On the Olympic stramash, apparently

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]

And breathe.

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.


Author: O Zangado

Just loping around. Extremely fond of roast boar in particular, meat in general and cooking on the barbie. Fish is good too.

26 thoughts on “On the Olympic stramash, apparently”

  1. Absolutely brilliant OZ, I’m so glad I didn’t see any of it except the stuff that got to the news and papers.
    It sounds absolutely GHASTLY, especially the home TV coverage.
    From what I saw on the news I couldn’t agree more with all you say.
    After that dreadful opening ceremony I knew better than to hang around here today. Very hot so we went up the mountain, had an excellent lunch in the last village up the road, took the dogs and hung around up in the snow till late afternoon. Came down and bought the dogs an ice cream on the way home, they eat cones very delicately, big tongues, no drips!
    I note HMQ did a runner to Balmoral to avoid the final curtain, no doubt she’d had enough with the opener, she looked very dour at that. The least one could do is to emulate ‘one’s monarch’!!!

  2. Hello OZ, hello.

    Old Arthur (try a google) will tell you the games were not a disaster for Britain and he will also tell you that as stramashes go your chaotic rant was wanting. Nowhere near a quagmire in the six-yard box at Cappielow on a wet November morn with the bladder going every which way but loose. While only watching the mens sprints specifically I’m not here to “up” the Olympics though it is fair to say that in this blogger’s humble opinion it has been a triumph for this country. The old chestnut “show’s your medals” can be verified by a look at the medals table. The British have held held their own against the world. The legacy of the games could linger on by inspiring a future generation to compete with the heart of a Chariot of Fire. This will be long after your non-podium Clive Andersonesque comments about Inverdale and others are forgotten.

    I’ll leave it to others to dissect your 20 points of view either positively or not. I will have a bash at one of them.

    RE #2 . Closing ceremony. Didn’t really want to watch it but enjoyed it nonetheless, though…it has to be said, sometimes you can have too much Queen. 😉

    Inbox bulletin from Brianmay.com informed me the lads would be appearing. Nice to see we were headliners. And that was us playing without our star man.

  3. Enjoyed your fur bristling. A few random comments using your numbering. No. 1 – I guess the introductory French gave the ceremony an international “ring-tone.” No.4 Agreed. The girl must be responsible for the failure of many British athletes to perform well as the monochrome blue was like something you see in a dentist’s waiting room. The girl may be OK with chalk and scissors and a length of cloth, but could not design the packaging for a box of matches! And No. 13 …. yes, some really stooopid questioning e.g. “can you put it into words” and “how do you feel” prompting stuff like “I’m over the moon” etc. Why not record each of the athletes panting and play the composite recording at the closing ceremony? Well that’s my Gold, Silver and Bronze.

    As for the closing ceremony – I did enjoy Annie Lennox at the bow of some derelict or phantom ship. I could see she was loving it. My Gold medal, the real one, is awarded to Her Majesty for getting the hell out of there. What better finale than to be at Balmoral with a scotch in your hand and the rest of the world a million miles away!

    Thankyou OZ for a very amusing and attacking rant. PS My hero was the winner of the men’s 800 – the guy from Kenya who looked liked a statesman, ran like a stallion and let his running do the talking. Not having seen the horse you mention (only a short clip) I shall very much enjoy the film.

  4. OZ, I am genuinely delighted that you had to struggle to find serious fault with the Greatest Show on Earth. Almost all the things you mention were the product of hangers-on (like crooked suppliers, journalists and superannuated popstars) and cheating idiots from cultures which lack moral fibre (including members of the IOC).

    In Backside’s utterly unhumble opinion, it is only amazing that given the scale and diversity of the task, the whole enterprise went off so smoothly and so creditably well.

    There’ll be some amusing bi-products too. Usain Bolt is considering playing celebrity cricket in Australia – which must surely arouse the locals. 😮

  5. … and a jolly good rant it is too!

    Amusing, hard to disagree with and very entertaining.

    Loved #13 “A tearful apology to your dead Mum …”

    I am fortunately spared the BBC claptrap such as round-ups, interviews and gratuitous time filling. I have of course more than once commented here on the non-suitability of most ex-sportsmen in media roles.

  6. Not being a watcher of sport usually, I have seen some fantastic moments, and feel that overall these Olympics have been an overwhelmingly positive experience. In particular I have enjoyed the swimming, the diving (the toe curling shots of divers doing handstands on the boards, for example were genius) the cycling, including the velodrome, and some judo. And snippets of much more.
    (I avoided watching any boxing and football, as I have an aversion to them,and only watched basket ball one evening when Cyclo was back, as he, by then, knew all about the game and could explain it.)

    There are a few things I agree with you about. I feel the opening ceremony was a tad too long and the closing ceremony far too long. The lighting was superb! And I know someone who has been working on that for a long time!
    Some of the commentary was amusingly wonky with some delightful mixed metaphors, but I certainly couldn’t have done any better. Post race interviews are incredibly difficult and much of the time they were handled really well.

    So while I enjoyed your rant, OZ, I feel nothing is perfect, and overall the whole effort was blurry fantabulous.
    And I’m encouraged to think the Olympics will leave a longer term effect behind, even once the bunting is down. In particular the positive female role models have given some young girls something to aim for other than glamour and looks in our celeb society.

  7. Soutie, in their defence the Beeb’s problems were shared by the Scandinavian and German channels. Two weeks of chatter-time between akshull events is a burden to much for them all to carry successfully. As for ex-participants as experts only Michael Johnson and John McEnroe seem to contribute anything valuable. (Cram, like Botham, Boycott et al, can’t get over himself.)

  8. Mornin’ all. Still grooming frantically. When I’m finished nobody had better upset me for at least a month – or else!


  9. Certainly did Sheona, but it’s a mammoth task. Any chance of another few bottles or even a case?


  10. Wow, I enjoyed reading your wee rant, OZ.

    Many thanks too for the Valegro and Charlotte video clip: simply superb performance from the pair of them.

    I watched the closing ceremony, and all I can say is it was exactly as predicted, but lighting and etc was spectacular.

    It was, however, a party for the athletes, most of whom are under thirty, and they appeared to enjoy the whole thing enormously. I didn’t, but then I am somewhat older.

    I’m glad it’s all over.

  11. In most part, I heartily concur.however:

    #20 A bit tongue in cheek (or as much of it as one of the lupine persuasion can manage) re the Women’s hockey team, but the Men were pretty pathetic. The sprinters only went awry because of the young, and inexperienced, Gemili. More down to the selectors there, I think.

    #19. Totally agree about Men’s Girlieball. In fact, the Women played it better!

    #17 I thought the idea of BMX was to see who could have the most spectacular crash and sustain the most serious injury!

    #15,14,13. Agree. The best coverage was on the BBC 1-24 multi channels, where there was only commentary while the event was in progress, and no blether in between. The coverage of the Men’s Marathon was very good , though, and showed London in a very good light. Still, wait until Channel 4 takes over broadcasting of the Paralympics. Political correctness will almost certainly rule!

    #8 Up Yours, Monsewer le President! I have some good French friends, but I do find the French political class even more obnoxious that the British one, and that is some achievement!

    #7 As I said in my earlier post, the Services were magnificent throughout. Maybe the UK Border Agency should become a branch of the Armed Services and be subject to military discipline!

    #6 Agreed. What a great girl’s blouse!

    #4 I, too, have more than enough of Family McCartney. All he ever was was a good songwriter and a very average musician and singer. I thought the UK kit looked mildly silly, and I am sure I could have done better. I certainly would not have minded measuring up a few of those lovely ladies! 🙂

    #3,2 I thought both ceremonies were pretty naff, and I noticed Wills had to go back on SAR duties and missed the closing one. As if he could not have got that changed that if he had wanted to!

    #1. Unfortunately, I think is specified in the Olympic Charter that Frogspeak is the language of the Games, but, as you say, it has to then be repeated in English so the rest of the word can understand it! What really worried me is that I could understand most of the French announcements!

    All in all, a very good rant. Keep taking the tablets! 🙂

  12. Hiya Feeg and thanks for your comments. To my eternal shame I used to be able to speak Frog well enough for business meetings, etc., but that was more than a decade ago. Although I can still read and understand it, conversation would be a problem now as I’m very rusty. That doesn’t mean I want it pushed down my throat either.

    I’m a bit worried any tablets might react adversely with the Frizz Ease.


  13. Was it true that the soldiers had the athletes kettled in the arena at the closing ceremony to stop them fleeing the caterwauling?

  14. On the asymmetric bars versus uneven bars: I believe that’s an Obamastani corruption of the English language. Obamastanis tend to be a bit thick and aren’t quite sure what to make of things that are not put into the simplest of terms. Even then there is still a fair amount of uncertainty…

    On the BBC coverage… Well, it has been declining. It’s better than NBC, but the two are coming closer together for miserable coverage.

    The frog politicians are always miserable. They always will be miserable. They make British, German, and US Republican politicians look good. (US Democrats are truly hopeless, they’re even thicker and less inspiring than Red Ed) But do come off Romney, overall he was actually quite complimentary.

  15. OZ here is another! Commemorative coins for the military to make up for losing your job/holiday/life etc etc.
    The bloody bus drivers get a bonus but the soldiers get trumpery crap!
    You really couldn’t make it up!
    As they are around in central London I wonder if they could be persuaded to have a quick military coup?
    Do us all a favour!
    Beyond, totally bloody beyond.

  16. Christina, good afternoon. Your #17 has a basis of fact, but couched in the sort of language I used myself in the main text. Yes, as the athletes filed in they were ‘guided into position’ by a phalanx of officials. Whether these were from the military or the civilian volunteers I do not know, but suspect it was the latter. As for #19 the bonus vs coin story wouldn’t surprise me and I hope the sight of all those troops in London brought on a squeaky bum moment for the Coalition.

    Christopher – Perhaps they should kill two birds with one stone and put Obamastanis in charge of the BBC. Oh……! On your other point, I don’t necessarily dislike the individual Frenchman per se, just the stereotype. I do, however, have to be persuaded to take to any French politician.


  17. Tablets react adversely with the Frizz Ease? You’re not meant to drink the stuff. Apply to paw and groom as normal.

  18. OZ, good evening. My apologies for not commenting on your epic and sustained rant before. I have just not had the time what with furious Fringeing and frantic Festivaling. At a loose end on Tuesday, however, having returned from the Usher Hall where I had been expecting to hear Mrs M. and chums belting out Rachmaninov’s ‘The Bells’. Did not happen because the power failed and Scottish Power failed to restore it. I blame Alex Salmond.

    So, I sat down that night to comment on your post.Nearly finished when my PS/2 keyboard died the death. I believe that there is a strong chance that the dog had a quick chew thereto but I can’t prove it and Mrs M. refuses to believe that he has, yet again, put a tooth wrong.

    Anyhow, last night was the concert performance of ‘Tristan & Isolde’ which started at 5pm so no time to get to the shops to re-keyboard. Sorted tonight (wireless for the frustration and confusion of the hound).

    Moving on, in total agreement with your disclaimer. I like ‘Mackie-esque’.

    I concur with your 19,18,17,15,14,13,12 in particular (they looked like plooks),11,10,9, 8,7,6 and 4. I offer no defence to your 2 other than Ara’s that the athletes seemed to enjoy it even if many others, including myself, did not.

    On 20 and the hockey lasses, they all seemed to be very nice girls with good sturdy thighs and their captain was an utter brick for playing on after that horrendous injury. Every one of them a worthy successor to Joan Hunter-Dunn, in my opinion. You are, of course right, about the relay squad.

    At 16, I would probably have agreed with you about Lord Moynihan, had it not been that he is now retiring early from his post, apparently to concentrate on ensuring that the Government do not renege on their promises. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now. And I remember the genuine raw emotion and pride in being British that he had when he got rowed to that medal. The rest of them also seemed to feel that he had played his part, as I recall.

    5 is personal. The divine Gaby can do no wrong in my eyes.

    I personally liked 3 a lot but I respect your right to disagree.

    On 1, I just can not agree with you at all. It’s in the Olympic charter to which we signed up. Frog comes first and English second followed ,if wished, by the local lingo as well. Rules is rules.

    And we have the Prime Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time and cricket and the length of a modern Marathon and the Open and our country’s name not being on stamps and the pint and Stilton and soap and no holes in our toilet floors and so many other things of which our Gallic cousins have only ever been able to dream for years.

    Let’s be charitable and give them this one small sop?

    Especially since it was clear that most of the competitors had to wait for the English translation to see what the announcers were garbling on about. And this picture of the French homecoming to Paris and the slogan on the front of the bus suggests to me that it’s only a matter of time before their language, beautiful though it is, lies down in the dust of history beside the dodo.

  19. John Mackie :

    On 1, I just can not agree with you at all. It’s in the Olympic charter to which we signed up. Frog comes first and English second followed ,if wished, by the local lingo as well. Rules is rules.

    And we have the Prime Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time and cricket and the length of a modern Marathon and the Open and our country’s name not being on stamps and the pint and Stilton and soap and no holes in our toilet floors and so many other things of which our Gallic cousins have only ever been able to dream for years.

    Let’s be charitable and give them this one small sop?

    Especially since it was clear that most of the competitors had to wait for the English translation to see what the announcers were garbling on about. And this picture of the French homecoming to Paris and the slogan on the front of the bus suggests to me that it’s only a matter of time before their language, beautiful though it is, lies down in the dust of history beside the dodo.

    Evenin’, JM and sorry for the delay in replying. One has to ask oneself WHY Frogspeak became the official language of the Olympics. Yes, I know the stuff about Baron de Coubertin and all that, but it doesn’t justify it any more than France got a quarter of Berlin after WWII. Anyway, Greece itself and even Shropshire have better historical antecedents than Baron Nouveau Arriviste <linkey thingy, so it’s about time this nonsense was put to bed once and for all.


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