Yes, the blog title is a play on a song title, but unless you’re as old as me, until you reach the video, you may well not know it.
OK, fine, non sports fans might want to walk away here. Its funny, I remember when sport had deep bred traditions, but seemingly nowadays, thats not enough. In golf, for example, in the old days (and not that long ago, in truth), with the exception of the Ryder Cup (which used to be GB v US, but changed to make it competitive), and a Matchplay Championship once a year, everything was individual play, strokeplay, mostly over 72 holes, over 4 days.
Now, we have a tournament in Australia where they play 18 hole strokeplay for 3 days, with a cut after 2, before having a wild 24 person knock out tournament, with matches over 6 holes on the last day! This week, for the second year, we have a pairs tournament going on in the US, with 2 different formulas of play over the 4 days. Next week, in the UK, we have a round robin group tournament, involving 16 pairs in matches over 6 holes, with all sorts of weird rules (time to play shot being one of them), and in a few weeks, in Belgium, we have 1 with 2 days of standard strokeplay, followed by a 64 player knock out thing on strokes, over 9 holes!
I guess this is all to try and bring in a new audience, or maybe its because I’m just old, and set in my ways, but seriously…do we need all this?
The other sport in the UK that seems to be desperately trying to ‘re-invent the wheel’ is cricket. Not satisfied with the rapid fire 20 over stuff, someone has now come up with the idea of 100 ball cricket, 15 standard overs, plus 1 10 ball one! And instead of counties, and affiliation, there are going to be just 8 franchises. Now, lets face it, for example, if there is a franchise for the North, in Manchester, if they think Yorkshire folk are going to support it? Or vice versa? I suspect, in truth, both will get one, for the rivalry. But equally, if they think a West Country franchise based in Bristol, would get support from Somerset?
For US reader sake, imagine a baseball team, over 5 innings, 5 outs per innings, and 1 franchise in Los Angeles. You seriously think Angels fans would support it in Dodgers stadium, or vice versa?
The big snag with the cricket one is also the one our cricket board, as opposed to India, Australia and the like dont, is the financial one. Unless these teams employ international names, as opposed to county journeymen, who’s going to come and watch? Snag is, these things cost money, and the ECB dont like spending it, so…?
Oh fine, guilty as charged, I will probably watch some of it, when Sky Sports pay for the rights to show it, I’m sure. But do we need all these gimmicks in our sports, or not?
Video time. The snag with 70’s songs is finding live video performances from back then. Pre video cameras, and at a time when film of so many shows were wiped after use, ah well… So strictly, this is 10 cc. In reality, its one of the original group, but all the same…
I’ve had some fun today, given there’s been little of interest on TV in other matters for me today, I’ve been watching some cricket. Yes, I know, I like cricket, but the Indian Premier League (IPL) just tends to leave me cold for some reason. In truth, I blame the commentators for that, mainly because they tend to fawn over the Indian cricketers as if they were gods, and well, when Danny Morrison starts commentating, lets just say it starts to grind on me. So lets leave the actual cricket there, OK? Tonight, given that ESPN are giving baseball a pass on the early games tonight, I’ll have the Masters on until bedtime, much more sedate. And beyond the fact of commenting that I’ve just seen Tiger Woods knock in a long eagle putt, and do nothing more than acknowledge the crowds (no fist pump, as it used to be with him), I’m beginning to hope he wins again sometime soon, and if you’d told me a few years ago that I’d be saying that, I’d be laughing at you!
But going back to the IPL, and that ‘other universe’ life I might have had. Yes, I was watching the cheerleaders doing their routines, and wondering what that sort of life might be like? Well, without the bit of checking their smart phones while not dancing, but hey, if I was young now, like that, maybe I would do that sort of thing? In truth, I have no idea how well paid they are, or anything? I assumed all these Pro Sport cheerleaders were well paid, well pampered, and everything else, and then I read an article about how badly some NFL teams treat their cheerleaders, and it shocked me. Basically their attitude seems to be that of supply and demand, but I wonder how much demand there will be in future when they find out how badly the women are treated, but anyway…?
Alright, I suspect Clara, and all those other chorus line dancers were on pretty strict diets during their working years, to keep them slim, all the same. Probably why most only did a few years, before getting married, and retiring, I guess, as they could then eat more normal amounts?
But fine, if I had the youth, the looks, and the dancing skills, that sort of life might just be fun? I know, I’ll never know, I guess, unless Clara gives her full life story if I ever get regressed again! Either that, or a wonderful lady I know online, who worked in Vegas tells me. Not that either give me that personal experience, but short of a rejuvenation chamber, or something, not going to happen to me!
Fine, video time. I apologize for the less than regular quality tonight, but this is from Top Of The Pops in 1974, basically a lost episode, but someone found this bit at least. The actual song, and routine is fine (very vintage, apt for the song), but a couple of, err, interesting interludes. No, I know nothing of the artist, beyond this song!
About the only blessing of being unable to get through a whole day at work yesterday, because of my back flaring up badly again, was the fact that I got the chance to catch some of the Par 3 Tournament at the Masters, from Augusta, Georgia. In truth, seeing the actual coverage of the event only started at 8 pm my time, I would have been home in time for most of it anyway. Yes, the program started about an hour earlier, with the presenters just talking, but anyway, I survived all of that!
When I was young (mid – late teens or so), I was actually a reasonable golfer, think I got to a 12 or 13 handicap at one point. Not good enough to do anything major, but at least I could have a decent walk around a course without having to wander off into the rough too often! After that point, I started getting more involved in cricket, and I started to play less, and less, until I reached a point where I just didnt play any more. 20 years or so later, I was playing what the US people call Par 3 golf (UK folk probably know it as pitch & putt) for fun for a while, and while the basic skills were still there, its fair to say that my body meant much of the talents had receded, not helped by various injuries, arthritis, and the like. Now, with my back gone, I wouldnt even try any more, though in truth, its been a few years now, anyway.
All that meant though, that I’ve tended to follow golf over the years, to some degree or another. More so back then when I was playing a bit, than now, though I still watch some, and unless there is baseball on, I will probably watch the final round of the Masters on Sunday, for sure.
But yes, on the Wednesday, before the big event gets started, Augusta has this sweet little par 3 event, which seems to be played by a selected number of the tournament players, past champions who will, and wont be playing the main event (because of age), and randomized others! The others are mainly relatives of the players, usually children, but not always.
Anyway, when I was a young ‘woman’, one of the players I grew up loving to watch was Tom Watson. Always seemed a nice guy, though in truth, he was probably as competitive as the rest of them! Still, if I say that now, he’s one of those that no longer plays in the event proper, due to his age, it shows we’re all getting old! Amazingly, less than a decade ago, he was runner up in the Open, at the age of 59, and nearly won it!
Still, the story is, last night, despite age, despite everything, every putt he hit seemed to drop, whatever the distance, and some were lengthy. Yes, he won the whole event, though I suspect that some of today’s players dont try too hard, partly not to risk injury, partly as they’re just having fun, but anyway… There is 1 strange jinx, no player who has won the Par 3 event has won the Masters in the same year. Its going to happen at some point, but not this year, for sure!
But yes, for an old lady like myself, it was lovely to see the likes of Watson, Player, and Nicklaus doing so well in the tournament. We all grow old, and weary, but seemingly some less than others! Congratulations, Tom, enjoy the moment.
Yes, the video tonight is the blindingly obvious one, given the blog title. A live performance by the late, great, Ray Charles
Well, finally, as we get close to the end of the year, Christmas and all that, things start happening for the last time in 2017.
I’m due to take the final one of those 3 exams I needed to take tomorrow, and having passed the first two comfortably enough (in my opinion, only get told passed, or presumably failed, no actual score), I’m definitely hoping that will be it for the year. In theory I’ve got a couple of practice tests I need to do by mid January, but with luck I can leave them for now. We will see how busy Saturday is, I guess, though as of yesterday, I couldnt sign in to said website, so definitely cant do them at present. No, I’m not missing them in the slightest lol!
I am guilty of doing far too many sports related competitions for my own good. Horse Racing, Golf, and American Football are the main ones, though I do (shock horror) do a soccer one, but primarily because its very stats based, and seemingly, given I’m currently 55th out of about 460,000, a knowledge, or care for the sport clearly isnt needed! Number crunching, yes, caring about anything else, no! But do I care if I’m 55th, or 55,000th, beyond pride, no, I’m not.
Given the Golf is the only calendar based one, this is the last week of the competition. No, there arent thousands in this, more like 50! But yes, somehow or other, I’m 2nd! Yes, stats are a wonderful weapon, seemingly. Mind, I need a winner this week to have any chance of success, but beyond the thrill of beating all those men, not going to cry either way. Well, there is 1 prize, which might be nice, but otherwise…
Oh, and getting back to work matters. Some people take competition way too seriously for me! As in the judging of the work team Christmas displays. No, I’m not going to mention names, though some might guess, but someone takes defeat way too seriously for little old non competitive me! In related matters, given the ‘lovely’ weather we’re having over here at present, today’s required shopping ended up being done online, instead of in town! Still, Secret Santa gift is sorted out, and on its way now. The elf costume is no longer on its way, its arrived! Put it this way, unless they move me, and the office to somewhere very warm (or tropically hot), I will only be wearing it in the office! Not that I think First Buses, Huddersfield, and Bradford would be ready for me in an elf outfit, but anyway…lol!
OK, video time. Something apt for this blog, though with me, just the opposite is the truth. Main reason for this song, and the blog title, is to pay respect to Keith Chegwin, who died earlier this week at 60. Yes, I’m 3 months away from 60! Ah well, been nice knowing you…lol?
Well, seeing as the main topic that raised my ire this morning was political, I was trying to work a way of getting round to it, given the idiot was American (yes, guess who?), but given it involved at least a couple of British figures, I decided to pass. But lets just say, Donald, if you are going to throw an insult tweet at someone, make sure its the right person, OK?
In other news, by skill, fluke, or miracle, I passed that exam yesterday. No, I dont know how well, all it told me was that I passed, which means I scored somewhere between 70%, and 100%, and no idea where in between. 2 more on the next 2 Wednesday’s, lets hope I fluke them equally well!
So I was thinking, what else can I talk about tonight? And yes, maybe the title gives it away, golf.
I must admit, when he burst on the scene, and dominated events, I wanted just about anyone to win except Tiger Woods. Probably because I’ve always been a fan of the under dog (fine, Dodgers, I know…lol), so someone as dominant as him wasnt my thing. But then things started to change, for various reasons, a lot of it ‘rich person’ stuff, but equally, his body began to give up on him. Yes, I now know the feeling, but hey, I am nearly 60, so what do I expect?
And yes, as his injuries, and personal life woes started to catch up with him, something strange happened, I started feeling sorry for him. Probably because he stopped winning everything, and his golf became a whole lot more human. Thats my excuse, anyway.
So yes, I’m posting this tonight for the very obvious reason, his latest comeback starts today, in his own tournament in the Bahamas. Yes, I’m watching it, and he’s doing fine, and I’m glad about that. Yes, it helps that the crazy fist pumping days seem behind him, a much more measured acknowledgement of the good moments now, unlike before. Oh fine, also helps that its not hard to realize that he’s never going to dominate golf like he used to, so who knows, I’ll probably be delighted for him if, and maybe when he wins again. I know, crazy stuff!
No, in case anyone was thinking otherwise, I have no plans to make a golf comeback, I’m way past that point. Even at my best, in my late teens/early twenties, I only ever reached the semi respectable range of a 12 or 13 handicap, no better. Now I’d be lucky if I could hit a golf ball 13 yards! Well, fine, that might be a slight exaggeration of my body pains, but you get my drift?
But yes, message to Tiger. Stay a nice, reasonably respectful guy, and if you win again, I’ll be so pleased for you. If you told me 10 years ago that I would say that, I would have laughed. Ah well, times change…
OK, the video. A little bit of vintage Abba live. I’m sure the song was about a certain feline animal (given it was recorded in the 70’s), not a golfer, but besides that…
I have to say that basically certain events of the last few days have inspired this blog, sadly, for the wrong reasons. But before we get to that…
I guess I wouldnt be called the most passionate fan of any team, in all truth. Yes, there are a few teams (a couple who will be mentioned shortly) that I support, and follow, but get crazy about them, no chance!
Two of ‘my teams’ big rivalries are actually being played out today. The Buffalo Bills are playing the New England Patriots, and we Bills fans are supposed to hate the Patriots. So fine, one of my best friends is a big Pat’s fan. Do we have a rivalry over this, hell no! We might tease each other a little, but thats about as serious as it gets! Fine, I can dislike the Patriots, but thats more down to how good they are, rather than anything else. I mean, I dislike the big football teams over here for the same reason, and nothing delighted me more than when a minnow like Leicester won the Premier League last season, believe me!
The other tonight, I’ll be watching some of later, thats my Dodgers, taking on the San Francisco Giants in the last game of the regular season. Having said that, we could still have as much as 3 more games tomorrow, due to ties, play off venue deciders, and the like. But regardless of that, it will be Vin Scully’s last stand, as he’s said he’s not commentating on the play offs, so… Thankfully ESPN UK are covering that game tonight, and I only hope its his commentary we get.
But yes, Dodgers supposedly hate the Giants, but with me, no, I fail that test too. I know who I want to win, but… whole different game! There are still fans on the boards saying that unless we win the World Series, the season has been a disaster, oh please, be real!
But fine, the one that has annoyed me the last few days. Yes, the Ryder Cup. Dont get me wrong, I understand people wanting their country/continent to win, but there are levels of passion that are good, and those that are wrong. Sadly, the last few days, a small number of Americans (though the noise level suggests more) have acted like rabid idiots, rather than fans. It got so bad yesterday, and that is saying something, that fans started being ejected from the golf course, for their abuse of European players! I know, it was a long day, and maybe beer played a part? Equally, the awful behavior of Trump, and his followers, may lead people to think abuse of this kind is permitted? May be his type of followers doing this, who knows?
Either way, as a British born Ameriphile, its embarrassing! I thought the behavior at Brookline was awful, but I think this has almost topped that, at best. Yes, I know, my American friends are not the type that do this sort of thing, and I do appreciate that. The people who do, wont read this, so…I know, its been a while since the US won, but please, win it fairly, not in this matter.
OK, rant over!
The video. If anyone had told me that a cover of a Simon and Garfunkel song could challenge the original, I might have laughed. But fine, this does!
Despite my complete lack of a competitive nature, mentioned recently, I still enjoy doing sports competitions nowadays, even if my research is a little more limited than it used to be, given I can no longer get hold of sporting newspapers, and the like, to garner information.
But yes, there are some sports I’m betting at, than others! The craziest, is horse racing, I seem to be able to read jump racing decently, but as has been proven this summer, flat racing leaves me blank. Doing so badly this year, that of serious entrants, I’ve currently got 1 behind me. Yes, that bad! Yet I can get close to the Top 10 when it comes to jump racing, ah well…
Football/Soccer (depending on where you’re reading this) is a sport I have zero interest in, but given a stat based formula seems to work for it, I’m never going to set the world alight, but I do OK.
NFL is something I can do OK on, though given that with a few exceptions, any team can win, any week, I suspect a fair amount of luck is involved in that?
However, there is one sport where this number crunching machine seems to do well, golf. Yes, the Betfair competition, where you pick 5 players for each tournament, and get points for your best player, I made the play offs, which started this week, just like the PGA, though only 12 of us play on, for 8 more rounds, to declare a winner. Regular season, I came 4th, out of about 30 regular players. Yes, 3 prizes, so no working out where I’m not going to finish lol!
More incredibly, is the one on CBS Sportsline, where you pick 1 player from each of 4 tiers for 20 odd weeks, and score whatever your players score. So yes, being the US, there are about 35,000 players in there. Me, as I type this, 26th! Yes, wow! I might fall, or rise a few places yet, but done OK, sure have.
Why am I good at golf? I think its because if there was ever a stats related sport, its this one. Players like certain courses, and if they’ve done well there in the past, they’ll probably do it again! So yes, number crunching past results in tournament, course, and current form (all easily available in these internet days) seem to bear fruit.
So some think I know my golf, but me, I know its just my number crunching skills, really. Just like a computer, or a robot, or… 😉
The video. Usually when golf results are declared, though of course, next week, in the US, it will be Monday, because the bank holiday is a week behind ours! But generally…
Yes, fine, I’ve never been the most competitive person in the whole wide world, but even by normal standards, I’ve been amazed at just how competitive some folk are! I know that sports people have to be, and I guess some of the fans get dedicated, but even so… As for workmates, and quizzes, well…rolls eyes…
So fine, lets start with work. The training group I’m currently with, are halfway through our 2 week training period, for technical services, as mentioned last weekend. Its certainly been interesting, even if I might be grateful that I wont be putting theory into practice. But a lot of it is just doing what the system tells you to do (something I would enjoy), so I’m sure I could cope with that. But seriously, if anyone asked me anything ‘outside the box’, I wouldnt be a lot of use. But fine, this isnt about that, its about the daily quizzes we get to do, a combination of work related questions, and general knowledge stuff, where people get way too competitive. Fine, I know some of the stuff, probably more than I wish to comment here, but all the same, I treat it as fun, and a challenge, but nothing more. But, some of the others, seriously…No, I’m too laid back, clearly!
But OK, a group of people managed to top that today, at least in an online, sporting sense. Yes, baseball! Now this morning, when I got up, I saw a group of Dodgers fans commenting that they were writing off this season as a disaster, and criticizing the front office for decisions made by them.
Which might be fine, if they were actually having a bad season, but they’re not! Before today’s games started, an hour or so ago, they were 2 games off the divisional lead, with about 50 games to go. And as for the 2 extra wild card teams that will get in, they are top of that table, 3 games clear of anyone else! Well, sorry, but if thats a bad season, I really am Jean Harlow! I might wish I was, but seriously…are people really that competitive? I guess some are, clearly?
No, I have no desire to be like that!
3 other pieces of sporting information relating to today.
First, in Baseball, its possible that today, Ichiro Suzuki will join the 3,000 hits club, for Miami, the 30th player to do so. Thing is, when you add in his Japanese hits earlier in his career, he’s approaching 5,000, and he’s probably top of the table. If it doesnt happen today, it will very soon, he only needs 1 more! Secondly, in the same sport, Alex Rodriguez announced his retirement today, he retires on Friday. I suspect it was fait accompli, given his less than stellar season, but all the same, he’s been quite a player, but…for the fact his career is seemingly tainted by Performance Enhancing Drugs. How well he would have done without them, we will now never know. Given that he played for the Yankees, my sympathy would be limited anyway.
The last one is a golf one. Earlier today, a thoroughly nice guy (as much as I know) called Jim Furyk shot the first 58 on the PGA tour. So OK, its only a Par 70 course, but its still amazing, and a first, and so…The funny point? He was so far back before this round that he wont win the tournament anyway!
So fine, to the video. Something I’ve no real inclination to be, unless it happens to just come along my way. But being intensely competitive about it, no thanks!
So fine, lets have a rare blog of late, that isnt about me!
Due to this new fangled thing called work, I missed most of the first 2 days of the Open Golf last week, but I gather the advantage of being out early Thursday/late Friday was quite significant this year, over being drawn the other way around. Two of the big beneficiaries of this seemed to be Stenson, and Mickleson. However on Saturday, which I saw some of the play of, the leaders all had the same chance but these 2 drew clear of the rest. In theory, a 4-5 stroke lead over the next player was catchable, but pretty much it looked like it might be a 2 horse race. Fine, it was, but in quite an incredible way.
In truth, it wasnt long on Sunday afternoon before it was genuinely a 2 horse race, as they pushed on, and the rest of the field didnt. In truth, it didnt matter, as they had the 2 amazing scores of the round, and when you think Mickleson shot a 6 under par 65, and lost ground on Stenson, its quite something to think. Yes, Stenson shot an incredible 63! And to think, before that pair started out, the ‘experts’ were saying any score in the 60’s would probably win it!
Its strange, most gripping golf tournaments have a group of players, and you’re trying to work out who will win. This had just 2, and yet, almost to the end, you were still wondering who was going to win! In the end, they finished 11 shots clear of any other player!
Oh, in other news, I have now been offered the other job, the one I wanted, in Bradford, starting towards the end of next month. Beyond perhaps taking the week off beforehand (I have a podiatrist appointment that week, so would be easier not to fit in around shifts), I plan to work, if possible in this job up till then. Why, I need the money, pure and simple! Of course, if they want to convince me to stay by ‘interesting’ methods, they are welcome to do so!
Why? Simple, better money, better hours, more interesting role, and cheaper travel, whats not to like? Fine, I’ll have to start paying for lunch again, but seriously…?
The video, back to the golf. If those two had sung to each other on Sunday, this would almost certainly have been the song!
Yes, I’m a bit of a sucker for contests, principally free ones, that might at least give me a bit of joy, if I ever won one. I know, stop laughing, with my record, I’m about as likely to win one, as swimming the Atlantic, but anyway, I give it a go.
So, I admit it, each time there is one, I give the Pick 6 on Channel 4 a go, even though my horse tipping skills were never great, and even less so nowadays. But someone might be going to win £10,000, and if I enter it, well, yes, fine, I enter it, and make a losing entry, for sure! Something went wrong last Saturday, I actually picked the first 2 winners, but it went rapidly downhill from there!
The one sport I do decently on contests on, is Golf. I assume its because there is a major stats element to selections for that sport, aided by the fact there is a major ‘horses for courses’ feel to the game. Hey, there is one running on CBS at present, where I am 52nd overall, out of over 15,000 entries! I know, cant last, but the prizes are only open to US residents, so its just practically for fun. But yes, loving doing it.
About the only other sport I do much fantasy stuff on, is the NFL. Again, I know a bit, and as they only play once a week (a major reason I do not look at baseball games), I can find the time to do my entries. Skill level? Modest, I do decently, but never threaten to win anything, for sure.
So yeah, now I’m going to do a contest on a sport I know little about, and care for even less, football, or soccer, as they call it, depending which side of the pond you’re reading this. In truth, the last few weeks of the season, I was doing some silly game, attempting to pick 6 correct scores on English football, for £250,000, if you got them all right, but lets just say I never got close!
Next month, something that would have driven me nuts, if I was still in a betting industry call center, will happen. Euro 2016, or something like that? Yes, that big a football fan, arent I? Well, one company that I may not ever work for, but have great social media contact with, is The Hager Group. The reason I probably wont work for them? They’re in Europe, and my foreign language skills nowadays wouldnt pass muster. Shame, because they seem a nice set of people to talk to, but anyway…Fine, they’re running a prediction competition for Euro 2016, and I’m going to give it a go. If you want to, the link is http://www.hagergroup.com/en/media/online-prediction-game/1024-783.htm and I’m sure they’ll appreciate your entries. Some nice prizes, by the look of it, for those who like gaming, and things, by the look of it. Yes, again, I’m not a major gamer in the slightest, so I may not be the expert to say things like that, and I certainly dont need a football, at my age. All irrelevant, the chances of me finishing anywhere close, has to be zero, or less!
OK, if anyone wants to give me any helpful tips for selections, feel free, I havent a clue! But fine, it should be good for a giggle, if nothing else. And hey, someone has to come bottom, it might as well be me!
Right, the video. What I might have for about 5 minutes of the first game, just maybe?