Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fantasy versus Reality Part II

I've got a dirty little secret. I love watching Rafa Nadal in Season 16 of 'The Bachelor'. If you haven't been following the show, Nadal is operating under the alias of Ben Flajnik, a winemaker from Sonoma, California. 'Ben' is looking for love after having his heart broken in the last season of the Bachelorette. What amazes me is how Nadal can prance around the world, breaking hearts and sleeping with a bevy of beauties while still taking the time to beat Nole Djokovic in the final at Monaco. Amazing stuff! Clearly a man of many talents.

I know Nadal is naturally right handed and has changed up to play lefty under the tutelage of Uncle Tony. When he takes a date to the movies, does he sit on their left or right side to make the yawn , stretch and cuddle move? What do you think?

Before we get to Part II of my random sports spew, I'd like to address some comments from my last post (BTW - love the feedback, keep it up):

Cut King Kenny some slack. Considering what he inherited, three trips to Wembley this year is a pretty great fucking effort. Winning the cup makes it that much sweeter.

It could have gone better in the league but sometimes that's football. I don't think that you can blame Kenny for everything. Commolli has a fair share of the blame. Not to mention the players on the pitch. Injuries and suspensions didn't help either.

If the blue shite can stick with Moyes for 10 years with nothing to show for it I think the Reds can hold on to Kenny for a little while longer considering he's already won some silverware.

Or maybe you're just upset because the Reds knocked United out of the FA cup? Not to mention getting beat by Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup.

Sour grapes maybe? Be happy that they'll probably win the league (go City!).

My response:

1. If it were anyone other than Kenny you wouldn't cut him that much slack
2. The players rightly share the blame, but many are Kenny's players. He didn't inherit them from the previous regime
3. You can't compare with Moyes, who works with much lower expectations than LFC. Or have Livo's expectations dropped so much that you put yourselves alongside Everton as a middle tier club?
4. Everton's total spend under Moyes' management doesn't compare to what Livo dished out for Carroll, Adam, and Downing in one splurge
5. Winning the Carling Cup is all well and good. But if that's all the silverware you have it's pretty pathetic, considering each season starts with: 'we're challenging for the title this year'
6. There are always sour grapes. I've been feasting on a steady diet for years!

Moving on:

Sad day for Spain: After the miraculous performance by Chelsea to drop Barca out of the European Cup, Bayern Munich stepped up to the plate to knock Real Madrid out of the same competition at the Estadio Santiago BernabĂ©u in front thousands of rabid Madristas. Leading into the semi finals, the general consensus was that the final would be another El Classico. The Sporting Gods begged to differ. After a frenetic first half featuring three goals (including two penalties), Bayern and Real settled into a rhythm with neither team taking the game by the scruff of the neck (methinks the away goals rule played a big part in the tactics in the second half). It was fitting that the leg finished in equal terms and was decided by an old school penalty shoot out thriller. Interesting to see Ronaldo fail in yet another Euro shoot out. His goal scoring rate is almost without peer, and his physical talents as a footballer are remarkable. But it's not the first time he's bottled it on the big stage. Is he football's LeBron James? Great performance by Neuer in goal for Bayern. Some absolutely stunning saves. Munich will be an explosion of passion for the final, and what are the odds that UK tabloids will start running with the England versus Germany WWII theme in the lead up to the final? I'm tipping Bayern to win their fifth Euro Cup and leave Chelski in a Siberia Cold!

Did you watch this game Fergie?: Man U has some obvious deficiencies, none more so than in midfield. There were two players on the pitch yesterday morning who I'd dearly love to see at Old Trafford next season. Mesut Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger. It might seem blasphemous to make comparisons with United greats, but Ozil reminds me of Scholes with his passing ability and vision, and Schwein has Roy Keane qualities - a powerful force who will run box to box and has the capacity to make crunching tackles and powerful strikes on goal.

Go the Swannies: The Eels suck. Sydney FC sucks. The Waratahs suck. The Giants are babies. The Sydney Kings suck. Go the Swannies!!!

Tainted Legacy: The Charlotte Bobcats just got trounced by 20 points against a watered down version of the New York Knicks in the last game of the NBA season, leaving them with the worst winning percentage in the history of the NBA. The stats don't lie. This team is truly abysmal. Michael Jordan heads up the Bobcats organisation, and whilst his position as the GOAT cannot be tarnished by his record in management, his leadership of the Washington Wizards, the failed two year return to court, his infamous Hall of Fame acceptance speech, and his stewardship of the Bobcats, are ensuring that whilst his highlight package as number 23 with the Chicago Bulls is a work of art, everything basketball related that has followed is a joke. It's almost Isaiah Thomas like. Funny that two sublime performers who absolutely hated each other on the court are rivals as the worst managers/administrators post retirement.

10K Club: Congratulations to Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who earlier this morning became the tenth batsman to hit his 10,000th run in Test cricket. As to be expected, the entrants into the 10K club is extremely distinguished:

Rank Player                              Runs   Matches Average 100s 50s
1         Sachin Tendulkar            15,470 188         56.91      51     65  
2         Ricky Ponting                 13,266 164         52.85      41     61  
3         Rahul Dravid                  13,094 160         53.22      36     63  
4         Brian Lara                       11,953 131         52.88      34     48  
5         Jacques Kallis                 11,449 142         55.84      40     54  
6         Allan Border                   11,174 156         50.56      27     63  
7         Steve Waugh                   10,927 168         51.06      32     50  
8         Sunil Gavaskar               10,122 125         51.12      34     45  
9         Mahela Jayawardene      10,030 127         50.91      29     40  
10       Shivnarine Chanderpaul 10,000 139         50.00      25     57  

Out of all the names on the list Shiv is probably the one you'd pay least to watch. he doesn't have the same dash, flair, stroke play and physical domination as others players on the list. But he has certainly made the absolute most of his abilities, and when considering the lack of talent surrounding him in the Windies, his achievements are extraordinary. A resolute, dogged and proud competitor, Shiv is a testament that sometimes you can exceed expectations through sheer determination and courage.

Top three @ YouTube:

1. Violent World Peace: Metta World Peace drops the people's elbow on James Harden
2. Shirts and Skins: Genoa Ultras take over the stadium and force players to take off their jerseys during a game in protest at their poor performance. Even though the commentary is in Italian, watch the whole video. I've never seen anything like this in professional football
3. Best save ever: A ball boy runs onto the field and saves a definite goal in Brazil

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mate

    Quality read-any chance of getting in touch with yourself to have a chat about your writing?