As some may recall, a couple of weeks ago Roker Report's iron dictator, Simon Walsh, swanned off to France for a bit, leaving me here to direct all of the blog's resources into the pursuit of taking the mick out of David Boyle. It was a glorious week.
But it wasn't all fun and games, and Simon's usual massive work load had to be divided up between the rest of us. This feature fell into my hands, and it didn't take me long to realise it appealed to my skill set of generally waffling on aimlessly talking nothing but rubbish. Anyway, to cut a long and beautifully mundane story short, I have nicked the feature.
So here it is. The brand new and completely unimproved Week That Was on Roker Report and further afield. Now, lets commence with the droning on monotonously in a vain attempt to shamelessly self-promote.
Monday is famed for being completely and utterly rubbish and frankly not caring enough about us to change. This week was no different with the latest defeat since fresh in the memory. I was able to delight in the fact that I didn't have to do Talking Tactics, however. Chris Weatherspoon was not so lucky, but in fine form regardless.
You know those really creepy hobos you sometimes see sat under railway bridges, desperately clutching their knees as they gently rock to-and-fro mumbling bible scripture to themselves in an obsessively rhythmic manner? Well, Bruce hasn't driven any of us to that yet, but that is probably only because we have Dan Williams to provide us with a similar spectacle. This week's Roker Rhymes was a belter.
And speaking of the inane ramblings of a mad-man, suspiciously right on cue here comes David Boyle entering stage right with a Top Ten. This week, he tries to cheer us all up with a walk down a particularly grim memory lane packed full of the very worst Sunderland managers. Did Brucie make the list?
This week was also that time of the month again when we name our Roker Report Player of the Month. Lets be honest - this time it was more of a 'who has annoyed us the least' competition, and there was a fairly predictable winner.
Next up David Boyle - Roker Report's answer to Karl Pilkington - treated us to some more ramblings. But this time it was a proper Roker Ramble, as he delved into the murky depths of reports foreign owners were secretly plotting to band together and do away with relegation from the Premier League. This article attracted either a VERY well organised prank or a somewhat disparaging email from a rather high-profile detractor. That's all I'm saying. If you want to know more, you'll just have to download the podcast!
Wednesday was a busy old day. To kick it off, I decided to get up off my backside and drag myself out of the Bruce-inspired self-pity that had engulfed me since Sunday - and write about it instead. Should loving your club be as hard as Bruce has seemingly been on a crusade to make it of late?
Those lucky enough to get invited round my gaffe for a crumpet and eggy-bread supper will be greeted upon arrival by two framed Sunderland photographs hanging in my hall-way. They were bought at the 'Homes of Football' museum in Ambleside, and taken by famed football photographer Stuart Roy Clarke. Simon Walsh, who saves all the best stuff for himself around here, had the privilege of having a chat with Stuart about his experiences visiting Sunderland and a new book. There is also the opportunity for one lucky Roker Report reader to win a copy of the book, so be sure to check it out.
Wednesday also saw the highly acclaimed blog In Bed With Maradona lend us a little magic when its editor Jeff Livingstone became the latest to Drop The Gloves with us in a frank and intentionally brutally honest appraisal of Sunderland AFC.
Thursday means only one thing around here - Podcast day. This week David Boyle joined Simon, and there was also the added bonus of a completely neutral and objective perspective on all things Sunderland, as 'Baaaaaarnsleh for life" Dan Williams popped his head round the door! Exciting. This was also a podcast remarkable for Dave giving an on-air demonstration of his well-practiced art of replying to emails telling him he's a total numpty. Do not miss it.
By Thursday, Chris Weatherspoon had stopped attempting to gauge out his own eye balls to try and rid himself of the horrors he had witnessed in studying the Arsenal defeat, and he jumped into the interviewer's chair for the first time to interview former Sunderland goalkeeper Alec Chamberlain.
Attention slowly began to turn to this week's game at the Reebok Stadium with Cult Heroes. This week, it was a midfielder famed for tackling, passing, hassling and harassing - the badger-haired midfield maestro that was Gavin McCann.
Simon Walsh keeps a bit of a low profile during the week as he is too busy syphoning off Roker Report's money into private hedge funds that will some day leave him a vastly wealthy, yet emotionally vacant, man. But the end of the week is when he shines as he brings you the very best match day build up, starting with ensnaring a haplessly unsuspecting opposition fan to do his work for him in Fan Focus.
He then previews the game with music, speculated team news and tactics, opinion, prediction, personality, and quite atrocious betting tips.
So, that's the various shenanigans that we got up to this week, or so far this week anyway. Stay tuned for a match report and our Durham Times column over the weekend. But if none of that has quite tickled your fancy, or if you have a thirst for football coverage that we simply can not satiate alone, then lets have a quick look at what we recommend from elsewhere this week.
Roker Report is, of course, still a very young site. Younger than many realise. But for those who followed us in our truly embryonic stage will no doubt remember Gavin Callaghan. Gavin was once a highly-valued member of the team before he sadly could no longer find the time to commit to us. Though we curse our misfortune in losing him, reading stuff like his brilliant blog on the Hillsborough parliamentary debates most certainly softens the blow.
Another regular friend of Roker Report, Mark Holmes, has also caught our eye with his musings this week. Mark is our regular 'go to guy' on all things Stoke City, and will be soon making another appearance here in our 'Dropping The Gloves' feature. In his blog this week, he looked at a variety of topics, including our very own much beleaguered manager.
And finally, since they were kind enough to help us out this week, I'd like to return the favour to In Bed With Maradona. This engaging piece on the links between the rise of the Manchester music scene and the decline of football hooliganism was initially published in 2010, but with the Stone Roses reunion making headlines it has been re-issued and is well worth a read.
And, basically, is it. See you next week!