Orientitis... it's an Orient thing

- the OSJAs


Each month,Orientitis... it's an Orient thing awards the Orientitis Services to Journalism Award (OSJA) to a local paper.  The winning journal will have achieved one of the following feats in the qualifying month:

The OSJAs are, of course, hotly contested by the local papers, who strive to reach new levels of inaccuracy every month.  However, the judges' decision is final.

October 2001

A very strong field, but the deserved winners were the Hackney Gazette - the first paper to win three OSJAs in a row.

By the 19th October, Tommy Taylor had finally gone.  A tear-stained tribute to his 5 years at Orient contained this classic: "...there were more highs than lows during the Taylor years..."   Orient are currently in their longest spell in the bottom division since it was invented.  They got there under Pat Holland and stayed there under Taylor - one long, long low.

September 2001

Only one candidate this month: the Hackney Gazette.

After almost five years of complete failure, Brisbane Road rang to the sound of "TAYLOR OUT" as Orient were outclassed by Luton.  However, the 27th September Gazette commented: "The way the crowd turned on Tuesday night was surely a little premature."   Perhaps they'd suggest that we give Tommy another five years?

August 2001

In a very close contest, the eventual winner was the Hackney Gazette.

The 24th August edition described Steve Castle as: "An experienced campaigner who won't let you down."   He's done nothing but let Orient down since the day he came back.  Retire now, Steve, while some of us still remember you the way you were.

July 2001

A clear winner this month: the Yellow Advertiser.

The 25th July edition quoted Steve Castle on his testimonial match v Spurs: "I am obviously very pleased with the turnout tonight.  I'd like to thank the fans for their support."   That's fine, except that they somehow managed to forget to mention that it was his testimonial, leaving the quote looking a bit peculiar.

June 2001

A weak field this month.   The winner, for the first time, was the Ilford Recorder.

The 28th June edition looked back at last season, claiming that Orient: "came close to claiming some Premiership scalps in the cup competitions."  That is simply untrue.  The O's were never ahead against either Spurs or Newcastle and didn't even have a single decent chance against the north London posers.

May 2001

A very strong field this month, with numerous ridiculous errors.  However, the late winner, for sheer poor judgement, was the Waltham Forest Guardian.

We'd just lost the play-off Final to Blackpool, and the Guardian decided to do a 'picture special' in their 31st May edition.  Unfortunately, someone thought it would be a good idea to use several of the pictures on an 'If Only...' page, with spoof captions imagining Orient had won, taken tens of thousands of fans to the game and played brilliantly.  It just wasn't what Orient fans wanted to see in their local paper after the misery of defeat at the last hurdle.

April 2001

The obvious winner this month, for the first time, was the Waltham Forest Guardian.

Before the home match v Cheltenham, the 26th April edition said: "Orient still need one point to be guaranteed a play-off place..."  The O's got the point, but still needed another point to be sure of the play-offs.  Sheer sloppy reporting.

March 2001

A difficult decision for the judges, with three papers weighing in with factual errors.  In the end, the worthy winner was, once again, the Hackney Gazette.

In their 15th March edition, the Gazette mentioned a few injuries and the odd suspension in the run up to the game at Shrewsbury.  Tommy Taylor still had about 30 or so players to choose from, but the Gazette managed this toe-curlingly sycophantic line: "One huge problem for the O's boss at the moment is trying to field a side for Saturday."

February 2001

Only one real contender this month: the Hackney Gazette.

It was the 1st February.   Tommy Taylor was desperately trying to bring in new strikers from anywhere he could - on loan, permanently, anything - because of the awful form of Chris Tate and Steve Watts.  However, the Gazette chose to see things this way: "Tate has been in hot competition with Steve Watts for the right to partner Carl Griffiths in attack."

January 2001

A fantastic win for the Yellow Advertiser.

It came from their 4th January edition.  Orient had drawn Tottenham Hotspur at home in the FA Cup.  The whole place was buzzing at the thought of having the chance to beat our illustrious near-neighbours.  Fans queued on New Year's Day to buy tickets.  Special arrangements were made, with extra stewards and even police horses coming to Brisbane Road.  It was a sell-out.  As fans, players and officials of the Club anticipated the big match the following weekend, the Advertiser came out with this spectacular statement: "The next O's game will be at home to Blackpool on Saturday."

Latest news from the local papers is in Balls from the box.