It's the annual Battle of the Oranges in Ivrea, northern Italy. Nine squads of orange-hurlers defend their turf against the cart-riding henchmen of the odious Duke. Here we have the Tuchini del Borghetto in their green and red kit. The event dramatizes the historic tension between town and castle, but nobody's really sure how oranges got into it.
During a typical close season Tannadice can produce 400 to 500 bushels of cucumber.
Dundee United host Morton. Morton have yet to beat the Tangerines in league play this year. United won the first match, and the second ended in a scoreless draw. Morton did knock United out of their League Cup quarter-final though.
The last time Morton beat Dundee United in league play was September 5th, 1981. The last time they did it at Tanadice was September 9th, 1978.
If Morton win today, and Falkirk lose or play to a draw against Dumbarton, Morton will move into second place.
After 24 games Morton have 11 wins, 8 draws, and 5 losses, for 41 points, putting them on track for 61.5 points. In 2012-13 Morton finished second with 67 points. In 2014-15 they won League One with 69 points.
[1 - 1. Morton goal by Kilday. Falkirk also end up in a draw, so the three clubs maintain their relative positions.]
1898-99. Today in the G&WofSFL Morton hosted Linthouse and either won 9 - 3, or 9 - 1, or it was a 3 - 3 draw. There are contradictory reports.
What are Dundee United's highlights for the 21st Century so far?
Scottish Cup won 2009-10
League Cup runners-up 2004-05, 2013-14
League Premier League, 3rd place 2009-10
Challenge Cup final 2016-17
How many Scottish League games have Dundee United played against the other 2016-17 Championship clubs?
St Mirren 121
Ayr United 68
Raith Rovers 45
How is Dundee United like Morton?
Hardly at all.
Which clubs have played the most games against Morton this decade (starting 2010-11)?
24 Raith, Falkirk
21 Queen of the South
14 Dunfermline, Hamilton
Hibs beat Hearts in their Scottish Cup fifth round replay on Wednesday.
Copa Liberadores, third stage, leg two: [Wed Thur]
Deportivo Capiatá (PAR) 0 - 1 Atlético Paranaense (BRA)
Olimpia (PAR) 1 - 0 Botafogo (BRA)
The Strongest (BOL) 5 - 0 Unión Española (CHI)
Atlético Tucumán (ARG) 3 - 1 Junior (COL)
Paranaense, Botafogo, The Strongest and Tucumán advance to the group stage.
It was Round One of the AFC Champions League group stage this week. Let's follow the Japanese clubs again.
Group E: Kashima Antlers 2 - 0 Ulsan Hyundai
Group F: Western Sydney Wanderers 0 - 4 Urawa Red Diamonds
Group G: Kawasaki Frontale 1 - 1 Suwon Samsung Bluewings
Group H: Adelaide United 0 - 3 Gamba Osaka
The OFC Champions League has reached the group stage. Groups A and B play their matches over the next week, and Groups C and D go in mid-March. All Group A and Group B games are being played in New Caledonia. Today's games:
Madang Fox (Papua New Guinea) [3 - 7] Central Sport (French Polynesia)
Lupe o le Soaga (Samoa) [1 - 2] Magenta (New Caledonia)
Puaikura (Cook Islands) [1 - 4] Team Wellington (NZ)
Ba (Fiji) [1 - 1] Hienghène Sport (New Caledonia)
Who could not love a football club named Ba?
It's the Caribbean Football Union Club Championship. Like the OFC the CFU is not made of travel money, so the tournament is designed to keep the air trips to a minimum. It starts with a group stage. Group A is playing in Antiqua as we speak. The clubs are Hoppers (Antiqua), Bequia United (Saint Vincent), Inter Moengotapoe (Suriname) and Racing Football Club des Gônaïves (Haiti). Top club moves on. For Love and Rockets reasons I'm pulling for Hoppers.
Racing des Gônaïves 2 - 2 Inter Moengotapoe
Hoppers 2 - 1 Bequia United
Bequia United 0 - 4 Racing des Gônaïves
Hoppers 0 - 2 Inter Moengotapoe
Inter Moengotapoe vs Bequia United
Hoppers vs Racing des Gônaïves
Europa League, Round of 32, second leg:
Genk 1 - 0 Astra Giurgiu
Tottenham Hotspur 2 - 2 Gent
Genk and Gent both advance to the Round of 16 [where they meet each other!]
The J1 schedule starts today, J2 tomorrow. The League of Ireland started yesterday.
Morton's girls' football program has grown up to the point where they have a women's team. Morton Women will be playing in the SWFL Division 2 West this year. Their first game is tomorrow in Kilwinning. [Postponed.]
Greenock Juniors are in financial straits.
Cowdenbeath have suspended defender Dean Brett for betting on the club to lose. The club are currently last in the SPFL and if they find themselves swapping places with East Kilbride in the spring it's hard to see how Brett won't have his name tied forever to that relegation.
I think Poul Andersen had a planet called Westfall, or maybe it was an alternate history Viking America. Anyway, given the number of stars in the universe, and the number of planets around those stars, and the number of physical features on each of those planets, everyone and everything on earth that ever had a name will likely one day be called upon to lend it to something in the night sky.
Japanese novelist Mori Ogai, who studied medicine in Berlin, has a museum dedicated to him at the corner of Luisenstrasse and Marienstrasse in Berlin. Source. His autobiographical novel Vita Sexualis is the least salacious tell-all in the history of publishing.
Painted beehive panels are a folk art thing in Slovenia. Because cartoonists draw things in panels, and then sit on panels to talk about them, a group of Slovenian cartoonists produced this anthology inspired by the beehive panel format.
The nyckelharpa is a fiddle with a box of keys for extra tuneability. You can spot them in Medieval paintings, but still hear them played today by Swedes. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has a nickelharpa.
It's February 18th, and Morton still have not lost at league game at Cappielow. By that measure this is Morton's fifth best season ever. In the four best years, the Ton did not suffer a home defeat at all. Including today, Morton have seven home dates remaining.
Falkirk and Morton are third and fourth in the standings, three points behind Dundee United. As the Tangerines are on Challenge Cup duty today, and because Falkirk and Morton each possess goal differences equal to or greater than United's, a win for either Falkirk or Morton will vault that club into second place.
Make a mini league out of all of these three clubs' meetings this season.
Morton versus Falkirk:
Morton 1 - 1 Falkirk
Falkirk 1 - 1 Morton
Morton 2 - 0 Falkirk
Falkirk versus Dundee United:
Falkirk 3 - 1 Dundee United
Dundee United 1 - 0 Falkirk
Falkirk 3 - 0 Dundee United
Dundee United versus Morton:
Morton 2 - 1 Dundee United
Dundee United 2 - 1 Morton
Morton 0 - 0 Dundee United
Table: G W D L F A GD P
Morton 6 2 3 1 7 5 +2 9
Falkirk 6 2 2 2 8 6 +2 8
Dundee United 6 2 1 3 5 9 -4 7
What was Morton's best result against Falkirk? 6 - 0, on Dec 27, 1913, at Cappielow, and again on Oct 9, 1915, also at Cappielow. What was Morton's worst result against Falkirk? Falkirk won 7 - 0 Feb 13, 1909, and Dec 17, 1921, both times at Brockville Park.
What are the high points for Falkirk in the 21st Century?
Scottish Cup final 2008-09, 2014-15
League Cup semi-final 2006-07, 2008-09, 2011-12
League Premier Division, 7th place 2006-07, 2007-08
Challenge Cup won 2003-04, 2011-12
How many times have Falkirk met the other 2016-17 Championship clubs in Scottish league play?
St Mirren 186
Raith Rovers 156
Ayr United 122
Dundee United 77
How is Falkirk like Greenock Morton?
Blue and white strip. Falkirk Stadium, a modern all-seater, is nothing like Cappielow, and is in fact the anti-Cappielow. Falkirk have won the Scottish Cup twice to Morton's once, the League Cup never to Morton's never, and the Challenge Cup four times to Morton's never. Like Morton they have had one European adventure.
[2 - 2. Morton goals by O'Ware and Forbes. Morton hang on to their home undefeated streak. Dundee United hang on to second place.]
Can Third Lanark make the playoffs? Third Lanark is the statistical ghost team that collects the unclaimed third points resulting from tie games in the Championship. To date there have been 37 draws, putting Thirds three points out of a playoff spot. (Really, four points. Third Lanark can only ever have a GD of 0, so they need the extra point to get past the others.) [After today's play Third Lanark have 40 points and are one point behind Falkirk and Morton.]
QoS and Dundee United have never met in the Challenge Cup before. The Tangerines have the only win in three league meetings this season.
St Mirren [4 - 1] The New Saints
These clubs have never met before anywhere. St Mirren are the bottom club of the Scottish Championship. The New Saints are the top club of the Welsh Premier League, with 22 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss after 24 games.
Sligo Rovers and Bray Wanderers of the League of Ireland will play in the next Scottish Challenge Cup.
It's also Round Five of the Scottish Junior Cup. Some games to watch:
Maryhill vs Linlithgow Rose [postponed]
Penicuik [3 - 4] Kirkintilloch Rob Roy
Auchinleck Talbot [4 - 0] Luncarty
Kelty Hearts [1 - 2] Kilwinning
Petershill [0 - 2] Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic
A small map showing the location of George Brown and Company, shipbuilders, in Greenock. Cappielow is in the lower right on the Caledonian Railway.
1898-99. On this date in 1899 Morton and Partick met at Cappielow to play their Scottish Cup Round Two replay. The first game took place a week earlier in Glasgow and ended in a 2 - 2 draw. Partick won the replay 1 - 2, knocking Morton out of the cup.
Top and bottom teams in the 2016-17 Scottish Championship week by week (2/3):
Week 13 Hibs St Mirren
Week 14 Hibs St Mirren
Week 15 Hibs St Mirren
Week 16 Hibs St Mirren
Week 17 Hibs St Mirren
Week 18 Dundee Utd St Mirren
Week 19 Hibs St Mirren
Week 20 Hibs St Mirren
Week 21 Hibs St Mirren
Week 22 Hibs St Mirren
Week 23 Hibs St Mirren
Week 24 Hibs St Mirren
How did Morton fare in their first ever Scottish League game against each 2016-17 Championship club?
You might have noticed that as soon as the last Scottish club drops out of the UEFA Champions and Europa League I lose all interest. But the Belgian twins Genk and Gent are still in the Europa League at the Round of 32, so let's follow them. In the first leg it was:
Astra Giurgiu 2 - 2 Genk
Gent 1 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur
Copa Liberadores, third stage, leg one:
Atlético Paranaense (BRA) 3 - 3 Deportivo Capiatá (PAR)
Botafogo (BRA) 1 - 0 Olimpia (PAR)
Unión Española (CHI) 1 - 1 The Strongest (BOL)
Junior (COL) 1 - 0 Atlético Tucumán (ARG)
J League Super Cup: Kashima Antlers [3 - 2] Urawa Red Diamonds