spilling the beans

Have you caught the stuff in the press these last few days about those at the very top of our primary sports criticising each other? In the Sundays we saw both Lawrence Dallaglio and Mike Catt (both of whom I have lots of time for) criticising the England team manager Brain Ashton for his ineffective leadership during the RWC, in their autobiographies released now they have announced their retirements from the international game. This came on the heels of former England cricket team coach, Duncan Fletcher, announcing in his autobiography that his captain during the disastrous Ashes series, Freddy Flintoff, was irresponsibly pissed for much of the time. Continue reading


sorry chuck

It sounds very Lancashire but actually it’s an apology to Chuck Berry for plagiarising the wonderful lyrics to one of his greatest songs, Johnny B Goode, the sentiments of which are far dirtier than most people realise. But the song seems to be being played all over the media as a kind of hymn to Johnny Wilkinson aching for him to do something brilliant again tonight. I’ve just been to the shops to buy some bread and milk and bumped into the guy who used to cut my hair. He was already unbelievably excited (at 8.30 in the morning!) about the prospects tonight, as indeed was the lady behind the till. In seconds the whole shop joined in the chat and everyone was saying stuff like ‘Johnny can do it’ and ‘come on Johnny’. So here’s to you Mr Wilkinson:

(Final verse)

His mother told him ‘some day you will be a man’

And you will be the leader of a big old band

Of brothers wearing the white and the rose

Looking to you to drop the killer goals

Then we’ll know your name will be in lights

Singing Johnny be good tonight

Go, go

Go Johnny go

Go, go

Go Johnny go

Go, go

Johnny be your brilliant best!

Sentimental nonsense I know but I can’t think of anything sensible to write any longer. Swing low, aim true, sing hard and cry God for Johnny, England and St George. Come on England. Leave those Boks reeling and a-rocking.

p p

don’t cry for argentina, let’s welcome them

I don’t know a lot about the politics of world rugby (even though I was once hauled before the IRB at the end of RWC ’99 – you’ll just have to find the earlier posting) but I do know that Argentina have been a bloody revelation. It would seem that the Tri-Nations don’t want them in their tournament and they’re not exactly well-positioned to compete regularly with Japan and the Pacific Is teams. And playing against the USA and Canada wouldn’t exactly light their fire as an annual competition. So, is it just me but why shouldn’t we invite them to join the 6 Nations?

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England 2007: the movie

I was commenting today on Macinjay’s thoughts about the RWC ; M’s fairly sure that SA are the better side and will be victorious over England in the final. That’s fair enough and on paper he’s probably right but there’s magic in the air and an England victory, however unlikely, would make for an incredible sporting story. So incredible that I could imagine Hollywood picking up the scent and taking this bunch of seeming no-hopers and transferring them to the silver screen land of hope and glory….assuming they win of course! But I couldn’t help wondering what they’d call the film and who they’d cast in it….. Continue reading

England v South Africa… not again please

Looking forward to the big game in the RWC tonight England v S Africa? Not sure I am to be honest – they seem to be the rugby equivalent of Germany, our bogey team. Let’s face it the England cause is not helped by the absence of Vickery, Wilkinson and Barclay but at least we have Catty and Farrell at 10 and 12 or is it inside centre and outside half? And we’ll need their kicking skills too. Farrell I read has scored 7 points for Saracens with his boot since moving from RLeague. That should be troubling Percy Montgomery who has only scored 797 points at test level for S Africa. Continue reading

hooked on rugby (and its world cups!)

How great to see Argentina do Les Bleus last night. I’ve got a strange relationship with rugby union. I’ve never ever played it, nor even passed nor kicked a rugby ball and I still don’t understand the majority of its laws. Football’s always been my game. But at Cellnet in the late 80’s I was invited to my first match at Twickenham. One look round the west car park told me how affluent the rugby fan base was compared with football. We were involved in motorsport sponsorship but from those first impressions I figured that rugby might prove to be a better sporting association with which to market mobile phones. Let’s face it the only people who could realistically afford over £2000 for a phone which is what they cost then, were senior business guys and an awful lot of them were sat there singing ‘swing low’ (which by the way is truly dirgeful and would never get sung at a football ground). Continue reading