Dom Joly: Football coming home for 'staycation'
Weird World of Sport: I expect to see Becks and a clearly recalcitrant Posh having a good time at Butlins in Minehead
Monday 14 September 2009
At last there is a tiny glimmer of hope for people, like me, who don't like football. It was the story about Rio Ferdinand taking a £400 "staycation" holiday in Presthaven Sands in Prestatyn. The player was apparently staying in a caravan with his fiancée and kids. That is the best story I've ever heard about a footballer.
It's the very first time that I've ever read something about one that didn't involve dolly birds, tattoos, supercars or bad hair. This must be a first. Possibly the start of a torrent of low-key stories about the game? Maybe the FA has hired a new press officer who has realised that, in the good old boom days of the economy, people liked to be aspirational and looked to footballers and their excesses as the ultimate goal.
Nowadays, however, mid-credit crunch, news of their bacchanalian excesses just tends to irritate in a Sir Fred Goodwin type of way (surely they've stripped him of his knighthood by now?). So, I think that the word has gone out that, for the moment, "greed is bad" and we will see more and more of these "ordinary moments" up to and beyond the World Cup.
I fully expect to see Becks, Romeo, Brooklyn and whatever the other one is called (Dagenham? Lexus? Nigel?) along with a clearly recalcitrant Posh having a good time at Butlins in Minehead. Beckham will be looking a touch confused at the temporary tattoo bar as it turns out that there is no room left on his body for any more "art".
Meanwhile Posh will be pictured having some trouble explaining to the spotty youth in the burger van that she wants "two carrots and some arugula and not deep-fried..." Meanwhile the Rooneys will opt for a week-long break touring Wales on a tandem. It turns out that Coleen has a real fascination for both castles and painting in watercolours.
At every stop she whips out her easel and paints a castle while Wayne goes "antiquing" in the nearby town. "For Coleen" says Wayne gushingly to a local reporter "it's the sheer stripped down simplicity of castle architecture that really appeals. Whereas for me, I'm always on the lookout for another Clarice Cliff to add to the collection. It's the excitement of never quite knowing what you're going to find and then driving a hard bargain..."
Whoever came up with this wheeze in the FA is a bloody genius and should be moved straight onto working on Andy Murray's image next. He could try to quash the growing rumours that Murray is actually a hermaphrodite. Every week more and more pictures turn up of Murray's new exploding body. But just three years ago he was clearly a bit of a "Jessie". Now, as he is in danger of turning into the Incredible Hulk, tongues are wagging.
The only problem that I can see with this new "earthy" football image is that there will be a big void left for the tabloids to fill. I am confident that the English women's football team can step up to fill that gap. They have already raised our hopes by reaching a final and then sending us into a spiral of depression when they got thrashed by the Hun. Now they need to seize the moment and go on a media rampage.
I want to see the strangely attractive one with the white face mask announce that from now on she will be known as Zorro and get into a fight in a nightclub with Cheryl Cole after challenging her to a duel. Then I would like to see three more members of the team get exposed for attempting to "roast" a terrified Polish room service waiter who was simply delivering food and drink to their top-floor penthouse suite at the Reading Hilton.
It'll all end in tears, however, when the tempestuous marriage between the foxy goalkeeper and Rhydian, the half-man, half-Welsh Aryan ex-singing sensation from X Factor goes off the boil and a half-hour gunfight erupts in downtown Basingstoke. Then the papers will turn on them. They'll ask whether women should really play football at all. Are they up to the pressures of the game and can they handle the lifestyle? Frank Lampard, contacted at the Windmill Museum that he now runs just outside Norwich, thinks not. "It was all much better when men played and drove Lamborghinis to the corner shop, it's a different world now..."
More than you can chew in bite-size updates
Andy Murray Twitter Watch alert: "Physio just had 300 dollars on table ross 200 to down a lump of wasabi after 10 seconds of chewing both spat it out after 6 seconds amazing" Good to see the defeat hasn't stopped the high jinks...
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