Tag Archives: Sport

Olympics 2008 – the Epilogue.

We like His Borissness and we always enjoy the  studied buffoonery. This  time it began with the unfurling of the Olympic flag at the end of the closing ceremony in Beijing. Would he or wouldn’t he?  Of course, it was OK in the end.

There is only one question which my toff mates have been unable answer :  how does Boris make a Saville Row number look like Eastender Minty’s boiler suit? That is real style.

olympic-bus.jpg

The double-decker bus which opened like a Chancellor’s purse was OK but the faux-topiary, faux-clipped to look like bugger-all was not good. Leona Lewis looked terrified and seemed more concerned with not falling off her perch than with the warbling. For once, the vibrato sounded real – but then again, it normally does when you’re crapping yourself in front of billions.

We did not quite realise it at the time but this was just  the beginning of the Simon Cowell Benefit night.

Beckham held a ball up and kicked it and said later that he was “honoured”. The training has obviously paid off. I don’t mean fitness or football training but “HOW TO PUT LONG SENTENCES TOGETHER” training – for the interview. He didn’t once use the V-word, so we have to assume that he has since had a severe bollocking from the gruesome pouting one.

Red bus, Leona Lewis, Beckham, small girl and dancers. No cock-ups. Good so far.

Enter Boris centre stage for the post-Olympics piss-up. Some marginally unfunny stuff about Ping Pong. Nothing wrong there except that it probably produced several complaints to British talk radio stations from “offended” out-of-work Scottish listeners. Again, nothing unusual.

We were still awaiting the first cock-up. We’re British for goodness’ sake. We NEED cockups. It is our cultural oxygen.Without cock-ups we are like everyone else.

Then it came!!! It was a video about London…….

Some (former) mentalist VT editor had included a very short sequence on the Tate and there was a glimpse of a so-so painting of Myra Hindley. One could argue that the image was appropriate. After all, Gordon Brown was wearing his Jack the Ripper grin PLUS murder is currently a popular cultural phenomenon – especially in London.

The sad fact is that this was not a new video and the company Visit London probably did not think twice about including Hindley’s likeness. I bet that the editor was a young guy who probably just saw something that could have been an Andy Warhol painting of Marilyn Monroe. Sadly, although it was a rip-off, it was not the sainted Marilyn.

Boris was outraged, Brown was outraged but  instead of being outraged quietly they managed to alert the whole world to our ineptitude. Social soirees and breweries immediately sprang to mind.

All that Brown had to do was to quietly ask for the directors of  Visit London to place their dangly bits on a butcher’s block  while he went in search of a drink-crazed hoodie with a machete. Job done. The British Way.

No. We had to put it on the front page and indulge in a bit of collective outrage. That is the perversity of the British psyche.

Before we move to London’s Simon Cowell benefit “Concert” which, for some reason appeared to be called “VISA”, there is one small niggling matter which may be worth a mention.

Huw Edwards had been freighted over and unpacked to commentate on the closing ceremony – ” a Beacon….. a beacon of hope….”.

He has neither the intellect, wit nor the vocabulary to add anything to any great occasion. Just clueless empty platitudes. One of the Dimbebys (preferably David)  should have been dispatched or maybe Sue Barker should have taken the lead with her chum Hazel. 

Edwards’ commentary was very reminiscent of the night that Trevor MacDonald was sent to RAF Lyneham to commentate on John McCarthy’s return from Beirut  “and here come da plane in an arc… a lovely, lovely arc…. etc.”

The telly-action moved to London for the “VISA Concert” and lots of Blue Peter presenters introducing performers who had at some stage, passed through Simon Cowell’s hands.

More inanities  and lots of  “How do you feel?” questions. Needless to say , everything was “Amaiiiiiizing!!!” ….but……a danger is now lurking and it WILL bite us:

We all appear to be suffering from the “1966 effect”.

In 1966, we won the World Cup and since then  we have believed, contrary to all the evidence, that we are a great footballing nation.

We are now imagining that we are some sort of major force in world sport. There is mass hysteria with open-topped buses, gala dinners and Gordon Brown  dishing out honours like Purple Hearts. 

Let us hope that once the 2008 Sports Personality has been chosen, we calm down, regain some sense of perspective and  take a reality check.

Moynihan joins IOC Int. Relations Commission

Lord Moynihan, Chairman of the British Olympic Association, has been invited to join the International Relations Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Lord Moynihan said:

“It is a great honour to be invited to join this Commission. Developing improved international relations is a vital part of the IOC’s role in fostering and promoting the interests of the sportsmen and women represented by the Olympic Movement and the values of Olympism.

 

Additionally, the appointment represents a further step forward in the strong relationship between the IOC and the BOA. The IOC has been supportive of what we at the BOA are trying to achieve, both for 2012 and for the longer term, and in return, we are committed to assisting the IOC to ensure that the Olympic Movement continues to flourish around the world.”

 

Mandate

 

The International Relations Commission is mandated to facilitate and develop the relationship between the IOC and the various national stakeholders within the Olympic Movement (including National Olympic Committees, governments and public authorities). It uses the contact networks and expertise of its members, who have all held political office in their own country or region, to strengthen existing dialogue and cooperation, and to contribute to resolving conflicts when possible.

 

The Commission meets once a year.

 

At present Lord Moynihan is one of three non-IOC members on the Commission, alongside William Hybl, President Emeritus of the United States Olympic Committee, and Sang-Woo Kim, President of the South Korean NOC.

Politics of the Olympics

Sportsmen (and sportswomen– don’t want to upset Dame Kelly) are not known for their brain power or for their verbal communicateration  skills. As spygun said recently, they largely communicate through the medium of the cliché . The current one being trotted out by the track-pounding-spear-chucking tosserati is ” You shouldn’t mix sport with politics”.

When a country puts on a reasonable Olympics it is the whole country and its Government that receives the kudos. When it appeared that the Greeks would not be ready in time, we were criticising the Greeks, the Greek government and  anyone called Stavros – not the Greek Olympic committee.

Who organises the funding? Ultimately it is the Government – the politicians. Why did we see the Olympic torch outside Number 10 yesterday? Nothing to do with politics?

The Politico-Olympic crisp packet was was first shaken by Adolf Hitler in Berlin 1936. The whole Olympics was designed to look like a super Nazi rally. Its primary purpose was to show Hitler and the Nazis in the best possible light and it worked – until Adolf showed himself to be a bit of a rascal a few years later. What do you associate Jesse Owens with? Wasn’t Adolf being a bit socio-political in his non-violent protest towards Jesse?

What about the so-called Black Panther protest by Tommie Smith and John Carlos in Mexico in 1968. That was very political  – but in a nice way.

Their protest was misunderstood by many. All that Smith and Carlos wanted to do was bring attention to the rather dodgy American treatment of African-Americans. It was probably the most eloquent and successful non-violent protest ever seen and  is the most vivid of all Olympic images. It made Black America proud. The spine-tingling sight of two black gloved athletes, heads bowed with stretched-out fisted hand pointing at the sky  is forever branded on our collective subconscious. 

Let us fast-forward to 1972, the Munich hostages and Palestinian fedayeen machine guns shredding Israeli Olympians  in the name of (dare I say it) Middle Eastern politics.

What was the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics all about? It was a protest against the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Lots of politics there.

Yesterday’s footage of torch-dodging Gordon  and his shit-eating grin reminds one of the importance of the Olympics to politicians.

Gordon on the one hand, wanted to be seen with the Olympic torch because he had no choice – he is the PM. On the other hand, his liberal feelings are no doubt in sympathy and Dalai-Lama-sync with the Tibetans. He did not grasp the torch, just in case the solids hit the air-conditioning and he became associated with what can potentially become Beijing’s Olympic Hiroshima .

There is one slight 21st century tweak to the Politico-Olympian argument. Nowadays, it is an Econo-Olympian Gordian Knot that we have to unravel. Economically, the Chinese have us by the balls and we don’t want them to squeeze.

I would rather allow Handy Andy to sandpaper my eyeballs than support the Chinese Olympics but imagine the fallout if all Western countries withdrew from the games.

Would the damage be confined to a casual “boo” from the Chinese in the direction of the IOC?  I don’t think so.

There would be Economic and POLITICAL ramifications. They would flex their political and economic muscles so fast and hard that the Olympic rings would need Preparation-H.

So please, all you track-suited morons – “Shut it!”

Questions for Fatsos.

“Is it in yet?”

Not so long ago, I walked into our local school playground. The sight that battered my eyeballs made me think that I had blundered into an arse-growing competition where there were no losers. There also appeared to be a gut growing competition in the corner. Many easily qualified for both competitions. Sadly, these were adults  in their 20s and 30s waiting to pick up their young children.  If you are a fat bastard of either sex (or American), stop dieting, read the next few lines, wake up and smell the flatulence. 

Let’s face it – you’re fat. Why are you fat?   Because you eat and drink too much. Yes, yes – It’s to do with big bones or shall we use the water-retention excuse today. No – I’ll tell you what – it’s a medical condition! That one never fails to get sympathy. You’re ill, that’s what you are. Hormonal is good as well.

 

You’re not the sort of person who:

Drinks alcohol. Eats biscuits by the packet. Eats crisps. Cooks shit food.  Eats the so-called orange food: Chips, nuggets, fish fingers, beans, chicken kiev, battered stuff , biscuits, tea, beer etc. Just loves fish and chips. Will get round to exercising next month and when you sign the membership form to the exercise class:  “Let’s have a slap-up meal and a drink just to celebrate joining the gym. After all – it will probably be the last proper meal that I will ever have”.  BOLLOCKS!             

What about:   Lousy in bed and consequently not getting any proper sex?  Never had a orgasm?  Husband left you for a younger (thinner) woman?  Wife left you?  Isn’t she looking glam these days? Not got your figure back since you had that child? Hardly eat a thing? Never ever ate the leftovers? Look for any excuse to “celebrate”? Drink a bottle of wine while cooking? Buy sweets?

“ Well dear – they are just for the kids” “I’ll stop when I’ve finished this tin of sweets.” “ I wish that people would stop giving us biscuits for Christmas.”  “I used to think it clever to get out of PE and games at school. ” “I am a virgin.”  

No jeans? Know the calorific value of everything? Love a glass of white wine? (non-fattening you know) Drink Vodka? ( least fattening of all the hard alcohols).  Have never worn a bikini? Eat like a pig at Christmas? “ Well it is just once a year, isn’t it?”  Do you eat very delicately when you are being watched.  Do you make a big deal of not being hungry when someone else cooks for you? Is your life an unhappy sham?  Do you hate your husband? Do you hate your wife/girlfriend? (or both?). Do you read trashy romantic novels? Are you lonely?  

Is your waist the same size or bigger than your chest? Do you wear baggy jumpers? Do you say “ Well, just one then.” and then proceed to eat as many as you can? Is your mother fat? Have you ever said that ”It’s the person you are that really matters”?  Do you ever wear tracksuit bottoms because it makes your gutbucket stomach happier? Is your husband an ugly bastard? Is your wife a woofer? Are your brothers and sisters fat ? Were you a bloater at school? Were you bullied at school because you were a bloater? Do you have a 99 in your ice-cream? – “Well it is the summer isn’t it?” Chinese takeaways? Indian Takeaways? Pizza? (all washed down with a bucket of diet(?) coke).

Have you ever had a walk in the countryside? Have you started to read the Lonely Hearts columns with a bit more intensity? Have you ever had a walk? ( N.B. There is no typographical error in the preceding sentence). On holiday, do you waddle to the beach and sit eating sweets and sandwiches and drinking pop and beer all day? “Well, it is just once a year”

Tried every diet? You are probably on a diet right now. Michael Winner and Anne Widdecombe (and spygun likes them both) have both said the most sensible thing ever  as far as losing weight is concerned : EAT LESS YOU FAT BASTARD.

 ‘Nuff said.

Moron than I can say.

The average footballer has the brain of an isopod, the social graces of an Albanian peasant, the communication skills of a special needs student and the vocabulary of  a 13 year-old asbotic.

That could pose a problem for his manager. Luckily, most managers come from the same background so they can  communicate with their man by drooling, shouting and grunting  until  there is a glimmer, followed (eventually) by a mutual understanding.

If you listen  carefully to a radio or TV interview  with a footballer you will hear little vocabulary and an over-reliance on clichés which are short, easy to remember and can be mixed, matched and adapted. We al know the old ones : Parrot , Moon  and Backo the Net come to mind – they are the old ones. New ones are creeping in as well : ” I was on a steep learning curve” is quite popular nowadays.  How many footballers have seen a learning curve?

So  we can agree that communication is not their strong suit. Imagine then the difficulty that a foreigner would have in understanding  and gauging the level of thickness and lack of expressive skill that a British footballer enjoys.

When you are listening to someone speaking, you can tell within a couple of sentences whether you are dealing with a scholar or moron. However, when you listen to a foreigner whose language you do not understand, you have no idea whether you are listening to poetry or garbage. Or as a footballer might say: “Nancy woofter-boy stuff or fucking shit.”

Imagine the difficulty that say, a foreign non English-speaking football manager would have in deciding whether a particular footballer would make a good leader or captain. To his unattuned ear, the footballer may sound positively Churchillian  whereas to you and me, he may sound like a dim-witted, knuckle-dragging thicko ***.

But we must also remember that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

*** Sorry to bring the Tory front-bench into this.