"..a bardy view!"

Cor blimey! Dick Van Dyke (on your bike!)

The news that the official Olympic ball used for the football tournaments in 2012 will be called the Albert, is according to Adidas, a homage to the 2012 Games being synonymous with the East End of London and its Cockney heritage. 

"The Albert" comes from the cockney rhyming slang for ball – ie "The Albert Hall".

Traditionally a cockney is someone born within the peal of the Bells of Bow, yet the Olympic Stadium is considerably outside those audible chimes – but whats a few facts when the world is watching?

I'm not quite sure how the rest of the UK will take the news, after all, they may be called the London Olympics, but this type of localised sentiment is unlikely to endear interest from the other bits outside the capital, and panders to those who feel ostracised from them.

Football fans in Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester may be peeved that the name relates to the south where arch rivals Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur abide. And lets not forget Scotland and Wales, for surely it is their Olympics as well – at least I think it is.  Devolution hasn't totally separated them – yet!

Indeed I do believe that the UK team will be called Team GB and comprise players from all points of the venerable isles and played around the country.

Still, when our hopefuls kick the Albert around with their plates and knock it with their loaf, I hope the teapots will be proud and our chinas will rabbit merrily around the jack with the pig, when afterwards they'll wander home for their tommy before the dickory hits twelve!

Would you adam and eve it Mary Poppins?

Plates = plates of meat: feet. Loaf = loaf of bread: head. Teapots = teapot lids: kids. Chinas = china plates: mates. Rabbit = rabbit and pork: talk. Jack = jack tar: bar. Pigs = pigs ear: beer. Tommy = tommy tucker: supper. Dickory = hickory, dickory, dock: clock. Adam and Eve = believe.

The big question is: Why? Chim Chimanee! Apologies to all me ol' cockney chinas! If I have any left after this!


July 25, 2011 Posted by | Culture, Current Affairs, Events, Humour, London, Sport, United Kingdom | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Prince, the Prime Minister and the Prima Donnas…..

It has been suggested that England lost her World Cup 2018 bid because of the negative allegations by the British media of corruption within certain sections of the Federation of Insidious Football Apparatchiks (FIFA).There are many who believe that these revelations should have been postponed.

Those who think that have clearly lost their moral compass. The notion that the the BBC should have waited until after the results of the bid to disclose their suspicions would pander to corrupt manipulation akin to the antithesis of that which they were prepared to expose.

If there was a gong for fair play laced with naivety then England would get the gold. I found the presentation cringing in the extreme. The future king waxing lyrical about his passion for football (since when have the royals been associated with chanting on the terraces?), and the PM thinking that his oratory skills (commendable as they are) could convince a secret society whose snouts are so embedded in a trough of detritus, together with a charming but flawed football star emotionally reminiscing on his granddad, could sway at the eleventh hour a decision which had been clearly decided months ago beggars belief.

Add to that an "ambassador" who almost said that if it hadn't been for football he would have ended up in criminal gangs, portraying a picture of Manchester populated by disillusioned, directionless and violent youths, where the only escape is to kick a leather ball around, and the image of England was sealed – hook, line and sinker.

The accompanying film espousing English football's reverence around the world, without a single cultural emphasis on the nation which invented it, with all the traditions, values and sense of sportsmanship missing, left me as a viewer in despair. And yet this was expected to convince an international disparate group of 22 voters, each with a personal agenda, to embrace this tosh with open arms.

What is it with the English that they must continue to push a politically correct, multi-cultural, ethnic melting pot at the expense of the majority who are, fundamentally English, diverse and proud, and would like to see some decent flag waving for a change.

What is it with the English who think they must promote a legacy for the world? We already did that and we don't need to apologise anymore by disguising our achievements wrapped up in gobbledegook. For God's sake, stand up and shout out who we are. That's what the Russians did. And if the bid was stitched up in some way by the "mafia state", and if it was obvious that tournaments must go to those parts of the world which have never held it before, then we should have expected it. South Africa this year, Brazil in 2014, now Russia in 2018 and Qatar(!) in 2022.

If we only got 2 votes (one of which from the British delegate) spare a thought for the Australians who only got one for the 2022 bid, who also spent much more than England. This travesty is preposterous and cost us £15m.

The chief arsehole Sepp Blatter could not have wished for greater credence than to see three eminent visitors fawn themselves in Zurich – one of whom was a prince and the other a prime minister.

Enough of this nonsense, and shame on England for not having greater intelligence.

Finally, if there is any good to come out of this, it is that the independence of the British media was not influenced and went ahead regardless. Which highlights another point. If the votes went against England because of that, then clearly it merely enhances the suspicions. It means the bid was not won on merit but lost on spite. If that is the culture of FIFA then to hell with them, and lets be proud that our national broadcaster had the guts to go to air when they did. Russians take note.

The right thing to do would be to boycott the competition until a transparent root and branch reform was implemented. And those pigs might fly.

December 3, 2010 Posted by | Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Football, General, Politics, United Kingdom | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

World Cup 2010 – The End of Football As We Know It!

Unfortunately, this is the World Cup which changed the game. No longer will we be able to get riled and angry blaming "the Ref". No longer can we have arguments in the pub about dubious decisions. No longer can the referee's decision be final.

After today, the glorious game will be monitored by technological micro chips, and if it happens at FIFA, it will happen at UEFA and eventually football associations around the world.

Congratulations to Spain, but just prior to their goal, there where two decisions which could have affected it.

When Maradona's Hand of God gave Argentina the divine intervention, England suffered in 1986. Then, for all the huff and bluster, it was regarded as dubious sportsmanship, nay gamesmanship and the name of the game.

In the South African World Cup, England again was the victim of a poor decision in their match with Germany. Could these events have changed England's mental and physical performance in both these games? Who knows.

Holland were superb in the 70's but never won the tournament. They took it well each time they made it to the finals, and that small country was big enough to handle it. As they will now. The Netherlands is unique in Europe. It is the most charming country, and I for one feel utmost pain at their defeat.

England were on the top of their game in 1970. As Champions they had the greatest collection of players in the world. However, a win on home soil at Wembley and then to play in the oppressive heat of Mexico demanded physical fitness and acclimatisation which most players were not used to, and they didn't play for teams overseas either.

On top of that the respected captain Bobby Moore was arrested for stealing some bracelet or other. Clearly innocent, it was an event that he and the players needed to rise to. How that would have been treated by 24 hour news media today I dread to think. No doubt the BBC and Sky would have catapulted their journalists all and sundry to dig the dirt.

Fortunately, that facility wasn't available back then. I'd like to think that Alf Ramsey would have shoved his opinions up where the sun doesn't shine (Fabbio take note).

But let's remember the greatest ever football match – that one in Mexico between England and Brazil. Sadly, if the micro-chip existed then, perhaps we wouldn't remember at all.

I remember the game, Brazil won 1-0 and I remember Moore swapping shirts with Pele. (Tomorrow, at some point, a lawyer will seek a ruling on health and safety, implying that his client caught an itch, which may interfere with his future performance or potential modelling career because of a rash. The days of shirt swapping will soon be over!)

Joking aside the problems are obvious. The flow of the game will be interrupted in the future. The heat and passion will be removed. The referee and his linesmen will not have ultimate authority, but usurped by the micro-chip – in the ball, in the net, and God knows elsewhere.

Big Brother has arrived in the great game. Fans may think this a step forward, but they do not realise the loss of human interaction. Football has almost become a non-contact sport, and what would be the point of defenders giving their all if their tackle can be instantly replayed. Ok for the pundits and followers, but for the referee his whistle would just be a passage of hot air.

The money is so huge, the international prestige and showcase so massive, that there is no room for error.

American team sports are clinical affairs dictated by sponsors and advertising. Today Wimbledon uses the technology to ensure a ball in or out. The likes of McEnroe, Borg, Connors, Năstase etc could not have been as entertaining with the electronic all powerful spy. And as for the women – I'd rather watch Yvonne Goolagong over the William sisters any day.

The new Centre Court roof was a reaction to the British weather (or was it the prospect of Cliff Richard singing again?) yet it planted a carbuncle on the stadium, and surely it is a lousy investment that will rarely be used? The summers are getting drier according to the climate change bods. (Yeah – its Cliff's fault!)

In tennis, human officials have been replaced by the micro-chip, and the game has suffered. When was the last great Wimbledon tournament?

Rugby has it's sin bin, but it is a contact sport and the referee must be respected. He has a link in his earpiece to a third referee when he needs it.  Cricket still maintains its umpire authority except when a wicket is in dispute.

Football (and by the way FIFA stands for Federation of International Football Associations for anyone thinking that the game is called "soccer" – It's not FISA) is different. This World Cup has created a knee-jerk reaction, fuelled mainly by media pundits because England had a goal disqualified.

Sepp Blatter (the FIFA bigwig) after much soul searching (about 48 hours) concluded that goal-line technology must be implemented – something he has rejected for years. But the power of the dollar is paramount. The money is too great. Football must enter the techno, clinical world of absolute accuracy.

This World Cup was not the greatest, but it meant alot for South Africa. Whilst they and the Spanish will dance into the night, and for many nights to come, a wake will be held elsewhere -  because the truth is football died in 2010 and it will never be the same again.


July 12, 2010 Posted by | Cricket, Culture, Current Affairs, Football, General, London, Politics, Sport, Tennis, United Kingdom | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


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