You may have noticed that May Contain Notts has been willfully Forestcentric of late, and for that I can only apologise. But then I rummage through a box of old shit, turn up a souvenir programme of Forest's 1978 League Cup win, find the following advert, and vow to have it scanned in, blown up and framed in my living room as soon as humanly possible. Seriously, look at the quality of this;
OK, my thoughts;
1) Note how only Kenny Burns and Frank Clark seem to be paying any attention to that massively-out-of -proportion hunk of Co-Op steak in any kind of approving manner, which probably explains why the former now looks like this. John McGovern seems a bit scared by it, while everyone else seems to be attracted to something else - possibly a Black Forest Gateau the size of a shed in the corner.
2) We already know that Cloughie regularly prepared his teams for big matches by locking them in a room and getting them larruped - but did Forest really train on gargantuan slabs of red meat as well, and if so, how come the 1978 Forest squad are all still alive? Hadn't pasta reached Nottingham yet or summat? Thank Christ Channel 4 hadn't been invented yet - I couldn't have taken the sight of my beloved Forest queuing up to be harangued by Gillian McKeith, holding their own shit in Tupperware boxes.
3) I know 1978 was a long time ago, but was a hunk of Co-Op dead cow really 'the best' that was 'good enough' for the Super Reds? I know my Dad used to bring it home from work when he was a lorry driver there, but then again he brought home some mushrooms from his mate in the pub the other week that were absolutely lifting with maggots, so I wouldn't exactly rely on his culinary opinion (when me Mam had stopped screaming at him for being so fucking chatty, he pointed out that he still intended to eat them, because 'there'd be a bit o' meat in 'em'. Then she started screaming again).
4) Since when has anyone described people who shop at Co-Op as 'discerning'? Yeah, I go there every now and then, but only because Lidl don't sell hummus or pitta bread. That's not me being 'discerning' - that's me not being arsed to go up the road to Tesco Express. When I worked as a lift boy at the Co-Op taking fat Mams to the top floor, there were many descriptions that flickered across my mind. 'Disgusting' was one. 'Discerning' certainly wasn't.
5) I know Photoshop wasn't around them, but Christ on a crisp packet - look at the shoddy cutout job on Frank Clark...
6) All in all, it shows just how much things have changed. Once upon a time, 'training on beefsteak' was the sign of a successful, well-off athlete at the peak of condition. Nowadays, it sounds like an insult directed at someone's Mam on the top deck of the bus when the schools turn out.