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ATW RUGBY WORLD CUP PREVIEW

By Pete Moore On September 8th, 2011 at 7:15 pm

We’re almost there. Tomorrow morning (0930) the All Blacks get things going against Tonga and the world asks: can England’s much loved rugger chaps do it? We’ll come to that.

This then is the ATW preview featuring the main runners and riders as well as Ireland and Wales. You’ll notice that, like most of the teams I played, it’s ill thought and alcohol fuelled. Let’s hope for a proper game to get things going. You never know, with competing hakas we might even get a punch up before the first whistle. That would be marvelous.

Preview and predictions below the fold:

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blades…of carbon fibre; or shaving?

By Mike Cunningham On September 1st, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I write today of on two combined topics, one of which I understand very little, and the other a fair bit. I wish to discuss openness, and argument, and that most tricky of ideas, if you get special treatment; what about everyone else’s right to get that same treatment?

I have written only once before on a ‘sporting’ topic, and landed both David and myself in hot and deep water because I didn’t know the difference between ‘special’ and ‘ordinary’ Olympics that I hesitated to try once again, but since most of you already accept that ignorance is a virtue, I thought I’d give it another try!

In sport, it usually is all about ability, then training, then motivation. Whether in football, rugby, cricket, baseball (or rounders, if you prefer the English version), even American football, which comes complete with more body-armour than the average Star Wars Imperial Guard, the competitor is judged on whether he plays as part of a team, and that is how it should be. The pressure is subtly different on individual activities, such as athletics, cycling, swimming, where there are team competitions, but usually between individuals striving to be the best. Apart from those whose successes are chemical-based, the majority of athletes compete totally on their individual abilities, on training, on their will to win. Personally, I just don’t get it, this urge to ‘be the best’, to win at any price; there are always the pretty things, the cash, the girls or the men, the baubles which are awarded those who triumph; but there again, not too many people are like me.

I wrote that I would speak of openness, and the first name on my very short list is that of Oscar Pistorius, the South African who refused to acknowledge the very word ‘disabled’, and set out to prove that he was as good as any other runner, even though he didn’t have all the equipment usually required of runners, namely legs. Technology ‘stepped in’, if you will excuse the pun, and Oscar comes equipped with flexible carbon fibre blades attached to his upper thighs, blazing a trail through disabled track meetings. Here comes the problem, because Oscar wishes to compete, and indeed does so in ‘able-bodied’ events. The simple truth about our Oscar is that because he is so open; well one could say that he would be hard-pressed to camouflage those high-tech legs, he should be allowed to compete on merit. His relay team race in Daegu came third, and against competition such as the Americans, that was not a bad result at all. One of his opposition athletes even stated that he had ‘no problems’ competing with the carbon fibre-equipped South African.

There is, however, no signs of that same ‘openness’ when it comes to Oscar’s fellow South African, Caster Semenya. This athlete sprang on to the world stage giving supercharged performances and blowing her opposition into the dust, which is where the problem commences. Her performances were, in many eyes, too good to be true; and the problem is that many of those eyes are on the same track as hers. There have been tests, and checks, and leaks of those results; but all the opposing athletes are told is, ‘she is qualified to run, end of questions’. Now there are just too many queries, too many voices, to allow her, if Semenya qualifies to hold the title of ‘her’, to go on without many more opposing voices speaking out. To quote one of her track opponents.  “For me, she is not a woman,” and as long as those sentiments are expressed, the opposition to her running as a woman will continue.

It is true that in these days of gender reassignment technology, the choice is hers, but the feeling still holds that while she may have female sex organs, she also might well have strong hermaphroditic tendencies as well. She bulks up as a man does. She has many of the same characteristics as a man, such as broad shoulders and a tapering physique, but her Grandma mutters, ‘she is a girl, and I ought to know!’

As one Lesbian commentator stated, “Perhaps her commitment should be taken as one more step towards the removal of sex as a barrier in competition?”, and folks; perhaps her view is just as valid as mine!

Dictator? Nonsense! Thief and Fraudster?

By Mike Cunningham On July 28th, 2011 at 9:01 am

 

Sepp Blatter, he of the FIFA flag and rolled-up $100 dollar bills, states that he is no ‘Dictator‘!

 

He doesn’t state what he is, however, so we have to guess!

but it is all so peaceful!

By Mike Cunningham On June 8th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

FIA boss Jean Todt ( no relation whatsoever to the Infamous Nazi labour organisation, naturally) says FIA sent a representative to Bahrain to find out the truth about the ‘Unrest’ in that Oil-rich island off the Saudi coastline.

“Vice-president Carlos Gracia, our special envoy had many meetings in Bahrain, even with the human rights people,” said Todt.

“He found a stable situation, a quiet one, and we unanimously agreed that the Bahrain F1 should be reinstated.”

Todt added: “Carlos’s report was discussed by the World Council and the decision was taken to accept to re-programme the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2011.

“We got a request from the opposition to the government to run the event and Carlos met with many people, including those working on the circuit, those in all the suburbs of the capital, and the report came back after that.

Trouble is, Carlos Gracia doesn’t even speak English, never mind Arabic, so he had to rely on ‘Translators’ for all his meetings, even to the discussions with the Opposition’, as well as the ‘Human rights people’ so one does wonder what else could go wrong?

 

And now we find what else has gone wrong, the RULES of the FIA include the overlooked article 66 of its own sporting code, which says that no amendments can be made to the arrangements for a championship after entries open without the agreement of all competitors.

We shall now all pause for thirty seconds, during which Bernie waves goodbye to the $14 million he was due to scrape off the blood-soaked circuit. We shall also hold at least one finger aloft for Max Mosley who, despite being generally rather sad, got it right when he said that the Bahrain F1 race would not and should not be re-instated!

 

BBC World Exclusive!

By Mike Cunningham On June 7th, 2011 at 8:32 am

I can record that a BBC Today interviewer, in a live debate, with ground-breaking audacity, asked a truly relevant and pointed question without any Left-wing slant or editorial content at all!

Sheikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa, head of the Bahraini Economic Development Board was being asked to rebut Max Mosley’s comments that the Bahrain F1 race should and would not be held. Sheikh Mohammed stated that sport, and especially F1, was a unifying force, and after the “difficult time”, political progress was ‘being discussed’ and there was a need to come back to normality.

The BBC man then asked “Wouldn’t it be better for Sport to wait until the the ‘political progress’ has been achieved, and a proper calm has been restored to everyone’s satisfaction, and then the F1 race can take place without any of the worries and doubts expressed by your opposition?”

From Sheikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa came little in the way of a reply, or confidence, or anything. “Just trust us,” was the call. Yep, and see what trust has done in the past!

Injunctions R’ Us stands down

By Mike Cunningham On June 5th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

The alleged ‘Family Man’ footballer who gained a super-injunction against damaging stories about an affair with a Big Brother slapper has some fresh explanations to tell his long-suffering (or alternatively deaf, dumb, stupid and blind) spouse.

Seems he has been battering away at his BROTHER’S wife for 8 years, without too much remorse, or worry, or even threats of litigation.

Rumours of a quick visit to Schillings, the media lawyers with an eye for’ super-injunctions’ while you wait have been denied by Schillings themselves, who are rumoured to have kicked the lying clown out of the back door, while stating, “Yep, we usually can do something to protect a client’s reputation; but in your case you just don’t have one any more. Bye”

The Judge who usually slotted the injunctions in before lunch was heard to remark, “Cor,r,r,r,r,r,r,”

Boycott was Irish, but is now Bahraini

By Mike Cunningham On June 3rd, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Bahrain gets its Formula One fix back.

 

Is it, as Bernie denied, a question of cash, as he and his F1 bunch would have lost $14 million?

Or is it a simple caving in to a bunch of murderous Arabs who don’t give two shits for Democracy, or Freedom, but do care about their bloody image!

Who’ll join me in calling for the Bahrain Boycott?

GUTTED, TREVOR

By Pete Moore On May 29th, 2011 at 11:46 am

I cannot begin to describe how disappointed I am at Manure’s spanking by Barcelona last night. Well, yes I can: not very. To see the pain of defeat on the faces of Shrek, Giggs, Ferdinand, Evra and the rest of that charming bunch is worth the price of a tv licence alone, apparently. Cheer for the English team? Get of out of town, this is club football, patriotism doesn’t come into it.

Not that I’m completely delighted to see the Catalan chavs party on the Wembley pitch, but being a fan means you cannot dodge the ancient and noble art of choosing which of two other teams you dislike more. Best team ever? They’re not bad, but I’d refer those falling for the hype to Ajax, Bayern Munich and AC Milan of previous years first. Milan’s 4-0 crushing of Barca in the 1994 Final, when a Barca managed by Cruyff and loaded with Romario, Stoichkov, Bakero, Guardiola and Koeman went in warm favourites and emerged tormented by brilliance, is still the finest 90 minutes I’ve seen.

Still, they’re not bad. Defeat by the mighty Gunners in February was clearly a learning experience …

So.o.o.o.o.o. Great!

By Mike Cunningham On May 28th, 2011 at 10:55 pm

And here is the only news worth reading, care of your friendly BBC.

And it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving bunch of nit-wits and  overpaid clowns!

Why am I so happy, despite knowing as little as possible about either the sport or the losing team?

Simple. Anything which upsets the Scotsman with the largest ego this side of the International Date Line is okay by me!

Truth above all?

By Mike Cunningham On April 5th, 2011 at 8:48 am

Thieves were reported to have returned 894 stolen tickets for the FA Cup semi-final match between the two Manchester clubs.

Two statements have been made about the theft, and subsequent return of the tickets.

  • The police issued a statement about the unusual occurrence. The note accompanying the returned tickets was reported to read, “These are useless to us. They are all at the wrong end of the pitch!”
  • A second statement, contradicting the first, was made anonymously over the phone to a BBC reporter, which said, “We are returning these because we wish to protest at the unjust and totally unfounded suspension of Wayne Rooney, for speaking the same language on the pitch as he uses every minute of the day. He was simply protesting at the failed macro- and micro-economic policies of the Coalition Government, in an exchange of views with a team-mate, and the camera simply picked up the tail end of his measured and prepared statement!”