...

Some blogs I know

  • Fat Man on a Keyboard
    'At first they came for the smokers but I did not speak out as I did not smoke. Then they came for the binge drinkers but I said nothing as I did not binge. Now they have an obesity strategy...'
  • My Shitty Twenties
  • Baroque in Hackney
    Any friend of JD Salinger is a friend of mine...
  • New York Bike Blog
  • Cocktails and Records
    ... what could be finer? A weekly tune from the record box, handpicked, dusted down, and lovingly described. Also the place to get answers to Major Questions Of The Day, such as 'is rollerskating the new trendy alternative to bicycles?'
  • Clutching the tea cup
    '... or staying afloat while monumentally out of my depth in foreign parts'
  • Belgian Waffle
    Prolific? Bien sur. Waffle? Not a bit of it. The best thing to come out of Belgium since Leffe Blonde, and that is saying something.
  • Non-working monkey
    'Why taking work seriously turns you into a cock', among other lifesavingly important career advice.
  • ishouldbeworking
    She should be working- somewhere near Brighton. But we are thankful that she is writing. Among other talents, an enviable ability to eavesdrop the choicest conversations...
  • Razorblade of life
    'Not so much cutting-edge as half-cut and still sliding'...
  • Nine foot Joe
    tall man
  • blue cat
    This blue cat fellow (he writes for the telly you know) issues forth an apparently effortless stream of grade-A funniness that has me overcome in turns by helpless laughter and shameful, powerful envy. There I've said it.
  • Joella
    Joella in Oxfordshire. Working for The Man while training to be a plumber (I think!). Loves gherkins, hates aubergines... and Fascists.
  • Jason Mulgrew
    Jason in his own words: 'I am from a blue-collar Irish Catholic family from Philly, complete with a chain-smoking tattooed dad, a short gregarious mother, a younger brother that despises me and a younger sister who’s pretty sure I’m gay'.
  • Clare Sudbery
    Another of Mancheter's finest... a textually loquacious word-freak, with quite a way with words.
  • Chocolate Sandwich
    Unusual delicacies from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
  • A Free Man in Preston
    Office life with unforgettable characters such as 'Stella, my eighties yuppie witch of a team leader', seasoned with occasional out-of-hours forays into the murky world of Lancastrian barbershop quartets. The writer is a very nice chap to boot.
  • Assistant
    another Jonathan! Sure there's a lot of it about...
  • what's new pussycat
    What can I say here? Just a very funny, engaging and captivating writer.
  • Bushra
    Bushra's blog/ homepage/ call it what you want
  • girl on a train
    ... and sometimes in an office and in some other places.
  • Dubsteps (formerly Hobo Tread)
    Thoughts of Skif, a Havant and Waterlooville fan exiled in Liverpool- possibly the most engaging non-league football writing to be found on the web- and with a little bit of politics, and plenty more beside!
  • Tired Dad
    The Man Who Very Nearly Fell Asleep
  • troubled diva.
    Mike, the self-styled 'Fairy Godmother of British Blogging'. He got us all published in a book, you know...
  • Glitter For Brains
    glitter! for brains!!
  • Rhodri
    Livejournal is much-maligned in some quarters which is perhaps why you haven't seen a link to Rhodri anywhere else. Be assured, though: this is a writer of rare poise, able to extract hilarity from the most humdrum of subject matter. Oh and as well as being a professional broadsheet journalist he's also the keyboard player with Scritti Politti (I swear I'm not making this up).
  • Private Secret Diary
    Dispatches from deepest Norfolk. Not that private and not that secret. Just consistently hilarious.
  • little.red.boat
    Cool name... really cool site!
  • 1000 Shades of Grey
    He's actually black and white.
  • Silent Words Speak Loudest: Unlicensed to thrill
    an exiled geordie in nottingham- no, in birmingham!
  • The man who fell asleep; Sadness and ecstasy in unequal measures
    The book inspired by this veteran site (A Year in the life of The Man Who Fell Asleep) features the 'sarcastic polar bears of north London' among other oddities that the author manages somehow to render absolutely plausible.
  • Emma Kennedy
    the daily weblog of BBCTV and radio's Emma Kennedy. The design and format (and the car number spotting thing!) may be copied from Richard Herring- but Emma has very much her own writing style. Consistently entertaining.
  • Pete Ashton's Internet Presence
    Birmingham's finest. Writing with enviable clarity on every subject under the sun since 2000 (a very long time indeed!). Now with added nice pictures of canals and stuff...
  • Tokyo Times
    Lee Chapman. Not the ex-Sheffield Wednesday striker (at least I don't think so) but an English bloke who lives in Tokyo. And tells interesting stories about it. Often accompanied by pictures.
  • Petite anglaise
    Petite, our very own 'cause celebre' (she was sacked for blogging back in the day, you know). The first novel now published, but she hasn't forgotten where she came from, oh no...
  • diamond geezer
    From London. And seems to have been around for about as long as the City itself. One of the 'Old School'.
  • Looby
    'An awkward, clumsy fellow; a lubber; a novice'....a venerated (if refreshingly irreverent) blogging institution. Lancaster's very finest!
  • RichardHerring.com
    The comedian Richard Herring's kind of online diary thing. Always worth a visit.

From the neighbourhood

  • Levenshulme Daily Photo
    We're a very photogenic little suburb, you know. The go-to place for arty shots of express trains speeding past sports centres, kids on scooters dissappearing up alleyways... and rain. Lots and lots of rain.
  • Love Levenshulme
    Handcrafted local blog taking admirably positive slant on all things M19. Equally delightful postcards available from libraries, butchers, and candlestickmakers the length and breadth of our part of the A6

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« Home Alone | Main | The A-Z of Frankie- Part One- 'Again' to 'Fafaf' »

July 11, 2006

Comments

John S

I'm so glad you've addressed this issue here in these e-page thingies. I have searched the media in vain until now to find someone NOT trying to win the Golden Sanctimony prize over what should properly be considered a heroic display of well-provoked French machismo. I was rooting for Italy, but as of that moment I am convinced that if Zidane hadn't already earned it, with that sudden bit of astounding and artful violence he surely secured a right to have a statue built of him (preferably in head-butting position) on top of the Arc de Triomphe.

I only take issue with your denigration of the actual headbutt move as 'amateurish.' I beg to differ. This was a fully committed, whole body head butt delivered with uncommon speed and precision, most probably hitting a vital point on the sternum. A 19 year old kid got hit in the same spot by a line drive in a baseball game last summer and dropped dead on the spot. If Materazzo hadn't been in the midst of emitting a follow-up stream of forceful Spanish invective, he would probably have met the same fate.

It was without question one of the finest headbutts I have ever seen, deserving of our full amazement.

Although I continued to pull for Italy throughout, Zidane has earned a special spot in my personal Shocking Heroic Moments Hall of Fame.

jonathan

You know I had largely avoided the media since the BBC panel after the game but it seems I had guessed correctly the overriding reaction would continue to be one of sanctimonious condemnation (I hope by the way you didn't manage to get to my post there before I re-read and realised I had mis-spelt that word 'sacrimonious'- clearly if you did you were too polite to point it out).

Of course the reaction was exactly the same 10 years ago when that other Gallic genius Cantona of Manchester United reacted to a fan's racist outburst (that's right, a guy in the crowd!) by administering a Jackie-Chan-esque karate kick to the head. Then, as now, the reaction of the fans was much more even-handed and irreverent...

Oh- and clearly the Zizou headbutt itself needs to be subjected to further critique here. Perhaps a hardened Glaswegian could step forward and offer an expert opinion.

John S

Hurrah, hurrah
Hurrah for Cantona

I'm still in this state of amazement over Zidane's headbutt. I mean, the fact of it coming in the final moments of a dead even World Cup Final, which to most people seems to be what is so inexcusable about it, seems to me to be what makes it so glorious.

It was brilliant.

As for the technical matters, I mean, generally speaking a headbutt is normally applied to the other fellow's face, preferably the bridge of the nose. To deliver it to the CHEST and achieve these results...it's simply outstanding. No, this was no flop job. The Italian went down good and proper.

EE! Our John

I'm sure ZZ will be remembered for his football above all else. What about the real world cup highlights though....

Alan Shearer saying Rooney should stick one on Ronaldo and then suddenly clamming up and looking a bit embarrased when he realised you can't say that on the BBC.

Terry Venables who single handedly set the English language back a hundred years and proved that some people get paid no matter how crap they are. When describing Podolski's missed haeder in extra time against Italy he said..' He didn't get enough thinness on the ball '.... I can not get my head around the fact that some who is paid to talk about the beautiful game and enlighten us poor plebs can say something so utterly stupid.

looby_at_work

I think the World Cup needed more actual assaults, just to make up for the amount of diving provoked by a player looking at another player in a funny way.

And I think ZZ deserves bonus marks for butting a 6ft plus defender who apparently is known as a hardman even by the standards of Serie A - Or Serie C1 where he might be playing next year!

But the withdrawl symptoms are terrible - roll on the Euros!

Martin Q

Speaking as a newcomer to spectator sports, I have to admit I was rather taken in my the sanctimoniousness and inclined to agree with them. But having read your post, I guess you have a point. Certainly, well, I was going to say points 1 and 2, but the more I re-read it, the more I agree with 4, 5 and even 3.

Well-said that man.

Ben

I've got mixed feelings. On the one hand, yes he's been an incredible player. But he just wasn't as good as everyone said this World Cup (ineffective if not downright useless in the two group games he played in), and it's not as though this was an isolated incident - he's been red-carded many times before. In any case, no matter what his past record as a player (both good and bad), and no matter what Materazzi said, his behaviour was inexcusable.

Of course, that doesn't mean it didn't make for brilliant entertainment. You're absolutely right - it livened up an encounter that was drifting vaguely boringly towards penalties.

I also agree that the condemnation of Zidane and all the tournament's divers (hello Cristiano!) should have been matched by a similar condemnation of Rooney - the debate about whether or not his stamp was deliberate was utterly ridiculous, and regardless of Ronaldo's involvement it was about as justifiable a red card as they come.

But I can't agree that Materazzi made the most of this incident. I think he genuinely was pole-axed, such was the force of the headbutt.

On a completely unrelated note, thanks very much for the "thing", which arrived in the post yesterday! It hardly left the stereo all day. I'll get back to you with some thoughts soon.

And did you get my latest email about Another Sunny Day and the A-Z CD (sent on Wednesday or Thursday I think)?

abby

eeee, well, I've been trying for a few days to feel some noble disdain for Zizou's headbutt but it's just not happening. I think you've made a fine case, wor Jonathan, and I'm right with you on 1,2,3,4 and 5. Oh, and John showed me this last night -- "A new way to solve problems" at http://youtube.com/watch?v=js0vOgjBfD8 -- it's dead funny if you haven't already seen it a million times, that is.

Nexus John

Loved the 'youtube' video. Thinking about using this technique on Metro fare dodgers tomorrow.

jonathan

Oh, this computer here won't let me play the youtube thing, the spoilsport.. I will have to wait till I get home...

I am greatly enjoying the Zizou comments though (especially as, for the first time in a while, we have had our full compliment of comment-box Johns stepping up to the plate...). This is turning into a heated debate to match the Wolverhampton trilogy and no mistake- only with headbutts instead of hard-hitting cross-continental correspondence. I am particularly pleased to have rescued the fledgling football supporter Martin Q (was it FC United's visit to Dresden that did it, MQ??) from the sanctimonious grip of Lineker and his ilk...

John S

Just to expand this subject academically in support of my earlier assertion about deaths from impacts to the chest, I have managed to dig up an article from the New England Journal of Medicine that I believe lends support to my characterization of Zidane's headbutt as technically "awesome."

Blunt Impact to the Chest Leading to Sudden Death from Cardiac Arrest during Sports Activities
by Barry J. Maron, M.D., Liviu C. Poliac, M.D., James A. Kaplan, M.D., and Frederick O. Mueller, Ph.D.

Excerpts:
Sudden death from cardiac arrest in a young person may occur during sports play after a blunt blow to the chest in the absence of structural cardiovascular disease or traumatic injury (cardiac concussion or commotio cordis). ...
Each victim collapsed with cardiac arrest immediately after an unexpected blow to the chest...In each instance, the impact to the chest was not judged to be extraordinary for the sport involved and did not appear to have sufficient force to cause death. Twelve victims collapsed virtually instantaneously on impact, whereas 13 remained conscious and physically active for a brief time before cardiac arrest. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was administered within about three minutes to 19 victims, but normal cardiac rhythm could be restored in only 2 (both incurred irreversible brain damage and died shortly thereafter)...
We speculate that most sudden deaths related to impact to the chest (not associated with traumatic injury) are due to ventricular dysrhythmia induced by an abrupt, blunt precordial blow, presumably delivered at an electrically vulnerable phase of ventricular excitability.

I am not making this up: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/333/6/337

So it appears Materazzi is not necessarily out of the woods yet. He might suddenly collapse to the ground clutching his chest, especially if they get around to indicting him formally on some charge related to unsuitable insults relating to people's mommies.

Martin Q

Dresden? Surely some mistake. Or have FCU been playing all over Saxony?

As for what did it for me, well over the last couple of months a lot of people round here have been getting very excited about a large number of football matches which were played in a short space of time, some of them even in the local stadium and the rest televised wherever you looked... It seemed to involve lots of international people, mostly in orange at one point, and it was hard not to get intoxicated by the excitement.

Whereas when FCU played... I only found out about it five days after the event. Sorry.

jonathan

Where did I get Dresden from? I meant Leipzig, of course! Clearly that large amount of televised football has done nothing for my shameful grasp of German geography. As penance for my oversight, I will now go and study the map on my When Saturday Comes wallchart for a while, until I have finally rid myself of the ridiculous and untenable notion that Leipzig is in Poland.

Martin Q

Ridiculous. Untenable. And yet so very very normal. Why does everyone think this? Perhaps they're thinking of Danzig (Gdansk). Keep up the penance, I'm sure it will do you good in the long run.

William Stephen

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