Rob Minto

Sport, data, ideas

Month: October 2005

I will not make sense

It’s that time of year again. A couple of weekends ago, thousands of people were irritated by Nike. Again. This time, it was Hyde park, Battersea park and some others as well. I got caught up in the Battersea park run. It was hugely annnoying. (<a href=”http://www.minto.net/blogs/archives/55-Nike-nightmare.html”>see last year for what it’s all about</a>)<br />
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Why? It’s not the disruption, or even the music. It the slogan on every shirt. And people are <b>still </b>wearing these bloody shirts as they go running round London.<br />
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This time it was: “I will run a year.”<br />
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What the hell does that mean? Really. What does it mean? “I will run <b>FOR </b>a year”? In which case, is that non-stop, like Forrest Gump, or just once a week? And if you give up after a year, then that’s not much good, is it?<br />
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“I will run a Nike race each year”? More likely, but a poor sentiment.<br />
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“I will run around London wearing this fucking shirt for a year”? Ah, now we have it.

Henry and Bruno – predictable in different ways

ITV had all the sport last night. Champions League football, and the Frank Bruno documentary.<br />
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Both were predictable. In the football, Scholes was sent off for ManU, and <a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/4349012.stm”>Henry scored an amazing goal</a>. He now has overtaken Ian Wright’s 185 Arsenal club record, and probably 70 of those goals would be in any other player’s top 10. If he goes elsewhere, I fear for the gunners, who have over-achieved in terms of spending power for many years.<br />
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But the Bruno documentary was sadly predictable in other ways. Frank was a national treasure, an icon, a decent boxer and a hell of a puncher. He never shook the “Uncle Tom” tag, gabbling about it as soon as he had won the world title. But the worst aspect was all those friends who watched him descend into masses of drugs, sleeping in the garden, strange phone calls in the middle of the night, feeble stunts and hopeless DJing, and did nothing. Yet they all are happy to chat on TV about it. Poor Frank, bit of a mess, not the brightest, losing it. And, oh look, he’s gone mad. So why didn’t you DO something? The predictability is not that Frank had mental health problems, but that his “mates” did sod-all to help.<br />

Football crazies

A strange week in the beautiful (ugly) game. Jonathan Woodgate seems to be on a <a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/4332894.stm”>scoring frenzy of own goals</a>, England <a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/4326110.stm”>qualify</a> for Germany 2006 thanks to other results just as the knives sharpen for Sven and Becks, and <a href=”http://news.ft.com/cms/s/7110585c-3a81-11da-b0d3-00000e2511c8.html”>Sep Blatter goes all greed-is-bad</a> on, of all places, FT.com. Football is very weird at the moment.<br />
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But never mind football. What is <a href=”http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,3605,1586025,00.html”>Megan Dodds obsession with Roger Federer?</a> And who is Megan Dodds, you may ask. I have no idea. She seems to merit a Q&A in the Weekend section of the Guardian.

Hardcore cricket

The super series should be the Lions of cricket – but it lacks several things:<br />
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– the tour atmosphere – it’s too quick, an in-and-out job<br />
– history, which can’t be helped<br />
– passion. It all seems a bit half-hearted<br />
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There is an excellent piece summarising all this on <a href=”http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/221079.html”>cricinfo </a>(which has become one of my favourite sites.)<br />
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Sometimes I like to point out the weirder pictures that are used on sports sites, and here is one…. it’s in a review on the BBC of <a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/cricket/england/4312638.stm”>who should replace Simon Jones</a> on the Pakistan tour, but they have used a really weird picture of the bowler Liam Plunkett. It looks like they have put one of those S&M red balls in his mouth, like in Pulp Fiction. See what I mean?<br />
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<img src=”http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40877000/jpg/_40877588_plunkett203.jpg” alt=”” />

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