‘Decision was easy because they’re paying me a boatload of cash’, declares Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has finally completed his triumphant, lucrative return to Chelsea.

The Special One, which is apparently an acceptable nickname for an adult but not a child, claimed that the main reasons for his return to Stamford Bridge were his love for the club and the massive cheque, quarry full of golden dubloons and limitless supply of caviar he has been presented with upon arrival.

Jose indicates how many thousands of pounds he has earned while you read this caption.

Jose indicates how many thousands of pounds he has earned while you read this caption.

Speaking to the press in a golden suit, surrounded by exotic animals and juggling Faberge eggs, the Portuguese tactician waxed lyrical about his love for the soulless west London outfit.

“There are many things I love about Chelsea. I refuse to elaborate any more on what those things are because I have not had time to make up an acceptable lie yet. Suffice to say I am home, and here to help. And wealthy. Fabulously wealthy.

“There must be some positives about the actual club though. Who’s captain these days? At least that adulterous potential racist and all round buffoon Terry is gone.

“Wait, he’s still here? Oh shit, I want more cash. Well, at least none of my players have ever shot a trainee with an airgun on club property. Wait, what?”

Chelsea fans have reacted with delight at finding out that their new manager is not Rafa Benitez, and have completely forgotten all of the shit that went on last time Mourinho was here as it happened more than 8 minutes ago.

“I remember the last time Mourinho was here”, lied fan Jeff Staines, “It was a magical time of happiness, delight and world peace. And arguments. And childishness. And only moderate success, which given the outlay on players was really the bare minimum expected. And Adrian Mutu.”

Mourinho then left Stamford Bridge this afternoon to relax on his new luxury island, which he purchased with his first hour’s pay.

Meanwhile, industry professionals and rational human beings have agreed that if a mad Russian offered them £10million a year to do a job, they’d probably score their job satisfaction quite highly as well.

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Yeah! Superbowl! Woo! Footbaaaalll!

These four words will make you look like a true NFL aficionado in any bar across the land tonight. They may also get you punched, but use this to your advantage by screaming ‘TOUCHDOWN!’ as you spit out your own teeth. You’ll be a god.

If any of the above sounded completely incomprehensible, don’t worry. You’re well on your way to becoming an expert. Tonight, thousands of otherwise self-respecting Brits will stay up all night watching fat Americans in spandex run headlong into each other again, and again, and again, until somebody is arbitrarily declared the winner about four hours later. If any sport sums up the modern USA perfectly it’s American Football:

1) It’s completely insane.

2) Nobody ever knows what is happening.

3) There’s a commercial break every 9 seconds.

4) The white guy stands back and takes all the credit while the black guys do all the hard          work. (risky joke alert)

If you’ve never had the pleasure of watching the Superbowl before, it’s one of the most incredible sporting spectacles on the planet. The sport itself is a side issue, obviously, but the whole event is a rich homage to the American dream: loud, garish and lacking in any real substance.

Most importantly for people on this side of the pond, the Superbowl offer a rare chance to stay up drinking until four in the morning on a Sunday and not be judged or offered ‘help’. This collective piss-up is the single main attraction of tonight, but in order to experience it to the full I’ve put together some tips so you can enjoy the game in true American style whilst remaining a drunken credit to Britain.

The Rantraverelax Superbowl Survival Guide

1) Get drunk early. Stay drunk late. This is crucial. The drunker you are, the more the game will seem to make sense and the louder you will inevitably become. It is actually illegal in the US to watch a game of football without being ‘absolutely steaming’. Allegedly the game was created whilst heavily under the influence, explaining why it makes no real sense but is very shiny.

2) Pick a side. For your information, tonight’s choice is the ‘Steelers’ or the ‘Packers’. What this means is irrelevant, just pick one and stick with it. Loudly. Until they begin to lose, then hastily change and shout louder for the other team.

3) Dress sensibly. Body paint is a must for any fan. Lot’s of body paint. If this fails, a priest’s cassock is an option for the more avant-garde spectator. If you’d like to be seen as some kind of football guru, wear a giant foam hand. This will impede drinking, but will earn you the respect of every other charlatan in the place who’s only there to drink and shout.

4) Snack often. American football offers a two-pronged assault on the stomach. One, it’s immensely dull. Two, every second advert is for something fried in butter dipped in chocolate; equating to exposure to fast food every twelve seconds. Nobody can realistically survive this combination without access to a simply grotesque store of fatty goods. Keep a deep fat fryer to hand, at all times, and be damned sure to use it.

5) Avoid the game at all costs. It’ll crush your soul. Aside from the halting pointlessness of the whole thing, each team comprises at least three hundred players, so you’ll never see the same person twice. Case studies have shown that any person who has ever watched a full game of football has gone, in medical terms, ‘fucking bat-shit crazy’ within four hours. Don’t make yourself that person.

6) You’re all in the same boat. So you don’t know the rules. Who cares? Recent research suggests that for every million viewers of American football, less than none have any real idea what’s going on. With this in mind, get creative. Bring out your best bullshit. Scream the words ‘FIRST DOWN’, ‘OO-RAH’, ‘GREAT D’ and ‘SACKED!’ every now and then to add a sprinkling of authenticity to your wild, rambling opinions.

Fin.

Finally!

First off, this video is pretty old, but the company have just announced that this beast is going on sale sometime this year. At which point I imagine humanity will give up on scientific progression altogether and just say, ‘Fuck it, flying cars. It’s all been worth it.’ As I’m sure we can all agree.

Unfortunately, you just feel like it might be a bit of a false dawn. First of all, at £160,000 the only people who’ll be buying one will be the only people you ever see in Lamborghinis or blacked out Range Rovers: fat, balding, middle-aged tossers and/or footballers.

Imagine the chaos! Whenever Wayne Rooney took to the skies there’d have to be a team of people directly below with a large net in case he forgot where he was and got out to get chips. Steven Gerrard would deliberately fly his car-plane into another one as hard as he could then claim he was playing the ball.

And given that whenever you see Lamborghinis parked it’s inevitably on double yellow lines or actually inside Waitrose, there’s very little chance that any of these machines would ever land at a proper airport. More likely you’d see them swooping down from the skies to cut people up at roundabouts, or attempting intricate landings directly through the windows of high end brothels. (There’s a crude joke about brothels and landing strips in there somewhere but I’ll leave it up to you to make it. Suggestions on a postcard.)

This would happen within minutes

Second, those wings look a bit flimsy don’t they? I’m not sure about you but if I was entrusting my life to two strips of metal I’d make damned sure they didn’t have a bloody great hinge in the middle of them with the specific intention of folding up. Perhaps the most telling safety feature on the Transition is the presence of a full-vehicle parachute, which whilst reassuring is hardly reassuring. “Yes, it’s definitely coming out of the sky at some point, but not as hard as you might think.”

Finally, it’s not a flying car, it’s a plane with folding wings and a steering wheel. It’s a car in the same way a chicken is a bird or a tomato is a fruit; on a technicality. If you drove it to Sainsbury’s people would think you’d gone wrong.

Of course, having said all that I’ve already started saving for one. As many people have inanely said, it’s every young boy’s dream to own a flying car. I never actually had that dream. I did once dream I played for England, which is every young boy’s dream, but then I also dreamt I got chased around a giant chessboard by the grim reaper. Repeatedly. Go figure.

What I’m trying to say is that while this is the best thing that’s ever happened ever, it isn’t the plasma-powered flying Chevy I imagined as a kid, and if I saw David Beckham in one I’d shit myself and run for cover.

Continue the research.

 

We’re so gosh darned angry we’re giving you the night off

Was presumably what the executive at Sky Sports told Andy Gray and Richard Keys after that conversation. Then they probably all burst out laughing and went to a strip club. Or the 1920s.

In case you haven’t followed this one, Sky Sports top presenter and most clichéd pundit are in trouble over voicing their views about the presence of a female assistant referee in the Wolves v Liverpool game in mid-January. Which was along the lines of:

Richard Keys: Well, somebody better get down there and explain offside to her.

Andy Gray: Yeah, I know. Can you believe that? Female linesman. Forget what I said – they probably don’t know the offside rule.

RK: Course they don’t.

AG: Why is there a female linesman? Somebody’s fucked up big.

RK: I can guarantee you there’ll be a big one today. Kenny [Dalglish, Liverpool’s manager] will go potty. This is not the first time. Didn’t we have one before?

AG: Yeah.

RK: Wendy Toms.

AG: Wendy Toms, something like that. She was fucking hopeless as well.

RK: [exasperated groan]

AG: [inaudible]

RK: No, no, it’s got to be done, it’s good. The game’s gone mad. See charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Yeah. Do me a favour, love.

(Transcript sourced from the Guardian)

A few things spring to mind here. First, it’s important to stress that these were off air remarks, which is presumably the only possible reason these clowns weren’t fired on the spot. Gray was subsequently dismissed for other lewd activities involving his groin and a female presenter, while Keys resigned citing “dark forces” as being at work. Proof if ever that Voldemort is alive and well and working at Sky.

There’s an argument being made in some quarters that what was said wasn’t meant for broadcast and the presenters are entitled to their own personal views, and that’s perfectly reasonable. What is unreasonable is effectively supporting these outdated views by continuing to employ those who hold them. Ron Atkinson expressed his personal views off air once. He, unsurprisingly, got fired.

Second, it’s hardly surprising to hear these kinds of views aired in a football context. I’ve been around football long enough to know that bigotry of any kind is fair game amongst certain groups of fans. Racism has dogged football, as it has most sports, at all levels since day one, with some notable and all too recent examples.

Sexism is well entrenched as well, hence the Neanderthal swell of outrage that crops up any time a woman has the audacity to want to get involved in the “men’s” game. Whether it be officiating, playing, coaching, managing, or whatever, there’s always a massive swell of interest, usually followed by crass and petty displays of machismo from the terraces, and more worryingly from the governing bodies. Sport is one of the last great bastions of gender division and it’s almost as funny as it is sad watching the likes of Gray and Keys try to come to terms with the introduction of women into their beloved boys’ club.

Put simply, the rules in sport are slowly moving, and rightly so, to mirror wider social guidelines, where people are judged on their ability, not the colour of their skin or whether or not they have a vagina. There are some gifted female footballers out there who could make it at the top levels of the men’s game. Marta, Kelly Smith, Birgit Prinz, Hannah Ljungberg, all of whom could shine at the very top level, are denied the opportunity simply because of their gender. Female officials are only just coming through, and full credit to those who do because it must be a pretty hostile environment.

People often complain that the military is institutionally sexist. Possibly because it is. But the same accusation doesn’t seem to get levelled at competitive sport. It’s hardly surprising that relics like Keys and Gray still abound when they work within a framework which is governed by sexist principles. If FIFA finds the prospect of ovaries and testicles on the same pitch then there’s little hope for the eradication of this blight in the rest of the game. At the moment it’s not even OK to be gay and kick a football so it seems that football is falling just short of catching up with the 1950s.

FIFA Convention 2011

Any surprise, then, that Messrs. Gray and Keys come out with such tripe? No. Any surprise that their employer (as of writing) have given them a slap on the wrist and two tickets to Spearmint Rhino? No. It’s no shock that you find terrible bigotry in an arena which excels at being terribly bigoted.

One final note. Re-read the transcript above and replace the word ‘female’ with the word ‘black’, and the sexist references with racist ones. Now consider whether, if that had been what was said, these idiots would still be employable. I think not.

What’s the difference?