Well not only is the year drawing to a close but so is the first decade of the 21st century. It doesn’t seem like 10 years since we were at Geoff and Maureen’s Millenium night party smiling at the thought of all those New Labour ligggers queuing up to get into the Dome. On a personal basis it’s been quite a time for us; we saw two daughters happily married and welcomed two great grandsons into the family, we lost Carol’s mum and Terry from my family as well as several friends sadly but also experienced living in Italy after leaving BT following more than 30 years with the company. Some great memories but I was thinking about some of the sporting highlights in the last decade.
You’ve got to hand it to David Beckham; he’s the only footballer I know who has played for the biggest clubs in the world’s leading leagues. After his spells with Man Utd in the Premiership and Real Madrid in La Liga, yesterday he completed the perfect set by signing for AC Milan in Serie A. In the meantime he’s also picked up over 100 international caps, the majority as England’s captain. Pity about the LA Galaxy thing but I suppose that if he also pulls off the trick of single-handedly convincing the American sports fan to at last embrace the world’s greatest game, then you could say he’s had a bit of an impact on the game. Continue reading
Have you read today about a new musical which is opening down under this week? Incredibly it’s about the life of Australian spin bowler Shane Warne, or ‘Warnie’ as he is affectionately known by Bruce and Sheila. You’d think that a musical celebrating anything to do with cricket, even one about the greatest spin bowler ever (well, from Melbourne), might be a little humdrum but this is supposed to be a hoot. It’s less to do with his cricketing skills and everything to do with his love of food, bleached hair (and subsequent hair transplants), shagging women other than his wife, cheesey flirty texting, pill popping, sledging, illegal Indian bookies, smoking and boozing. Yep an everyday tale about yer average Ozzie bloke. Except this one’s famous and, as the Carling ad might put it, probably the best (ie only) liked Australian cricketer outside Kangaland. Warnie himself thinks it’s an outrage but it sounds outrageously good fun to me and I’d love to see it. Continue reading
This is just a short posting about last night’s England game v France. I didn’t see the match over here in Italy, unsurprisingly they were focused on the international against Spain. So I can’t comment as an eye-witness. But I have read a lot of online reports and been listening to UK radio all day so I can get a picture of how it went.
Is it just me or has the media world got its knickers in a right old twist over men’s underpants recently? It’s impossible to move through the pages, flick across the channels or tune across the stations without coming upon (I could have phrased that better) men’s undies. I’ve got to blame David Beckham for the recent spurt (I’ll try and stop sounding like Julian Clary in a minute) in interest in the last taboo of the male wardrobe. He had to go and pose like an Italian stallion in his Armani underpants displaying his six pack and his sex pack. Can you think of any other bloke who’d go and do that other than an image-obsessed model….and Freddie Lundberg, which is more or less the same thing.
Late last night I checked in by accident to the C5 coverage of this week’s exhibition match between Sydney FC and LA Galaxy played in front of 80,000 fans at Telstra Stadium. It ended up 5-3, a bit of a cracker despite the ‘friendly’ status of the match. David Beckham , who the bulk of the crowd had turned up to see, scored an absolute cracker of a free kick to bring the scores back to 3-2 at one point. He really does have incredible world-wide appeal. But the star of the show was probably Juninho who had a first half blinder, laying on two goals which gave Sydney a 3-0 half time lead.
Other than Rab C Nesbitt, I doubt it. It was never a good look; the thin stranded comb-over but it was distinctive. Not one to appeal to the ladies though I suspect. I know what you’re thinking – pots and kettles pp. I’m not just ‘challenged’ in the hair department, more like executed. But I don’t care. I saw something on MSN’s homepage which was a feature on memorable or trend-setting hairstyles. Lots of Americans I’d never heard of but several stand out examples – Jennifer Aniston’s long bob, Farrah Fawcett’s flick back, Marge Simpson’s beehive and two from the Sopranos – Paulie Walnuts’ silver wings and Syl’s 50’s quiff (which is actually a hairpiece, oh yes).
It’s great news that England is going to bid for the 2018 football World Cup. There was unseemly haste today to close the door on a UK bid which I think was a bit sad given the quality of the stadia and fan support in Scotland and Wales. But at last our sporting associations and the Gov are starting to believe in the benefits of such major events coming to the UK. First benefit – we wouldn’t have to qualify (and indirectly that would justify the FA’s decision to appoint McClaren as team manger). But jokes aside it is a good thing even though it will be extremely tough to win the decision with expected competition from Australia (the best ever-hosted Olympics under their belt), China (amazing stadia and proven Olympics -maybe!), Russia (huge resources and surely their turn to host something big), US (always put on a good revenue-delivering show and football still needs to establish a foothold post Beckham), Neths/Belgium joint bid (the perfect location for such a description!). Continue reading