All 14 entries tagged Sport

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February 07, 2009

Today's players are defecating on cricket's history

First it was the pedalo.

Then it was the awful Stanford Cup.

Then Pietersen/Moores, soon to be made into a film starring Michael Sheen.

Now it’s the Indian Premier League.

English cricket’s gone bad.

If you didn’t see this week’s auction of players, have a look. It makes the money-grabbing antics of football look perfectly reasonable. There’s something quite wrong about players being fought over by rich benefactors in the lovechild of a Christie’s selling room and a press conference.

And as for the suggestion that players should somehow share the cash with their poor colleagues back in Blighty? Pffff… Ha…! No chance. These selfish players and their WAGS need the money for more holidays. Although, of course, cricket is just one long holiday already. When did the England team last play a league match in England?

Football gets criticised for being ostentatious, overblown and ruined by commercialism. But at least it started in the boardroom.

Cricket’s new obsession with money is being driven almost solely by the players.


December 09, 2008

Up the Thames without a paddle

The organisers of the Boat Race look a bit silly now that ITV has, not altogether surprisingly, lost interest in broadcasting it.

They sneakily fled the BBC back in 2004, in order to try and cash in on greater sponsorship opportunities (oh, and more money).

Now, ITV’s said it’s bored of the race, which doesn’t fit with its football, football and boxing approach to sport.

It’ll almost certainly go back to the Beeb.

Barney Ronay at the Guardian reckons it shouldn’t though. He says:

Taken purely as a sporting event it’s not immediately clear why the BBC would have any interest in broadcasting the race. The perception that the crews themselves are a bunch of itinerant third-raters may be out of date; but this is still not a spectacle that demands, on its merits, to be broadcast live on terrestrial TV.

Maybe this is true.

But then it’s also true of ‘International Bowls’, the Great North Run, cross country horse prancing (I’m going to get a kick from the missus for that one), and if we’re honest, any kind of rowing full-stop.

And yet, how many millions stayed up until 2am to watch Pinsent and Redgrave?

How many millions watch the London Marathon as if it’s not just pictures of sweaty people jogging?

TV sport has never been about showing events that are entertaining or exciting. Just look at bowls.

At least in its brevity, the Boat Race offers a Red Bull shot of sporting aggression and 100% effort.

Which is more than can be said for darts.


June 10, 2007

Brilliant

Lewis Hamilton on his way to victoryLewis Hamilton’s first F1 win was almost overshadowed by the incredible action elsewhere on the track. Kubica is apparently fine after a horror crash, and the safety car was called out four times. One driver even managed to crash under the safety car…

But Hamilton’s win won’t be forgotten. From his lightning quick qualifying lap to his superb composure under almost stop-go conditions in the race, he was brilliant.

After a third place, four seconds and his first win, it’s no exaggeration to say that Hamilton has a shot at being the British Schumacher. Button was talked up in his first season as being a future Champion, but Hamilton is in another league altogther.

He’s currently 1/4 favourite to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year. He could retire from every race remaining this season and still be the most credible contender for that prize.


May 30, 2007

35lbs of wool… up a big hill

More at www.tetburyonline.co.uk


April 11, 2007

Strangled at Birth?

Are you an insomniac, unemployed sports fan? Good! Because there’s a new TV show that seems to be just for you!

BBC News has for months been working on a sports news show, now called Inside Sport. It’s probably going to be a little bit like a UK-focused Trans World Sport, and it sounds great.

Except the schedulers have stuck it precisely where no-one’s going to watch it: Monday, 11pm.

Probably the least exciting night of the week when it comes to sport, and after the weekend newspapers have come out with their beefy sports sections. Not to mention it’s ludicrously late for a weeknight. What’s wrong with 10.35pm, straight after the news? Or at 10pm on BBC Two?

There’ll be a daytime repeat, but that’s six days later, on Sunday morning. When, er… people are still in bed. You’d think they don’t want anyone to watch it.

P.S. Irony note: Mihir Bose left his Telegraph column to become BBC Sports Editor. His column’s name? ‘Inside Sports’.


February 28, 2007

I've invented a new sport.

Details will be released once patents are in place. All I’ll say is that it’s like domesticated volleyball.


January 14, 2007

It ain't over till the fat darts player sings!

Dart boardIt was a televisual Easter Sunday. It made Martin Luther King look like Mickey Mouse. It was the dawn of a new era for man. They’ll be re-writing the bible for this.

Yes, that’s right. It was that big. The fat, beer-swilling Martin Adams beat the fat, beer-swilling Phil Nixon in the biggest sporting event since the 1966 World Cup, the Lakeside World Darts Championships.

The hyperbole was so thick I thought I was going to drown. The tension was so stark that the players’ wives looked set to divorce them at any minute. The commentators were so cliched I thought Jim Bowen, Steve Irwin and Bob Monkhouse would all, implausibly, appear on screen.

Adams was 6 frames to 0 ahead when Nixon took the next six frames himself! It all came down to the thirteenth, decisive frame.

The United Nations stopped work to watch this climax of Earth’s existence. And then… ADAMS TOOK IT!!!!

I’ve never seen the allure of darts. But the coverage on BBC Two was so hilarious, so over-the-top, so utterly daft, it was essential viewing. Tonight’s spectacle was so immense it’ll surely be retold for generations to come.


January 11, 2007

Posh is wearing the trousers then

Victoria Beckham. In trousers (Prada presumably). The news that David Beckham is to move to the (ahem…) prestigious LA Galaxy team tells us who is the dominant partner in his marriage.

Presumably the Madrid shopping scene was a little too… Spanish? for Victoria and she’s demanded a transfer. Seriously, you’d think she was the one playing football.

The Daily Telegraph sports writer, Chris Davies said of the move: “The LA lifestyle would suit Posh but (for a player) it’s an elephant’s graveyard. If you go there you might as well sign off and claim your pension.”

Sure, David will get a heap of money. Although not much more than if he’d stayed where he was. And ignore “the deal’s reportedly worth £128m” that you’ll see in the press. After tax it’ll be worth little more than half that.

I can see why David wouldn’t want to play in England again. [bias] Nothing can top Manchester United. [/bias] But I find it hard to believe there weren’t more challenges for him on the continent.

In his own mind, I suspect David’s logic is that if anyone can make football popular in America, it’s him. He might have a point. If he’d done it four years ago. Instead, he’s more likely to make himself appear wet as he has the occasional injury in front of the home team who demand a bit more manliness from their sports stars than we do over here.

What Beckham should have done was branched out a bit further. Imagine how much money he’d make from

David Beckham’s Bare-Knuckle Boxing

or

David Beckham’s Extreme Tasering Championships

I know I’d pay to watch. We’ve seen him look like a bit of a wimp for over ten years now, and it’s high time he invented himself. Instead he’s done what Victoria’s told him so she can further her own career. In shopping.

Edit: Just found some interesting information in the very lengthy press release. 19 Entertainment is Beckham’s agent, who are better known for bringing us Pop Idol, S Club 7, oh, and the Spice Girls.

“This historic partnership [that’s what they’re calling Beckham’s transfer] with 19 Entertainment and CAA Sports will also create tremendous and exciting new opportunities for us to collectively develop additional worldwide initiatives,” Leiweke continued. “The synergies created with 19 Entertainment, the worldwide leaders in branding and imaging along with CAA Sports, the premier sports representation agency will result in numerous new and profitable ventures.”

So there’s more to this than meets the eye then…


January 06, 2007

Ideas above their station

Macclesfield travel to Stamford Bridge for their FA Cup tie with Chelsea today.

We’re the form team going into this game, and this is an amazing opportunity.

Surprisingly, that’s the view of the Macclesfield goalkeeper, Tommy Lee.

Relevant factoids: Macclesfield are second from bottom in Division Two. Chelsea are second from top in the Premiership. There’s 88 places between them.


December 11, 2006

A question of sport

Question. Does anyone actually like Ashley Cole? Please identify yourself in the comments. No, not you Cheryl.

Let this extract from his recent book help you:

“Ash! Are you listening?” said a virtually hyperventilating Jonathan [his agent]. “I’m here in the office and David Dein [Arsenal Vice-Chairman] is saying they aren’t going to give you £60k a week. They’ve agreed £55k and this is their best and final offer. Are you happy with that?” When I heard Jonathan (Barnett) repeat the figure of £55k, I nearly swerved off the road. “He is taking the piss, Jonathan!” I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed. I was trembling with anger. I couldn’t believe what I’d heard. I suppose it all started to fall apart for me from then on. I’d trusted Mr Dein to push the deal through.


November 27, 2006

British Sport: An Annus Horribilis?

Name one British sportsperson who has had an outstanding year.

You can’t, can you? Looking down the list of contenders for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, you begin to realise that there’s either been a dearth of major sporting events this year, or we’ve just been crap at them.

  • According to the betting, Darren Clarke is the current favourite. This is the golfer who, in the four major tournaments this year, came 22nd, 56th, didn’t make the cut in the third and didn’t play in the fourth. Yes, he won the Ryder Cup, but aren’t we making more of that tournament than is appropriate? I think his nomination is only because of the death of his wife, which while tragic, surely isn’t reason enough to give him this award?

  • Zara Phillips is second favourite. She’s now the Eventing World Champion, but aren’t we clutching at straws to say that’s the best achievement of the sporting year?
  • Joe Calzaghe is third. He added the IBF Super Middleweight Championship to his WBO title. Whoop-de-do.
  • Beth Tweddle is fourth. She’s the World Champion at “Uneven Bars”.
  • Andy Murray is fifth. His main achievement is being more exciting than David Coulthard. But that’s not hard.
  • Monty Panesar is sixth. He wasn’t good enough to be picked to play in the Ashes. Steve Harmison was. Enough said, I think.

But my personal choice for sports personality for 2006 is….... David Walliams at 40/1. Which I think says all you need to know about the state of British sport at the moment.


November 22, 2006

What should Ian Thorpe do next?

Ian Thorpe, Synchronised Swimmer?The five-times Olympic Gold Medallist, Ian Thorpe, has announced his retirement at the age of 24...

So with all those years left to fill, what should he do next?

  • Synchronised swimming? Judging by the photo on the right, he’s got the legs for it and might just be able to make it cool.
  • Penguin lookalike? With his size 17 feet, he could definitely pull it off.
  • Broadcasting? Arguably he’s a bit of a pretty boy…

Any other ideas?


November 05, 2006

A cold Sunday afternoon

Our central heating has broken.

The boiler seems to have cracked under the pressure of doing its job (i.e. heating the house) and has leaked all over its electrics. It’s the boiler equivalent of pissing your pants.

Last night was pretty hellish, and I was in bed until midday today, fearing my toes might have fallen off in the night. Thankfully there was none of that post-Halloween gore. I did find an electric heater hidden away upstairs so today has been a bit more bearable. I’m now using the trusty alcohol to keep me warm.

I’ve been listening to a great day of sport on the wireless. First the West Ham v Arsenal game (isn’t Wenger a nob?), then the England v NZ rugby game (I don’t understand rugby), and I’m listening to the last few minutes of the brilliant Tottenham v Chelsea game. Spurs are winning 2-1 with ninety seconds to go. I really hope Mourinho’s mugs don’t get a goal…

And the final whistle’s gone! The first time Spurs have beaten Chelsea in 16 years, and even though I’m not a big Spurs fan, this is a fantastic result for the football fan. Ooh, I almost feel a couple of degrees warmer.


March 08, 2006

Varsity Day

So what if the weather's going to be miserable!?

You don't need to go and watch rugby in the soaking wet!

Listen to Varsity Day LIVE on RaW 1251AM

RaW will have coverage of every single match, with reporters at every pitch, all drawn together by RaW's Pete Swan. Join him and Rob Stevens from 2pm today for full coverage of the biggest day in the University sporting calendar, plus a chance to win a free pizza from Domino's.

2pm - 5pm
RaW 1251AM – Listen Online


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