Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Half empty

November 11, 2018 3 comments

I enjoy watching golf on telly far more than I ever did playing the silly game. But that enjoyment dims when Mark Roe is in the box. The man is a critic, not a commentator, expecting players to reach a standard that he never did himself, and slating them when they do not. He needs to listen and learn from the likes of Ewan Murray, Dougie Donnelly and Andrew Cotter.

Categories: Sport


November 7, 2018 Leave a comment
Categories: Sport

Not even then

October 31, 2018 Leave a comment

will Scotland qualify.

Categories: Sport

No tip

October 28, 2018 Leave a comment

The begged question is, how could four people run up a bar bill of £50,000 in a single evening? No wonder they were reluctant to pay up.

Categories: General, Sport


October 20, 2018 Leave a comment

I just heard that Mauricio Sarri, the Chelsea manager, used to be a banker. It makes me wonder if it might be worth giving Fred Goodwin a run in the Scotland job.

Categories: Sport


October 16, 2018 Leave a comment

Question: how many Portuguese speakers does Sky Sports have among its UK subscribers?

Supplementary: how extensive is the FA’s knowledge of what is and is not offensive in Portuguese?

The charges laid against Jose are based on lip-reading of something he said as he walked off the pitch after the last United home game. That begs another couple of questions. How many Portuguese speaking lip readers were consulted? If only one was used, what was their level of expertise? Finally, who really gives a porra?

I don’t like Jose. I think he’s arrogant and well past his sell-by. But I like vindictive persecution even less and that’s what I see happening here.

Categories: Sport


October 16, 2018 Leave a comment

For 45 minutes last night I did something that I don’t believe I’ve done since 1966. I cheered England as they went one, two, three against Spain in Seville. ‘Why didn’t you cheer for the home team?’ I hear you ask, since I spend part of my life there. Well, although I do not express a view on the independence issue, my granddaughter is Catalan, her mother is Catalan, and so by extension am I. As long as Catalunya’s leaders are in jail or in exile, Madrid is my foe.

I have to admit also that alongside the three goals, which were a mix of bravado and luck, my showreel moment came when Eric Dier, not my favourite player usually, ran forty yards forward to go right through Sergio Ramos, who has had it coming since the Champions League final, and give him and his team the message that Engerland were not there to play a friendly and roll over.

Categories: General, Politics, Sport


October 11, 2018 Leave a comment
Categories: Sport


October 10, 2018 Leave a comment

if anyone understands this please explain it.

Categories: Sport


October 7, 2018 1 comment

I watch a lot (too much?) of sport on tv. I choose to knowing that professionals often react emotionally and that their words are often picked up by the effects microphones that are put out there for that purpose. Every time they pick something up that is remotely industrial they apologise for it; usually I haven’t heard it nor I suspect have many others.

Also I watch a lot of drama on tv. I am old enough to remember the night when Kenneth Tynan uttered the first ‘fuck’ on BBC, for reasons long forgotten. Today it is commonplace. Indeed, in the seven kingdoms of Westeros it is conversational. Apologies post watershed usually take the form of a warning, pre-transmission.

So here’s an idea: instead of burdening commentators with the duty of offering a clumsy ‘sorry’ for each infraction, how about sports broadcasters beginning each programme with an acknowledgement that when golfers hit a bad shot, sometimes, unless they happen to be Matt Kuchar, they swear.

Categories: Sport

Let’s leave UEFA too

September 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Football as we used to know it is dead in its boots. The people who run the modern game have no remaining shred of common sense or decency. Their entire purpose is to con as many people as possible into parting with as much of their disposable income as possible for a product that becomes increasingly devalued by each layer they add on.

Categories: Sport


The first time I ever went to a golf tournament with my dad, I was sixteen years old. It was  the Carling Caledonian Championship and it was won by Christy O’Connor Sr, who took away a massive £1000 cheque. It was played at Longniddry and the on-course facilities were primitive. For example the toilet facilities were oil drums in a tent. Ladies? No idea.

Fifty-seven years on and I’m sitting in Gullane, a few miles farther along what these days they call the Golf Coast. My village is rather over-golfed at the moment. Earlier this month we hosted the men’s Scottish Open, and the great circus that goes with it; currently the ladies are on the second round of their event. (There is an assumption that when the golf tour visits, it pours loads of cash into the local economy. That’s not what I hear, but I do plan to invest in the traffic cone industry.)

Two weeks ago, while doing a shift as a volunteer marshal, I had an encounter with a Tour player. I don’t intend to revisit that, other than to remark that my complaint to the Tournament Director remains unacknowledged. The incident is history but the underlying principle is not. It was in focus again yesterday when I watched the Porsche Open on Sky and saw the current Masters champion throw his toys out of the pram because he claimed to have heard someone rattling coins in his pocket as he was preparing to play.  (If he’d been playing well enough at the time I doubt that he’d have heard a gunshot.)

Such guys need to look at themselves, not at those around them. I doubt that there is another group of sportsmen who are more pampered than golfers. It’s ironic that the Tour’s support systems seem to be designed to ensure that they have to walk as little  as possible off the course. At Gullane they are delivered to the first tee and collected from the eighteenth green by buggies, driven by volunteers. The crowds who follow them are controlled by more volunteers, briefed from the Tour handbook. Their exploits are recorded and transmitted by a dedicated television unit, which broadcasts to the global audience that their many corporate sponsors require to justify their investments.

All of this support ensures that the top players on the tour are hugely rewarded. The lad who won the Scottish Open trousered just over a million dollars. And that takes me back to Longniddry. Brandon Stone is at the beginning of his career. If he works really hard and maximises his talent he might turn out to be nearly as good as Christy O’Connor Sr. But don’t bet on it.





Categories: Sport


Just like the old times but it can’t last.

Categories: Sport

Coming up Roses

Anyone who thinks of cricket as a dull game should watch last night’s Lancs vs Yorks T20 game on catch-up. Last ball finish, three results possible, crowd going crazy.

As a spectator sport, football is becoming second rate.

Categories: Sport


July 15, 2018 6 comments

Seems that Mr Poulter has disputed my account of our exchange yesterday. Now I’m having email abuse from pond life and bottom feeders. I don’t need that.

The only way I can get rid of it is by deleting the original post. In retrospect I should probably have kept the dispute private, but it’s out of the box now, and I must rely on the Tour to make a judgement.

Mr Poulter has gone public to his two million Twitter followers with his version of events. All I can say is that I stand by mine and at no time did I ever utter the words ‘OK thanks.’ What I did say was ‘Vive Les Belges.’ Now I wish I’d said ‘Come on you Spurs,’ as that really would have pushed his buttons.

I still hope to hear from him, but I don’t expect to. That won’t bother me, not a bit.

Categories: General, Sport

‘Australia, who elected to bowl…’

Categories: Sport


Been saying it for decades to the few who would listen. An amazing number of tight games are decided very late on by a header at the back post.

My English wife and I had the pleasure of watching the game tonight with Eddie and June, who are as Scottish as me but who have lived most of their days in Engerland, all four of us cheering at the end. Yes, me too, but it won’t become a habit.

Categories: Sport

Fanning the flames

June 15, 2018 7 comments

I wish I could summon up more interest in the World Cup. It’s tough being Scottish.

But my problems aren’t only with the inadequacy of a national side that couldn’t kick doors at Hallowe’en. It’s the narrowness of our vision as expressed by our written media that I find just as depressing. They focus on two clubs and little else is caught in their peripheral vision.

For example, this morning in the Herald, my newspaper of choice since The Quisling was banned from all my devices, there is a bylined piece in which the writer bemoans the ‘abject failures’ of Rangers in ‘slumping’ to third place in the Premiership or whatever the hell they call it. There are nine teams in that league who were envious of Rangers’ achievement. Chris Jack’s words are as dismissive to them as they are offensive to Aberdeen given the implication that their second place was achieved more by default than quality.

We are so narrow in our thinking that our national game has disappeared up its own fundament and unless our media refocuses and sees beyond the blue and the green, it won’t re-emerge.

This too: for generations we in Scotland have fought a losing battle against sectarianism. The attitudes expressed in this morning’s article throw more petrol on its flames.

Categories: Sport


Every so often there’s one that makes me say ‘Yes!’, and I’m not talking about Dame Emma. Long overdue.

Categories: General, Sport

Asking for it

I’ve just seen a LIDL ad where kids ask Raheem Sterling and Gary Cahill, ‘Why are England’s goal celebrations so rubbish?’

Obvious answer: ‘Because they don’t get to do them very often.’

Categories: General, Sport