Friday, 3 August 2012

Russell Brand and Billy Connolly Go Head To Head

Comedian Russell Brand, whilst in LA filming his latest project, the musical "What About Dick", has once again landed himself in hit water with another sexually related incident.

The British comedian who has had notorious problems surround sex, so much so he has not long completed a spell in a sex rehab clinic, was reprimanded by fellow comedian Billy Connolly. Brand held up filming for the entire cast, over a two hour period, as he demanded a wardrobe assistant show him, her breasts.

Brand continue to badger the lady for two hours, refusing to start work until she flash her breasts. Eventually the wardrobe assistant gave in as she could see the problems arising and feared no work getting done. Billy Connolly, also filming on the same show, was not impressed what so ever and gave brand a dressing down.

The main stream media who reported upon the incident, brushed the event off as another bit of banter from the loveable rouge Russell Brand, who's charm always wins the day and went on to praise his performance.

What about the fact he really should be sitting in an LA jail awaiting a court hearing on a charge of sexual harassment. Perhaps even a public apology to his fellow actors / comedians such as Billy Connolly and Eddie Izzard who have both been in the business much longer than Brand and so deserve a certain amount of respect.

Apparently Brand and Connolly did have a heart to heart later that evening, however it doesn't retract from the fact he basically held a women against her will demanding she expose her body to him. As this is not Brands first incident of a sexual nature, I really do think the more he is not made accountable for his actions, the mire his behaviour will continue and perhaps even reach more serious levels. The more his behaviour is tolerated the worse it could become. 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Paralympians Are True Super Hereos

This is the finest television advert in the history of media advertising, finally a campaign that shows these extraordinary people in the true form the really are, Paralympians are true Super Heroes. For far too long the Paralympic Games have been over shadowed by the Olympic Games, however over recent Olympic Games both sets of athletes have been integrated into exactly the same exposure.

When I sustained my spinal injury whilst on Operational Tour as a British Soldier, I lost my job as an Infantry Soldier and was truly devastated. Devastated because I was loosing the job I had wanted to do from the age of five, but also devastated because of the limitations that where place on me mobility wise. On one occasion when I was in hospital having a spinal fusion, I was being taken for an MRI Scan, however I passed through an area when a lot of very sick children where. It was at this point that I knew I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself, here was I, wanting to serious end my life, however these children that in some cases where far worse than myself, where all smiles and just getting on with life. It was so clear to see their strength that I actually felt total shame that I allowed myself to feel this way.
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For me personally, things have become progressively worse and watching this advert really does put things in perspective. I know it is only a media campaign for the London 2012 Olympic Games, however it is so well put together that I really feel has a much more poignant message hidden within, other than just the Olympic Games.

Bradley Wiggins Super Britton

Bradley Wiggins has just become the first Britton to win the Tour de France, 2012 has certainly been the year of all years for the United Kingdom. This year alone, we have held Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee, mixed in with the Trooping Of The Colour and then the Olympics which starts in just over a week from today. On top of these special occasions England Football team played quite well in Euro 2012, Andy Murray almost won Wimbledon and then the magnificent Bradley Wiggins goes on to Win the Tour de France.

There are of course many big races throughout the year, all over the world, however none seem to carry the prestige that comes with the Tour de France. With Bradley Wiggins being the first ever British man to win the race, many are calling for him to be Knighted on the next honours list.

One thing that I have personally noticed during the following of Bradley Wiggins on the Tour de France, is yes, he is a professional sports person, but put side by side to our over paid, over inflated, egotistical professional footballers, he really is in a different league.
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Here is a man who works harder than most when it comes to cycling for his country and above all for himself, he, along with so many other professional sporting personalities who play sports where they are not paid £60,000 per week, constantly out perform their so called professional footballer counterparts. Why is it that Bradley Wiggins can win a gruelling bike race such as the Tour de France and on his return home have a weeks rest, then head off to Team GB's training camp in Surrey where he will train for the Olympics. All of this without a whimper of complaining. Whilst our professional footballers, paid grotesque amounts of money, can play one or two games of football, with perhaps a week apart between each game and then use the excuse of tiredness for their under performing appearance.

Football in the UK and Europe has unfortunately helped breed a group of  over paid, underachieving, useless sports personalities, which more tragically act as roll models to our children, due to the massive over exposure they receive. And then we wonder why we find it difficult to develop footballers who want to play the beautiful game for the love of the game as opposed to the love of the wage packet.
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So many other sports, produce individuals that play the sport because of a childhood passion that has developed into a profession. Rugby, Tennis, Cycling, Athletics and many more. Of course these sports have high prize money attached to the winning of the sport, but leading up to that win, they are most certainly not being paid in excess of £60 - 80,000 per week, most people don't earn this in a year.

So taking all of what I have just written into consideration, I feel men and women taking part in sporting events for Team GB in the Olympics and other sporting events such as the Tour de France are the real hero's, heroes that in my opinion don't get the full level of recognition they deserve. I would much rather any one of my children look up to Bradley Wiggins for a roll model as opposed to John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ronaldo or any other hig profile footballer for that matter.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Should Football Legend Alan Shearer Keep His Personal Opinions Kerbed

Earlier this week in UK tabloid "The Sun", ex footballing legend for Newcastle United, turned sports pundit, Alan Shearer, wrote an article aimed at advising fellow Newcastle star Andy Carol. My concern about this article is, shouldn't this type of advice take place over a pint in the pub together.

Andy Carol, became an awesome tower of strength and danger for Newcastle United back in 2006 at the grand old age of 17, a magnificent achievement for any aspiring young footballer trying to break into the English Premiership. It wasn't long before Andy Carols aerial threat and towering strength was catching the eye of managers right across the footballing spectrum, clubs at the time much bigger than the struggling Newcastle.

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Liverpool Football Club was one of those clubs, placing a staggering bid of £45 Million on the table, of a then, struggling Newcastle United in the Premiership. Newcastle fans up and down the country begged the Newcastle board to keep their only shining hope, that was Andy Carol, however for Newcastle owner, Mike Ashley; the money was too much of a temptation and so Carol was sold to Liverpool.

As far as Newcastle fans where concerned, selling Andy Carol spelt the end of their time in the Premiership especially considering no big name replacements were bought with £45 million from the sale. For Liverpool fans, things where looking promising, although many thought that £45 for an inexperienced albeit excellent player, was a bit too much money to hand over. Although Andy Carol was a good striker, he had never proven himself in any of the big arenas such as Europe or domestic cup finals nor had he really inspired on an international front for England. Never the less Liverpool fans could see clearly the commitment from their new American owner.

However the fears of the Newcastle fans turned out to be unfounded and the joy of the Liverpool fans turned out to be very short lived. Carols move from Newcastle to Liverpool, seen Newcastle play better football and move up the Premiership, surpassing all expectations. Liverpool on the other hand, certainly from a fans perspective felt they had been sold a dud. Carols first two seasons with Liverpool where disastrous and of course many scratched their head as to why this shinning new talent from the North East of England was able to play like a Brazilian for Newcastle but like a Third Division player for Liverpool.

It was during this period where the likes of Alan Shearer, legend and superstar in his day, published article after article as to why Carol was under performing and one of those articles stated the Geordie was perhaps home sick for Newcastle. I must explain that from Liverpool  to Newcastle is approximately a 3 hour drive apart.

Euro 2012 has just finished and although England entered the competition with very little expectation of winning due to many varying circumstances, new manager being one of them, I personally thought the England team played very well indeed. One thing a lot of people noticed during the competition, certainly Liverpool fans, was the performance Andy Carol displayed on the occasions he played, which were to a similar standard witnessed in his Newcastle days.

England wasn't the only club to get a new manager, Liverpool also got in a new manager and during the competition was studying his current stock and perhaps others for a possible purchase order. On Andy Carols return to Liverpool, despite his most recent performance, there has been high level of talk from the club that they are looking to off load Andy Carol and that he does not feature in the future building of Liverpool FC. It is this speculation that has spurred Alan Shearer to write advice for Andy Carol in the Sun. Whilst I don't have a problem with Shearer giving advice in a mentoring fashion to Carol, however I just feel that when Carol could have done with some advice when playing for Liverpool, I feel that the public statements from Shearer suggesting that Carol should dump Liverpool and move on are unhelpful.

the thing about ex footballers becoming Sports Commentators, is they seem to very rapidly forget the torrid time they received at the hands of sports commentators and reporters, taking this into consideration I feel that personal mentoring should be contained to personal surroundings and not the public forum of tabloid press or the studios of.

I have an immense level of respect for Alan Shearer and the massive contribution he has provided to English Football, but I still feel even he should have certain boundaries when it comes to personal opinions on a public forum.  


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

John Terry v Anton Ferdinand

John Terry has appeared in court today again for the alleged racial abuse fired in the direction of Queens Park Ranger player, Anton Ferdinand, back last season during a Premiership game between Chelsea and QPR.

Last season Liverpool's, Suarez, was also accused of racial abuse toward a Manchester United player. The FA felt with the incident and Suarez was banned for 5 games and quite theft fine. It is thought that if John Terry is convicted of this crime, the maximum sentence he will receive is a £2,500 fine, a mere drop in the ocean for John Terry, pocket change in fact. However I should imagine that if convicted through the civilian court, would the FA also have to act upon his charge?

Unfortunately racial abuse towards players, officials and fans is all too common place on the terrace of English Football. There is no doubt that it has been reduced over the years, especially since the days of hooliganism, back in the 70's 80's and early 90's. Never the less, despite this reduction I fear that the day where racial abuse is completely done away with on the terrace, is still a long way away, if at all. There is no doubt it is an ugly side of the game and one that certainly needs pushing out altogether.

I do think that if John Terry is convicted of this crime then he should face a penalty much higher than is expected. However I also feel that it was wrong for Anton Ferdinand's mother to bring Doreen Lawrence's mother to the hearing with her. That, in my opinion sent out a very powerful sign, especially given the terrible fate her son Stephen Lawrence suffered.

Whilst justice must been done, the courts must make sure that the trial does not turn into a media circus and that the facts of this case and this case only are at focus.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

England v France Euro 2012 Review

I've mentioned on my twitter account my feelings about England and their hopes in this tournament. Basically every tournament that I can remember England taking part in, and I am 38, there has always been a almost arrogant expectation that England should win. Obviously to have this much confidence and backing of this style is a good thing but there are massive implications surrounding such outlook, primarily pressure. This time for Euro 2012 the expectation has been pretty much nothing, even the players had a certain defeated attitude, but for me this is what could take England all the way to Euro 2012 final. This is my England v France Euro 2012 review.

Englands first game of Euro 2012 was last night, Monday the 11th of June 2012, against probably the worst team out of them all to play. Pretty much the expectation was that France would destroy England, it goes without saying this is not what the hearts of us English fans wanted but our heads where certainly of the opinion. However I firmly believed that England's underdog status would serve them well, especially given the upset on the very first game of the tournament, Denmark v Holland, who would have thought that the mighty Dutch would have been beat by the Danes.

Settling down to watch the game and after about 20 minutes I thought England played like they had never played before, perhaps a bit narrow, lacking width, but tight, accurate passing, quick and clinical. Then came the perfect cross from Stevie Gerrard, onto the head of the unlikely candidate for the opening goal, Lescott. England where off to a high start and never really lost composure, nor did they start to sit back and defend their lead, they where hungry for more. Perhaps the injury plagued England squad wasn't going to suffer after all.

Then at the 39th minute, French player Nasri scores the equaliser, followed by an odd display of celebration. It has been later suggested that the French player was mimicking the hush sign with his finger aimed at England coach Gary Neville.

For me personally I thought England played with more heart and passion than I have witnessed in my 38 years of existence and long may it continue. this very much could be our year and long may England reign over football. Euro 2012 being won by England would quite simply be the icing on the cake for what is turning out to be an incredibly memorable patriotic year. The Diamond Jubilee, The Olympics, The Queens Birthday Parade Trooping Of The Colour and a Euro 2012 trophy.

Match Stats as by Sky Sports.