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best/worst of 2008

By Shaun Smith


Better ones:
ordinary to Standard Liege via Amsterdam, Lucozade Sport addiction, Zenit St Petersburg winning the UEFA Cup, Schalke 04 bobblehats, Jay Z’s set-opening video two-fingered salute to the Manc bluffers at Glastonbury, Boston Celtics hammering the Lakers in the NBA finals and seeing multi-millionaire sportsmen actually caring about their team’s history, Nike Holland blue away shorts, Internazionale winning Serie A, an England-free and quality football-fest Euro 2008, M&S cashmere crewnecks, Polish girls drinking for England and Poland, Kings of Lyon’s “Sex On Fire”, Guardiola’s new Barca storming the Primera Liga, taking a bag of pork pies and your own brown sauce to pubs that serve over-priced food, The Specials announcing tour dates, New Order finally seeing sense and no longer announcing tour dates, the maestro Cruyff returning to sort out Ajax

Channel Five’s Serie A coverage going west after one season, Olympic Games and Formula One bores, acid-house 20th anniversary fluorescent yellow away kits, Rangers teds trying to re-enact Barcelona 1972 in Manchester city centre, Humberside/Merseyside Police playing up for Close-Up North cameras at Hull away, Boris fuckwit Johnson, another year of continual needless death in the Middle East thanks to US foreign policy, the death of better blue Rory Colquhoun, a 94th minute Lecce equaliser and Bayer Leverkusen spewing a three-goal lead at Karlsruhe wrecking a £1:50 16-match accumulator that would have paid £2600, text-messaging non-Queens English mingebags (fck off and get a dictionary m8), Adidas Forest Hills Tournament Edititon – an extra twenty rips a pair for a green box, divider card and a bastardised Kicker tag      


The Danny Dyer “where’s Tottenham’s firm when you need them?” Award:

Chinese Olympic Torch “security advisors” larging it behind old bill on the Cockneys manor  

Best reads:

Bowie in Berlin: A New Career in a New Town – Thomas Jerome Seabrook

Once Upon a Time in England – Helen Walsh

Black and Blue – Paul Canoville
The Baader-Meinhof Complex – Stefan Aust

Dynasty: The Rise of the Boston Celtics – Lew Freedman

The Bookies: The Scousest Place Left? - Boss, Issue 7

Marina Hyde’s Lost in Showbiz column in Friday’s Guardian G2


Worst read (in conjuction with the Ladybird Book of Hooligans Broken Crayons Award):

The Young Guvnors – Rodney Rhoden


New album of the year:

The Ting Tings – We Started Nothing


Reissue album of the year:
X102 – X102 Rediscovers the Rings of Saturn


Advert of the year:

Armani Diamonds with Beyonce Knowles


You Tube clip of the year:

Rome station CCTV footage of the arrival of Napoli’s ultra-large mob of ultras


Best Swine articles:

Mandela v Mugabe - Who’s Your Favourite Black Power Icon? by Phil Thornton

Always Fighting by Andrew Vaughan

All Back To Ours - The Stoner Scal Tapes by Dave Richards


Film of the year in conjunction with non-PC concise review of the year:

The Baader-Meinhof Complex

Fuck the mixed mainstream reviews and Ulrike Meinhof’s daughter protesting about the over-glamorisation of the violence, short of Swedish model-on-model action, this heady cocktail of left-wing German politics, terrorism and anti-state subversion contained everything you could want from a film. Though I defy anyone to carry on reading the subtitles during the Gudrun Ensslin philosophy-in-a shared-bath scene - which just helped edge it over the also-excellent Gomorrah


Best telly:
Storyville: The Jonestown Massacre, Black Power Salute, continual reruns of The Champions on ITV4, Mad Men, The Golden Vision being shown during BBC4s Liverpool week, The War at Home, The Late Show Metallica Special, Alexei Sayle’s Liverpool, Mock The Week, the Swedish version of Wallander on BBC4, British Style Genius, Cutting Edge: Shannon Matthews - The Family’s Story, More 4 True Stories: The Thrilla in Manila, Storyville: Blue Blood, Russia: A Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby, Gavin and Stacey, Band of Brothers repeats on BBC2, Have I Got News For You
Flag of the year:

St David’s Cross emblazoned with “Wrexham Lager: Feed Me Till I Want No More” (Germany/Wales  World Cup qualifier in Monchengladbach). runner-up: the Basque Ikurrina in the Everton end at Liege


Trainers of the year:

Nike Elite in grey with fluorescent green swoosh and black with gold swoosh


Best new coat of the year:
Barbour Featherweight Parka


Best sandwich of the year:
chicken fillet, lettuce, pineapple rings and mustard (€3:60, stall in Dusseldorf Hauptbahnhof)  






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