After a season of highs and lows from across the sports, Impact looks at the ‘alternative’ awards for 2009/10.

The ‘It wouldn’t happen in Rugby’ Award
Didier Drogba

You know the type: they always moan about how overpaid footballers are and compare their prima donna attitudes to that of their ‘gentlemen’ rugby players. You try to defend the beautiful game, and then someone acts in a way so pitiful that you wonder why you bothered. Take a bow, Didier Drogba.

One-Nil up in the final game of the season, with a penalty to make the title almost certain, and Mr. Drogba felt his pursuit of the Golden Boot award, given to the season’s top goal-scorer, more important than his team’s march to the Premiership. His tantrum at Frank Lampard for not being allowed to take the penalty soured the end of the Premier League season and merely gave credence to your smug rugby-loving housemate who lives by the phrase, “Football is a gentleman’s game played by hooligans, and rugby is a hooligans game played by gentlemen”. Cheers Didier.

The ‘Only in England’ Award
The Mail on Sunday

The 2018 World Cup is not the Olympic Games. It doesn’t require millions to be spent on new stadia or infrastructure, would certainly return a huge profit and most importantly, bring football back to its birthplace and joy to millions up and down the country. Support should be unanimous; however the British press, namely The Mail on Sunday, have done more for the Russian bid than Roman’s millions. The sting involved the entrapment of Lord Triesman, who was caught mumbling some claptrap about Russian-Spanish conspiracies to fix the destination of the World Cup. Triesman was guilty of ‘Sven Syndrome’ (see Ulrika for more details) more than anything, and his tales of cloaks and daggers in the footballing underworld were little more than a poor chat-up line. Was it really in the national interest to print the mumblings of a horny old fool? Almost certainly not. Has it scuppered England’s chances of hosting the World Cup? Possibly. All thanks to our own press. Only in England.

The ‘Why didn’t we do it earlier’ Award

Michel Platini

The UEFA President may not be to everyone’s liking but he has stumbled upon an idea so simple, you wonder why no one thought of it sooner. Having the Champion’s League Final on a Saturday reeks of the common sense that bureaucrats such as Platini are not famed for. It benefits fans and players whilst hindering the prawn sandwich brigade. Fans can travel to the game without taking days off work, and benefit from the extra hotel vacancies on weekends. Players get a whole week to train and managers therefore don’t have to think of resting players for Cup Finals or League deciders as has been seen previously when they often occurred three days before Europe’s showpiece match. Furthermore, less seats are taken up by freeloading corporates who often don’t fancy football if it occurs outside the working week. Finally, it opens up the best of European football to more of the world’s audience such as the United States, another benefit of weekend viewing. It all makes you wonder what took them so long. Mr. Blatter, take note.

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