Friday, September 23, 2011

Taking the plunge

It is a common feature in films: the protagonist moves towards the edge of a huge waterfall, carried along, inch by inexorable inch, towards certain death in a swift flowing river from which there is no escape. For one professional kayaker this scenario is the stuff of dreams rather than nightmares.

Jesse Coombs deliberately took on the 96ft drop at the Abiqua Falls in Oregon. So confident was he of his ability to take the plunge that he took his friend and photographer along to capture the momentous moment on camera. He followed in the footsteps of Tim Gross who had attempted to kayak this fall once before.

According to The Sun the Abiqua Falls is known as a very difficult waterfall descent. When Gross attempted it he dislocated both knees due to a bad landing, nevertheless Coombs decided to take the plunge. Coombs successfully completed the jump but did not emerge entirely unscathed as he suffered a shoulder fracture and collapsed lung.

After Coombs completed the jump world record holder Tyler Bradt took on the same falls. One could be forgiven for thinking that this was a rather fallish move as Bradt proved once more that you cannot attempt this jump without expecting injury (he broke his back but is now expected to make a full recovery.)

The entire fall took just three seconds (canoe imagine the exhilaration?!) but was captured gloriously on camera. (See The Sun website for more pictures)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Don't forget your Passport!

Yesterday two friends of mine (we’ll call them Mr B and Mr C) were supposed to set out on their adventure to cycle around Australia. This is a wheelie huge task with more than 12,600 miles to pedal starting from Darwin in the Northern Territory and travelling round Australia through some harsh terrain (not to mention the difficulties of avoiding stopping for too long down the famed East Coast.)

Flying out via Bali with their bikes and several panniers crammed full of essentials, the first few days were going to be a relaxed affair to prepare for the months of toil and tent-sharing ahead. However, as you may have noticed from the ‘hypothetical’ tone employed in this post everything has not gone to plan.

While the attempt to circumnavigate Australia on two wheels certainly qualifies these two for the Odd Balls Blog it is an error of epic proportions which has inspired me to write about them. After months of gentle teasing about their unpreparedness the day finally dawned for them to set off to Australia. On arrival at Mr B’s house, Mr C was asked if he had everything, passport, money, bike etc. Tyred of being mocked about being ready he pulled out his wallet and phone and responded flippantly “I expect these will help me get through most things.”

So together they travelled to the airport. While standing in the check-in queue Mr C turns to Mr B, and with panic rising within him stated: “I’ve left my passport in my scanner at home.” Now home for Mr C was an hour and a half away. It is an impressive feat to have been able to refrain from obsessively checking his passport on leaving his house/arrival at Mr B’s house/throughout the journey to the airport/any number of other moments when even the least neurotic person would have checked this small but essential item!

Mr C, who henceforth shall be known as The Muppet, headed home in an attempt to recover said passport and returned 25 minutes after the check- in had closed. He was not allowed to board the flight and will now be joining his compatriot (who had to board the flight alone and will be spending his time in Bali without The Muppet) at the weekend.

It would be fair to say that things have not got off to a flying start but I will keep you updated on whether Mr B has in fact killed The Muppet and indeed on their progress around Australia.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Retirement going swimmingly

Some people find themselves all at sea when they retire from working life but a retired surgeon from Guernsey has his own answer to this, having set himself a series of challenges to keep ‘fit and healthy’.

In the latest feat he made a splash in the media as he became the oldest person ever to swim the English Channel. According to the BBC, Roger Allsopp, aged 70, set off from Shakespeare Beach in Dover and swam the channel in 17 hours and 51 minutes in an ‘incredible personal challenge’.

Mr Allsopp completed the swim in order to raise money for cancer research at the University of Southampton. He spoke of his retirement as ‘wonderful’ but emphasised his determination to keep ‘active in mind and body’.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Birdman Competition Really Takes Off

The Worthing International Birdman competition got off to a less than flying start after wind-stopped-play on Saturday. Although plans for the tournament were up in the air for a time, sunshine and a reduction in wind speed brought ideal conditions for contestants competing to fly over 100 metres on the Sunday.

According to Sky News there were nine serious competitors in the event who jumped off the side of Worthing Pier in West Sussex from a tower measuring 35ft in height. Several thousand people turned up to spectate at the event, witnessing contenders leap from the pier dressed as anything from David Hasselhoff (in the obligatory Knightrider car) to a BLT Subway sandwich!

With a potential jackpot of £10,000 for any contestant who travels more than 100m it is certainly worth dropping by to have a go. Alas for this year’s fearless fliers the jackpot went unclaimed. However Bill Brooks was awarded prize money amounting to £3,250 for spending more than 14 seconds in the air and travelling a distance of 78.4m.

See Guardian or Sky News for more pictures

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Brit Breaks Butterfly Record

Fear not, dear reader, I have returned. After a prolonged absence due to a sporting injury of my own I am now able to type once more... and it transpires that there has been no dearth of strange sporting occurrences during my recovery.

Butterfly is not always the stroke of choice for swimmers, many of whom prefer the gentler action of front crawl, back crawl or breaststroke. However, according to the BBC, Dr Julie Bradshaw has racked up her 20th world record swimming butterfly around Manhattan Island in New York.

The Loughborough-based lady had attempted the feat before, in 2004, but a thunder storm put pay to it. This time, however, the time seemed to fly-by as she became the fastest woman to achieve the feat using this stroke, with a time of nine hours, 28 minutes and 37 seconds.

It isn’t the first time that Bradshaw, who raised money Rainbows Children’s Hospice in Loughborough, has made a splash in the swimming world. In 2006 she was awarded an MBE for services to swimming and charity fundraising.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Reaching new heights

A Chilean thrill-seeker has taken his base-jumping to new heights by riding his motorcycle off a 3,300ft cliff in the Andes. According to Sky News, Julio Munoz rode the bike off a ramp at full-speed and then let go of it before more than 3,000ft of freefall. Munoz eventually deployed his parachute at just 200ft from the ground but remarkably landed safely. Sky reports that three years of planning and $100,000 went into the stunt in the Loma Rabona region. The paratrooper said he feels ‘really comfortable’ in the air and that this was an ‘everyday thing’ for him. The extraordinary feat was captured by 12 cameras and can be seen at:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

McIlroy's having one of those weeks...

Rory McIlroy has continued his losing streak this week following his disastrous collapse at the US Masters. The BBC reports that McIlroy has ‘mislaid’ his clubs… or rather his airline has. In a week that could not be said to be the best of his life, the 21-year old faced a common problem: lost baggage. On arrival in Kuala Lumpar McIlroy’s airline informed him that his precious golf-clubs had been ‘mislaid in transit’ and that it might be some days before he is reunited with the cargo.

Following the loss of his four shot lead at the weekend the tournament in Malaysia was always going to be tough. The Northern Irishman must feel as if all is ranged against him with this latest blow but his calm and collected reaction to events has put him a fairway up in this writer’s estimation. He told waiting reporters of the latest calamity to befall him and followed it up with ‘it’s just one of those things.’ Having won me over to Team McIlroy I’m hoping that bad things don’t come in threes!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Climbing into the record books

Alain Robert, a climber who has been nicknamed Spiderman for his building scaling ability, has climbed the world’s tallest building. According to the BBC Roberts climbed the 828 m Burj Khalifa building in Dubai in six hours. The 48-year-old has climbed to fame having scaled more than 70 skyscrapers across the world, most without a harness. The latest gravity-defying feat was achieved with a safety rope in place but reports suggest that he did not fall back on his safety option at any point during the climb. The precautions were an unusual part of a Robert climb as the Frenchman normally turns up at dawn and begins his ascent without permission or equipment. Some sky-scraper owners consider his antics the height of rudeness rope the police in to meet him on his descent from several buildings. In spite of, or perhaps because of, his lawlessness Robert’s fan base is steadily rising.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Entry fee grates on nerves

The annual cheese rolling event at Cooper’s Hill has been cancelled after threats and abuse. According to the Metro the announcement of an entry fee angered some would-be contenders who took it upon themselves to spit at, verbally bash and threaten the organisers. The competition normally sees contestants chasing a rolling Double Gloucester cheese down a hill. Last year’s competition was also cancelled after a record number of spectators turned up to the 2009 event – far more than could be catered for. One can only hope that the would-be cheese rollers will mature in the next year and allow organisers to charge their £20 entry fee in peace.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Water way to break a record!

Water-skiing is not as easy as it looks, and certainly not as easy as Mexican Fernando Reina Iglesias makes it look. Anyone who has tried the sport will know that keeping your arms straight in counter-intuitive and standing up can be a long and arduous process. However, Sky news reports that the “businessman and lawmaker” for the Partido Verde Ecologista has broken a world record in his home town of Acapulco. Iglesias who hit 153mph on his second attempt did the water “skiing” without the aid of skis! The barefoot record breaker was towed by a helicopter beating the long-standing 135mph record of Scott Pellaton, set in 1989.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vickers sees red

UK football has been hit by a flurry of disputed red cards in recent weeks. A disagreement over Robin van Persie’s sending off against Barcelona saw Arsene Wenger face disciplinary action (and gave Arsenal fans a scapegoat to pin the blame on if reports in the Mirror are to be believed.) In the Rangers v. Celtic clash El-Hadji Diouf was said to have received two red cards after he refused to leave the pitch immediately. (According to the Telegraph the Scottish Premier League has since refuted the claims)

We all love to have a good whine about an unfair sending off, after all our beloved team couldn’t possibly be responsible for losing the match/league/cup/plot! However few of us have as much to complain about as Dorchester fans after their player-manager, Ashley Vickers, was sent off last week.

Sky News reports that in a tie between non-league Dorchester and Havant and Waterlooville, a man dashed across the pitch, scantily clad in a Borat mankini and a black wig. As the streaker evaded the stewards and continued to prance around on the pitch, Vickers saw red and decided to put a stop to the shenanigans. In a move more at home on the rugby pitch he tackled the man and handed him over to stewards. The referee promptly whipped out his red card for Vickers’ “violent conduct”. The shocked player had to leave the pitch in the 70th minute. Two of his enraged teammates quickly followed and Havant and Waterlooville scored twice in the last 20 minutes to win the match 3-1.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Rain didn't dampen their spirits

We’re notorious for complaining about the weather in Britain. An extremely grumpy man from my village once spent a whole winter moaning about the cold and the rain and the frost and the ice and the fog... When summer arrived in full force we commented on what a glorious sunny day it was... he responded “Hmpf, far too hot for me, can’t abide this dreadful heat, be glad when summer's over.”

Football fans particularly suffer from our attitude to the weather with frozen or waterlogged pitches regularly causing postponements in winter. It appears that Brazilian players and fans are somewhat hardier than the British breed as the Metro reports that they braved torrential rain and a waterlogged pitch to play a championship match in Sao Paulo.

The match between Palmeiras and Sao Paulo was hit by the downpour which flooded the Morumbi Stadium and drowned the pitch. Once the referee decided to postpone the kick-off for an hour some of the supporters chose to frolic in the water. The stands were so drenched that fans were able to swim in front of the seating!
(The Metro has great pictures of this )

Photo by Chris Upson on Wiki Commons

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thought I'd keep you abreast of all sporting competitions

The third annual naked sledging even in Braulage, Germany proved to be big crowd pleaser. Orange News reported that more than 17,000 spectators could bare-ly contain their excitment as they turned out for the event, which saw 30 sledgers compete for a prize of £1000. Only 30 of the 400 applicants were allowed to take part, although organisers insist that the selection was not solely based on looks. There was bare-faced cheek from one judge, who told Orange News that the close finishes were good “because we’re all very keen on studying the photo finishes!” For those who feel cold just thinking about it rest assured that the topless contestants do cover up with shoes, socks, scarves and underwear bottoms before facing the freezing conditions.

Friday, February 25, 2011

What a balls-up

Malvern Primary School in Huyton, Merseyside has caused a furore after banning footballs from the playground. Any ball made of plastic or leather cannot be used during break time for fear that it is too dangerous! The only balls allowed for the playground kick about are those made of sponge (I have vivid memories of these balls being utterly hopeless as a football!) According to The Telegraph the decision has been made on the grounds of health and safety and was brought to the attention of parents in the February newsletter. The reaction it has sparked has been all the more fierce as this is Liverpool Captain Stephen Gerrard’s childhood school. Whilst Gerrard’s status as an Old Boy of the school doesn’t guarantee future success it has certainly inspired the football loving children of the school to follow in their hero’s footsteps. The school has come under fire from national organisations such as the Child Growth Foundation (which as an anti-obesity charity presumably promotes upward or mental growth) with chairman Tam Fry arguing “Our children are in danger of becoming cocooned cotton buds.”

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Potter's politeness

Let us return to the world of magical Mr. (Adam) Potter who survived a 1,000ft fall from Sgurr Choinnich Mor in January (see He has been hitting the headlines once again as he prepares to tackle Mount Everest in the near future. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this story has been the media reaction. This heart-warming tale of good fortune has naturally been a hit with the press and public alike. However recent headlines, particularly from Scottish papers such as the Glaswegian and The Scottish Daily Record, have been concerned with Potter’s return to thank his rescuers. This writer is all for politeness and clearly it is a good, honourable and right thing for Mr. Potter to do, but should it be so surprising that it is newsworthy? As a child I was rewarded with stars on my star chart for saying “please” and “thank you” (and for being nice to my sister, sharing my toys and tidying my room for that matter) but have we reached a point in society when someone saying “thank you” is so rare that it deserves to be headline news? Are headlines the new star chart? Perhaps this story says less about Adam Potter doing the right thing than about others not doing it!

(Picture on Wikimedia Commons: Lerian)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Epic fail by French football team

If you have time (and a sense of humour) I recommend that you check out the Free Kick Fail video on YouTube (second one down on the listings). The match between Mulhouse and Louhans saw Louhans concede a free kick. Three Mulhouse players lined up to take it each one gracefully (ish) hopping over the ball in turn before realising that none of them had actually kicked it!

Seven games without loss brings harmony to Liverpool...

You may have noticed that Liverpool FC have had a sparkling run of form over the last seven matches. You would be forgiven for thinking that this is due to Kenny Dalglish being back at the helm but one of the Reds’ players, Dirk Kuyt, is claiming some of the credit for himself. Kuyt, who has just had his contract renewed with the team, believes that his choice of music has been an important factor in the recent victories. He told the Daily Mail “Ever since I’ve plugged my iPod into our music system...we’ve not lost a game.” According to Kuyt the Kings of Leon, The Killers and Amy Winehouse have been particular hits with the rest of the team. His inauguration into his new role as dressing room DJ coincided with Dalglish’s acceptance of the managerial post, making it virtually impossible to ascertainwho should get the credit for the club’s new found form.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's all about how you spin it...

Sporting headlines have been dominated this week by the drink-driving charges against Graeme Swann. The cricketer declined the services of Nick “Mr. Loophole” Freeman but his representative, solicitor Phillip Lucas, found a get-out-clause that would have made Freeman proud. Swann’s excuse came in the form of a bizarre tale regarding his “beloved” cat being trapped under the floorboards following building work at the home he shares with wife Sarah. In order to free said creature Swann was obliged to drive to a 24/7 Asda store to purchase a screwdriver. Unfortunately for both Swann and the cat the police stopped him en route and breathalysed him. On discovering that he was over the limit they demanded blood samples, wherein lay the loophole. The nurse took a first sample, decided it was not sufficient and then took a second. This second sample was unnecessary and according to an expert witness could have been contaminated. Therefore the case, which was based on the second sample, has been thrown out. It appears that Lucas is nearly as good at spin as Swann.

Telegraph reporter Andrew Hough has tapped into this rich vein of news stories regarding sporting heroes, their brushes with the law and the loopholes they have used to escape. The host of excuses range from the sublime to the ridiculous with gems such as “wrongly worded summons letter” to “being too stressed to give a drink drive sample.” ( See for more details.)

Picture by Richard Woods

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The civilising quality of cricket

The “civilising quality of cricket” is something this writer believes in strongly; so much so that I’m desperately trying to drag my pleb. Welshman to a test-match! One LA Cricket team has recently made the headlines due to its heart warming tale of rescuing several players’ lives and putting them back on track. Compton, one of the most notorious suburbs in Los Angeles had a cricket club founded in its midst over 15 years ago by Ted Hayes, a charity worker and Katy Haber, a British film producer. The team has grown and prospered and is about to embark on a tour of Australia as the first US-born team to do so. One team member, Ricardo Salgado, is unable to make the tour due to a parole order and several others have disappeared back into the gangland culture. However Salgado told EuroSport “If it hadn’t been for cricket I would have been in a lot more trouble. If you are busy playing cricket, you don’t have time to run with gangs.” The Compton Cricket Club has been so successful it can now field two teams, has toured the UK, met Prince Edward and been involved in advertising. Coach Hayes believes that this success is due to the “etiquette” of cricket, which introduces a superior level of respect in cricket...the king of sports.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Redditch council determined to be trailblazers

Just a quick update to the crematorium/swimming pool story:
Opponents of a scheme to heat a public swimming pool using excess heat from a nearby crematorium have a sinking feeling today as, according to Sky News, councillors in Redditch have given it the go-ahead. Work will begin this summer on the innovative money-saving, environmentally friendly project, which will be the first of its kind in the UK. There have been complaints about this “desperate plan” but it seems the majority are dying to get the project underway, according to Councillor Gandy “about 80 to 90% of the responses received by email, letter, phone calls and messages posted online, have been in favour of the idea.”

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chasing a world record

I know two people who came out of the London Marathon vowing “never again”. Euphoria at having completed such a feat did not spark a desire to attempt it again, indeed serious blisters, blackened nails, muscle fatigue and the memory of just how tough it had been added to their conviction that it was a “once in a lifetime achievement”. But some people seem to get the bug; marathon running becomes an addiction as they vie to complete all the most famous marathons across the world. Belgian runner Stefaan Engels is an extreme form of the marathon addict, having run 365 marathons in a single year. The Telegraph reported that the 49-year-old world record breaker clocked up 9,569 miles in a year, running across seven countries and averaging four hours per marathon with a fastest time of 2 hours 56 minutes. Engels who regards the running as his “regular job” was told as a child to steer clear of sport due to bad asthma. This seems only to have fuelled his determination to walk all over the previous record, a mere 52 races in a row!

Photo by Chris Brown (originally posted to Flickr as Marathon Runners) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A hole new craze

For those who have long enjoyed the cries of delight, yelps of pain and general madness that is Takeshi’s Castle there is a new Japanese pastime to watch: competitive hole digging! Like the famous castle assault course this new sporting challenge has really taken off in Japan with over a thousand fans gathering to watch the latest Japan All National Hole Digging Competition. According to The Telegraph the Golden Shovel award was the coveted prize with more than 200 teams taking part in the event. Professional hole diggers, children and all-women teams participated, digging the deepest possible hole within the 30 minute time limit. As well as attempting to dig deepest the “most creative hole” was also rewarded. In answer to the question that is quite possibly niggling away at you: the deepest hole was 3.26 metres.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cyclists driven to use helmet-cams

The popularity of cycling is rising across Britain, fuelled by environmental and economic concerns and driven by a desire to get fit. However there is one great threat to the cyclist: the driver. Britain’s roads are a hazardous place for the cyclist with careless and inconsiderate drivers ready to crash into them, cut them up and generally abuse them at every turn. Having been a cyclist in Cambridge I know the dangers all too well, near misses and small bumps are a daily occurrence in the city and drivers seem to have a blind spot wherever the cyclist may be. (In the name of fairness I must also mention that I have also been a driver in Cambridge and the cyclists’ disregard for traffic lights, one way signs and rights of way is infuriating at the best of times, there is certainly a sense of “they bring it on themselves” with regard to the less law abiding amongst them.) In a bid to highlight the cyclists’ plight the BBC reported on Ben Porter, who has installed a helmet camera to “capture bad driving”. Porter’s clips, many of which have been uploaded on YouTube, have become a talking point among the cycling fraternity following the conviction of a white van man using Porter’s footage. The man in question overtook Porter with very little room to spare and then in a case of road rage had got out of his van to shout abuse. All this was caught on camera and the evidence used in court to prosecute the van driver for driving without due care and attention and a public order offence. It is hoped that these cameras will revolutionise cycling in cities, forcing drivers to sit up and pay attention and restrain their tirades.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

When I was a lass...

“...No child would ever have dared to say words like that, I wouldn’t have even known the meaning” is a common complaint amongst anyone from about the age of 20 upwards, but one football team faces closure due to the language parents use at matches. The Daily Mirror reported that Marton Football Club may have to close due to an increase in anti-social behaviour from over-zealous and (according to the Mirror) “ignorant” parents. The adults in question have been the subject of many complaints to the FA. It has also received many requests that the club’s Charter Standard and funding be revoked, following abuse hurled at a 15-year old referee. The latest match to cause a furore was an under-nines match when one eight-year old boy was sworn at in abusive tirades from the parents on the side-lines. In a bid to hold on to its status and funding the club has sworn to clamp down on this behaviour by banning parents from matches if they use abusive language.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A magical tale of Potter's survival

For those (like me) left distraught by Murray’s loss in the Australian Open final to a dominant Djokivic, I have a heart warming tale from Scotland. Adam Potter, a climber on the 3,589ft Sgurr Choinnich Mor reached the summit of the Munro but lost his footing. He fell more than 1,000ft down an almost vertical slope and his fellow climbers feared for his life. A Navy helicopter was scrambled and began to search for the man. At the bottom of the slope they saw someone, standing and reading a map! Initially it was thought impossible that this could be the same man, given the series of rocky outcrops he must have hit on the way down. However on closer inspection a trail of climbing paraphernalia indicated that this was indeed the lucky Mr. Potter. The Guardian reported that he was bruised and cut with a minor chest injury and suffering from “extreme emotional shock and relief” but otherwise unscathed. The paramedic couldn’t believe the man was alive stating “he must have literally glanced off the outcrops as he fell, almost flying.”

Pool/crematorium debate hotting up

Everyone loves a dip in a warm pool but Redditch council have come under fire for their “environmentally friendly” plans to heat a local swimming pool using heat from the nearby crematorium. This use of energy would reduce carbon emissions overall and (probably a more pressing concern for the council) it would save an estimated £14,000 per annum for the pool. The proposals have received a mixed reaction from swimmers and local residents, many of whom feel it is a disrespectful suggestion. There have been a few positive responses from those who believe that the council are dead on target with the idea. Supporters point out that there is a precedent with the chapel in Royal Leamington Spa being heated by the waste heat from the crematorium (indeed one would question why all crematorium chapels are not heated in this way?) and the idea originates in Scandinavia where this is apparently common practice.

Dribbling by dumbo

If sport is your thing then you have been well served this winter with a glut of opportunities to spectate. The ashes brought glory to the boys from Britain (and a few from South Africa!), the Australian open followed close on the heels of the cricket, with plenty of football and skiing to watch in between. If you did find yourself hard up for sporting excitement there was the world bowls championships to tide you over! Next on the horizon is surely the joy that is the Six Nations; however the big news in Nepal has been elephant football. Sky news reports that this will be the seventh year of the elephant football tournament in the Chitwan National Park, which sees trainers sitting on the elephants’ shoulders, guiding the elephants to dribble the ball and put it in the back of the net. The spectacle has drawn significant crowds, eager to watch their team score. Alongside the popular football event is an elephant polo event.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Have just discovered a couple of sporting gems which will be winging their way to you via this blog over the long as Murray doesn't take us through a five set epic that is...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lax Lap dance

What is the first thing you think of when Lacrosse is mentioned? Everyone having a jolly good time at a Mallory Towers match, with Darrell scoring the winning goal before heading in for a wizard tea? Jim Brown, the great lax player who has a style of play named after him? Whether your only contact with the sport came through the pages of an Enid Blyton favourite or you are an avid fan of lax, the halftime entertainment at a Boston professional match would have come as something of a surprise. The fans at the Boston Blazer’s game witnessed the team’s mascot receiving a lap-dance from scantily-clad women, very much incongruous with the reputation of the sport. The team’s manager apologised for the unexpected show.

Paul the Octopus urns a memorial

For many the hero of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was not Thomas Müller, David Villa, Wesley Sneijder, or Diego Forlán, the top goal scorers of the competition, but Paul the Octopus who famously “predicted” the outcome of all of Germany’s games and the World Cup final. He was offered two tubs, each containing a mussel with one team’s flag, whichever tub he opened first would prove to be the winner of the match. CBS news reports that a memorial of Paul the Octopus, who sadly passed away following the World Cup, has been unveiled in Oberhausen, where he lived in the Sea Life aquarium. The statue is a two metre tall replica of the octopus clutching a football. Paul’s ashes are inside golf leaf covered urn contained within the ball!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fowl play from Jamie Murray

This week the "other" Murray hit the headlines at the Australian Open. The Guardian ran an article which began "Andy Murray's brother..." which must have been slightly sickening for the only Wimbledon champion in the Murray family. Andy's following in the ATP singles tour normally overshadows Jamie's doubles efforts, but with abundant opportunities for puns the papers could not resist proclaiming that Jamie's "killer serve" had felled a sparrow during practice.