Sunday, July 14, 2002

I love this picture.
The race will hot up next week. Time trial tomorrow, which should sort the men out from the boys, then they head towards the mountains. Ventoux is next Sunday I think, even if you have no interest in the tour at all, this will be great television, pure and simple.
Congratulations to David Millar for managing not to fall off.

I decided to Blogchalk. Don't know why, but it feels a bit shameful, but as I have no shame : Google! DayPop! This is my blogchalk: English, United Kingdom, Cwmbran, Ty Canol, Pete, Male, 41-45!

Pitchfork has named Yankee Hotel Foxtrot as one of the top 15 albums of the second quarter of 2002. Just thought I would mention it, even though it seems a pretty silly concept.

I have never bought into notion of Wimbledon football club being a bunch of happy go lucky chancers who achieved success simply through hard work and team spirit. A romantic myth has been put about that in the days of Sam Hamman they were a charming family club living on their wits.
There was nothing charming or romantic about Vinnie Jones or John Fashanu, and Sam has since shown us how charming he is with his hooligan loving ways at Cardiff. Running off with the cash and leaving the club at the the tender mercies of Norwegian businessmen was hardly romantic either.
I wish the new club nothing but the best however. They are true football fans rooted to their club and their community. They have told the monied classes and the interlopers to bog off and are having a real go at setting something up themselves. There could be a lesson there for us all. Not all of us have been shafted in the same way but it is undeniable that football has lost its soul in recent years. These guys are trying to find it, in fact have found it and are trying to reclaim it. The best of bleeding British to them.

Talking of football fans, I came across this New Yorker article by Nick Hornby on Sportsfilter. There is something about Hornby that really gets my goat. He comes across as this real regular guy who just happens to love Arsenal. First off there is nothing regular about him, he was very well brought up, in Reading, and went to Cambridge; few are so privileged. Whether or not his estuary English is affected, it is very irritating. Plus he portrays all his male characters in his fiction as utterly selfish bastards, which appeals to his core constituency, which of course is women. Nothing wrong with that, but the blokishness he affects is a middle class media construct, which bears little resemblance to reality.
All of which is beside the point. His real crime is that he supports Aresenal, not his hometown club, all the while passing himself off as the voice of the true fan. He compounds this by devoting much of Fever Pitch to moaning about how unsuccessful Arsenal are and how difficult and humiliating it is to support such a crap team. He measures failure by an inability to win league titles. Never mind league and F.A cup wins and consistently finishing high enough to compete in Europe.
He knows nothing about the experience of the majority of football fans, for whom gaining a place in Europe would be a major achievment, not to mention the delirium that would ensue if say, Reading, even appeared in a cup final, never mind won one.
His is the voice of the middle class spoilt brat who wants what he wants and he wants it now. He supports Arsenal because they were successful at the time, much as people in Cornwall or Wales support Man Utd now. His grievance is / was that they were not succesful enough. Poor diddums.
Article is worth a look though.

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