OK, some sports fanatics might like to look away at this point, just saying…right, have those crazy folk gone? 😉 Dont get me wrong, there are some sports I enjoy, baseball, and cricket being 2 of the obvious ones, but equally there are a few I cant stand, which include the soccer version of football (for US reader purposes) and boxing. So if you love those last 2 sports, and are still reading, get ready for ‘grumpy old woman’ moment lol!
I see myself as a sports follower, rather than a fan, in that yes, I have a few teams I follow, but none of whom do I get overly passionate about. No, not even the Dodgers lol!
Its fair to say I’ve been bored senseless by all the hype, and drivel that has been about over the Mayweather, and McGregor fight last night. Thank goodness its finally over, though I’ve no doubt its still going to get mentioned way too much over the next few days. Hopefully now, mighty mouth, aka McGregor will now keep quiet about it all, but I suspect that might be wishful thinking.
I’m sure most of the US sports actually have the infantile behaviour, relating to rookies joining the team, but I have to say that the NFL seems to take the biscuit. Fine, I know that by my standards, even the rookies in the NFL are on salaries beyond my wildest dreams, but why the senior players seem to find it amusing to get the rookies to pay absolutely preposterous amounts for a dinner, I have absolutely no idea? Seriously, does anyone with an IQ over 50 find this sort of behaviour amusing, because I dont! The latest team to involve themselves in this stupidity are the Green Bay Packers, where 12 players ‘took out’ some rookies to dinner, ordered the most ridiculous items, and presented them with a bill for over $34,000! Some of them will probably be cut before the season even starts, so how they are meant to afford this? Sadly, this isnt the first time, or even the second time I’ve read of this immature stuff this summer from NFL teams, so I really despair. Along with the whole Kaepernick based anthem stuff, I’m wondering if I really want to bother with the sport any more. Yes, CFL seems a lot more fun!
Ah, and finally the sport that inspired this rant, football. Though to be fair to the animals that support this sport, they were unlucky I saw this last night, because if First Buses ran a half decent service, I would have been out of Huddersfield before this happened. I got back into town last night, just before 5.00, and if the bus home had turned up, I would have missed the arrival back in town of the so called fans. Unfortunately it didnt, the next bus 10 minutes later (supposedly) actually left nearly 10 minutes late, so I saw the whole affair.
Not that I would have missed everything, because even as I was walking to the bus stop, I saw 2 fans having a punch up. Ironically, both were Huddersfield fans! Soon after I managed to see 4 people go by the bus stop, knocking 6 bells out of each other, but that was the more traditional 2 from each team stuff! Lastly I saw a group of about 20 men run by, shouting “Lets get the Bas****s” towards a group of visiting fans, but unluckily for them, a group of police were with said fans, so they were quickly cordoned off, and hopefully arrested!
Baseball at least seems to save all its punch ups to on the pitch, between players, most of which I see as pretty childish. Yes, I’m sure the Dodgers get involved in those, but never seen one yet!
But yes, all this only makes me grateful I dont get fanatical about sport, if thats what it does to you.
Fine, rant over!
Video time. A song from the 70’s, which I’m sure most will never have heard. But yes, I’m old, remember it, and it seems rather apt, given what I was trying to do last night
So, lets get away from me, for one blog at least, and look at the change of the sporting seasons, both sides of the Atlantic.
Starting over here, the cricket season is nearly over, and though I dont like to brag too much, it looks like Yorkshire are going to win the County Championship again this season. They might also win the 50 over tournament, but as the semi finals for that only take place over the next couple of days, lets not tempt fate yet. Also, similarly (though less immediately) the Rugby League season is nearly done, which still amuses me, as I’m old enough to remember it being a winter sport! Personally, I think it works better as a summer event, but I’m sure there are some who prefer tradition.
That means the football (soccer, for my US readers) season is already under way, and all those overpaid, overhyped footballers who think they are so wonderful. International games this weekend, and it was a comment made by an ex workmate (we’ve both left Hills, him before me) about the team England are playing tonight, that probably led me to writing this. Yes, San Marino, that mighty footballing nation. But on a night, 22 years ago, after a mere 8 seconds, they scored against England. Fine, England won in the end, 7-1, but it was funny at the time, at least.
Rugby Union is also getting under way, and this year, very soon, is a World Cup event, being held over here, in England. It starts just before I get back from New England, and ends just after I get back from Hollywood, so I wont see a lot. I’m not a big follower of the sport domestically, but show a bit more interest in the international game, but not sure if I will see much, if any of it this time around. Being honest, I havent even checked which TV company has the rights! Fine, its ITV over here. Some coverage in the US of their games, and the last few matches, but thats it. Funny to say, given I will be 8 hours behind, they might be on at unsuitable times for me lol.
On the other side of ‘The Pond’, its also a changing of the guards. Technically, the baseball season is drawing to a close. Well, the first weekend in October is the end of the regular season, but some issues are beginning to get settled already. Mind, the play offs will stretch to the beginning of November! For me, Kansas City, and the LA Dodgers have performed well, Seattle (to the so called experts at least), and Boston have under performed. Personally, I think Seattle were over rated, so not as surprised as the experts are, by their demise.
At present, I plan to get to a Dodgers game, that last season of the weekend, with luck.
The sport starting up, is what the American’s call football, both in the NFL, and the college game. College season has already started, though the serious conference matches generally dont start for a few more weeks. The NFL starts next Thursday. The one thing that has pleasantly surprised me, is how fresh I found the CFL, the Canadian version, seemingly more action than the NFL provides, maybe the different rules work? And very soon, about a month or so, basketball, and ice hockey will start up over there too.
But in all honesty, apart from the American football, its the summer sports I prefer, so…
Right, video time. One thing about US Sports, especially Football, is the cheerleaders. This song is probably the most apt for them. Mind, this isnt the cheerleader loaded version, but what I assume is the original demo one, though the other isnt hard to find. Oh, its the extended version too.
I’m pretty sure that a lot of sport nowadays is purely about the money making potential, with providing the general public with value, and entertainment a mere side issue. At least at times it feels that way.
I’m not even going into football, given the crazy sums that they charge people to go to a Premier League match nowadays, and even what some of the lower league sides charge, for an event that lasts about 90 minutes, crazy! But given I cant stand the sport, and have no wish to make it personal, lets leave it at that.
Not that (going up my scale of like) Horse Racing is an awful lot better now, what is charged for some of the major meetings (especially at weekends) sounds crazy to me, especially given that on top of the entry fee, you’re going to end up gambling more money, which may, or may not add to the cost of the day out. Fine, some days it might pay for it, but anyway…
And OK, I’m not going to defend what some of my beloved US sports charge for a seat, especially the better ones, because they can be pretty outrageous too. On top of which, you pay a good sum just to park your car, which given the prevalence of out of town stadiums seems a bit unjust too, if thats the only way you can get there?
But ironically, the sport getting my ire tonight is one of my favourites, cricket. Yesterday saw one game where not only was 126 a good score, it was a winning score, which for leading pro’s sounds crazy. Yes, I gather the wicket was to blame for that, which sounds daft, given that people pay to go and be entertained, not to see batsmen barely able to cope with conditions.
However, that wasnt as low as it got. Sky Sports were covering the game from Cardiff, due to the early end to the test match. It was a wicket that had previously been used, and sort of got back together for another match to be played on it. The commentators described it as an interesting wicket. Well, it was interesting if you want to see bowlers totally dominating, on a wicket where just about anything could happen. But for the people who’d paid a good sum, to see an entertaining cricket match, never mind!
The awful state of the wicket really showed up in the 2nd innings of the match, when both Hampshire batsmen got hit badly, by balls that leapt up from the pitch in a crazy fashion. Another ball in between, barely bounced! Anyway, after the second incident, the umpires declared the game abandoned, due to the unsafe state of the pitch. So not only did the paying public not get to be entertained, they got barely over half the match they’d paid to see.
Fair enough, if you want to pay large sums of money to go to sporting events, then go ahead and do it. I might add, that when on my own, I always go in the cheaper (though not the cheapest) seats at Baseball matches. But sporting teams, please at least provide conditions suitable for the contest, given how much you expect the public to pay to go and watch it.
The video, well its a question about yesterdays cricket, shall we say?
Oh, and fine, for the last time, given its now in its last 3 days, may I just ask that if anyone has a few spare pounds, dollars, euros, or whatever, and would like to help me change my name, the link is https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/e10ypc/ab/c2hJdb
Well, yes, one of these I did consider mentioning last night, but given I suspected I might be short of fresh material 2 days in a row, I sort of cheated, and left it until tonight. The other, a lovely touch that happened this afternoon, and just reminded me that there are some wonderful old fashioned gentlemen still about, in these modern times.
Strictly, there is a 3rd lovely thing thats happened in the last couple of days, but as thats something I might get to treasure in the future, I’ll hold back on that one for now, either until then, or when I need blog material, when I havent an idea in my head. Lets just say for now, I know a very sweet angel, and leave it at that! 😉 Be interesting to see if she spots this lol.
OK, the one I held back on. Any sports fan, especially cricket ones, will have noticed that the World Cup is being held at present, and yesterday (though strictly, it started Sunday evening, our time), Ireland played their first game, against the West Indies. Many years ago, the West Indies were the mighty force in cricket, and however good Ireland might be, we wouldnt have been expected to win. Though in fact, back in 1969, they underestimated us, and suffered a humiliating defeat, remembered to this day, by anyone Irish, or with Irish ancestry.
But in 2015, there was no danger of them underestimating us, we are a far stronger team now, and they a far weaker one, especially as they have left out a couple of their big names, seemingly in spite, for events unknown. So, despite the bookmakers making it look so (my firm were 1/6 for WI), this was always going to be a tight match.
At 87-5, it didnt look tight, and yes, thats the West Indies in all sorts of trouble, I might add! But somehow, they dug themselves out of a hole, scored just over 300, quite a challenging target for Ireland. Except…
…until near the end, where we decided to make hard work of getting across the winning line, it wasnt. In the end, the Irish victory margin was a comfortable one. And no, the celebrations werent that of a shock result, it was one that Ireland clearly expected to win, and did so. I would love to have seen it live, but the match was in New Zealand, so happened overnight here, so I only saw the Irish run chase the next morning, in a highlights show. I only saw much of the West Indies innings due to finishing at 10.00 Sunday night, then having it on while I caught up on here.
The other nice touch? I had a massage this afternoon, and afterwards, I went to catch the bus back towards town to come home. There were 2 men already stood at the bus stop when I arrived, so I took my place behind them. But, when the bus turned up, both insisted I get on first! I even tried to convince them otherwise, but they weren’t having it.
No, I dont know who either of them was, but if you read this, thank you so much, it was a lovely gesture in these modern times. Tomorrow morning, when getting on the train to work, no, I dont expect the same treatment.
So, lets dip back into the golden oldies pot tonight, for a song title they clearly attributed to me
A few vintage ladies there, but no Jean. Monroe is there though, and lets just say my angel looks a lot like her!
Somehow I doubt I have any Indian followers here, and if I do, and they are cricket fans, maybe they should leave now!
I’m old enough to remember that back in the dim, distant past, on a Saturday afternoon, on ITV, they would show wrestling, long before WWE and the like were ever dreamt about. Lets just leave it by saying that it was entertainment, not sport, I suspect even the commentator had a script to work to, in all honesty. But no one actually said there was a script, but…Yes, thats right, I mentioned it, WWE. Modern day wrestling, this time from the US, but at least to give them their due, they admit its scripted, and it can be treated by its fans as entertainment, not a sport.
Dont get me wrong, I’m not saying that supposedly clean sports arent fixed, only to a lesser degree, in different ways. Look at all the horse racing coups over the years, for starters. Fine, not every runner in those races was running according to a script, but the planning was there, and someone was picking up money ‘dishonestly’.
And its an issue that despite claims by the various boards that are getting worse, not better. Back when I first started in the betting industry, over 30 years ago, you couldnt do a single on a football match. Maybe, the cup final, and internationals, but otherwise the minimum was trebles, sometimes fivefolds for home teams, and betting on games outside the UK (apart from international matches), no chance.
Then in the early 90’s, rules were relaxed (so people could do singles on the live Sky matches, I suspect), but pretty much it was still win/draw/win, and that was it. Then we get to internet betting, and you get more markets on a match, and matches from further afield, pretty much anywhere in the world now, to be honest.
Thing is, certain folk in Eastern Europe and the like, might like to bet on football, but they dont like losing. So strange betting patterns start to creep in. And as for lower league football, last week of the season, most noticeably Italy, anything goes. I remember a game in that country where the draw price ended up at 4/11 (suited both sides), and unsurprisingly it was. Of course, some had got on at much bigger odds, but anyway.
No, this isnt just an attack on football, btw. Snooker’s record in betting fixes often makes football look innocent! Several players have had lengthy, or life bans, due to ‘interesting’ results.
Oh fine, the thing that got my ire today, cricket! Yes, in India. As several have proved over the years, match fixing is possible, but spot fixing on 1 over markets is just crazy, as a few Pakistani cricketers proved a few years back. 20 over cricket, with its wild price fluctuations simply opens itself up to opportunities like this, and the original Indian Cricket League was so in tow with the local bookmakers, you wouldnt believe. The funny thing is, the Indian Premier League (the official, and now only Indian version) took the high road about this, but…its as fixed as the ICL ever was.
Today, there was a game between Rajasthan, and Mumbai, for the final qualifying place in the semi finals. Not straight winner takes all, Mumbai actually had to win within 14.3 overs to qualify. Important factor here, there is a supposed cricketing god in India, called Sachin Tendulkar, and he played for, and now seemingly runs the Mumbai team. The other team, no cricketer worshipped in India.
So anyway, Rajasthan bat first, scoring what looked a very good score in the process, 189 in their 20 overs. So Mumbai have to score at over 13 runs an over to qualify. So Rajasthan bowl the biggest load of soft deliveries, and Mumbai are about to get there, and qualify. 2 needed to win off the last delivery that sees Mumbai through, a mix up, and a player gets run out. Then, its pointed out to everyone that if Mumbai score a boundary off the next ball, they still qualify. So the bowler bowls an inviting full toss down the leg side, the batsman hits it for 6, and Mumbai qualify. Fine, it might have been skill, but for the fact that not one Rajasthan player was showing disappointment in losing!
So, the next time anyone tells you the IPL is a genuine cricket competition, just laugh. Whether its more rigged than WWE, I dont know, that would be pretty hard. But a genuine contest, no chance, its controlled by the BCCI, and Indian bookmakers. And serious bookmakers take large bets on this, ah well…
Meaning there are too many chiefs involved, which leads me to this video, from my distant past.
Yes, I assume the Brit’s here at least have heard the news today, that the Olympic diver, Tom Daley has come out as gay, and is very happy with his male partner. I wish them both the very best, but thats not the point of this blog.
Seriously, I saw the 6 o’clock news on the BBC tonight, and you would think that this was some sensational news, and that the BBC didnt even realise there was such a thing as a gay relationship. Oh hang on, this is the Beeb I’m talking about, so maybe they dont?…rolls eyes!
Fine, I know, Daley has made publicity about this for himself, by posting it on Twitter, and other places probably, but in all honesty, he shouldnt have to, and I gather that most of this relates to our ‘wonderful’ press making all the fuss about this in the first place. So fine, its not just the Beeb, it seems to be the media as a whole that cant get its head around the idea that not every relationship in this world is going to be purely hetro, and purely vanilla. To them I say, get a life!
No, I dont expect everyone in the world to happily embrace the whole LGBT scene, that would be far too much. And no, I dont even mind (to a slight degree) the BBC making this a news item, I just wish they wouldnt put it out as shocked sensationalism that he has come out in this way. I certainly cant wildly imagine that certain people will ever except transgender in the same way, we dont seem to develop the same cool factor in any way that the L’s and G’s do, ah well…
Its actually fair to say that according to reputation, sport, and LGBT have a shocking relationship. And in many cases, they’re right. Soccer has a dark past in this issue, and as for the ‘big 4’ sports in the US, dont even go there, as far as players go. To be fair, as far as cricket is concerned, I can only comment on my perspective as I see it through one team, that is the Ireland cricket set up. From them, brilliant, absolutely brilliant.
No, I dont know of any gay players in Irish cricket, though I’m sure there must be some, somewhere at club level at least. And hopefully, they arent afraid to be out (ghastly word, btw) to their team mates, if they are. But what I look at, is the way that I, as a transgendered female, get treated by the players, and management of the team, those I have had contact with at least. As you might have gathered from above, its better than I could have wildly hoped for. It makes me so proud to be a supporter of such a wonderful group of guys.
As I say, one day, hopefully in the not too distant future, an announcement like the one made by Daley today, will simply be met with a shrug of the shoulder, and the comment, so what. But for now…
The video. Well yes, I wanted to find a Buddy Holly live version, but with all things, it couldnt be done. So I found a video performance by one of my favourite groups instead.
To be honest, I dont watch an awful lot of TV with sound. Before that confuses anyone, given where I work, we have masses of screens on, for the racing, for the football (soccer) and other sports, but for obvious reasons, given its a call centre, we dont have any sound on, 99% of the time. Yes, there are a few occasions when the sound goes on, but not very often.
At home, where I can have sound on, the viewing is limited. Pretty much BBC News, Sky Sports (mainly for cricket), and ESPN America for Baseball, College Football, and other things. Sadly for me, tomorrow is the last full day of ESPN America on TV. Why, its something that annoys me even more, is because of Football on TV politicking!
Basically BT Sports have bulldozed in on the football market, and have bought up the ESPN channels over here, and are only keeping the main channel in action.Even if they do (seemingly unlikely) continue to show baseball, there is no agreement with Virgin Media, so its gone for me anyway.
Let me explain. Most of the Premier League football up to the last season was on Sky Sports. ESPN had 1 or 2 games as well in a week, as well as showing plenty of other football. I didnt care, never watched the channel, as people know, I cant stand football! But I did watch its sister channel, ESPN America. Mainly for the baseball, yes, but other things too. As well as college football, they do some fantastic documentaries in the 30 for 30 series. Only Sunday, on an early shift, I sat engrossed as I watched a feature on a 1962 college football team who remained unbeaten during the season, but that was barely the feature of the film. Yes, it was Mississippi, in the days of segregation, about the first black pupil at the college. Oh wow! Unbelievable now to think that 50 years ago, in the Deep South, that was still going on. Did you know Michael Jordan played baseball, as well as basketball? I wouldnt have done, but for another film in this series.
But seriously, apart from the baseball, which I will seriously miss, there is one gem that I will miss just as much. You’ve probably missed it, its broadcast at 6 am, then again at 7 am, Tuesday to Saturday over here, and its called Around The Horn, hilarious stuff. Mainly because of one man, a genius called Woody Paige. The rest are good, but when Woody is on, its crazy!
So all I can say is, thanks ESPN America, for all the good memories, I’m going to miss you.
For those of you who have never seen Woody in action, here’s your chance
Yes, seriously, the summer sports are starting up, so it must be summer. Looks out of the window at several inches of snow, hmm?
But its true, the baseball season starts next Sunday with a first time divisional match up. No, no new teams involved, Texas Rangers meet the Houston Astros. Its just that well, they werent in the same league until this year. Houston was part of the 16 team National league, where the pitchers bat, and make fools of themselves, and Texas were one of 14 teams in the American league, where a designated hitter saves us from that comedic moment. I’m sure there must be a pitcher somewhere who can bat well, I’ve just never seen him! On the other hand, there probably isnt one, seems more likely!
So yes, the reason for this, Houston have moved into the American league, balancing up numbers at 15 apiece. It means inter league play all season long, so NL teams will be playing a hitter sometimes, AL pitchers will have to bat sometimes, so… probably some good facepalm moments there, especially among the latter!
Cricket, well the traditional season opener between the county champions, Warwickshire, and the MCC is already under way. No, not in this country, dont be daft, the pitch would be under several inches of snow! No, they are out in the UAE, sensible folk that they are. But a fortnight on Wednesday, the county season is due to get under way, lets hope the weather has imnproved by then!
Sadly the football (soccer) season still has about 2 months to run, before crawling away, seemingly just for a few days, until the ghastly event returns again in July. Of course, it actually goes on, some European countries play summer soccer, due to their winter conditions. I wouldnt fancy playing in Tromso, Norway in January for example lol! Desperate punters at work would probably bet on Albanian division 27, if we gave them the chance though, rolls eyes! I suspect there isnt one, but if there was…
Right, to the video, and yes, its baseball related. He may not have been the greatest harmonica player who lived, but he was certainly one of the greatest baseball players, and sadly he’s no longer with us, dying recently at the grand old age of 92! So, in celebration of the baseball season, I present…
Thats fooled you, you’re never going to work out the video from that title without looking down this blog! 😛
So, the meaningful subject for tonight, you could say its work related, of a sort. Sport!
This weekend, in both versions of the rugby game, saw the start of a competition. In rugby league, generally more my sport, both the Superleague, and lower leagues got under way this weekend. Talking of lower leagues, I support the Keighley Cougars in the Championship, and they lost today, not even narrowly, 42-10! I gather from the forum they were as awful as the scoreline suggested, so lets leave it at that, and just hope they improve from here. However, my home town now, Huddersfield travelled last night to St Helens in the Superleague, and general conclusion was that there would be a comfortable winner. There was, 40-4 in fact, but not to the expected favourites, instead Huddersfield wiped them off the pitch! No, I’m not a big fan, but its a home town thing, so…
Rugby Union, I can really only get interested in international stuff, and that generally means the World Cup, and the 6 nations championship, and of course I support Ireland. Last season, any day I was working when they were playing, I wore green to work. To be honest, they were pretty awful. So yesterday, I wore a pink top to work, given I had no great expectations of a result away to Wales. So alright, when the phones calm down enough to look at the score, its 20-0 to Ireland! It ended up 30-22, whether because Wales fought back, they eased off the gas, or a combination of both, I have no idea. But yes, I enjoyed the victory.
Then today, France travelled to Italy, clearly with expectations of an easy victory, despite losing in Rome 2 years ago, the last time they were there. Hadnt learnt, started off very slowly, and Italy were soon 10-0 up. France righted the ship, and led 15-13 at half time. But then, instead of pushing on, and winning, they eased off. Soon after that, 23-15 to Italy! France only really woke up in the last 5 minutes, but it was too late, what a shame, not!
So next weekend, England come to Dublin, and though the winner wont have the title sewn up, it would put them in a pretty strong position. Go Ireland!
No, its not the Irish national anthem, or even Irelands Call tonight, its not that classy to be honest. But shall we say it sums up the Italian performance today, and leave it at that.
And yes, that is Noel Edmonds! facepalm moment lol
Well alright, I thought I’d finished on this subject, but this morning someone pointed out this article on one of the forums I visit, and hey, its an LGBT issue, so lets roll with it.
No, its not that I object to this in the slightest, just the opposite in fact, I’m proud of their stance. But what I am sad about, is that this is news! Please, does it matter if the best Olympians in the world are gay, lesbian or even hetro? Hey, they can be asexual like me for all I care! But no disrespect, do we in all honesty think only 23 competitors at this Olympics were lesbian or gay? I dont, but anyway…thats all that are prepared to out (awful term) themselves to the world. Clearly there are no transgender people there, the gender test would find them out nowadays, though you do have to wonder about some of the East German, and Soviet female participants in the past lol! I suppose in theory an ftm transitioner could take part, but lets face it, its not going to happen. I suppose transgender people could take part in the equestrian events (where both genders compete in one event), but as its generally a rich person’s event…probably not!
Not that other sports are any better, I know of 1 professional male cricketer who has said he is gay, no current soccer players that I know of. One in the past did come out, but received so much hatred, he eventually commited suicide. I suspect the ‘Big 4’ American Sports have hardly anyone between them, if any at all.
Lesbians, yes, I’m sure there are a number, if I only knew. Tennis players, a safe bet there are some, one is even on the list of medallists here. Not as many as there are, thats for sure, or to the same extent as some years ago, but… Besides, Lesbians face a slightly less challenging situation in that position than gay men do. Not perfect, just easier.
I only know of one leading transgender sports person, and calling her leading might be kind. Yes, Renee Richards, female tennis player, and thats it.
Hopefully one day in the future, sexuality of whatever style will be a matter of irrelevance, though I suspect not in the next few years at least. And yes, alright, equality in so many issues for Trans people would be nice too, but again, I wont be holding my breath for it to happen.
So, to the video. What you have to remember with this, is that it comes from the late 70’s, when things were far worse than now. Not that now is perfect, but far, far better than they were back then. Hopefully in 30 years from now, people will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about, but for now…