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The Sunday Stroll: 20 November, 2011

November 20, 2011

He had a bad reflex – he was Spanish so he drives on the other side of the road

Sébastian Loeb exited the season-ending Rally of Great Britain in unusual circumstances after crashing with a ordinary road car. On a narrow road section Loeb moved one way only to be followed by the on-coming vehicle, the collision resulting in race-ending water loss for Loeb’s rally car. The Frenchman was in no doubt as to where the blame lay however: ‘He [the other driver] had a bad reflex – he was Spanish so he drives on the other side of the road,’ although Loeb did add that ‘The Spanish guy was crying, he was not so happy.’ Luckily for Loeb he still sealed the title when rival Mikko Hirvonen was forced to retire from the event…

F1 headed to Abu Dhabi last weekend, with – SHOCK, HORROR – Sebastian Vettel failing to win! His first retirement since Korea last season came after a mystery puncture which sent the double World Champion sliding off the track from the lead at just the second corner. Who’d have thought it, eh? Anyways, the German had still grabbed pole on the Saturday, during which fans were treated to this quite brilliant, if rather unusual, camera angle (he barely blinks!)…

Construction at the Austin race track has been halted after worries over financial security and the lack of race contracts from F1 and MotoGP. It would be a real shame if the track doesn’t go ahead as it looks like being a brilliant circuit. Time will tell, although the recent addition of plans for a Manhattan Grand Prix do not look like helping its cause. Meanwhile, here’s DC taking his RBR for a tour round the currently rather dusty ‘circuit’…

Meanwhile rain played havoc with the track conditions in qualifying for the 58th Macau GP…

Chaos took over for the start of the Formula 3 GP race…

And was swiftly repeated in the GT Cup race…

Scientific experiments on the world’s fastest men are nothing new. After the Berlin Olympics of 1936 and the Nazi sneers about “black auxiliaries” running for the United States, Jesse Owens agreed to take part in a revealing study. It had been dismissively suggested that the real reason for his Olympic triumph was that he possessed longer tendons in his feet, a physiological advantage, so scientists of the day surmised, of black athletes. However, when the study results were published, it was discovered that Owens had, in fact, shorter tendons than all the other sprinters at the Games.

Above is a snippet from a fascinating feature on the Guardian website – a really, really interesting read: ‘Beyond Usain Bolt: can the world’s fast men get faster still? How many more barriers can sprinters break and is there a human speed limit?’ If you get a chance, have a read…

In football, England (against the Swedes) scored their 2,000th goal midweek and, somewhat amusingly, it just so happened to be an own goal [highlights below]. Thank you very much, Sweden. Could only have been more amusing had it been an own goal by Ze Germans

Anyways, here’s a selection of the best England goals scored (although it does negate some peaches from the past)…

Meanwhile, the Republic of Ireland came through their qualifiers with Estonia and will be at Euro2012 next summer; just got to hope they avoid a ‘group of death’ alongside, for instance, Spain, Germany and Portugal! Anyways, below is Damien Duff’s rather passionate rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann (Ireland’s national anthem). Not too sure why he’s facing a different way to his teammates, but hey – good passion, sir!…

Genuine story this: Conor Cummingham blagged his way on to the bench for the Estonia-Ireland (first leg) game. Smooth…

Here’s Lionel Messi ‘owning’ Pablo Zabaleta in an Argentina training session earlier this week…

And here’s Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas having a ‘mare and putting his side in a spot of bother against Costa Rica midweek…

Staying in South America, an owl wanted to quietly tuck into his dinner the other night but some football match between Colombia and Venezuela got in the way. How inconsiderate…

If you are a goalkeeper, it doesn’t matter what you save the ball with- if you keep it out, it’s not a goal – M.Lawrenson (via @AliAlhabsi)

Alas while Joey Barton quotes Nietzsche and Orwell, Wigan ‘keeper Ali Al-Habsi likes to quote dear old Lawro. Fine save though…

Wojciech Szczęsny won’t like this much, but Mario Balotelli will – a stunning strike for Italy against Poland over the international break…

Here are highlights from a belting Eredivisie match between FC Utrecht and Ajax. 6-4 to the hosts it finished, quite some game…

Put simply: ‘celebration fail’…

You know how embarrassing it is when someone leaves you hanging for a high-five? How about if they leave your goal celebration ‘hanging’ and you dive face-first into the ground. In front of a crowd. And TV cameras. And the footage ends up on YouTube. Niiice…

Fulham’s John Arne Riise would probably like to refute allegations that he has put on a few pounds, so this clip won’t help. Although it should amuse…

Victor Moses looks like he might be picking England over Nigeria as his country to represent at international level (should he get there etc). Given the impressive performances of fellow-youngsters Jack Rodwell, Kyle Walker, Phil Jones & co. for the full England side midweek, having Moses added to the list of options is by no means a bad thing – especially when he is capable of goals such as the one below. Then again, ask any fantasy football manager who has owned Moses all season and they might well tell you a different story…

On Wednesday Luis Suárez was charged by the FA with ‘abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Manchester United’s Patrice Evra contrary to FA rules.’ Liverpool’s response was that the Uruguayan ‘will plead not guilty to the charge’ and that they ‘remain fully supportive’ of their star striker. On the matter, Martin Samuel interestingly writes: ‘The word Suarez says Patrice Evra heard several times when Liverpool and Manchester United met was negrito, a mockingly mischievous or affectionate term, meaning little black man.’ Alas it comes down to a ‘vastly complex case involving the nuances of South American dialects,’ although – as Samuel suggests – Suárez would have done well to note that what is acceptable in one country or culture might be viewed differently elsewhere…

Meanwhile, Suárez scored all four goals for Uruguay as they beat Chile 4-0 over the international break…

Maybe one of the players has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one, but the one who is effected by that, he should say that ‘this is a game’.

We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands

Sepp Blatter, ladies and gentlemen.

We could not leave football without a nod to Septic Sepp’s latest blundering comments on the subject of racism in football, mainly the suggestion that victims and culprits alike should just shake hands and get on with it. This man truly defies belief at times (Joey Barton generously described him as a ‘corrupt imbecile’). In any accountable – dare we say it, non-corrupt – organisation he would have been long gone…

One person who is gone – for completely different reasons, mind – is manager of the England rugby team, Martin Johnson. ‘Johnno’ resigned earlier this week after a leading England through a World Cup campaign where the on-pitch performances were as bland and uninspiring as the players’ off-field antics were headline-grabbingly inappropriate. And there was us thinking dwarf-gate, blonde-gate, liedaboutblonde-gate, ball-gate, bungee-gate, ferry-gate & abusethehotelmaid-gate had all been dealt with rather well…

Anyways, here was our favourite video from the Rugby World Cup…

Meanwhile, this clip from a few weeks ago has surfaced. Felipe Contepomi celebrates landing a last minute drop-goal for Stade Français against Toulouse, only to realise his side were more than three points behind. Cue palm-to-the-forehead style exasperation as the mistake dawns on himself and the defeat-confirming final whistle blows. #fail

Highlights from the final of the Four Nations Rugby League competition between England and Australia…

And to the, er, American equivalent of rugby(?), American Football, and this gem of a clip – NY Jets QB Mark Sanchez flinching when Buffalo Bills cornerback Drayton Florence fakes…

There’s a big shake-up afoot in MotoGP for 2012, with Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta announcing that Dorna will only offer financial support to ‘teams that use CRTs’ and that there’s little the big-budget factory teams can do about it. In short, the sport in its current form is too expensive for private teams who are unable to compete with the likes of Honda and Yamaha; thus, CRTs are the way forward. Perhaps this is good, as there hasn’t been a non-factory race victory in the premier class since Toni Elías back in 2006 – and even then that was on a set of Dani Pedrosa’s tyres!

Also, all bikes must have brake protectors (see right) from next season onwards in a belated attempt to prevent incidents like the one below at Catalunya in 2006 when Sete Gibernau’s brake level caught on Loris Capirossi’s bike and caused a quite frightening multi-rider crash…

You can see it better in this clip of the last-lap crash at this year’s Daytona 200. In theory, the guards should prevent accidents like this from happening…

British MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow posted a link to this video of Serge Huercio doing a spot of Artistic Cycling… it is mighty bizarre but worth sticking with – the control of bicycle and balance he displays in the second half of the clip is nothing short of breathtaking…

Here’s Finnish Moto2 rider Mika Kallio enjoying a spot of ice road racing. Terrifying if you ask me…

Finally from the world of bikes, PLEASE watch this – it is awesome. Great photography too but Jorian Ponomareff take a bow – some serious bike-drifting skills on show here…

In boxing, Manny Pacquiao controversially (for some) took care of Juan Manuel Márquez in their bout last weekend, although one can’t help but enjoy this reimagined Pacman entrance…

And we leave you with this rather unconventional clip: how to pencil draw an F1 car. In case you ever wondered…

Stroller Scout Shouts: @jeremyconnell23

(got a clip or an article you want showing… send it over!)

As ever, thanks for reading – all the best folks…

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