A great show

I spent the whole morning watching the Australian Open semi-final between Andy Murray and David Ferrer. I have to say you Aussies provide a great show. If it isn’t the Australia Day fireworks in the middle of the Nadal-Ferrer match, it’s a flock of seagulls invading the stadium, shortly followed by a very large moth who obviously wanted a closer view of the match. It was a very colourful spectacle, with wee Scottish flags being waved here and there, along with a group of young ladies holding up cards spelling out “Marry me Murray” and at least one supporter with the saltire painted on his face. Then there were the Ferrer fans with their “Ferrero Rocher” banner. I loved the Foreign Legion caps complete with neck protectors of the ball boys and girls, though I thought most of the matches were played in the evening. It was good to see Ken Rosewall among the spectators, who gave great support to both players. There was the idiot who shouted out “Come on Murray” just as our hero was serving, but he might have been a Scottish rather than an Aussie idiot.

The tennis itself was fantastic and to top it all, the Scot won. That’s not something I can say very often. Roll on Sunday!

Pushy parents – turning kids off sport?

According to newspaper reports this morning,  pushy parents can turn their children off sport for life. So what? Do we even care? Is it important that kids should try out and excel at some sports or is it all about churning out the next generation of national champions to boost patriotism?

I think sport is good for those who will enjoy it. If you discount the drugs and cheating in professional sport, training, competing and winning is incredibly character-building and keeps kids occupied during the formative years when they could easily find less desirable ways to get their kicks. Continue reading “Pushy parents – turning kids off sport?”

No sport?

Is nobody on this site interested in sport? (Well, I know Soutie and John Mackie are, but they need to be drawn out.) These are interesting times, but not a whisper here … it’s as bad as ‘the other place’.

First, did anyone watch Barcelona dismantle Arsenal on Tuesday? I’ve followed Arsenal since I was ten years old, but I’d have been disappointed had they knocked Barca out … the football that Xavi, Iniesta, Messi et al. play is so wonderful that I’d like to see them win every match. Man U v. Bayern was primitive in comparison.

It’s a pity Barca are up against Inter in the semis … it might have made a great final. No English clubs remain, whereas there were three in the semis last season … then it was presented as incontrovertible evidence that the Premiership is the greatest league in the world; now we see it was just part of the ebb and flow. Man U look a spent force, and the Ferguson era may finally be drawing to a close.

As for rugby, an exciting weekend is in prospect with the Heineken Cup quarter-finals. Leinster and Munster have tough ties, but at least they’re both at home. An entirely French/Irish semi-final line-up is not unlikely, in my opinion (only Northampton and Ospreys can prevent it, and they’re both playing away).

I’m looking forward to the weekend, starting with Leinster v. Clermont Auvergne tomorrow night. And looking forward to Barcelona v. Inter already.