Monday, July 31, 2006
Today is the first day of the rest of our lives
The first major decision is who to appoint captain and then his squad for the Greece friendly. I think you can safely say that Walcott wont make it. Likely additions will be Defoe and Bent. Will he stick with Hargreaves? Will he keep Beckham in the team?
I so hope I am wrong about Steve McLaren. I just think he's a bit inept. Come on, I know he got Middlesboro to the UEFA final, but he only had one tactic - when you're losing chuck on four strikers and hope. It worked time after time, but importantly not in the final where they were trolleyed 4-0 by Seville. As McLaren's choice to put four up-front appeared not to be going to plan, McLaren stood with head in hands having used up all his subs and didn't appear to have a scooby.
He also wore shorts and white socks during the World Cup, in case you didn't notice.
BBC Sports Personality of the Year/It's a dog's life
Defenders have said: "But who else has done anything notable this year?" You'd have to answer anyone who has dedicated their whole life to sporting achievement. Boxers like Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan are more deserving. Footballers like Gerrard and Terry are more deserving. The rise of Monty Panesar has seen his odds tumble. However, sporting accomplishment is only half the battle; the other being recognition. The best player to have ever picked up a dart: Phil 'the Power' Taylor's achievements are staggering, but darts isn't the kind of sport that the Beeb wants to associate with too much (thanks to the long-standing fued between Olly Croft and the PDC). I am sure there are people on bikes (sports I really find of no interest) who have done great things.
Of course, David Walliams is a celebrity - that most cherished of descriptions - so his star is in the ascendancy. However, Walliams is not the only favourite to raise an eyebrow - how's about W. Hawk who is in the current top ten. I don't know who W. Hawk is, someone obscure. Well sort of. It's a fucking dog. Westmead Hawk, the winner of the Greyhound Derby for the second successive year! Seriously, I am not joking here - a greyhound is one of the favourites to win. If you didn't get the enormity of this stupidity:
The new Hamiltons?
His wife, Belinda; the devoted wife, stands by his side - smiling and baring her tormented soul to any hack offering a cheque - and, inexplicably, a career as a very minor celebrity beckons. Others have drawn the inevitable comparison between the Hamiltons and the Oatens.
I don't follow the Liberal Democrat party, but it appears that Oaten was well thought of and his leadership battle may well have ended in glory (as glorious as winning a leadership election for a largely peripheral politcal party can be) rather than the ignominy caused by the revelation of his...escapades with rentboys.
So the case of the man who had everything and lost it, including his dignity and his hair.
Football starts next Saturday
I recently bought the Chris Kamara Playstation game off Ebay and must get round to reviewing it some point. Rest assured it is awesome!
Who says cheats never prosper?
Now either these clubs are guilty of having cheated or not. Either they influenced results or not. Of course, they did - they were proved guilty, but now Lazio and Fiorentina are back in Serie A (at the expense presumably of two clubs who are not guilty of match fixing and cheating) and AC Milan will be permitted to enter the Champions League preliminary qualifiers.
We're not on our way to Wembley
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Keeping up with the Joneses.
The 150* Read smacked off the Pakistanis must be fresh in the memory and most commentators have been calling for Jones' omission. Such as here, here and here.
Jones had been struggling with a fracture to his finger obtained whilst batting (bad luck really as he wasn't at the crease for that long) but it was thought that he would be retained in the squad with another keeper called up as back-up. However, this call seems that Jones has been dropped irrespective of his injury.
Hopefully Read succeeds straight away, as previously the selectors have not shown that muhc patience with him - in contrary to Geraint Jones who kept in 31 successive test since taking the gloves off Read for the last test in Antigua 2004.
Crap town alert
For all its history, Royal Tunbridge Wells is now just like any other town, but probably a bit more chavvy. The thing is that the map here really makes Royal Tunbridge Wells look glamorous, historic and picturesque. If you click on the map to enlarge you will see above the picture that the cartographer helpfully points out that this "MAP IS NOT TO SCALE". No! Really? You mean Tunbridge Wells is not a few centimetres across? Like something out of Gulliver's Travels, minus the Yahoos and talking horses. Shame could have left quicker if it was.
Former Owl moves on
Sibon was a sublimely talented player for the Owls, if somewhat inconsistent, and it was a shame that we were too skint to keep him.
Jayawardene and Sangakkara break partnership record
Coincidentally, this partnership beats the previous best of 576 set by another couple of Sri Lankans; Sanath Jayasuriya (who was opening for Sri Lanka in this test) and Roshan Mahanama.
Guess who's back?
Guess who's back, back again
Barry's back, tell a friend
Guess who's back, guess who's back,
Guess who's back. Guess who's back;
Thursday, July 20, 2006
12 years today, yo Blair
So all together now:
Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, yo
It's your birthday
We gon' party like it's your birthday
We gon' sip Bacardi like it's your birthday
And you know we don't give a f*ck
cause it's not your birthday!
They Work For You does not work for us. It is rubbish.
Access all areas
Well thanks. Seen as Researcher and Caseworkers are left here over Recess while much of the House of Lords has the summer off, it makes sense to let MP's staff out. Still something making sense and something that makes sense actually happening ar not necessarily one and the same thing, especially within the context of the House of Parliament.
I find it eternally refreshing that having entered the 21st century, the Houses of Parliament remains blissfully privileged and antiquated. Men in stockings with rosettes on the back of their neck is the way forward.
So as of recess it's fun, fun, fun.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
10 years on. Let's have a big birthday CAKE
CAKE. Scoring yellow bentines, clarkey-cats and getting jessop, jessop, jessop. Cake was the made-up drug that celebrities such as Bruno Brookes; Bernard Manning (it's a f*cking disgrace); Noel Edmonds; Rolf Harris (Jos Ackland's spunky back-pack) and David Amess MP were tricked into doing public warnings against. It really is a gift of the British to make established people look like total dorks and idiots. Well it did cause czech-neck and effected the part of the brain known as Shatner's bassoon.
The 10 years on to which I refer at the start of this article is David Amess' tabling of a Written Question on Cake. The actual anniversary is on Sunday, but as I am loathe to blog at weekends and may forget tomorrow here's the question in all its glory.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action the Government propose in respect of the import of (a) khat, (b) gammahydroxybutyrate and (c) "cake" to the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Sackville: Neither the khat plant nor the substances gammahydroxybutyrate--GHB--or "cake", which we understand refers to 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-benzylamphetamine, are controlled under the international United Nations drug conventions or under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs considered the misuse of khat in 1988 and advised that there was no evidence of a social problem arising from its misuse in the United Kingdom such as to justify bringing the plant under the controls of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. We have no current plan to bring khat under legislative controls but will continue to monitor the position.
The misuse of GHB is to be review by the advisory council at its next meeting in November.
We are not aware of any reports of misuse in the United Kingdom of the substance known as "cake" but the advisory council nevertheless has under review the question whether this and a number of similar substances should be brought within the scope of the 1971 Act.
I'd love to score a political point by slating the Tories for being out of touch, but anyone Labour supporter who saw ex-Labour MP, Sid Rapson make a tit out of himself talking about paedophilia in the 2001 special will know that there exist some politicians, of whatever hue, who will do anything to get on TV...
Can the Sun effect Newton's law of gravity?
They indignantly splutter how disgraceful it is for a professional athlete to be guilty of what various Fleet Street journos allegedly do during their lunch hour (allegedly), post-work drink (allegedly) and...well, I'm not one to listen to tittle tattle. Newton should be made an example of they say. He should be banned for life (it's preferable to f*ck someone's career over in the name of being pious). They are also quick to say that Newton is the second Premiership player to test positive (after Adrian Mutu) whilst conveniently forgetting the case of Mark Bosnich (although they mention him in the article also?!?!)
Drugs is, of course, an easy target and drugs in football is like manna from heaven for the pariah press. As one West Ham wag notes in the Sun comment section; if coke is performance enhancing Newton should get a refund. How's about a campaign to get proper punishments for players who dive, headbutt etc, i.e. things that can actually influence a game.
No that may actually help the game, much better to crucify someone who's in no place to fight back.
Aston Vanilla - Everybody licks 'em
O'Leary was coincidentally the manager who spent more than Africa's continental debt whilst at Leeds, but nonetheless put Leeds' failure down to everyone else bar himself. (Note to self and readers alike: Leeds are now skint.) To be fair O'Leary almost achieved the unthinkable at Villa by so very nearly becoming as unpopular a figure as 'Deadly' Doug Ellis.
In a way it is a shame for football and whilst not being old enough to remember the 1982 European Cup winning team of Peter Withe, Des Bremner, Gordon Cowans, Dennis Mortimer and a very young Nigel Spink replacing the injured Jimmy Rimmer I remember some very good Villa teams and players (and of course Dr Jozef Venglos - some dentist - really - who inexplicably got the big job): Platt and McInally; Paul McGrath; Tony Daley's hair; little Alan Wright and Gareth Southgate. Now Villa are a shadow with players like Steven Davies; Gary Cahill and Gareth Barry notable exceptions.
For all his blathering about not having money O'Leary has signed such players as Eric Djemba-Djemba (so bad they named him twice); Wilfried Bouma (nowhere near as good as he is on Championship Manager); Milan Baros (an over-rated player who, whilst a natural goalscorer, could best have displayed his loyalty by tattooing 'COME AND GET ME PLEASE' on his forehead below his gr4easy curtains); Martin Laursen (so injury-prone that he could well be an English test cricketer) and Patrick Berger (who makes Laursen's injury problems look minor).
Bye, bye David. But don't worry; for I am sure it wasn't your fault.
Beef's fact of the day
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Cameron hits a great gag
On a side point, I am a bit fed up (read: p*ssed off) that the DCLG, led by Ruth Kelly, has changed its mind on HIPs almost overnight. This is really helpful to some Labour MPs who have been defending HIPs to constituents only now to have had the goalposts moved by their own bloody Party.
Open Goal missed
Outside of the regular baying laughs from the Blue side they really did mess it up. And what about Hague? Morals in standing down? Silly bald tw*t, Prezza cut him down to size by stating, quite correctly, that the public's overwhelming rejection of the Tory Party, led by Hague himself, at the 2001 General Election led to Hague's demise, but still good book on Pitt the Younger.
Oh well. Ding, ding. Round 2. Blair's in the ring.
This is presumably the upside of global warming? Loving this baking weather. I also heard an interesting rumour this morning that Portcullis House may have to close if it gets much hotter. My source informed me that above a certain temperature various electronic functions (like refridgeration) will cease to work and, subsequently, the building will have to close. This, obviously, is a rumour and yet to be confirmed.
Portcullis House does not work that well in regular weather. I mean the lifts are commonly out of commission, ditto the escalators and there are toilets that when flushed bring up plenty of sand, leaving a delightful scummy residue.
South African rehabilitation to be completed by Prince captaincy
Prince is to be South Africa's first black captain and I applaud this decision and am sure it will complete South Africa's rehabilitation in the eyes of cricket fans around the world. I am sure Dave Cameron would have had an A-List but instead the Proteas have plumped straight for Prince who will step into the breach left by the injured Graeme Smith. Not only does he have massive shoes to fit (I believe Smith to be the best international captain or at least a very close second to Stephen Fleming) but being the first black captain is very symbolic.
Growing up in the 1980s, my knowledge of South African cricket was pretty much limited to old video footage of Barry Richards pummelling all asundry during his Hampshire days; older video footage of Graeme Pollock creaming some schmucks (invariably England) around for a fair few; Clive Rice at Nottinghamshire and Kepler Wessels playing for Australia.
But on coming out of their apartheid induced isolation, South Africa have given us some great teams and great individuals. It may be argued that they have lacked that killer instinct at times and that the whole match-fixing scandal involving Hansie Cronje has permanently tarnished South African cricket, but for me any country that can give the world of cricket players such as: Gary Kirsten; Herschelle Gibbs; Jacques Kallis; Hansie Cronjie; Brian McMillan; Allan Donald; Shaun Pollock; Fanie de Villiers; Daryll Cullinan; Jonty Rhodes; Mark Boucher; Graeme Smith and Makhaya Ntini just in the last 15 years can not be all bad.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Flash the cash: the summer transfer market
Sorry, it must be the heat. But to coin another perma-tanned TV presenter some of these players will be going "as cheap as chips" although whether they get hit over the head with a gavel after they are sold remains unlikely.
Ferguson seems to be acting like all his Christmas have come at once, seemingly eyeing up the whole of the Juve team! Spurs must relish the prospect of signing a couple of midfielders and then a couple more. Why the hell not? They're going cheap.
Given the availability of these players, small mouth Glenn is waving £10 million at Alan Pardew for star striker Dean Ashton, who could be the like-for-like replacement for Shearer in both terms of talent and prematurely receding hairline.
Liverpool now look set to complete the signing of Dirk Kuyt from Feyernoord and if this happens Liverpool will be looking very strong. Even stronger now that Traore is off. However, despite me deriding Bolton for wanting this useless, clumsy, guaranteed one massive mistake a game clown it seems he is going to go to the Valley.
And, in finishing, Portsmouth have apparently offered a whopping £8 million for the services of Curtis Davies of West Brom. Oh to have the financing of a Russian millionaire.
Collared by a shirt
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Meeting Mick and all that jazz
I had been at a birthday party for Gutbuster in Clapham and whilst it was a good night I was faced with a daunting Northern/Central Line journey home. Being in South London, I was obviously keeping my eyes peeled and then I saw him and recognised him instantly. What to do? Emboldened by alcohol, although not drunk (in case you're reading Mum), I thought I'll go over and get his autograph and risk that it was him. Of course it was him, I'd know Mick from Eastenders anywhere. He was with a friend, which made going over a more testing task. And then I realised - much to my horror - that I didn't have anything for him to sign. Any part of my body would quite rightly have been viewed as scary, so I settled for the back of a Second Class book of stamps that I always carry in my wallet (I must say regularly I use stamps for posting letters/birthday cards/competition entries rather than autographs).
Anyway, as we came into Bank - where I had to change for the Central Line - I was overjoyed that Mick from Eastenders was changing too and, to my delight, he was walking in the direction of the Central Line and, luck be a lady, he was going Eastbound. I got on the same train, the same carriage to be sure and was over-the-moon that it transpired to be the right train for me anyway.
At Liverpool Street his mate alighted. Get in! However, Mick from Eastenders sat down and I was temporarily defeated. However, many people got off at Mile End and showing immense determination, I got to sit down next to him. I started talking to him and he said it was strange that he left Stenders 5 years ago and nobody recognises him but that this was the second time in the evening he had been recognised. Still clearly star-struck, I answered that I had never seen him on the eastbound Central Line before, I must have sounded either autistic or like a stalker. Or both.
Anyway he was a lovely guy and when my pen didn't work on the back of a Second Class book of stamps, he delved into his bag and gave me a sheet from his own notepad, and signed it.
I asked some quick Stenders questions and I was happy that he thought both the Mitchells were good guys.
I also apologised that I didn't know his real first name (what kind of fan am I?) but it is Sylvester Williams and he is now running a drama school in East London. A nice guy, I shook his hand and wished him all the best for the future and meant it. And then he got off at Stratford. What a Friday night. For me, probably not so memorable for him.
However, my Mum and erstwhile Beef source (sauce?) Brandy Nipples didn't recall him. A friend at home did and my work colleagues including Dudley Eyebrows knew who it was when they saw the pic although were unsure they'd recognise him on the Underground.
Update: Congratulations to my boss for instantly knowing who Mick from Eastenders was. Just another instance of Labour being in touch with the people they govern.
First test wicket for Pietersen
Speaking of Jones, as I very briefly did, he failed again with the bat. 18 and 16 in this test. And yes there were the obligatory couple of good shots. I had a cursory look at the statistics and, boy oh boy, they don't read favourably for Jones. A test match batting average of 26.67 is not good, but amazingly since he scored 52 in the first innings of the Second Test vs India (10/11th March - 7* overnight) he has scored 83 runs at a less than Gilchrist-esque average of 10.38
When in Rome
The corruption bubble in Italy has burst and has covered Lazio, Fiorentina, Juventus and AC Milan in...well, finish the sentence yourself. A tribunal in Rome announced its conclusions after having investigated charges that the clubs, their management, football officials and referees tried to influence the outcome of matches by interfering with the appointment of officials. This practice is commonly known as cheating.
Lazio, Fiorentina and Juventus have all been relegated to Serie B with points deductions of 7, 12 and a whopping 30 respectively. The Old Lady of Turin has been punched in the face. AC Milan have been reprieved of relegation, but still given a 15 point penalty for next season. To compound things, Juve have been stripped of their last two Scudetta titles.
Expect a massive exodus of top line players from the demoted clubs. I imagine most will settle in Spain, but owuld anticipate quite a few coming to England. Some will stay, I believe Del Piero has already stated his desire to stay at Juve. Remember Angelo Di Livio, the combative Little Soldier who stayed with Fiorentina (them again!) after they were demoted to Serie C-2 for financial irregularities? However, the vast majority will leave.
Personally and selfishly I cannot wait for Paul Sturrock to sign Buffon, Kaka, Cannavaro, Pirlo and Gattuso for the mighty Owls.
Friday, July 14, 2006
And the winners are...
It appears I take an all together more altruistic approach to anonymity than the good Lord, but then he has been missing presumed dead for decades now, so treat him leniently. A Bull, a Lord, a Red Devil, Pooky and the Masked Superstar prevailed. As Lord Lucan describes the Lib Dums struggled, although I am still unsure whether Team Clegg was Liberal Democrat or a Last of the Summer Wine tribute team.
Much mirth, much knowledge and victory for the people's team. A Source formerly close to No 10 was, amongst others, on hand to partake in post victory celebrations. Second place was a team of Geordies who I think appreciated my comment that finishing second must remind them of the Kevin Keegan I WOULD LOVE IT DAYS.
One thing overlooked by the Lord Lucan, probably through being under the influence, was that we cajoled Deryc Sands, photographer and nobhead, into snapping us.
And the team name of "I wish this microphone was a Penis" just got increasingly funny throughout the night.
(Ger)aint he sh*te?
Roeder displays new look for season
With the Premiership season looming I am looking forward to a season (if he lasts into 2007) of Roeder's mouth and crossed arms looking pensive but ultimately being clueless. At least he has had the sense to ship out clown-cum-£8 million-defender Jean Alain Boumsong for a season's loan.
Allardyce losing the plot?
He is inexplicably linked with Sunderland, eventually ruling himself out and then signs Didi Hamann who lasts about half an hour before realising that at 32 he was too young to fit in at the Reebok and decided on the more attractive prospect of passing football at the Eastlands stadium courtesy of Manchester City.
So to dull the pain, Allardyce makes a move for Djimi Traore, the most suck ass player in the Premiership and, quite probably, the worst player to own a Champions League winners medal.
Follow this link to see Traore at his best, a quite remarkable finish that led to the headline Dummy Traore.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Disturbance to regular Parish business
This should now ensure that there is a leadership election with more candidates likely to make their intentions clear sooner rather than later. I must say that after his Trident proposals I am happy someone is standing against Gordon Brown. It is healthy for a party, which is, at times, floundering and buckling under the weight of its own scandal (and who would have thunk that back in '97?).
I assume now that rumours that were previously abounding that the Campaign Group candidate would be Lynne Jones were without foundation?
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Lord Levy arrested
Desmond Swayne, with his timelessly elegant silver mane, used the word in one of his leaked emails to Dave. Many a year ago myself and the creature that eventually turned into Recess Monkey contemplated writing a book of Tory lingo, time has shown that we would have been hopelessly out of our depth.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Not many see a potential spouse. Now having spent a year in the former Eastern bloc, I can attest that there are some funny old people out there. Take Boris Gabov for instance, who has written to Vladimir Putin asking permission to marry a cow citing that all the girls have moved out of his village and gone to the big smoke (to get away from freaks like Boris one assumes) and that he has loved animals all his life and when will the domestic marriage of people to animals, particularly cows, be allowed.
Has Boris thought this through thoroughly? I doubt it. I'd even suggest that vodka may play a bigger influence in his life than common sense. How would you get a wedding ring on her hoof? Would she eat her own veil? How does a cow communicate a headache? Can she iron? And most importantly; what would the kids look like?
Anyway, one thing for sure, it is a very MOOOOOOOving story, although I think marriage would be a big miSTEAK. UDDERly stupid in fact.
Monday, July 10, 2006
I'm looking forward to Christmas already
I love Eastenders and unashamedly admit it. Pauline Fowler, however, I do not like. Apart from when she hit ARFUR over the head with a frying pan and, once, cleaned all of her brick-work in the pitch black of a Friday night (courtesy of Harry Hill). Sure we'll miss her deriding Sonia as a 'filthy little Jackson' and will she take Joe - the Mr Benn sound-a-like - with her? I am hoping for a particularly savage ending. Something like cannibalism or sold into slavery by Big Mo. Something believable.
Little Blue Riding Hoodie
My oh my what big eyes you have on Number 10.
All the better to see society's ills with.
Read all about it
Using this as a template it is simply inconceivable that Geraint Jones is preferred to Chris Read with England Chairman of Selectors given the implausible reasoning that "We have selected Geraint Jones, because we believe he is the best wicketkeeper" . Simply put: you believe wrong.
Playing for England 'A' against Pakistan Read struck an unbeaten 150 and kept assuredly. What more does he need to do? Jones must have some incriminating photos of Graveney, Fletcher et al.
Interestingly, after England's second innings declaration in which openers Butt and Farhat bowled 40 overs between them, England captain, Robert Key respondned by bowling every England player aside from Matthew Hoggard (an injury scare after Tim Bresnan trod on Hoggy's hand requiring six stitches). The bowling card was:
Bowling O M R W Econ
TT Bresnan 5 1 20 0 4.00 (1nb)
SCJ Broad 7 1 23 0 3.28
JWM Dalrymple 12 1 47 0 3.91
AGR Loudon 5 0 22 0 4.40
RWT Key 4 2 7 0 1.75
OA Shah 5 3 8 0 1.60 (1w)
AN Cook 2 0 4 0 2.00
IR Bell 5 5 0 0 0.00
RS Bopara 2 0 13 0 6.50
CMW Read 3 1 8 0 2.66 (1nb)
Anyway, here's a hastily created game to lament the lamentable.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Italia, Italia, Italia
I feel sorry for France. They deserved to win - just - over the 120 minutes and injuries and a rush of blood to the head robbed the French of three penalty takers in Messieurs Vieira; Henry and Zidane. But the Italians took five incredible penalties. Matterazzi taking the second? Centre backs who are notoriously the fall guys when it comes to shoot outs...Buried it beautifully. As did Pirlo before him and De Rossi; Del Piero and Grosso after him. And it was deserving that Cannavaro, earning his 100th cap for the Azzuri, lifted the World Cup, the greatest trophy in world sport.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Putting the y into xx
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Ronaldo update (the cheat not the fat one) knocked out again
The people of England and France even put centuries of mutual distrust and ill-feeling behind them to unite in booing the cheat off the park during the semi-final. We felt vindicated, and even lifted, when Ronaldo cried like a girl. Could not have happened to a nicer fellow.
And then came the email campaign: Stop Ronaldo winning the Young Player of the Year award emails swarmed into our inboxes saying Vote for Valencia. The rally call was taken up by Bloggers and by word of mouth. Soon the results were changing; Ronaldo's almost unassailable lead had been assailed (I suppose that might make sense) by Luis Valencia. Personally, I thought he was alright but not much cop. Against England he hardly shone, did he? Anyway Valencia won the internet part of the vote and, I think, six players were shortlisted with the eventual winner being Lukas Podolski of Germany. And guess what? I voted for Podolski! As I never get any predictions right (England to win the World Cup anyone?) I was pretty stoked. And just to make things better, in case you had forgotten, RONALDO LOST. Come on Germany on Saturday. Let's see Ronaldo sent off and mauled by a tiger on the way off the pitch. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...
The Road to Wigan's Year (of disappointment)
Viva Las Vegas
So it was with great joy that I return to one of my favourite topics. John Part has rediscovered his touch and won the Las Vegas Desert Classic beating Raymond van Barneveld 6-3 in the final. Part is one of the good guys.
After leaving the BDO for the, in my opinion, far superior PDC he also won that version of the World title defeating his nemesis, and the greatest player to ever pick up a set of darts, Phil Taylor (in fact Taylor is every dart players' nemesis) 7-6 in an epic and unforgettable final in 2003.
In the last two years or so, however, he has lost his form and has been fighting for scraps and spoils off the great man's table. Yet this was his time and with Taylor vanquished by Barney in the semi the stage was set for the return of the man some call Darth Maple (he's Canadian you see...).
I'm happy for Part who always comes across as a gent and how on earth he tolerates the inane ramblings of that village idiot Tony Green during the BDO Worlds is testament to the man's mental strength. For those of you who are not dartists, Tony Green (the guy who used to do Bullseye) is like the bastard child of John Motson and Clive Tyldesly with added stupid pills.
The American Dream
Pilates of the Caribbean
This can also be put into a joke (the only joke I have ever created) as follows:
"Did you hear they're making a film about yoga in the West Indies? Yeh, they're going to call it Pilates of the Caribbean".
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Suggested advertising campaign for Ronaldo (the cheat not the fat one)
Beck and Call it a day
All Prezza and Incorrect
Even by changing his name to Ed Kingdom, Prescott was obviously still in deep water
There he was Prescott, the man; nay the common man - the protector of Labour values and seen as the man to contain Blair's blairite excesses. The man who would mercilessly rib the Tories and would be reeled out as last speaker at Labour Conference to rally the troops, or even comrades.
Now he's about as much use as Theo Walcott in your final 23; in essence a liability. Back in 2001 Prezza was still doing ok, memorably punching a guy who had pelted him with an egg. Well now the yoke's on him. He is rumoured to have had as many affairs as hot dinners. Diary secretary, a Minister and, for all we know, the candlestick-maker have all been wooed (allegedly) by happily married Prescott.
And now he finds himself in bed with a particularly abhorrent cove; Philip Anschutz. No chance of any Brokeback Mountain shenanighans in deepest Marlboro country mind, Anschutz is that old-fashioned defender of American values - a virulently homophobic, multi-millionaire, Republican backer. It is shameful.
The possibility of corruption is very much there. Anschutz owns the Millenium Dome which is in the running to become Britain's Super Casino. At the time of their meeting Prezza had ultimate control over planning. Corruption aside, it is lovely to see Labour Ministers associating themselves with such genuinely, lovely people - Anschutz is behind a ballot to overturn gay rights in his native state of Colorado. Well, if it's Rocky Mountains in Colorado, it's rocky times for Prezza.
Just to get it straight in my mind: Blair hangs with Berlusconi; Prezza chills with Anschutz and Opus Dei Kelly refuses to say whether she believes homosexuality is a sin.
Ronaldo update (the cheat not the fat one)
Thus far: 1) You're out of the World Cup; 2) The bloke who was going to sign you for Real Madrid lost the election so you're stuck at Man Utd for the while with a team mate who allegedly (and scarily) wants to split you in two in a country where you're hated (and please don't think you will be anything but hated); 3) thanks to email/blog campaigns you're not winning the FIFA Young Player of the World Cup anymore and 4) you look, and cry, like a girl.
Here's a classic bit of Ronaldo from Euro 2004. Shit, you're 21 and you're already hated more than Robert Pires.
First up Grosso - a great strike followed by an aborted attempt to recreate the Marco Tardelli '82 charge and roar.
And then Del Piero icing the Italian cake
When a picture (or t-shirt) says a thousand words/1966 and all that
I know he bagged a hat-trick in the final but am I alone in reaching for the remote whenever Sir Geoff Hurst pops up? Or Alan Ball?
Like a sheep he just keeps on pleating
However, Pleat is no novice to crap commentary. As the Police woulkd say: "he has previous" - in fact a history littered with tosh. This is the man, for instance, who gave us:
"Winning isn't the end of the world"
"I've seen some players with very big feet, and some with very small feet"
When watching Holland during Euro 1996, "The future is bright, the future's orange"
And calling Carsten Ramelow "Big Boy"
These were eclipsed, however, by yesterday's offering that "the two German strikers just love to play with each other"
Cue Finbarr Saunders snorting and spluttering.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Deutschland ist vorbei
Could be worse though, at least they don't have far to go home and it's even quicker with those magnificent Autobahns.
Two late, great goals from Italy scored by Fabio Grosso (am I alone in thinking it would be really funny if he wore squad number 144?) and Alex Del Piero condemned Germany to the scrap heat and put the unfancied Italians into the final. I'll upload the goals when I find them - both are worth numerous viewings.
Do what you can do punish Ronaldo (the cheat not the fat one)
Christiano Ronaldo is winning the race for FIFA young player of the World Cup - We cant let him win it [cos he's a cheating girl - Barry Beef] Please take 30 seconds of time to go on this website and vote for Valencia of Ecuador who is currently second. Then take 30 seconds to send it on to everyone you know.
How would you punish Ronaldo (the cheat not the fat one)
Ever get the feeling this may not be your season?
So conceive of my delight, when I read that striker Marcus Tudgay, new signing Wade Small and promising central defender Richard Wood are all already crocked. Tudgay managed to get injured at a family barbecue when he stubbed his toe on a glass, cutting it and sustaining tendon damage.
That must surely enter the pantheon of stupid injuries up there with the following:
Richard Wright, was warming up in the goalmouth in preparation for an FA Cup tie against Chelsea for his next club Everton, when he twisted his ankle. He did it landing on a wooden sign instructing people not to practise there.
Allan Nielsen (then of Spurs, latterly of Watford) missed several matches after his daughter poked him in the eye.
Former Sheffield Wednesday striker Andy Booth once pulled his groin during a pre-match one minute silence.
To prove stupid injuries are not just a modern phenomenon Alan Mullery missed England's 1964 tour of South America after putting his back out while brushing his teeth.
In 1993 keeper Dave Beasant was kept out by a foot injury caused by a falling jar of salad cream. Yes, he fumbled it, and because his hands were full he stuck out a foot to stop it hitting the floor!
David Batty's return from an Achilles tendon injury was put back when he was run over by his toddler on a tricycle.
My all-time favourite was not football related but rather laid low one of the all-time crap England cricketers, Derek Pringle. Seriously, even playing for my beloved Essex could not stop this most dull of players from sucking massively. Anyway Pringle missed a Test match having strained his back 'writing a letter'.
Stevie Mac: England's saviour?
What should Macca do? This, of course, is the $64,000 question (although under a Labour Government, in real terms, $64,000 is worth much more than $64,000). The obvious would be to sort out our central midfield problem. Lamps and Gerrard simplay have not performed together. Hargreaves was arguably England's best player during the World Cup and has surely done enough to get into the team. Maybe not. I think Lamps should be dropped to the bench, which may have another famous pair of cheeks their; those of Goldenballs, David Beckham. If the World Cup has put Lennon and Hargreaves' stars in the ascendancy Beckham's is plummeting quicker than Hayley's Comet.
I would not mind England playing a 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation so long as we didn't play it long ball up to the lone striker (Sven's Plan 'A', Plan 'A1' and Plan 'M25'). If Owen is not fit, it would leave Rooney up front with Crouch or a recalled Defoe as the only other viable options. If Walcott is to be in the squad, he must play and I hope McLaren has words of encouragement for players like Shaun Wirght-Phillips, Jonathan Woodgate, Alan Smith, Scott Parker and Kieron Dyer. Other players yet to be called up who should be monitored very closely with a view to squad inclusion in at least the first friendlies should be Kevin Nolan; Joey Barton; Dean Ashton and Scott Carson. Good luck Steve. You may just need it.
And dress like an adult in a suit not your gimpy short, socks and training top combo.
In memoriam:Sven Goran Eriksson
Svennis' backers would point out his impressive record in competitive matches and that, under Sven, England never lost a competitive match by more than one goal. I would not. I would point out our continued uninspiring performances on the big stage. Yes we invariably lose on penalties but this is because we have been unable to shake teams off in 120 minutes. Particular low points would be the 3-1 friendly defeat against Australia, lacklustre draws against Macedonia and Austria, defeat to 10-man Brazil in the 2002 Quarter Final and the two penalty defeats against Portugal.
Other uninspiring moments that instantly spring to mind would be Emile Heskey, England International; David James, England International; Andy Johnson, England International right-winger and Jamie Carragher, designated penalty taker.
Lest we forget Sven has continually failed to establish a settled midfield 4. Initially, it was Scholes and Gerrard who could not play together, then Scholes retired and Lampard came in and the lack of chemistry was seen by every England supporter for years to come. Players on the left have included Nick Barmby and Trevor Sinclair. Beckham has been treated as a deity on the right never in fear of being dropped as, I suppose thinking about it, Gerrard and Lampard have become. Oh and Emile Heskey on the left wing too! And don't forget until this World Cup many did not rate Owen Hargreaves too highly yet when he got to play from the start in his preferred position England fans saw what some had suspected for some time. He is quality.
It's not all bad, of course. His decision to pick and have faith with Wayne Rooney, his handling of Owen and his decision (although later than it should have been) to put Joe Cole on the left, replace the temperamental Sol Campbell with future captain, John Terry and drop the hapless James in favour of the impressive Paul Robinson.
Sven should not, and ultimately will not, be missed. His influence was negligible and he came across as a dour man incapable of drawing the best out of an undoubtedly very talented squad.
Monday, July 03, 2006
Credit where credit is due
That this House warmly applaud the Get Motty Out of Football campaign, soberly reflects on a couple of weeks of inanities and inaccuracies and heartily offers him to the Glue Factory and whilst at it would like to ban Sven Goran Eriksson and Christiano Ronaldo from ever setting foot on English soil again.
That's just not cricket
In the week I had seen that temperatures were set to soar to the low 30s. This is hot and not being of natural élan I feared for my own well-being. My fears looked to be realised when our captain lost the toss and we were invited to field in tropical conditions. The first over sees me running down to an extremely deep long-on. I am not sure who did the boundary but it went on for ever. If the maginot line had been like this the history of the world may have been much different. And then to compound it the b*stard did exactly the same shot next over and off I went again.
Blissfully drinks arrived and, not so blissfully, I got the call to come on next over. Well where do we start? I feel figures of 3-0-25-0 don't fairly reflect the facts. I should have gone for quite a few more. Well gradually, I began to find my feet (metaphorically, in reality they had always been at the bottom of my legs - connected via the ankles) and the fielding became passable bordering on athletic if not quite to Jonty Rhodes standards. Inevitably, one came dawdling down to me bobbled every way but loose made me look like a tart as the ball went over my outstretched hand for four. This happened twice.
The prolonged agony is finally over and a very well deserved tea is enjoyed by all. Our innings starts and with my beloved on her way to watch I decided to go do a bit of umpiring - to get it out of the way so as to spend some quality time with the good lady. Anyway, if there's is any part of my game that is good, it is my umpiring - why not treat the girlfriend to the best aspect of my game. Coming from an opinion that any batsman has got to be stone-cold, plumb in front with both leg and off stump visible to be given out (nicks, whether imaginary or not, notwithstanding). Duly three big appeals come in and three appeals are duly turned down. On the third appeal, a rather boisterous and frankly strange looking boy appealed to the extent that he got down on one knee (no, really) and wheeled around on his heels, hand raised imploring me to give it out. I responded with a big smile and bigger "NOT OUT" call. To be fair, it was going down leg; being unfair I refused to explain myself. Might as well piss them off a bit.
So all is going well. I see my beloved has turned up and in a couple of overs I'll give the umpires coat to some other optically challenged incompetent/liar/batsman who's already out and then it happened. Oh no! How could I have been so f*cking stupid. I am wearing boxers and it is humanly impossible to wear a box in boxers. Oh my god. Not only am I a bloody hopeless bat, but my nuts are literally on the line.
What to do? Hoisting the boxers up, just does not work. I am f*cked.
I decide to tell my girlfriend, who upon realising the possible impact laughs a bit. Sort of indulging me whilst thinking what a plum I am. To save my bacon (and balls) she has a spare pair. And yes off I shuffle shedding my boxers for ladies pants. So there I am sitting with my girlfriend about to go in to bat, getting as nervous as ever (I struggle with nerves and also that only I am truly aware of my total lack of competence with the willow) and also knowing I am wearing my girlfriend's knickers. Finally, it's my time. I take up guard. Middle. And promptly play around a straight ball first up losing my middle stump.
So let's run through this. Fielding was ok but tiring, bowling was very poor, weather boiling, umpiring actually impeccable, choice of underwear ridiculous, batting lamentable. So that's one hell of a Sunday. Partial cross-dressing, an achy body today (hamstrings, shoulder and left hip) and having to play £8 for the honour.
* Apparently Ironside was commissioned after Perry Mason to keep Raymond Burr about but by putting him in a wheelchair the intention was to stop him mincing around. I am not sure if this is true or urban myth, but it really should be true.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
The Beautiful Game
For England were destined not to win. I think quite a few people could sense that the ref was going to do something at some point and sending off Rooney should see him receive a few death threats, not as many as Ronaldo and quite rightly so.
Sven failed. What a surprise. I would slag him off, but am so happy to see him go; even if his replacement is Mr Small Shorts and White Socks himself, Steve McLaren. And Becks has retired as captain. Well played. I thought we played ok against Portugal. Robinson looked good, the centre backs were both assured and confident. Rio playing better than I have seen him for ages. Ashley Cole was phenomenal and Crouch ran himself into the ground. But for me the man of the match was Owen Hargeaves. I hope all his detractors can now see what he brings to the game. Pace, energy, commitment, stamina, tackling and passion plus he can take a penalty...must be because he's German : )*
* Irony there, folks. Hargeaves is as English as John Bull himself. And incidentally, that was the first time I have ever used : ) - and that then was the second.
- Name: Barry Beef
- Location: Plaza de Toros
I am a real stand-up guy. Loved unanimously I have been blessed with sensationally good looks since I was a young calf. I am now addicted to Facebook. I also spend far too much time on Ebay. Inbetween these activities, I seek to bring things of great importance to you, my dearly revered readership.
- Recess Monkey
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