It's been a week of massive irritation for me as a sports fan.
First of all there were them golfers, Yanks mostly, who bleated on about how nasty it is to have to play golf when it's windy and raining. Ah, bless! But just where do you think golf was invented? California perhaps where every day is the same day and the grass never changes and the bunkers are filled in with sand imported from the Outer Hebrides and you can't actually move huge over-stuffed Craig Stadler looky-likeys crowding on to golf buggies to save their withering pins from too much wear and tear. I swear to God, we're only two generations from North American kids being born with castors on their feet. No, it was invented in Scotland, that haven of climatic peace and serenity. Shut up or go home!
And then there was that 17th green that was dead nasty cos it looked like a skateboard park. Oh, get over yourselves and get on with it - like Harrington and Norman and even Powder Pink Poulter did throughout the week.
I though it was a brilliant Championships - a true test of a golfer's spirit and will to win. When Rich Beem (who sounds like a crappy brand of instant coffee) and Sandy ('Wahhhhh! I keep getting rain on me glasses!') cried off cos they were just too bloody feeble to cope I was outraged. If you don't want to do 18 holes of the Open then I'll have a go. I wouldn't care if I made as big a score as a South African middle-order batsman, I'd still stick it out. Next year, Lyle and Beem can give their places to someone who gives a chip.
While Harrington was magnificent, striding across the greens like a really quite perky duck, Greg Norman was the story of the week. It was love that made him play so well, you know. Me, I've asked Maria Sharapova if she wants to pop down the Blue Bell for a couple of pints in the hope that she'll play a round with me. You'd have no trouble dispersing a crowd if she shouted 'fore'.
Norman didn't look any different, did he? He's never 53. He's been sleeping in a cryogenically frozen state for 15 years, surely. He's ridiculously Australian, like a Crocodile Dundee of the fairways. You can imagine him shooting 63, climbing into the back of a "ute" so's he can shear off the fleece of an errant ewe and ripping open a stubby on the teeth of his pet crocodile. There's another thing hasn't much changed either. Cough! Splutter! Choke!
Poulter was the other story. It's hard to make out a case for Poulter as anything other than a bit of a pillock but he almost turned that around yesterday. Underneath the visor and sunglasses and the pretty pastel shades of his fashion line is a decent player fighting to get out. His claim that soon that it'll be him vs Tiger is always going to haunt him though. Frankly, it's preposterous - Woods wouldn't have bottled the eagle putt on the 17th.
Second source of nothing short of rage is the selection of this nobody, Pattinson, for England. Three good reasons for not picking him: one, he's not played much cricket here; two, he's 29 so hardly one for the future; three, he's Australian and never gave a single thought to playing for us, ever in his life. Oh and four, he's plainly not much cop and not playing in this Test match are Hoggard, Harmison, Tremlett (a scandal he wasn't picked), Jones, Onions, Shrek... hellfire even Mahmood! I mean FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!!
Furthermore Ambrose batting at 6 is a TOTAL JOKE! He shouldn't be in the side let alone promoted up the order. Five bowlers so we can protect Freddie and he bowls 40 bleeding overs anyway. Five batters including a skipper who plays around straight ones? Geoff Miller needs his head seeing to. Not a man on this planet who would have selected that XI.
Third little scab that keeps getting picked at is this: Daniel Levy pays peanuts for this Palace youngster and then rails at United and Liverpool for being hypocrites. Yes, Ferguson may be operating on a double standard re: Berbatov and Ronaldo (though he denies making the comments which angered Spurs), but frankly you have to wonder what the hell constitutes tapping up these days! If you want to sign a player the first person clubs talk to these days is his agent, not his chairman. Is that tapping up? If you go through the club and the club says 'keep your filthy paws of our Dimi!' should that be the end of the matter? It never is, is it? Football is full of unbelievable hypocrisy. I wonder why SAF slags off Madrid when his pin-up prima donna is the one telling all who'll listen that he's off.
Yes, it's bloody infuriating for Levy but signing footballers these days is simply a matter of dangling fat wads of dough under people's noses until the greedy little gits bite. Loyalty is a thing of the past and if Levy thinks he can stop a player like Berbatov from going up north on the back of a Carling Cup win then he's ga-ga. I hate to break this to you, Dan, but them threepenny bits that were put under your pillow when you were seven years old? Your Mum did it.
Meanwhile, I can't wait for the Ryder Cup! All we need is a light breeze and the Americans will just hand it over while they put on their anoraks and hide in the clubhouse.