Behave Yourself, Sir! You’re (supposed to be) an Englishman


Knowing who to cheer for when South Africa play Australia is a bit like, for me anyway, deciding who you’d want to win if The Third Reich played Pinochet’s Chile. However, if there is any enjoyment to glean from such a contest it normally arrives when one side humiliates the other. A fine innings of a duck from former skipper Ricky Ponting helped his side on their way to 47 all-out, having been 21-9 at one stage.

Amazingly, the Bok’s are still favourites to lose this match, their batters doing little better themselves during their first innings effort. Anyway, having sat through the English cricketers pouting, posturing and under-performing in India recently, it’s nice to see someone else squirming in embarrassed agony for once.

Let’s hope the spoilt brats of Jimmy Anderson, Swanny and fellow cry babies can collect their toys, put them back in the pram and learn how to lose as well as win with dignity, then next summer’s test series against South Africa might be worth watching. The English team were were lovely lads, sporting icons, and sweet boys when they were on top against the Aussies last time round.

This side were rightly lauded by all for their humour, camaraderie and good sports when they were sweeping aside all teams put up in front of them. I saw them several times at Lords and The Oval and they were a joy to watch, welcome to marry my sister any time (if I had one) .

Cracks in their genial and generous facade began to appear when they lost to the Windies at the end of the summer. By the end of the disastrous Indian campaign they were positively nasty. If I want to watch such behaviour on a sports field, I’ll go back to watching soccer. Something call a “Jade” and sporting an earring and tattoo combination worthy of Dale Farm should never be eligible to play for England in the first place. If he’s gonna behave like a thug on the pitch he can go back to Jonty, Morne and Herschelle as soon as he likes.

Come on chaps. Play up and play the game, as Plum Warner may have said.

Binge When Your Winning


It’s now less than two weeks to go before the massed-ranks of the world’s piss-heads meet in South Africa for the FIFA World Cup. 32 countries will be represented by some of the fattest, drunkest, worst dressed and worst-behaved sports fans as the bars and bistros of Cape Town, Jo’burg, Durban and Rustenburg are held hostage by squiffy Swiss fans,  paraletic Paraguayans, arseholed Argentinians and spannered Spanish.

The Sharp Single presents it’s definitive , cut-out-and-keep guide to who’s-drinking what, who’s likely to fall over first, and what your team is likely to come up against in those all important opening rounds.

Rainbow Chundering Beckons

 

 

GROUP A

South Africa. 10-1.Ones to watch: Amarula, Windhoek, Castle, Lion

Mexico. 25-1.Ones to watch: Margarita, Negra Modelo, Mezcal tequila

Uruguay.100-1.Ones to watch: Patricia, Zillertal

France. 8-1 . Ones to watch: Champagne, Claret, Kronenbourg, Desperados

There’s bound to be a few champagne moments as the hosts take on the wine capital of the Old World. Windhoek vrs Claret promises a great competition and a few squeaky bum moments, while dark horses Mexico will fancy worming their way into contention and rubbing salt and lemon into the wounds with their star player, Tequila, especially in sunrise kick-offs. With the ageing Kronenbourg making his 1664th appearance for his country, expect more headbutts late on. Uruguay are rumoured to be fielding Patricia, one of the few world beers with a girls name, though she’s likely to be left at home.

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Can't See Nothing from Here

GROUP B

Argentina 5-1. Ones to watch: Quilmes, Isenbeck, Scottish Ale

Nigeria 50-1. Ones to Watch: Wilfort Dark Ale, Guinness

Korea Republic 150-1. Ones to Watch: Taedonggang

Greece 150-1. Ones to watch: Ouzo, Mythos Beer

Past champions Argentina hope that Quilmes lives up his reputation of packing a punch, especially in front of goal. If he links well with Lemonado look out for his Shandy of God.  Minnows North Korea put their faith in the frothy Taedonggang, an unknown quantity, but thought not to travel well.  Tensions were high at this beer’s recent launch when South Korea retaliated by launching a premium lager of their own. While the Greeks will hope to be causing a few headaches with their ancient Ouzo, the Nigerians will hope their Irish import Guinness doesn’t cause them too much trouble at the back.

 

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Double Up for an Extra Quid

GROUP C

England 10-1. Ones to watch: Pimms, Gin, Boddingtons, Shepherd Neame

USA 100-1. Ones to watch: Budweiser, Coors, Miller, Daniels (J), Beam (J)

Algeria 1000-1. Ones to watch: Submarino, Mint tea, Orange Juice, Milk

Slovenia 66-1. Ones to watch: Lasko Pivo, Celjski Grof

 

Violence is Golden for perennial under-achievers England, and with this line up you can see why. The country which gave the world white garden chair throwing and pitch invasions know they have to raise the bar this time. “Boddy” Boddingtons and “Old Shep” Neame are likely to start up front, but watch out for the suprise selection, Pimms, to provide a tonic for midfield-partner Gin around 10.45. The USA’s midfield of Budweiser and Miller look weak on paper (and taste even worse in the glass) but the old heads of Daniels and Beam at the back are likely to take anyone’s legs away, should opposition take liberties, like not leaving  a tip. Slovenia look to have a straightforward, no-nonsense line-up with a strike partnership which not only can’t you drink, but are unlikely to be able to say by the final whistle. Teetotal muslim outsiders Algeria’s plan to play four non-alcoholic beverages across the middle seems doomed to either miserable sober failure, or ultimate victory. Inshallah

 

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For You The Beer Is Over

 

GROUP D

Germany 5-1. Ones to watch: Hefferweizen, Eiswein, Bitburger, Dom Kolsh, Stroh

Australia 200-1. Ones to watch: Victoria Bitter, Shiraz, Coopers Red, Fat Yak Pale Ale

Serbia 66-1. Ones to watch: SRB Niksicko Pivo, BIP

Ghana 150-1. Ones to watch: Star, Club

As someone once said “Soccer is a game for 22 people that run around, play the ball… and in the end,  some German drunk bores the arse off you in the bar” Ever a threat in competition drinking, Germany once more lines up with a familiar-looking muscular attack. Old hands such as Bitburger and Eiswein team-up with the unpredictable Stroh, “an artificial rum with 80% alcohol content which should be avoided at all costs” and who is favourite of many to walk off with the coverted Golden Puke.  Others in the group hoping not to be Mullered are a plucky Australian team who’ve selected the stubby Victoria Bitter up front with Shiraz making up the team, in case any Sheilas show up. Serbia’s BIP looks set to save fans thousands of  SA Rand in replica shirt letters, while Ghana will rely on a Club half.

 

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An Arse Like a Japanese Flag

 

GROUP E

Netherlands 5-1. Ones to watch: Blue Curacao, Grolsch,  Amstel

Denmark 25-1. Ones to watch: Elephant, Tuborg, Carlsberg

Japan 50-1. Ones to watch: Kirin Ichiban, Sapporo

Cameroon 100-1. One to watch: Castle

Group E has been labeled the “Group of Belch”, and with good reason. The Dutch’s brand of Total Drunkeness may well pay off this time round. Groslch and Amstel — the hard-hitting double act up-front for “The Orajebooms” have been tucking them away all season. But the workmanlike Danes hope to upset the tray in South Africa. Hopes are high in Copenhagen, especially for Elephant. As one supporter said: ” I ride a small bike but this beer makes me think its a big bike. It also puts me in a mood to listen to my favourite polish opera” Praise indeed. However, in Carlsberg they have probably the most overrated beer in the world. Japan’s Kirin may well be the surprise package of the tournement. In the heat of South Africa, with sweat dripping down your back, drink enough of this and you’re sure to get an Ichiban.  Finally, don’t discount Cameroon as their Castle may take a bit of breaking down.

 

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GROUP F

Italy 3-1F. Ones to watch: Limoncello, Nastro Azzuro, Moretti, Peroni, Grappa

Paraguay 100-1. Ones to watch: Baviera, Dorada

New Zealand 150-1. Ones to watch: Steinlarger, Tui, Miners Dark Brew

Slovakia 66-1. Ones to watch: Kelt, Zlaty Bazant, Saris

 

Group F looks like a done deal. Few can see past LimoncelloMoretti and Peroni staggering away with the honours here. Even fewer can see anything at all after Grappa weaves his spell. New Zealand look like a one-drink pony with Tui at the helm, while the unknown Dorada hopes to to force the odd hiccup for Paraguay. The best the Slovaks can surely hope for here is they return hope completely Zlaty Bazant.

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Is that A Sugarloaf Mountain in Your Trousers...?

Group G

Brazil 4-1. Ones to watch: Cachaça, Caiparihna, Knot of Pine

Korea 500-1. Ones to watch: Cass, Hite and OB

Côte d’Ivoire 250-1. Ones to watch: Mamba

Portugal 12-1 .Ones to watch:Superbock, Sagres Bohemian, Port

 

According to one Portuguese reviewer “Superbock super star, gets you more pissedd than Stella artois.” That’s as maybe, but everyone’s favourite producer of brandy accompaniments may have to pull something more out of the cellar than just brut strength rocketfuel. The subtlety and guile of the Brazilians is always pleasing to the eye, as are the enourmous knockers of their fans in the crowd. Add to that the odd gallon of Caiparihna and midfield general Cachaca, then it’s difficult see anyone but the South Americans being in the chair. One hope for the Ivory Coast is that the Girls from Ipanema are distracted by their large Mambas. Korea’s offerings sound, frankly, a bag Cass Hite

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Time to Put the Skis Back On

 

GROUP H

Spain 10-1. Ones to watch: Sangria, Orujo, San Miguel

Switzerland 500-1. Ones to watch: Cardnial, Feldschlösschen Original

Honduras 500-1. Ones to watch: Garifuna

Chile 150-1. Ones to watch: Kunstmann, Piscola

 

Spain are forever accused of choking on the big occasions, but if all you had to drink was San Miguel, so would you. Losing their bottle may not be an issue this year as Sangria has been selected to lead the way, in the hope that it won’t be the Spanish peering into their navel oranges. Switzerland may rue the day they made the Cardinal sin of taking up football in the first place, while little is known about Garifuna, except he has a kick like a club-footed mule. Chile, like the Germans, put all their faith in Kunstmanns. But that’s another story.

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A 10-Point Plan for Real Reform


Now that Gideon Osborne has apparently ended the recession (the jury is still out, of course) , here’s my cunning plan which would really make life worth living in this country. This is no death-bed conversion, this is a manifesto years in the planning, months in the consultation, hours in its plagiarism and minutes in the typing. I give you:

A SPORTING CHANCE

1. Association Football

Can I suggest what all us egg-chuckers have been pleading for for some time now?: A yellow card means being sent to the Sin-Bin. Let’s see how long Jose or Arsene and their like will put up with playing with 8 men for 10 minutes. It’d take two weeks before all that swearing at the ref, formation falling-over and waving pretend cards at the ref ends in a melee of teacups at half-time. Bring back the orange ball and all games to be played at 3pm on Saturdays.

2. Golf

I propose two innovations to the PGA and European tours:
a) Dickouts:Any player not making the ladies tee with his drive, or more realistically in professional golf, driving the ball out-of-bounds from the tee should play the rest of that hold with his willy out.
b)Gotchas: Each player will have two Gotchas per round (one on the front nine and one on the back.) This allows anyone to shout “Gotcha” at the top of his playing partner’s backswing, in an attempt to put that player off his stroke. (The reader will note that a Gotcha often results in a Dickout). Tiger Woods will be exempt from Dickouts as it’s felt he’s been playing that game for far too long for his own good.

3. F1 Motor Racing

Before each and every Grand Prix, water tankers on corners 1, 5 and 7 should be emptied onto the track every 10th lap, thus ensuring some form of mild entertainment in the form of, dare I say, overtaking, would occur, thus eliminating the boring processions witnessed in Dubai, Barcelona and probably Monaco. In times of drought, the water could be replaced by oil sourced from the gulf of Florida. BP could do with a hand with getting rid of some anyway. Also only one pit open at any time. If you mis-time when you come off for new tyres or fuel, queue like the rest of us poor sods have to.

4. Athletics: 100 Meters

Let’s stop worrying about drugs. Come one, come all. Stick into your veins or up your nose whatever you like before you compete. Can’t wait to see your head pop off after 75 meters. It’ll give Sue Barker something else to talk about and Brendan might even sober up.

5. Rugby Football (League)

Northern rugger chaps: Let’s get of rid of your pointless, lame scrums.How about a nice hand of rummy instead ? Or maybe Rock/Paper/Scissors ? It’d more competitive. Oh, and play rugby during the winter months.

6. Rugby Football (Union).

Banned: Yellow cards, red cards, lifting in lineouts. Reinstated: Wheeling in lineouts, lifiting in scrums, 16-man punch-ups, touch-judges in blazers. Let’s get back to when you got a slap for cheating, not a yellow card. Second Row: if you don’t want to jump in the lineouts, ask for a ladder. Opposition props would then be allowed to shake it at the base to put you off your catch. Hookers: Our jumpers are in the same colour shirts as the one you’re wearing.

7. Snooker/Pool

Bring back heavy smoking and drinking for that real pub atmosphere. Encourage drunks in the crowd to shout “How much fucking longer are you two gonna be, mate ?” TV Adverts only allowed when it’s one of the players turn to go to the bar to buy a round for him and his opponent. If he hasn’t been served by the time the ad break is over, have another ad break. Also, one side of the table must be no further than 1 meter away from the wall. A half-length or child’s cue will be in a rack (underneath the dartboard) for when the cue-ball is near the cushion.

8. Tennis

Exile all TV coverage to UK Living. It’s not proper sport.

9. Darts

See 7.

10. Cricket.

Get rid of the dancing girls, helmets and pyjamas and wear white flannelled trousers. All games to last a minimum of three days. Uncover the pitches, give the bowlers a chance again. Give all cricket coverage back to the BBC and Channel 4. Also, compulsory South African lineage for all England cricketers. If you’re not called Pietersen, Kietvanwesser or Van der Kochderschmidt, fuck off: we don’t need you any more.

So there you have it. A sensible manifesto for a sensible country. A grand coalition of ideas.

VOTE BEALING, VOTE OFTEN