From the boredom of Lockdown comes a genuine Brentford FC exclusive.

23 May

I’m missing my friends. My family. Griffin Park. There’s nothing I’d like more than to visit the parents or to go and see Brentford play. Perhaps with a few beers before and, definitely, afterwards. That’s just not possible at the moment for well documented reasons. No matter how easy it would be flaunt the Lockdown advice ( and playing by the rules is painful, frankly) we’re all in this together. Apparently.

Instead, entertainment and interaction has to be found other ways. Moreso now that the GPG Saturday afternoon get togethers have run their course. And from the frustration of staying at home has come a way of reuniting our Bees family. Have you ever played…Top Trumps?

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Currently writing in the kitchen. Wish it was in the pub like before.

We all know and love the game, presumably? A staple of childhood, packs consist of thirty cards encompassing themes ranging from Dinosaurs to Harry Potter. Trains to planes to automobiles. Each card contains a list of rated categories  – for example, should a ‘TV’ version exist I’d imagine the category of ‘Hilarity factor’ would see ‘Mrs. Brown’ rated at 3% whereas Alan Partridge would be in the upper 90s. The aim of the game being to select a category then compare scores in order to ‘trump’ and win an opponent’s card. Whoever is left holding all thirty is the winner.

The game has been in existence since 1978 and we’ve still got a few packs at home from back then. Aside from sharper photos and more varied subject matter than the original staples of footballers, tanks and battleships it would seem that little else has changed. 

And why would it? The concept is simple yet addictive. To this day I still play them with Harry – vintage packs and new. Purely for educational purposes, of course. It’s amazing how much they help with numeracy.

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Playing a vintage version, back when we were allowed out

Lockdown has seen us delve even deeper in to the collection. British Strikers. Star Wars. Super Cars. Even the quite magnificent Brentford player version Top Trump (style) game that came with the Junior Bees membership one season.

We love them. We enjoy them. They’ve helped kill a lot of dead time that should have been spent at Griffin Park, at school or out with friends and family. It would be fair to say we’re big fans.

Day 36 in the Lockdown house. No amount of playing Top Trumps makes up for the fact that Harry is missing his friends and we’re all craving human company. At least, in person rather than on Zoom. I’m desperate to reacquaint with those familiar football faces in the right environment rather than a socially-distant accidental coming together at the checkout in Morrisons. That happening this morning was about as good as it gets for now, or should that be, got ? (for the sake of the next line, ask yourself,  “Why got?”)

Why ‘got’? , you may ask. Well, put simply we’ve found a way to combine Top Trumps and Brentford familiar faces aswell as making something for Harry’s birthday in early June. In no way affiliated with the club, a bespoke pack of bona-fide Top Trumps has been created… 

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Way too much spare time at the moment. Who fancies a game?

‘Griffin Park Favourites’, made by the Top Trumps people, features everyone from Jumper man and Harry Potter to Bjorn Norbee and Buzzette. Top brass Matthew and Cliff jostle for position with famous faces Natalie and Adam. In traditional fashion, there’s even a ‘Super Trump’ – Peter: The Voice of Griffin Park.

The five categories have been selected as : Bees Fan Rating ; Twitter Followers ; Longevity ; Charm ; ITK level. Each of the characters has their own potted bio and mostly fictional scores. Much as it would have been more accurate to rate everybody at 100, the game would then have gone on for longer than Keith Stroud induced injury time.

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Familiar faces abound

You can’t buy these in the shops. Only a handful of packs exist but aside from H’s birthday present, one other is available. Regular sufferers of my Twitter feed may be aware we did an Absolute Radio pack in the last couple of weeks and they raised a quite incredible £152 for the NHS. Whilst I’d be amazed if these even get in to double figures, if you would like them then I’m putting an eBay charity auction up..now. 

You can find it here and 100% of the cash received will go to Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, albeit these have not been created in conjunction (or with awareness of) the club. If Mr. Benham is reading, don’t sue me please – Lockdown has been stressful enough.

Whilst one can only imagine the audience for these is somewhat limited,  if you would like the chance to own an extremely limited pack (aswell as finding out if Gerhard is more charming than Claire, who comes out on top between Buzz and Buzzette and who wins the battle of the Billys: Reeves v Grant) then here you go….

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Nick Bruzon

 

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