Archive for March, 2013

Between a rock and a hard place

Between a rock and a hard place

There can be no doubt that as a society we are obsessed with crime, from our favourite TV cop shows to the sensationalist glorification of any two-bit hood adorning the front pages of the Sunday red tops. Nothing sets the collective pulse racing like a daring heist or a whodunit murder. Yep, crime sells and the more gory the better.

However, last week’s media coverage shifted the spotlight onto murder’s considerably less-loved cousin, burglary. From Rté’s fascinating interview with Padraig Nally to the rolling coverage of the Oscar Pistorius saga in South Africa, burglary at last seemed to receive a share of media coverage commensurate with its meteoric rise in the latest crime statistics. (more…)

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"That's my favourite colour! How did you know?!"

“That’s my favourite colour! How did you know?!”

Would Gazza be a model citizen had he signed for disciplinarian Alex Ferguson in 1987, instead of having his every destructive whim indulged by Terry Venables at Spurs? Would Maradona have gone on to be the greatest player of his –and arguably any – generation had he signed for Sheffield United in 1978? Would the great Dutch team of the seventies have secured that elusive World Cup in Argentina had Johann Cryff not pulled out of the squad at the last minute? The list of hypothetical football imponderables is as long as it is fascinating. But one oft-asked, so-called imponderable we can remove from the list is that of whether Lionel Messi would be able to produce his unique brand of majestic football on a cold wet night in Stoke. The answer is simply, No. No, he wouldn’t. And it would have nothing to do with inclement weather.

For you see football and Stoke are, shall we say, uncomfortable bedfellows. In fact, so little have Stoke in common with the act of playing football that it’s difficult to imagine their tactics altering greatly if the actual ball was removed from the field of play. (more…)

Get on With It!

Posted: March 2, 2013 in Football, Media
Tags: ,

imagesCAS24KSHPenicillin, chemotherapy, vaccinations – there’s no doubting the medical pioneers have put in a solid shift over the past hundred years or so, but when it comes to life-saving breakthroughs, surely Sky Plus trumps them all. Some may argue that remedies for hitherto deadly diseases beats the advent of live TV manipulation but those people have clearly never had to endure the torturous ordeal of the modern day Pre-Match Pageantry and it’s suicide-inducing tedium.

Unfortunately, the option to pause, record and fast-forward over the endless ceremonies that precede every football match these days is only available to those lucky enough to be watching the unfolding events on Sky Plus. For everyone else the torture goes on. And on. And on. (more…)

"United away? Eh, I think I'll just sit this one out"

“United away? Eh, I think I’ll just sit this one out”

A few Fridays ago the new Blackburn manager Michael Appleton watched his side earn a one all draw at Wolves from the comfort of his living room.

There are several things wrong with that sentence, from football being played on a Friday night to the fact that Appleton is on to his third club in barely two months, but the main problem with the sentence is that Appleton wasn’t watching proceedings from the dug-out. (more…)

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“This way please, like a good little Paddy…”

Considering the key role Tony Blair played in the decision to wage an unjust war on Iraq in 2003 that would lead to a death toll of over 650,000 it probably seems somewhat insensitive to argue that the former UK Premier’s greatest sin was to invite then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to address a joint sitting of Westminster’s Houses of Parliament in 2007.

But for those of us of a more Irish-centric nature, Blair’s invitation was his cruelest act of all. On the eve of a close, fiercely contested general election, Ahern was gifted the greatest Public Relations coup in the history of Irish politics and duly took full advantage, delivering a widely acclaimed speech. In fact, so voluminous and effusive was the resultant media coverage that the story was only finally supplanted on the front pages some nine days later with news of Ahern’s comfortable re-election. (more…)