Sorry Pat

Well, there you go.

Last week I cursed the name of Pat Cash, former Wimbledon Champion turned tennis columnist for his unequivocal backing of one A. Murray to take this year’s title.

Sticking to my principles, oh alright then, superstitions, I thought that as Mr. Cash had, the previous Sunday, endorsed Rafa to go all the way only to see Rafa not getting to the end of the first day it was all over for Andy.

And it would all be Pat’s fault for daring not only to think the unthinkable but to print it in a National newspaper.


Altogether now,


Well done Andy, I never doubted you would do it one day!

The Curse Of Pat Cash

Well aren’t we enjoying an exciting Wimbledon?

Andy and Laura through to the second week. We’ll all sit back and say Laura did really well, whether she wins or loses and no-one truly expects her to get past the formidable Miss Williams in the next round.

Andy is a different matter.

He has been contesting semis and finals in Grand Slam events on a reasonably regular basis and of course lost at Wimbledon to the Fed last year, beat the guy on Centre Court to take the Olympic title, and then went on to claim his first Grand Slam over Novak Djokovic in the US Open

Add to that the fact that all the seeds under twenty in his half of the draw have gone and things should be looking good.

But not so fast.

Last Sunday, on the eve of the Championships, former Champion Pat Cash came out all guns blazing for Rafael Nadal to take the title. He offered reasoned thinking, good observation, a sound analysis of strong and weak points and a former player’s gut instinct to arrive at this conclusion and attempt to convince us of the same.

Rafa crashed out in straight sets in his first match.

So who does Mr Cash think will win now?

Yes you guessed it, with an ex champs reasoning, analysis, observations and gut instinct he reckons wee Andy can go the whole way.

Well thanks for that Pat. You can go off people you know!

Peta’s High Horse Not Given Much Chance By The Bookies

Well, the Boat Race is safely behind us, no unhinged upper class twits got through the cordons of Marines patrolling the Thames after last year’s very unhinged class warrior’s antics, so now we’re into that other hotbed of controversy in the sporting calendar Already PETA are claiming that the races are cruel and exploitative of dumb animals, with many animals suffering injury and death in this most cold blooded of sports events, those that don’t make the grade being killed and their carcasses finding their way into the human food chain… oh wait, me that got it wrong, they’re not talking about the Grand National steeplechase, they’re talking about….. Pigeon Racing!

They could definitely be barking up the wrong tree here, whilst followers of the gee gees claim that the horses enjoy the jumps, admittedly probably moreso when they have shed their 9 stone burden along with his whip, as loose horses frequently continue to race and jump the hurdles until they get bored, oughtn’t PETA to be focusing on the fact that the people who breed and keep racing pigeons are known as “pigeon fanciers”. All they need to show is that one James Saville used to keep pigeons, visited lofts kept by other Radio 1 dee-jays and was allowed unsupervised access to young pigeons and the sport will be closed down in a matter of weeks.

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Ignore The First Race, This Could Be A Good Season

Well last week the F1 season kicked off and looked set to carry on where 2012 left off, boring the pants off everyone.

And then we went to Malaysia.

Now the fun and games had nothing to do with the venue and rather a lot to do with the drivers.

Lewis Hamilton made an early pit stop, unfortunately at the wrong pit. Well I suppose he drove for McLaren for a long time and it will take some getting used to sailing past the mechanics in their white and orange overalls and carrying on to the guys in silver.

Then the Force Indias had problems with the front left on both their cars during their stops. Turns out they were trying to fit a nut onto a nut. Doh.

Torro Rosso sent their driver out from the pit just as a Caterham was pulling into the pit in front.

McLaren released JB before the front right mechanic had managed to tighten up his wheel.

Mercedes gambled on a low fuel load, hoping for rain or at least a safety car or two, for neither of these to appear and as early as the opening laps were advising their drivers of the need to conserve fuel. This ultimately led to second placed Hamilton having to back off when running second, allowing Vettel to pass, but his teammate Rosberg was told, rather firmly, not to pass as Ross Brawn “wanted to bring both cars home”. Rosberg said pretty please and made his eyes big and round to show how much he wanted to pass but Ross was not to be persuaded.

Nico might be feeling a bit hard done by but relations in the Mercedes team are probably a lot more cordial than over at Red Bull, where, with Mark Webber leading the drivers were allegedly told to hold position, which Seb Vettel took to mean close up on your teammate and pass him when he’s not expecting it.

Vettel’s celebrations were rather undermined by the obvious displeasure of Mark Webber, who demonstrated a rather fine line in throwing his toys out of the pram.

Let’s just hope it all carries on in the same vein, I love it when they get mardy with each other:>

The Boxer Turns

I’ve often vented my anger on these pages about the mindless, probably useless, shit-for-brains who post derogatory comments to – usually – sports people who may not have got the gold but have at least achieved something in their lives and ploughed in a lot of effort for a lot of years to achieve that achievement.

So I was well chuffed to learn that boxer Chris Woodhouse, on checking his Twitter account and finding that @jimmyob88 had termed him a “disgrace” and “#awasteofspunk” following his defeat on points for the English Light Welter weight title found out where @jimmyob88 lived, jumped into his car and on reaching his destination tweeted a picture of @jimmyob88’s street sign along with the words, “Right Jimbob, I’m here!!!” followed by a request for someone to tell him what number the little troll lived at.

Funnily enough Chris received a grovelling apology from @jimmyob88.

As our dear old Mum used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.”

Or perhaps don’t choose to say it about boxers who could be a bit miffed having just lost a title!

Mid-Life Crisis

So some men, when they are feeling as if the brow of the hill may be receding. like their hairline, into the distance, go out and buy a big fuck off motorbike on which to bring forward their ultimate demise.

Others buy a fast car, see above, but at least if they get to pull in it they don’t have to lie on the damp grass, plays havoc with the old sciatica, mind you so does trying to get your leg over in a 2+2.

Others, perhaps in posession of all their material wants, turn to matters of grooming and dress. They might dye their hair, they might take to wearing a Breitling watch, they may sport a gold chain around their neck, perhaps holding a gold sovereign against their greying chest-hair. They might start to wear clothes that people a generation younger wear to underline their coolness and hipability.

None of this fools anybody, of course, we all know that here is a person afraid of growing old gracefully.

What, then, do we make of Roger Federer at the Australian Open.

The lilac shirt goes well with the grey shorts, (that’s what he’s wearing on his bottom and not the colour of his body hair) and Fed has always been quite partial to black tennis shoes,


WTF Rog, it’ll be odd socks and body piercings next.

Get a grip man.

Graeme Swann’s Cat

What is it about Graeme Swann and cats? A couple of years ago Swannie was in court on a drunk driving charge.

Whilst he admitted that he had been drinking earlier in the day, he told the court that when he got home he realised the builders had re-laid the floorboards leaving his cat trapped underneath. He immediately jumped into his car and hared off to the nearest DIY shop to purchase a screwdriver so he could remove the recently replaced floorboards and release his cat. (A Shaggy Cat Story)

Attending a function recently a punter enquired as to the well being of the aforementioned moggy.

Swannie had another tale to tell.

Arriving back home he saw a flattened, furry shape lying stil in the gutter.

Distraught, Swannie scooped up the lifeless feline and proceeded to bury it in the back garden. He then retired to the kitchen for a slug of solace and to mourn his departed pet.

He was very surprised then when said pet strolled back into the kitchen.

He’d buried somebody else’s cat.

We can only hope the rapidly interred cat was actually dead and not just snoozing.

The Curious Tale of Lance and the Bicycle

Yes, I could have gone with ‘Terrible Truth about Lance’, ‘The Witch Hunt of a Legend’ (depends which side you’re on), or ‘Its the Sun Wot Won It’ (because, lets face it, given the number of runners up in all the relevant the Tours de France that have since been banned on drugs charges, there’s as good a chance as any of The Sun being able to claim one of them).

Lance Armstrong was an American hero. After beating cancer he went on to win the Tour de France a record 7 times, and heads the Livestrong Foundation, a world renowned cancer charity.

For years, people have said ‘he’s a drugs cheat’, but nothing has been proven, he has officially not failed any drugs tests while competing, and has always staunchly denied such allegations.

This week however, even the most loyal supporters are in doubt given the lengthy document so publicly issued by the USADA. As much as I would like to believe he is the legend the world believed him to be, I’ve got to admit, it doesn’t look good Lance.

Now, generally, I am easily convinced that American athletes have cheated if there’s any such suggestion, and sports commentators might say ‘Well, we haven’t seen the like of this since the Ben Johnson (Canadian) scandal of 1988, and I think we all remember how that turned out’, but, I can’t help but think there is something fishy about this whole thing.

In May 2010, a federal investigation by the Food and Drug Administration began into allegations of doping and fraud against the US Government by the US Postal Service Team. This investigation went on for almost 2 years, but was closed without bringing any charges as there was nothing to go on.

Following the closure of this investigation earlier this year, the USADA has set about stripping Lance of titles and imposing bans, and generally trying to get everyone to hear the sinister theme tune of Darth Vader every time they think of Lance Armstrong. Their report reads like a children’s story portraying Lance as an evil baddie, rather than a legal document in a high profile case (although, having seen the difference in news coverage between the BBC and CNN in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I suspect this might be the norm for items destined for public viewing in The States).

The evidence seems largely centred around statements from other riders and team members. 11 team riders, plus 15 others involved with the US Postal Service team have given statements painting a bad picture of Lance and the whole team. Evidence of money transactions and emails regarding drugs deals are cited. Frozen samples have been re-tested, and some have been labelled as ‘suspicious’.

Many of said team members have already been caught doping and have allegedly been offered a lesser punishment in return for making statements in this case; Tyler Hamilton is even enjoying success on the back of his recent book, coincidently released amid all of this Armstrong hoo-hah. 3 other accused are taking their cases to arbitration to be heard independently; surely they must think they have a good chance? Could it be argued that evidence of money transactions and emails could have been fabricated? And is there any possibility that frozen samples from several years ago could have been tampered with or affected by storage conditions so that they provide a different reading to what they would have back then?

I suspect the UCI may have some things to say, but more so because they are suggested to have been involved in some of the cover-ups along the way. Whether it will actually go to arbitration remains to be seen.

But could one man really have masterminded such a complex cheating program on such a massive scale? If so, how could he be so foolish as to believe that something like this would never happen? Is he so far down the denial road now that it would be impossible for him to admit to cheating, or is he actually innocent and the victim of a vendetta set out by Travis Tygart for reasons known only to himself?

If Only He’d Known….

Should really have posted this yesterday but I was catching up on my shut-eye after being unable to leave the TV with Europe having come back from 10 – 6 down to 12 a piece in the Ryder Cup.

And wasn’t it brilliant watching them finally ovrhauling the Americans to win the cup outright, rather than just retain it?

Well, perhaps not if you are American.

Then came the story that Rory McIlroy had nearly missed his tee time, having confused Eastern time with Central time.

A kindly state trooper, deputy sheriff no less, drove the rather too relaxed Irish chipmunk to the course, where he just had time to hit a coouple of chips and then he was up to the tee, and, well, the rest is history.

A bit like the deputy sheriff’s career I should imagine.

Congratulations to all the Europe Team.

And Now, The End Is Near…

The sports pages tell us the big news in F1 is whether Lewis Hamilton wil stay at McLaren or move to Mercedes next season. Do we give a flying fuck? Lewis has shown himself to be a brilliant driver, but appears to have a bit of a character flaw leading to a lack of judgement on occasion, ergo the number of times he collided with Felipe Massa back in 2010, the lying about slowing to let Jarno Trulli pass under a yellow flag in 2009,and just this season the posting of his teammates technical data on Twitter.

Perhaps its something to do with being a very, very good driver, Michael Schumacher has seven world championships to his name but also a long list of people he has pushed off the track, Damon Hill being the most memorable as their feud simmered over the seasons. David Coulthard was on the receiving end of Schumi’s favourite manoeuvre, misjudging his breaking distance and ploughing into the back of the car in front,Jean – Eric Vergne was the latest to suffer, although Sergio Perez and Bruno Senna have both been taken out in similar fashion by Herr Schumacher.

Perhaps it is time the old Maestro realised he is past it, as he was when he came back but God loves a tryer I guess.

In football John Terry announced his decision to retire with immediate effect from international football. This doesn’t seem to have anything to do with his football skills declining or otherwise, but rather he appears to be a bit miffed with the FA.

Of course, just because he isn’t going to play for England anymore doesn’t mean you won’t see him, in full England kit, celebrating on the pitch with his former team-mates after the match.