The Fame Game

It says something about our celebrity culture that you are more likely to make the front pages by romping in a poppy field with Victoria Beckham and a jumbo packet of flakes than by discovering a method of indefinitely preserving vegetables and thereby solving famine in the Third World.

But what has this to do with the Predictorship? Well, a good question and one to which I will be happy to furnish you with a contrite answer. Fame. It is a little known fact that the Predictorship table is awash with minor and überminor celebrities chomping at the bit for their 15 minutes…

Not all of us can match Emmy Award winner Mark Young for recognition as an ‘outstanding tease’ of course (it’s true; I’ve looked it up), although this is a fact which undoubtedly explains the insidious haranguing of Chairman and his wife in recent weeks. I am also pretty confident that nobody could match Ted Warland’s ‘Strictly’ performance at the chairman’s nuptials gadding about on the dance floor with the ladies like a waltzing mayfly.

However, if you are seeking out illustrious company, then I suggest you claim on the health insurance for a full set of dental veneers and add top ten contender Steve Dunlop to your little black book. Steve’s moment in history cropped up barely two weeks ago on a return flight from Madrid when he sat shoulder to sangria with Simao Sabrosa, Athletico’s Portuguese midfielder and Liverpool nemesis. ‘Now tell me that ain’t some claim to fame’ in the immortal words of Lou Reid.

Back in Predictorship towers, Chris Butters is once more showered with rose petals as she walks on water above the rest of the 2009 contenders. No bets are being taken on Chris any more but the table is awash with talent from top to bottom: One such talent is Tom Palmer, stood over on the podium shouldering a laurel wreath and launching a supersonic champagne cork at the health and safety officer to celebrate perfect scores for Everton-West Brom and Bolton-Newcastle.

Awards abound and planting their pinkies on Hollywood Boulevard are our Predictors of the Week: Mark Fitch (Arsenal 0-0 Fulham) and David Jones (Hull 1-2 Blackburn). Mark has clearly been studying the form book: the Gooners’ previous three games all ended 0-0.

But despite these guiding lights, there are few stars in the ascendant in the table with an average score of 4.36 – the sixth worse average of the season so far. Few predictors are prepared to stick their necks out at this crucial stage with only 12 predictions (out of 190 in total) for slip-ups by the ‘big five’: Arsenal draw/loss (6 – all draw predictions), Manchester United draw/loss (0 – i.e. everyone went for a United win), Liverpool draw/loss (0 – ditto), Aston Villa draw/loss (2 – both draw predictions), Barcelona loss (4).

Of these 12 predictions, the only person fit to pull on the yellow jersey is Nicola Savage: Nicola went for a 2-1 win for Atletico Madrid against Barcelona and a 1-1 draw between Arsenal and Fulham. Shame on the rest of you!

So it’s crunch time in the race for the silver wear and the Chairman’s advice is to chill and maybe recline with a little something mellow. His message to the univers this week is:

‘Everything Is Beautiful’… man.’

‘Peace and love’ to you too David.