Sunday, 16 October 2011
On Friday in Wales a number of poor children were dragooned out into the freezing wind by the BBC and their Headteacher to shriek, jump, yell and wave their hands at the camera. The reason was that some years ago, the Captain of Wales Rugby XV, Sam Warburton, had attended the school and he was urged to great deeds in the semi-final of the Rugby World Cup against France.
He lasted 18 minutes and was then sent off by the referee for a type of crash tackle, once conventional but now banned as dangerous, that he was alleged to have committed. There is dispute about this, fanned by the revelations that the referee had a French father. There has been only passing mention that Wales missed some kicks that might have won them the match.
In the meantime in soccer, Rooney, currently England’s Great Blotchy Red Hope is being questioned as being suitable for the squad for the national European soccer contests next year. He is banned for three games. He will be joined very likely by a groin strain or two, the odd metatarsal or cruciate ligament case with maybe one or two others not quite on top form because of treatment for something confidential.
There are other things in other sports. The common feature is that the greater the hype, hoopla and frenzy the more chance of it going very badly. The trouble is the sponsors who demand it, the media who feed on it and the money involved. In a saner world those in charge of the squads would keep clear of any of it and go gently and quietly.
In our preparation for the Olympics and the European soccer contest nobody has yet worked out what might happen if we have a bad winter. This is not a prediction, just mentioning the possibility. In soccer a serious fixture backlog could cause many problems next spring. In other sports a long and difficult period of disruption will have all sorts of unpredictable effects.
Moreover, Earth is twitchy again. For those who look at these things there are some worrying signs. I hope against hope that nothing will happen because we will all suffer one way or another. There is a volcano in the Canaries rumbling. In Iceland Katla, a large one, is having a noisy stretch, will it wake up?
But on the listing of those showing activity there is both Tambora and Krakatoa and at the same time. One or other would be bad news, both together catastrophic. There is a theory, amongst others, that the sudden end of the Medieval Warm Period and the coming of the Little Ice Age were caused by volcanoes erupting in series. What was all that about Global Warming?
Also, the Sun (that thing in the sky now and again, not the Murdoch rag) is said to be in a funny mood. For those who have a firm belief in deities it is a commonplace that they look on human pride and arrogance with disdain and at their leisure may wreak whatever punishment they think suitable. Watching our media at present anyone with basic human superstitions should be very anxious.
At least if all the satellites do go off I have plenty of reading to catch up on. If the power supplies become erratic there are the old woollies in the cupboard. But how will the rest of us fare if it is back to the past and no sport on the telly?