So far I’ve resisted the temptation to do any postings at all on Strictly CD; so much candidate material but the knighthood for the stumbling, bumbling old goat Forsyth has done it for me nor for X Factor – I’ve just had too much of that highly-processed sausage machine for talentless wannabees. But after 4 weeks still no blogs on the Rugby World Cup; the project I was brought back into BT to handle in 1999 and, in doing so, had the best time of my career. I must have written more about the 2003 and 2007 tournaments than I ever did about my first love football but 12 years on what’s not grabbed me?
Well is it just me or does anybody else, who is a big sports fan generally, really think that a lot of sports are just, well, rubbish. Take speedway; what is its appeal? Guy on bike with no brakes gets to first corner in the lead and invariably wins race. Race after race after race. Ten-pin bowling; watch the pro guys do it and every bowl is aimed right, spins in left and hits centre pin for a strike or 9 pins down, spare to follow. Bowl after endless bowl.
Well if you’re a football fan from N London it’s been quite a couple of days. I’m amused by the thought that Joe Jordan and Gattuso’s real disagreement could have been about which win was the better; Tottenham’s 1-0 victory over AC Milan at the San Siro or last night’s home victory by Arsenal over the mighty Barcelona. It’s a real poser eh. Both games were cracking adverts f0r the strength and quality within the Premiership but both results were a little unexpected if I was being honest.
Have you ever seen Premiership managers Avram Grant and Gerard Houllier on the same touchline? Of course not because they are one and the same person. Foreign, misunderstood and unloved by their English peers and the club fans alike. They both have a disliking for the English winter weather, cloaking themselves in the largest club puffa jackets and scarves (occasionally thrown into the crowd), spookily both in claret and blue! Same hang-dog expressions caused no doubt by the constant rumours that their jobs are on the line. One works for a Randy Lerner; the other for a randy expert.Both haunted by the spectre of that bloody Martin O’Neill !!!
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.
We had friends round yesterday for a late and lazy lunch. I haven’t drunk as much wine in ages and today I’ve felt pretty jaded to be honest. But first thing this morning I checked out the BBC sport website to find out how things worked out at the Open. I was rather hoping to find that Ross Fisher had won it and had had to miss the presentation ceremony to dash to be at his wife’s side as she was about to have a baby. It would have made for some great headlines – ‘Birth of an Open Champion’ and all that. And if Fisher hadn’t won it then I would have been almost as happy to see fellow Englishman Lee Westwood win his first Open. But if truth be told I was kind of hoping to read that Tom Watson had defied sporting logic to win his 6th Open at the age of 59.
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