By Stewart Weir
And the FA Cup takes centre stage south of the border with a mixture of ties and replays to decide who would progress through to the fragmented quarter-final draw, and a place in the last ten. No, I know that doesn’t sound right.
Live Saturday early evening viewing on all ITV regions (except for viewers in Scotland on council telly as you lot should have been going to see your local team even though they weren’t playing on Saturday and STV don’t show any Scottish domestic matches anyway) was Manchester United, managed by a Scot, Sir Alex Ferguson, against non-League Crawley, led by another from these parts, Steve Evans.
Stop there for a second. But does anyone else think there is something of the Freddie Starrs about Evans?
Continuing, and Fergie was not best-pleased after his side’s efforts in only managing a 1-0 win. While others would take that result and move on, a win is not a win in Ferguson’s eyes if you fail to put the likes of Crawley in their place.
Ferguson had of course been a cheerier wee soul beforehand, saying how he would welcome Starr, I mean Evans, who had brought along a special bottle of red wine as a gift for the Knight, hoping he would be offered the chance to commune in the presence of the oh so great one.
Sir Alex nodded his way through the pre-match platitudes, saying that Crawley would be given every respect on their Cup Final day.
What did irk him, was the interviewer’s assertion that “and of course, this is a match-up between two Glaswegians.”
“Naw, no he’s not … he’s from a wee village on the outskirts of Glasgow [Cambuslang to be exact],” said the Govan boy. Nothing like showing all of England how parochial us welcoming Scots can be
I read with some interest (which is more than I will do with his threatened tome) that the British Olympic diver Tom Daley has signed a megabucks deal to write his autobiography – at the age of just 16. Maybe crayons will be included.
But what has he done at that age? What will the chapters be: Almost Drowning For The First Time, Santa – The Truth, Hair, Where! and Spots?
I can’t imagine it will be terribly honest either. Who’s going to go into detail about how they were always tired as a 13-year-old, not because of the training regime but because masturbating four times a day really takes it out of you. Not to mention being embarrassing if you are standing on top of the ten-metre board.
Still, Penguin (the publishers, and not some teen fantasy) aim to bring out the youngster’s life story in spring 2012, three months before the London Olympics start.
So sales of the book won’t be affected if he fails to make a splash …
Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting loses half his match fee after being found guilty of taking out his frustrations on the dressing room TV following his run-out for just 28 against Zimbabwe.
While Australia won in the end, Ponting was the financial loser after it was reported he’s broken the telly by throwing his gloves at it. In addition to his fine, he also offered to replace the damaged item.
Never nice to see someone like Ponting joining the John Logie Baird Memorial Club, which of course was set up for sportsmen who had shown particular venom either in or through (or should that be threw) televisions. I think Graeme Souness is still their president.
“When Ponting was run out, he was perhaps frustrated. He threw his gloves straight at the TV,” Gujarat Cricket Association secretary Rajesh Patel said. “It was an LCD TV, which was properly damaged. We could not view anything.”
That was before they found out it wasn’t connected to a satellite dish …
It’s all about the numbers today when the Olympic Velodrome in London is opened.
Apparently It took a team of 26 carpenters eight weeks to install the Siberian pine track and more than 350,000 nails were used on its 56km of timber surface.
I’m thinking these are the same chippies that did the flooring in my house, 56 kilometres of wood for a 250m track. A bit of waste there I think.
But no. The whole 23-month Velodrome project cost £94 million – which is on time and under budget.
This was on the same day MPs deliver a scathing report on waste by the Ministry of Defence who had cost the taxpayer a staggering £8 billion after cancelling the Nimrod and Sentinel reconnaissance aircraft and an overspend on the Eurofighter/Typhoon order.
Now, far be it for me to suggest such a thing, but, maybe if the Olympic purse-holders had been in charge of the military purse, then we might have got the planes we needed, to a cost, and on time – handily ignoring they were constructed out of Siberian timber and pedal-powered.
Cancelling any sporting event has a knock-on effect somewhere.
Anyone who has ever tried to return a thousand pies back to the local bakery when a fitba match has been frozen off will empathise with Formula One Management picking up the tab for the cancelation of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Formula One Management is Bernie Ecclestone’s business, where all empathy ends.
Bahrain was to have been the first round of the 2011 world F1 championship, but civil unrest meant the race was put off in the meantime, or for all time. It’s difficult to gauge civil unrest.
And the cost of cancelling that race? Around $40 million. That’s a lot of pies in any currency.
And still in the Middle East, it is reported that the royal family of Qatar is preparing a fresh £1.5billion bid for Manchester United after the Glazers (who don’t do new PVC windows) rejected an earlier offer.
It appears the Americans have already knocked back £1bn, and are holding out for a figure closer to £1.8bn, give or take a few pies. The royal family of Qatar is preparing a fresh £1.5bn bid for Manchester United after the Glazers rejected an earlier offer.
Compare that to the £20 million United “sold” for in 1989. Of course, it didn’t sell, because the deal struck by Isle of Man-based property tycoon Michael Knighton fell through when his financial backers backed out.
So he bought Carlisle United instead. And those bankers have never regretted their decision since – much …
Former Celt Aiden McGeady may have turned his back on Scotland. But indirectly he could have ensured Scotland two Champions League places from 2012/13.
His Europa League goal meant Spartak Moscow beat Basle on aggregate, a result likely to keep Scotland ahead of Switzerland in coefficient rankings.
Of course, every single Scots football fan will be grateful for McGeady’s contribution. Not.
Because others will point to the fact that Maurice Edu is responsible for keeping Scotland ahead in that particular race thanks to his late, late goal for Rangers against Sporting Lisbon.
Indeed, that goal was so late, that there were several dozen re-writes made by those covering the game. But none had to work as quickly as the moderators on BBC’s soon-to-be-scrapped 606 forum.
A certain Alfonso1234 – a Celtic fan on the Rangers board – thought it would be clever to have a pop at Gers fans, stating that they now wouldn’t have the excuse of paying too many games when their team lost the SPL title.
Unfortunately for Alfonso1234 (presumably a pseudonym, although there is no guarantee of that), his barb remark came seconds before Edu’s dramatic equaliser. And once it was up, there was no taking it down.
Texts and emails flew around the nation as poor Alfonso was ridiculed, pilloried and abused to such an extent that BBC’s mods had to take every reference of the poor man off their site, as shown in this (broken) link www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A81798871.
I have to say, the great majority of the comments were hugely funny, the best arguably being; “If Carlsberg Did Premature Ejaculation …” – which even gained praise from Celtic supporters!