Category Archives: Sport

Short, pleasing, Lion disappointment.

Short week in work this week. I think 3 day working weeks should become the norm.

If ‘Being Yourself’ inherently involves trying to please others, and yet trying to please others is not seen as the way to ‘Be Yourself’, should you?

My British Lions team, from the squad chosen this week, would be:

Halfpenny
Bowe
O’Driscoll
Roberts
North
Sexton
Phillips
Healy
Hibbard
A Jones
AW Jones
Gray
Warburton
Tipuric
Faletau

So there.

Deep(ish) thought of the week: Expectation is the mother of Disappointment. Disappointment only occurs when you expect a certain outcome which doesn’t occur. Difficult to eradicate expectation though. And would you, if you could?

Enjoy the weekend, all.

Al

Random Happy Rugby Superhero Thoughts

This week I’ve been thinking and have come to the conclusion that you have to be happy with yourself before you change. You can’t change yourself (be it health, fitness, body image, etc) in order to be happy. That’s deferring happiness and, if that’s your mindset, you will never be truly happy. ‘I will be happy if…’ is a dangerous way to think.

I’ve also been wondering about superheroes. Who has the coolest ‘human’ alter ego (e.g. Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Tony Stark, etc)?

And that I think either Sam Warburton, Alun Wyn Jones or Brian O’Driscoll should be the Lions Captain when the squad is announced on Tuesday. Ryan Jones would be my choice, but I don’t think he’ll be guaranteed a starting XV place as he’ll be seen as too valuable on the bench.

Random thoughts for the week. Have a nice weekend, everyone.

Al

6 Nations 2013

Sadly, as I’m getting older, my head is reigning in my heart’s ever-optimistic assertion: ‘Of course Wales are going to win the 6 Nations!’

My head’s objectivity is usually met with, and beaten by, my heart’s uninhibited, passionate, unreasoned optimism.

Maybe I’m getting more sensible. I hope not. I’m fully expecting that by 10am tomorrow I will, no doubt, be in full nationalistic swing, believing, nay knowing, that Wales will not only win their first match, but also that this will catapult us to yet another Grand Slam. (A few years ago I woke up my wife at 3am by singing Hymns and Arias in bed. No, I wasn’t even drunk)

So my head’s prediction for this year’s tournament goes a little something like this:

1st: France

In typical French fashion, they will surprise us all. Mainly by being good all the way through. Losing one of their matches, either in Dublin or Twickenham.

2nd: England

Damn them and their new-found humility and likeable coach. They have confidence and a togetherness that will see them do well. But they do have to go to Cardiff.

3rd: Wales

If we win the first match, who knows what the surge will bring. Lose it and we’re scrapping for a crumb of respect from the rest of the matches.

4th: Ireland

I just don’t see it happening this year. Their pack is missing key players and their backline isn’t what it was a couple of years ago. But again, a lot hinges on the opener against Wales.

5th Scotland

Only because the other team left is Italy.

6th Italy

Quite.

So there we go.

Be nice to the other people. Don’t let national pride become jingoistic, stereotypical hatred of others. Banter if you will, but only if everyone’s ‘in’ on it.

Oh, and my heart’s prediction?

WALES TO WIN THE GRAND SLAM!

Just like every other year.

30 Things I’ve learnt – Part XIV

Ok, this will only count as one thing, even if it is a list:

Follow the rules of gym etiquette

Now, these are purely subjective and don’t have anything to do with actual workouts or fitness, but they annoy the hell out of me so I’d appreciate it if everyone stopped doing them.

Also, these are all real things that I’ve seen/experienced in the gym.

  • Don’t talk to me
  • Really. If I know you, then a nod of the head will do. Maybe a passing ‘Alright?’, but nothing more. I am sweaty mess in the gym, no-one needs to acknowledge that they’ve seen me in this state.

  • Don’t talk on your phone
  • Unless you’re waiting for a very important call, from say Barack Obama or Chuck Norris, then you don’t need your phone. Although Chuck would probably like to know that you’re working out when he rings. Then he’d roundhouse kick you in the face for answering the phone instead of concentrating on what you’re doing.

  • Don’t take one of everything
  • There’s no need for you to have one of each dumbell, a step, a bench from another piece of equipment, and a bosu ball. You can’t possibly use them all at once and you’re depriving almost everyone else of a whole set of anything.

  • Don’t turn up in a big group
  • I understand if you need some company to the big, scary gym, or want a training partner, but surely 2 of you is enough. 6 people turn up together? Then take turns on a machine? And shout at each other from the other side of the gym? Go to a pub and take turns on the pool table instead.
    Actually, don’t monopolise that either.

  • Don’t stand next to me at any of these:
    • Toilet
    • Treadmill
    • shower

    (Side note: this appears to be a list, within a list, within a list. It’s like the Inception of blog posts.)

    Seriously. Follow the urinal rule. Do not stand next to someone else if there’s a free spot which doesn’t require you doing so. I may get my aim wrong at the toilet, flail wildly on the treadmill, and punch you in the face if you get too close in the showers.

  • Don’t dance
  • Mainly because the music in the gym to which I go is shit.

  • Don’t drop the weights
  • If you can’t put them down properly, don’t pick them up in the first place. End of.

  • Don’t Lift your shirt/vest to admire your muscles in the mirror
  • Yes, I’ve seen this. Did you seriously think there was even one person who thought, ‘Wow, what a great body!’ Instead of ‘Wow, what an absolute fuckwit!’. They didn’t. Muppet.

Mainly, just try to be courteous. Or rather, have a think about what would piss Aled off. Then don’t do it.

Sport, drinking, eating & fire!

Well, I didn’t really keep my promise about blogging twice last week, did I? Sorry about that. Will rectify things with a double week soon!

Cracking weekend last weekend. I ended up going to a testimonial dinner for Dafydd Jones (he sat on our table!) which also saw Ryan Jones & Shane Williams make appearances. I got to meet them all and, despite trying to be cool, I had to have a photo with them!

 

Very nice guys, and very funny too.

Saturday involved us having a quiet-ish morning, then went to the local rugby club for a surprise gathering put together by the boys for my father in law’s 60th birthday. Few pints and a buffet, can’t go far wrong!

Sunday was lovely. It was helped by Liverpool beating Manchester Utd in the afternoon! We then went for a walk and collected some firewood for our new fire! We had a chimneysweep out to clean the chimney and we now have a proper fireplace! Looking forward to getting a big axe now to complete the look:

6 Nations, week 2

Well, my predictions for last week weren’t up to much, were they? Scotland and Italy both performed much better than expected. Wales less so. I would now discount Ireland from the running for champions (a week after saying they would win it?! Crazy!), mainly due to me still believing that Italy is be where the points scored should make a difference. Both England and France should be able to put a few past them and, as such, should have a much higher points difference than Ireland at the end. Having said that, the match on Sunday could be pivotal and it could really make things interesting if Ireland could take advantage of the home crowd’s support and pull a win out of the bag.

So, as for predictions, I’ll go for the easiest first. England will wallop Italy at Twickenham. Simple as. England are on the up, they are confident, Italy won’t be half as good away from home. England by 15.

I’m going to say that France will probably take advantage of an Ireland side that will be trying too hard to create chances that they failed to do last weekend. Could be tough to begin with, but as it opens up, France should be able to notch up the victory. France by 8.

This is where my lower lip may begin to tremble before my stupid optimism takes over. My head says that Wales are going into this match low on confidence and with James Hook playing in a pivotal role in which he hasn’t started this season. It could all fall apart. Scotland are getting harder to beat and are looking very promising. However, my heart is ignoring all logic and I’m going with a Welsh victory! Wales by 2.

Let’s see how off the mark I am this week, shall we?

Rugby-o-rama!

Friday again, eh? I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. It’s the start of the 6 Nations! Come on Wales! England tonight for us. I HAVE A TICKET! I am very excited. So my weekend will be largely concerned with rugby. For what it’s worth, here are my predictions for this weekend and the tournament as a whole.

Wales v England

Possibly slightly swayed by my heart on this one, I’m going for a narrow Welsh victory. England haven’t won in Cardiff since 2003, so it’s been a while. With the Welsh crowd behind them in the stadium (me included – yes, I’m still excited!), it might be enough to give Wales the extra shove they need.

Italy v Ireland

I can’t see this going any other way than Ireland’s. Italy, after seemingly developing into competitors, not contenders you understand, have slipped a little recently. Ireland should walk this fairly comfortably. I’m going to also say that points against Italy could prove crucial in deciding the outcome of the championship as it could be very close this year.

France v Scotland

France is always a difficult place to go to and come away with a win. Scotland are starting to look like a good team, but I can’t see them overcoming France in Paris. As always, we never know what French team are going to turn up – the mercurial, skilful team, or the chokers. But they should grind out a victory on home turf.

As for the overall table, this is my prediction for the final tally:

1st – Ireland (Good start and nice run of fixtures)

2nd – England (Lose today, but grow during the tournament)

3rd – Wales (Or more likely 4th, but I don’t want to put that down!)

4th – France (See above comment)

5th – Scotland (Still not sure it’s their year quite yet)

6th – Italy (Wooden spoooooooooooon)

 

Do any of you have any exciting plans for the weekend? Do you agree/disagree with the predictions?