Category: Sport

Life during VAR time

fifavrThe mission of the video assistant referee (VAR) and his three assistants at the FIFA World Cup in Russia is to identify and eradicate human error.

In theory, the VAR room interventions mean that there will be no more ghost goals, hands of God and erroneous penalty decisions.

As a consequence, the days of diving prima donnas seeking to dupe the match officials would seem to be numbered. Desperate pleas of innocence by offenders will count for nothing as material evidence of their guilt is exposed via video replays. Continue reading

WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING by Haruki Murakami (Vintage Books, 2009)

3031024When I first read this memoir about five years ago I was a casual jogger.

Picking it up again as I train for my first marathon, I see it now as a valuable mini-manual to get into the right physical and mental state.

You don’t have to be an amateur athlete or an aspiring writer to appreciate Murakami’s down to earth words of wisdom but it helps.

As a celebrated novelist, frequently tipped for the Nobel Prize for Literature, and a prolific marathon finisher, the Japanese writer and runner shares his experiences in a style that goes beyond the standard textbooks on both pursuits. Continue reading

LFCSometimes the good

guys win in real life


Congratulations to

Leicester City Football

Club and Claudio

Ranieri on their

remarkable achievement.

sad-brazil-fanI don’t normally blog about soccer but the unprecedented events of last night throws up issues that go beyond the so-called ‘beautiful game’.

Brazil’s astonishing 7-1 world cup defeat at the hands of a merciless German team was nothing short of a disaster not only for the team and the nation but also for the corporate interests behind the orchestration of this sporting event.

The hope, and expectation, was always that the home country would triumph so that it would end in one gigantic Samba street party.

The massive expenditure needed to stage such global happenings are enough to potentially bankrupt even the richest countries. The huge investment in the construction of soon to be redundant stadiums and facilities can only be justified if they bring wealth to the country in the form of sponsorship deals or increased tourism.

Anti-government demonstrations against high taxes, poor services and political corruption have been violently quelled leading up to the tournament and Brazil’s ignoble exit will only serve to reignite the debate about these spiralling costs. Continue reading

stay young A Facebook friend posted this image today – a snapshot of a school notice board containing baseball star Leroy Robert ‘Satchel’ Paige’s six point plan on how to stay young.

I’ve never played baseball in my life (rounders hardly counts!) but having survived more than half a century on the planet I thought I should be able to come up with my own list.

My own six rules for not getting old (at least mentally) are as follows:

  • If it has a face, don’t eat it.
  • Work to please yourself, but be a strict boss.
  • Don’t let your vices become habits.
  • Find a niche to hang your thoughts on.
  • Don’t bear grudges – they’ll only weigh you down.
  • Take things slowly but be prepared to walk fast.
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