Day 95

5.04: What kept me awake last night? The fact that the stunning, beautiful and brilliant Lapham’s Quarterly has bungled its ball games.

Never let aesthetes or intellectuals talk about sport.

You can’t have a chart of sporting scandals, without including Eric Cantona. In fact you can’t really have a chart of anything worthwhile about sport that doesn’t have Eric Cantona in it.

Look at this. It flits around wildly, from rape and allegations of double murder, to someone being a part of a dog-fighting ring. He’s apparently an American footballer, so he didn’t even have much advantage fighting dogs.

And don’t go telling me they’re all American. Martina Hingis is Swiss-Czech (and her “scandal” is that she took coke – her and a million other sportive bozos with a good ear for a ball and eye for a tune).

Let’s compare shall we? 25 January, 1995, Eric has his shirt tugged by a Crystal Palace defender and gives him a kick in return. The referee brandishes the red card and points to the changing rooms. Off trudges Eric.

But as he goes he hears a spanner-toting National Front member yelling something nasty. And Eric’s a politicised man. His mother was a Catalan separatist; his Grandfather fought Franco. So he flies through the air, studs out in front like a spear sellotaped onto an X-Wing, and mows right into the guy’s bomber-jacketed chest.

Afterwards he says something impenetrable about seabirds, but later, when he’d retired, and they ask him about his best moment, he replies, “I have a lot of good moments but the one I prefer is when I kicked the hooligan.”Surely that beats a child prodigy turning to drugs.

And if it doesn’t, Laphams, I give you Robin Friday, football star of Reading and Cardiff City, and the dedicatee of the Super Furry Animals Song, ‘The Man Don’t Give a Fuck.’

1977, the heyday of punk rock, Friday launches a kick of his own. For no good reason but his idle whim, he wraps his boot around the face of later-to-be laughable pundit and would-be historian Mark Lawrenson’s moustachioed face.

Another red card ensues, and Friday trudges straight off to the dressing rooms and, without hesitation, deviation, or repetition craps in Lawrenson’s kitbag.

“Tiger Woods? Martina Hingis? Some bloke called Michael Vick? Sporting scandals?” he seemed to say. “My arse.”

6.57:  Stuart is in disgrace. Like a school child in the wild west trying to defend himself from attack by bears, he has spent a good deal of the morning remaining quite motionless. I have rescinded his check-wearing, catapult wielding, and adorable-smiling privileges. And in spite of his occasional spasms of petrification, we’ve actually made a bit of progress. Tough love clearly works on Stuart.

~ by David Thorley on July 28, 2010.

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