A question of sporting rhinos

Do you think Croatia will turn out tomorrow in blond hairdos?
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The Independent Culture
ARGENTINA ... WIMBLEDON ... South African cricketers ... rugby down under ... yes, these are stirring times in the sports world, and predictably I have been deluged by letters on the subject. And who better to answer your queries than the hard man of sports reporting, Rene McGrit! All yours, Rene ...

Can you explain this extraordinary decision of the Romanian football team at the World Cup to dye their hair blond overnight? Have the players of any previous team in history ever adopted the same hairstyle?

Rene McGrit writes: Oh, yes. All the England sides of the Thirties sported the same short back and sides. No matter whether they had flowing locks, drooping moustachios or pigtails in everyday life, they had to get short back and sides for the international games and go back to their long tresses afterwards.

But what about the Romanians? I heard Jimmy Hill on the TV say that it might be a good idea for a team all to go bright yellow, because if you had to pass a ball in a split second, it would be easier to spot another blond head out of the corner of your eye to pass it to than look for a shirt of the same colour ...

Rene McGrit writes: Jimmy Hill is a nice enough bloke, but he doesn't think things through, does he? Of course it's easy to pass to another blond head if you see it out of the corner of your eye, but it's also just as easy for the opposition to dye their heads blond to deceive you into passing to them. I predict that at the next World Cup the manager of any team will be forced to announce 24 hours in advance what colour hair his players will be wearing.

But meanwhile do you think Croatia will turn out tomorrow in blond hairdos to deceive Romania?

Rene McGrit writes: Yes, I do. But I also expect the wily Romanians to have dyed their hair black or green meanwhile. Now, could we have some questions not about hairstyles in football, please?

Yes. In Euro T92, the Danes didn't know they had qualified till the last moment, so they didn't do any strenuous training. They came to the contest straight from the beaches of the Mediterranean, and then proceeded to go through to the final and beat the Germans. All the sports commentators said that this might be because their lack of preparation had made them so relaxed. This time, the Danes have trained strenuously, and have done equally well so far, even beating Nigeria, and all the sports commentators say it is because they are so well prepared and organised. They can't be right both times, can they?

Rene McGrit writes: It is not the job of the sports commentator to be right. It is his job to sound right.

Apparently, the Yugoslav coach in charge of the Nigerian team was due to be fired by President Abacha of Nigeria, but Abacha had a heart attack the day before he was going to do it and died. Do you think the Yugoslav coach was, in fact, guilty of having the president murdered in order to safeguard his job?

Rene McGrit writes: It's a nice idea, but, if he couldn't organise the defeat of Denmark, I don't see him being capable of organising a murder 2,000 miles away. Have we got any questions not about the World Cup please?

Yes. Why did the `Radio Times' feature Greg Rusedski on their cover and over about 10 pages inside, and then he didn't even finish his first-round match at Wimbledon before withdrawing?

Rene McGrit writes: The Radio Times has a grand tradition of printing features which have absolutely nothing to do with the week's programmes, things like My TV Dinner and My Kind Of Day. Mr Rusedski probably felt he had to withdraw to maintain the Radio Times's proud record of being irrelevant.

Do our snooker players go to sleep in the summer season?

Rene McGrit writes: No, but our rugby players do.

This new drug, Viagra, that promotes sexual potency - do you think it has been produced by wildlife lovers?

Rene McGrit writes: I'm not with you.

Well, the rhino is endangered because its horn is much in demand for use as an aphrodisiac, but if people find Viagra works better, they will switch to Viagra from rhino horn and the rhino will be saved, so I was just wondering if the wildlife people are behind it all ...?

Rene McGrit writes: What's that got to do with sport?

Nothing. But we had run out of questions on sport ...

Rene McGrit will be back soon. Keep those questions on sport rolling in!

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