Monday, 28 November 2011

When Sporting Fandom Becomes Fanaticism

By Shane Thomas

In recent weeks, an alarming aspect of sport has come to the fore. The partisanship of supporters - normally a crucial component in the heft and resonance that makes it such an appealing aspect of life for some of us - has descended into a ugly sump of rabid, one-eyed protectionism. It seems that there's no heinous act that won't be defended - as long as the accused represents the team that you like.

Last month, both Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Chelsea's John Terry were accused of racially abusing opposition players. I think anyone with a core of decency in them would state that these are two racial incidents too many. Suarez has been charged by the FA, while the Terry case is ongoing, as the Metropolitan Police are now leading the investigation.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

The Sugar Bowl Fiasco (Guest Post From Greg Blanchard)

By Greg Blanchard

American college football is my favorite sport, followed closely by English soccer. The edge has much to do with feeling a direct connection to the college football game through my university years in Oklahoma. Games still to come at the end of November and early December could put my alma mater, Oklahoma State, in the national championship game. The ominous doubt comes from a single loss, last week in double overtime.

Unlike the NFL, American college football is and always will be a mess. Part of that is the nature of the game. Even the most skilled players are young and not yet professional. Plus, players graduating or jumping early to the NFL forces coaches to deal with constant turnover of personnel. Good teams develop players to replace those who leave, but the best schools don’t have four full years with amateurs. The most talented players are often barely “students” and leave early for the NFL either by choice or due to academic ineligibility.

Monday, 14 November 2011

England Musn't Park The Bus Against Sweden

By Shane Thomas

In the midst of England's victory over Spain on Saturday, it should be remembered that Fabio Capello's men have another game to play before this international week draws to a close. Sweden come to Wembley, and England would do well to ensure that they don't undo the goodwill they've built with the fans by underperforming against the Scandinavians.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Episode 42 - Top 5 Scapegoats

Our latest episode looks at those who bore the brunt of painful sporting defeat. Those who were the unfortunate lightning rod for the ire of the public, and were singled out for opprobrium.

The Greatest Events In Sporting History' is available from

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Excitement Of Test Cricket - So Where Is Everyone?

By Shane Thomas

Today provided us with arguably the most madcap day of Test cricket in 2011. Day 2 of the 1st Test between Australia and South Africa in Cape Town gave us a section of all four innings of play. The day started with Australia on 214/8, with them eventually being all out for 284, inspired by a superb knock of 151 from Michael Clarke.

At this point in the match, sanity went on holiday. South Africa came to the crease to begin their riposte and were promptly bowled out for a paltry 96, with Shane Watson going through the Proteas bating line-up like the proverbial dose of salts, taking 5 for 17 off only 20 deliveries. But whatever the Aussie bowlers can do...

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Episode 41 - British Olympic Glory

This episode focuses on two events that briefly turned the television into Britain's fireplace. Few people tend to watch curling & rowing, but nothing gets people together such as British Olympic golds. 

Our subjects are the women Curlers from the 2002 Winter Olympics, which made Rhona Martin an unlikely star, while we also talk about the day when Matthew Pinsent graduated from rowing's best supporting player to fully-fledged leading man, as Britain took gold in the coxless fours at Athens in 2004 - one of the closest races in Olympic rowing history.

The Greatest Events In Sporting History' is available from

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Paging Nurse Ratched To The Asylum

By Shane Thomas

Want to see goals? Then the Premier League's been the place to be. At the time of writing England's top division has produced 294 goals, 42 more than Spain's La Liga, and 68 more than Italy's Serie A. Matches - particularly those between the established elite - have been thrill-fests; Chelsea's 3-5 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday being the latest in an ever increasing line of high-scoring games.

And while it's no doubt been entertaining, my pleasure at watching Arsenal win at Stamford Bridge for the first time in nearly four years was tainted by a simple thought: What in the name of holy hell is going on with the defences in the Premier League this season?