Soul Man 12

The latest Soul Man is available here. Links to download tracks from Amazon at the bottom of the page.

Soul Man 12 by Roy Burgess on Mixcloud

The playlist:
Martha & the Vandellas – Nowhere to Run
Archie Bell & The Drells – Tighten Up
Detroit Spinners – Working My Way Back To You
The Invitations – What’s Wrong With Me Baby – Invitations
Karen Young – Hot Shot (Original Mix)
Gene Chandler – Nothing Can Stop Me
Leon Bridges – Twistin’ & Groovin’
Incognito – Always There
Barbara Acklin – Love Makes A Woman
Larry Williams & Johnny Watson – Too Late
Billy And The Essentials – Don’t Cry Sing Along With the Music
Junior Walker & The All Stars – Take Me Girl, I’m Ready
Major Harris – Love Won’t Let Me Wait
Marvin Gaye – Too Busy Thinking About My Baby
Margo & The Marvettes – When Love Slips Away
The Velvelettes – Throw a Farewell Kiss
Denise LaSalle – Trapped By A Thing Called Love

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The Super 8s – Here’s a radical thought.

Here’s a radical thought. Next year, keep the Super 8s but wipe out the points from the first 23 games of the season. Before the abuse starts, let me expand.

Maybe it is just me, but is most of the excitement and anticipation in the Super 8s currently centred on the Qualifiers? Obviously, the inclusion of the mighty Bulls will have something to do with it but there is more to it than that. There is something about wiping the slate clean and starting again at this stage. everything is possible. For very good reasons, the top teams got to carry the points over and continue with their league. But is it feasible that Hull and Catalans can pull back the six or eight point deficit on the 4th placed Huddersfield and reach the play-offs? They certainly started like they believed, with a stunning win over high flying Saints. Hull pushed Castleford very close; maybe every minute does count – but could we make it better?

Watching a game at the weekend, my wife asked why the top teams didn’t have the points wiped clean like the Qualifiers. I started to trot out the “rewarding teams for their performance over 23 weeks “ but, as she pointed out, that reward in the Qualifiers is a supposedly an advantage in the fixture list, more home games etc. Why not adopt the same for the top section? If the next seven games are simply a race to qualify for the top 4 do Leeds really need a seven point start over Castleford? Are we in danger of being like Formula 1 where the fastest cars start at the front. Surely more exciting if the fastest started at the back and used their skill and power to overtake?  While I am not talking about handicapping the likes of Leeds and Wigan, wiping the points clean could introduce that element of jeopardy that was talked about at the start of the season.

Is there a middle ground? What would the league table look like if the fixtures against the bottom four were removed? After all, this would give more weight to the teams that do well against the big boys, rather than racking up big wins against the lesser teams. I admit, I had a theory that Catalans would benefit from this move. They beat St Helens convincingly last week, and had big wins over Wigan and Warrington earlier in the season.

Super League - Perpignan, France - Home of the Catalans Dragons
Super League – Perpignan, France – Home of the Catalans Dragons

However, if I got my sums right, they would move up just one place, going above Hull if the table was based on matches against the other top 8 teams. Significantly, Wigan would leapfrog Leeds at the top of the table under this system. Saints and Huddersfiled would still make the top 4. But, hang on a minute, by stripping out matches against Hull KR, Salford, Widnes and Wakefield, two teams Hull and Castleford end up with only 14 fixtures as opposed to the others having 15. So, the magic weekend fixtures should be stripped out as well. As Wigan fans remember well, they walloped Leeds in Newcastle. Stripping this result would put the Rhinos back on top. In fact, the only positional change would be the Dragons moving above Hull on points difference. The gap between 4th and 5th would be bigger so, if its excitement we want this is not the way forward.

The table:

Played Won Drawn Lost Points Diff Points
Leeds

14

9

1

4

120

19

Wigan

14

9

0

5

32

18

St Helens

14

8

0

6

-10

16

Huddersfield

14

7

1

6

51

15

Castleford

14

6

0

8

-23

12

Warrington

14

5

0

9

-2

10

Catalans

14

5

0

9

-52

10

Hull

14

5

0

9

-78

10

In the space of a couple of days thinking about this I have basically turned 180 degrees. For next year, let’s keep the Super 8 concept but take it a stage further. Wipe the points at the end of the 23 games and have a straight race to the playoffs. Teams would still have the incentive to finish as high as possible to get the advantageous fixtures in the Super 8s. The better teams should still come through but the excitement would then match the Qualifiers. Every second would really count then. 

I told you it was radical. Do you agree?

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Soul Man 11

The latest edition of the Soul Man programme is available for streaming here:

Soul Man 11 by Roy Burgess on Mixcloud

The playlist:

It Only Happens (When I Look At You) Jackie Wilson
Gotta have your love The Sapphires
Never Had a Cream Come True Stevie Wonder
Funkytown (Single Version) Lipps Inc
Lonely Girl Annabelle Fox
Crazy Gnarls Barkley
I Can’t Turn You Loose Otis Redding
Oh Girl [*] Jay-Z/Raphael Saadiq
Don’t Tell Me I’m Crazy [#] The Fantastic Four
Giants Andreya Triana
Word Up Cameo
Shame Evelyn “Champagne” King
Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On Yvonne Fair
Can I Get a Witness Barbara Randolph
Help Me Al Wilson
I’ve Been Lonely for So Long Frederick Knight
You Don’t Know Where Your Interest Lies Dana Valery
Day By Day The Exceptions
(Win, Place or Show) She’s A Winner The Intruders

The downloads from Amazon:


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Soul Man 10

The latest Soul Man radio show is available here. The playlist is below and links to all of the downloads from Amazon. Follow me on Mixcloud.

Soul Man 10 by Roy Burgess on Mixcloud

Little Richard Great Gosh A’Mighty
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles I Don’t Blame You at All
Willie Tee Walkin’ Up A One Way Street
Isaac Hayes Theme from Shaft
Leon Bridges Lisa Sawyer
Eddie Kendricks Keep on Truckin’
James Fountain Seven Day Lover (7″ Mix)
The Pointer Sisters Yes We Can Can
Laura Greene Moonlight Music And You 
Ann Sexton You Got To Use What You Got
Yarbrough & Peoples Don’t Stop The Music
Jackson 5 I Want You Back
Johnnie Taylor Disco Lady
Chris Clark I Want to Go Back There Again
Bobby Byrd I know you got soul
Sam And Dave When Something Is Wrong with My Baby
A Taste Of Honey Boogie Oogie Oogie (7″ Single Edit)
Booker T. & the MG’s Soul Limbo

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Mission Impossible

Mission Impossible – how do you avoid the score before watching a recorded game?

For many years, in the interests of marital harmony, I have recorded the televised Rugby League matches rather than watch them live. That way, we enjoy a meal, have a drink, watch a film etc. I watch the game, oblivious to the score, the morning after. Result – everybody happy.

In the modern age, this is becoming increasingly difficult. In fact, to tie in with the new film it is almost Mission Impossible. (I bet the music is now going through your head!)

Back in the halcyon days before smart phones, iPads and 24×7 media the biggest danger was walking into the local pub. No matter how many people you told that you were avoiding the score there was always somebody who thought it was funny to tell you. As times changed we were more likely to find ourselves in restaurants but with the same outcome.

Football too

It’s not just a rugby league problem, football is just the same. In 1997, my employer at the time held a big IT conference in Stratford. A dinner was arranged on the Wednesday evening – nicely coinciding with England’s vital World Cup qualifier against Italy. No problem, we would skip the dinner and watch the game in the bar. The management got whiff of this and made the dinner mandatory. A compromise deal was struck with the hotel. They would video the game and show it in the bar from 10.30. A full radio blackout was agreed and policed by everybody. By 10.20 we were gathering in the makeshift stadium, drinks sorted and a nice atmosphere building. The first attempt at starting the video ended with a blank, grey screen. The room fell silent. Would the IT department be defeated by technology (again)? A second later, Alan Shearer appeared to a huge roar then blank again. In the silence that followed, an American voice from the corner, not one of our hundred strong group, said quite clearly “I don’t know why you’re bothering, England lose one to nothing.” The ensuing silence was so threatening that even Jack Bauer would have had a slight wee. Needless to say, the perpetrator left very quickly. The atmosphere fell flat and by the end of the inevitable defeat there were only half a dozen hardy souls left.

Technology

Of course, technology has moved on in the intervening years and made things far more tricky. Facebook, eMail and Twitter have to be avoided at all cost in the lag between the match kicking off and watching the final tackle. Other technology traps exist. The Sky+ box itself has a nasty habit of surprising me. Just as you press stop at the end of a film, the channel has inevitably changed to the match, just as Eddie Hemmings mentions the score. I am very quick when it comes to hitting the mute button but sometimes not quick enough.

The main BBC news mentions rugby league about as often as I drink Pimms- except when I am avoiding the score – so no news.

The episode that triggered this piece happened at 10.02pm on Friday, a few minutes after the hooter had gone at the semi final. A text message on my phone – could be important. Like an idiot I looked and it was those nice people at the RFL telling me that Leeds were in the cup final. As a Bulls fan that was a double whammy – our old enemy reaching the final and me knowing the result of one of the most eagerly awaited games of the season. I did watch the game after I had calmed down and it was worth it for the gem from Dave Woods in his commentary. “There is a rumour in Leeds that Superman wears Kallum Watkins pyjamas” – priceless.

Of course, the Super 8s start on Thursday. Once again I will be watching it delayed. I will be unplugged and not near the phone. Short of somebody hiring a plane to buzz Burgess Towers, dragging an 80ft banner behind it surely I am safe.

Burgess – Your mission, should you choose to accept it…

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