Dandan makes a choice: Maroons over Dyip

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ View comments Ricky Dandan. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netCoach Ricky Dandan has taken his coaching skills to the biggest stage in local basketball, but there’s always an itch to go back to his roots.On Tuesday, Dandan announced his decision to step down as head coach of the Columbian Dyip after they missed the trip to the quarterfinals of the ongoing Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Filoil q’final round on LATEST STORIES Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 “I had to make a decision and sacrifice because the third conference will coincide with the UAAP,” said Dandan, who took over Chris Gavina early in the Philippine Cup. “It was a dilemma for me and I chose to help out full time in UP.”Dandan will have a challenging role in helping out the UP Fighting Maroons, where he played for in 1981-85.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThis forthcoming UAAP Season 81, he will focus as one of the assistants of head coach Bo Perasol.Hopes are high that the Fighting Maroons can steal a spot in the Final Four this year with new acquisitions Nigerian Bright Akhuetie, Juan Gerardo Gomez de Liano and Will Gozum complementing veterans Paul Desiderio, Diego Dario and Felix Jaboneta. Things are also rosy for State U next year when former La Salle star Ricci Paolo Rivero suits up for the Maroons after serving his one-year residency.“We are still in the process of evaluation,” said Dandan. “We will play in the Filoil (Preseason Cup) playoffs on Thursday and we also have a pocket tournament in Iloilo.”The Fighting Maroons will also have an overseas training camp in July before the coaching staff forms the final lineup.UP first won a UAAP men’s basketball title as UP Manila in 1939-40. In 1986, a team led by Benjie Paras and Ronnie Magsanoc ruled the 49th season.ADVERTISEMENT Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water recedinglast_img read more

Bush urges Americans to get healthy

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BELTSVILLE, Md. – Just before climbing on his mountain bike Saturday, President Bush urged people to get up off their couches and walk, jog, pedal and swim. “It doesn’t take much time to stay fit – 30 minutes, five days a week,” Bush said at a Secret Service training facility just outside Washington, where he went for a bike ride. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and June will mark the fifth anniversary of the HealthierUS Initiative. The president launched the initiative in 2002 to encourage people to do physical activity every day, eat nutritious food, get preventive screenings for disease and make healthy lifestyle choices. “I love exercise,” said the president, who was wearing navy biking shorts and a green T-shirt. Before he left for the ride, he lifted up his blue-and-white mountain bike to prove he was strong and fit. “I have found that exercise not only is a good excuse to get outdoors, it helps to relieve stress as well. “The message to all Americans is to find time in your schedule to walk, run, swim, bike – to take care of yourselves,” Bush said. Bush has a six-day-a-week exercise regimen that includes pedaling his mountain bike at up to 18 miles an hour for 15 miles to 20 miles a week, according to his last physical examination, in August 2006. He also does low-impact “hill work” on a treadmill and free weight resistance training and stretching. last_img read more

Angels’ season is on the line at Fenway

first_imgBOSTON – It’s taken almost eight months to arrive here, and yet the moment feels so rushed, it’s almost unexpected. A slight pause, a slow inhale and suddenly the Angels’ entire season lies uncomfortably before them. Lose tonight and the Angels are not backed up to the cliff, but dangling from it. Not just gasping but sinking. It has been such a long, hard-fought battle that to arrive at a point where one playoff loss puts so much in peril seems almost unfair, but there it is. That’s the downside to playing in a best-of-5 series and losing the opener on the road. Really, the Angels have to win tonight, find a way to muster some semblance of offense or they could be looking at another Red Sox sweep. They cannot afford to go back home down 0-2 with young Jered Weaver on the mound against Curt Schilling, and Boston ace Josh Beckett again waiting for a possible Game 4. They need to get after Boston’s curious right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka right off. They need Vladimir Guerrero to find his power stroke. They need to trust that Garret “One-Eyed Willie” Anderson really can see out of that half-shut eye. They need the rabbits to get on base, for the offense to again manufacture runs. Because if you just look at the two lineups, the Angels look overmatched. The Red Sox did not tie for the best record in baseball because they struggled at the plate. They are loaded and their pitching staff was the best in the American League. The Angels lost the opener of each of their three series in 2002 and still captured their first World Series. Wednesday’s loss does not signify the end to their season, but it does set off alarms, and it does bring extra pressure to bear tonight. “It’s a best-of-5 series,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Every game is going to have significance.” The Red Sox are playing with grand confidence, the kind the Angels had during the summer when they jumped out to an impressive early lead, and then swelled it again in early September. “We got to a time when we were in that streak and (Gary) Matthews was in there and I liked our lineup,” hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said. “We had a lot of lefty-righty, a lot of switch-hitters in there. “Guys were healthy and playing their game with a lot of confidence. And there was one point when we could just put anybody in there and it worked.” But these Angels are playing without injured Gary Matthews Jr., and that is a difficult loss for an already shaky lineup to overcome. A sore arm has relegated Guerrero to DH. As an outfielder this year he hit .345; as a DH he batted .270. Scioscia hopes to start Guerrero in right field tonight, allowing him to bring at least one more power bat, either Juan Rivera or Kendry Morales, into the lineup. Chone Figgins would move from right to center, Reggie Willits would head to the bench and Maicer Izturis would remain at third. The Angels have been so ravaged with injuries and fill-ins that the light-hitting Izturis, via his .406 average with runners in scoring position, batted fifth in Wednesday’s opener. “I don’t think there’s been any game this season where we’ve said, `Here’s the lineup that we built the model around in spring training and winter, and have at it,”‘ Scioscia said. “We’ve had injuries the whole year. “We’ve had some young guys come up and play terrific baseball for us. You see a guy like Izzy hitting fifth for us, which is not your prototypical fifth hitter, but he does a terrific job with guys in scoring position. “We’ve had to be creative. We’ve done it all season and will continue to do it. We’ve found a way to score runs without the model that was built for this club. And we’re going to keep going.” That model led the Angels to 94 victories, but they were manufacturing runs with a healthy Matthews and Anderson. And it wasn’t coming against the top three starters on one of baseball’s best teams. Anderson was baseball’s hottest hitter after the All-Star break, but is now battling conjunctivitis in his left eye and losing. The pink-eye does not appear to be improving and it was still swollen and half closed at Thursday’s workout. “It’s unbelievable,” Hatcher said. “I don’t know how many rounds he went with Tyson. This guy wants to play. I’ve taken him in the cages and thrown to him, and he’s swung good. “He says he’s fine. If he says he’s fine, he’s going to be out there.” At a time when the Angels most need his bat, his effectiveness has been jeopardized. In the opener, he went 0-for-4 against Beckett with two strikeouts. “I don’t think you can make a judgment by what happened in (Wednesday’s) game,” Hatcher said. “That guy was fantastic and made everybody look bad. He made everybody look like both eyes were swollen.” Yet if this were the regular season, there is little doubt Anderson would be out. But they badly need him now, and really, their options are few. “Unless his left eye looks as bad as his right (today), he’s starting,” Scioscia said. Things will look very bad for the Angels tonight without a victory. The postseason has barely begun, and already a crucial game awaits. The Angels cannot allow its suddenness to catch them unaware. Only their season is at stake. stephen.dilbeck@dailynews.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Danny’s 1950s TV love life

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.– Y.R.L., Youngstown, Ohio A: You are right: Each astronaut named his own spacecraft. They all added “7” to acknowledge their fellow astronauts, known as the Mercury Seven. The astronauts were Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton. Slayton was grounded in 1962 with an irregular heartbeat; his reinstatement occurred 10 years later, and he flew on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975. Q: Near Kinderhook, N.Y., is Lindenwald, the home of Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States. Where did he get the name Lindenwald? – N.D., Waco, Texas A: Although Van Buren bought the home while still president, he didn’t move in until 1841 after losing his bid for a second term. He named the estate Lindenwald, Dutch for “linden wood,” after the trees lining the roadway in front of his estate. Question: I think my folks’ favorite TV program was “Make Room for Daddy,” starring Danny Thomas. As I recall, it aired on Tuesday nights, and that evening’s activities often revolved around the show. In the early years, Thomas had a wife. He was later a widower, and then, toward the end of the show, he remarried. What happened to his first wife? – Y.E.T., Providence, R.I. Answer: The show premiered in the fall of 1953 and continued until 1964. Thomas played a nightclub entertainer named Danny Williams. His wife, Margaret (played by Jean Hagen), quit the show in 1956, and her character was killed off. The following season, Danny began dating; the 1956-1957 season ended with him proposing to a young nurse named Kathy O’Hara (Marjorie Lord). The fifth season opened with the happy couple returning from their honeymoon. Q: I have a question about the Project Mercury spaceflight program. It is my understanding that each astronaut named his spacecraft, such as Freedom 7 (Alan Shepard) or Liberty Bell 7 (Virgil Grissom). Six manned Mercury flights all contained the number seven. What does that represent? Q: I know what a boll weevil is; yet I don’t. I know it devastates cotton crops, but where did it get that name? – G.P., Brattleboro, Vt. A: A weevil is a beetle, or a particular type of beetle, that is destructive to plants. The word comes from the Old English wifel, or beetle. Boll is a part of several different plants; in this case, the cotton plant. Q: Who wrote “What mighty contests rise from trivial things”? – E.C., Troy, N.Y. A: That is one of the lines from “The Rape of the Lock” by Alexander Pope (1688-1744). Q: Where is (or was) the Gosport Shipyard? – S.L.P., Dover, Del. A: The Gosport Shipyard was founded in November 1767 on the western shore of the Elizabeth River in the Virginia Colony. During the Civil War, when Union forces recaptured the naval yard, the name was changed to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, even though it is located in Portsmouth, Va. The name Norfolk was probably chosen to avoid confusion with the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard that already existed in Kittery, Maine, near Portsmouth, N.H. Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at gclothier@readingeagle.com or c/o United Feature Syndicate, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Highland hits its stride, surges to 1st place

first_imgPALMDALE – Not much was expected from Highland High’s softball team after a 1-4 start. Then when the Bulldogs finally started winning, their doubters attributed it to a pedestrian schedule. These days, nobody is taking Highland lightly. Highland last week upset prohibitive Golden League favorite Quartz Hill 3-1 in eight innings to move into first place in the league. The Bulldogs (7-4 overall, 4-0 Golden) solidified their position with a 19-8 thrashing of Knight on Tuesday, their sixth consecutive victory. “The girls understood the importance of it, they understood it was their first chance to play somebody that people couldn’t say, `That was a nobody,”‘ Morrow said. Little things: Rosamond coach Laney Eubanks believes all the little things her team works on in practices are starting to make a big difference. In their first six nonleague games, in which the Roadrunners went 2-4, their play was characterized by sloppy defense, erratic pitching and hitters unable to advance baserunners. Rosamond is off to a surprising 2-0 start in High Desert League play because of improvements in its play. “All the little things we’ve worked on in practice are starting to come around,” she said. She cited her team’s 7-1, nine-inning, league-opening victory April 4 over previously undefeated Desert, in which the Roadrunners pushed across the tying run in the seventh and broke the game open with a six-run ninth. They built on that momentum in their next league game, scoring seven runs in the first inning of a 17-1 victory April 7 over Mojave. Rosamond has two pitchers with different looks: freshman Cassie Benson (3-2, 2.87), a hard-throwing left-hander, and senior Lauren Daily (1-4, 4.30), a control-oriented right-hander. Senior Sarah Grimes (.424 average) and freshman corner infielder Cherstin Dahlin (.333) are among the team’s offensive contributors. Eubanks attributes Rosamond’s turnaround in part to players in a wide age range learning to play together. Rosamond (4-6, 2-0) looks to challenge Kern Valley of Lake Isabella and Frazier Mountain of Lebec for what would be its first league title. “We’re kind of putting it all together,” Eubanks said. “A lot of games we just weren’t getting big hits with runners on base, but now we’re starting to score runs in bunches.” Unpredictable: It’s tough to get a good read on Paraclete. After playing arguably their best game in an Olympic League-opening 1-0 upset of Maranatha of Pasadena, which had won 15 of its first 16 games, the Spirits (7-6, 1-1) stumbled Tuesday in a 6-0 loss to L.A. Baptist of North Hills. “We were totally focused and mentally prepared for Maranatha, but we were not at all focused against LAB,” Paraclete coach Margaret Neill said. “I don’t know where their heads were at.” gideon.rubin@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventHighland coach Dan Morrow said it took time for chemistry to develop on a team that’s made up primarily of newcomers up from the junior-varsity squad. “We got off to a slow start and took some time for the kids to gel, but we’re really starting to play well now,” Morrow said. Contributors for Highland include junior pitcher Merissa De Lima (5-3, 2.66 ERA, .417 batting average), junior third baseman Stephanie Parker (.417 average), junior shortstop Noel Luongo (.395), and senior outfielder Aimee D’Errico (.303). De Lima pitched a complete game against Quartz Hill, striking out seven and allowing one run on six hits and one walk. Highland’s victory over Quartz Hill was important from a confidence standpoint, Morrow said. last_img

Man escapes jail after head-butting store manager in parking row

first_imgA man who headbutted a supermarket manager after he was asked to move his car from outside the store has escaped going to jail.Owen McDonagh viciously assaulted the manager of the local ALDI store in Letterkenny, Co Donegal. Letterkenny District Court heard how Sean Cafferkey had asked McDonagh to move his car from outside his store on Neil T Blaney Road in Letterkenny because it was inconveniencing his customers.However, when he approached McDonagh, the accused responded by lunging at him with his head and breaking his nose.McDonagh, aged 20, of the Big Isle, Manorcunningham admitted the attack which took place on May 24th, 2017.His solicitor, Mr Frank Dorrian said there had been an argument about the positioning of the car before the attack took place.The court heard that the defendant had six previous convictions including incidents of dangerous driving, theft, and public order offences.McDonagh had been ordered to pay the store manager €2,500 in compensation for loss of earnings and also for medical expenses and this had been done.Judge Paul Kelly described the attack as a “disgraceful incident.”Letterkenny Courthouse (North West Newspix)He said that despite writing two letters of apology by McDonagh to his victim, he appeared to still place some blame on the store manager for the incident.“It was a disgraceful incident and resulted in an injury which had a significant impact on the victim.“He still appears to place to blame on the injured party and this would question his genuineness but I will take it (the apology) at face value. He knew he was not supposed to be parking there,” said Judge Kelly.Judge Kelly sentenced McDonagh to 80 hours community service in lieu of four months in prison.Man escapes jail after head-butting store manager in parking row was last modified: January 23rd, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ALDIcourtheadbuttletterkennyOwen McDonaghsupermarketlast_img read more

TICKETS GO ON SALE FOR DONEGAL’S ULSTER TITLE CLASH WITH MONAGHAN

first_imgTICKETS have gone on sale today for the Ulster Final in Clones on Sunday week (July 20).Donegal are hoping to de-throne Monaghan in a repeat of last year’s decider.Tickets are available through GAA clubs, online at tickets.ie or gaa.ie or at Centra shops throughout the county. It’s a unique Donegal double-header – the Minors take on Armagh in the curtain-raiser.The Minor game throws in at 2pm with the seniors at 4pm.Adult tickets for the Eastern Stand and Pat McGrane stand are €30, with €18 for OAPs and students and €5 for children.The Hill is €18 for adults, €13 for students/OAPs and €5 for children. Gerry Arthurs Stand ticket prices were not available but there are no discounts for children, students and OAPs there. TICKETS GO ON SALE FOR DONEGAL’S ULSTER TITLE CLASH WITH MONAGHAN was last modified: July 7th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ClonesdonegalJuly 20Monaghanticket detailsticketsUlster Finallast_img read more

EMERGENCY SERVICES AT SCENE OF LETTERKENNY CRASH

first_imgThe emergency services at the scene of the crash at the Dry Arch Roundabout in Letterkenny. Pic by Northwest Newspix.The emergency services are at the scene of a crash at the Dry Arch Roundabout in Letterkenny.At last three ambulances have been dispatched to the scene of what appears to be a two car collision at the roundabout.The accident took place just after 3.30pm.Motorists have been warned to take care in the are as there is a build-up of traffic.It is not known yet if anyone has been seriously injured.EMERGENCY SERVICES AT SCENE OF LETTERKENNY CRASH was last modified: October 8th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:crashdonegalGardaiLetettrkennylast_img read more

B-Bobs Charity Fundraisers collect a ‘hair-raising’ amount!

first_imgThe legendary charity fundraiser at B-Bobs hair salon Letterkenny has gathered a fantastic €2,600+ for two local causes.Cara House and the Good and New Cancer Bus were the happy beneficiaries of the latest events.The money was raised from the B-Bobs annual charity day, the Charity Calendar along with the annual Set Dancing organised by Jerry and Sammy. The family fun day in November 2017 was made even more special as it marked hairdresser Brigde Diver’s last event at the helm of the salon before it changed hands. B-Bobs now operates as Ricky’s, under the management of long-term B-Bobs employee Veronica McGinley.Brigde would like to thank all the former staff at B-Bobs and volunteers who help out every year on her charity day, all the male sports volunteers who stripped off for the calendar and the sponsors, and to Jerry and Sammy for organising the annual charity Set Dancing.The B-Bobs charity day has always been an important date for staff and customers. In 11 years, the fundraiser has amassed over €50,000 for local charities.Bridge recently met up with the teams behind this year’s charities to officially present cheques of €1,150 to Cara House and €1,542 to the Good and New Cancer Bus. Claire Doherty Befriending Supervisor accepting a cheque for €1,150 on behalf of Cara House form Brigde Lavery Diver formerly of B-Bobs.Brigde Lavery Diver presenting a cheque for €1,542 along with Jerry McNulty and Sammy Russell to the Good and New Cancer Bus service accepting the cheque on behalf of the Good and New Cancer Bus service are Nacy Moore, Lynn McDevitt, Eammon McDevitt, Patt Shaw and Clare Moore.   B-Bobs Charity Fundraisers collect a ‘hair-raising’ amount! was last modified: April 23rd, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:B-BobsCARA HOUSEcheque presentationfundraisergood and new cancer buslast_img read more

Arise, Sir Chris

first_img“I didn’t even regard this as a derby match – but I’ve quickly learnt that it is!” The words of Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after the final whistle had blown at Loftus Road on Sunday.He wasn’t the only one. Half the Chelsea side looked shell-shocked as they stepped into the Shepherd’s Bush bear pit – a world away from the plush confines of Stamford Bridge.The players were berated the minute they stepped off the coach as 15 years’ worth of emotions were unleashed by Rangers fans, the more sinister of whom were quite literally frothing at the mouth.“This was the biggest humiliation witnessed in Chelsea colours since David Mellor was mocked up on the front page of The Sun under the headline ‘Toe job to no job’.”Holed up inside my little enclave in the Lower Loft, I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for Juan Mata, Chelsea’s designated corner-taker, as time after time he slunk into the lions’ den, desperately wishing his huge salary could buy him an invisibility cloak.In the event, the little Spaniard was taken off after failing to be convinced that ignoring the baying mob was simply a case of mind over Mata.And his wasn’t the only unscheduled departure, with Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba both playing with their rubber ducks in the bath before the half-time whistle had sounded.Throw in nine yellow cards, a penalty, QPR’s first win over their old enemy for 16 years and an allegation of racism and it’s fair to say this was no Sunday school outing.Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas was incensed by the refereeing decisions that went against his team, while conversely fans on Rangers messageboards were calling for an addition to the New Year’s honours list – Sir Chris Foy.Taking off the blue and white-tinted specs for a moment, I think Hoy got most of the big decisions right.Yes the penalty was a little soft, but a penalty nevertheless (in fact the biggest argument was over who was going to take it) – although admittedly Frank Lampard had a case for a spot-kick of his own.As for the red cards, Bosingwa was the last man, while even a fired-up AVB – who appeared to have swapped heads with the strangely docile Neil Warnock – could have no arguments with Drogba’s horror tackle on Adel Taarabt.The fact Chelsea performed far better with nine men than 11, playing Rangers off the park in the second half, only added to the intensity and when the final whistle finally sounded after the longest five minutes of injury time ever (if you were a Rangers fan) the relief was palpable.The visiting support rightly applauded the heroic efforts of their team, but it was clear this was the biggest humiliation witnessed in Chelsea colours since David Mellor was mocked up on the front page of The Sun under the headline ‘Toe Job To No Job’It was certainly not how the Blues hierarchy thought it would pan out, at least not according to the match preview on their official site.It read: “The noises from the R’s camp are redolent of the clichés produced by the underdog before a cup final.“It will be our first league meeting with Queens Park Rangers for 15 years and it is fair to say the hosts are quite worked up about it. Least so Blues supporters.”You suspect that may not be the case ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge in April, when the mocking chants of “Who are ya?” might be replaced by “How dare you?”The day after the game, we interviewed Shaun Derry for QPR podcast Open All R’s.Owner of the world’s cleverest dogsThe midfield enforcer came out on top in a ding-dong battle with Lampard on Sunday and decided not to push his luck by swapping shirts at the end, with one of my colleagues mischievously suggesting it would have been several sizes too big for him.Derry added that he celebrated by taking his dogs to a pub quiz, with the hounds getting more correct answers than he did. Sample question: ‘How will most QPR fans feel tomorrow morning?’ Answer: ‘Wuff.’The hors d’oeuvre to the big derby of the day was a fairly minor affair at Old Trafford between the two Manchester clubs.City, as some of you may know by now, won 6-1 with Mario Balotelli helping himself to a double, two days after setting his bathroom ablaze with a firework.Never mind the football, characters like Balotelli are what makes the Premier League so compelling.Messi and co are wonderful to watch, but can you really imagine the little magician driving around the city centre in his soft top, high-fiving supporters immediately after a derby win?And it got better as the week went on, with news that old mother Balotelli was in town and had ordered her son to go out and buy an ironing board and iron.Five hours later he came back empty-handed but was followed shortly afterwards by a John Lewis lorry delivering a giant trampoline, Scalextric set, two vespa scooters and a table-tennis table.All Balotelli needed was a cuddly toy for a classic Generation Game conveyor belt – although he wouldn’t be much good at the 1970s gameshow after forgetting the two things he was originally sent out for: the iron and the ironing board.If he carries on at this rate, the Italian is quickly going to become Britain’s favourite footballer. And if he gets himself a Twitter account, Joey Barton could find himself relegated to the also-rans.”Bring me sunshine…”In other west London news, 10 out of 10 for Brentford manager Uwe Rosler after the German was given his marching orders for persistently stepping in front of Notts County’s Alan Sheehan as he went to take a free-kick – a skit Morecambe and Wise would have been proud of.And things have still not improved for Fulham on the pitch, but off it owner Mohamed Al Fayed had plenty to say.Incensed by former manager Mark Hughes’ comments that the club lacked ambition, Al Fayed blasted: “He was a forgotten man when I rescued him to become manager of Fulham.“He is not just disrespectful but entirely wrong. If people are looking for a flop, they have to look no further than the man who has lost his spark.”Ouch. Although I have it on good authority that the real reason Hughes decided he no longer wanted to be associated with Fulham was the day he caught sight of the blueprint for the Michael Jackson statue.That’s all folks. Have a good weekend and think of me and the other walkers as we set off on our trek from Loftus Road to White Hart Lane on Sunday, raising money for the QPR Tiger cubs – the team for kids with Down’s syndrome. You can give generously (or not) by clcking here.last_img read more