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Why is threatening a criminal act less offensive than being derisory about women for the BBC?

By Tony Attwood

Sky Sports presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys were dropped by Sky after making off-air comments during a game in January 2011 saying that female officials “don’t know the offside rule” and predicting assistant ref Sian Massey would make mistakes during a game a couple of days later.

The comments were boorish, sexist and offensive, but not criminal.  Sadly one hears the same thing all the time – but if said publicly by anyone in football action is quite rightly taken.

Barney Francis of Sky spoke out against the comments and initially try to just drop the pair from a match or two, saying it was all just meant as a joke, while hoping to reintroduce them thereafter.  But by 25 January Sky had sacked both of them.

The Sky Sports boss then said, “Those views are inexcusable, entirely inconsistent with our ethos as a business and employer, and will rightly offend many of our customers, our people, and the wider public.  They are inexcusable from anyone at Sky, regardless of their role or seniority.”

Let me repeat, the comments by Keys and Gray were crass, stupid and offensive.  But not illegal.  But I think Sky were right to dismiss.

Contrast with the Neville quotes on Match of the Day, which suggested that Neville, if having to face Rosicky would deal with him physically.  This threat of physical intimidation and/or violence is an offence in law in Britain, and one might have thought that the BBC would immediately move to remove Neville from its rosta.

But instead the Corporation is telling Match Of The Day presenters and pundits to be “careful” about what they say.

Which raises the question, if suggesting one would commit a criminal offence is allowable on Match of the Day, what actually might not be allowable?  It is hard to work out.

Neville said, “If that was a training session and somebody did that I’d be first over there and I’d probably look to two-foot him or take him out of the game.   If somebody did that in training to me, winding me up, I would be straight in there. I’d smash them.”

He later said his comments were not to be taken seriously which of course is what everyone says when brought before the beak.  “It was just a joke m’lud.  I wouldn’t really break his legs.”  Keys and Gray probably said just the same in their defence of their sexist remarks.

Worse BBC Sport said: “This comment was not meant to offend in any way.  Oh so that’s all right then.  If I go on TV and say, “if he did that to me in a game I’d set fire to his house and rape his wife,” that would be ok if I then said it was a joke and didn’t mean to offend????

Or it would be excused if the other presenters challenged me – so as to show that others felt it was not ok?

So, the statement says, “BBC Sport will, however, remind the team to take extra care during discussions during our live programmes.”

“However”?????

Meaning, well nothing much has happened but we’ll tell them off anyway.

It is interesting also that the Guardian in reporting the event said, “some viewers” were offended.  When they reported the comment about female assistant refs there was no such backtracking, although as we all know there are many men around who are sexist in their attitudes all the time, and so, they could have said in the Sky case, “some viewers.”  They didn’t to show that they too were offended.

So apparently the Guardian thinks a footballer who is outmanoeuvred by another more skilful player using physical violence against the more talented man, is ok.

Even worse, what Rosicky did was show stunning skill.  Neville was saying it was ok to contemplate and (perhaps) make jokes about using violence to stop such amazing skill.

I think Sky was right to get rid of Keys and Gray, and I feel it is disgraceful that the BBC are trying to push this avocation of violence as a way of stopping skill, even if it was meant as a joke, under the carpet.

Jokes are great, and football is full of them.  But Keys’ comment about women’s intellectual ability was not a reasonable joke and nor is Neville’s comment about using violence to stop a creative player with a rare talent.

For me the BBC are very much amiss in this regard, and I do hope the pressure is kept up on them so that ultimately they follow Sky’s lead and do the right thing and remove the man from their payroll.

67 comments to Why is threatening a criminal act less offensive than being derisory about women for the BBC?

  • Oleh Luzhny

    “if he did that to me in a game I’d set fire to his house and rape his wife,”
    At least saying that is so obscene as to be obviously in jest (unless you’re Charles Manson or something…) where as what Phil Neville said was not obviously a joke at all.

    I’ve seen Gary Neville make similarly styled remarks, but he always says something like “within the rules of the game, obviously” to clarify/disclaim what he said. Looks like Phil tried to do a Gary and just came across like the imbecile that he is!

  • John L

    is this not another major reason why england do so poorly on the international stage and to a certain extent recently in continental club competitions?

    its a pervasive attitude in english football and surely harms young and talented kids. is this a cultural thing or simply a football thing? as an american i might not be in the best position to comment, but i get the impression that the english dont generally like flamboyance which in england is often percieved as arrogance? which is all well and good as a cultural attitude but surely flies in the face as to why we watch football?

  • Rodger hunt

    I for one was amazed at Neville’s comments, I wasn’t sure if I was hearing right at first, and such comments should lead to him being banned, is it because its man to man joke, or that its arsenal!! rosicky at 33 showed skill that Neville could only dream off, shame on the BBC!!!!!

  • John L

    i do think sky did the right thing in sacking keys and gray. however it is interesting to note that that hasnt seemed to stop other networks from hiring them. they have a show here in america on bein sports.

  • AllanC

    If it was a joke and this comment did not reflect Neville’s attitude and belief, what was the point in saying it. I certainly cannot see where the joke is. Can the BBC explain. It would just prove that Neville is stupid and the BBC are stupid for broadcasting it.
    If on the other hand it wasn’t a joke and does reflect Neville’s attitude and belief, it would not only show that Neville is stupid but also that he has outdated ideas and that he does not value the game. Again the BBC would be stupid for broadcasting such comments.
    Either way, why the hell are the BBC paying him. They really do need to take a step back and think about what they are trying to achieve.
    I have had the standard answer to my first complaint. I have just put in another. I don’t plan to let them just pass this off.

  • Having seen Nevilles face when he made these outrageous remarks, there was absolutely no element of joke. He was dead serious as the other panel members also believed from their response.
    But Neville is a man of his word. I am sure there are many who remember his GBH at Old Trafford in the Pizza pie flinging game, taking out Reyes time and time again,with little usage of the rule book tackles and with little intervention from the Ref

    Personally, John L, I welcome your comments, no matter your origin and believe there is a good grain of truth
    It is not for me of course to accept or decline your comments, but knowing this website you will be welcome

  • ClockEndRider

    Excellent article, Tony. I’m a great advocate of the BBC – for 12 quid a month I get all that original TV as well as fine radio as well as a deep archive of both TV and radio and probably the best news website around. Compare and contrast with sky which essentially offers football and charges 70 quid a month.
    However the BBC really should be at the forefront of public service broadcasting in terms of maintaining standards. Employing morons like Neville and Savage, both of whom made a career out of merely being able to run for prolonged periods and kick people, really isn’t good enough. Having shunted the biased, one eye Hansen and employed the insightful and thoughtful Thierry Henry for the last World Cup, I had hoped that a new day was dawning in terms if the way the BBC views football and fans in general. I’m still waiting for that dawn.

  • BNG

    I turned off the commentary on BT from that halfwit Robbie Savage after 10 minutes on Sunday against Brighton after he kept repeating that the Brighton players should be kicking us

  • WalterBroeckx

    As you mentioned Sian Massey I just wondered where she was now? Because after the finish of last season she hasn’t been around as far as I can find.
    If anyone can tell me more about this excellent assistant referee please let me know. I thought that she was one of the few who really tried to be honest.

    this is what I can find on websites http://www.football-lineups.com/linesman/110/ and http://www.football-lineups.com/referee/2490/

  • andy bishop

    The thing is he did mean it and well practised as was his brother. How many times do we hear the phrases “nothing malicious” “he is not that sort of player” “not deliberate”. The latest “professional foul” seems to be the deliberate scrape down the achilles”

  • ClockEndRider

    Or the deliberate stamp when apparently looking away. Wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear Neville describe that as being a great piece of skill.

  • Gord

    http://www.football-league.co.uk/news/article/national-list-of-officials-1873327.aspx

    > Posted: Tue 30 Jul 2013

    About 3/4 of the way down:

    > MASSEY, SL (Sian) – West Midlands

    Her (and her husband (?) Rob) are listed as Assistant Referees:

    http://www.football-league.co.uk/global/matchofficialslist.aspx

    > Posted: Tue 30 Sep 2014

    While I had seen R M-E show up on the appointments of the Football-League, I hadn’t seen S M-E in the appointments.

    And that is the best I can do for you Walter.

  • bob

    Walter,
    How about a UA “Sian Massey Award” granted for the rare glimpse of quality to courageous refereeing that, like Sian, has gone “Missing in Action.” There’s got to be a very good story in Sean’s absence from the fray.
    (Amy Lawrence, why not do a story on her and strike a blow for real football.)

  • bob

    Neville’s words and “retraction” are together, the hallmark of a craven coward: first by suggesting the two-footer (which he practiced!); second by backing down with a kinda culpa instead of standing by his words or his right to say them. (Not that I or any right thinking person could agree.) He’s a sneaky coward through and through and displays the Actually Prevailing standard of belief within the planet of the orcs known as EPL/PGMOB/FA. This was no slip of the tongue; it was their credo. And this is why, imo, the Beeb doesn’t give him the sack. He’s red meat to the carnivores who, let’s be honest, constitute a fair share of their (football) subscribers.

  • bob

    Walter,
    How about a UA “Sian Massey Award” granted for the rare glimpse of quality to courageous refereeing that, like Sian, has gone “Missing in Action.” There’s got to be a very good story in Sean’s absence from the fray.
    (Amy Lawrence, why not do a story on her and strike a blow for real football.)

  • bob

    Why moderation for my unpublished posting? What possible standard could it have violated here?

  • Gord

    Found some other stuff:

    > In addition, she has been involved in the FIFA U20 Women’s WCFs in Canada, as an AR, until the last week in August. Hence, her lack of domestic appointments thus far…………

    > She’s a level 2B. If she gets promoted to level 2A, and then again from there to L1, she will be able to referee in the Football League, but that will obviously be at least two seasons away. Realistically longer, as it would be monumentally difficult for a new L2A to go to L1 in their first season such is the step up in the standard of football on the expectations on the referee.

    A reply on Oct 2, 2014
    > I believe she is injured & probably won’t see action until after Christmas.

  • Gord

    Bob, I have a post awaiting moderation, it has 2 URLs in it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks Gord for finding that!
    I wondered if she was pregnant as that could also be the case of course.

  • bob

    Cheers, Gord. It didn’t have any links. I suggested that UA/Walter adopt and award a Sian Massey Award to highlight any honest/quality calls that, like her, have been missing in action. It would be interesting to single out a good to great call once in a while to show everyone what good refereeing really could be. (Why the moderation? Not really sure tbh).

  • Gord

    Where I found the injury link, someone asked specifically for published information confirming an injury. The person who replied, said a formal verification wasn’t possible, but hinted at inside information.

    I suppose some people might regard pregnancy as in injury, I wouldn’t be one of them.

    It seems there are a handful of female officials doing reasonably well in England, Sian just happens to be the highest on the list.

    There was a mention that if an official is to inspect the grounds, and there is a chance of snow, the aspiring official should inspect early in the day, and if snow is present, assist in its removal to try and procure faster advancement. It seems someone got up the list a bit faster than expected doing so.

  • SouthernGunner

    Similar reasoning to the “he isn’t that kind of player” comments when a footballer breaks someones leg.

    Off topic but did anyone read the Amy Laurence article about Diaby today?

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2015/jan/29/arsenal-abou-diaby-contract-arsene-wenger

  • Gord

    Bob

    I wasn’t saying that there was anything in your comment that triggered moderation. I was suggesting that it might have been because mine was in moderation, that some how yours got “trapped”. A bug of some kind.

  • Gord

    I don’t think Amy gives a crap about Arsenal or Diaby. And I don’t believe he has delicate structure.

    If Amy wants to be useful, lobby for an “injured reserve list”.

    I think sports teams have currencies other than money to pay in. And any team that just looks at the money angle, will miss out on players who see value in these other currencies.

    The decision as to what to do with Diaby is Wenger’s. Amy, and the rest of your ilk, leave it alone.

  • finsbury

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBWuDhIv9B0

    in case you don’t know the above Alan Partridge is not a real person but a satirical comedy character who started life as a football plundit extraordinaire twenty years ago. Steve Coogan was ahead of his time 🙂

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I am not really a professional basketball fan but no look passes are rather common and used effectively regularly produce points for their team. It is not seen as showmanship or taking the mickey but rather as an effective way to fool an opponent.

  • AL

    Not really surprising from the BBC, with the way they tried to cover up for that peado Savile. Or how that other oaf jeremy whatever his name is from top gear still manages to keep his job after racial abuse and xenophobic comments against almost every nationality on earth. A real waste of our licence fees.

  • Pete

    Off topic, but I can’t find a single word in articles published on ANR, Online Gooner and Le Grove in the last couple of days about our new signing Gabriel (although I wasn’t reading very closely). Unsure whether to expect the bunting being festooned, or Wenger being bemoaned as a cheapskate. But nothing at all about a major signing?

    Huh?

  • Drew

    @ClockEndRider

    “Or the deliberate stamp when apparently looking away.”

    Very well played. That’s a brilliant observation, and summarises the failure of English football on the international stage from a playing, refereeing, admin as well as punditry angle.

  • Far East Gooner

    No look pass are common in basketball , netball etc.

    England does not have a world class basketball team.. Perhaps it’s the sports culture in UK can’t accept flair .

    Arsenal played with flair and players got chopped with little protections from referees.

    Probably, that explains why England is better remembered for rugby.

  • Gord

    Nominally this thread is about MOTD and the idiot ex-players it pays to be part of it.

    Maybe we could start a petition, such that ALL MOTD presenters must have refereeing certification, must have coaching certifications, and must be active as either a referee or coach at U-14 or above. And I am just picking U-14 off the top of my head.

    If they are going to be THE VOICE of ex-professionals to all of society about how to play football, we want them to walk the walk and talk the talk. And being a certified referee AND coach, and being active in one of those, I think is the way to go. And all MOTD presenters must keep up BOTH of their refereeing and coaching certifications.

  • Gord

    Furthermore, I would like to see MOTD have available as presenters (who must be referees and coaches, as they are presenting occassionally), athletic first aid, physiotherapy and sports medicine (physician).

  • Gord

    I’m across the pond and most of the continent away in NW Alberta, Canada.

    It would seem that MOTD (and it’s siblings MOTD2 and FootballFocus) are “the” football programs in the UK.

    Having all of the presenters have both referee and coaching certification, and be active in one or the other (or both) should get society out of this (let’s just break his legs in a tackle) crap on TV.

    All of these muppets have devoted significant parts of their lives to football. They have all been successful (otherwise they never would have been hired to be a muppet), so one would expect that paying for this months heating bill is not the reason they are doing this (although, there seem to be a lot of ex-players living on the edge because of excessive gambling debts).

    Just because they have devoted a significant amount of time to football, does not guarantee that they know the laws. It just means they have learned to “work” with the laws, nominally how they can usually get away with actions on the field. Having them obtain referee and coaching certification, may suddenly provide them with a near endless number of deja vu experiences, explaining why they were called, carded or dismissed. Having to be an active referee or coach, means they now need to justify what they did in the past.

    And if these muppets are decent human beings, the requirements of learning the laws and being active in officiating or coaching, should cut out this non-sense about two footed tackling of someone because they have better skills than you do.

    Tony would like to see the grassroots improve. I don’t know. If Randy Savage decides to get his UEFA A license and then decides to coach a U-12 girls team in his neighbourhood, does that have any influence on other parents seeking to get whatever coaching certification they need to coach other U-12 teams in that area?

    If Joey Barton becomes a referee for U-14 boys, does it make any difference if he red cards a player for a two footed tackle?

    No, this doesn’t get better pitches for players to play on. But maybe this gets a better environment for young players to play in.

  • kk

    u played ur games but u were not the best so let others people play their own game fool en do ur job

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Phil Neville joke no : 3 – OFFICE ARITHMETIC

    Smart boss + Smart employee = Quality production and Profit
    Smart boss + Dumb employee = Average production
    Dumb boss + Smart employee = Smart production
    Dumb boss + Dumb employee = MOTD & ‘ Foot in the mouth’ disease !

  • Crovax

    Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who gets sacked – they just get picked up by a different network. Keys and Grey now have a show on beIN Sports. Same as sacking dubious players (happens a lot in rugby in Australia) – they just get picked up by a club with lesser morals.

  • Menace

    I have responded with evidence (as taught by Walter & Tony) to the BBC so that they understand that ‘Phil’ does what his tongue in cheek statement states. I am not sure if I should post my response here now or wait till the BBC action/inaction.

  • Unfortunately or fortunately the Neville Brothers are held in high regards as intelligent and insightful, when explaining tactics and systems on football. So maybe that explains why they are given more leverage on their comments, Moreover there is the that Gary works for Sky and Phil works for the BBC and who’s got the better pundit scenario. Either way such comments advocating injury to another player in jest or not cannot be acceptable.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A soldier was given the job of hunting for buffalo. To help him, he hired an Indian Scout. The two of them set off on their journey to find buffalo. After riding awhile, the Indian gets off his horse, puts his ear to the ground and says “Humm, buffalo come”.
    The soldier scans the area with his binoculars, but sees nothing. He is confused and says to the Indian, “I do not see anything, how do you know buffalo come”? and the Indian replies, “ear sticky”.

  • Va Cong

    He brings his best mate home at 6:30pm after work, unannounced, for dinner.

    His wife shouts at him while his friend sits open mouthed and listens to the tirade.

    “I haven’t done my bloody hair and makeup. The house is a f****** mess. The dishes aren’t done.

    Can’t you see I’m still in my f****** pyjamas and I can’t be bothered with cooking tonight!

    Why the f*** did you bring him home unannounced you stupid idiot?”

    He replies, “Because he’s thinking of getting married.”

  • Menace

    Va Cong – perfection.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Q. What’s the difference between a football pundit and a trampoline?
    A. You take off your shoes before you jump on a trampoline.

  • WalterBroeckx

    comedy gold! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • para

    It seems they cannot leave their anti-Arsenal at home. Anyway, they all knew what Neville was going to say. (NO ONE thinks that these programs are completely live, if anyone does, well wake up, they are not) they have a complete plan of the program before it starts, and know exactly the topics to be addressed tonight, what to say and what not to say.

    For me, i couldnt care less who they have as pundits really, i do not listen to them, except when my pal or comments here mentions something they said and i get to see a clip. The fact that Henri has joined the table of idiots makes me wonder if he really is as confident and tough as i remember him from the many interviews i’ve seen of him, or he realises one has to “buckle” a little to get on.

    Thing is, it’s ok to buckle a little(willow tree anyone?), but keep on buckling and one tends to start to look like a willow tree.

    Anyway i wish him all the best, and hope he keeps his Arsenal upbringing safe from corruption.

  • Will

    I’m late to the game here but two points from me.

    1) Robbie Savage was saying foul Arsenal players all game and not once held to task.

    2) What does this tell impressionable kids watching the game? Are we really telling 8 year olds it’s ok to smash someone because they are better than you?

  • Va Cong

    Little
    Johnny strikes again

    Ed Milliband was visiting a London primary school and the class was in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings.

    The teacher asked Mr Milliband if he would like to lead the discussion on the word ‘Tragedy’.

    So the illustrious leader of the Labour Party asked the class for an example of a ‘Tragedy’

    A little boy stood up and offered: ‘If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs over him and kills him, that would be a tragedy.’

    ‘Incorrect,’ said Milliband. ‘That would be an accident.’

    A little girl raised her hand: ‘If a school bus carrying fifty children drove over a cliff, killing everybody inside, that would be a tragedy.’

    ‘I’m afraid not’, explained Milliband, ‘that’s what we would refer to as a great loss’.

    The room went silent. No other children volunteered. Milliband searched the room.

    ‘Isn’t there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?’

    Finally, at the back of the room, little Johnny raised his hand and said:
    ‘If a plane carrying you and Mr Balls and Mrs Harmen and all the other LAB members was struck by a ‘friendly fire’ missile & blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy.’

    ‘Fantastic’ exclaimed Milliband, ‘and can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?’

    ‘Well’, said Johnny, ‘it has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn’t be a great loss, and it probably wouldn’t be a f*cking accident either!

  • Va Cong

    Psychopath Test

    Read this question, come up with an answer and then scroll down to the bottom for the result. This is not a trick question. It is as it reads.
    No one I know has got it right.

    A woman, while at the funeral of her own mother, met a guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing. She believed him to be her dream guy so much, that she fell in love with him right there, but never asked for his number and could not find him. A few days later she killed her sister.

    Question: What is her motive for killing her sister?

    [Give this some thought before you answer]

    Answer:

    She was hoping the guy would appear at the funeral again. If you answered this correctly, you think like a psychopath. This was a test by a famous American Psychologist used to test if one has the same Mentality as a killer. Many arrested serial killers took part in the test and answered the question correctly.

    If you didn’t answer the question correctly, good for you.

    If you got the answer correct, please let me know so I can take you off my email list.

  • Menace

    The beeb are being evasive but will have to make a decision so as not to get too many negative reviews. They are in HOT water and don’t know whether it is time to throw it out with their little Phil. Savage is another case but I haven’t seen any of his comments to complain about.

    I hope someone like Lord Sugar takes the beeb to task as he does have morals.

  • jambug

    The first step is for the BBC to concede that Neville’s comments where obviously not meant in ‘jest’ and are therefore unacceptable.

    Once that is established then disciplinary action must surely follow if they are to maintain any credibility at all.

    That’s assuming of course, in the light of recent revelations, they have any credibility left in the first place.

    You would of thought, given the nature of those revelations, that the BBC would be falling over themselves in an effort regain that lost credibility wouldn’t you.

    Alas it seems they don’t give a shit.

  • finsbury

    According to the Bleeb Football plundits a no-look stamp is acceptable but a no look pass is not. I’m not making this up btw. Alan Partdrige eat your heart out.
    Truth can indeed be stranger then fiction, and if the fiction in this instance was the early career of Alan Partdrige (as a football plundit) I’m not sure that there is much more that i can add!

    It’s fairly simple to understand the rules on Association Football when it comes to what the founding fathers of the sport called “hacking”. After all they were written down in a pub C1850. Those who disagreed formed another sport called Rugby. That’s not an opinion it is the historical record.

  • Goonermikey

    I complained to the BBC and despite the fact that they usually take up to 10 days to reply to a complaint, I received their “it was a joke” excuse within 24 hours. So it seems to me that they’d already made their mind up what to do irrespective of how many people complained.

    They also said that the programme presenter had pulled Neville up on his statement at the time and implied, therefore, that the BBC had acted appropriately. My reply to them was that this makes Neville and the BBC even more cuplable since Neville was given the opportunity to clarify or amend his comment at the time but still went with his original assertion that he would commit an act of violence and that he felt it was ok to say so on BBC TV.

    I have told the BBC that I do not accept their response as being adequate and that they should reinvestigate. I will let you know what bullshit they come back with before taking up my complaint with the Press Complaints Commission.

    I’m absolutely sick to death of football pundits thinking violent acts against Arsenal players are not only acceptable but are actually a suitable premeditated tactic to use. The fact that the BBC believes it is acceptable for this bile to be spewed out to young impressionable viewers (not me may I add), shows an appalling ddreliction of professional ethics.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Some ironic gems from this lot ! From….
    http://www.jokebuddha.com/joke/Sports_commentators_brilliant_observations

    “An inch or two either side of the post and that would have been a goal.”
    – Dave Bassett, Sky Sports

    “Julian Dicks is everywhere. It’s like they’ve got eleven Dicks on the field.”
    – Metro Radio

    “Gary always weighed up his options, especially when he had no choice.”
    – Kevin Keegan, Radio 5 live

    “I never comment on referees and I’m not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat.”
    – Ron Atkinson

    “It took a lot of bottle for Tony (Adams) to own up.”
    – Ian Wright commenting on his teammate’s alcoholism)

    “I couldn’t settle in Italy – it was like living in a foreign country.”
    – Ian Rush

    “What will you do when you leave football, Jack – will you stay in football?”
    – Stuart Hall (Radio 5 live)

    “I’d like to play for an Italian club, like Barcelona”
    – Mark Draper (Aston Villa)

    “For those of you watching in black and white, Spurs are in the all-yellow strip”
    – John Motson

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Another spud joke , my last for tonight ! Goodnight , guys .

    Hiding From the Cops

    A blonde, a brunette and a redhead are running from the cops. They hide on a potato farm. They crawl into some potato bags.
    The first cop pokes the bag with the brunette in it.
    She says, “Meow.” The cop confirms that it is just a cat.
    The second cop pokes the bag with the redhead in it. She says, “Woof.” The cop says that it is just a dog.
    The third cop pokes the bag with the blonde in it.
    She say in her sweetest voice, “Potato.”

  • Gord

    Not sure where this goes, hardly like saying potato either.

    Apparently Arsenal has some strange policies with respect to passwords.

    http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/30/7950357/arsenal-password-security-sucks

    I have no idea if there is a problem or not. But, if the article is correct that there is a problem, perhaps informing an Internet news site that understands security issues is in order?

  • Gord

    Remember lackadaisical? Apparently Google has an Arsenal word, “bet”.

    https://www.sundayworld.com/sport/soccer/google-not-impressed-with-arsenals-trophy-hopes

  • Gord

    A local newspaper, has an interview with the Arsenal Ladies manager, about 4 new signings.

    http://www.borehamwoodtimes.co.uk/sport/11759664.New_signings_will_have_big_role__says_Arsenal_Ladies_boss/

  • proudkev

    There is a very serious point about what Neville said.

    He beleives the way to stop good players is to kick them. We knew this anyway.

    This is a view held by most ex players, working as pundits who are ‘British’.It is this ‘British ex players’ (lets include journalists too) attitude that has held us back for years, Instead of encompassing technical ability, flamboyance and skill, we loook down our nose at it. We call it derogtory names, like showmanship or as Phil Neville suggests ‘taking the piss’. It is none of these things. It is what football is all about. Anyone can go around kicking lumps out of better players.

    What makes this worse is that Phil Neville is a coach at Man Utd. He will no doubt be ‘encouraging’ players to ‘kick’ skilful players.

    This is an English ‘British’ disease. It is almost in our DNA.

    The media, the ex players, the referees – the whole lot are caught up in this culture.

    No coincidence that Abou Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey were ‘done’ by terrible tackles from British players.

    We can all ‘laugh’ and ‘joke’ about what Phil Neville said. We can brush it under the carpet. But it is a fundemental reason why we are yearws behind the rest of Europe in terms of our National team. This is why we celebrate ‘hard workers’, ‘he loves a tackle’ etc. It is the reason why players like Bowles, Worthington, le Tissier get fewer caps than players like Milner.

    Phil Neville was out of order. But he is a victim of the British disease.

    Until this gets resolved and someone grows a pair and says this backward mentality must change, it will get worse.

    Arsenal players are kicked less because it is Arsenbal but more because they playe attractive, possession football. That is what is hated.

  • proudkev

    Ps: sorry about some of thetypos – I am on the move…

  • Gord

    There was a news story out today, about WBA signing Callum McManaman from Wigan:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2932934/Callum-McManaman-wants-forget-horror-tackle-damage-Premier-League-teams-new-West-Brom.html

    Copying out the full title is a bit less fuzzy:

    > Callum McManaman wants to forget about THAT horror tackle and damage Premier League teams for West Brom

    Who plays football, for the purpose of damaging teams? Besides the Nevilles, Shawcross, Huth (now banned for making gender reassignment comments), …?

    We play WBA last game of the season. Any bet we get Taylor for that game, especially if this McManaman is healthy for WBA?

  • AL

    Gord,
    Is it any wonder he says he wants to ‘damage PL teams’, seeing as west Brom are now managed by none other than tony pulis. Probably that horror tackle was all that mattered to tony when he looked at his CV.

  • Menace

    Oh AL he’s not that kind of manager! 😉

  • Gord

    AL.

    This is with respect to lacto-fermented foods (nominally vegetables).

    If a person wants something which is almost turnkey, the best I can find (ignoring price) is a company called Pickl-It. Probably based out of the USA (New Hampshire). They want to sell you jars for pickling that have airlocks installed. They have recipes, they have rules for how much salt to use with specific foods. If you go looking for it, they have a fair amount of science there. They are not being completely open about some things, but they are trying to sell you something, not have you go elsewhere.

    High sulfur foods are going to produce products other than just carbon dioxide. If there is any copper in the water, the high sulfur foods will likely turn a greenish colour, this isn’t anything wrong. Put your fermentation vessels somewhere cool and dark.

    Pickl-It is a straight brine lactofermentation. They don’t do anything (that I can see) where you might start with liquid that has a high concentration of lacto-bacilli (or any other salt tolerant bacteria or yeast). Which I am not fond of, because I typically try to minimize dietary salt additions. I wouldn’t get too carried away with fancy salts, sodium chloride is pretty much sodium chloride. If you see someone talking about iodized salt killing the bacteria, they don’t know what they are talking about. If nothing else, sea salt has iodine in it. It comes that way from the ocean.

  • Tim Nash

    I see that the BBC’s rehabilitation of Phil Neville has begun, and apace, via today’s Football Focus. During the programme he’ll undergo a Premier League style fitness test to see if our ‘misunderstood’ MoTD hero – who’s really fun-loving and cuddly under the surface – is capable of making a return to football.

    As he’s clearly not up to being a pundit, a return to football – say clattering people in Division 6(B) of the Northern Premier League – would appear a far more appropriate use of his time.

  • Gianni Dioro

    @Gord – If I remember correctly, Callum McManaman made a very nasty tackle against an Arsenal player too.

  • jambug

    On BTSport this morning we have a perfect example of why there is so much wrong with the punditry and the attitude they have.

    A player hand balls it into the net. Ok it’s wrong but it’s never going to hurt anyone, but the pundits are outraged.

    It’s.

    ‘Cheating’

    ‘Terrible’

    ‘what people go crazy about’

    On the other hand an ‘over the top’ (there words) tackle that lands squarely on a players ankle that could of broken his ankle is dismissed out of hand.

    No ‘cheating’, ‘terrible’ or ‘what people go crazy about’ with that.

    -Out raged at a hand ball

    -Totally indifferent to a potential leg breaking foul

    Says all you need to know about our attitudes in this Country.