(Picture: Creative Commons from Wikipedia)
Goalkeepers scoring goals was once limited to a select few. As a kid I recall Pat Jennings of Spurs scoring against Manchester United’s Alex Stepney in the Charity Shield game in 1967 and Peter Shilton doing the same that year for Leicester City against Southampton’s Scottish goalie Campbell Forsyth. Twenty-five years ago, Andy Goram became a Hibs goalscorer, his long punt deceiving Morton’s Davie Wylie.
On Saturday, it was the turn of former Celtic No.1 Artur Boruc to play the fall guy when Stoke’s Asmir Begovic scored from about 87 yards against Southampton. Needless to say, it was wind assisted, and helped greatly by an outrageous bounce. But a goal just the same, one that catapulted the Begovic to joint-top Stoke scorer this season. Remember, one!
Begovic was loathed to take praise or plaudits for his goal, adhering to the Goalkeeper’s Union Code of Conduct, paragraph 27, sub-section eight, which states: “You shall not celebrate at any misfortune that may befall one of your own.” For the record, paragraph 27, sub-section nine says: “Because you might be next …”
Within the Goalkeeper’s Union Code of Conduct, there is a section covering injury and how, regardless of personal wellbeing and health, you shall play on regardless, especially after a head knock. The wording for this is found within two section, ‘Bravery’ and ‘Stupidity.’
When you consider the actions that have been taken within boxing around head injury, and more recently, the time and effort spent understanding and protecting rugby players from concussion and the after-effects, the actions of Lloris, the Spurs medical staff and manager Andre Villas-Boas to allow the Frenchman to play on appear foolhardy. No, says Villas-Boas, saying such talk is disrespectful to the Tottenham medical staff that helped save the life of Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba.
It might be an idea then for Spurs to rent out their medical staff for this season’s Six Nations, with the guarantee that no rugby player will be unavailable for selection or lost to concussion, or suffer long-term after-effects from head injuries. That’s not what Villas-Boas is saying? It is from here …
No one can say the SPFL haven’t been hard at it on the money making front. Just a month after naming Irn Bru the league’s official soft drink, a deal is struck with an online streaming provider to show 58 SPFL matches in China through PPLive TV.
A couple of things. Firstly, the £20m is part of a 10-year rights deal. So you can do the maths. Secondly, online streaming is not TV, therefore your potential audience is greatly reduced. This is something I know all about from past experience. So maybe not as extensive as some would have you believe. Still, First Minister Alex Salmond said it heralded “a bright future”.
He is of course the boss of Nicola Sturgeon, who said at the time of the World Cup draw called it “not bad.” You can perhaps see where my scepticism stems from …Tuesday
I read with interest that of Glasgow 2014 tickets sold this far, 57% have been bought by people living in Scotland, 40% from other parts of the United Kingdom and the remainder from non-Commonwealth countries, with tickets to Commonwealth nations coming from an additional pot.
But overall, 70% of the Glasgow 2014 tickets were made available to the public, while organisers reserved 9% for the Commonwealth Games associations and the Commonwealth Games Federation, sponsors and broadcast partners accounted for 8% and 7% of the tickets respectively, while one ticket in 20 was retained for “contingency” and 1% reserved for Games partners.
An interesting breakdown. But why deal in percentages rather than real numbers?
Because percentages are seldom challenged where true figures demand answers? Sorry, just that scepticism again ….
Former Hibs manager John Collins is behind Terry Butcher’s proposed switch from Inverness Caley Thistle to Easter Road. I never knew Collins disliked Butcher that much …
The recriminations about who started, and who was guilty of what in Amsterdam before and after Celtic’s Champions League clash against Ajax are in full swing.
As a journalist on such occasions, you write what you see. Video and photographs are not always reliable, either because of the editing or the context they are shown in. For football writers especially, being asked to comment on street violence is a thankless task, usually because you are miles away from the unwanted action. But in this world of instant access and comment through Twitter and Facebook, the legitimate excuse of ‘I didn’t see anything’ really wasn’t enough for some.
Some of my ilk were called blind, one-eyed, biased, even liars by those who believe that football journalists actually have access to satellite images, CCTV and helmet cams from around the globe whilst their actual job is trying to watch and write about Celtic scoring. Just because you are at a game doesn’t mean you know what’s happening through the wall behind you.
Take Manchester, May, 2008 and the UEFA Cup Final. It’s impossible for some to comprehend that I didn’t see any violence, rioting, hooliganism, police brutality or the likes that afternoon or evening. I was at the stadium from just after four in the afternoon, didn’t leave until midnight, and headed south, then north, to avoid motorway congestion. Yes, my desk had called to say there was trouble. But it wasn’t until the six o’clock news the following evening that I saw any evidence of trouble.
The fact it occurred for a few seconds only in the midst of a furious Celtic-Rangers clash, while trying to find out the name of Andy Goram’s sadly-departed ‘auntie’ and was really only viewable to those behind one goal, or to those tucked up nice and cosy in their warm office with access to Sky’s beautifully slow-motioned images (a) for impact and b) to actually have sufficient seconds to broadcast) was lost on some.
“What the f*** were you doing?” I was asked.
“Watching and writing about the game,” I replied.
Sorry, but I WAS doing my job.
Unacceptable to some then, just as ‘I saw nothing in Amsterdam’ is unacceptable to some today …
The morning after the night before is likely to have been the same as the morning before the night before for jump jockey Tony McCoy. In a time when the word ‘legend’ is tossed around too easily in every walk of life, but especially sport, ‘AP’ could wear that label and bar several times over.
Not many other than jockeys would keep their body at a skeletal weight for their sport, apart from perhaps boxers. McCoy’s diet of cups of tea, some jelly beans and ‘the odd’ bit of grilled fish or chicken means there is little in the way of flesh around his bones, let alone fat.
I have met him once. He is sporting royalty, but after a few minutes of handshakes and pleasantries he departed having made the invited assembly feeling like he was honoured to have met them. That really doesn’t happen too often in sport, particularly in the company of busy, top-of-their-form ‘legends.’
And did McCoy, like so many would have done, ponder how he was going to cash in? No, not a bit of it. Instead he McCoy phoned Sir Peter O’Sullevan, the legendary voice behind horse racing, to offer him the riding boots he had worn when claiming win No.4000 on Mountain Tune at Towcester.
Maybe McCoy hasn’t heard of Ebay. And maybe he hasn’t heard how superstars are supposed to act. A very grounded individual, except when it comes to cajoling a ton of horseflesh over jumps ….