From: Sophocles (sophocles@dionysios.athens) [Translated by Stig Oppedal]
Subject: "Stigkrates Tyrannus" 
Date: December 12, 1996
[relevant scorelines from October 20 to November 2, 1996:
Newcastle 5 Manchester United 0; Southampton 6 Manchester United 3; 
Manchester United 0 Fenerbahce 1; Manchester United 1 Chelsea 2]

STIGKRATES 	exiled philosopher-king
MARIA	 	Queen of the Amazons
DMITRIS	 	a carpenter from Thessalonica
A MESSENGER 	(whose name is Jack, by the way)
CHORUS 	 	Athenian citizens, who later turn into rabid Olympiakos 
ANDREAS	 	friend to the Greeks (who doesn't appear in the actual 
		play, but turns up afterwards as a deus ex machina to 
		explain what the Olympiakos fans were actually singing)

{Scene: the Agora in Athens.}

STIGKRATES: Children! This is not acceptable social behavior -
why are you dancing and drinking and making merry?
The earth is barren, the sun is clouded, and worse yet - 
Eric Cantona is not producing the goods.

CHORUS: We fear for the sanity of good king Stigkrates,
for though the harvest is ripe and the sun is shining,
he is blind to everything, save terrible visions 
of the Red Devils being crushed, four score and more.

The Magpies shredded their defense, bruised and Bruceless, 
when the only mark Cantona made was that on Beardsley.
Schmeichel was mad, bad and not dangerous to lob -
Stigkrates groaned as prince Albert chipped the Grate Dane [sic].

Against the Saints last spring the Devils were undone 
by wearing their cloaks of invisibility. 
Well should they have kept them for the latest encounter
then their blushes would have remained unseen.

Against the Trojans they forfeited their stronghold
which had never fallen while guarding Europa.
The assembled masses wailed at their misfortune
as ghosts from the past again rose to haunt them.

While the walls were down the boys in blue breezed through
and left for the Bridge with their usual three points.
Are the gods punishing the Devils for hubris?
>From the north comes now the messenger of Stigkrates.

STIGKRATES: Speak up, my man - what news from the god at Delphi?

MESSENGER: The oracle spoke these words from great Apollo:
"The god of war will send forth a phalanx from the north.
Only if you witness its destruction firsthand
will the Red Devils be victorious once more."

STIGKRATES: Ah! I think I know who will provide the destruction!
We're off to find the men known as "Panathinaikos"!

CHORUS: Wait! You're traveling in the wrong direction!
Besides, those shamrock-shaggers couldn't beat a rug.

{The philosopher-king and the messenger end up in the harbor city Piraeus,
which turns out to be the home of mighty Olympiakos} CHORUS: OLÈ! {who 
also have a match that afternoon, against Panahaiki. Our hero returns to 
the Agora a few hours later.}

STIGKRATES: Oh, Fates most cruel! Olympiakos were denied
a deserved victory when the woodwork was hit twice.
Skillful wing play, clever backheels, darting runs,
and a balding playmaker were just not enough.

CHORUS: Alas, the rub of the green is reserved for others!
But what manner of wanderer is he who comes now? 

DMITRIS: Well met, stranger, though if my eyes don't deceive me
you have just witnessed a frustrating nil-nil draw.

STIGKRATES: Yes, and Apollo has decreed that I must behold
a victory over men that come from the north.

DMITRIS: Then I bear good tidings, for the Illyrians 
are threatening to ravage the Acropolis.
The Greeks will enjoin them in a fierce battle,
and thereby will Apollo's prophecy be fulfilled.

STIGKRATES: Praise be upon the twin brother of Artemis
for providing me with the means of my salvation!

DMITRIS: Come, my friend, let us offer libations to the gods.
I know of a place that is sacred to Bacchus.

{The philosopher-king ends up getting stiffed with a bill for 18500 
drachmas [$80], despite drinking only one ouzo (honestly). It also turns 
out that the battle between the Greeks and the Illyrians takes place in 
Illyria, not Athens. 

Our hero is joined in his quest by Maria, Queen of the Amazons, who 
travels with him to Piraeus to witness the mighty heroes of Olympiakos in
one final match - against Aris from Thessalonica.}

MARIA: This place is emptier than Troy the time Helen 
went skinny-dipping in the sea. Where is everyone?

STIGKRATES: Whoops! It would seem that we're here four hours early.
Actually, this is all part of my brilliant plan
to secure ourselves a good vantage point.
Another victory for the Stigkratic method!

{I'll spare you the sad details of the next few hours, suffice to say that
the philosopher-king and the Queen of the Amazons return in time for the 
rescheduled evening kick-off.}

STIGKRATES: This place is more packed than Aphrodite's temple,
the atmosphere more charged than the Persians at Marathon.
The rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
give hope in the night that a "goleado" is near.

MARIA: By Zeus! Olympiakos play skillful football
with tricky wingers who love to challenge and cross.
The way they caress the ball rather than thump it
shows why the Greeks are better lovers than fighters.

STIGKRATES: But what on earth is the balding midfield playmaker
doing at left-back? How shall the strikers cope now?

MARIA: Why is everyone yelling all of a sudden?

STIGKRATES: And why are those fans in the corner almost fighting, 
when they're all wearing the same red-and-white scarves?

CHORUS {to the Aris players}:  
You from the north, you're just a bunch of Bulgarians! 
Bulgarians! Bulgarians! Bulgarians!

OTHER CHORUS: How can you say that? The insult is outrageous!

CHORUS: How can we not say it? They're just a bunch of Bulgarians!
Bulgarians! Bulgarians! Bulgarians!

OTHER CHORUS: They may be the opposition, but they are at least Greeks!
How can you make such a terrible accusation?

CHORUS: They're just a bunch of Macedonians!
Macedonians! Macedonians!

OTHER CHORUS: This is even worse! Have you no shame?
They may be from the north, but they are at least Greeks!
Not _all_ Macedonians are slime, you know!
My grandfather came from Macedonia!


STIGKRATES: After "hamartia" there is "katharsis",
but the men from Aris are dangerous yet.
At last I see a game where _both_ teams play football
instead of hoofing the ball like drunken satyrs.

MARIA: Hark! Listen to the roar of the mighty chorus.

{First verse}: What're we gonna do with Panathinaikos?
{First counter-verse}: We are going to fuck Panathinaikos!

What're we gonna do with Panathinaikos?
We are going to fuck Panathinaikos!

What're we gonna do with Panathinaikos?
We are going to fuck Panathinaikos!

STIGKRATES: Olympiakos have started the second half well.

MARIA: Oh! A striker has been brought down!

STIGKRATES:  A penalty for Olympiakos!

MARIA: But the keeper saves it!

STIGKRATES: No! Even lame Hephaistos would have shot harder.

MARIA: But look! Another penalty!


STIGKRATES: Now the left winger turns the defender inside out! 

MARIA: The cross comes in - it's headed down- and volleyed home!


STIGKRATES: Oh! A beautiful through ball, it's two against one!

MARIA: Will he round the keeper? No! He passes - and it's in!


STIGKRATES: Apollo in his wisdom has opened my eyes,
and this new Red Army has revived my spirits!
I now have a vision of Eric Cantona 
lifting the Cup at the Olympic Stadium!