Tag Archives: world cup

Schadenfreude is my weakness

So there I was at the kids school on Saturday.  The Summer Fun Day providing another excuse for Master C to empty my pockets of change.  In walks a former work colleague of mine.  A guy who I knew pretty well when we worked together, he and his then girlfriend acted as witnesses at my wedding, we went to their wedding.  We lost touch after he moved to London to work, but bumped into one another on the train a while back.   He’d moved back up here to bring his kid up in Scotland.  He and his missus had moved into the same town as us, and his kid is at the same school as ours.  So far so good.  Anyway, to Saturday, and another woman walks in behind him.  She is introduced as his girlfriend and the conents of he pram she pushes, as his son.

I’m no prude, despite the fact that he was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met and probably would’ve been the last person I’d imagine in this situation, he’s there.  What went on in his marriage, I neither know, nor indeed care about.  What it got me thinking about was whether or not I’m a curse.

I’ve been to a fair number of weddings in my time, particlarly in the period since I got married.  The number of those marriages that are sill marriages is significantly lower.  I counted four that are still existant, and two of those are less than two years old.

Now, my marriage is far from perfect.  We have many issues to overome, and not so long ago, it wouldn’t have been too much of a stretch to see us split up.  We certainly don’t stay together for the tax breaks, but neither do I judge those who can’t make it work.  I just wonder, are we strange that we’ve managed to last almost 17 years?  Do we doom our friends to divorce by accepting their wedding invite?

Life eh?  What a tangled web it is….

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You may have noticed the World Cup is about to start.  I’m already getting world cup fatigue.  It’s a peculiarly British thing, and comes from the strange conflict between nation and union.  I use to be very much of the “Anyone But England” camp, but I like to think I’ve matured over the years, and from a strictly sports point of view, I reckon the whole of the UK could benefit from England winning the Cup and more especially the bid for hosting of 2018. 

Where I still fall down is with all the attendant hoopla, hype and general ill informed forgetful punditry.  Quotes like “The entire nation”, profligate use of “we”, the interminable corporate tie ins…..it goes on and on.  These are the reasons we non-English in Britain like to see it all go breasts skyward.  The shocked faces of the punditry teams, the near tearful voices of the commentators and of course all those hopelessly optimistic but now just funny confectionary wrappers.  It’s just reward for confusing England with Britain.

I’m boycotting Mars, Kellogs, Tesco and especially Carlsberg.  The last of these really should have more self respect, I mean, they’re Danish ffs, and Denmark are actually in the tournament!

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I’m conflicted.  Earlier this year I took the decision to stop playing cricket.  The club needs a scorer, i quite enjoy doing it and thought it would be the ideal means to scratch the cricket itch without putting my aging, overweight frame through the rigours of playing and training..

Due to circumstances I’ve not been anywhere near the club yet this season.  But, I’m home now, so that’s about to change.  The problem I have is that given the number of player losses over the winter, the club finds it’s playing resources stretched.  Our first team has lost 4 in a row, the seconds aren’t doing too well and the thirds, the time I was so recently a part of, have lost all 5 they’ve played so far.  Relegation is not an option, and I find it hard to resist the thought of “riding to the rescue”….until the rational brain kicks in.  I haven’t trained, I feel heavier than I did at seasons end last year, and to be brutally honest.  Bowling doesn’t look like the week link on the team.  They’ve held teams to decent totals and bowled sides out.  Run scoring seems to be the issue, and for me, a bat is for leaning on.  No, I should resist, I want to resist, I must resist…it’s the scorers hutch for me.

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Competition Time!

It’s the World Cup, and that means prediction time, in the interests of fundraising for RHC Lions cricket club.  Roll up, roll up, all welcome.

Join the prediction madness at:

Website:   http://www.sportguru.co.uk/worldcup
Pool code: gustmuse
Pool name: RHC Lions WC Predictions

It’s £5 to enter, simply drop me an email to confirm the details of how to pay.
Half of the entry fee goes to club funds, the rest into the prize pool.  Normally pay out is split such that 60% goes to the winner, 30% for the runner up and 10% to third.  This is however dependent on the total prize pool value.  If we have fewer than 12 entries it’ll be a winner take all prize.  13 to 19 entries will see us pay out to first and second on a 70/30 split.
Get predicting, get winning.  Sportguru is free to register and use.  I took part in a World Twenty20 pool on there and it’s straight forward to use.  Best of all, no spam from them since signing up.
Or the alternative version is available here (hopefully)….Fifa2010
email me on chappersp@gmail.com for a copy of the original excel sheet.

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Mass Effect?

So there I was, clearing out the bathroom cupboard, or rather the shelf with all my gubbins on it, when what should I find? No, not that packet of three bought when I was 16 (more in hope than expectation). They expired years ago.

It was a Lynx gift set. Must’ve been a Christmas gift as it’s not something I’d usually buy. Lynx, every teenage boys first stab at smelling sophisticated. “The Lynx Effect” isn’t that girls suddenly fall at your feet, knickers down and legs akimbo, no. It’s that impenetrable fug of toxic fumes left in the bathroom after it’s been liberally applied to the armpit. Stuff not even the German High Command would’ve sanctioned in 1915 goes into every can Lynx. The secret of where Saddam’s WMDs ended up? Look no further than the Lynx laboratory. He sold all his recipes to them. In a few months time, Lynx Persia will be released in his honour. Free moustache with every purchase.

Not that Lynx wearers are the worst culprits out there. There is a certain corner of female society that believe a bath in a bottle of perfume is somehow alluring. You know the ones, there’s one in every office. Leaves a vapour trail behind her that is almost in the visible spectrum. They get men, not by flirtatious behaviours and the power of personality, but by overpowering their senses, causing them to short out just long enough to be ensnared.

The only good news gentlemen is this, you can usually smell them coming and you can always tell where they’ve been, but beware, for many are now becoming cunning, and are starting their attacks from down wind.

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It would seem the union representing BA Cabin Crew is trying to go out of it’s way to lose public sympathy, even before the strike action begins. If reports are to be believed, they’ve taken the iconic ‘US Marines on Iwo Jima’ photograph of 1945 and photo shopped it to show cabin staff raising the union banner. Hmmm, fair enough, it was US Marines in a campaign that Britain had little part in, but, given the amount of transatlantic business BA do, and how revered this image is over in America, it’s not great PR for anyone.

I’m not a union member, and I’m not a BA employee, in fact I’ve never even flown with them, but I can’t help but wonder if these Cabin Crew will be happy to win their point of principle yet end up jobless as they bring an already struggling airline to it’s knees.

As the fishermen are learning, you can’t keep hauling the fish from the seas and expect there to be more there next time.

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So Canada’s ladies won the most protracted and pointless of the Winter Olympic events, the womens hockey. The fact that there only ever were two countries any good at it, and there are still only two countries any good at it somewhat leaves the identity of the finalists a foregone conclusion. If womens hockey is to remain an Olympic sport, and it will if only for reasons of sexual equality, it needs a revamp.

Canada and the USA should play each other in a best of five or best of seven series to decide the gold medal. The rest of the teams can play in a round robin format for the bronze. If nothing else, the 18-0 style results would disappear. It may also help the lesser countries improve without being demoralised twice a tournament.

On the men’s side, NHL Gruppenfuhrer, Gary Bettman, has done nothing to quell speculation that these will be the last games where NHL players will be involved. This would just be the latest in a long line of Bettman gaffes. The World Cup is no more, the World Championships suffer from being held at the same time as the NHL playoffs. People want to see the best players representing their national teams. The FIFA World Cup would be a whole other event if the squads were selected from non-league clubs.

The Olympics require a two week shutdown once every four years. It’s not that much of an imposition. The players like it, the fans like it, so lets keep it.

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5, 6, 7, 8, gonna make you mine, better get in line….

Tiger Woods eh?!? Playa!

They say there’s danger off the tee, but who know a fluffed drive could go so horribly wrong. The only big question left is whether or not his attempts at course design stop at nine holes, or did he have the stamina to complete a full 18 hole course?

The list of “conquests” so far include a porn starlet, a ‘$5 an hour’ waitress (makes a change from a $5000 an hour hooker), a clubber and a socialite. A clubber?? Presuming that’s not someone who makes a living in the baby seal industry, since when did clubber become a profession? How does one apply for such a post? Does it pay more than the opportunity to become another notch on a frustrated golfers 3-wood? I guess socialite is a rung further up the career ladder than clubber. Socialite’s get invited to parties, clubbers just crash them.

Golf has always seemed a bizarre game to me. It’s practitioners are lauded for their ability to get the ball from one manicured piece of turf to another. Where’s the challenge? ‘Extreme’ Golf is the way forward. Get in among the long stuff, where the dog turds, half bricks, used drug paraphernalia and discarded beer cans lurk. The sight of a few of the pampered professionals hacking their way out of some gorse bush, chased by an irate chav would make the sport so much more appealing. (That said, some of the bush Tiger has been hacking around in can only be described as extreme).

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Last Friday saw the borefest that is the World Cup draw made. It’s an extended festival of the dull, that even exceeds the National Lottery draw for pointless over extension. At least it ha Charlize Theron, there’s a woman who could make grass growing an interesting diversion.

England managed to get their hot ball in to the pots. Nice safe-ish draw for them. Quarter Finals is the minimum they should be achieving, sadly the competition will be spoiled on TV here with all the rampant jingoism and refusal to believe that it’s not England’s God given right to make at least the semi final, but moreover to win the competition. A dose of realism should be required for all commentators and pundits. Give us facts not blind optimism. Yes, England have a chance, and I’d like to see them go well, but, there are probably half a dozen teams in genuine contention to win the trophy.

There will be a World Cup prediction competition going up on these pages at some point between now and July…..

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Born Yesterday???

So, they’ve been advertising this http://www.skinnywater.co.uk/ on TV lately.  It’s low calorie water.  Yes, that’s right.  Low. Calorie.  Water.  That would be water, you know, that liquid stuff, comes from a tap, contains NO flavouring, NO fat, NO calories….

Nothing like a bit of cynical marketing, it’s straight out of the “women will buy anything if we tell them it’s low fat” book of selling.  What’s next?  Every home needing extra taps for full fat, skimmed and semi skimmed water?

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So England have made the World Cup.  Already the stories have circulated of how the players will only see the WAGS once a week, on the day after a game.  Isn’t that a little draconian?  Not to say very risky.  I mean, given how those footballers love a “roast”, and the rampancy of AIDS in South Africa, there’s a fair chance they’ll all come down with something nasty…please let it be John Terry first.

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