Rob Minto

Sport, data, ideas

Month: December 2005

Sorry

I’m not going to blog for a while as I am away from late December to mid-January. I will be enjoying myself in Argentina. Enjoy the cold snap.<br />
<br />
Rob

SPOTY

That’s Sports Personality of the Year, to you and me. (Actually, I have no idea if anyone uses that acronym. I doubt it.)<br />
<br />
Compelling viewing, year after year. Why? It’s those awful interviews when either Lineker or Barker quizzes someone for about one minute, gaining no insight into their personality or sport, but long enough to make a truly horrendous comment. Tonight’s selection was particularly bad.<br />
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Sue Barker interviewing Mike Ruddock, rugby coach of Wales. “So, how can you make next season a success? If you can keep Henson out of church…” <br />
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Gary Lineker interviewing Paula Radcliffe: “Perhaps next year you could bring a portaloo.”<br />
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Lineker again, with Zara Philips “now here’s some other posh totty…”<br />
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This is terrible stuff. Yet they intersperse it with touching features about top cyclists battling cancer and raising funds for charity, without realising how viciously the programme lurches from being uplifting to cringe-making.<br />
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The other thing is the lack of editorial judgement. Throwing Amir Kahn and Andy Murray together worked – just. They both seem like savvy kids, and their conversation seemed relatively natural. But the interview with Kevin Pietersen in front of the rest of the England cricket team was so awkward, I didn’t know who to feel sorry for. And in the tennis review of the year, they forgot to mention that Marat Safin won the Australian Open. Just a minor point there.<br />
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Oh, Freddie won the overall award. About time. Now if they could just give him a rest so he can play some cricket…

A few things have happened

…since I last wrote this blog. In no particluar order:<br />
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– George Best passed away<br />
– Paskistan stuffed England at cricket<br />
– Martina Hingis announced her comeback<br />
– England are 2nd seeds at the World Cup<br />
– Peter Crouch has scored<br />
– Keane has been kicked out of ManU, and ManU flopped at the group stage of Europe<br />
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All of these things are big. That’s sport for you. Turn your back and it just keeps on throwing up the surprises.<br />
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Manchester United are, according to the press, a club in crisis. But examine a few facts, and it’s more obvious that the current situation is part of a trend.<br />
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Ferguson has not won the premiership or gone past the 1/4 finals of Europe since he announced and then retracted his resignation 3 years ago.<br />
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Roy Keane was always a destabilising influence, but it was ok if he was playing at the top of his powers. He is the biggest hypocrite in sport. He slags off other players for being overpaid, when he smashed the wage ceiling at ManU by demanding 52k pw. He complains of the lack of discipline and passion, but gets drunk beyond recognition and commits fouls that should have merited police action. He claimed to be the leader, but let his side down time and time again with needless red cards. He walked out of his country’s world cup because he couldn’t control his temper. ManU have done well to get rid of him now.<br />
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Ferguson has spent poorly compaired to Wenger and Mourinho. Veron, Forlan, Kleberson – these are not astute signings. Plus look at the players he has missed: Ballack, Robben, Ronaldinho. He has lost his touch in the transfer market.<br />
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The England cricket team I’ll save for another day. There’s a bigger picture there.

The fiver

A ha! I have made it into the Fiver. This, if you don’t know, is the Guardian’s popular daily email about Football. So…<br />
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The fiver mentioned a <a href=”http://football.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1641810,00.html”>piece by Jon Brodkin on Rooney and Owen</a>. A good article, to be sure, but he mentioned early on that <br />
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“For the most part England’s two strikers look little more of a partnership than Sid Vicious and Ludwig van Beethoven in terms of operating on the same wavelength.”<br />
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So <a href=”http://football.guardian.co.uk/Fiver/0,4022,1643257,00.html”>I casually wrote in</a> to the Fiver that…<br />
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“Jon Brodkin (yesterday’s theguardian) might think that comparing Sid Vicious and Ludwig van Beethoven to Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney is a clever analogy. He might also ponder that both were played by Gary Oldman on film, so they can’t be that dissimilar” – Rob Minto.<br />
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Now, the Fiver’s letters are usually irreverent stuff. Off-the-cuff. Not exactly intellectual debate. Yet, what do I see <a href=”http://football.guardian.co.uk/Fiver/0,4022,1643962,00.html”>in the next issue</a>?<br />
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“The fact that both Sid Vicious and Ludwig van Beethoven have been played by Gary Oldman does not mean that they are in any way similar, despite what Rob Minto said in yesterday’s letters. As one of this country’s finest character actors, Oldman is very capable of playing entirely different people in different films. It’s what actors do” – Andy Cadman.<br />
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Ok, Cadman. What’s your point? So Oldman is a good actor, and actors are able to transform themselves into diverse characters? My argument is still valid. If you are going to use a metaphor of two musicians on opposite sides of the spectrum, doesn’t it weaken your point if both have been played by the same actor? <br />
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Anyway. Thanks Cadman. Well done. It’s a lighthearted forum. Don’t piss on my parade.

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