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RYDER CUP BLOG

FROM OUR REPORTERS AT THE K CLUB, IRELAND

Be bold, Tom, be bold

  • Matt Slater - BBC Sport golf writer
  • 23 Sep 06, 11:53 AM

matt_slater55x55.jpgK CLUB – Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, JFK, Richard Nixon, Mike Tyson, Oprah Winfrey, we are beating them all! George Bush, can you hear me? George Bush, your boys are taking one hell of a beating! One hell of a beating!

I have just returned to the media centre after watching two hours of the worst golf played by Tiger Woods in these islands since the world number one got blown off course at the 2002 Open at Muirfield.

After 27 holes of fourball, the American superstar has carded only three birdies. There have also been at least three bogeys. And that is with matchplay “gimmes”. But he is far from being the only US banker to fail to show up for captain Tom Lehman this weekend. Phil Mickelson has delivered only one birdie in 28 holes with his own ball.

Tom, time to think the unthinkable, old chap. Bench your top two and unleash Vaughn Taylor.

Woods, at least, did have a Tiger-like 45 minutes on Friday that brought him those three birdies around the turn. Lefty, are you there? Fancy coming to the party any time soon?

One of the many nice things the organisers have given us journalists this week (Jo Malone hand wash in the toilets, Valhalla 2008 baseball caps and European Challenge Tour handbooks to name but a few) is an audio feed to the NBC Sports television coverage.

On air Johnny Miller, Dan Hicks, Bob Murphy and co are doing their best to sound positive despite the evidence of what is happening in front of them. Off air, between the advert breaks in the States, they are just ripping into their team.

They started talking about resting Tiger – who has played every game of every Ryder Cup since making his debut in at Valderrama in 1997 - and Phil this afternoon long before any British or Irish commentator dared to suggest it.

And they have just had Arnie Palmer in the studio and to say the great man is trying to find silver linings is an understatement. He also admitted that for all Tom “Together” Lehman’s media pronouncements, this ain’t no Team America.

Meanwhile, I see Lehman’s copper-bottomed pairing of Mickelson and Chris DiMarco – who were unbeaten at last year’s Presidents Cup - are having, as DiMarco might say it if he had to follow the BBC guidelines on offensive language, their behinds handed to them. The Spanish have just gone four up through 12. Lefty could be back in his hotel room with his K Club robe on inside an hour.

Lehman’s best players right now? Zach Johnson (by a mile), Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink.

So Tom, what’s it to be? The afternoon pairings are announced at 1245. Isn’t it time to try something else?

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 12:29 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Rebecca wrote:

From a european point of view - keep Tiger in!!

If the US want to get some pride back, they need to drop him from the foursomes along with Mickleson. I think it would be better for the two players in the long term to give them a rest and prepare for tomorrow and let a couple of the others in to try. I love Tiger, but he needs to be benched this afternoon.

  • 2.
  • At 12:29 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Rob Scarrow wrote:

If all the rookies were as hot as Mr Johnson, we'd be in bother!
Let's see how reliant on Tiger Mr Lehman is. If he drops big Phil, and keeps el Tigre, we'll know!
Phil's A game is never far away, he's always been 'inconsistent', so if you play Tiger on this form, you play him. For all those with Sky, has Nick Faldo lost his marbles? I've been laughing my head off all morning!

  • 3.
  • At 12:36 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • chris chohan wrote:

Hear hear! Its quite obvious that these two are not performing. In a team event you need your top players to perform, rally the rest of the team, that just is not happening.

I agree that their best players have been Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink, one mention has to go to JJ Henry as well who has played some great golf as well, in this case its the players who arent comended as much as their top ranked counterparts.

It will be interesting to see what the Americans do now that 'the chips are down' Maybe dropping Tiger and Mickleson for the afternoon will spur them on.

For me, Team Europe to virtually seal the trophy by the end of this afternoons foursomes though, way to dominant!

  • 4.
  • At 12:41 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Ike wrote:

I have said in the last 2 Ryders that resting Tiger would be the best medicine for the US team and indeed for Tiger. The whole team thing is foreign lingo to Tiger but if you challenge him to prove himself worthy of playing a TEAM match, he will find his A game. Notice in the last sentence how many "he&him"s I used, thats the language Tiger understands. Nothing wrong with that, just takes a genius of a captain to blend it into the team. Don't you wish America had Mike Brearley (legendary Middlesex captain)....Rest Tiger, Tom...oh, except its too late, by the the time Europe sweeps the morning session, we should be booking our flights back to NewYork.

  • 5.
  • At 12:49 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • mark wrote:


Mickelson actually played quite well yesterday. DiMarco was the one off form in yesterdays foursomes, even if he has been off colour this morning I would not drop him.

As for Woods if Lehman drops him what sort of a boost does this give the Europeans (a massive one)....Lehman must be a dissapointed man at present it seems he did a good job with his preperations but his top players are not finding form?

  • 6.
  • At 01:09 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Matt Slater wrote:

I've been driven back in again by the rain (I don't have Woosie's magic waterproofs, you see) but I return to discover Tom Lehman has ignored me. Fair enough, he's the boss.

I guess he agrees with you, Mark. Dropping Tiger and Phil would hand our boys a huge morale boost. And I suppose you're right about Lefty. DiMarco out-putted his partner yesterday (three birdies to one in the fourballs) but was miserable today.

And Chris, you're absolutely right. JJ was excellent yesterday (the American press boys couldn't understand why he was dropped in the afternoon) and after a very slow start today he has stepped up again in a big way. As I type he has just gone eagle-birdie to take a one-shot lead up the last.

That last game could be crucial. Johnson and Verplank - both short - won't fancy those last three holes in this weather against Harrington and Stenson - both long. A half there would be great news for Europe.

  • 7.
  • At 01:24 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Glenn wrote:

Mr. Slater--who cares but you and some other people that the Americans are getting a hell of a beating! Ask yourself a question--are we going to lose sleep tonight? No! I'm sure you and your BBC cowoworkers will write about how the European Ryder Cup crushed the American pride. I'm really happy for you and all the Europeans. It's just too bad that only the Ryder Cup can bring out the best in certain players.

  • 8.
  • At 01:44 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Steve Richards wrote:

For someone who doesn't care about the "hell of a beating" the Americans are getting, you seem pretty stressed!

  • 9.
  • At 01:45 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Matt Slater wrote:

Glenn, would you like some cheese with your whine?

Who cares "but me and some other people"? Would those "other people" include the US team and great many American fans here this weekend? I reckon some of them care quite a lot.

  • 10.
  • At 02:08 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Greg wrote:

Ryder Cup history clearly shows that US dominance over the Brits was so embarassing it was necessary to include all of Europe to balance the comptition. Every 2 years Garcia shows up and plays his best with a babysitter at his side (anyone will do). Will the UK offer him citizenship? Maybe it is time to add the Aussies, So. Africans & New Zealanders into the mix. We'll take Ogilvy, you can have Els....

  • 11.
  • At 02:14 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • lee wrote:

Has anyone noticed that Tiger Woods always seems to struggle in wet or windy conditions, because his game is based on power. When these condition arrives, it nullifies the distances he able to achieve. You can see the last couple of days he's not coping very well with the conditions

  • 12.
  • At 02:22 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Mark A wrote:

In the words of Corporal Jones to Captain Mainwaring, "They don't like it up 'em," do they?

  • 13.
  • At 02:25 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Glenn wrote:

Glenn, would you like some cheese with your whine?

Who cares "but me and some other people"? Would those "other people" include the US team and great many American fans here this weekend? I reckon some of them care quite a lot.
-------
Ouch 7.5 to 4.5 Europe:
No whine on this end but would enjoy some of that good cheese :-) Just being a realistic here. I'm sure you remember the last Ryder Cup won on US soil by Europe. Our media in the US focused on individual players performance and very little on our player's performance during foursomes/four-ball. Does that surprise you? Doesn't matter what sport we're talking about--but as long as US Team continues to struggle in these two events--they will never give you chaps in Europe a run for your money. Cheers :-)

  • 14.
  • At 02:32 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Andrew wrote:

The reality is though America has a vast number more people than United Kingdom, the reality is one state is the size of the ENTIRE UK so surely adding Europe in levels things a little bit even though the total population of Europe is still i suspect less than that of the US, without knowing exact numbers i would doubt it is significantly more anyway!

  • 15.
  • At 02:33 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Mathew wrote:

Greg, I think that everyone just felt that it might be better that a country of 300 million people might face more of a challenge if they played against opposition who drew from a population pool of greater than the 60 million in the UK. I suppose someone ( proably not an American) thought that might be fairer.

Perhaps you should have a World Championship of golf and only invite Americans to play like you do with baseball, basketball and football.

  • 16.
  • At 02:37 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Nick wrote:

Can anyone tell me why Scott Verplank got dropped?

Played one won one as a Captain's Pick yet he hasn't been given another chance. What has he done wrong?

Why is it Brits always have something to say on Fri/Sat? Wait until tomorrow night to make such noise... Europeans will be burried tomorrow!

  • 18.
  • At 02:40 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Al from Batley wrote:

Perhaps now the sycophantic ramblings of some commentators will stop. Even when he is miles away from a tournament, one could believe that Woods is playing there for he gets more mileage than the actual participants. He's a golfer, sometimes brilliant and sometimes poor - not a God. Please let Mr Alliss (for whom I have the greatest repsect) consider this.

  • 19.
  • At 03:04 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Tehmasp wrote:

Whose brilliant idea was it for both the teams to be almost identically for the Saturday 4 ball.... Blue shirt, black pants, and an almost identical shade of blue in caps!!

Any idea how difficult it was for the TV viewers to figure who was from which team, specially on distance shots?

Isn't here some sort of planning and discussion about this? Or don't both the Captains talk to each other about things like this?

Luckily the rain arrived....at least the team umbrellas were conspicously different!!

  • 20.
  • At 03:15 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Simon wrote:

Maybe it is time for the US to do the unthinkable and actually drop players like Tiger Woods for the pairs events and just use them for the singles matches. Or even just drop them altogether. They are just not team players and will never really understand the concept of going out and playing for pride and country instead of a big paycheck. Tiger likes to be in his "zone" and just get on with it and it is apparent that he is not comfortable with all this camaradery. He has already questioned the prestige of this event by coming out and saying that he does not understand why this event is so popular - a comment you would not hear from the majority of the US or any of the European Team...

OK, being a European, I am glad that Tiger keeps getting put into these matches as he gives up more points than wins whilst putting a huge strain on his teammate, who is forced to carry him and, hopefully, causing him to be physically and mentally drained for the singles - a part of the event where Tiger, unfortunately for his opponent, shows his true colours.

Maybe if they offered Tiger a premium per point earned he may show a little more enthusiasm for the event?

  • 21.
  • At 03:36 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Simon wrote:

Matt Turrigiano wrote:
Why is it Brits always have something to say on Fri/Sat? Wait until tomorrow night to make such noise... Europeans will be burried tomorrow!

Sorry Matt, but on the last few occasions, we also had plenty to say after Sunday. By the way, you need to remember that we are "Europeans" and not necessarily "Brits". A little more consistency than in your golf game would be appreciated,

Now off you go and consider what excuses to use this year whilst knocking back light beer or two. There's a good chap eh?

  • 22.
  • At 03:49 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • trevor wrote:

europe prove once again they are far superior in a team event the yanks are individuals they are not a team especially t woods

  • 23.
  • At 04:07 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Manny wrote:

The europeans are great in the Ryder cup because they see feel more comfortable palying as a team. Unfortunately this mindset does not work in the real tournaments that measure true golfers-"Majors" You stumble fall or rise fail or succeed on your own. There's no one to share the pressure with you. And that's where the Jack, Arnold and Tiger differ! Golf is not a team game.

  • 24.
  • At 04:16 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Paul T wrote:

I am English and of course rooting for the Europeans, but is anyone finding the commentary, especially John Inverdale, to be dis-respectful?

He is displaying exactly the arrogance that gives the English a bad name. Would he please shut up and do his job as a linkman, rather than trying to provoke the Americans, including the guest commentator!

There is still a long way to go, so lets not get too excited yet!

  • 25.
  • At 04:44 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Greg wrote:

Andrew and Matthew:
What spectacularly mundane observations. Could you honestly think that I was unaware of the obvious population size differences between the USA and UK? Please. But thank you for the reminder. While the US may be 5 times the size of the UK it is precisely why the US can support and excel globally in several of the major sports you mention, instead of simply english football (but I don't think you've performed well in that either, if recent memory serves me correctly). Inviting the UK to partipate in a baseball world series in UK v. US format would only have the UK begging for additional international relief (yet again)and a monumental waste of everyone's effort and attention.
If the Euros hang on to win this year's Ryder Cup, I will celebrate your victory along with you if only because the sport I love the most will attain the ultimate victory.

  • 26.
  • At 04:58 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Brian P wrote:

Just two things.
One - It seems to me that the American ethic is to promote indivuality - be better than the guy next door whatever it takes. This is a fine concept in many scenarios but it is certainly a hindrance in team events. This I think is America's weakness and Europe's strength. Secondly - can we please stop using the knickname 'Brits' I know it is in common usuage but I find it offensive, just as Matt Turrigianno would, I expect, if we referred to the American team as Yanks.

  • 27.
  • At 05:28 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Simon wrote:

So yet again, Greg seems to be trying to come up with any excuse he can find in an inane attempt to belittle any achievement by any other country than his own. It is the way it was, is, and always will be. If the US does not excel at a particular sport then it is because "it is a dumb sport so why bother participating?" and not because they are just not good enough...
Referring to lack of achievement in football is a typical way to try and distract attention away from the matter in hand.
Using baseball as an example of dominance is pointless as it is a sport that will never achieve the kind of popularity it has in the US. We (Europeans) could bring cricket, handball or any other number of sports seen as national pasttimes for individual European countries but we know that they are completely irrelevant...
I hope this goes down to the wire, I really do. And I can guarantee that if America does come out and win, we will see a competely different point of view to this competition.
Even Arnold Palmer commented on NBC how the US lacks the team spirit that is required to excel in this event, and how much that upsets him. That coming from one of America's greatest golfing individuals says it all

  • 28.
  • At 05:36 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

Greg,

What's happening with the so called US sports ?

World Baseball Classic.
World Championships Basketball (men and women)
Hockey World Championships

Well..they had all winners...and not one of them is the US...

Sorry mate !

  • 29.
  • At 05:43 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Dennis Wheeler wrote:

Lehman should have benched Mickelson and Woods today. They may be great players individually, but they clearly don't play well in the team format.

Once again, the US digs themselves a huge hole in the team events, needing a huge comeback tomorrow in the singles to win the cup.

As for those of my fellow Americans belittling the Ryder Cup as not being important, yes, I agree it's not as important as the four Majors, but it's caretainly the biggest event in golf after that. Face it, the US just sucks at team golf events.

  • 30.
  • At 05:50 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • sam pfizenmaier wrote:

Greg,
So you believe that baseball, American fooball, basketball and Ice Hockey are global sports, unlike Cricket (who currently holds the ashes?) and Rugby (do you know who are the current world champs.?).
I am half English/American and the ignorance you display is sistamatic of the wider malaise effecting the US mainly brought about by an attitude that would not be out of place in ancient Rome. The USA is not the center of the universe, try and get some perspective, your giving us a bad name.

  • 31.
  • At 06:20 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Steve M wrote:

For all the criticism of Woods - and he hasn't played well - as I write Woods & Furyk are dormie three against the Irishmen. Assuming they win it, that's three wins ONLY for the USA in the first two days and Woods played in two of them...

  • 32.
  • At 07:19 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Pete wrote:

And now your gonna believe us,

And now your gonna believe us,

And now your gonna believe us.....

We're GONNA WIN THE CUP!!

Come on Woosie's boys....get in there!

PS. In a near perfect spectacle, the only regret it that some of the game's greats are not present. To give the USA a chance maybe they could team up with the aussies and Europe could have the Kiwis on board. Similar personality traits would be the an added advantage, and I bet 'Europe' would still steam roller the Ryder Cup!

  • 33.
  • At 08:17 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Simon wrote:

One very important thing we need to consider when looking at the current format is how it came about.

It was the total domination by the US team over decades with the British team only managing one draw in that era. It was a non-event and becoming boring. Things had to change and so the more influential figures started campaigning for a more competitive game by including players from Europe, the most notable being the great US golfing icon - Jack Nicklaus.

  • 34.
  • At 08:26 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Matt Slater wrote:

Steve M, you're absoluting right, Tiger did get better and has won 2/4 points here this week. Not bad....for anybody else. This US team - short on experience, not very deep and on foreign soil - needed a massive display from their best player. Big, confidence-boosting wins and a minimum of four points, preferably five. He won't get there and is slightly fortunate to have as many as he has now. Furyk has been by far the better player and Monty/Padraig couldn't buy a putt, despite good approach work, on Friday.

With hindsight I can see that dropping him was never really an option. A mediocre Tiger is still better than most and benching him would have been a major fillip to the Europeans. But there was still a valid argument for doing so. He wasn't playing at all well, he looked like he needed some rest/swing therapy before the singles, there were guys who could use a game etc etc

All academic now. Let's see if he and his teammates can pull off a Brookline tomorrow. I can't see it but you never know....

  • 35.
  • At 09:53 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • mattias wrote:

Woods is even more thin-skinned than Sam Allardyce (don't worry, Beeb; Sam won't be reading, after all). He doesn't like this tournament at the best of times, and when dropped and sulking it would fracture the american team disastrously - the humilations of 2004 would be a triumph by comparison.

So, as a proud Euro, I say: good on Lehman for keeping him in!

  • 36.
  • At 11:07 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • MikeP wrote:

Its interesting how all the Americans who apparently dont care about the Ryder Cup then spend a good deal of their time coming on trying to belittle people that do.

And with regard to a point about the major winners and golfing greats messers Nicklaus et al, I think you'll find everyone of them upto Woods now absolutly relished the Ryder Cup. The one who had the idea about the Europeans joining with GB was Nicklaus himself.

But onto today, the Europeans have just been too good, while the American team overall has been pretty average. The problem is their relying on too few players who feel they have to force it, and only 1 thing happens in that situation.

In the past Americans have always been better in the singles, not this year - but given a average world ranking of 23, compared with an American 29, I would imagine the world Europe will come out with tomorrow is 6-6, and a comfortable win.

  • 37.
  • At 12:04 AM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Millie wrote:

All the previous comments are interesting but, with the true sporting spirit in mind, very disappointing. Why is it that this event can't be played with respect for the efforts being made on both sides. Both sides want to win. Both sides have played their hearts out. Only one team can win and whoever does win, it's simply because they played better golf on the day. This is not life and death and there's always another Ryder Cup to look forward to. It's always exciting and entertaining. Certainly the American team have showed real sportsmanship, however badly it's hurting them. I will be disappointed if Europe doesn't win but let's keep it all in perspective.

  • 38.
  • At 12:41 AM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Sean wrote:

I live in the States and would be most interested in knowing what Miller is saying about the U.S. team while we're watching yet another erectile dysfunction ad. Care to provide some of Miller's best blasts?

Also, did anyone see Tiger and Phil sneaking into a Ladbroke's earlier this week with a large wad of cash in hand? Just wondering, cos, you know.

  • 39.
  • At 01:05 AM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Jim Ricci wrote:

To Matt Slater of the BBC:Using the
name of George Washington in relation to the Ryder Cup is like George Bush comparing Al-Queda to
Nazi Germany.Ridiculous!Washington defeated the Brits when it meant something,not in a golf"friendly."I
think you might be taking golf a little too seriously!

Jim Ricci
U.S.A.

  • 40.
  • At 03:51 AM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Doc Elder wrote:

I just can't see the way this one is going as being healthy for the Ryder Cup. It has never been a major event for the average sports fan in the US and it isn't helped that the result is, barring a minor miracle, over before the final day. I can live with my side disappointing, I'm a West Ham supporter for goodness sakes, but waking up before 0600 on a Sunday to watch what is most likely a foregone conclusion between one side that is performing at a workman-like level against another side that is setting new standards of under-achievement...

Where's the drama, the tension and all the other elements that make sport compelling? There have been a few moments of brilliance spread over two days, sparsely, but the only thing extraordinary about it has been the score. So what do I do on Sunday, sleep in or go fishing?

  • 41.
  • At 05:58 AM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • charles wrote:

I dont doubt Tiger's or Phil's team spirit a bit, just that this foursome or fourball may not be their long suit. I would like to envisage Tiger or Phil had quietly and couragously told Big Tom that it wouldn't be the end of the world to drop them in the line up, and take chance with a rookie who is hot and running, and that Big Tom, while appreciating them for the offer, think hard and urged them to fight on.

  • 42.
  • At 06:56 AM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Tommy Moffitt wrote:

There is to much complaining in this post. The Ryder Cup stresses all of us out, in Europe and her in America. While I'd love the US to win, it is so exciting to see Sergio, Lee, Monty and the entire European team play well. The coverage at The K club makes me want to visit Ireland so everyone is doing their job; except Johnny Miller;-)

  • 43.
  • At 07:38 AM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Douglas Leslie wrote:

I would challenge the suggestion by Manny that the true measure of a player's worth is how he performs in Majors. While that may undoubtedly be a significant factor, it is not the only one. Paul Lawrie has won more Majors than Colin Montgomerie, but has made the grand total of one Ryder Cup appearance. Which of them is the better player?
Personally I find tournament golf pretty boring to watch. I find it difficult to get caught up in a sporting event when I could not care less who wins. Moreover, a tournament lasts for 72 holes, so it takes a heck of a long time before it gets "interesting"- assuming that Tiger Woods isn't ten strokes ahead of the field by the last nine holes. What does it matter if a player misses a twenty foot birdie putt on the first hole when he has another 71 to try for another? At the end of the day he will still get paid a shed load of money if he finishes in the top ten. It is possible to achieve a high ranking without actually winning a tournament, as an examination of the resumes of some of the current teams will show.
The Ryder Cup is different. It is one of the most gripping sporting spectacles around, and I say that as a non-golfer. It brings sport down to what it should be - a contest between opponents rather than a prolonged effort to shoot a low score which might, on a good day, be enough to bring in a large pay cheque. Match play golf needs a totally different mindset from the type that succeeds in the tournament grind. The players who do consistently well in the Ryder Cup are great players whether they win a Major or not. They get into the team by being fine tournament players. They win Ryder Cup matches by being great golfers.
I would not be too upset if I never watched another Major. I would hate not to see another Ryder Cup though.

  • 44.
  • At 11:03 AM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Mark A wrote:

"Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, JFK, Richard Nixon, Mike Tyson, Oprah Winfrey, we are beating them all! George Bush, can you hear me? George Bush, your boys are taking one hell of a beating! One hell of a beating!"

For the Americans who are getting their panties in a bunch about the opening to this particular blog, please be aware that this is a parody of the following commentary made by Bjorn Minge after his Norwegian compatriots beat England in a football World Cup qualifier.

"Lord Nelson! Lord Beaverbrook! Sir Winston Churchill! Sir Anthony Eden! Clement Attlee! Henry Cooper! Lady Diana! Maggie Thatcher - can you hear me, Maggie Thatcher! Your boys took one hell of a beating! Your boys took one hell of a beating!"

It's a well known piece of commentary hyperbole which amuses rather than offends. Of course, on a BBC website, paid for by our television licence fees, we shouldn't have to apologise to those foreign guests who just don't get it...

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