Posts Tagged ‘Sport’

Dangers of despising the World Cup

June 14, 2010

I’m not particularly passionate about football, I’m not swept away with World Cup hysteria and I’ve always had a soft spot for radical feminist writing…but even I can tell that this article ‘Why I despise the World Cup’ is utterly ridiculous.

“I refuse to get excited about some wealthy misogynist jocks” – Hmm. A lazy generalisation, for sure. Like decrying all New Statesmen journos as self-indulgent Oxbridge wankers would be. Plus bourgeois complaints about working-class people earning too much money can be a bit unseemly.

“The fact remains, however, that there are more pressing things to worry about over the soccer season than the state of Frank Lampard’s admittedly shapely calves. This country is in crisis. Young people are in crisis, poor people are in crisis, unemployment stands at 2.5 million, the Labour movement is still leaderless and directionless, and there’s a brutal train of Tory public service cuts coming over the hill.”  – All true but following that logic all forms of entertainment must surely be condemned for distracting the masses from the political struggle!

“Of course, not everyone who displays an England flag is a fascist, but a few of the flags in circulation will undoubtedly be re-used at the upcoming EDL rally in East London, which plans to process through the same streets where Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts marched in 1936.”  – Criticising people for embracing English/British flags is such a tired cliché of leftie lunacy.

“The problem with football as commodified nationalism is that it leaves the left wing entirely undefended” – The problem with associating leftist politics with a sneery distaste for mainstream culture is that you will alienate the vast majority of the population and leave yourself vulnerable to mockery by the right.

Most of Comrade Penny’s articles seem designed to provoke outraged reactions rather than inspire sober debate. That’s fair enough from her and the New Statesman’s point of view – these polemics certainly make for good reading so will draw in the readers. But they’re hardly constructive contributions for formulating the future of the left. Plus, when I think of ‘radical left’ journalists with a burning desire to gain attention through controversy, my mind conjures up names such as Julie Burchill and Gary Bushell…


Odd choice of talking head.

February 5, 2010

Revolutionary agitator and football analyst?

I’m not sure if I hallucinated it. I was watching a report on BBC London news about John Terry no longer being England Captain when a beardy bloke called John Rees was suddenly asked to comment on the matter.

John Rees is, of course, one of the foremost Trotskyists in the country. He’s a former Socialist Workers Party bigwig and parliamentary candidate for the Respect coalition. One solution = Revolution and similar nonsense.

Apparently, however, he is a ‘social commentator’ and therefore a legitimate choice of person for the reporter to interview. I don’t have a problem with far-left weirdos being allowed on the telly, but I was surprised that anyone would consider Rees to be an authority on football. Perhaps the reporter was very, very desperate to find someone to talk to?

I can’t seem to find any reference to the report on the BBC website which is just making me more concerned that the entire thing is a construct of my hyperactive imagination.

Lapdog of imperialism refuses to serve People’s Korea.

October 14, 2009

It is being reported that Sven-Gordon Eriksson has decided not to accept an invitation to become the ‘technical adviser’ to the football team of North Korea.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has qualified for next year’s World Cup – the first time the Stalinist state will be participating in the tournament since 1966 (when they managed to get to the quarter-finals!).

Perhaps Sven did not think he would be able to stand the excitement of North Korean football. When North Korea lost against South Korea in the qualification rounds, the North Korean coach accused the South of poisoning his players. In 2005 a game against Iran (some sort of ‘Axis of Evil’ sporting gettogether?) led to riots in Pyongyang when the referee gave a North Korean player a red card.

Or maybe he doesn’t fancy helping to deliver propaganda victories to a horrific regime.

A good book would sort him out

July 3, 2009
Dont like books!

"Don't like books!"

So Andy Murray is emulating the former great tennis-whites hope Tim Henman in that he has played well but just can’t make it to the Wimbledon final (let alone win it).

Something else Murray and Henman have in common is their distaste for the ancient art of reading.

Tim Henman once said in an interview that he didn’t like reading books as he thought they were “boring”.

Andy Murray also seems to be the antithesis of a book worm. He claims he’s only read “a bit of The Rock’s autobiography and a couple of Harry Potter books”.

Maybe the British No 1 should concentrate not only on physical prowess but also a bit of brain exercise.

Yes, I know I would say this, being a nerd and all. But what books would we recommed to Murray to get him in the right frame of mind to win Wimbledon 2010?

Reading up on the interesting life of working-class tennis champ Fred Perry, whose clothing brand now kindly provide Murray with loadsa dosh, might be a good start.

“Sporting Socialism”

February 5, 2009

I don’t usually have anything to say about sport. Infact I prefer to avoid thinking about it altogether.

However, the BBC sports editor Mihir Bose (who usually only attracts my attention through his slightly pompous style of reporting) wrote up an interesting piece on the recent Super Bowl over in the States.

I had no idea that the National (American!) Football League is set up so that all the teams share revenues from the sport equally amongst themselves. The aim of this is to maintain a competitive balance between the teams. In addition there is a salary cap the teams need to abide by. It is apparently around $116 million per team. Mihir Bose described this system as a form of “sporting socialism”.

The best thing about the 2009 Super Bowl - Bruce Springsteen at half time

The best thing about the 2009 Super Bowl - Bruce Springsteen at half time

Could such a model of strict regulation, which encourages equality of opportunity and makes the outcome of sporting competitions less determined by financial resources, be imported over here, where the English Premier League is dominated by a handful of grossly wealthy football clubs hording all the top players by paying them extravagant amounts?

I guess the problem would be that, unlike American football, our version of the game is fun to watch and is therefore popular around the world. If a salaray cap/maximum wage was introduced here then there is a risk that all the top talent would simply migrate to football clubs in other countries.

But in this time of increasing state intervention perhaps this is something to think about. If it helps the fortunes of Raith Rovers FC then surely Gordon will listen!

Captain Jako