DISCLAIMER. I shall qualify the following by saying that I have the utmost respect for all the athletes (bar one or two) who get up at OFFS o’clock to put in another interminable stint of training on the track or jumps, in the pool or gym and then set records or personal best times, heights or distances in their events, winning a medal or not.
I have the utmost respect for our Armed Forces who stepped in at short notice to cover the security of athletes and spectators alike. I also have the utmost respect for the 70,000 unpaid volunteers who made the whole thing tick and the seven million spectators who paid good money for tickets to support their teams.
All the above deserved better than be tainted by the Gallery of Shame to come. You all know by now that my fur rests for the most part in ‘standby’ mode on a very short fuse, rising in clumps of hackle when things irritate me until I succumb to yet another full-blown frizzy fur attack. So, in dumbest celebrity TV countdown fashion and with all statutory Mackie-esque warnings about subjectivity, flash photography and the need to wear a hard hat, here are the top 20 things that did it for me.
[rant shield down]
20 The wimmin’s hockey team losing unpatriotically to Argentina in the semi-final. How very dare they and the first medal (bronze) in 20 years just isn’t good enough. Likewise the men’s squad for being hammered 9-2.by Holland and don’t even talk to me about the effin’ 100m relay serial failures. Back to burger-flipping for all you wastes of funding. It’s a tough world out there and cash is tight.
19 Our superannuated footballers for losing on penalties – yet again. It’s a pity funding is not an issue, but I do hope a few lucrative advertising endorsements will crash and burn. “Ello, I’m Kev Innit and I use Olympique Eau de Kissballer after shaving with my XXXL Loser razor”, etc.
18 Many sports being reduced to the inane level of a Septic basketball spat or the kissball game they call the Superbowl by the blaring ‘muzak’ every single interminable time play was interrupted and said muzak yhen being talked over by Septic-sounding DJs and stadium anoncers [sic] as a sop to NBC.
17 BMX. WTF? Adults riding kids’ bikes?? Why not also have medals for synchronised freestyle space-hoppers – those orange jobbies that were also briefly popular back in the ’70s? Still.the BMXers (?) do give good crash – lots of broken collar bones, splenectomies and cracked ribs, all of which are easy to recover from when you’re twenty although it probably impedes accurate burger flipping for a while. On the plus side Auntie’s chosen presenter was a fluffy bit of blonde eye candy with a bumpy vest and Ray-Bans in her hair, which was a better proposition than Clare Balding to be honest.
16 Colin effin’ Moynihan, all round hypocrite and trough hogger for decrying the proportion of privately educated medal winners. Well, as successive gobmunts view competition as politically incorrect and are still busy selliing off state sector playing fields for dormitory estates, then what does he expect? Anyway, Moynihan was privately educated himself and then went up to Oxford so il est OK, Jacques. His glittering CV states he was a silver medal-winner with the GB rowing eight, but he was the cox, thus cementing his career lifestyle choice of benefitting from other people’s efforts.
15 Twatter and Twaats. Why does the BBC feel the need to share the scrambled, truncated scribblings (tappings?) of the great unwashed (most of whom seem to be using their head to type instead of to think) with the unfortunate audience? The motto is supposed to be, ‘Nation shall speak truth unto Nation’ not, ‘Nation shall broadcast trash unto Nation.’
14 The BBC’s late night ‘Underdog of the Day’ item, taking the pish out of some poor sod from Tuvalu or Chad.who tried his/her best but finished long after the lights had been turned off. Oh how we laughed – not! Very un-British, but very Simon Cowell and therefore par for the course.
13 And another thing – BBC commentaries. Where has all the dignity, decency and decorum gone? “Well Adrian/Sharleen/Delroy-Bob/Samantha [delete where appropriate], you’ve just wasted four years of your life and come in a pitiful seventh in your heat. How do you feel right now, you panting loser? A tearful apology to your dead Mum at this point would help the ratings by the way. When you’ve got your breath back of course – you’ve nothing to be ashamed about.”
12 And those stupid, stupid headset microphones wot woz filched from a Madonna concert innit.
11 John effin’ Inverdale, amongst others, for using ‘medal’ as a verb as in, “He’s expected to medal in the BMX final tomorrow” and for himself referring to last Thursday evening as “the pre-penultimate last night of the Games.” I kid you not! The tosser.
10 When were ‘uneven’ bars introduced? In my day they were asymmetric bars and don’t seem to have changed much – they’re still asymmetric, for example. The equivalent men’s event remains the parallel bars, but presumably will soon be renamed ‘two poles at the same height’ for the benefit of the hard of understanding.
9 Which metrosexual a*seh*le instructed our gold medal-winning showjumping team to wear baseball caps with their formal riding jackets, jodhpurs and polished boots during their post-competition interviews? I’m just glad there wasn’t a sponsor’s logo on the front as in cricket, but I suppose it’s only a matter of time.
8 Francois Hollande for his gratuitously rude, chippy comments on his visit to London early in the Games. The final tally, Frankie baby, was Team GB G29, S16, B19, total 64, ranking 3rd; Les Loseurs G11, S11, B12, total 34, ranking 7th, so stick that in your baguette and shove it where the soleil don’t brille. Likewise the unwanted, publicity-seeking Septic gatecrasher, Mitt Romney.
7 G4S, ex Group 4, who have had their corporate snouts in the taxpayers’ trough for years, managing prisons from which remandees are routinely and mistakenly released, transporting prisoners who fail to arrive at their destination and now presenting the taxpayer with a bill for hundreds of millions of pounds for security that wasn’t. These incompetent shysters ought not to receive a single penny of taxpayers’ money for anything, ever again. Thank God (yet again) for the Army.
6 Phillips Odowu, the prima donna, failed triple jumper who thought he knew better than his coaches, did his own ‘thing’ and then failed to make the finals. Look, sonny, if you want to do a Balotelli or a Pietersen then push off to kissball or cricket. No more lottery money or selection for you, matey. The same would apply to the Algerian sulk Taoufik Makhloufi whose (Nod to Janus :-D) petulance denied medal chances to decent athletes. Likewise the Chinese and Indonesian badmintonists who cheated.
5 The late night BBC roundup with that clown of a presenter Gaby Logan getting distinguished athletes to move a pointer up an axis of golds to a Spandau Ballet backing track and then encouraging them to dance to it, which, to their credit, none did. Is Simon Cowell a consultant or wha’? And then she compounded her sins at the stupid medals board with magnetic cutout faces of the UK’s winners. That’s just too dumb even for daytime TV, FFS!
4 The McCartney family. He’s not a ‘national treasure’ and he can’t sing anymore. Why was he involved at all? Likewise his daughter who apparently couldn’t design her way out of a wet shell-suit on current evidence and wouldn’t even have been invited to try if she wasn’t Daddy’s girl. What was it with that blue, white, and two other shades of blue theme anyway? She even ‘designed’ a Union Flag in blue, blue, blue and white and lots of other bits of kit had no red in them either. Cow!
3 The Opening Ceremony – I refer you, cherished reader, to my epic pome Olympic Rant. A West Indian millowner in frock coat and stovepipe hat? In 19th century Lancashire?? Yeah, right! Strap Danny Boyle to a waterboard and, in between ‘ministrations’, make him watch continued repeats of Team GB’s efforts so he will know what beng British really means. Same for the McCartney woman if they can stop her hot-footing it back to LA with a suitcase full of British taxpayers’ moolah, which is unlikely if G4S are personning the borders.
2 The Closing Ceremony – I have to say technically it was excellent. The lighting in particular was spectacular, but the content? Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Who on earth was that peroxide fixated chunky girl at the beginning who sang flat and the bleating ginger lad mangling a Pink Floyd classic. Good to see the McCartney woman was able to take the pish just one more time by giving our team dark blazers, t-shirts, red slacks FFS and white shoes. Stella, sweetie, it wasn’t a convention of Florida golfists. In short, it left me cold and isolated and glad I left,
And finally, at number one by a country mile
1 Her Majesty arrives at the Olympic Games, Her Majesty’s Olympics, our Olympics, in London, only to be greeted in French by the Comité International Olympique with a subsequent English translation for the rest of the world to understand. And all through the Games it was the same for all British medal winners, receiving a medal on home soil to recognisie a lifetime achievement and receiving it to a French backing track. The closing ceremony was no better. “ Mesdames et Monsieurs”…my Arse! Do you think the reverse would have happened had Les Grenouilles been awarded 2012 and the whole kerfuffle had been held in Paris? No, I didn’t think so.
IMHO, that number 1 is worthy of holding all twenty places on the Board of Shame all by itself. My fur is well frizzy and you could polish the insides of bottles with my tail.
[rant shield up]
On a positive footnote, I would like to make mention of my personal highlight of the Games and it wasn’t Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis or even Mo Farrah. It was a big bugger, dark brown horse called Valegro (which henceforth is granted unconditional lifetime immunity from you-know-what and I’ve had stern words with Ethel about this too), ridden to team and individual dressage gold medals by a relatively novice competitor, Charlotte Dujardin. For those of you that missed it, I’m afraid I can’t find any footage of the Olympic performance itself on YouTube (oh, thank you so much, IOC copyright lawyers), but here’s a recording of the actual routine from earlier in the year.
That performance itself set a new world record which was bettered in the afore-mentioned Olympic individual competition last Thursday by the same horse and rider. Brought a lump to the throat it did.