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The Importance of Sport (NEW CONCEPTS)
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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It's an absolute disgrace, Newcastle is now owned by Saudi Arabia, and yet they mysteriously refuse to try and buy the Premiership. It must be a fix, or finacial fair play, or both.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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What is a disgrace is you not posting up your prediction about How It Will End. Frit, are you?

Hattys' prediction
Man City
Liverpool
Chelsea
Spurs

That is the way last season ended so it may be she is a year behind the rest of us. Or she has been infected by Ishmael's History Is Repeated Cycles theory. Though looking at it, I rather wish I'd chosen it. Too late, the die is cast but once. Except for Site Administrators who can adjust things retrospectively as the season pans out.

Hatty is a Site Administrator.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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The NFL is the biggest, richest, most professional sporting organisation in the world. By far. Yesterday they opened their season with the Las Vegas Raiders vs the Jacksonville Jaguars in the so-called Hall of Fame game. There were twenty-seven men dressed up in black and white -- eleven Raiders, eleven Jaguars and five officials -- running around very rapidly and in very close proximity to one another. It was harder than normal to make out what was going on. Though luckily the ball was brown and was caught sight of occasionally to provide context.

I know it's my constant beef but why am still I the only person in the world who thinks this is the sheerest madness? Perhaps my retinas are uniquely lacking in black-and-white distinguishing cones. Perhaps my brain is uniquely slow in processing the information. I'd love to find out, there may be some medical assistance I could seek.

PS I was also reminded of a parallel beef yesterday when they showed a clip of the 1978 Argentina vs Holland final. That was the one where you couldn't make out the the ball for the thousands of bits of celebratory paper on the pitch, each looking like the (white) ball. Though that particular weirdness seems to be gradually fading away. Or they send on ground staff to clear it away.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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It was deja vu all over again all over again. We push it around like world-beaters for half an hour, go one-up, then start punting it up the park like Tranmere Rovers c 1970. When we went two-up via a fluky goal, I turned it off so I've got a reason to watch Match of the Day.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Mick Harper wrote:
What is a disgrace is you not posting up your prediction about How It Will End. Frit, are you?


Not sure there is much to predict.

Only real interest this year is that the World Cup, coming in the middle, could shake things up.

Still, I will stick with Man City, they save a lot of energy in games by their possession football, so they are best adapted for a long season.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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People who

a) disobey the rules about naming four clubs and in order, but
b) name the one club that everybody and his wife chooses, then
c) depart with a self-satisfied air of a job well done, will
d) not be invited to take part next year.

No, sorry, it's too late now. You made your table, you will have to eat off it.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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On the World Cup front, Arsenal have spent more than anyone else in the transfer window augmenting their squad with Liverpool and Man City rejects to ensure nobody burns out from playing too many games and they can continue to burn out after half an hour in every game.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Wiley's bid to become world chess champion has had to be postponed a few weeks whilst I study the games of sixteen year old D Gukesh, who has just won his first 8 games at the olympiad for India 2. (Seriously, they have 5 players better than him?) In the last round Dommaraju beat former world number 2, Fabiano Caruana.

Still I will soon have the young man's number, he clearly doesn't understand Wiley's rule that in order to beat a top grandmaster you first have to spend a year or two to learn to draw against him. You can't rush it, Guky, you have to pay your dues.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Eddie Howe signed a new long-term contract yesterday, being signed initially to Newcastle on a deal to the Summer of 2024.
Commentator, MoTD

Can someone explain this to me? Howe's done OK so far but nobody knows how he's going to make out in a) a full season with b) a side topped up with expensive signings in c) maybe Europe next season.

So what are the Newcastle hierarchy afraid of? Eddie will be off to Real Madrid in the summer of 2024? He won't try hard enough unless he knows he's in it for the long haul? These things always give everyone a warm glow for five minutes then, like when it was last done with Solksjaer, can be repented at leisure.

It passeth all understanding like much that passeth for higher administration in football clubs. Or maybe everywhere else too since, apart from statecraft, we rarely get given a front row seat. And it certainly applies in statecraft.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Why does everybody now have to sing-a-long to "Sweet Caroline" at every sporting event, it is getting really boring.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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The most famous football club in the world begins the new season with Christian Eriksen as central striker. Did nobody tell them Eriksen hasn't played a decent game of football for several seasons and has never been a striker, central or otherwise?

Still, better the Christian who's just arrived than the Christiano dying to leave. Or is that a bit sick in the circumstances?
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Cocklecarrot here. When is a completely blatant barge in the back not a pen? When it's Harry Maguire doing it at Old Trafford against nobodies who are already one-up.
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Grant



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Grant’s predictions

1 Man City
2 Spurs
3 Liverpool
4 Chelsea

Reasons are that Man City were already the best and have again outspent the others (what happened to the financial fair play thing?). Spurs have made a brilliant deal for Richarlison. Liverpool still good for third but I don’t know who will get fourth so went for Chelsea
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Mick Harper
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Disqualified. We don't go in for guesswork round here, Grant. If we don't know something we go for Arsenal.
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Mick Harper
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I found I had two Good Morning, Transfers to watch, yesterday's and today's, so naturally I dispensed with yesterday's in order to pick up the stories from today. I've got better things to do with my time since nothing happens in the transfer market in twenty-four hours.

Things seemed a bit dull ("...and Wigan have confirmed last year's loan from Everton has been made permanent...") so I had a quick look at yesterday's. All completely different stories! Mainly about Marko Arnautovic about to be signed by den Haag, 'the dressing room' rising up in protest, Twitter giving it the thumbs down and the board nixing it twenty minutes later. And quite right too. United are always a microcosm of the county, what is needed is the smack of firm government.

In fact, after the Brighton defeat it was generally agreed the team needed 'quality' in attack, midfield and defence but above all 'just some bodies' following all those frees being let go in the summer. It did seem quite a list when someone obliged with one. Whether Eriksen will be one of them remains to be seen.
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