Archive for October 2009
I can’t think what appalling revelation Andre Agassi is going to come with up next, but the confession that his luxuriant barnet was in fact a wig will take some beating. Happily it gives me the excuse to show this baffling but brilliant clip again in which Agassi attempts to show his rebellious side by advertising a popular brand of camera.
And what was once a shot of a cool dude razzing down the Vegas Strip while stroking his impressive mane now becomes one of a desperate man clinging on to his hairpiece while cursing the foolhardy purchase of a convertible.
While we are entertained by this clip, we should remember all the ponies that were involuntarily shaved in the making of it.
It’s not easy being an elderly cricketer these days. The bonus scheme that the ECB has introduced to encourage the counties to blood younger talent has worked to the disadvantage of the game’s more decrepit professionals. The ECB may as well have built up a scrap heap outside the gates to Lords and invite thirtysomething cricketers to fling themselves on it.
And now further ignominy has been piled on as the ECB has decided that a team of these rejects will be entered into next season’s 40-over league. I’m not sure if someone forgot to unhide a column in the tournament format spreadsheet at headquarters or more likely they made the wrong assumption that Ireland wanted to participate (of course they’re way too big-time now), but it seems utterly bizarre.
We now have a team selected from players without full county contracts. They are currently called the Recreational XI, but that is soon to change because the ECB have run a competition for the public to suggest new names. Which is good because only drugs and playgrounds should be recreational.
One wonders what entries have landed in the ECB inbox: the Life’s Losers XI, the Thirteenth Men, the Leper Colony. I for one hope they triumph next year. It’ll be like the plot of Dodgeball. With Giles Clarke in the Vince Vaughan role.
I reckon Andre Agassi is a bit like that kid at school who asked everybody to call him Spliffo because he smoked so much doobie where in fact he had only done it once and was immediately sick into a dustbin. Agassi is now claiming he nostrilled up some crystal meths and lied to the doping agency and never liked tennis anyway. Sure Agassi was a bit crazy in his younger days with his rocking-horse hair and short-lived refusal to wear pristine whites at Wimbledon. As tennis rebellion goes even Tiger Tim could do better. At least he twatted a ballgirl in the face.
And as this clip shows, Agassi has spent a career trying to persuade everybody he’s really cool. And failing. You’re not fooling anyone Andre.
People who inhabit the world of football like to make a fuss about trivial things so it is surprising that it has taken until now for the current swine flu craze to take hold. And now some bod at the Health Protection Agency has warned that the virus might spread quicker among footballers because they are forever lurging up on the pitch.
Regular readers of this blog (sorry, regular reader – my little sister) will know that I quite often make comparisons between current sporting affairs and events from my own experience. I think it’s a regressional thing. Anyway, I contracted meningitis about seven years ago. It was the rubbish semi-skimmed version that makes you feel permanently hungover, rather than the vicious strand that can kill you.
My mum convinced me that I had contracted it from eating too many kebabs. Her theory was that my local kebab shop operatives almost certainly didn’t follow prescribed hygiene procedures and I had probably been dining out on raw sewage for most of my university career.
All of which was enough to turn me off kebabs completely. My mum just thought I was fat, and was using her maternal wiles to encourage some weight loss in her porky son. And it worked. Almost. I discovered many years later that you can buy a very tasty and clean doner in a restaurant in Stoke Newington.
So obviously the team at the HPA, like most of us, is repulsed at the sight of footballers constantly coughing up greenies and have cooked up some spurious health risk to make them stop. Now all we need is for some expert to tell them they’ll contract HIV if they carry on diving.
I’ve been losing sleep about this picture of Robert Huth, being forced to stay up all night betting online.
You would have thought that having made a lovely bloody mess of Matthew Upson’s face the Stoke defender would at least display some flicker of an emotional response: concern, remorse maybe, even glee. But no. Nothing.
The only explanation is that Huth is the result of a little overenthusiatic vorsprung durch technik. He is obviously the part of some sinister Germanic plan to engineer a new national side from leftover parts of BMWs.
Someone needs to check the wiring.
There seem to be a lot of substandard young foreign players at Liverpool this season. But it’s fair to say that they’ve established a tradition over the last decade of bringing through players from abroad that are very obviously not of the requisite quality. It’s been a long legion of gawky teenagers who look more like confused exchange students than Premiership starlets. Biscan, Le Tallec, Sinama-Pongolle, Nunez are names that provide a small sample of the register.
Lucas Leiva is the flagbearer of the current vanguard, the pin-up boy of a thousand dartboards across Merseyside. He appears to have no discernible talents, except that he is quite good at kicking things. His reputation seems entirely built on his previous job as captain of the Brazilian Under-20 side, although I speculate that that fact may have been falsely added to Lucas’ CV when he sent it off to Rafa Benitez. We’ve all done it.
Lucas actually bears a suspicious similarity to Craig Bellamy. Which leads me to think that he isn’t Brazilian at all, but just a chancer from the Valleys with a forged Brazilian passport. I think John Toshack should be told.
I think the below clip answers a lot of questions asked by most cricket fans that have a passing interest in athletics. Whenever I watch Usain Bolt break another world record I can’t help wonder what would happen if he had a ball in his hand and he was heading very rapidly towards Asad Rauf. I have the same thoughts about most people from the Caribbean. I reckon Rihanna might be a rangy opening batsman.
And now I’ve got confirmation about Bolt’s cricketing prowess. He’s awesome. Obviously. Perhaps my favourite part of this footage is the sight of Bolt and Gayle walking off smiling like the two West Indian legends that they are. With a small man holding a polysterene cup.
When did Britain get so good at gymnastics? I remember a time when the sport was dominated by tiny Chinese acrobats on the run from the circus and suspicious girlbots from Eastern Europe.
Us plucky Brits would show up, maybe unfurl a textbook roly-poly and then finish off their routine by standing up nice and straight with arms in the air. For some reason it is very important in gymnastics to end up looking like you’re doing a ’Y’ in an enthusiastically rigid YMCA dance. We were very good at that. But we never won anything. Except maybe an appearance on Blue Peter and all the kudos attached to it.
But now we’re amazing. I don’t really know why. Maybe they’re putting pommel horses alongside the swings in playgrounds these days. I have no idea. I don’t tend to hang around playgrounds much nowadays. Beth Tweddle looks young enough to still have a jolly good time on a swing. Apparently she might retire before the 2012 Olympics. She wants to spend more time with her My Little Pony.
I was going to write about David Beckham today but it was with some dejection that I realised that nothing I could say about his performance last night could be more apposite than Fabio Capello’s comparison of his man-of-the match award to Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. Wry, topical and bang on the mark. From now on this blog will consist only of verbatim transcriptions of Capello utterances. It’s better that way.