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Vuvuzela… enough already

14 Jun

It is official. My dislike for the vuvuzela has officially turned to hate.

It is ruining the world cup atmosphere for me (SA rugby stadia already have a ban on them) FIFA decided to allow them even after the complaints after the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup held in South Africa. There was talk of banning the vuvuzela for the World cup, fans and commentators complained about the noise. The South Africans however claim this plastic 60p horn (massed produced in South Africa & China) is part of Authentic South African football and culture.

The world cup is different nations, their teams and supporters coming together in the worlds greatest sporting event. Each nation brings its own brand of support, samba and Latino music, gutteral German singing, the English marching band – all the nations bring a unique atmosphere to the game. This world cup the atmosphere of the entire competition is the sound of a 90 minutes traffic jam.

However painful the sound is to me on TV and radio, I am thankful that I am not in the stadia. Listen to how the vuvuzela sounds stood among them, imagine 90 minutes non-stop (paying £100’s if not £1000’s to attend the game). Try and listen to the full 2 minutes, how do you feel about another 88 ?

Now compare to a crowd singing.

Football games, stadia, players and a crowd are normally symbiotic. The stadia sound rises and falls through the passage of play. Supporters encourage their team if they are struggling, mock the opponents, cheer good play. The vuvuzela just results in 90 minutes of flat droning, there is no ebb and flow. I have heard people say the fans just need to sing, but it is simply impossible to be heard above the horns

What a shame that South Africa with such a history of dance, music and song will be remembered for a cheap plastic tube. It is not even an original concept, South America crowds used them for decades – thankfully they have the sense to use it sparingly.

You can vote to ban it though sadly it will be to late.


On, on, you noblest English…

12 Jun

Today is also the anniversary of the re-created Shakespeare Globe Theatre as well as England’s first World Cup game of the 2010 finals. I will keep my sentiments simple, a quote from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet “Do it England!”.

I am sure William would be cheering the England team. He could connect with these players performing in front of 60,000 eager fans, England’s popular theatre for the ‘common man’. The sentiments of ABE (anyone but England) from Scotland and Wales would not worry Shakespeare, he would cut them down, waving his pen like a sword, penning a piece of English cutting wit and pride.

When the world cup is over however he would be unfamiliar with the way that Englishness vanishes over night. The playwright lived during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I this ‘mere English’ woman who instilled a sense of pride and passion in England. Europe feared this rising England, this land of god and man.

I suspect he would be disappointed in English pride. A land where our historians now depict Elizabeth as “short-tempered, sometimes indecisive ruler, who enjoyed more than her share of luck”.

After the World cup is over, those supporting England will settle back into their daily lives, a flutter of pride or disapointement in their chest. The rest of the country will continue to chip away at England, ever more determined to prevent these ‘mere English’ any chance to establish themselves politically or nationally.

England and Englishness has been reduced to something that comes out at sporting tournaments. I hope we can win this tournament, it will give us time and new found confidence. The least it will postpone and prevent people from trying to destroy this last bastion of England.

Gary Lineker debut

26 May

gary Lineker, England Striker

One of England’s finest goalscorers made his début on this day in 1984.

“Legendary goal poacher Gary Lineker made his England debut in the last ever British Home Championship match on this day in 1984.

The Leicester City forward was just 23 when he replaced Tony Woodcock in the fixture against Scotland at Hampden Park; thrown on by Bobby Robson in the 72nd minute in an attempt to find a winning goal with the score at 1-1.

Unfortunately it was not to be the dream debut for Lineker with the game finishing in a stalemate, a result that meant all four nations – Northern Ireland and Wales included – ended the tournament on three points and were only separated by goal difference – the Irish coming out on top.”

An interesting fact about England striker Gary is he finished his international career with 48 goals and not one yellow card in 80 appearances, earning him the title England’s Mr Nice.

World Cup commercial

23 May

Really well made World Cup 2010 Commercial by Nike. The Wayne Rooney segment made me smile.

The 2012 London Olympic Mascot is……

19 May

London Olympic Mascot

The 2012 London Olympic games mascot has been revealed. Named Wenlock and Mandeville they are apparently molten steel blobs that came to life, after falling from a steel girder. One has a London Taxi sign on its head.

Well anything unveiled would only be an improvement for the London Olympics after the 2012 Graffiti Logo. I guess the London Olympics are lucky that they did set the standard so low.

My Opinion ?

English and City of London White Dragon

I was hoping for The English White Dragon. I am sure artist could have made a great mascot out of our already existing heritage. Not only has it over a 1000 years of English history but is also the Crest of the City of London. The history, imagery and symbolisms is already there, what better mascot to promote England’s London 2012 Olympic games ?

It looks as though this noble beast will have to continue its forced slumber awaiting to rise.

England 2018 World cup hosts dream ends ?

17 May

England world cup bid

The Daily Mail considers the revenge of a jilted lover to be more important than England’s chance of bringing the worlds largest sporting event to home soil in 2018. England’s world Cup message was “England United. The World Invited”. It would seem a meaningless message to some in the country, intent on destroying our bid for the sake of a few pounds.

The papers £75,000 purchase of an entrapment recording from Miss Melissa Jacobs seems to have put an end to our World Cup bid. The recording was from a private meeting Miss Jacobs had arranged with ex-friend and work colleague Lord David Triesman. It emerged Miss Jacobs had a 6 month ‘affair’ back in 2008 which resulted in kisses and a few playful texts (that Miss Jacobs decided to keep for 3 years). The whole entrapment reeks of nothing but an attempt by Miss Jacobs to get revenge on Lord Triesman (we have no idea what perceived wrong she felt he did to her). What we do know is her desire for revenge (and the Daily Mails willingness to grant it after numerous papers refused to print the story) could cost England its chance of hosting the World Cup in 2018.

Lord Triesman was guilty of saying stupid things in a private conversation with someone he thought was a friend. Miss Jacobs and the Daily Mail are guilty of entrapment (or paying for it) and putting the revenge of a jilted woman above that of the nation and its hopes to bring the World cup to England. I am not a great fan of the Daily Mail. This weekend however it managed to sink even lower than the extremely low standards I held it too. If it was in my power I would put the paper on trial for treason for selling England for a pathetic ‘kiss and tell’.

It would appear the Daily Mail today after getting so much flak from the Public has changed tack and is now blaming Miss Jacobs for ruining our bids chance.

If you wish to complain about the Daily Mail to the press complaints commission then you can do so under;

Editors Code of Practice, article 10: Clandestine devices and subterfuge

i) The press must not seek to obtain or publish material acquired by using hidden cameras or clandestine listening devices; or by intercepting private or mobile telephone calls, messages or emails; or by the unauthorised removal of documents or photographs; or by accessing digitally-held private information without consent.
ii) Engaging in misrepresentation or subterfuge, including by agents or intermediaries, can generally be justified only in the public interest and then only when the material cannot be obtained by other means

England win: England 6 Germany 3

14 May

England team in Germany 1938

Interesting facts about England; This day in 1938 England played Germany, clashing just before the second World War (which started 16 months later). The game should have been remembered for the England win (6-3) and the magnificent venue of Berlin’s Olympic Stadium where around 110,000 went to watch the match.

Instead in a politicly correct stunt, the England team were ordered to give the Nazi Salute prior to the game (one does not want to offend). The resulting image sat painfully with a nation and the Nazi saluting players. Eddie Hapgood, England’s captain summed up his feelings “I’ve been in a shipwreck, a train cash, and inches short of a plane crash but the worst (thing) of my life was giving the Nazi salute in Berlin.”