Archive for the ‘sport’ Category
That’s the word that sums up the Olympics for me. It’s what we heard the athletes saying again and again. It’s what their performances amounted to. It was the enthusiasm and support of the crowd. It’s what was achieved in grand style by those who organised and ran this extraordinary celebration of human endeavour.
One of my most vivid memories will be of switching on the television for the news each morning at 7.00am, then finding the tears streaming down my face even before I’d properly woken up. As each of the previous day’s triumphs were relived so the heroes were paraded on the breakfast TV sofa. Also, as I’ve travelled to the country on several occasions I was so, so proud for Jamaica. I can just imagine how their sprinters’ achievements were celebrated at home. I am in huge admiration of the respect that Usain Bolt and Johann Blake showed for other countries’ national anthems, even stopping TV interviews when the flags were raised. Both of them also sang their own anthem with unashamed pride, something I wish more of our athletes had managed.
Britain is truly great. The games and our achievements at them prove that. We exceed every reasonable expectation that we could have of ourselves. That is why we have such a proud history, why we are the leaders that we continue to be and why we hold a place in the world out of all proportion to our size and resources.
That our athletes and those who train and organise them can achieve so much sheds a very harsh light on those that now run our government and economy. Today we are let down by leaders who are pygmies compared to the giants that have made Britain great.
The British people can achieve the unbelievable. All we need are the leaders to show us the way. If we replaced the 29 members of the cabinet with our 29 gold medal winners I think we might do far better.
After the overpaid, uncouth and unpleasant men of the Premier League have destroyed my interest in football, it is a delight to see our girls going great guns at the Olympics.
They represent exactly what the venal and self-obsessed men are missing. They express their talent with joy and sincerity and it is wonderful entertainment.
Theresa May and James Brokenshire must go. The absolute disgrace, the shambles over Olympics security should see them both on the dole tomorrow.
Ms May is the most empty-headed minister I have known in my lifetime. Where she came from, why she has reached such high office, what skills or value she has brought to government is a mystery.
Brokenshire is the nastiest, most vicious and unpleasant junior minister ever. He’s an ex-banker and has held charge over the government’s delusional, head in the clouds drugs policy with exactly the arrogance and irresponsibility that suggests. He sank to the nadir of his career when he claimed that the adulteration of street cocaine had reached record levels and this was a huge success. This in the full knowledge that the Serious Organised Crime Agency records the adulterants used in cocaine are more harmful than cocaine itself.
If there is a war on drugs then Brokenshire is a war criminal.
Both of them are worse than useless.
I hate football.
But I love international sport, whatever it is. When the hearts and souls of nations are concerned then it becomes an uplifting and enthralling experience.
It is acceptable, almost healthy to despise the Germans in sport, even if we have a sneaking admiration for their efficiency and strength.
The Italians are deceptive and cowardly when we are playing them but artists, expressing great flare and style when beating the Germans as they did so gloriously tonight!
Truly, international sport is an excellent replacement for war. We should get the Iranians to the ping pong table.
What I noticed was that before the game, every Italian player sang his heart out with his anthem while the Germans were less than enthusiastic.
Football is so much better when it behaves like rugby.
This is the new, ultra hip, super cool sport for happenin’ dudes, dudesses and their doggies.
Started on the Dorset coast in the autumn of 2010, it has finally brought together the noble traditions of dog walking, singing in the rain and mad, British malarkey. Contrasted with the idea that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, this is the sport where only bonkers Brits and adventurous dogs go out in a torrential storm.
You’ve never been really wet until you’ve been Extreme Dog Walking. When the rain has been blown past horizontal, round to vertical but going upwards, then you begin to get a flavour of this exciting and challenging sport. When you have to walk with your face turned away from the stinging shotgun pellets that are rain drops while the dogs whimper and scuttle about your feet, only then will you begin to understand the determination, courage and true grit necessary to survive and succeed in this competition to end all competitions. Far below the sea can just be seen as a seething mass of whitewater. As the squalls come in the whole environment darkens and the gale force winds thrash and tangle at hat and clothing. Even with the air temperature at 17 C, the rain makes your hands freeze and your face smart. All you can do is call the dogs on, put your head down, gird your loins, steel your determination and go forth into the turbulence. There is no option to stop. It is as far to go on as it is to retreat. Forwards is the only option. Onwards to the end, to glory and glorious triumph!
As in all such endurance events the best bit is when it stops. A first layer of saturated “waterproofs” is peeled off and then the dogs are towelled down. Then off come the boots, often with gushes of water as each one is removed. Finally, right down to the underwear, each soaking layer is removed and the steam begins to rise. Then we begin to yarn, to talk of how every gust seemed bigger than the last. To boast of how we just made it through when all seemed lost, how we nearly got caught by that “gnarly” one, how we feel so “stoked” and “trashed” by our experience. Then we sit around in our “baggies”, drinking beer and smokin’ weed, knowing that we know what others never can, knowing that up there in them thar hills is where we feel really alive, where our sport of Extreme Dog Walking makes life worthwhile!
What a wonderful performance in Barcelona. Jessica is a delight in every way, a formidable lady of determination, strength and courage. She is so tiny yet so huge in spirit and presence. She will be the star of London 2012.
And a spectacular performance by the whole British athletics team. Perhaps, for once, we have got our timing right. It looks like we’re heading for the most fantastic celebration in London 2012.
I’ve hated football for 20 years or more now. With the World Cup I’ve finally come to understand why. English football is rubbish. It’s been corrupted and destroyed by an incurable cancer of money and venality. English football players are overpaid ponces, whores and playthings for foreign potentates. They cannot play the game anymore. They stand around worried that they’ll make a mistake, that they’ll bruise their poor little knees, fracture some obscure little bone in their foot or that their orange-painted slag will run off with their best mate while they’re training. They seem much more concerned about getting their name in the newspaper than on the scoresheet.
I do remember a rare glimpse of sanity in this crazy world when a year or so ago the great Bobby Charlton apologised for the £80 million pound transfer fee for Ronaldo and described it as “vulgar”. He had that absolutely right. Screaming and curling into the top corner from 40 yards in the last minute of extra time right.
I’ve just watched the most riveting, scintillating, magical game of football between Spain and Germany. It reminds me how much I used to love the game and how much I and other British sports lovers are losing out. It was a joy. I saw beauty there in the poetic movement and interplay. There is nothing beautiful about the English game.
In 1970-71, when I was 13, I was lucky enough to attend every home game at Highbury stadium.
Arsenal won the double that year and Bob Wilson was my hero. I played in goal too and even today I still treasure that special camaraderie between goalkeepers. Even as I’ve lost interest in the game I’ve still retained that love hate relationship with the most important position on the pitch. I’ve been angered and bemused once again at the inane remarks of commentators. Only occasionally do they compliment a goalie or even understand what it involves . Usually it’s either a “blunder” or an “easy save” or “straight at him”. Don’t they realise that it was “straight at him” because he was in the right place to begin with. There’s no such thing as an easy save. Bob Wilson used to have a reputation as an “unspectacular” goalie – because he was almost always there before the ball arrived! There are no excuses when you’re a goalkeeper.
There isn’t any passion in the English game anymore. I don’t think they know what it is. Passion for that bunch of losers is what you get in a lap dancing bar – innit bruv? There’s very little pride either. Even at its very best football can never compete with rugby as a real sport so when the BBC had the audacity to hijack Invictus and try to apply some of it’s wonderful, uplifting qualities to the English football team – well, I was just disgusted.
The Spain Germany game was wonderful and I expect the final will be too. The Spanish were inspired and fluent. The wonderful Xavi is a powerful symbol of how useless the English chavs are. The multiracial German team was a redemptive lesson for us all. They were proud, positive and every colour of the rainbow. Schweinsteiger, the archetypal aryan stormtrooper, strong, fearless and utterly reliable. These players are so talented they don’t need to feign fouls or injury. They just get on with the job – beautifully.
So the World Cup has been a very big but very pleasant surprise for me. I’d fallen victim to the propaganda that the Premier League is the best football in the world but that’s been proven to be a great big lie. It might be the richest league but that’s exactly what has ruined the game.
As a Welshman, for me nothing will ever come close to rugby. I’m glad I’ve found pleasure in football again but English football has finally proved itself to be the very worst football in the world.