How to ensure controversy before what would otherwise be a boring match:
- Call the other team boring
- Call the other team's country "cheats"
Queensland Firebirds coach Vicki Wilson knows this and so before her team comes to Wellington to play the Pulse she said that some of the New Zealand teams in the ANZ Championship were not under the $300,000 salary cap.
Then she called the Pulse boring.
With all due respect Coach Wilson, the Pulse are a very young team in a franchise that was in serious trouble before the season even started and yet they have a similar points differential (-13) to your team (-15). In fact your team might just be Australia's version of the Pulse.
Could the bravado be hiding some sort of fear? Worried that losing to the Pulse would make the likelihood of the Firebirds going 0-14 all the more possible? Because trying to shake the Pulse out of their "boring" style of play might just do that.
Wilson, you cunning old cow.
It's the fun time again when the United Kingdom's rugby fans get together and pick fantasy teams of the best players. Is O'Driscoll worthy of the team this time? Should they bother inviting the Scots? Will it matter or will South Africa rip them to pieces?
Personally I love this exchange:
Stephen Jones: It looks a ferociously difficult trip . . . and there has never been a great Lions tour without a great captain. So who's the captain?
Jeremy Guscott: I don't think it will be ferociously difficult. I don't think we go there as underdogs.
SJ: Who's captain for the ferociously easy tour of South Africa, then?
20 years ago 96 people died attending a football match. A ceremony was held at Anfield yesterday and 30,000 people showed up. Ten thousand more than was expected, which I imagine, scared the hell out of the organisers.
At 3.06pm, the crowd stood for two minutes of silence. The only sounds in the ground were the strangely comforting gurgles and yelps of toddlers.
Meanwhile, across the country, Nottingham - home to Liverpool's opponents that day - and Sheffield, centre of the disaster, came to a stop to honour the dead.
I was only 10 at the time and I remember seeing the footage on the news. What I didn't recall was that the game had actually started, meaning the problem took a while to be noticed.
Then afterwards, the blame, fingers pointed at police and hooligans, the sickening display by The Sun. But like any disaster blame can't be pinned so easily.
I'm sure lessons have been learned since then, but perhaps not. The crowds only seem to act decently when remembering that people have died. Police and security attitudes seem to be the same.
I remember when I was in London a couple of years ago seeing an official police sign in a tube station saying: "Caution there is a football match this weekend at Emirates Stadium. Do not use this station as it will be filled with Arsenal supporters".