“It’s all gone a bit flat here.” These were the words of BBC 5-Live’s chief football correspondent George Riley in his report from Rio this morning, following England’s rapid exit from the World Cup at the hands, or should that be feet, of Costa Rica – before we had even played them! As might be expected, his report was heavily cliché-ridden, focussing particularly on the need for facing uncomfortable Truths.
Last night’s message from the Costa Rica fans
He was making his comments from the comfort of the massive World Cup Media Centre in Rio de Janeiro, but was he reflecting the mood of England fans in Brazil, or the atmosphere among the thousands of two-bit Fleet Street hacks whose long summer holiday watching the Girl from Ipanema had just been cut drastically short? Because the greatest Truth to be faced here is that, were world cup success for our soccer team measured purely in back-page column-inches, then we would have won more trophies than Brazil and Germany put together. Continue Reading
Don’t worry, it’s doubtful it will land you in jail, even in Russia, where today Jenny Jones used one as part of her routine to land Britain’s first ever Olympic medal on snow, in the Women’s Slopestyle Snowboarding. It is just one of the myriad of terms associated with the sport that we will all, no doubt, become familiar with over the next few days. If you haven’t seen slopestyle yet, try and imagine doing a gymnastics routine in the middle of a ski-jump, on one ski, then doing it twice more – all in the same run.
Jenny Jones flies high en route to Bronze
In these days of ultra-protectiveness, we don’t often encounter new sports that provide a true spectacle, but I have to confess that watching the men’s event yesterday was a bit of an adrenaline rush – and that was just on TV. Listening to the commentators, however,was like encountering a niche art film without subtitles, but at least they seemed to understand what it was all about. Which is more than can be said for their bosses who pulled a live interview with one of the British competitors, because he said ‘Huck It’ on air. I looked the term up on a snowboarding website, which is obviously more than they did, and found the definition “uncontrollably throwing yourself into the air without any regard to personal or surrounding safety”. From what I saw all of the competitors were doing that (see video below), so perhaps the BBC should apologise to our Olympian for their misunderstanding. Continue Reading