Sunday, October 30, 2005

Hanshin Tigers

At the start of October, I blogged about the Newcastle United of Japanese baseball, the Hanshin Tigers. At that time they had won the Central League pennant and were on their way to Wembley the Japan Series (the Japanese equivalent of the US's World Series). The Hanshin Tigers are a massively supported team based in Osaka who don't win much, hence the Newcastle comparison.

Infact, so rarely do the Tigers win nowadays that some of their fans believe they are living under a curse: the curse of Colonel Sanders . In 1985, the Tigers won the Japan Series (Christ almighty, I hear the Newcastle fans grumbling, call that a barren period!) Anyway, after their team clinched the title, ecstatic fans uprooted a statue of Colonel Sanders from its home in front of an Osaka Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant and dumped in a river. The Colonel hasn't been seen since and Hanshin has never won another Japan Series.

Well, it seems the Colonel is not the forgiving type, because the Tigers lost this years Japan Series against the Chiba Lotte Marines (a bit like being beaten by Reading). The Tigers fans were not happy. Infact, that is a bit of an understatement. One of them, has built a grave to this year's hope (courtesy of The text says: "In memory of the Championship. Hanshin Tigers. Manager: Yoshio Yoshida."

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