Rob Minto

Sport, data, ideas

Month: November 2005

get go-forward?

I’m very close to being depressed. Here are 6 reasons:<br />
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– England’s cricket team lost to Pakistan in a match they dominated. Exciting cricket, good for the game, but not for the England team. This matters because losing matches and series becomes a habit, one that England don’t need to pick up before the Ashes next year.<br />
– Meanwhile, Australia are getting a nice confidence boost by slapping a weak West Indies team.<br />
– In rugby, I am worried that England will be hammered by New Zealand tomorrow. <br />
– The tennis masters has been a disaster. Everyone is injured. It looks like a third tier event.<br />
– I am hungover.<br />
– The phrase “go-forward” has become a noun in rugby. Sample from <a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/international/4443488.stm”>Zinzan Brooke’s column</a> on the BBC:<br />
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England will need Tindall at his best on Saturday. He won’t need to be flash, but if they want to get any <b>go-forward</b>, he will need to be the man.<br />
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This has been around for a while now. Can we stop it please? It’s just awful. <br />
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Here are <a href=”http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=%22get+go-forward%22+rugby”>some other offenders</a>:

Chance to impress

It’s a very big moment for three players, all turning out for England this weekend in different sports.<br />
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First up, it’s little Ian Bell. He would have been dropped if it wasn’t for Michael Vaughn’s dodgy knee, so he in the first test to play Pakistan in Multan. If you haven’t been to Multan, nor have I. No clue where it is. Anyway, expect lots of headlines like “the Multans of swing” if someone gets a few wickets with the old ball moving in the air.<br />
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Next to look at himself in the dressing room mirror and not panic before running out for his country is Pat Sanderson. Playing your first test against Australia is pretty daunting, given that they have two of the best flankers in world rugby in George Smith and Phil Waugh. To get a run in the side, Pat is going to have to scrap mightily well against those two. I wish him luck. He’ll probably get raked and stamped to buggery as well.<br />
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Lastly, it’s the new Bobby Moore, future of England etc Rio Ferdinand. He’s been around a long time, but I fail to see how he is higher up the pecking order than Campbell, Terry, Carragher, Woodgate, etc but Sven likes him. A good game against Argentina and he’s in for the World Cup. A shoddy performance, even Sven might think he’s more Bobby Dazzler than Bobby Moore and dump him for good. <br />
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Thank god for my 42″ plasma and skysports subscription.

autumn rugby fever

I don’t know why the autumn rugby test internationals are exciting, but they are. Perhaps it’s the welcome break from football, or the feeling that winter is approaching, which makes me long for the pub and the feel of a barber jacket, although I have never owned one. Or the smell of leaves. (Stop it).<br />
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There is something pointless yet meaningfull about it all. I yearn for the All Blacks to win the grand slam, walk away with the tag of best team in the world, safe in the knowledge that when it comes to the World cup, they’ll balls it up.<br />
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I love the new faces in the England team, the desperate scramble for places. I really enjoy the fact that the matches mean nothing, yet one bad performance can somehow be almost career-ending. Both style and results are equally important.<br />
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It’s also a hemisphere battle, always South v North. The double header of England vs Australia and Ireland vs New Zealand this Saturday is very tasty. It gives the imagination free flow. (So if Wales are 40 points worse than the All Blacks, and Ireland lose by just 10, does that mean… etc etc)<br />
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Which leads me to think every year: each autumn all three major Southern Hemisphere countries come over. Why not do a North v South match? Include France, forget the lions for a while. It might just be silly idea, but it could be something special.

Lessons in finding your target audience #452

Advertising products during football programmes is just obvious, right? Cars, phones, booze, they are all easy choices. <br />
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So, we have a Tuesday Champions League match featuring Liverpool. Cut to the ads. A new electric shaver – yes, that’s good. Next up – footage of a boy pouring a goldfish from a plastic bag into a pond. What could this be? Voiceover: “It’s good to be out in the open” Yes yes, where’s the car/phone/holiday/creditcard?<br />
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“So that’s why Philips have introduced the new open MRI scanner.” Scene of woman in hospital, looking like a model, grinning as she is about to have a wonderful MRI scan.<br />
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What on <i>earth</i> is going on? Since when has needing an MRI scan been a fun, aspirational thing? And how big is the market for MRI scanners anyway? And during the football? <br />
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You can just hear the pub banter – “Mate, mate, you should really upgrade your MRI scanner – it’s looks shit. And now they’re open. Brilliant. Look at mine.”

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