Category Archives: Sport

Undress to Impress

Meet Mike (left) and Andy (right). Two beer-swelling inked-up cricket lovers from Wolverhampton, who I met at the SCG during England’s sumptuous Ashes victory this winter. We bonded over a shared love of Mitchell Johnson (see badge on Mike’s bandana); an Australian fast bowler who had such a shocker of a series that he might as well have been donning the 3 lions. England’s 12th man… love you Mitch. “He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right. That Mitchell Johnson, his bowling is sh— you get the picture. Who’d be a sportsman, eh?

So from what you know so far about Mike and Andy, what do you think these life-loving Wolves FC diehards do for a living? Well… Mike is a dentist who owns his own practice, and Andy has a PHD – but works in London as a banker. Surprised? I was. Which leads me to my point… first impressions.

‘Don’t judge a book by its’ cover.’ We’ve heard it all before. One of many moralistic bullshit sayings that get drilled into us as a child. The reality is, books do have covers. And if they didn’t, we’d only make our judgements based on the first page instead. People judge. It’s what we do, it’s what we’ll always do – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Did I feel bad about my misjudgement? Not really. We judge quickly because we’re pre-occupied with other thoughts – more important thoughts:

“We could really do with getting Ponting out.”

“Whose round is it next?”

“I could do with a wee, but don’t want to miss anything.”

“Wow, she’s good looking.”

It’s this lack of importance we place on a first impression that means, if we are wrong, then f*ck it. We recognise we’re wrong and draw a line under it.

Mike and Andy weren’t bothered at my surprise, and why should they have been? I was just another face in the crowd. The fact is, we all loved Mitchell Johnson; and THAT’S the reason we got on so well…


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Ken on the Course

Following Darren Clarke’s momentous win at the Open last week, I’ve been thinking about my sporadic and highly-handicapped golfing career. Amidst a plethora of shanks, snap-hooks and the odd pin-seeker here and there, I can’t help but be reminded of one of the most hilarious moments of my life so far… and it’s all thanks to my Dad.

We had just begun our pursuit of the back 9 on what was a boiling hot day. Dad had offered to pay for a buggy as he didn’t fancy slugging around in 25+ degree heat all afternoon. I managed to find the 11th green, with the old chap tugging his approach shot just left. On exiting the buggy with my putter I left him to park up, chip and meet me on the green. Nothing could have prepared me for what was to happened next…

My excitement of a rare birdie opportunity was harrowingly cut short by the noise of dear father careering off into the greenside bushes. Not to be saved by 40 years of driving experience, the combination of a tight turning circle and occasional senility of the man saw him take a nosedive into the Moors Valley river.

After initial thoughts of ‘Shit, is he dead?!’, I then took to dragging my shock-ridden father out of waist deep water – much to the amusement of passing dog-walkers and cyclists. To be fair to Dad, his precise 9.5-esque entry into the water had kept the buggy perfectly upright and balanced on the river bed, keeping the clubs dry! We rescued the bags and called the clubhouse to explain the situation.

“Hi there. Our buggy is-errr… sort of in the river. Mind sending someone down to help?” Brilliant.

The cavalry arrived armed with tractor and rope. The excavation began, though not before a delightful lady from the group behind had asked us to keep the noise down. Really?! Should have chucked her in as well, get her to fish out my 9 iron instead of one of the rangers. A successful recovery operation and buggy bear was back on dry land, having miraculously escaped with only a bruised nose.

A soaking wet Dad and I made our sheepish way back to the clubhouse where, after exchanging insurance details, I decided to drive us home.

Never did attempt that birdie putt…

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