Well, yes, this is a problem

Meanwhile it gets odder still. Murdering Bruno, who as things stand is guilty of ordering a woman’s murder and feeding her to his dogs, wants to play football again. And soon. He’s still only 32, in his prime for a goalkeeper. He’s been training in prison. But wait. There’s a problem with Murdering Bruno returning to football. No, not mass protests, a life ban and questions in parliament. The problem is he’s not quite match fit. Just give it a few weeks, his agent says. He’s back, baby. Murdering Bruno is back.

In fact, several Brazilian clubs have already been in touch trying to secure his signature. And why not? He’s a good goalkeeper. Brazil don’t really have a settled No1 right now. The current regular is Alisson of Roma (whose older brother is also a goalkeeper, called Murial). It’s not inconceivable Bruno could be pushing for a spot in the squad six months from now, maybe even making it to Russia 2018. Who knows we might even see Murdering Bruno at Wembley, ruffling the mascot’s hair, shaking Trevor Brooking’s hand, staring with cold, flat, glazed eyes out of your TV screen while he mouths the national anthem.

Crime and punishment are always difficult, are they not?

But the crime and the punishment are for the legal and court systems to do, not the football authorities.

Would we say that a baker out on appeal for murder could not work as a baker? And why the difference if a footballer?

Marmite, is there nothing it cannot achieve?

History will remember the glory and romance of Lincoln City’s improbable triumph, memories fixing on the drama that has propelled a non-League club into the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time in more than a century.

Yet the secrets underpinning this remarkable leap to immortality are rather more mundane. Theirs is a success founded upon hard work, and Marmite on toast.

I don’t actually like football

But I do love the FA Cup.

An excruciating few seconds as the technology calculated whether it had crossed the line. Then – finally – a whistle and a raised arm. And then pandemonium. Improbably, impossibly, little Lincoln – small in status but enormous where it counted – had won the day. The last eight of the FA Cup will have its first non-League representatives since 1914.

For those who don’t know what makes it great is that pretty much every football club that is organised enough to be a football club has the right of entry. 750 of them or so is the usual entry in recent years. There’s no seeding (although the big clubs enter later in the competition). No round robins, no group stages, just simple knock out matches all the way up. The first matches are in August, leading to the final the next May.

So, for example, Anstey Nomads FC, down at Level 10 of English football, with a ground capacity of 1,000, and quite possibly not in fact paying their players at all, is in competition with Manchester United here.

OK, so what you might think, but I think that makes it great. Because while the way to bet is that the race is to the swift etc, on the day it’s possible for the good little ‘un to beat the good big ‘un.

That was a bit close, no?

Obviously, post-Brexit we shall have to stop France being in the 6 nations.

For, as we keep being told, all cooperation with J. Foreigner will stop the moment we little Englanders take over.

Hmm, after that, messy, messy, game that we were lucky to win. V. lucky.

Not entirely sure about the new high tackle rules though. Ones that just ride up are worth a penalty, really just not sure about that.

Didn’t know this at all

Former Springbok captain Joost van der Westhuizen is in a critical condition in hospital, the J9 Foundation has confirmed.

The 45-year-old ex-scrumhalf has been fighting Motor Neurone Disease (MND) since 2011, and has in recent times required an oxygen tank on occasion to help him breathe.

What a shitty thing to happen to a sportsmn.

Sure, OK, it’s shitty for anyone but specifically for someone who was absolutely fighting fit for all those years.

Jeebus, who knew?

Researchers from the London School of Economics found that by playing sport in a team participants not only gain the health benefits of exercise, but can boost long-term happiness.

Rather a Chesterton’s Fence thing there, no?

Given that most human societies have had some form of team sport…..

Misread this

Racing 92 7 Munster 32: Visitors honour Anthony Foley with bonus-point Champions Cup win

Didn’t Foley play for Munster? Going down by 927 points isn’t honouring is it? Umm…..ah!

So, Six Nations predictions then

Deciding match last of the series, England v Ireland in Dublin?

Scotland are much better than in the recent past but it is much better, not top rank, Wales are drifting, Italy, game lads but and France, well, who knows which team will turn up?

Ireland well beat the All Blacks and were very close a second time. And England. So, the last match as the decider perhaps?

Tee hee

Oh tee hee indeed:

Giovanbattista Venditti scored a crucial second-half try as Italy bounced back from an All Blacks mauling to score an historic first 20-18 win over embattled South Africa.

On the England Fiji game, yes, obviously, Fiji were soundly beaten. However, however, this is not quite true but around and about so. 30 years ago the England Maybes team would have put up that sort of score against Fiji. Today they need to bring out the full team to do so. Fiji is advancing….as obviously, is Italy and as Argentina have done similarly.

Oh, well done, well done indeed!

Ireland’s class of 2016 stamped their names into the history books as Joe Schmidt’s side dispatched New Zealand 40-29 in Chicago for their first victory over the All Blacks in 111 years of trying. Three days after the Chicago Cubs ended a 108-year drought to land baseball’s World Series, Ireland lit up the city’s Soldier Field stadium with their maiden win over the All Blacks at the 29th attempt.

New Zealand’s record-breaking winning run was halted at 18 Tests – their last defeat was by Australia in August 2015 – after the Irish were forced to hold off a ferocious fightback in the second half, which saw the All Blacks recover from a 30-8 deficit after 46 minutes to go within four points at 33-29.

Not particularly because it is Ireland that did it, nor that it ends the winning streak. Just because beating the All Blacks in a test is one of the more difficult achievements in sport.

Difficult achievements should be applauded. As they say, this is the first time Ireland have achieved it….

I don’t think it’s six million at the Cubs victory parade

No, just really, no:

The fall classic! Daredevil Cubs fans risk their lives with crazy ‘trust falls’ as SIX MILLION pack the streets of Chicago to celebrate their World Series win 108 years in the making

If you look at the pictures it’s a good turnout alright. But it’s not double the population of the entire city.

cubs

A good crowd but…..say it’s 20 deep like that, both sides,  all 7 miles of the route. Two people a yard, 1760 yards per mile. Half a million, maybe 600,000. That I would believe. But sorry Mil, just not 6 million.

This is part of a 6 million crowd:

6-million

Different order of magnitude

On the Cubs winning

God Exists. QED.

Possibly over the top but this is baseball so you never really know. There’s something about the game that speaks deep to the American soul. Other countries have sports, certainly, certain people within those countries might be nuts for one sport or another. But there’s some mythos about baseball and being an American.

Different from and possibly deeper than Kiwis and All Blacks even. Even, even they, Kiwis don’t mythologise the first time Dad tackles son, but Pop and Jr trying out the child sized glove with a bit of catch is as much a rite of passage as realising that Mom’s apple pie actually stinks.

I’m with the players here

Sparta Prague have sent two players to train with the women’s team after they told a female assistant referee to stay in the kitchen.

Lukas Vacha and Tomas Koubek were condemned by the Czech FA chairman and their club appointed them as ambassadors of the women’s team following comments they made against the assistant referee Lucie Ratajova last weekend.

Ratajova failed to notice a clear offside as Sparta lost a 3-2 lead in the 92nd minute against Zbrojovka Brno following a goal by Alois Hycka last Sunday.

After the game Vacha, the injured Sparta midfielder, tweeted the assistant referee’s photo with a caption reading “To the cooker”, while the goalkeeper Tomas Koubek told the media after the game: “In my opinion, women should stay at the stove and not officiate men’s football.”

Both players issued apologies on Monday but the Czech FA chairman,

No, they didn’t go up and shout this in her face. They whined about a bad decision after the game. And in whining about a ref making a bad decision anything is fair game.

Shock! Horror!

One of England’s top rugby clubs hired a private detective to investigate extraordinary claims of debauchery during an end-of-season riverboat party.
Wasps players booked the Hurlingham floating nightclub for a cruise along the Thames, but their riotous behaviour is alleged to have left staff in tears and fearing for their safety.

Rugby players drink a bit and get boisterous.

Well now, there’s a surprise.

Erm, really?

Go back home! / Go! Back! Home! This was a troubling if not entirely unexpected chant to hear in downtown Minneapolis last weekend.

Fortunately, the source was not a rally for America’s incorrect answer to Nigel Farage, rather a rowdy tailgate party taking place before the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings faced the Green Bay Packers.

The majestic tailgate towers above all of America’s other great institutions – the state of the union address, Saturday Night Live, maple syrup as a crucial component of breakfast. There is no equivalent in British sporting fan culture.

Take a generous car park, fill it with extrovert vehicles with names like Patriot, Renegade and Wrangler, set up a barbecue, decorate your area with allegiance-pledging trinkets, BYOB, have a wonderful time.

Twickenham car parks?

OK, rather more British etc but…..

Err, yes, and?

A new report has found a “vast” gender wage gap exists within sport, with female athletes battling for better pay in a billion-dollar industry that remains predominantly male.

Key to this is removing the range of systematic barriers facing women in sport. These barriers include
sexist behaviour, gender pay gaps and poor media coverage. According to The Tucker Centre for Research
on Girls and Women in Sport,3 although 40 per cent of participants in sport are female only four per cent
of sports media coverage goes to female sports.

As the money’s in the media the pay gap is a surprise because?

This does seem fair really

Hannah Cockroft has accused the world’s two leading sportswear brands of discrimination after claiming the reason she does not have a kit sponsor is because she does not wear shoes during her wheelchair races.

Cockroft, who is expected to be one of the stars of the Paralympic Games in Rio after winning two golds at London 2012 and three in last year’s world championships, is the dominant figure in her sport but said Adidas and Nike have cited her inability to use their footwear in competition as a justification for not sponsoring her. The 24-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, has been angered by a situation she feels illustrates how disabled athletes are still fighting for greater recognition.

“The real reason?” the ParalympicsGB athlete said. “I have been told it’s because I don’t wear shoes when I compete. What do I do with that? I wear a shirt, I wear trousers, I wear shoes on the podium when I’m collecting a gold medal. But apparently because that’s not when I’m competing that’s not enough. I’ve been told this by Nike, Adidas, all the big brands. I told them it was discrimination. It is discrimination.

There is taste discrimination and there’s rational discrimination. It does seem rational that a footwear brand doesn’t sponsor someone who doesn’t use footwear.

And her actual complaint is worse than that. She’s claiming discrimination simply because they won’t cut a commercial deal with her that she thinks is large enough.