Automotive engineering excellence has been the goal of car makers for over a century. After all this time you would think that they would have got it right and there would be nothing left to invent. After all a car is just a metal box on four wheels. You tell that to an enthusiast and they will tell you about engineering brilliance from the top marquis of Germany and Italy and how F1 is dominated by British companies who make everything from the engines to the glue that holds the cars together.
A great car is all about the correlation between power, weight, balance and aerodynamics. These are the same principles which effect a Ford Focus or a F1 Ferrari. Everything must balance and be in the correct proportions. Too much power and you lose grip, not enough and you can not push the car through the air fast enough. All these factors effect a hockey player – Power, weight, balance and aerodynamics. Some have nearly got this right. Gaz for instance would be the automotive equivalent of a Land Rover Discovery, plenty of grunt, four wheel drive but a body that holds seven seats. Steve Whitley could be a BMW 3 Series, power, weight and balance all in just the right proportions and perfect for going up and down the motorway – or wing in a hockey players case.
Every boy dreams of owning a Ferrari, the perfect mix of all the key ingredients but with something extra. Some call it the X Factor, some call it a soul. A Ferrari is not just a car, it is a thing of beauty. Kept in the garage under its own special dust cloth and brought out to be cleaned and driven round the block every month, then packed away again. Every hockey team needs their Discovery, Ford Focus and BMW players to make them tick, they all do a job and they do it well. Good teams want a Ferrari, great teams might have one. Blackpool does.
Andrew Mortimer is a Ferrari. Admittedly he is not the new F430 and he does have a few miles under his belt but he is certainly a collectors item. Morty is kept like a Ferrari, in the garage under the dust sheet all nice and warm. You bring him off the bench and he goes like stink for 15 minutes. Young wipper-snappers, the hockey equivalent of a chav in a Citroën Saxo with a body kit, try to put him up at the lights. There is only ever going to be one winner.
Ferraris’ have a reputation of breaking down at key moments. The company says they should be driven and not kept in a garage and if everyone did this they would not break down as much. On Saturday Blackpool called on their Ferrari to play the whole match and he did it as though he had just been back to Modena for a full service. He played in three different positions and as always looked accomplished. Good on the motorway, back roads or on the track. Should Blackpool’s Ferrari be used as a Sunday car all nice and warm under a dust sheet? Or should he be used to torment opposition with power, balance and skill? This reporter suspects if he could be stripped out and lose a little excess weight he would be the equivalent a F355 Berlinetta – the open toped version of the 90’s classic and in this reporters verdict the best Ferrari to come out of Italy for forty years.
As for the game – we won three nil, they were OK in the first half and very poor in the second. We were average like any car showroom forecourt up and down the land but with one exception – we had a shiny red Ferrari.
Squad – Kilshaw, Boniface, Gettings, Wright, Abbott, Morrow K, Pasqualino, Mortimer, Morrow L, Whitley, Morgan, Chadwick. MoM – Kilshaw.
© Kieron Morrow 22/03/06