A song about Stuart Broad (and a ditty about David Warner)

Gideon Haigh on The Australian. Link here — hate the name of the piece BTW. Excerpt below.

IT was Eric Von Stroheim whom they dubbed “the man you love to hate”.

This Ashes has outdone Hollywood in providing two, and today at Chester-le-Street was their day: David Warner and Stuart Broad, cricketers who fit right into an Ashes panto pantheon, perfect bait for boos.


Glenn McGrath was quicker than you thought…

Super logical post here, at ESPNcricinfo, about Glenn McGrath being quicker than the 130-something-ish KMPH he was supposed to be.

But just because the speed gun cannot measure nip does not mean humans don’t perceive it. Plenty of batsmen would attest to the fact that they perceived McGrath’s nip all right, even if it didn’t register on the speed gun. So now we know that McGrath was indeed fast, just not in a way that could be measured by a speed gun. This also explains why bouncers are usually slower on the speed gun compared to other types of deliveries covering less ground vertically.

Cricinfo: The Story of Errol Hunt – hat tip from a facebook forum

Read this. Way, way too interesting! The first paragraph itself is such a clincher!

RL Hunte had it all. He appeared in two Test match scorecards; his records appeared in Wisden for eighteen years; he had a contemporary corporeal counterpart. But when he vanished hugger-mugger, it was as though he’d never been there. And, in fact, he hadn’t. This is the story of a cricketer who did extremely well considering that he didn’t exist.

Click here to read.

Theo Walcott, Arsenal’s unsung hero of 2012-13: Gunnerstown Blog

He can be infuriating at times but the pros far outweigh the cons. It’s one of our areas of support that drives me nuts, we slag off the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie for leaving, yet when players commit their future to our club we never really give them any praise for doing so, we elect to ram their salary down their throat if EVERY ball isn’t inch perfect. Since when did football work like that? The notion that Theo wasn’t trying because he now had his new salary was just flat out ridiculous.

Very well said.

I am amazed at how little appreciation Theo gets from our fans. There are other players who have been painted with the ‘inconsistent’ brush who get a lot more love from fans.

From the Guardian: The Great European Cup Teams

Great series in the Guardian Online — The Great European Cup Teams – with excerpts:

1. Real Madrid 1955-60 : David Lacey

Madrid broadened the horizons of British clubs who now became convinced that the European Cup and the newly-born Cup Winners’ Cup demanded serious attention. ….. The roaring applause of that huge Hampden crowd that greeted Madrid at the final whistle in 1960 had far-reaching echoes.

2. Ajax 1971-73: Jonathan Wilson

It was only in 1959 with the appointment of Vic Buckingham, schooled in the best passing traditions by Peter McWilliam at Tottenham, that the seeds began to sprout. Six years later, he was succeeded by Michels, who led Ajax to the title in his first season. That this might have more than local significance was demonstrated the following season as they thrashed Liverpool 5-1 in the European Cup.

3. Bayern Munich 1974-76: Raphael Honigstein

The team broke up, secure in the knowledge that they had achieved a historical feat but less sure about their exact place in the pantheon of greats. “We were never seen as on the same level as Ajax or Madrid because we didn’t win those Cups playing beautiful football,” Hoeness said last year, with a just a hint of regret.

4. Liverpool 1977-84: Paul Wilson

It is worth remembering too that but for the tragic events surrounding the 1985 final in Brussels, and the subsequent ban on English clubs in Europe post-Heysel, the dominance Liverpool had achieved by the mid-eighties could easily have seen the trophy return to Merseyside on one or two more occasions. Uninterrupted by events away from the pitch, Liverpool might be up there with Madrid and Milan by now.

5. Milan 1989-90: Paolo Bandini

As the head of a considerable media empire, Berlusconi understood the importance of star power better than most, and it was he who funded the moves for Gullit, Van Basten and Rijkaard. His club was simultaneously fortunate to have such great home-grown players as Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi on its books. Sacchi recognised the value of his cast, but even then maintained that they would be nothing without their director. “De Niro is a fine actor,” he would say. “But you only see it when he appears in a great Coppola film.”

6. Barcelona 2009-11 :Sid Lowe

As Pep Guardiola put it: “It all starts with the Dream Team … we’re all trying to emulate them.” Johan Cruyff’s team were something to aspire to, an idealised image of perfection always just out of reach. Yet this Barcelona surpassed them. They too defeated Real Madrid 5-0, they too set new standards and insisted on the importance of style as well as substance, they too won the European Cup. And not just once, but twice. Or should that read “three times”?

 This is football.

From The Roar: Australian sport is for all fans, regardless of who you are

This is an incredibly good article, from The Roar, Australia. Please click here to read. An excerpt is as under.

“You’re into AFL? You?” This is the typical surprised reaction I get when I tell people how excited I am about the new season starting this year.

New players, new coaches. I have carefully organised babysitting for months in advance and am literally counting down to that first game tomorrow night.

Yet somehow this seems strange for someone like me to follow sport – that is, female and non-white.

I have played, watched and loved sport for as long as I can remember. I have flown interstate to watch the Blues, stayed up all night to watch Sampras and left a girlfriend’s engagement to watch a World Cup game.

This doesn’t mean that I can’t also be addicted to Sex and the City, drool over Tiffany blue boxes and hasten to see Kate’s baby bump grow.

These two worlds are not mutually exclusive.

Gender equality can be extended beyond the sporting arena not just in equal pay, equal air time and equal sponsorship but also towards the spectators and their equal interest and commitment to the game.

One friend suggested that I was a lesbian because I followed the Southern Stars, while another assumed my interest was in males running around in tight clothing.

Is it really that hard for people to see women passionate and educated about sport? The idea that a game with its multitude of rules and positions is too complex for women, not only belittles the fans but the game as well.

So, if it’s not about being female, that leaves the issue of race.

Given my heritage it was inevitable I would like sport – raised in Australia with British and Indian roots. Resistance was futile.