Seconds Out

I had a pretty good weekend with my Premiership Predictions getting 5 ½ out of 6 right.

The half was the draw between the Sharks and the Falcons.

The last kick of the game was a missed penalty by Danny Cipriani – had it gone over I would have knocked up a full house!

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This pushes my running total to 75% against the ‘All Home’ score which is now 71.66%. My away win by Wasps at London Irish giving me the edge over the 6 home win prediction.

All of this pales into insignificance of course on the day that Jonah Lomu was laid to rest following an emotional send-off for the big man at Eden Park

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http://www.3news.co.nz/sport/video-eden-park-pays-emotional-tribute-to-jonah-lomu-2015113015#axzz3syxkNS8r

Current and former All Blacks performed a Haka to send the big man off to his final resting place.

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http://www.3news.co.nz/sport/video-eden-park-pays-emotional-tribute-to-jonah-lomu-2015113015#axzz3syxkNS8r

A sad day for his family and everyone who loves the game

JONAH-LOMU

 

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A Stitch in Time

There was a scene in Gavin and Stacey where Uncle Bryn organised a surprise party for Gwen –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKoKfetIE3Q

The look on her face when she entered the hall showed that she had no idea what was going on.

That’s fiction of course – and on TV and films it always works like that.

Until last night I’d never seen it happen in real life.

Farrelly’s Mrs, Jan, has just turned 60 (although she looks loads less than that and, similar to me, he has been punching weigh above his weight for 40 odd years). By some incredible coincidence her name is also Farrelly, same as Tony – small world eh?

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Somehow Farrelly and their three lovely daughters (Laura, Nicky and Sarah) managed to organise everything for a surprise party in a private room for 150 people without Jan cottoning on.

She thought she was going to a Christmas works do which Tony had to attend and was hesitating about bothering to bother pitching up, right up to the last minute. Before she arrived Nicky told us that her mum was annoyed with him about it.

Her face and reaction when she entered the hall was a bit MasterCard (priceless) as she walked reluctantly in to be greeted by 150 grinning idiots (or perhaps that was just me).

She turned to Tony laughing (I think) and exclaimed “you’ve stitched me up…again!”

There’s no way I could pull something like that off – it’s always a surprise to me when I wake up each morning.

Terry and I had trundled up from Turnip Town in the afternoon – it was even slower than usual as the trailer was loaded down with her drugs and a present of two and a half ton of turnips to surprise Jan (it did too!)

Les and Mags very kindly put us up – well Terry anyway – they had to put up with me!

Les captained Askeans for 4 seasons in the 70s – during which time Mags very kindly often drove me home because I was usually incapable from several gallons of hooligan soup. I reciprocated last night by being the desecrated driver. Looking back, I think I probably got the best of the bargain.

It was a great night and I caught up with two other Askeans, Micky Sheridan and Stuart Cullum, during which we regaled each other with stories of our fearless bravado on the pitch. I almost started to believe some of it.

Farrelly calls Stuart ‘Barnacle Bill’ – I have no idea why – as far as I know the closest he got to a life on the waves was a pedalo on Blackheath during a particularly wet autumn.

Terry has told me not to include Farrelly’s nickname for Micky as it may lead to me getting arrested – although personally I would have thought it should be Farrelly in trouble rather than me.

It was a brilliant night except for the fact that I forgot to take any photos – I’d bought a wide angled lens especially too!

Happy Birthday Jan! You look so good that I suspect you have a portrait in the loft that looks pretty awful – you know, the one of Tony in his Lions shirt.

Last night Farrelly and the girls pulled off what you might call a very neat ‘Party Trick’

 

Take the Garbage out

As astounding as it may seem I have come up with stuff on TV that is even more stupid than reality programmes. Hard to believe I know.

There are actually several sorts of tripe and these make Towie look like it is worth watching – that’s a massive exaggeration, obviously – there isn’t enough rhohypnal in Christendom for that.

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The first and most obvious are the shows that ‘talk about’ reality tripe that has already aired.

Celebrity (?) presenters actually sit and discuss the latest idiot to be shoved out of the house, jungle hut, dance floor, ice rink or kitchen – like anyone gives a toss. Often an audience is involved – even bigger muppets who somehow think this is the epitome of entertainment and worth turning up for.

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There is one – ‘You’re Fired’ where the reason behind the evictee’s demise from a business task is forensically examined.

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These tasks are about as difficult as learning to tie your own shoelaces or managing to speak without sounding like a total nob head. This is patently somewhat beyond morons who have previously made statements that would be incomprehensible even to Stephen Hawking!

The one thing we do learn about them is that they couldn’t sell food to a starving man.

Not all reality shows have these ridiculous spin-offs – here’s a few ideas that they might like to consider for interviewing the latest one chucked off –

The cake baking one – ‘exsponged’

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I’m a celebrity – ‘Jungle drummed out’

The making pots show – ‘completely plastered’

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Any cooking on TV – ‘burned’

Mind you, it would be much simpler to stick all the failures in one show and call it ‘Twatted’.

The most annoying however, is the unbelievably successful one where they twirl around in sparkly costumes – this has a bleeding review every night of the week and is constantly promoted on every BBC radio and TV broadcast.

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Of course it’s popular – there’s hardly anything else on the bleeding BBC these days – except the ubiquitous Graham bloody Norton, obviously. Expect him and his awful guffawing to be invited to present it any time soon.

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Another innovation in these ‘discussions’ has now arrived – I noticed in the TV listings that ‘The Walking Dead’ is followed immediately by the ‘Talking Dead’, where the programme is dissected (ha ha). I have to confess that I haven’t bothered to watch either of these – I don’t do zombies (or vampires). By definition this programme is fiction – someone has made it up and the story is not real.

So – what the fuck is there to talk about? What drugs the writer was on? How many zombies does it take to change the loo roll?

Finally there are the American shows where actors from more fictional drama programmes sit around being interviewed about how their made up characters think and relate to the other non -real roles in the stories.

Here’s a thought – it’s fiction – the words you all say and the stories are from somebody else’s imagination – how the various roles relate is predetermined by the bloke who wrote the script for fuck’s sake.

Some exploitation is beyond belief!

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The Oscar’s often provide a clue as to how much we should listen to what the actors’ think – acceptance speeches frequently appear on the spectrum from insincere to incoherent rambling to crocodile tears. Those who are often revered on the big screen are totally lost without someone else writing down the words for them and a smarter bloke (or Doris) directing them as to how to say them and what to do with their hands and feet.

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Guess Who

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It’s back to the Premiership this weekend, starting tonight with Gloucester visiting Franklin’s Gardens.

So far the league has been highly competitive – with a few minor exceptions and my prediction rate is at 70% (and a little bit) – the same score I would have achieved if I’d simply plumped for all home wins without even looking at the fixtures.

These are my guesses for the weekend’s games –

Saints to knock over Gloucester tonight

Sharks to beat the Falcons

Chiefs to just hold off Harlequins

Saracens to stop the Worcester bandwagon

Irish to go down the Wasps at home

Tigers to just about see off bath at Welford Road

 

Going for 5 home wins doesn’t put my running total at great risk against my self-imposed ‘Home’ opponent although I have great hopes that Wasps will maintain their good form from Europe.

We’ll see come Monday (as Jimmy Buffet would say).

BT Sport are showing the Tigers game on Sunday free to air –

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http://sport.bt.com/rugby-union-hub/rugby-union/aviva-premiership/aviva-premiership-news/bt-sport-to-show-leicester-tigers-v-bath-free-to-air-S11364021349088

 

Meanwhile here’s an interesting video clip, courtesy of the excellent ‘Rugby Dump’ site –

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http://www.rugbydump.com/2015/11/4795/conversion-hits-the-posts-an-incredible-four-times-before-going-over

Have a good weekend guys!

 

 

Black Balled

Apart from a tea party and punitive taxes, I’m not sure what exactly we did when America was part of the colonies to make them want to go on still punishing us today.

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I suppose we did send them convicts from Scotland and Ireland too – but that was only until we found that it was much more fun to ship the felons off to annoy the aborigines.

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Anyway, all that ended in 1776, so why won’t the bastards stop imposing stupid stuff on us today.

A few weeks ago we had yet another bloody (sic) Halloween with gangs of prepubescent hooligans demanding handfuls of sweets under the threat of burning down your garden shed (and stack of hidden porno mags). Obviously we forked out on bags of Mars bars – couldn’t risk my treasured ‘Debbie Does Dallas (this time it’s personal)’ DVD.

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The way they grabbed at the chocs it’s no wonder the kids have a bleeding obesity problem – am surprised they could waddle up the path without needing a 10 minute sit down. They had to of course, I’d moved our garden bench – wouldn’t want it collapsing under some porky 10 year old, or being used as kindling for the shed.

When I was growing up Halloween didn’t exist – well it did obviously, but it was celebrated about as much as the ‘Great Turnip Disaster of 1669’ – that is to say, not too often.

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Now the shops are full of haunting crap, creepy masks and silly costumes. It would be cheaper for parents to buy the brats a giant Toblerone and keep the little sods indoors.

I can do without it to be honest – I mean who wants to be grabbed by the ghoulies?

Today it is another load of old, or rather new, bollocks – ‘Black Friday’. The traditional big sales day from across the pond that follows Thanksgiving and signals the start of the nightmare that is Christmas shopping.

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Memo to all UK retailers – you may not have noticed, but we don’t do Thanksgiving here chum, so the last Friday in November is just another…Friday!

Despite this there is an avalanche of ‘special deals’ both in store and online that muppets flock to

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Some stores started ‘Black Friday’ earlier in the week and one group is having a 10 day ‘Black Friday’ sale – which, to my reckoning, is 2 Fridays, 2 Saturdays, 2 Sundays and 2 Mondays plus several other days – maybe they can’t tell the time either.

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Just to prove it’s simply a transparent excuse to pretend to cut prices to a very low level everyone is getting on the bandwagon. This year I have seen ‘Black Friday’ deals advertised on cruise lines, golf equipment, magazine subscriptions, perfume, hotel rooms, fashion, art supplies, air fares, rugby togs, craft shops, phone contracts and computer gear – including a very special, once in a lifetime offer on a motherboard (whatever the fuck that is).

Chocs also get plenty of cuts – which seems to me losing a trick (ha ha) when they could have organised it a few weeks ago to coincide with Halloween.

Not to be outdone, rugby clubs are offering what they call ‘Black Friday’ specials – with Harlequins, Wasps and the Ospreys at the forefront.

No doubt there are a few good deals in these sales designed to draw you in, but you can bet that most are just a few bob off. The very special prices are often either loss leaders, last year’s style or overstocked items.

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The big hope is that you’ll get caught up in a mad frenzy as witnessed by the rather attractive instore riots last year. Those did look an enormous amount of fun.

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When I was actually employed, we had the DFS advertising account – a retail outfit that had more sales than Lord Nelson’s fleet.

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The guv there, Lord Kirkham, was the best retailer I ever met and he taught me a lot about the game. The sofas we advertised were selected by him and they were all at incredibly low prices that always looked too good to be true. His Lordship explained that they were simply to drive punters into his gaff (although I’m not sure these were his exact words).

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He didn’t pay his salesmen commission on these advertised sofas – their job was to persuade the eager visitors to buy sofas with a decent margin. The prices were still good, but not so low that it cost him. Not rocket science I grant you – but you can’t argue with the fact that Lord Kirkham became a self- made billionaire knocking out top notch settees. Smart man.

Today we have the Black Death, Black Monday, Black Bart, Black witches, Black magic and unlucky Black cats – ah, so that’s where the description comes from!

Although on the positive side we had Black Alex!

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Me? I’m black balling the whole bloody thing!

 

 

First Name Basis

Amid the media speculation of what Eddie Jones will do first when he officially takes charge of England rugby next Tuesday is the question of who he’ll make captain.

The premise seems to be that Chris Robshaw is likely to not be his first choice. Personally I’m not surprised as Robshaw, despite his work rate, has proved himself to be a serial offender in crucial decision making. This was not just in the infamous Wales game at the World Cup, but also against both Australia and South Africa in 2012.

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On that basis I don’t think he is a candidate to stay as captain.

The other names being mentioned most often are Joe Launchbury, Dylan Hartley, Ben Youngs, Mike Brown and Owen Farrell. An outside bet would be Mario Itoje.

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The first criteria for captain has to be that he is certain of his place in the team. For me that discounts both Ben Youngs and Mario Itoje. Both may well be in Eddie Jones team to play Scotland in February but there are excellent candidates who could easily displace them – Danny Care and Joe Simpson at 9 and Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw and possibly James Haskell at blindside.

Owen Farrell is discounted for a similar reason.

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Dylan Hartley and Mike Brown are probably shoe-ins for the side but there are questions of temperament with both of them. That doesn’t mean we need a ‘walkover’ with the armband – Martin Johnson was anything but – however he knew when to control his aggression – well mostly anyway.

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For me that leaves Joe Launchbury – he is the favourite with the bookies, despite not being captain of his club. He is almost certainly one of the first names on the team sheet and he is on top form for Wasps.

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Having said that, he wouldn’t be my choice for captain.

So far in the media there has not been one mention of Courtney Lawes.

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He plays aggressively, is a definite for the shirt and lets his actions do the talking for him.

Remind you of anyone ?

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