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The Sunday Stroll: 10 Apr, 2011

April 10, 2011

Well, it has been a short while since we last busted out one of these, so praise the heavens and thank your lucky stars – The Sunday Stroll is back. And with  a vengeance, we might add. And by that we don’t mean some irrelevant Bruce Willis/Die Hard tribute (although a cheeky Michael Jackson gag or two might just be in order…), just that The Stroll is back and this week’s is an absolute beast. Some might even say a Thriller

[Sorry, couldn’t resist]

First up, the Cricket World Cup. Unsurprisingly for a subcontinent-hosted world cup, three of the four semi-finalists just so happened to be subcontinent sides. England had bowed out in the quarters with customary aplomb (a ten-wicket defeat no less) whilst South Africa did their best to rid themselves of their chokers tag by, well, choking once more. Pre-tournament favourites India triumphed over our tips Sri Lanka in the final, having put out arch-rivals Pakistan in the semis and holders Australia in the quarters. Chasing 275 to win the final, Guatam Gambhir scored 97 before Indian skipper MS Dhoni slapped 91 and sealed the victory with a six sending Indian cricket fans over the moon(walk)… truly great scenes. Here are the highlights from the final:

And in case you missed the tournament (perhaps you were off trying to Heal The World or something), here is a fine highlights reel for you to enjoy…

And here was Chris Gayle indulging himself in a spot of horseplay with South Africa’s Graeme Smith earlier in the tournament. You can’t help but Smile at this one…

Unfortunately for Ireland however, the ICC has recently ruled that the next World Cup will only feature the 10 full ICC members, leaving no place for the Irish in 2015, despite their valued involvement in this most recent tournament. Cricket Ireland have stated they intend on exhausting ‘every avenue’ in the hope of getting this decision changed, and we for one hope they are successful. Ireland, You Are Not Alone

From cricket to football, and it has been a busy fortnight or so. First up however, here’s a great short-film about a few young footballers from a floating village in Thailand…

Back in Blighty and boy has it been busy. There was the whole England captaincy debate, England’s Euro qualifier against the Welsh, and of course Wayne Rooney’s typically colourful use of the English language. He scored a hatrick in the lunchtime kick-off against West Ham and celebrated by hurling a few expletives towards a nearby cameraman, which was obviously picked up by the mic. A two match ban was duly dished out, and we can’t see that dear Wazza can really have too many complaints. A talent with the ball, undoubtedly. A way with the words, perhaps not…

Mind you, it could be worse for Wayne. He could be Mario Ballotelli, a multi-million pound footballer seemingly incapable of getting himself dressed. It’s a bib for Christ’s sake… how hard can it be! It’s like he’s stuck in his Childhood or something…

From attire struggles to free-kick routine struggles. Words fail us…

Mind you, if you think that was Bad, then this was just plain Dangerous – a very ‘clumsy’ tackle by Southampton’s Oscar Gobern…

Alas, like a pendulum we swing from the shocking to the sublime. Zinedine Zidane, undoubtedly a great footballer and, of course, of headbutting notoriety, showed his gentlemanly side the other day when, having pretty much humiliated a junior keeper on the training ground, he offers his hand in apology afterwards. A class act indeed…

And so to the statue. Fulham Chairman Mo Al-Fayed unveiled a statue of Michael Jackson (he classed the pop icon as a close friend) at Fulham’s Craven Cottage ground last weekend. What did he say to those who thought the idea of a statue of a controversial pop icon bore little relevance to a football club (a family-orientated one too): ‘If some stupid fans don’t understand and appreciate such a gift this guy gave to the world they can go to hell. I don’t want them to be fans. If they don’t understand and don’t believe in things I believe in they can go to Chelsea.’ Intriguing perspective. However, considering Al-Fayed has bankrolled Fulham’s ascent to a ten-season stay in the Premiership (and a Euro final), perhaps their fans could or should be a bit more understanding. It is kind of tucked around a corner afterall. But did the statue really have to be that hideous?…

Mind you, at least the statue didn’t look like this.

Undoubtedly Fulham fans Remember The Time that MJ actually visited Craven Cottage. For those that might have missed it, here he is on a lap around the ground with Mo Al-Fayed and numerous minders at his side…

And here is a fan at last weekend’s Fulham-Blackpool game keeping the crowd entertained whilst Aaron Hughes received treatment. Nice moves…

Finally in the land of soccerdom, midweek saw the Champions League return to our screens at the quarter-final stage. Spurs went down 0-4 away to Real Madrid, having had Peter Crouch sent off early in the first half, whilst Barcelona look likely to progress having seen off Shakhtar Donetsk 5-1 at the Nou Camp. The all-English QF between Chelsea and United saw Wayne Rooney [who else?] score the only goal in a 1-0 away triumph for the reds, although the officials once again ballsed up by missing a clear late penalty for Chelsea after Evra fouled Ramires. Quite what the extra official by the goal watches is beyond us, although for United fans it was probably more a case of I Just Can’t Stop Loving You. Had the penalty been given however, we would have recommended the following (outlandish) method for taking it…

And in the fourth QF, German side Schalke pulled off a remarkable 5-2 away win at Inter Milan. Goal of the week?? Surely this one from Inter’s Dejan Stanković…

From football to rugby and here are some dance moves that will have MJ spinning in his grave… the lamest haka ever perhaps? [And there is even that epic BaBa’s try moments afterwards for you to enjoy…]

The weekend previous we were treated to the F1 season opener from Oz. Seb Vettel was frighteningly quick and claimed the win, although Lewis Hamilton gave him a relatively decent run for his money. Catching the eye was young rookie Sergio Pérez (Sauber) who completed the entire race with just one tyre change (when most expected two or three as standard). Young Brit Paul di Resta also impressed, getting a point on his F1 debut, whilst Renault’s Russian driver Vitaly Petrov claimed a memorable first podium in third. Bit random perhaps, but here’s a lap on-board with Pérez from the Melbourne race…

And here’s BBC F1 commentator David Coulthard getting cake smeared in his face by race winner and Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel…

This weekend the F1 circus has travelled to Malaysia, with Seb Vettel sneaking pole from Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber and Jenson Button in an intriguingly tense qualifying session. The Red Bulls and McLarens look a country mile clear of the rest of the field, but close enough to each other to hopefully make it an intriguing race. Check back here to see how the race went…

MotoGP Round 2 from Jerez last weekend… what an incredible race. Valentino Rossi crashed in qualifying and started from 12th, but was up to third within a matter of laps, before taking out Casey Stoner (much to Casey’s annoyance) after his front-end folded whilst diving up the inside of the Australian.

Young Italian rider Marco Simoncelli crashed while in the lead (see below) and well placed to secure his first top class victory. Elsewhere, Andrea Dovizioso, Colin Edwards, Ben Spies and Cal Crutchlow all binned their bikes whilst in potential podium positions as the challenging conditions took their toll on the field. Meanwhile, 2010 champ Jorge Lorenzo kept things simple and claimed the win despite his battered tyre [see right]…

And here’s the official podcast…

Just after the race, Jorge Lorenzo made a splash with this amusingly ballsed-up entry into a track-side pond/lake…

And from the current Champion to a former one, here’s a pretty salient message from Mick Doohan for all you bike racing speedsters out there…

And of course, how could we leave without mentioning the Grand National, won yesterday by Ballabriggs. Your Sunday Stroller backed Oscar Time… cheeky second place, thank you very much. Alas, on that bombshell of a horseracing snippet, we leave you with the following clip. It involves four-legged creatures, running and jumping. In the words of Rolf Harris, ‘can you tell what it is yet?’ Of course you can. It’s camel jumping, obviously…

As ever, thanks for reading folks. All the best, SB

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 26, 2011 3:56 am

    Your Sunday Stroller backed Oscar Time… cheeky second place, thank you very much. Alas, on that bombshell of a horseracing snippet, we leave you with the following clip. It involves four-legged creatures, running and jumping

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