Inside Lines: We'll need the bread with all these circuses coming to town
Sunday 23 November 2008
Tessa Jowell's contention that London would not have bid for the 2012 Games had the Government known then what they know now about the financial climate has been dissed by Richard Caborn, who was sports minister at the time. He said: "If you are judging by circumstances at any point then you'd never bid for anything." Caborn seems to suggest that while many sports face a winter of discontent, the bread and circuses syndrome is one reason why the nation will stage and continue to bid for numerous world events in the coming decade. Some, of course, such as the Commonwealth Games and the Twenty20 World Cup, are already secured, but bids for the football and rugby league World Cups will go ahead, he assured sports VIPs at the launch of Weber Shandwick Sport last week: "The benefits are way beyond just a straight balance sheet." Fine. Just as long as there is still enough bread in the bin for the circuses.
Top boxing promoter Frank Warren has been on the ropes a bit recently, with star man Joe Calzaghe opting to follow Ricky Hatton (both of whom he made multimillionaires) by quitting his Sports Network camp and Amir Khan suffering a shock KO. But Warren will bounce back this week with what he terms "a huge announcement". We predict it will involve at least three of Team GB's Olympic stars, including middleweight gold medallist James DeGale.
David versus the Goliaths
DeGale's presence, with the GB coach, Terry Edwards, at last week's British Boxing Board awards was an indication of the increasing togetherness of the pros and amateurs. Predictably, Joe Calzaghe was named Boxer of the Year, and there was a gong for David Haye for "exceptional performances". But the biggest cheer – a standing ovation, in fact – was for the journeyman Gilbert Eastman, present with his family despite being close to death less than a month ago. Eastman, 35, needed brain surgery after a bout at London's York Hall but has madea remarkablerecovery, though of course he will never box again. For Haye, however, the future could not be rosier. A modern Davidversus the Goliaths scenario looms, with a possible springtime match against the 6ft 6in Wladimir Klitschko, which Haye has a decent puncher's chance of winning, followed by the even bigger Vitali vowing to avenge his brother in a summer showdown. The hit-or-bust way the Hayemaker performs, the certainty is that it will be an eventful journey.
Who ate all the cupcakes?
Roller derby claims to be one of Britain's fast-growing sports, and the next episode of the rumbustious all-girls game in London on6 December is worth a plug just for the names of the combatants: Steam Rollers v Suffra Jets. And as befits an activity for ladies who crunch, the refreshments at the Tottenham Green Leisure Centre are not pies, but cupcakes.
Inverdale's blast at RFU
John Inverdale's image as a BBC TV presenter is hardly that of being Rossy or bossy, but off-screen he is not averse to delivering a piece of his mind, judging by his blast at the Rugby Football Union. "The democracy of a banana republic" is how he describes to his local paper the RFU's decision to transform promotion and relegation rules in mid-season. He hits out as the chairman of rugby at Esher, one of the clubs most threatened by a move he calls "railroading".
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