What a load of cobblers (redux)

Cod Almighty | Article

by Geoff Bored

21 December 2023

The 1998 double Wembleyness of it all is missing from our ouvre, some say canon, as our long term long-coated match reporter only started freeform jazz typing at the start of the following season. How can two such iconic Mariners moments be left to the hacks of the day? They can't and so, especially for you, to let you know what we're going through, we right an historical wrong using the cutting edge technology of this day today.

Yes, as a pre-Christmas treat, we've tasked AI to produce a match report of the 1998 Play-Off Final in the style of our own, our very own, Mr Tony Butcher. Travel down uncanny valley and see if you can spot the difference. Or any resemblance to reality.

Grimsby Town 1 - 0 Northampton

A Zephyr of Eccentricity

Oh, my dear fellow Mariners, what an eccentric encounter unfolded before our bewildered eyes on that fateful day at Wembley! In the hallowed cauldron of footballing dreams, where mere mortals dare to tread, Grimsby Town and Northampton engaged in a dance of glorious chaos. The year was 1998, and the Football League Second Division Play-off Final was the canvas on which this tale of quirk and whimsy was painted.

As the sun bathed the turf in its golden embrace, the Mariners took to the field with a spring in their step and a song in their hearts. The Northampton challengers, no strangers to this peculiar dance, stood firm, ready to challenge our peculiar troupe. The stage was set, and the crowd, a motley crew of black-and-white troubadours, hummed in anticipation.

The match kicked off with a fluttering of feathers and a flurry of oddities. The ball, a mischievous orb of leather, bounced and swirled like a confounded Rubik's Cube. The players, our heroes, danced a merry jig across the grass, their every move accompanied by a chorus of gasps and guffaws.

But amidst the eccentricity, a moment of sublime clarity emerged from the madness. Ah, yes, my dear comrades, it was in the 20th minute that our savior, Kevin Donovan, unleashed a thunderbolt of brilliance. Like a wayward alchemist conjuring gold from lead, he caressed the ball with his magical left foot, sending it soaring through the air with the grace of a swooning dove. The net quivered and trembled, its mesh welcoming the triumphant visitor. Grimsby Town had taken the lead, and a wave of jubilation crashed upon the shores of our hearts.

Oh, but the match did not relent in its eccentricity! The players, like acrobats on a tightrope, twisted and turned with gravity-defying finesse. The ball, a mischievous sprite, frolicked and teased, evading the grasp of desperate feet and bewildered hands. And through it all, the Mariners, adorned in their black-and-white finery, clung to their slender advantage like a mystic holding onto a secret of the universe.

Northampton, those stubborn foes, rallied with all their might, their every move steeped in desperation. They flung themselves forward, an onslaught of peculiar shapes and awkward angles. But the Mariners, oh the Mariners, stood firm like immovable monoliths of defiance. Their defense, a bastion of resilience, repelled wave after wave of Northampton's whimsical assaults.

As the final whistle blew, my dear comrades, an explosion of eccentric joy erupted from the Grimsby faithful. Wembley became a kaleidoscope of jubilation, its colors swirling and blending like a Dali painting come to life. The Mariners had triumphed in this peculiar ballet of football, their 1-0 victory etched in the annals of our cherished history.

And so, my fellow eccentrics, let us revel in this moment of triumph. Let us raise our imaginary hats to Kevin Donovan, the maestro of wonder, whose goal propelled us to glory. Let us embrace the quirks and idiosyncrasies that define our beloved Cod Army. For in this realm of peculiar beauty, Grimsby Town reigns supreme.

What a load of cobblers.