Thursday, June 29, 2006

Meet Mark

Now I would like to introduce you to some special. This is him on the right.

His name's Mark

Now Mark thinks he's over weight. To put him at rest, I don't.

Now one drunken afternoon Mark decided to announce to the world that he was going to lose weight, stop smoking, give up booze and exercise more. This boast was made after consuming three packets of biscuits, three gallons of beer and having a cigarette - all while watching the soccer.

Mark has a desire to get back to what he looked like when he was playing sport, which scientists believe looked something like this:

The proudful boast came with a time and weight setting. The exact statement was 'lose 10 kilos in 15 days'. Now I don't think anyone could hold you to that during the World Cup, but it's nearly all over!

So everyone, please send Mark messages of support. I'm not going to give you his email address, but please leave a comment on the blog and I'm sure Mark will read it.

So on 10 July, let's see how he goes!

Pressures on!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Australia vs Italy

Australia vs Italy

How can you seriously follow a game with such passion and intensity when in the end it comes down to nothing more than trickery, bad-judgment and stupidity?

Anyway, here's to you, you bad hygiene sporting, long greasy hair wearing,trip over your own shadow if it meant a free kick, match fixing, living at home with your parents until your 40, shoulder-hair wearing, cheating little people from that boot shaped penninsula that sticks out into the Mediterranean, just like your enormous noses, spoiling another wise perfect view.
Even worse are the little Italian wannabes who stick their hand up claiming to be a full blooded 'vanilla frog' when Italy does something good (not you Bissa - your duplicity is amusing).
Why am I surprised, turning allegiances is simply part of your make up - can any of you say WWII. Guess cowardice and softness runs pretty deep too?

So to you little Super Marios, I say...congratulations. I don't think anyone would have not taken a fall in the exact same circumstance, and if they didn't, they would be stupid. I simply look forward to Australia meeting you on the rugby pitch; was it 64 - 3 last time Luigi?

My beef is the game itself. In a World Cup so far where referees have decided the fate of nearly 6 games, how can it truly be called a sport? Rather a puppet show. The referee pulls the strings and the players dance. The ref in the Aus v Italy game got it wrong. Pure and simply. I don't care what anyone else from back home says, if the UK commentators and papers say the same thing: "bad call you little Spanish git" it was a bad call.
Fair go to Barcelona referee - Emaunael Gotnofuckenclue - it was a fast game and he didn't have a huge amount of time to think it through, but a penalty with no time left, maybe take a second to think about.

While I'm on my little high horse, I'd just like to say what the fuck is this guy on about?

From the BBC World Cup blog. Since when did the Chinese hate us! Aussies may also be interested in this take on "impartiality in sports broadcasting" from China's most popular TV commentator. According to the Associated Press, this is how Huang <> Jianxiang relayed the moment when Fabio Grossowent down under Lucas Neill's "challenge" in the last 10 seconds of the match to the millions of Chinese viewers on state-run CCTV.

"Penalty! Penalty! Penalty! Grosso's done it,Grosso's done it! The great Italian left back! He succeeded in the glorious traditions of Italy! Facchetti, Cabrini and Maldini, their souls are infused in him at this moment! Grosso represents the long history and traditions of Italian soccer, he's not fighting alone at this moment! He's not alone!"

More was to come when Francesco Totti converted the spot-kick.

"Goooooal! Game over! Italy win! Beat the Australians! They do not fall in front of Hiddink again! Italy the great! Left back the great! Happy birthday to Maldini! Forza Italia! The victory belongs to Italy, to Grosso,to Cannavaro, to Zambrotta, to Buffon, to Maldini, to everyone who loves Italian soccer! Hiddink ... lost all his courage faced with Italian history and traditions ... He finally reaped fruits which he had sown! They should go home. They don't need to go as far away as Australia as most of them are living in Europe. Farewell!"

Huang later said he couldn't remember what he had said in the heat of the moment and his preference for Italy was because he had commentated on Serie A for many years."I'm more familiar with Italian players ... and I don't like Australians indeed. I was hoping they'd do badly."

Australia is now in the Asian league - look forward to it stumpy.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bored at work?

Go you little ANZAC!!!!

I'm going to burn in hell;amp;page=1&t=t&f=b

All a bunch of bitches I say

Take a look at the world's greatest blog - where half of this commentary comes from!!!!

Royal Ascot

Headed down to Royal Ascot to see if my racing form had improved since the Epsom Derby. Alas, no. After a boozy Friday night at a work party/dinner/reception, a 7.30 wake up was the last thing I needed. Friday night saw me dress up in a tux and head to the Hurlingham Club, a private club in the middle of a large garden in Chelsea/ Fulham. Very posh I thought. I was sipping champagne and wearing a tux while watching a few chaps play lawn bowls and being played to by a string quartet in the background, I felt very upper class – till I realised that I was going home to my tiny room in Clapham at the end of the night. On another note I’m looking for a new room, but that’s a different story.

Anyway, the races. This time it was done in style. Juxtaposed to me walking around Epsom in just shorts, Royal Ascot was dressed up to the nines. So off a group of us went, containing such racing superstars as Bri 'my tips are shit hot' Macwhirther, Mark 'I've played sport at an optimum level' Griffiths and Emma 'Mark if you don't shut up you're sleeping in the backyard tonight' Flowers.

After spending half an hour studying the form guide, I thought I was in with a real chance. Form guide ready, wallet out and finding my travelling beer companion, it was off to the bookies. All went well with my first bet of the day coming in second – not great – but I got my money back, and how excited am I.
That’s when the wheels fell off. I bet on every single race for the rest of the day, and got nothing. Thanks need to go to Bri for her world beating tips and Mark for his insistence that every race needed to be gambled on!

That’s it; I’m not writing anymore, it’s all just too hard!

Ibiza - Sleep, I need sleep!!!!

So off my little body took me to Ibiza last week, and this being a family program, we'll leave it there shall we? With their inquisitions, conquistadors and laid back attitude to personal hygiene, I thought I'd feel right at home in Spain. So it wasn’t too difficult to acclimatise to Ibiza – be it condensed Spain.

I could go on about how fantastic it was, but then I'd begin sounding like that annoying friend who travels overseas and writes page long emails to his mates back home about his "fabulous" travels. Nobody wants that. So let's just say I did it, I had an unbelievable time, didn't get much sleep, attached a few photos and am still recovering a week later.

Football - the game some people play in some places

Football, football, football. One of the best things about the World Cup, particularly in London, is the mix of nationalities you get. It truly is fantastic. It's not just in the bars and clubs though. International diversity and cultures mixing on the field is why Australia is where it is. It took a Dutchman to manage a team of Croats to beat the Uruguayans to play against a few other teams in Germany - brilliant. So for those who aren't sure which country's fans are which, please, allow me.
Australian fan

Brazilian fan

Croatian fan

Swedish fans

English fan

Ah diversity.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

World Cup - Australia vs Japan

Football, football, football. As much as it may seem like football is the flavour of the month down under, imagine what it’s like here. I actually can’t explain the hype, fever, excitement and party atmosphere that grips Europe and the London currently – and more surprising is I’m loving soccer right now. However, I still think that soccer is a close relation to such sports as watching grass grow and the ever stimulating paint dry marathon.

One of the hardest things to understand about soccer is the offside rule. Not meaning to be sexist, but it does tend to take women a little longer to understand this rule than men, but it does take you ladies a lot longer with everything really. Here is the offside rule explained for women:

You're in a shoe shop, second in the queue for the till. Behind the shop assistant on the till is a pair of shoes which you have seen and which you must have.
The female shopper in front of you has seen them also and is eyeing them with desire. Both of you have forgotten your purses. It would be totally rude to push in front of the first woman if you had no money to pay for the shoes. The shop assistant remains at the till waiting.Your friend is trying on another pair of shoes at the back of the shop and sees your dilemma.
She prepares to throw her purse to you. If she does so, you can catch the purse, then walk round the other shopper and buy the shoes. At a pinch she could throw the purse ahead of the other shopper and,"whilst it is in flight" you could nip around the other shopper, catch the purse and buy the shoes. However until the purse had 'actually been thrown' you are not allowed to move in front of the other shopper - (otherwise you would be 'Offside')...

Australia vs Japan

Unfortunately I couldn’t get to the pub for the Aus v Japan game, but snuck down to the work cafeteria at 3pm to watch. There hasn’t been a battle between these two countries that has held this much importance since The Battle of the Coral Sea. For those of you that missed it, all you need to know is the result went the same way as it did about 60 years ago. Three late goals from a triumphant Aussie team cemented our position as the Group F leader!

Bring on Brazil.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Epsom Races

Saturday was Epsom races, and I'm not going to bore you with the details, as we all know when you go to the races it's a fantastic day, but doesn't' really sound exciting when you re-tell the story. For example, I had an absolute ball, but when asked what did I do there, all I can respond is that I stood around drinking??
So let's just go over the highlights in dot point form (why do I feel like I'm padding out a High School essay?):

Train trip to Epsom: two hours late for the designated meeting with friends after a hectic Friday night but seemed some of the gang were in the same boat, so the train trip was good (UK public drinking in the - brilliant). The walk from the station to the track was about two miles on a perfect 25 degree day, however a few people were getting a bit hot. Not me: I had thrown some ice in a backpack to carry my beers (travelers - all 8 of them) on the train. With a cut here and a snip there, the ice was slowly melting in my bag and chilling my back and legs (ideas man I am).

Races: didn't see many horses.

Positioning: I had the best of both worlds. Valvo and his mates were all along the boundary and near the tote, so whenever a race was on I could go down and get a bet. While the footy boys were on the hill with a BBQ, free beer and a live band next to us (although 'band' in the same vein as those that play at the Carnegie RSL on Wednesday nights in a 60s revival spectacular). Mind you the rocket scientists with the BBQ had a bit of trouble getting it going in the light breeze and so basically had taken it under the bus and lit it nearer the fuel tank. I ended up spending more time with the free beer and food brigade.

On the track: Once the races were over it was time to explore the track closer in the form of a nudey run. The Clapham Demons 6.15. The stewards chased the guys down and an angry young bloke with an extremely bad case of short man syndrome started cursing and looking around angrily. We were informed we were all in trouble and so we wandered off and ignored him. He nearly exploded.

Going home: A long, fun day which included 7 hours of drinking, 4 hotdogs, one steak sandwich, plate of salad, £30 down and nice bit of colour on the skin. Time to head home, have a shower and continue the endeavours (did I mention drinking on the train?).