From Left Field

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By Timmy Hancox

how me the money! Forget about Roman Abramovich’s billions that pay for dearest Frank Lampard’s newest designer outfit, girlfriend sold separately. The world of sport seems to have become the playground for balding billionaires looking for a new hobby. Lucrative offers to the rebel Indian Cricket League are just the start. More and more players will start to follow the Gilchrist path and retire early to make some dosh in India. South Africans will follow suit if Arendse doesn’t stop taking the micky out of Arthur’s squad selection. The Indian public treat cricket stars like gods, so enjoy some spicy cuisine and all you need to do is suck up to the wealthy sponsors. If they invite you to the Taj Mahal to escape the Cricket South Africa circus, I’d say go for it. French rugby clubs have also attracted some wealthy owners who are filling their stocking with Springboks, All Blacks and Wallabies. That is the greatest retirement hobby I could possibly think of! Spend some cash so your favourite rugby team has the best players in the world. Victor Matfield has received mass fan support since moving to Toulon, where the stadium erupts every time he takes a line-out ball. There are also the crazy colours that make French flair what it is. Stade Français have started playing their rugby in pink jerseys. Traditionally the French club has looked to change the face of rugby, as they have also been known to wear pink bow-ties on the field. In South Africa, all the money gets thrown at the spectacularly under-achieving Bafana Bafana. I’m sure Carlos Parreira has bigger problems, like which card he should use to buy his suit for 2010. Perhaps we shouldn’t bother with football and should stick to things we’re good at, like firing national coaches, complaining about Eskom and naming things after Madiba. With all our sportsmen starting to go the money route, what will they talk about at parties? As Victor Matfield shows off his new cheque book, Naas Botha starts a sentence like “On the other hand when I played for the Dallas Cowboys…”, Ernie Els looks over at Matfield and says I have a bigger one at my wine farm, and somebody strangles Gary Player before he tries to tell us about how the more he practises the luckier he gets AGAIN! And will rugby players put down their pap and wors for some caviar canapes, while they escort their new French WAGs to an awards ceremony to exchange witticisms with David Beckham about the time they went to Budapest? Perhaps the Indian and French billionaires will do us all a favour when they next look for a hobby and send away Norman Arendse, Gerald Majola and Gary Player to an island somewhere so that they stop annoying everyone. Let’s be cavalier about it and make the island New Zealand this time, there might be some of Tolkien’s orcs there.. Cheers to that

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