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“…. respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them…”

By Mike Cunningham On April 4th, 2012 at 5:04 pm

When I occasionally gaze through the Weekend Financial Times and Magazine, I am usually guaranteed a session of incisive writing and journalism, with articles written clearly and without the cant which infects many of the mainstream newspapers. So when I spotted an op-ed piece which featured Linford Christie together with the sub-title ‘gardening’, I presumed that the FT would be doing its usual thorough job, edited of course for the online edition, on the life and hobbies of a former sprinter.

But I was mistaken about the thorough job which I presumed would have been completed upon this former ‘idol’ who had been ‘an example’ to so many youngsters. Yes, he tells of the possibilities lost because he commenced his athletic career late in life; true, he talks lovingly about the effect that gardening had had upon his life, and the lives of his family. He talks movingly about how he would put his gardening boots on immediately he returned home from a meeting.

But I said I was mistaken about the FT doing its usual job,; because the story never mentioned the one hundred times the normal dosage of Nandrolone which was found in a routine blood sample taken from Christie after a race in Dortmund. He didn’t have to prove anything in racing, he had already retired, but he wanted to show he was still a winner, and so the steroids.

Its a pity about the Christie piece concerning gardening, because if the drugs scandal had even just been mentioned, no-one would have taken the slightest bit of notice; because after all, what harm can be done by telling the truth?

What was that phrase I was searching for?

By Mike Cunningham On March 20th, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Newcastle United striker Nile Ranger was arrested by police on Monday night outside a Tyneside casino.

The 20-year-old is currently on bail awaiting trial at Newcastle Crown Court in June on assault charges.

Ranger appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court where he was again granted bail with the same conditions.

The song? Where have all the flowers gone? And the Phrase? When will they ever learn?

As usual….

By Mike Cunningham On March 18th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I find I am at a loss when attempting to write on the subject of Fabrice Muamba, who apparently had a heart attack when playing football in a F.A. Cup Match yesterday.

The simple truth is of course that he is a just a man who has been gifted with a certain ability to kick a leather ball, but from reading all the gushing headlines, as well as listening to all the codswallop on the sporting sections of the news programmes, one would probably be mistaken if one assumed that here was a leading politician, or a world leader, or some other ludicrous title.

I heard one ‘supporter’ state that he was in tears as he watched the stretcher being carried off, and again I just don’t get it! After all, although it may be sad that this young man has suffered a life-threatening condition, and will, if he recovers, not be playing for many months, the only people who have any real right to be ‘saddened and shocked’ by his collapse are his immediate family. If I collapsed with a similar condition, my immediate family would be involved, hopefully they would support and comfort my wife, but I wouldn’t expect floral tributes at my front gate. But what do we see when a ‘footballer’ gets laid low?  This:-

 

 

As an afterthought, I would repeat the information gleaned from a BBC report which stated, with absolutely no idea of the sheer lunacy of the words spoken that “he was only fourteen and spoke absolutely no English, when his parents arrived in London as ASYLUM SEEKERS after leaving their home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; which of course is only 3960 miles distant from the British capital.

ATW FRIDAY NIGHT JUKEBOX PARTS TWO AND THREE

By Pete Moore On March 16th, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Because Friday night’s Music Night: swing low …

Excuse me for muscling in, but this is an important weekend. It’s an important weekend because tomorrow England’s fine rugby chaps welcome Ireland’s fine rugby chaps to Twickenham, whereupon they’ll ruin St Patrick’s Day for’em by handing out a thrashing and may the best team win. Who’ll win? Dunno, it’s a very close match up. I think England will edge the set pieces while Ireland’s back row will have the breakdowns. Then it’s a case of who makes best use of the ball. So let’s kick off with a lovely old English folk tune. There are many versions and a few different names for it. This one’s ‘The Bold Grenadier’

Or you might like Luke Kelly’s diddled up version, ‘The Nightingale’

England by five. Or maybe Ireland by five. No idea really, just can’t call it.

HOW TO RUIN YOUR SATURDAY NIGHT

By Pete Moore On February 11th, 2012 at 8:10 pm

A great capital city, £300m on a modern, flagship national stadium … and no undersoil heating.

Great work fellas.

Bah.

THE CRUCIBLE OF THE DAMNED

By David Vance On February 2nd, 2012 at 8:51 am

I’m sure you will have read about the violence that has resulted in more than 70 people being killed in a Port Said stadium in the worst outbreak of football violence in Egyptian history. Time will provide us with the precise causes behind this atrocious violence but the fact is that one set of fans engaged with another set of fans with the intent of killing them. How barbaric is that?

This savagery is not restricted to Egypt by any means and here in the UK one often sees pure hatred in the eyes of one group of fans for those who support a rival team. All kinds of atrocious chants are made, racist and homophobic jeering is all too frequent, and intolerance is the name of the game.

Why is FOOTBALL so afflicted with this almost universal hatred? I have attended many other sporting events in many places around the world but Football stands out as the crucible of the damned on the terraces. Is there a problem with the fans? It is called the game of the working class but are a section of them also the violent class? Is there an issue with the standard of behaviour of the players on the field? There can be nothing sadder than a fan dying for his team but this has happened too often, in too many places, to see this as a one-off.

Football has become a bloated money making machine. Sportsmanship seems almost the exception with cheating on the pitch a constant feature. What can be done about this sport which seems to bring out the very worst in human behaviour?

KING HENRY

By Pete Moore On January 9th, 2012 at 10:02 pm

The bones are old and creaking, but there’s no mistaking that classic slide into the far corner. Thierry Henry, the Premiership’s greatest player, the greatest player on these shores since George Best, is back, and the Gunners are through to the next round of the FA Cup.

Get in …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y8jZlXPyf4

REVENGE OF THE LITTL’UN

By Pete Moore On December 3rd, 2011 at 8:51 pm

One of the greats retired from international rugby today.

Shane Williams bowed out against Australia in Cardiff today. The little wizard had it all: timing, burning pace, balance, instinct, good hands, a deadly sidestep and fight. The best British winger I’ve seen. How good? The best Welsh winger since the great Gerald Davies according to Jonathan Davies on the BBC this afternoon. His tally of 58 tries in 85 intenationals, twice a Lion and 2008 World Player of the Year is all the more remarkable when you consider he was once told by Graham Henry, then coach of Wales, that he’s too small and would never make it in test rugby.

Fittingly he bowed out with a try in the final minute of his last appearance in typical style. Lurking in the backline, sensing the opportunity, he receives, draws the defender, a dart and shimmy and the centre’s grasping thin air. Williams in for the score. Magic stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zqwws8pF5Rc

Sport & Buggery; strange bedfellows!

By Mike Cunningham On November 6th, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Yet another ‘sporting hero’ is shortly to bite the dust. American football’s Penn State’s ‘defensive co-ordinator’, Jerry Sandusky is the name of the man who is accused of the sexual abuse of at least fifteen young boys. Youngsters who were enrolled in the ‘Second Mile Foundation’, a programme for troubled kids, were allegedly targeted by this ‘pillar of the community’ over a period of fifteen years.

But the truly awful aspect of this case is that at least two people reported signs of this abuse to their superiors, as well as the parents of one child, and ALL OF THIS WAS SWEPT UNDER THE CARPET. Dismissed because  the reputation of the College was more important than the innocence of kids who were already vulnerable!

Remind you of any particular organisation?

THE SCARY GREEN MONSTER

By Pete Moore On September 17th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

AUSTRALIA 6 : 15 IRELAND

Did you see it? What a game that was, and what an effort by the Irish pack. The tight five were monstrous. Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross, Donncha O’Callaghan and Paul O’Connell, take a bow. Shoving from behind, Sean O’Brien was massive while Stephen Ferris provided the moment of the World Cup so far when he picked up Will Genia and ran him back over the Aussie 22 line. Top stuff.

Remember, this is a well fancied Australia team with an all star backline, and the Irish gave them a biffing, reminding the rugby world that it doesn’t matter how good you are if you can’t get the ball and a bunch of fat boys run over you when you do. The All Blacks might have bagged 198 tries against Japan the other day and there weren’t any tries in this game but was dull choreography while this was genuinely great stuff. I just wonder where this team goes for most of the year. They took up from where they left off aganst England back in March. Since then Ireland has lost every game. Declan Kidney ought to tell them they’re playing England or Australia more often. It was Northern Hemisphere rugby at it’s best: biff’em, win the ball, biff’em again, run over’em, biff’em again and .. ah go on Paul, biff’em again. What fun over the bacon and eggs.

Right, off to a wedding. Must behave.