July 18, 2010

General Musings For The Week 18th July 2010

Final World Cup Comment: On the Saturday before the world cup final I spent the afternoon with my sister and her three kids, one of whom was in an under 7's football tournament. Under 7's football is exactly what you would expect it to be: Kick the ball and run to one end, kick it back and run to the other, with very little skill involved on the part of either side. However the kids enjoyed it and it is an excellent way of introducing them to the great game.

I did see one thing that concerned me greatly though: One of the 7-year-old's was chasing down the side line after a ball. To his right was a player from the opposing side. They approached the ball together and - as the opponent was about to kick it - the first player pushed him away to get to the ball. The opponent fell to the floor at which point the other player immediately stopped, looked at the referee and threw his arms upwards in a 'I didn't do anything, Ref!' gesture. This was a carbon copy of any number of similar gestures made during the World Cup Final Tournament. It was quite obvious that he had committed a foul - and a quite deliberate one at that - but he had taken his queue from the highly-paid denizens of the Premier League and attempted to fool the ref with some wide-eyed protestations of his innocence.

A little later in a different match I saw one young chap effectively trip up over his own shoelaces as an opponent tackled him, fall to the ground and start grabbing his knee with a look of pain on his face. He rolled around for several moments until he realised the ref had ignored him at which point he quickly stood up and carried on playing with no ill effects.

If this behaviour is considered acceptable for the youngsters then I fear for the future of the game.

I was deeply mortified to learn this week that Tuesday marked the 25th anniversary of the Live Aid concerts. Live Aid was - for me - a seminal moment in my adolescence marked, as it was, by me spending the whole day in a small mining house in Ruthin, North Wales (home to John, Cynthia and Julian Lennon) with my girlfriend of the time watching EVERY piece of the show. The mortification comes from the fact that at 25 years it can now officially be classed as a 'generation' old. And I don't want my adolescence to be from the last generation. It reminds of the time I would visit my fathers family when I was young and they would sit around with a drink and talk about people I had never met and didn't know and how they passed on. Now when the family gets' together they still have the same conversations but now they're talking about names I recognise and people I've met.

Old age. It get's us all.

Things I didn't know last week: As of the time of writing this I share one thing in common with Rory Mcilroy the Irish golfer: Neither of us has shot a round in the 70's at  St Andrews. The details behind ths will probably form a post a little later this week. Stay tuned for that

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