Tag Archives: Sport

Hundreds Protest In London As Talentless And Unheroic Get Their Hands On Olympic Torch

Controversy hit the streets of London yesterday as hundreds arrived to protest against the decision to let faceless celebrity numbskulls carry the Olympic torch on the British leg of its journey to Beijing for the 2008 games.

Crowds massed in order to question the wisdom of allowing barely-famous non-personalities who have failed to ever display the talent or heroism associated with the legendary torch, to represent the nation as bearers on the occasion of its arrival in the UK.

Vocal enquries reportedly made by the crowds included “Who Are Ya?” and “Who The F**kin ‘Ell Are You?”.

One confused protestor actually made an attempt to rescue the torch thinking that its bearer was a thief, so unrecognisable was she as an appropriate personification of what the torch represents. The protestor explained: “I travelled 400 miles to see the torch carried by my hero, 5 times Olympic gold medallist Sir Steven Redgrave. Then I looked up and saw some random bird out of the crowd making off with it. I thought she was half-inching the Olympic torch! I had to do something!”

The protestor’s actions were not the only instance of confusion on the day. The crowd’s emotions went through extreme highs and lows and they watched the Olympic torch relayed between an 80-strong line-up of the heroic, courageous, talented, inspiring, vacuous, fly-by-night, morally empty, and limelight-seeking type.

Another protestor observed “I’ve never felt such mood swings in my life! One minute I’m watching Dame Kelly Holmes, and dreaming of one day emulating her double gold medal winning performance in Athens, then I’m daring to think that one day I too may become England’s greatest cricketer after seeing Kevin Pietersen. Just as I’m about to burst with all the inspiration on show, the torch gets passed to Denise Van Outen! Talk about being brought down to earth with a bump, I’m still feeling it this morning!”

This was to be a recurring theme throughout the torch’s journey, one moment in the hands of a champion, the next in those of a newsreader. The crowd’s failure to contain themselves quite understandable given the emotional rollercoaster ride they were given by the bizarre line-up.

When questioned about what the appearance of such wastes-of-space on this occasion meant for the London games in 2012, an official said: “The Olympic movement is about inclusion. We have to consider that not all young people out there may wish to achieve greatness in their lives. Some may wish to acquire wealth and fame by being a morally poisonous talent-vacuum, and doing a few magazine shoots.

“We in London think it’s very important to show the youngsters that there’s an achievable alternative to traditional ideas such as hard work. There may be those out there who are in agreement with Tina Turner that ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’. We must be seen to represent all views in society”.

Jamie.

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Filed under Athletics, Beijing 2008, Comment, IOC, Kelly Holmes, Olympics, Paralympics, Steven Redgrave

Trescothick retires from international cricket

It’s eerie how things can develop. After writing about the plight of Marcus Trescothick on here a few days ago, it seems that his “stress-related illness” has finally beaten him, and he has announced his retirement from international cricket.

“I have tried on numerous occasions to make it back to the international stage and it has proved a lot more difficult than I expected,” he told the Somerset website. “I want to extend my playing career for as long as possible and I no longer want to put myself through the questions and demands that go with trying to return to the England team.”

Judging from a disasterous (if somewhat exciting…) start to the final Test in Napier, his absence makes you wonder what impact it could have on the Test side. Pietersen, much discussed for adopting a “mature” batting style recently, went back to his old self. Without doing so, England could have lost the game before lunch.

Anyway, that’s irrelevant. As conceded in the previous post, all that matters is if he gets better. Hopefully he will, and Somerset will reap the benefits, as well as Tresco himself. He will be remembered as perhaps the most consistent batsman England have had over the last decade, with an average of 43.79 from his 76 Tests.

David.

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Filed under Cricket, ECB, England, Marcus Trescothick, News, Somerset, Sport

Always let your conscience be your guide.

And the key word in Jiminy Cricket’s famous piece of advice, is ‘always’. Unlike Steven Spielberg, whose conscience, it would seem, is allowed to guide him at fairly random intervals.

For those who haven’t heard yet, Spielberg has resigned from his job as artistic adviser for the Beijing Olympics, on the grounds that China is not doing enough to prevent human rights atrocities in Sudan, of whom China is an “ally” (which means they buy lots of oil off them).

Spielberg’s astonishing declaration included the following:

“I find that my conscience will not allow me to continue business as usual

“At this point, my time and energy must be spent not on Olympic ceremonies, but on doing all I can to help bring an end to the unspeakable crimes against humanity that continue to be committed in Darfur”

So, Spielberg has resigned on an issue of human rights, that much is abundantly clear. I am surely not the only one then, who is at this moment rather curious about the answer to the following question:

WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU DOING  TAKING MONEY FROM THE CHINESE IN THE FIRST PLACE YOU SELF-RIGHTEOUS PILLOCK?

Care to clear that one up for us Stevie boy?

Jamie.

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Filed under Beijing 2008, Comment, IOC, News, Olympics, Opinion, Paralympics, Sport

Reality Bites

In a week where it seemed every discussion on football concerned off-field matters, it was nice to see the game come back yesterday with a healthy dose of realism. Whether it be lunatic plans to turn the Premiership into a U2 tour, or hyperbolic panic over whether lost legends would be appropriately commemorated, it seemed to have slipped everyone’s mind that it is what takes place on the field that keeps us, as fans, so attached.

I experienced a slight feeling of surprise that a match actually took place at all in yesterday’s Manchester derby, such was the speculation surrounding it’s unique preamble. Yet once the whistle went, it didn’t take long before I, as a football fan, and a neutral on this most partizan of occasions, was back in the place I know best, a place I could feel comfortable again.

Having taken in the parades, the mascots, the adapted kits, and the wonderfully observed (much to my surprise, I must admit) minute’s silence, this match, far from being weighed down by any emotional baggage, instantly became a classic tactical battle that could have been played out in any era of the game – one that was won, hands down, by Manchester City’s Sven Goran Eriksson.

Manchester United could probably have been forgiven for believing that things would go their way in this match, given the massive wave of sympathy that flowed in their favour, but City turned up with a spot-on attitude and a classic underdog’s gameplan, and upset both the script and the odds.

It took around ten minutes for the game to settle into a pattern that was never really broken. All of a sudden, Manchester United found themselves banging their heads against the brick wall that was City’s five-man midfield, expertly marshalled by man-of-the-match Dietmar Hamann, a realist’s footballer if ever there was one. Any thoughts of the occasion were lost, as suddenly United found three crucial points in the Championship race drifting away from them.

Immediately afterwards, over at Stamford Bridge, the worldwide audience got a timely taste of just what could be coming in their direction in 2011. If they’ve got any sense or taste, they’ll be writing their letters of opposition in Kuala Lumpur right now.

Quite why Chelsea and Liverpool even bother to fulfil this fixture is a mystery to me, neither of them ever has any inclination to win it, so they might as well just take a point each and save us all the misery of sitting through the worst 90 minutes of the season. As dull, turgid, pointless, meaningless 0-0 draws go, this was up there with the best of them.

Between them the two sides mustered one solitary goalbound effort in the entire match – and that was a Peter Crouch header so tame that the big man could have picked himself up, made his way to the goal and saved it himself if he so wished.

My initial thought was that new rules ought to be brought in to enable these two to be docked points for this display. My second thought was that if some yank wants to walk on at the end of this, and insist the game be settled by a session of “added-time Multiball!”, then I for one would be in favour. Bring it on, it would actually be better than this.

Then I paused for a third thought. I realised that this was great. I had endured 90 minutes of total crap, but in a silly way that only hardened football fans can understand I had thoroughly enjoyed it. This was football reality, the game brought down to it’s bare bones, and a match that will bring absolutely no new converts to the game.

After this week’s insane proposals, it was exactly the sort of game that needed to be showcased to a worldwide audience. After all, if you’re going to market a product, then you must be honest with your customers about exactly what they’ll be letting themselves in for, so well done Premier League for not keeping the truth locked away.

Anyone watching Chelsea v Liverpool in one of the exotic locations the Premier League has lined up will surely now feel feel far more threatened by English Football coming their way than we feel by the idea of losing it.

A day that, if Sky Sports and the Premier League had had their way, was meant to be full of emotion, passion, and excitement ended up being dominated by arch-professionalism and heavy strategy. Good. It reassured me that you can take the football out of England, but you’ll never take England out of the football.

Jamie.

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Filed under Barclays Premier League, Chelsea FC, Comment, England, English Premier League, FA, Football, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Munich Air Disaster, Opinion, Sky, Soccer, Sport, Sven Goran Eriksson, Television

Award Nomination

In the first, and almost certainly last, of a new series, I would like to make a nomination for the award of stupidest booking of the season.

My nomination goes to Julian Bennett of Nottingham Forest.

During his side’s 2-1 defeat at Swindon yesterday, Bennett received a yellow card for inciting the opposition fans, a punishment given almost exclusively to players indulging in over-exuberant goal celebrations.

What actually happened was that a goalbound Swindon shot was prevented from crossing the line by a muddy patch in the six-yard box. Forest cleared it, but the referee’s attention became drawn to a rumpus behind the goal. Bennett, one of the Forest substitutes, had curtailed his warm-up routine to energetically celebrate Swindon’s misfortune infront of their own fans, thus causing a fight to break out.

Perhaps he thought he’d get away with it because the referee would be watching the game. Silly boy.

Jamie.

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Filed under Football, Football League, Nottingham Forest, Soccer, Swindon Town