BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle celebrates his goal during the Carling Cup Fourth Round match between Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United at Ewood park on October 26, 2011 in Blackburn, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
I like to get a head start writing my stories. It's not that I've come to conclusions before the game is actually over (most of the time), but there's really no reason you can't write about first half action while the second is winding down. I had to start rewriting this post no less than 3 times. In this case, that was a good thing, as Newcastle were losing 2-0 as we entered stoppage time, and I was all but ready to fill in a few details before I hit "Publish." Danny Guthrie and Yohan Cabaye had other ideas, as each scored before the referee blew the final whistle, sending us along to extra time. Morten Gamst Pedersen scored early on in extra time, and I set about writing my story once again. Just before the end of the first period of extra time was up, Peter "I score penalties in cup play, where's my start" Lovenkrands was dragged down, the referee pointed to the spot, and Loverboy lived up to the nickname I just made up for him.
Of course, the game wasn't over then, as Christopher Samba headed in a goal with about two minutes to play. There was not enough magic left for Newcastle, and the final was 4-3 to Rovers. A game that I had forgotten and stopped caring about before it was over became one I was incredibly invested in, and all of a sudden I found myself defeated. What a tease. I'm kidding, sort of, but if I'm looking for a silver lining, at least it was just a cup game (says the guy who wanted to play everybody). Perhaps this was the wakeup call the squad needed before facing a murderer's row of fixtures in league play.
There was a match before the 90 minute mark, of course, but that seems so far away, as does the double non-call/penalty for Blackburn sequence that had the BBC Radio Newcastle announcers fuming. Newcastle were not good, conceding the majority of possession and not putting a shot on goal before Guthrie found the back of the net. In other words, they have themselves to blame for reaching extra time in the first place.
One final word: The trouble with this recap is that I didn't get to see a bit of the action, and I didn't get to hear any of it until 35 minutes in, either (and that was only thanks to somebody from the North East playing their terrestrial radio over a streaming site). Globalization is a fact of life in the 21st century, and football understands this more than any other sport, but you wouldn't know it by taking a look at their media policies. I'm not going to hop in a plane to go see a fourth round Carling Cup match because it's not on TV, and neither is somebody living in London. There is no reason, practical, business, or otherwise, to keep any supporter living anywhere from watching (or at least listening to) matches as they happen.