The View from the Spire: 7 dull, dull, sad, dismal days in Sport

Part I.

Was the thought of watching 23 young jumped up over paid Max Power befriending neds and one slightly older wiser 7 times world champion really going to be that interesting if they were not allowed to stop to refuel and drive off without paying?

Despite the visual and commercial success of both the 2008 and 2009 Formula 1 seasons and through testing economic conditions; it appears that exciting climaxes, popular and fair victors at the end of each campaign, a cracking host in Jake Humphrey and a return for Ross Brawn as Team Principle are not enough for some and so the fun police at the management office have once again had to interfere.

Formula One Administration have flexed their might and the love child of one Joe Pesci and Andy Warhol, F1 Supremo Bernard Ecclestone, and his spank loving friend, one Maximus Mosley, have changed the rules of what was the most exciting year for the sport yet by stopping the mid-race refuelling and forcing all cars to carry all of the fuel that they would need for the entire race from the get go.

Needless to say the extra weight, the lack of jostling for quick refuelling stops and any exciting pit lane incidents involving petrol hoses singeing the nasal hair from the mechanics as they get run over by a rather quickly spinning Bridgestone P195/55R16 85H seem limited, at best. So its all apparently about the driver skill…..or just following the geezer in front from the very start until someone chooses to drop the flag somewhere near, or rather at, the very end.

How. Very. Dull.

Despite the flat monotonous spectacle of the race track in Bahrain (and no amount of Bachmann Turner Overdrive will make this highlights video appear interesting), this week it is the return of the Albert Park in Melbourne to prove that the changes are justified and can lead to a more exciting race and ultimately to see if my interest can be maintained longer than race 2. If the mutterings in the paddock are anything to go by, the drivers themselves believe that it is not going to be a success. 

It isn’t “to be, or not to be” that is the question. It is if proven to be dull will the FIA ever admit to being wrong? For those itching to find out, like I will, it will be an early night on Saturday to ensure full live televisual access to the race on BBC this Sunday – the race starts at 0700 hours .

If it was a dull F1, it was definitely a dull and dismal end to what has been largely an exciting RBS 6 Nations campaign with Jean Pierre Claude Phillipe and his merry band of garlic and frog leg loving colleagues who snored their way to victory over Edwards Army with a less than emphatic, but mildly deserved, victory, none the less. 

Super Saturday’s greatest event, if you could call it that, was the mighty Scots performance proving that after 4 games demonstrating vast improvement, the hard work and training under Andy Robinson has paid off with an unexpected victory over the Oirish to end above Italy and avoid the wooden spoon. 

A sad week for sport with “the voice of boxing”, Harry Carpenter not the Whitney Houston Bobby Brown 1-2 sadly, passing away at the age of 84 with a memorable career lasting after nearly half a century for the BBC at the ringside.

Bad week for Kauto Star in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Fench bred 8-11 favourite falling four fences from the finish allowing Imperial Commander to step in to take the honours. Kauto Star won the race in both 2007 and 2009.

Good week for Kauto Star in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the French bred 8-11 favourite falling four fences from the finish allowing Imperial Commander to step in to take the honours is lucky to not be glue and a sandwich on French bread this week and was lucky to escape serious injury.

And hot off the press, and no doubt the first of several footballing casualties in this half of 2010, Hoops former favourite Tony Mowbray & Celtic have parted company. Mowbray has failed to secure his feet under the training room table at Celtic Park and has not delivered the results worthy of the position he held. That said, typical impatient football clubs do not give anyone enough time to bed in properly, to bring in and develop the full squad as they would wish. How often do we have to remind ourselves that Alex Ferguson, the world’s most successful manager, nearly lost his job after having to go to a reply in the FA Cup 3rd round at Crystal Palace? Stability and success can only be delivered with enough time for a manager to really get under the skin of a team. Rarely are individuals in football given the time and the support to do so. One reason for Celtic fans to be unhappy at his departure.

This time next week and we will be gearing up for the first major of the year in Augusta at the Masters and the return of one Eldrick Tiger Woods, 4-1 odds on favourite. While at those odds it is not something I would bet on, it is equally not something I would bet against.

So here’s to a weekend full of great sporting success, achievement, interest and gossip. I’ll see you on the other side with more on the View from the Spire.

The View from the Spire is the weekly blog from David Jenkins, Director of Fettes Management. View David’s CV of sporting experience here.


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