England have the World Cup fever – the 2003 fever

Woah – another big website, another scary insight. With 20 odd days to go until rugby’s big showpiece event in France, click on the BBC’s ‘Rugby World Cup‘ section and this is what you get – poor old sicknote Wilkinson looking uncomfortable in the arms of an enthusiastic team mate on that magical night in Sydney.

Talk about Groundhog Day – I’m appalled at the shoddy lack of updates on the Beebs’ website. And NO mention of 1987 whatsoever.


What was the top story on the New Zealand Herald’s homepage at 1.30PM Monday 13 August? New Zealand’s nationally distributed and widely read newspaper published out of our biggest city?

A long retired Wallaby player reassures the nation about our biggest collective fear – the All Blacks won’t choke.

What will the evening edition bring? Martin Johnson saying Dan Carter and Richie McCaw are highly unlikely to accidentally kick each other in the bollocks in the first five minutes of the final? Janie De Beer saying “Go to sleep and dream little Kiwis, every thing will be alright. Everything will be alright”?

I love this country.

Roman Abramovich writes to young Chelsea fans

Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovich is a man of ominous, brooding, dark, dark mystery. Here’s his responses to children’s letters to Chelsea’s official fan’s magazine.

Dear Chelsea magazine –
My favourite colour is blue. I can’t wait for the football to start again, and when I’m big enough I want to play for Chelsea. I like playing football with my brother.
Darren, 6, Reading

Darren –
Blood. Let blood be your guide. When you have spent the off season waist deep in offal of indeterminate origin like Roman Abramovich, your thinking will be much, much clearer.

Dear Chelsea magazine –
I love Chelsea. When they win I run around in the garden yelling “Yes! Yes! Yes!” with all my might. I hope you win the Champions’ League this year. The other lads in my class mostly support Arsenal, but I love Chelsea FC!
Mike, 8, Richmond

Dear Mike –
Many, many years ago, a group of young Russians made a big mistake. They mocked a young man who was true of heart, whose only crime was the thick, matted hair covering his body no razor could tame. They laughed. They laughed and mocked. They sung “Roman’s a retard!” They’re all dead now.

Dear Chelsea magazine –
I love my Chelsea teddy bear. I called him “Terry”. I’m six. Can I be a ball boy?
Stevie, 4, Fulham

Dear Stevie –
I love Chelsea too! Why not buy your bear an official Chelsea scarf? They’re only 18.99 and available online. (edited by Chelsea FC communications dept.)

Links on Friday (on Sunday)

50 greatest sporting insults – There’s some crackers here, like “There’s no way you are good enough to play for England.” “Maybe not, but at least I’m the best cricketer in my family”, directed at Mark Waugh
Keano takes Sunderland to Ireland – OK, so *#@!$% Sunderland beat Spurs this morning (yes, thanks for the helpful reminder, Kate), but I can’t be too upset – I’ve got a sneaking admiration for Roy Keane and hope the throbbing vein on his forehead has an easier life now he’s not playing. Doubt it, though
Soccer AM ‘third eye’ collection – if you find footballers being whacked in the face with balls hilarious, this this for you
B3TA ‘make safe things dangerous’ image challenge – har. The the best’s the school sports day with the bear

Reading list: Nathan Rarere has an ‘actually funny’ rugby blog

Radio guy Nathan Rarere, who used to present Ice TV with cycling’s Jon Bridges and God’s Petra Baghurst, has a rugby blog that’s actually funny. On his latest post, he’s compared Hawke’s Bay’s forward pack’s ‘take no prisoners’ approach (that generally translates to ‘ensure the oppostion remains unconcious for large parts of the game’) to Roman army tactical manoeuvres. I like it a lot – added to the link roll.

Links on Friday

Le Tour’s Mount Ventoux – bugger biking up here. It just goes up and up and up, and looks like the moon
Greatest bit of fielding ever? – Gatting couldn’t be more surprised than if he’d been slapped with a fish
A high quality Spurs goal from G. Linneker – Spurs are looking good for top four this year I reckon (Bonus link for you SportsFreaks: Glen ‘n Chris do Diamond Lights)
Top 50 Muppets – I like Crazy Harry, the mad bomber. And Lefty