chief turn around and approach our group.
"Auguste," directed the Minister, "You must come to my wagon later. I want to discuss the organization of tonight's dinner, which I have been thinking about."
"Certainly, Minister," replied Auguste, taking on an air of even greater importance. We climbed into the wagon and suddenly he picked up our conversation again. "You see," he said, "the Minister can do nothing without me. It's flattering, but it causes me no end of trouble. No doubt the dinner he spoke of will take place at the hotel closest to the camp, a little village inn, practically a hostel, where, probably, no one knows the first thing about cuisine or service. And all the responsibility falls on me. It's all too much."
He seemed so overwhelmed that I pitied him. I told him that I knew all about cuisine and service, as I had a place in the house of a marquise and a countess, and that I proposed to help him out. He grasped my hands, nearly crushing them, and repeated, "Thank you! Thank you! What a great help you are!"
He left to receive the Minister's instructions. Then he returned, looking for me, and saying, "Monsieur the Minister wants to speak to you."
The Minister was waiting in the corridor. You can imagine my heart was beating before such a grand individual. He said, "Young girl, I thank you for your offer. It is a matter of preparing dinner for a collection of French and foreign officials. An improvised dinner. As soon as you reach the hotel, decide on the menu. Try to slip in the names of our allies. That will be a thoughtful touch for our invited guests."
Staff and pupils of Belville Place School, Greenock, 1898. Source.
1898-99. August 20th, 1898 was a soccer Saturday, just like August 20th, 2016. In the 1898-99 Scottish Football League Morton competed in a ten-team second flight division called Division Two, just like today's Scottish Championship. Let's follow Morton through the 1898-99 season and see how they fared, and maybe learn a thing or two about Scottish football and Greenock at the end of the 19th Century, as the teachers of Belville Place would insist that we do and Hit! Our knuckles! If we didn't!
Morton began its league season on August 20th, 1898 with a visit to Hamilton Academical at Douglas Park. Hamilton Academical FC was founded in 1874, the same year as Morton. 1898-99 was the Accies' second season in the league.
Morton lost 3 - 2.
Today in 2016 Morton host Dumbarton.
Dumbarton are fifth in the Championship with a win and a loss. Morton are sixth with two draws.
Dumbarton were the worst Championship club in the League Cup. They finished last in Group A behind Peterhead, East Fife, Dundee, and Forfar, with two points gathered in shootout losses. But last weekend they beat Dundee United.
Morton are one of only three SPFL teams that have neither won nor lost so far in this young season. The others are Aberdeen and Arbroath. The team could be on track to set a club record for draws.
If Morton do rack up a lot of draws this year, it'll be interesting to compare them with Third Lanark, the statistical ghost team that collects the third point from the Championship's draws. So far the Thirds have three points and are in 5.5th place.
Third Lanark were of course excluded from the League Cup group stage, where the third point went to the winner of a shoot-out.
Greenock Morton and Dylan Stevenson have parted ways.
What league clubs have not defeated Morton in the 21st Century?
Montrose Feb 14, 1996
Arbroath Jan 9, 1993
Hearts March 26, 1988
Queen's Park April 16, 1962
Elgin City never
Edinburgh City never
[Morton 1 - 1 Dumbarton. Morton goal by Oyenuga on his first shift. Morton hold sixth place. Match report.]
The Scottish Challenge Cup, Round Two, was held midweek. The winners were: Forfar, Brechin, Elgin, Peterhead, Albion Rovers, Celtic U20, Airdrieonians, Stranraer, Queen's Park, Stenny, Turriff United and East Fife. Celtic's is the only teen squad left of the dozen in Round One. Turriff are the only fifth flight club remaining.
Is this new Challenge Cup format a success or a failure? So far, from the perspective of tickets sold, it's a failure. The average attendance for the fourteen 2016-17 Round One matches was 305. The average for Round Two was 365. Compare that to the average attendance for Round One in 2015-16: 1,488, including six crowds over 1000.
Despite having been signed on loan to Morton, Aidan Nesbitt played the first half of Cowdenbeath vs Celtic U20 in Round Two. What's up with that?
UEFA Champions League Play-Off Round, first leg: Celtic 5 - 2 Hapoel Be'er Sheva
Half the clubs in Israel are named Hapoel. Most of the rest of them are named Maccabi.
Strathspey Thistle [1 - 6] Formartine United
Largs Thistle [3 - 1] Dalry Thistle
Three quarters of the clubs in Scotland are named Thistle.
Olympics, August 16th: Canada 0 - 2 Germany
August 19th: Brazil 1 - 2 Canada
Canada take the bronze medal.
In Sweden: Östersund [1 - 0] Djurgården
In the Faroe Islands tomorrow: B36 [4 - 1] ÍF
Monday: Mohun Bagan [0 - 0] Peerless. MB are second in the Calcutta Football League, after East Bengal.
In Japan, most of the prefectural championships are being decided tomorrow, in preparation for the first round of the 2016 Emperor's Cup. Let's watch:
Finding stats on the prefectural championships is difficult if you don't read Japanese, but you can at least make up a list of the winners by combing through the wikipedia.jp articles on the Emperor's Cup year by year. So:
Which teams have won the Aomori Prefecture championship so far in the 21st Century?
2000: Hachinohe Gakuin University
2001: Aster Aomori FC
2002: Hachinohe Gakuin University
2003: Aomori Yamada Junior High School
2004: Hachinohe Gakuin University
2005: Hachinohe Gakuin University
2006: Hachinohe Gakuin University
2007: Hachinohe Gakuin University
2008: Aomori Yamada Junior High School
2009: Hachinohe Gakuin University
2010: Vanraure Hachinohe
2011: Hachinohe Gakuin University
2012: Vanraure Hachinohe
2013: Vanraure Hachinohe
2014: Vanraure Hachinohe
2015: ReinMeer Aomori FC
What about Akita Prefecture?
2001: Akita Commercial High School
2007: TDK Soccer Section
2008: TDK SC
2009: TDK SC
2010: Blaublitz Akita
2011: Blaublitz Akita
2012: Blaublitz Akita
2013: Blaublitz Akita
2014: Blaublitz Akita
2015: Blaublitz Akita
As TDK, TDK Soccer Section, TDK SC, and Blaublitz Akita are all the same club, there is nothing to be said but, "Go, Akita Commercial High School!"