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Review of the week

Chris Charles | 21:56 UK time, Thursday, 31 July 2008

As Batman fever gripped the nation, Liverpool's very own caped crusader posed for pictures on the steps of the city's John Moores University after being made an honorary fellow.

Steven Gerrard, bedecked in gown and mortar board, wore the thin, uncomfortable smile of a man who'd much rather have been sat at home in front of the PlayStation with a chip butty and a can of Foster's - particularly when his fellow-indoctrinee was the perma-grinned Richard Stilgoe.

Sorry, but I've never seen the point of bestowing these meaningless titles on our sporting folk, although Joey Barton Dip. Ed does have a certain ring to it.

Steven Gerrard and Alex Curran

It's fair to say most footballers are not academics - in many cases the only book they are familiar with belongs to the referee - so why bother? Much better to make them a freeman of the city - at least that way they can do something useful like drive their sheep through the town square at midnight.

Still, at least it gave the Mirror the chance to use their marvellous 'Well-Red' pun and Alex Curran another opportunity to get her mush in the papers. What was she doing there anyway? Hadn't she got some shopping to do?

Gerrard's Scouse chum Wayne Rooney was also in the news after earning a rare apology from Sir Alex Ferguson for playing the striker out of position last season. Rooney promptly scored in a 4-0 thrashing of the Kaizer Chiefs but still looked to be carrying an extra stone or two. I predict a diet.

Fergie has been like Hilda Ogden on acid these past few days, spouting off about anything and everything - from Sepp Blatter to the maturity of the Chelsea squad.

His assertion that he couldn't see "outstanding progress coming from a team in their 30s" prompted an astonishing response from Help The Aged, which The Sun chose to run as a back-page exclusive on what was admittedly a VERY slow news day. Charity spokeswoman Kate Jopling said: "In 2008, age is no longer an acceptable yardstick to measure a person's worth or potential. There's a lot to be said for experience."

Hang on a minute, is it just me or should Help The Aged really be devoting their time to the rights of healthy millionaire playboys when the latest gas price rises have already got my grandad fretting about his winter heating bills?

Talking of playboys, the Ronaldo transfer debacle continued to jockey for position with The Mousetrap as the world's longest-running saga.

Cristiano Ronaldo

With no discernible news to report, we were treated to daily pictures of the Portuguese crock turning more and more orange as he decided against swapping LA for Paris. Footie blog The Offside had the last laugh, by hilariously mocking him up as an Oompa Loompa, reasoning: "The similarities are shocking, no? Because when it comes down to it, what do we really know about Cristiano Ronaldo's parentage?

Elsewhere, we learned Man Utd target Dimitar Berbatov likes nothing better than sitting at home "feeding squirrels from my balcony" (the bloke's obviously nuts), while former party animal Mark Bosnich saved a penalty and kept a clean-sheet on his comeback for Central Coast in Australia - it must have been strange to step between those white lines again.

And finally, the story of the week comes from Cape Town, where players have found a novel way of keeping their socks up during a game, by wearing condoms on their feet.

Sivuyile Nqawe of the Lingelethu Football Association in Khayelitsha said: "You will find that in most instances players bring a box of condoms to a match and share them among team-mates." Something certain Premier League players have been doing for years.


Darren Huckerby repeatedly branded a 'legend' in a US TV interview
Justin Timberlake sniffs David Beckham's foot
Spartak Moscow defender Radoslav Kovac booked for fouling a streaker


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