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Posts Tagged ‘sport’

If the success of our girls’ football team came down to commitment to the cause and sheer determination I’m pretty sure we would have had a good chance of winning our league earlier on this year. Unfortunately it seems to come down to skill and size.  Apart from our goalie Fran, none of us have had much experience on the football field and being dainty PR girls there’s not a lot of weight behind us either. Perhaps we should’ve taken some tips from Elizabeth Lambert, a female footballer from the University of New Mexico, and we wouldn’t have finished last… then again, looking at our opposition, those moves might get us into more trouble than it’s worth.

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Professional footballer and prolific twitterer Darren Bent (of Sunderland, ex-Spurs subs bench fame) has really taken the micro-blogging network to heart – he’s had his profile name, @DBTheTruth, stitched into his boots. The interactive kickers are courtesy of his supplier Umbro.

This isn’t the first time the occasional England striker has embraced Twitter. In the summer, in an attempt to reinvigorate his stalled transfer from Harry Redknapp’s White Army to the Black Cats, he let his feelings been known with what some might call a strongly-worded outburst aimed at the North London club’s chairman, Daniel Levy.

Obviously Bent isn’t the first sportsperson to use Twitter, but he does seem to be the one embracing it the most. We’ve had live event blogging and tweeting – what money on Bent to tweet whilst playing in a match?

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Mascots tend to be quite annoying but this one also appears to be pretty stupid.

Can’t insert the clip directly into this post, but check out the clip on the BBC here.

Also, just because we can, here is Usain Bolt smashing the 200m world record. Commentary isn’t in English but you get the idea. He is fast.

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As it’s summer (really, it is) then it’s an unwritten company rule to hold a few rounders matches. Having warmed up with an intra-agency championship a few weeks ago we were ready to challenge an unsuspecting supplier to a match. Bring on Gorkana.

Unfortunately we were slightly let down by someone, who shall not be named, who forgot until the last minute it was his wedding anniversary and probably shouldn’t be playing rounders. Tut tut. But that didn’t hold us back and we went out with full force.  No game of rounders is complete without some disagreement over the rules and once we’d establish what hitting the ball backwards meant, we were well under way.

Some of the highlights:

  • Jimmy E took one for the team by stopping the ball with his thumb (which is now twice the size)
  • @PatrickYiu made some impressive hits but they always seemed to find the nearest fielder
  • On the very last go, when @SamKano had about three hours in which to get round and score an impressive rounder, he completely stacked it, taking with him half of Hyde Park. No rounder
  • The surprising affect that a small amount of alcohol has on rounders performance
  • @PatrickYiu shouting that we should get bonus points when @SamKano hit the ball straight into the shin of the fourth base fielder

So, because we’ve told Gorkana that we have other options for media information services… we won!! Now let nothing be said about those 9 extra rounders that appeared on Gorkana’s score sheet.

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As the biggest bike race in the world enters its second week, Brit Mark Cavenish is racking up the stage wins and the rivalry between Lance Armstrong and his “team-mate” Alberto Contador has reached fever pitch but other than the battles on the road something interesting is also happening with how the tour is being reported on – especially on twitter.  Cycling is a relatively niche sport and doesn’t generate huge amount of coverage in the back pages of the UK nationals – so how is Twitter helping the cycling enthusiast?

I”ve talked before about how Lance Armstrong successfully uses a variety of social media tools to boost the profile of his LiveSTRONG charity but this year for the first time, loads of the riders involved in the race are posting regular twitter updates, before and after each stage – giving followers a real insight into how each rider is feeling. The tweets are also being used more and more by traditional media as direct quotes in articles – sometimes forming the basis for an entire article, an example from yesterday here.

So not only can cycling enthusiasts get more frequent and timely updates direct from their favourite stars but the real time coverage on twitter is better than the normally reliable BBC Sport. Thanks to ITV’s Tour De France twitter feed – followers can get updates on the race quicker than ever before. Updating in 140 characters speeds up the process a bit!

Twitter being useful – might sound amazing to some but to a cycling geek during the Tour it really is.

And just because I can – here is Mark Cavendish wining stage two of this year’s tour via this YouTube clip.

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Only a week to go now – come on!!!!  The heroes series continues with another Australian legend…

Allan Border is one of the greatest captains Australia has ever had and is widely credited as the man who built the platform for Australia’s golden age in the 1990s after his grit and determination guided Australia out of the dark days of the late 1980s.

AB celebrates becoming all-time leading run scorer.  Merv teeters in background...

AB celebrates becoming all-time leading run scorer. Merv teeters in background...

AB started his Ashes career in 1978 when he was called up for the 3rd Test in what would be his debut for Australia.  It didn’t go well – making only 29 and a duck – but in the following games he was Australia’s top scorer as we lost the series.  But AB was set for great things.  In the 1981 Ashes tour of England (which we lost again unfortunately) AB scored more runs than any other player (533)  including two centuries.  The legend of his toughness began to grow here after the 5th Test where he batted for 377 minutes with a broken finger to remain 123*.  He was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1982.

In the 1982-83 series, after a shaky start AB was on fire again and Australia regained the Ashes.  The era of Lillee, Thompson, Rod Marsh and co was coming to an end however, and Australia entered a dark time.  After Kim Hughes broke down in tears and resigned as captain  (after we got slammed by the all-conquering Windies) AB stepped up as captain.  But then seven top players went on a rebel tour of South Africa and were banned from the Australian team.  It was decimated for the upcoming 1985 Ashes series against England and Australia lost (although AB was by far the best bat).  The ’86/87 Ashes went the same way despite several tons from Border.

AB celebrates another ton against the hapless Poms

AB celebrates another ton against the hapless Poms

The setbacks were tough but AB was as tough as nails and began the rebuilding phase.  He injected steel back into the team, earning him the nickname Captain Grumpy.   The Ashes of 1989 were gonna be different.  He was famously quoted as saying  “I made a personal choice to have a harder edge as captain, be more stand-offish towards them [the English] … It was a hard thing to do and they all got the shits, but it was all part and parcel of what I wanted to achieve.”

It worked – Australia won the Ashes back and AB was named Australian of the Year.  The formation of a tough, brilliant cricket team had begun and 1989 marked the start of a glorious run – under AB the Aussies won the next two Ashes series (1990/91 and 1993) and when he passed the baton over to Mark Taylor (and then Steve Waugh) Australia were formidable.  The Urn remained in Aussie hands until 2005.

AB’s toughness, ruthlessness and sheer determination left an indelible imprint on the Australian team.  The team was built in his image and he was the architect of the side which became the world’s greatest for many years.  Individually he was an awesome batter – no nonsense, but he was the second man to 10,000 Test runs and is currently 3rd on the all time list.  He was no slouch in the field either.   What a deadset legend.

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Gary Pratt came into the 2005 Ashes a promising young batsmen and ended it a legend. In one of the greatest moments of the series (just behind Glenn McGrath’s self induced foot injury from standing on a stray ball), Pratt, who had taken to the field to cover for the injured Simon Jones, ran out Aussie captain Ricky Ponting in a stunning piece of fielding. What made the moment even more spectacular was the Aussie’s whinging reaction. There was not a ‘fair dinkum mate’ to be heard as Ponting aimed an irate, expletive filled rant at the England balcony as he walked off. Many say it was then that England knew they had won the Ashes.

Later Ponting claimed England’s habit of giving fast bowlers a breather was “a disgrace”, but Michael Vaughan, with the kind of Churchillian oratory which made him one of the all time greatest England captains, warned: “We will continue to do what we have been doing – we have not broken any rules. If someone needs to go to the toilet during a session of play, I’m sure he will be allowed to do so.”

With admirable modesty Pratt later gave his own account of the incident:”My feet are on the ground and I’m just concentrating on getting in the Durham side,” Pratt told BBC Sport. “It was just a normal, everyday thing you do – pick a ball up and throw it.”

Ponting: no oil painting

Ponting: no oil painting

In true Ashes spirit, Pratt explains that Ponting later swallowed his rage and congratulated his victor: “There were no hard feelings. I even got him to sign a photo of me and him and he gave me a couple of his pairs of boots and a shirt. I’ve got great respect for him for reacting like that but I must admit the photo’s still in my drawer. I don’t think my missus would like it on the mantelpiece.”

Pratt gained hero status for his achievements, even being invited aboard the open bus parade through the streets of London after the series victory was wrapped up. Sadly however his cricketing career took a nose-dive after THAT run out, and after a few years scratching a living in the lower cricket leagues he now manages a self-storage company in Bishop Auckland.

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