Beth Tweddle, 1 - Football, 0

Last night, a few of us were watching, with more or less attention, the World Gymnastics Championships, on the big screen in Stufital Old Manger. Beth Tweddle taking gold for Britain in the floor exercise (Go Beth!) was an added bonus. Then, perhaps at someone's request, but without asking anyone else, Mr Syria changed the channel. To football. Local football. And not even a game of football. Just a baldy-headed git talking about football, with the sound turned down. OK, rudeness aside, how can a muted babbling baldy-man ever measure up to the consummate skill and grace of the World's finest gymnasts? And even if you hate gymnastics, the girls are still girls. Maybe the channel was changed because the leotards were deemed un-islamic?

I've started, so I'll finish. The trouble with football, apart from its gross overexposure, is that it's a flawed game. It's always played on the brink of the foul and so has more to do with what you can get away with than what you can do. And the scoring is boring. In Rugby, a single score can reverse the positions, and often does. In football, you can only ever equalise from a goal behind. Then there's the penalty fiasco. Years ago, the heavy leather ball was quite hard to blooter past a good goalie. There was a real competition at play. Now, every penalty is a goal unless the kicker makes a blunder or the keeper gets lucky. Pathetic. And there's the arbitrariness of it all. Foul outside the box - free kick. Foul just inside - penalty = goal. Stupid. The only good thing about football is that it's still amateur... what - you mean these tossers get paid?? Jings. Not too much, I hope.

Now, seriously. Columbia's Jessica Gil Ortiz took a bad fall in her floor exercise last night, shortly after Beth Tweddle's winning performance. Something went wrong in her execution of a double somersault and she landed hard on her head. After what seemed an age, she was fitted with a neck brace and stretchered off. Let's hope her recovery is fast and complete. Tough luck, lass.


  1. Ah, how about a trip to electrical store and purchase a universal remote, small and discrete. Program it to suit the pub TV. You're then set for hours of fun until the bouncers start body searching the patrons.

    As for football, you're perfectly correct. You can watch all the big name football teams play and hope for 1 all. But you might get Nil all. On a lucky day, it will be 1 nil, or you can get a life, watch rugby, Aussie rules or netball and see a game played and won.

  2. Bush Mechanic - I didn't know anything about Aussie Rules until coming to the Middle East. I like it lots now, for the speed and athleticism. I was introduced to it by a few Aussie friends, of course!

  3. Small celebration - Paranormal Hotel has just crossed 20,000 page views. Not bad for an exercise in trivia. Helga - take a bow! ;)

  4. Now you guys are talking about REAL football, real athletes playing with multiple skills. Come and watch an AFL Middle East game at the Rugby Club Friday afternoon 30th October - the Mighty Doha Kangaroos vs Dubai, not sure which team as they have 3. We have started an Auskick group to teach boys and girls 5-15 years AFL skills every Friday morning behind at Aspire Park Hyatt Centre 09:00 - 10:00. Gotta agree too about the Womens, and Mens,Gymnastics, that is real grace and athletic skill.PaulRB_Slaka.

  5. PS - a famous Aussie Rules Coach, David Parkin, once said of soccer and basketball (with some poetic license)" ....they would be good games if started at 1 all or 95 all respectively and the game went for 5 minutes". PaulRB_Slaka

  6. Paul - thanks for the tip-off about the match next weekend. I might come along to that, if it's not raining (!) New ideas for Slaka Fridays are always welcome.


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