Monday, July 11, 2005

The Power of Three (Nil)

Well, it has been quite a week hasn't it. Thursday was a memorable day, for obvious and tragic reasons. That day brewed that emotive cocktail of fear, excitement and sorrow. I spent the afternoon guiltily flicking between the news channels like a digital rubberknecker. I can't say that I was totally surprised, but that doesn't make it any less tragic or shocking. There has been enough written on the 'whys' and 'what nexts' to fill the Thames, and most of it has been tainted by dangerous retribution, and predictable speculation. I'll just point your clickers to this dignified and intelligent article by the beeb's John Simpson. Make him President of the World for God's sake!

The horror, the horrorAs for the one-(old)man Olympic backlash I seem to have generated, I may have assembled an apologia for this athletic apathy. Fear. At school I regularly played for the school cricket team, made the rugby second XV once or twice, and even made the hockey team (this is obviously pre-beer). But one piece of sporting equipment put the fear in me more than a twenty hard shiny new cricket balls, fifty hockey sticks, and a bus-load of Stonehenge-sized opposition prop forwards. The hurdle. Running, timing and jumping. That's not one sport, that's three. I could concentrate on the running and get a good early lead until the inevitable stumble after timing it all wrong and attempting a jump with the left leg. Or I'd put everything into the pacing, making sure I'd clear the hurdles with the right leg and tuck the left in textbook, except it'd take so long everyone else would be on the home straight. As a sport I'm sure it was invented as the one sport where you can hurt your shin and knee in one go. Athletics wasn't all shite though, I quite liked chucking stuff. And that what bugs me about athletics, where's the tactics, the mental games, the teamwork? It is just running, jumping and throwing.

I bought some DVDs t'other day. Brass Eye, North by Northwest and The Motorcycle Diaries. Good selction I reckon, though I've not watched The Motorcycle Diaries yet.

Saturday saw the end of Clive Woodward's England 2003 Victory Parade. Thankfully. I'll miss the banter and the breakfast, but not the bizarre team selections, the outdated tactics or the dreadful spin-doctoring. Apparently a photo of Gavin Henson with Woodward looking fatherly was set-up with an Alistair Campbell positioned cameraman hidden in a bush, apparently to sooth the tabloid talk of Henson being upset by his baffling first Test omission. Whether it's true or not is unimportant, its an indication of how that particular Woody-scheme has backfired. Much like the 2003 flavoured team sheet. If he does become Southampton FC manager, he'll probably pick Matt Le Tissier. Congrats to Gethin Jenkins, Simon Easterby, Ryan Jones, Dwayne Peel and Josh Lewsey. They actually played quite well. As did other players, who for some reason, never got close to the Test XV, well done Chris Cusiter, Charlie Hodgson, Simon Shaw and Gordon Bulloch. We are sure to see most of those above in South Africa in four years time, I doubt Woodward and Campbell will be invited, however.


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