Sports news, commentary and scores with wit and added value. We compare and contrast the best and worst sports reporting in the mainstream press, blogs, TV and online. We love the English Premier League (Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester United and Manchester City) and all things football but we cover cricket, rugby, the Olympics, tennis, golf, F1 and highlights of the sporting year.
Rebecca Adlington’s Nose Gives The Mail, Sun And Daily Mirror Abuse Amnesia On Fat And Ugly Wayne Rooney
EVERYONE and their dog has been sticking up for Rebecca Adlington. Apparently, she may or may not have had a nose job. It’s her business, her money and she can do as she pleases.
However, that’s not everything cleared up.
You see, everyone now has to fret and fuss, wondering if this is all the result of years of cruel jibes she’s received on Twitter and from comedians like Frankie Boyle.
Of course, the issue of women being pressured to fit a certain look, or be expected to be good looking if they’re going to be successful is a dreadful narrative that has cropped after, at long last, women started to call bullshit on the practice. It’d be wonderful if we lived in a world where we were celebrated for what we could do, rather than how we look.
IN the Daily Mirror, stereotypical shy, conservative Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic is talking about Arsenal, the team he never did sign for:
“England is a very strong league, with three or four of the best teams in Europe – but, if I had played there, I would have destroyed it, like I have everywhere else. Arsenal could have happened, as everybody knows – but I would not do a trial. Who do you think regrets that more, Arsene Wenger or Zlatan?”
HANDS up Manchester United fans who knew where Olympiacos play their home matches? You don’t have to be all the precise, just naming the country will do.
Those of you who get your news from the Daily Express, hard cheese.
VIEWING of the BBC’s Saturday afternoon broadcast of Ross County v St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership was ended when swearing broke out amongst the fans.
Telly watchers hoping to catch the game at 5:30pm were forced to wait until the post-watershed 10:55pm.
Margot McCuaig, managing director of mneTV, which was producing the broadcast for BBC Alba, tweeted:
“Unfortunately @TheStaggies v @saintmirrenfc won’t transmit on #BBCALBA at 5.30pm due to bad language from crowd. Will be on at 11pm. Sorry!”
FLASHBACK to September 30th 1954: – Arsenal players at the Highbury ground, North London.
Centre forward Tommy Lawton tries on a Russian fur hat in the Arsenal dressing room as a preliminary to Sunday’s trip to Dynamo Moscow with the ‘Gunners’. Other Arsenal players are – left to right – Alex Forbes, Walley Barnes and Jack Kelsey.
MOST football fans would like to believe that Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben spat on Arsenal’s Bacary Sagna during their Champions League last-16 tie at the Emirates. It’s not because we dislike the French defender; it’s because we think Robben is an irritating tosser. Being annoying is not an offence worthy of sanction, unlike spitting, say, which is.
A BIG (helping) hand please for the fall guys…
A month of extreme weather and Winter Olympics has brought the downfall of members of the public…
MANCHESTER City Balls: 51 minutes into City’s Champions’ League match against Barcelona, the team’s official twitter feed tweeted:
On 52 minutes, Demichelis was sent off for a foul that also led to a penalty, which Messi scored.
FLASHBACK: Manchester City’s Mike Summerbee demonstrating the built in record player in his new Swedish sports car on 17/03/1967.
WAYNE Rooney is to sing a new contract to play for Manchester United. The Red Devils have touched his heart to such a degree that he will play for them so long as they up his wage packet to £300,000 a week. What say the papers:
Metro: “Wayne Rooney to sign record-breaking £70m deal that will keep him at Manchester United for life”
FINDING the Sochi Winter Olympics a bit dull? What about if cats are added?
EVGENI Plushenko’s Pony Bomb Routine has been remixed to Ginuwine’s Pony. It is unforgettable:
ROBBIE Savage Watch: in this week’s opinion to deadline, Savage tells his Daily Mirror readers (Feb 6):
Football’s Mr Marmite is sticking with the Gunners when many predict a repeat of the 2011 collapse which saw three trophies go up in smoke in just a few days…
Those would be the Gunners Savage tipped to finish fifth?
Three months ago in this column, I revised my pre-season prediction that Arsenal would finish outside the top four, and said what other pundits could not bring themselves to admit – namely that Wenger could win the title this season. And although Manchester City, my tips before a ball was kicked last August, have the superior firepower, I’m not deserting the Gunners just yet.
LETTERS from Sochi: this is what the National Post’s Bruce Arthur found in his hotel room.
As he tweets: “This takes some balls, Russia”
WATCHING Manchester United’s Premier League match with (there’s only one ‘f’ in) Fulham, Anorak was struck by a figure in the crowd. Seated alongside Sir Alex Ferguson was flame-haired crooner Mick Hucknall. We couldn’t help but notice that Hucknall looks a lot like the late comedian Charlie Drake. His catchphrase was ‘Hello, my darlings’. It’s known that Hucknall has a way with the women, too. Can they be related?
The history of football in three minutes. Identify all the stars and win a free Ralph Coates headband:
WHEN one of the Olympic rings failed to covert form a snowflake at the Sochi Winter Olympic opening ceremony jokes abounded abounded about the clenched fifth being a tribute to the uptight Vladimir Putin. But on Russian telly it never happened. All five rings opened on cue with no hint of retention.
Most of us saw this:
MANY all eyes on the Winter Olympics in Sochi for signs of anti-gayness. But what about racism? Irina Rodnina is an MP from Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party. She used to be a champion figure skater.
No. Not her. This is Russia’s Irina Rodina at the Sydney Olympics:
We’re talking about Irina Rodnina, who with Vladislav Tretiak Irina Rodnina lit the flame:
WHAT did the Olympics ever do for you? Otl Aicher was the true star of the 1972 Olympics? Who he? Was he member of Black September, the murderers who attacked the Israeli team? No. Was he seven-time gold medalist Mark Spitz’s coach, the man who swam just in front of the Californian dipper, a gold medal pinned to his trunks beneath the hand-stitched legend “C’mon Mark, Reach for the prize”? No.
Otl Aicher designed these, the Games’ pictograms, the figures that pointed the way to the Games’ events, told you where smoking was forbidden and where the toilets were located. His simplistic design would become the universal standard.
Aicher had no small task. As Michael Burke, a designer who worked on the project with Aicher, tells it:
…they wanted it to become much more open. The problem was that in the 1930s, the last time Germany had held the Games – obviously, the wanted to develop a completely new feel to it. Although it’s very typically German, in the sense that it’s very rationalised and very structured it’s got a soul to it. If you notice, there’s no red or black used.
No red or black. When the Germans had last hosted the Olympics, red and black had been very much in vogue:
Was Aicher chosen to lead the design team by accident? He had considerable talent, having co-founded the Ulm School of Design (Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm) and worked for German mega-companies Braun and Lufthansa. But better than that, in 1937 Aicher had been arrested for refusing to join the Hitler Youth. He was not one of them. He was one of the winners. He had said ‘no’.
And then…the massacre?
One of the brochures was the break out point where it all started to move into the rainbow colours. I can remember very vividly, after the Arab attack on the Israeli’s, where we all felt totally shattered – we’d seen all the police around – the decision was, what should we do, should we carry on at all? It was then decided that the colours would be used even more so – one discussion was that we used black, or that we stopped – then the idea was that the Rainbow Games would suggest an optimism…
The pictograms were used everywhere in Germany – at sports complexes, in schools and that was the objective. Normally all the marks are copywrited and such but these could be used by different people.
Cycling Inquisition realises how right it all feels:
Like a paperclip, we don’t think of Aicher’s pictograms as designed objects per se, but rather as the objects themselves. The chairs we own are someone’s take on a chair. That’s not the case with the average, everyday paperclip. It is what it is, a paperclip. That’s it. Objects at this level of comprehension are simply there. They feel as though they have always been there, and did so from the moment they were presented to the masses. In every country, in every city, they are simply there. In the case of Aicher’s icons they’ve become shorthand that everyone can understand, a set of simple shapes that successfully tells us where to go when we need to use a bathroom.
The thing Aicher was really interested in, in the whole of the Olympics, aside from the products we see here, was the souvenirs. He said we must get control of these souvenirs – so that was the big problem; how to structure them so that there wasn’t all the usual kitsch coming out. The mascot, Waldi, is very typical design approach and there’s even a cuddly toy version! But you remember those Bauhaus toys? Well that’s the link through again.
So. Typography and design matters.
Beatrice Warde addressed the British Typographers’ Guild
Imagine that you have before you a flagon of wine. You may choose your own favorite vintage for this imaginary demonstration, so that it be a deep shimmering crimson in color. You have two goblets before you. One is of solid gold, wrought in the most exquisite patterns. The other is of crystal-clear glass, thin as a bubble, and as transparent. Pour and drink; and according to your choice of goblet, I shall know whether or not you are a connoisseur of wine. For if you have no feelings about wine one way or the other, you will want the sensation of drinking the stuff out of a vessel that may have cost thousands of pounds; but if you are a member of that vanishing tribe, the amateurs of fine vintages, you will choose the crystal, because everything about it is calculated to reveal rather than to hide the beautiful thing which it was meant to contain.
Bear with me in this long-winded and fragrant metaphor; for you will find that almost all the virtues of the perfect wine-glass have a parallel in typography. There is the long, thin stem that obviates fingerprints on the bowl. Why? Because no cloud must come between your eyes and the fiery hearth of the liquid. Are not the margins on book pages similarly meant to obviate the necessity of fingering the type-pages? Again: The glass is colorless or at the most only faintly tinged in the bowl, because the connoisseur judges wine partly by its color and is impatient of anything that alters it. There are a thousand mannerisms in typography that are as impudent and arbitrary as putting port in tumblers of red or green glass! When a goblet has a base that looks too small for security, it does not matter how cleverly it is weighted; you feel nervous lest it should tip over. There are ways of setting lines of type which may work well enough, and yet keep the reader subconsciously worried by the fear of “doubling” lines, reading three words as one, and so forth.
Printing demands a humility of mind, for the lack of which many of the fine arts are even now floundering in self-conscious and maudlin experiments. There is nothing simple or dull in achieving the transparent page. Vulgar ostentation is twice as easy as discipline. When you realise that ugly typography never effaces itself, you will be able to capture beauty as the wise men capture happiness by aiming at something else. The “stunt typographer” learns the fickleness of rich men who hate to read. Not for them are long breaths held over serif and kern, they will not appreciate your splitting of hair-spaces. Nobody (save the other craftsmen) will appreciate half your skill. But you may spend endless years of happy experiment in devising that crystalline goblet which is worthy to hold the vintage of the human mind.
The trick is to be seamless…
GYMNASTICS loosens you up. Vimeo agent GHOST+COW FILMS taps my shoulder with the stinky fingers of adolescence with his tribute to blowing off.
You start waiting for the next thunder cracker. When it comes, it’s all the better:
BETWEEN 1900 and 1912, Russia competed at the Russian Empire – although it failed to pitch up at the 1904 Games in St Louis, USA. They should have practiced. At the 1912 Games, the Russian Empire team scooped 2 silver medals and three bonze.
IN 1942, fights fans surrounded the ring to see the toddlers slugs it out. If the Hun made land, Dads’ Army in Annapolis, Maryland, would need reinforcements. The Baby Boxers will fight the bitter end – or nap time, at least.
First on the card, Basher Bill and Tornado Tim, two 3-year-olds.
Tim takes one in the eye. Boy, that sure smarts. Seconds out for round two and the Tornado has lost his legs and his moniker – he’s now the “Midget”. Finally, he’s the “Quitter”, crawling back to his corner like a sorry drunkard to his past-caring wife.
The poor wretch.
THE Russian man who told me about the police who burned him with cigarettes, broke his phone and extorted money wasn’t poor. That’s why he was telling me in the hipster comfort of an East London drinking den, the temporary home of the Silicon Drinkabout tech networking event. He wasn’t poor. That’s why, he said, his family could make the leap from Moscow to the Czech Republic. That’s why he’s now a Czech citizen, able to live and work in the UK and free from the village where the police sold meth and ignored a dead man on the stairs of his apartment block.