British beach holidays. The weather is warm enough for sunburn, the rain encourages one to do something other than just lie on the sand, and the fish and chips are nearly always superb.
I’m not cross at all; this is merely an attempt at a mobile-created blog.
Well now, I am quite cross now. I have been told not to climb this rock:
Like the well behaved chap I am, I obeyed and removed myself – and my 8 year old daughter – from the rock. About 20 minutes later she asked me why we weren’t allowed to climb. This stumped me … exactly as much as the request/order to not climb it.
Later on I spotted another couple of life-guard-types. I strode on up, and politely enquired as to the reasons behind not letting folk climb it; my wife wondered if there was a wildlife preservation order for nest birds, I checked with the uniformed people:
“we’re not the fun police”, said he, “you are allowed to climb, we’re just supposed to point out the risks.”
Aggggggggggh. How annoying, the tide had now come in a bit more and we were due to leave shortly. I was now unable to climb, having been (sort of) given permission, but not able to do so for other reasons. I remain somewhat perturbed.
I hope this is the most bland post I will ever write. Sorry.
Justin Langer Ricky Ponting
Mark Waugh Steve Waugh
Damien Martyn Adam Gilchrist Shane Warne
Jason Gillespie Glenn McGrath
Anyone who says that the current England or South African test sides are the best in the world may be correct for now. But really, standards have fallen some way in the last 10 years or so. I do not blame T20 for this; I think it is a cycle of time. The strongest years in tennis were when Borg, McEnroe, Connors, and Lendl, dominated the game 30 years ago. Only now, with Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray, has the game seen a top 4 so spell-bindingly good, and dominant over their peers.
I expect that we won’t see a side dominate cricket, like that incredible Australian team did, for quite some time. Look again at the names above. The two in blue are, undoubtedly, ranked in the top 5 bowlers of all time ever. And they played together for most of their careers; that alone is incredible. The name in green is widely regarded as the best combination of batting, wicket-keeping (and integrity) ever seen wearing the gloves. The names in maroon can all be talked about, legitimately, as being among the most imperious, destructive, and best batsmen in a generation. How Australia would love the other three batsmen right now! And think for a moment of the class players that never really made it into that test side: Darren Lehmann, Michael Hussey, Stuart Law. My word, that period of Australian cricket was incredible. Think again of the bowlers … Stuart MacGill, Stuart Clark come instantly to mind as incredible players who would have played FAR more if not for the utter class of those “above” them.
Players of such utter class do not come about as a product of any first class system, coach, or particular training method. They are freaks … but of the very best kind; remember them fondly. Oh, and if anyone talks about 2005, and how England beat (most of) that side, I say this: McGrath didn’t play in two tests, England won those two tests.
England may have beaten Australia, but they did not beat McGrath.
So please – when England play South Africa in the 2nd test – know that while good, they ain’t *that* good.
I was listening to BBC Radio 5 Live, as I often do en route to work. During this last week I have head the following:
“There is some clouds…”
“There is some problems…”
My complaint isn’t that they slipped up, we all do that, especially (as in their case) they are live and inventing some of their speech on the fly. My problem is that they didn’t notice the error and attempt to apologise or correct themselves. Are we all too dumb to notice, are we too lazy to care?
Please, let me explain why this bothers me – I’m not a Grammar Nazi – I failed my English GCSE twice (two D’s) before receiving a glorious X – they said that I wasn’t there, then they said “maybe you were, maybe you got a C … you’re a lucky boy”. Golly, thank you, I really feel special now 😦
Why is that relevant? Well, after my first D, my craposity meant that my dear old Dad thought it would be wise for me to receive extra tuition, via the post, from my Uncle (aka the Mad Professor) who was a history lecturer. This meant being taught grammar, too much of which for the first time. Now, probably because of my struggle, I notice the terrible mistakes made by others that I used to make myself: I still repeat, in my head, phrases like “less milk, fewer bottles”.
So what? Well, I have been academically poor at English and I have tried to improve even though it isn’t hugely important for me. For the whole of my professional career I have been a computer programmer, meaning that maths and logic have been more important than grammar and spelling. My bug-bear is this: these broadcasting folk should be experts in language, for it is part of their stock and trade. Why are they employed in such a job? Hhow can they get away with making the same mistakes that I did as a juvenile teen?
Are schools concentrating too much on kids enjoying themselves and not enough on the “3 Rs”?
Is it an over-simplification to suggest that standards have slipped?
I should probably ask someone to proof-read this 😦
(I did ask Betti to proof read-it, therefore remaining mistakes are her fault!)
I don’t think Murray failed at all. However, I expect that is exactly what many people will think, and what some will read. I remember reading a paper after Tim Henman lost a wonderful 4-set semi-final against Pete Sampras (winner of 7 (seven) Wimbledon singles titles) “Henman Fails Again”. Sampras was largely recognised as the best player ever on grass, now Federer has equalled him with seven (7) Wimbledon singles titles. So clearly these players are “proper good”, yet the minute they beat one of our British folk, our guys are failures.
This. Is. Madness.
If it isn’t madness, then everyone who has ever been beaten by them is also a failure. Federer lost to Henman at Wimbledon once, after Sampras lost to Federer, so both of them are failures too. Therefore everyone is a failure.
Why am I writing this incoherent bullshit? Because I am vexed. Mad-vexed about the crap I’ve been hearing about Murray all day.
One chap I heard was clearly happier that Murray lost so he could say “I told you he was crap”, and “he’ll never win anything”, and “he missed a ball in the second set, and that was his only chance”, and “I told you so”. Chuff the chuff right off. The failure here is that we stupid British seem to enjoy our sporting heroes losing .. ESPECIALLY if it’s not “your” sport. I’m guilty myself, in part. I couldn’t give a toss about the success of our football team in Europe. But, secretly I wanted them to win. SECRETLY?! What the chuff? Why are we programmed like that? Who made us be such a bunch of tits?
Murray is a GREAT tennis player. Federer is probably the best EVER tennis player in the history of the universe. Players from other planets are not yet permitted by the ATP, there are a few rule differences. Sorry, I digress; Murray’s head-to-head with Jolly Roger is now 8-8.
So, if Murray has beaten the best-player-in-history-ever-ever-ever as many times as he has lost, that’s a pretty good record, right?
If Murray is 4th, in the last 12 years (and 12th in history), in terms of Masters series titles won that’s pretty good too, right?
If Murray has won over $20 Million dollars in prize money alone, that’s pretty handy, right?
You might think so, and I bloody well do. Those of you who think otherwise can bog off (which, incidentally, is what I wanted this blog to be called).
What Murray had done poorly in his previous three Grand Slam finals was show a mental ineptitude that I’d not seen him show anywhere else. Today he utterly banished that and was edged out by the better player. Well done Jolly Roger, you played great, well done Andy, don’t listen to the pricks; you played great too …. and you WILL win a slam soon!