Friday, November 7, 2008

Red Rum was a Robot! - donwendyagain

Do you remember when sporting nostalgia was good? You would sit around in the pub with your mates having a few swift ones and inevitably the conversation would turn to sport. Who was the best boxer? Who was the best striker? Who was the best hooker? Hey, it’s a bunch of pissed lads, there was no way sex was staying out of the conversation!

Everyone would chuck in their tuppence worth and if the creative juices were flowing the finer points of an argument could last for days, weeks and even longer than some marriages as the ridiculous was mixed freely with the ever more ludicrous in support of spurious claim after nonsensical assertion. Maradona didn’t actually handle the ball and it was just a trick of the light that made it appear as if he had, Kevin Moran played the ball and Peter Reid dived to get him sent off in the 1985 Cup Final or my personal favourite Red Rum was really a robot because you never saw him relieve himself on the course and they had a real horse for public appearances and stable visits.

But those days are mostly gone as any time such an argument begins it is over before it has a chance to flourish as we have all seen the historical events in question hundreds of times on You Tube. We are also losing any chance of future talking points as some smart arse with some fancy computer technology, usually Sky’s resident know it all Andy Gray, has already proven that the ball was over the line before geeky Nigel has got the post match round in. They have even turned the technology on our beloved controversies of yesteryear and now we know conclusively that the 3rd goal was not over the line.

Sure we still talk over the odds and ends but it has lost its soul simply because we all know what really happened. Whoever said knowledge was power was talking out of their fundament as knowledge steals away the doubt that is essential for any debate. Oh for a return to the days when you could argue about just how good Bank’s save from Pele was without being able to dial it up instantly on You Tube or even just how real or unreal Red Rum was.

20 comments:

bluedaddy said...

So are you saying nostalgia ain't what it used to be DWA?
But the flip side is that you can watch Jim Montgomery's save in 73 as often as you like. And I reckon that's a good thing.

BTW I reckon Devon Loch was the robot.

Ebren said...

Agreed! The internet and Andy Gray should be banned.

Jelley said...

I don't know, there's nothing better than being able to show people who can't remember just how bad that chocolate brown kit was...

donwendyagain said...

bluedaddy, I totally agree but unfortunately the 400 word limit scuppered any chance to discuss counter points. I could have done with an extra 200 words to flesh out the piece.

ebren, Andy gray yes, the internet, no.

donwendyagain said...

jelley, I agree. My point is not that you tube is bad but just that it is bad for sporting agument as the element of doubt is greatly reduced.

mac millings said...

very nice work, donwendyagain. You managed to combine a feel for nostalgia with a nice starting point for an argument - just what they wanted over at GU, if you ask me.

Except....that hooker joke. And right at the start, too. There's no coming back from that ;)

People will always find ways to be nostalgic, and even the Internets, with their complex series of tubes, can't stop that. And, if necessary, we'll just fill in the nostalgia gaps with some good old speculation - like why Gerrard and Lampard can't play together; or why they can.

bluedaddy - my granddad acted as unofficial local bookie for the Grand National that year, and, it being a more patriotic time, everyone on the street bet on the Queen Mother's nag, Devon Loch. My own Mum claims to this day that it was the sheer force with which her Dad was screaming "Drop dead!" at the TV screen that made the horse fall over.

Mouth of the Mersey said...

Don - we haven't always seen eye to eye over at GU, but I really liked this piece and I'm grateful to you for posting it to Ebren (and our publisher doing his thing).

And, as anyone who has seen the brilliant television that is the 1973 Grand National knows and Crisp found out, Red Rum was not a robot, but he was superhuman.

Don't believe me? Watch this and listen to one of the great commentaries of all time - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=v8W2spvCcWs. Crisp's heroism knows no bounds.

Mouth of the Mersey said...

I don't like horse racing, but I've just watched the race again for the tenth time at least. I was 9 years old when I saw it live and too proud to shed a tear for big, black, beautiful Crisp - but I'm not now.

bluedaddy said...

Mmmmm crisps.

mac, I reckon Devon Loch was a fit up masterminded by the Queen Mum herself. She always looked shifty to me.

donwendyagain said...

Whats wrong with the hooker joke!!!!! Just kidding, to be brutally honest I wrote the piece in 10 minutes after work on Monday evening, after a once over with the spell checker I sent it in. I hope to have a bit more time for this week's piece.

MOTM, I have always respected your opinion and I thought we got on ok even if we do inevitably cross swords from time to time. Thank you for your kind comments here.

MotM said...

"MOTM, I have always respected your opinion and I thought we got on ok..."

Don - I have always respected your opinion and I thought we got on ok too.

We agree on something!!!

If you can do this in ten mins, it would be great to see what a bit more time produces, so I hope you'll post here in the future. I've just spent a hour and a half writing a SPOTY entry, but most of that was finding and embedding links. Sometimes the writing just flows.

offsideintahiti said...

donwendy,

personally, I think you're insufferable on GU, but then again, that's true of most Man Utd supporters so it's probably not entirely your fault.

Having said that, I'm glad to see you here and I enjoyed reading this. I hope you'll stick around beyond Big Blogger and contribute more pieces.



Hey, jelley, is that you?

donwendyagain said...

offie, that's a bit harsh isn't it? I would have said I was unbearable rather than insufferable but each to their own.

I'm glad you enjoyed my piece. As for sticking around after big blogger and posting more, you never know your luck.

offsideintahiti said...

Well, as saturday is looming, I sure hope you're not unbeatable...

The good thing with having new "faces" around here is that you can do a little bit of teasing. The regulars know all there is to know about my bark, my bite, etc...

bluedaddy said...

Yeah Don, his bite is pretty gummy, but his bark is all gnarly and makes him easy to climb.

Allout said...

A nice piece of work don - a good flow to the prose and you made your point well.

What do others think about the choice of the three finalists? Not trying to have a go at their pieces (and I liked Madame Humpty's effort) but I have now read a few on here that IMHO are at least the equal of two of the three finalists.

donwendyagain said...

Thanks Allout, I reckon the 3 finalists did just fine and of course there is no way of knowing what seani and the judges are really looking for.

offsideintahiti said...

Forget GU, the best nostalgia piece was posted here last year, and penned by Kokomo:

http://pseudscorner.blogspot.com/2007/03/day-music-died-kokomo.html

bluedaddy said...

Allout, I think the 'subject' is near impossible to develop in 400 words, and it's even harder still to be succinctly controversial about it.

donwendyagain said...
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