The Eur-no's

I’m one of those people who prefer the radio to television.

Five Live LogoMy station of choice is Five Live, although I still hit the “off” switch as soon as the phone-in’s begin. If I listen to a phone-in I invariably end up swearing at the radio, well that’s on a good day, some days the radio would almost end up being thrown out of the window.

Throw in saturation coverage of the football tournament and I’m afraid my only listening until 12th July will be the news headlines.

Interestingly the headlines already include news of so called England fans causing trouble in the host cities, I suppose the good thing is the French police will take no nonsense so these “fans” will hopefully get the justice they deserve.

Speaking of Five Live, and deviating as I do, it’s really great to see that Peter Allen and Jane Garvey will be getting back together again – they are great listening, like an old married couple who bicker but you know the affection is there.  Plus Peter Allen is one of the very few people who actually pronounces my surname correctly.

However for the next few weeks I will be forsaking Five Live – why?

Euro 2016 LogoWell it’s their obsession with major football tournaments. OK plenty of people follow football, personally I don’t like it. For me it’s a load of overpaid prima donnas kicking a plastic bag round a field.

What I really detest about football is cheating is endemic and even encouraged.

Have you noticed whenever a ball goes out of play both sides claim the throw-in, including the player who kicked it out.

In the penalty area a player only needs the slightest of touches to crumple like a sack of potatoes to try and claim a penalty. Not forgetting players feigning injury in an attempt to gain advantage or get an opponent booked or sent off.

The trouble is most players are so stupid they cannot act injured properly – if you’re badly injured you do not writhe around on the ground like some ham actor putting in an appalling performance. When I see an injured footballer on the pitch and he’s not moving, that’s when I get concerned.

Have you ever looked at the penalty box when a corner is taken, the jostling, shirt pulling, blatant holding of opponents – whilst the referees do sweet FA -  no pun intended.

Football referee being harranguedTalking of referees, players show absolutely no respect towards them. Almost every decision is questioned, they are in his face the entire time.

Contrast that with rugby where the referees word is final, right or wrong, where any dissent is rightly stamped on.

Indeed I was chatting to a paramedic at a rugby match I recently attended and he summed up the difference between the two when he said:-

“football is a game where players pretend to be injured for most of the game, whilst rugby is a game where players pretend they are not injured for most of the game,” how spot on he is.

Going back to the coverage of Euro 2016 (or indeed any major tournament) yes cover it as a sporting event for those who are interested but please don’t let it take over the entire schedule.

This morning (10th June) for example Nicky Campbell and George Riley from Breakfast were broadcasting live from Marseilles – why? What was the point? The tournament doesn’t start until the evening and the first game in the town isn’t until tomorrow.

Why does, seemingly, half the BBC have to be deployed to France and why does every program have to have some Euro 2016 connection?

There has been one crumb of comfort with this tournament though, that being the qualification of Wales and Northern Ireland, as a result at least there isn’t a total obsession with England, although they still seem to get the lion’s share (again no pun intended) of the coverage.

In the wider world there do not seem to be quite so may idiots driving around with St George’s flags on their cars, although I did see a car with a Welsh flag driving on a Buckinghamshire back road earlier this week.  Nor do there seem to be as many houses bedecked with the flag of St George, so I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies.

Rio OlympicsOf course little more than three weeks after the Euros finish all the BBC staff camped out in France will be moving en-mass to Brazil and The Olympics.

Now the Olympics will be interesting with drug cheating Athletes – will the Russians be there or not?

The Zika virus is of more concern but that’s for another debate but you cannot help but wonder how much those in charge of the WHO have been paid off to play down the potential impact of the virus.

Just look at the scenario – athletes, journalists and spectators go to Rio, some get bitten and infected with the Zika virus, it only needs to be a small percentage. They then return home, get bitten by local mozzies, who become infected and pass it on – thus potentially spreading the disease to areas where it currently doesn’t exist.

Boxing matchThere is also the bubbling controversy surrounding the boxing and allowing professional boxers to compete – a decision presumably made by someone who’s brain has been mashed by too much boxing. Notwithstanding the argument boxing should not be a sport and should not be in the Olympic games in the first place, pitting professional boxers against amateurs is a recipe for disaster – the two, so called, sports are not comparable.    

The dangers of boxing have been highlighted this week with the passing of a well-known, even infamous, former boxer. Whilst Parkinson’s disease isn’t restricted to boxing it has been proven that the risk of Parkinson’s increases with increased frequency of head trauma, which begs the question why a “sport” which is so inherently dangerous still allowed to continue. That’s a rhetorical question by the way because the answer lies with the money involved in the so called sport.

Which brings us back, full circle, to the subject of saturation coverage and I’ll end with the question – am I the only one who found the saturation coverage of the boxer formerly known as Cassius Clay’s passing somewhat excessive?    



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