Orbital Snooker 2000
Aug18

Orbital Snooker 2000

The late 1970s saw a flood of speculative sporting instruction manuals hit book shelves including some of the more well-known such as Mixed Tug O’ War (Punk Edition), Rally Car Jousting, and Table Polo. Those books, at least, had some chance of actually being played but the same couldn’t be said for the end of the decade’s Orbital Snooker 2000 by Irish author Lee Ayres. Ayres was a reasonably well-respected futurist and extrapolated then present day materials and technologies into the heady days of the twenty first century to come up with the rules of the game he considered would become the opium of the world’s populations. It was his intention to become the father of the sport and cash in on global licencing rights but his vision of coloured mile-wide spheres of graphene piloted by the criminal masses of competing nations attempting to knock their opponents into the sun and gain their freedom was just a little too expensive to...

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Deflategate Audio Transcripts
Jan24

Deflategate Audio Transcripts

The world of American Football is on edge as we await the concocted results of the NFL‘s incredible in-depth investigation into the manufactured outrage around Deflategate, that terrifying event between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts that is – at least in the NFL’s and the media’s “minds” – more serious than killing dogs, more harmful to the sport than beating up women in elevators, and more heinous than rewarding players for injuring opponents: playing a game with a ball ever-so-slightly less inflated with air than in the rule book! Some evidence has emerged… Intercepted telephone call #1: Four rings… Hello? (digitally altered voice) Listen very carefully, I will say this only once… Fucking telemarketers! Why don’t you all burn in a ditch?! Intercepted telephone call #2: Three rings… Hello? (digitally altered voice) Do not hang up, this is… What the hell is this shit? Is this someone playing a prank? (digitally altered voice) I am your NFL handler with instruc… What?! A robot? Why is a robot handling…? (no-longer digitally-altered voice) Oh for the love of money! This is your handler with explicit instructions regarding… I have a handler? What’s a handler? (sighs) Yes you have a handler! If you want to officiate in the NFL then yes, absolutely, you definitely have a handler and that’s me. Okay? Well… okay. I suppose. What’s your name? No names! You may refer to me as Agent L. Are you good L? I said no names! Oh! Oh, right, yes, yes, sorry. Sorry, I thought you were asking if I was Goodell. I’m just L. Okie dokie. What can I do for you then Agent Good L, wink, wink? Stop that! I have an important mission for you. If you do this right then I’ll see to it that you officiate in Superbowl fifty. Ooh! That’ll be nice. I hope it’s a simple mission. Indeed it is. You’ll be checking Tom Brady’s balls before the Colts game… Hey! That’s a horrible lie! I glanced that one time and that was all. I would never do that again! You know, I don’t think blackmail will work on… Shut up, shut up, shut up! How can you lot be so inept all the time? Before the game, okay?, the New England Patriots hand in their balls, okay?, and you check them, okay?, and then they go out onto the field, okay? Okay? Okay. Underinflate the balls on the way. That is all. Take all the air out? No! Just enough! Just enough to be below the allowed amount. Enough to increase the chances of the Colts winning. Hang on. Does the...

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Soccer Is Running America Into The Ground
Jun21

Soccer Is Running America Into The Ground

“Soccer is running America into the ground, and there is very little anyone can do about it.” So starts an email to blogger Avicenna who then proceeds to pick apart the preposterous points raised by “an overworked teacher” in the post I Get Mail – How Soccer is Ruining ‘Merica. The arguments made by the teacher are the typical fare you’d expect from someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about but they’re worth reading nonetheless especially if you happen to like football and like despairing of humans. I know I do. Of particular interest to me was this quote from the teacher (just after expressing his sexist attitude labelling football as “a game for girls”: My daughter is on a traveling team, and she is quite good. I had to sign a form that said, among other things, I would not do anything embarrassing to her or the team during the game. I told the coach I could not sign it. She was perplexed and worried. “Why not,” she asked? “Are you one of those parents who yells at their kids?” “Not at all,” I replied, “I read books on the sidelines during the game, and this embarrasses my daughter to no end.” That is my one way of protesting the rise of this pitiful sport. Screw the fact your daughter may enjoy the sport you can’t comprehend. The most important thing is to embarrass her away from the game. A petty, domineering, sexist teacher who thinks soccer is ruining America. Dani Andersen, Robert Cesareo DeCicco, Jenny Hansen liked this...

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Review: The NFL At Wembley In 2013
Oct28

Review: The NFL At Wembley In 2013

And so we come to the end of another International Series of games of American Football at Wembley which means we can write a quick review of the state of play of the sport in England pleasing both people who might one day search just to see what some guy in Portsmouth thought of the whole thing. NFL: No Fun League For reasons best known only to themselves the NFL have decided that going to a game of football should progressively become more and more like an automated chore rather than any kind of enjoyable experience. The plan to turn attendees into an army of Roger Goodell’s Patented Money-Parting Zombies continues at a fair pace. This year’s new ruling included a vast list of what could and could not be taken into the game which ultimately boiled down to: yourself, one small, clear carrier bag with, a small “non-professional” (sigh) camera around your neck. Let’s take these in order: Yourself: I get this one. This one’s quite important. But to be fair, this one’s one that sports fans are going to want to follow so it’s a bit of a no-brainer. One clear bag: I appreciate that you don’t want people turning up with a week’s worth of shopping as that can be a bit of a nightmare when walking up stairs but it’s a bit draconian and it’s based on an American understanding of who will want to attend the game. In America fans will go and watch their team because they happen to live near the place (near in American terms, at least). This isn’t the case for London. A lot of people go to watch the game as part of a day out because we don’t all live in London. There are people there from all over the UK and wide areas of Europe too. And it’s really quite an expensive day out. In previous years we’ve made the NFL games a great experience by taking the train up to London, seeing some of the sights, doing the whole tourist thing, bumping into other American Football fans doing the same thing, then making our way to the game. These new rules ruin most of that as we can now no longer risk buying a small souvenir at some historic place because the bag isn’t clear or some other stupid rule. This rule doesn’t work for a large section of fans at all. Why one clear bag, anyway? Oh, it’s to stop people bringing in bombs and knives and sniper rifles and by limiting the number of bags it prevents clutter disrupting people’s enjoyment in the stadium....

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Sports Bar
May13

Sports Bar

Another dip into my photo archives to see what I can resurrect from previously unprocessed or too simply processed or otherwise rejected shots and this is a picture of Churchill's, the sports bar on the Diamond Princess which was the ship we cruised on during our honeymoon in 2008. This was taken on the first day of cruising out of Hong Kong, which was the second day of playing with my then brand new Tokina f/4 12-24mm on the Canon 350D. It was early in the morning and we'd headed down to the bar specifically to watch some live American Football. We knew that Churchill's was the only place on board where you could smoke indoors and we knew that it was possible to buy cigars there; neither I nor my wife were or are smokers but we both thought it might be an experience to sit in an American sports bar, watching some football, maybe sipping on a bourbon, and allowing the smell of cigar smoke from some other patrons to add to ambience. Sadly, what we got was an inability to get any drink from anybody and only two other passengers plus a steady stream of staff members who nipped in to have quick – and decidedly revolting-smelling – cigarettes. Not what we were after. Google+: View post on...

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The Dartboard
Feb05

The Dartboard

A processed (no, really!) photo from the Coach and Horses pub in Hilsea we went to yesterday to enjoy some drinks and a meal with my dad, my brother, and his wife. While we were waiting for them to arrive I saw the nicely-lit dartboard behind my wife's head and took a shot. Submitted for yesterday's (day 4) +Monthly PAD Challenge as well as today's #SportsSunday (yes, darts is a sport, damnit!). Because I'm cheeky like that. Google+: View post on...

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