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20 January 2000 Edition

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Sportsview: Between one thong and another

An Phoblacht's occasional sporting columnist, SEÁN Ó DONAILE, takes a typically lateral look at the week in sport.

The world has me perplexed. India and Pakistan are chomping at the bit for a bout of nuclear fisticuffs, the peace process is in crisis, the farmers are causing havoc blocking the only roads that don't have potholes - but the world is in a tizzy over David Beckham's G-string!

His spoilt Spice antics in Brazil would have led to an immediate sacking from Wayside Celtic or suchlike, but his manager saw fit to defend his behaviour, which was one of the few features of the media-inspired World Club Bore, apart of course from the Brazilian wizardry against everyone's favourites.

The Engish Premiership, bane of our lives, is in full flight; Gianluca Vialli, with six Norwegians, three Chinese acrobats, a Polish sailor and a Tibetan monk, is claiming Chelsea as ``100% British''; Leeds United's young brats are kicking more than shins (how can David O' Leary ever be forgiven for backing the Tory Party anyway?); and Arsenal are boring us all to tears - Zzzz.

Meanwhile, back at the home of football, Bohemians are breathing down the necks of Shelbourne and Finn Harps are swapping strikers for sheep to trim their pitch, as the FAI league steps into top gear.


`Tis far from frilly knickers you'll find the shapely men of the World Darts Championship. Unless of course the wife is out.

While the rest of us mere mortals are rushing to the gym for the annual press-ups and vowing to shed the belly, these handsome young devils are busy getting sloshed and not giving a fiddler's fart about Nutron Diets, Ryvita and the like.

Andy Fordham, aka `the Viking', was one of the stars of this year's show - his hobbies including drinking, growing his pony tail, fishing and drinking.

Jocky Wilson is no more, but the resident critic - I can't for the life of me remember his name but he's dripping in gold and looks like he should be at a used car auction (It's Bobby George, but good description - Ed.), adds plenty of character in a world of ``One hooondreed and ee-ii-t-eeeee!'', ganky moustaches, raucous beer bellies and rowdy mothers-in-law on the beer.

The skill and precision of the competitors can only be marvelled at, particularly when it is accomplished after 24 pints of Scrumpy Jack.

TV and the pressure of big business can be the only reason Jack Straw relented to allow convicted rapist Mike Tyson to enter Britain for a forthcoming bout with Julian Francis (or is it Buster Gonad? Or does it matter?) - Big Mike is back and those seeking ill gotten gains will whip up a non-contest between a has been in need of psychiatric help and a nobody, which will probably cost twenty dollars to watch, last seven seconds, and pay for a lot more than Don King's next trip to the hairdresser.

Meanwhile, Desireé Washington, who Tyson was convicted of raping, has become a recluse and rape victims have been told where their position is in the list of priorities.


Spare a thought for the sorry men of Ulster rugby, last year's all conquering heroes and this year the whipping boys of Europe - David Trimble is not to be spotted in the audience, though in fairness to Ken Maginiss, he was always a rugger bugger. Word has it that in the wake of their traumas they are to be disbanded!

The baldy baps of Munster are currently installed as one of the favourites for the European Cup as it reaches quarter final stage.

Recent games against British side Saracens have been thrillers with last minute heroics winning the day, from yet another Cork superstar.

There's nothing much interesting to record about this strange pursuit that isn't a cliché - ``they fear no-one... it's a hard one to call... it could be anyone's game...'' - except that Ireland's only decent player, Keith Wood, is the big baldy brute currently starring in Guinness beermats and he's from Clare and started to play rugby when he couldn't get his place on the hurling team, and he doesn't wear panties.


In golf, Paul Azinger's two double bogeys failed to dent his surge to glory at the $3 million Pink Trouser Open in Hawaii - lots of silly men are rumoured to be busy wiggling their bottoms as they endeavour the emulate the heroics of the blazered one; and the spectators fell asleep as Tiger Woods disappeared down the 18th hole - no loss, the spoilt brat.


Testament to these current days of nothingness days in sport was Longford's lowering of the Dublin mast in the O'Byrne Cup last Sunday, which Mick O' Dwyer rightly lambasted as a waste of taxpayers' money - `tis at home playing darts they should be.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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