Saturday, 26 December 2009

The Spoon at Spoons

I'm all for quiz nights, one of the more eventful and enjoyable nights out either with friends, family or colleagues. Well it is when you are not last, and it is even more fun when you're not having to walk up in front of a crowded bar to collect your team's 'loser award'.

I had no say in the captaincy, I was given it. A title I had not intended to obtain, but forced upon I had to reluctantly accept. My team consisted of three close friends, along with two 'extras' who contributed whenever they felt they knew an answer. We started off brightly in Sittingbourne Weatherspoons' Christmas Quiz 2009, answering some christmas related questions with relative ease. However, round two offered more difficulty. When I say more difficulty, I mean it was mere impossible. Being asked questions on people in the 1950s is not something that attracts to a group of 18 and 19 year olds, however we attempted, and that's the best way I can put it.

It was an attempt. Rather than a spirited effort. A hit and hope job. Pardon my competitive tone, but I'm not one to stare defeat easily in the face. Don't get me wrong, I can admit defeat, but I don't aim to lose everytime. Depite our inexperience in the age category, we had a varied set of heads in my ranks, lifelong friends Matt 'Jewi' Jewiss who currently attends Chichester University, and Liam O'Donoghue who works as a financial advisor near my home town. Our other team member is 'young gun' Simon Denham or simply Denham who is a student at my old secondary school, but his area of expertise replicates the one of the other three team members-Sport!

I won't go on too much about our disastrous display as it wasn't a highlight of my Christmas knowledge. I wouldnt say humiliation of the fact I had to collect the wooden spoon for our measley 31 out of 65, more the fact that half of my town now know my team as "Meathead and the Gang". Good banter and something I've learnt to take lightly, but at the end of the day disrespecting the 'skipper' shows a lack of faith in their team-mates.

The idea of this blog post was to reveal our lack of brains, along with adding humour to the occasion. Even though our team sunk like a boat with a hole in it, the spirit of the night never faded. I enjoyed my time with the mates I've known for 14 years, and even though we've had many in the past, it is guarenteed there will be more to come.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

The Funny Side of Football

Over the years many incidents on and off the pitch have disgraced the beauty of the greatest sport on the planet. Even more have symbolised the true meaning of the game, with acts of sportsmanship, concern and even respect for fellow players and managers.

However, there is one individual who everybody can agree on, should and must be named the funniest footballer ever to have graced the turf. At first thought everybody may think, "Oh yeah that Thierry Henry for his funny arrogance, or Cantona for his classic celebration". Not anymore. Cantona's classic turn and stare celebration has been overtaken in the what would be known as 'Celebration Premier League'.

By who you ask? One man. Mr Jimmy Bullard. His footballing ability is one to be admired for sure, but his comedic attributes has earned him a wealth of respect across the land, and in some cases abroad.

This picture sums up the man. A simple turn-around-and-smile job was made into a marathon by the ever-extrinsic Jimmy Bullard, who managed to make a short process into a photoshoot we usually expect to see Katie Price partake in. You think the picture's brilliant, the video is even better.
His comedy on the pitch resembles a man who enjoys his work, and somebody who appreciates the situation he finds himself in-a professional footballer. Granted, thousands and even millions of players worldwide find themselves in professional football, or pushing the borders of professional football, but to be regarded as one of the best English midfielders of our time says a lot about the East London born lad.

Despite being born in London, Bullard went to school in my home county of Kent, so immediately I am a fan of the man. I am a proud Kent boy, as resembled by my previous blog supporting Joe Denly in his quest for Internatonal success in cricket. Bullard went to school not far from my dad's place of living, and started his professional footballing career at then-called Gravesend and Northfleet, now Ebbsfleet United.

However, it was in the Premier League where Mr Comedy himself made his name in the football world. Despite enjoying success at his boyhood team West Ham, and Peterborough United in the lower leagues, Bullard became the man he is today for his antics at Wigan Athletic, where he not only enjoyed vast amounts of rewards on the pitch, but off the pitch his reputation grew into something every young boy dreams of.

He became a hero-like character to the crew on Sky Sports' Soccer AM show, after running the length of the pitch to score a goal against Arsenal, after the floodlights went out half way through the match. Along with this Bullard's famous leapfrog over a crowd of players battling frantically to get the ball in a goalmouth scramble earned him admiration all across the land after falling flat on his face. It was these two particular incidents that Soccer AM changed their back door to "Jimmy Bullard's Back Door".

Evidence of Bullard's nationwide popularity is on the social networking site, Facebook. There is a group which is suggesting fans want to see the former-Wigan midfielder on the cover for FIFA 2011. What an honour that would be! A long shot, yes. After all he's going to have to beat the competition of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney, but how the world of football gaming would change if an ordinary English midfielder was to cover the world's most popular football game.

His on-field 'specials' continued at Fulham, after celebrating a goal, Bullard snuggled up to the Cottagers' mascot on the turf of he West London side-how romantic yet utterly brilliant it was. Without a shadow of a doubt, Bullard is, and hs ben for a while a contender for a midfield place in the national team. However, behind the man full of smile and joy is a fragile soldier who has been plagued by constant knee injuries, enough to take its toll even on the greatest of men. January 2009 saw him make his debut for Hull but sadly for Bullard he injured the same knee as the one he dislocated during his Fulham days, then February 2009 saw his 2008/09 season end after undergoing surgery. He returned in October 2009 but is again out for eight weeks after damaging his other knee after challenging for the ball with James Milner in a game against Aston Villa.

Bullard has three goals for Hull City. Two from the penalty spot, and a wonderful free kick against West Ham, in which he scored a brace. His other penalty was the equaliser against Manchester City, and it was at Eastlands where Jimmy's humour prospered once more. Many footbal fans may remember Hull's visit to Manchester last season, 4-0 down at half time and facing a depressing journey home. Phil Brown, the manager of Hull decided to take his players on the pitch in front of the away fans for his half time team talk. Many thought he was mad, others thought it would pay off. It didn't-the rest of the season Hull were on the brink of relegation until their final day survival. Bullard being the 'cheery chappy' he is centre pieced a circle of Hull City players, in the exact same spot, reinacting the half time team talk. However, that Phil Brown blunder seems just a memory as it is Bullard's excellence, which without a shadow of doubt has earned him The Best Celebration Ever.
The link for that video is here for anybody who wishes to watch a memorable celebration ( )
Brown took the celebration with a smile telling BBC Sport: "It was a fantastic celebration. Great comedy is about timing".

To conclude my christmas blog on the sport I love, despite being called up to England's world cup qualifiers squad to play Croatia and Andorra in 2009, he has had the option to play for Germany. In the build-up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Bullard contacted then boss Jurgen Klinsmann with an interest to making the squad ater revealing that his grandmother is German.
Let's hope he chooses England, and let's hope he overcomes his injuries and fights for a place in the national side, along with a plane ticket to South Africa in June. Thank you Jimmy Bullard!

Anybody wishing the watch some of Bullard's classic moments on and off the pitch I will leave links to videos. Do feel free to watch. Very funny man!
Many Thanks for reading.


Friday, 11 December 2009

News Writing Report 11.12.09

A student from Winchester has been hailed a hero after saving an elderly man from his burning house on Monday night.

Edward Herbert, 20, climbed a ladder to get to the 84 year-old neighbour after a smoke alarm alerted him to the fire.

He said: "I just wanted to get him out. He fainted twice on me, and that was pretty scary because I feared the worst really".

The incident occurred in Chatham Road in Stanmore, Winchester, where fire crews from Winchester and Eastleigh were called into action.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service received a call at 21:17 on Monday, 7 December expressing deep concern at smoke coming from the semi-detached home.

The ladder was too short to perform a rescue, but one from a fire appliance was used to save the man, who was then taken to hospital by South Central Ambulance.

Winchester Fire Station Watch Manager Chris Roper, said: "The fire, which was in the ground floor kitchen of the property, is thought to have to started due to an electrical fault"

An enforcer was used to break down the kitchen, while other crew made up a time-critical rescue of the man.

Roper continued: "If it had not been for his neighbours and the working smoke alarm this incident may have had very different consequences"

After tackling the blaze, and saving the man from his house, the call was finally stopped at 22:32.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Media Law Lecture (Tuesday, 1 December) Revision

Chris took the decision to start a week early in preparation for our media law test. Good decision in my eyes. Very beneficial and put our law skills to the sword, two weeks early.

It was nothing we hadn't learnt before, but the benefit of going through it, 'freshening' up the information we had processed in previous weeks.
In this overview, my intention is to provide some form of revision tool for the class, rather than just a normal blog describing, informing and discussing the content of the lecture.

  1. Define 'malice'-writing down anything you know to be untrue. If malice, not allowed to defend yourself in a libel case.
  2. Define 'public interest'-PCC, prior requirement for your reporting, information that could expose
  3. Define 'innuendo'-when you make an allegation, but there is no evidence so you try to imply it (a form of malice)
  4. Define 'juxtaposition'-when a false connection is made, usually by accident
  5. Define 'defamation'-a publication that can lower somebody's reputation, with or without justification. It is something that could expose someone to ridicule, contempt or hatred, and it could expose someone to be shunned or avoided.
  6. Define 'libel'-an article/broadcast that is defamatory. IDENTIFICATION-DEFAMATION-PUBLICATION
  7. Three defences of libel-Justification, Qualified Privilege, Fair Comment
  8. You must have prior permission before setting up a subterfuge situation
  9. Define 'subterfuge'-sneakily not announcing you are a journalist, and sneakily not announcing that you are filming it
  10. Ofcom guidelines state that broadcasts are not allowed any political affiliation.
Despite it being short and just the information we learnt in the lecture I hope this provides some kind of revision tool for myself and the group, if necessary, to practice and learn from before our test next week.


Friday, 4 December 2009

Search for named missing angler abandoned

The search for a named missing man has been abandoned off the coast of Dorset since his disappearance on Tuesday, 1 December.

Osman Sharif, a Somalian has disappeared after his inflatable boat was found washed up in Hampshire.

Dorset Police's County Division Inspector Tracey Baker, said: "A police family liaison officer has been appointed and is supporting the family."

The search for the 32-year-old was called off and handed to Dorset Police on Wednesday, 2 December by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Hampshire makes stand against 'influenced' driving

Hampshire County Council has begun its campaign to increase road safety and emphasise the dangers of alcohol whilst on the road.

Across the county, the slogan "You drink, I'll drive" is being used on taxis to encourage drivers to think before driving.

Thirty-two taxis are to promote the logo, covering places such as Basingstoke, Winchester, Andover, Aldershot and Farnborough among others.

The County Council has started the campaign, which runs from 30th November for six weeks, following Road Safety Week set up by the charity, Brake.

According to the charity, in 2007 at least 15,935 people had been killed or injured in the UK by drivers who had been under the influence.

Mel Kendal, County Councillor and the Executive Member for the Environment said: " The message is simple, don’t drive if you have been drinking alcohol or taking any prescribed drugs that could affect your ability to drive safely in any way.”

The penalties for breaking the law is this way are clear. £5000 fine, banned from driving for up to a year and a 6-month prison sentence. Causing death by dangerous driving can result in a 14-year prison sentence.

Of Hampshire Constabulary’s Roads Policing unit, Sergeant John Dainton claimed: "If you’re foolish enough to drive under the influence, the chances are you will be caught."