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.
NICOLE Cooke is a former Olympic cycling champion from Wick in the Vale of Glamorgan. She’s retired from her sport. Her leaving speech is repeated in full hereunder. It’s worth a read, particularly her views on sexism and Lance Armstrong.
She answers our question: If everyone is cheating, what’s the big deal?
C. B. Fry put it:
“It is widely acknowledged that if both sides agree to cheat, cheating is fair.”
LANCE Armstrong attacked and abused Betsy Andreu, the truth-seeking wife of cyclist Frankie. He worked to ruin her. (Full story here.) Oprah Winfrey wants to know more about this. Arsmtong had been advsied well. Winfrey has battled with her weight. So, Lance, what did you call Betsey Andreu:
“I called you crazy. I called you a bitch….But I never called you fat.”
And with that, he is redeemed…
HOW modern journalism works: a source says something and the story takes on a life of its own. The Daily Mirror told us that sportsman and mod Bradley Wiggins was turning his hand to music, “teaming with Paul Weller and Bruce Foxton on new single.” The story was based on a single “source”:
“It’s all incredibly exciting and has been in the pipeline for some time. Everything has finally been signed off though, and a date set for mid-February.”
LANCE Armstrong answers. Yes, he did cheat by taking drugs. Everyone who didn’t take banned performance-enhancing drugs whom he beat has been cheated. The many who cheated and were beaten by Armstrong are two-time losers. Now go outside and throw your truck at people .
Armstrong has told Oprah Winfrey everything. Which beggars the question: why didn’t they get her to question him ages ago?
CAN you lip read what these NFL footballers are saying? They can:
Let’s not beat around the bush: this is the best thing ever. (via @gavinpurcell)
IS Liverpool’s charmless and talented Luis Suraez a cheat? Says Luis Saurez:
“I was accused of falling inside the box in a match and it’s true I did it that time, because we were drawing against Stoke at home and we needed anything to win it. But after that everybody jumped up to talk – the Stoke coach and the Everton coach … I understood that the name Suarez sells newspapers…
“The media make up a lot of things about me because they want to sell papers. I say to the media: You should talk more about football, not about other stuff.
PEP Guardiola has been confirmed as the new coach of Bayern Munich. They play in Germany. This morning the Times told its readers:
Dream on, Pep…
THE world according to Harry Redknapp, QPR manager. The Evening Standard reported today:
Loic Remy was finalising an £8million transfer to Queens Park Rangers today but the striker will be sold in the summer if the club are relegated. It is understood that his £80,000‑a-week deal includes a release clause which will be triggered if Rangers, who are bottom of the Premier League, go down in May.
FOOTBALL these days, brings more misery and frustration than cheer. So when something brilliant and remarkable happens, you cherish it. And then, inevitably, a footballing body ruins it for everyone. Think of the AC Milan players gallantly walking off during a match because of racist abuse. They were brave, strong and bold… and then Sepp Blatter opened his stupid cakehole and said players shouldn’t stand up for themselves and that they were ‘running away’ from the problem.
And now our footballing organisations are at it.
FOOTBALLER of the day: Mouhamadou Habib Habibou. On Wikipedia, Habibou’s profile is memorable:
During a Zulte-Waregem game against Lokeren, Habibou grabbed and threw a duck over advertising hoardings because it had wandered onto the field.
LANCE Armstrong will appear on Oprah Winfrey’s TV show. The infamous cheat will go on Oprah’s Next Chapter for 90 minutes. This will be the first interview with Armstrong since he was stripped of his Seven Tour de France titles. What questions will she ask? Will she be tough? Will it be a confessional? Sources say Armstrong plans to admit to doping throughout his career.
NO player has been elected to Basbeball’s Hall of Fame this time round. The New York Times responds thus (this might be how the Guardian reports on sport from now on, given that it’s sacked its chief sports writer to save money. Look out for the Guardian’s basbeball HoF live blog to go with its – and we’re not kidding – live darts blog):
YOU always know when the big sports event is coming to town: the prostitute stories begin. Why are journalists so interested in the sex trade?
Prostitutes in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte are signing up in droves for free language classes in order to be ready for a barrage of foreign visitors to the tropical country during the 2014 soccer World Cup.
DOES heading a football give you breain dmage? What about heading a person? Sam Harnett looks at research on American Footballers by Stanford researchers:
[David] Camarillo and his team have outfitted the football team with mouth guards that measure the physics of every hit. At practices, they use ultra-high-definition, slow-motion cameras to observe those collisions more closely and look for ways to prevent them. The first startling discovery of the research is how little is known about the “injury mechanism” for concussions, that is, exactly how they are caused… How hard does a hit need to be to cause a concussion outright? How many small, low-impact hits before a player begins to exhibit concussion symptoms?
THE papers are pretty unanimous: Luis Suarez is a cheat. The Liverpool striker is cheat who robbed “plucky” Mansfield Town of FA Cup glory in the third round, ripping the romance of the FA Cup to smithereens. “Caught red-handed,” said the Times. “You cheat!” thundered the Sun. “Suarez handball KO’s Brave Stags.” But it’s not only foreign Suarez the papers hate. It’s football.
Not so long ago, Team GB were scooping Olympic medals in the Velodrome. In one race, the lads took men’s team sprint at London 2012. The Telegraph cheered:
Sir Chris Hoy and Great Britain’s team sprint squad claimed a glorious gold medal record in the men’s final tonight, breaking the world record in both the semi-final and then again in the final when they defeated France, posting an almost unbelievable time of 42.600sec.
FOOTBALL insight of the day, with former Manchester City and QPR legend Rodney ‘Toony Army‘ Marsh:
“I wouldn’t bring him back because he is so volatile, because there are so many negatives around him which reflect on the football club and the team” - Marsh opines on whether allowing Carlos Tevez to play for City is a good idea.
IS Luis Suarez, Liverpool’s unlovely striker, a cheat? Let’s see what the experts say of the man who used a hand to set up his side’s crucial second goal against Mansfield Town in the FA Cup. Oh, the romance. The rules seem pretty obvious:
In Fifa’s Laws of the Game 2005, Law 12:
… a free-kick or penalty will be awarded if a player “handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)”.
A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following seven offences: • unsporting behaviour
What say the experts?
Premier League referee David Elleray:
“Referees look at two specifics – did the hand or arm go towards the ball or in a manner which would block the ball, or is the hand in a position where it would not normally be? The challenging decisions are if the defending player spreads their arms to make themselves bigger. If the ball hits the arm then the referee must decide whether this action was to deliberately block the ball or whether the player has raised their arms to protect themselves – especially if the ball is hit at speed.”
CHUCK Giampa will now take us inside the mind of a boxing judge:
THINK about the entertainment that surrounds football matches in England. A meat and potato pie with grey innards? Someone doing a draw so someone wins £200? Or if it is a special game, maybe Katherine Jenkins looking contemptuous on the halfway line, trying to flog some awful CD of warbling?
Well, once again, America puts us all to shame. The Super Bowl has had Prince, The Who and Paul McCartney and a football match has knocked them all into a cocked hat with the greatest entertainment any sport could ever hope to sit beside…
LAST year Robin Van Persie was the Premier League’s top scorer. The then Arsenal captain’s 29 league goals lifted his side from mediocrity to Champions’ League qualifiers. The brilliant Dutchman won the PFA and FWA player of the year gongs.
So. Why did Manchester United buy him? United captain Rio Ferdinand has an thought:
The manager saw something in him…
IN the Daily Mail. Michael Walker has football facts about ambulatory comic strip:
Sunday’s other Premier League game is QPR-Liverpool. It is over eight years since Djibril Cisse cost £14m when he moved to Anfield. His transfer was not considered a success, particularly when he went from September 25th to May 15th in his first season without scoring.