Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Manchester United Songs & Chants

To aid my procrastinating today, I was trawling through YouTube and found a treasure trove of Manchester United crowd chants. Having never been to a United game, I sometimes wonder what the crowd actually chants. If you've been in a similar position, watch these videos, memorise the lines and give 'em hell next time you watch mighty United play on TV or at the ground.

Anderson Song:

Tevez Song:

Wayne Rooney Song:

That boy Ronaldo, he makes England look shiite:

Take Me Home United Road:

Finally, this list would not have had any street cred if I didn't present this to all you hardcore United fans:

Admittedly it's slightly harsh to some of the game's legends from other clubs. Then again, who asked them to associate themselves with our foes?

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Continued >> >>

Ronaldinho & Anderson Party With Drug Dealer

So say Brazilian police who tapped the phones of these two footballing superstars in a bid to discover the whereabouts of a notorious drug dealer who had escaped from prison. A police department insider reveals that the AC Milan and Manchester United players were discussing attending a party with the fugitive.

Luckily for Ronaldinho and Anderson, they never mentioned the purchase, consumption or courier of drugs during the tapped calls. Word has it that a friend of Anderson's was looking after the footballer's apartment in his absence, and used the premises to hide the fugitive - all without Anderson's knowledge.

While Ronaldinho and Anderson may not have known the shady activities of their fugitive 'friend', stories like this only highlight the different worlds in which modern day stars exist. Forget about living in your house, if your neighbour was your town's most successful dealer, you would know about it - without ever having to talk to him.

Maybe superstars just don't care about such trivialities, it's probably easier for them to simply turn a blind eye. Any superstars able to shed some light on this rather intriguing component of your beings?

Click here to purchase a David Beckham LA Galaxy shirt/jersey

Click here to purchase the Manchester United football jersey/shirt

Click here to purchase the AC Milan football jersey/shirt

Continued >> >>

Monday, September 22, 2008

Stanford 20/20 Falls At First Hurdle

The Stanford 20/20 is finally being exposed for what it is - a multi-million dollar sham to satisfy the whims and fancies of one man. Don't get fooled into thinking this is payback for the IPL not including any English players in its competition - any millions the players make are purely coincidental.

Unlike any other cricket competition running at present, this exhibition match between England and the Stanford All-Stars is all about Texan billionaire Allan Stanford continuing to stamp his authority all over the WICB. We all know how loud money talks in today's world and Allan Stanford seems to love throwing it all around the Caribbean islands in the guise of helping West Indian cricket.

Proceedings brought by Digicel, the West Indian cricket team's principal sponsor, against Stanford 20/20 may see the indefinite postponement of the match involving the Poms. Digicel is arguing that the Standford All-Stars team is the West Indies national team by another name, thereby Digicel's sponsorship agreement with the WICB permits it to brand the Stanford All-Stars playing kit with the Digicel logo.

Stanford has made a lot more money by selling these branding rights to Digicel's fierce competitor, Cable & Wireless. This is a legal battle that cricket doesn't need, but one that is utterly necessary to ensure that no one individual hijacks a national board or national players for one-off tamasha matches.

If Stanford really cared for West Indies cricket he would globalise his domestic 20/20 tournament to include prominent players and teams, such as structures adopted by the IPL, ICL and domestic cricketing structure of every other national board.

I'm not foolish enough to believe that Lalit Modi or Subash Chandra are indulging in generous philanthropic acts. However, their tournaments are going some way to bettering the global standards of cricket, cricketers and the facilities they utilise.

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Continued >> >>

Brownlow Medal Red Carpet 2008

This is one those special events here at The Match Referee. One of the few times during the year where, along with the footballers, we too let our hair down. After a break of one year, due primarily to my disorganisation, The Match Referee presents the second annual (you may peruse the 2006 awards here) best dressed awards from the AFL's Brownlow Medal red carpet (thanks to The Age for these snaps).

<-- Best Dressed Male Award goes to Collingwood's one and only Bryan Strauchan, aka Strauchanie. We simply couldn't go past that freshly peroxided mop finished off with the totally bogan Oakley sunnies.

--> Best Dressed Female Award is an absolute no-brainer. Rebecca Twigley sweeps all before her with a stunning white number topped off with something from a BDSM kit (who's been visiting Sexyland, I wonder).

<-- Best Dressed Female (Honourable Mention) Award must go to Carlton's Marc Murphy's partner, Sarah Williamson. A stunning, tasteful and elegant silver gown would most probably have won the night had the Twig stayed at home. Not to worry, The Match Referee's honourable mention award is still something to covet.

--> Best Dressed Couple is awarded to St Kilda's Lenny Hayes and Candice Loonard. Let us make it clear that Lenny's contribution in this team effort is minimal. This honour is bestowed upon on this pair solely due to the grace, poise and beauty of his partner Candice.

<-- The Bjork Award for the most tacky outfit goes to Roo, Brent Harvey's partner, Shane McLintock. Anybody who labels this grown anything other than tacky needs a good tickle around the ears.

--> The Nick Reiwoldt Award for Biggest Momma's Boy goes to future Collingwood hero Ben Cousins, for coming along with his mom, Mrs Cousins. Good on ya son, keep putting your best foot forward and welcome to the family.

Support the Pies? Show your support by wearing the black and white!!

From the Cattery? Show your true colours on grand final day!!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Andrew Symonds Agrees To Play Cricket Again

This story is akin to reporting that George Bush is an idiot. Seriously now, did anybody outside of sensationalist journalists ever entertain the thought of Andrew Symonds turning his broad back on Australian cricket, to focus solely on the IPL? Some conspiracy theorists might argue that this whole episode was a set-up by Cricket Australia to test Michael Clarke's captaincy mettle.

In an effort to not sound entirely facetious, I think it is worth a mention that today's sports stars generally understand where their bread is buttered. Andrew Symonds well understands that his current and future earning potential will be decimated if he decided to quit Australian cricket. Unlike Brett Lee, Symonds is not a darling of the Indian masses, he cannot sing, therefore Indian advertisers aren't exactly beating down his door, and any semblance of an un-Australian action will see his market value plummet Down Under.

Excuse the cynicism, but it blatantly clear to me that the only "confidential" counseling Symonds will have received in the last few days would have been from his manager and accountant.

The interesting conundrum this creates for Australian selectors is what to do with the Test match number six position? If Shane Watson manages a couple of decent performances with either, or both, bat and ball in India, is Symonds automatically brought back for being the..errr..incumbent? While I'm not convinced Watson is a Test match number six, this uncertainty could only prove a hindrance to Watson's performance in this role.

Just as an aside - given the recent frosts between the two, when Symonds does return, does Michael Clarke welcome him back with arms wide open?

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Continued >> >>

Monday, September 15, 2008

Is This The ICL's Path To World Domination?

Just when the entire cricketing universe thought that the ICL had no show of upstaging the BCCI and its IPL, comes news that the core of the Bangladesh national team is about to sign with the hitherto ICC-unrecognised body.

While this move appears a desperate ploy to gain traction in the Asian cricket market, it will be an interesting situation if these players 'defect' and Bangladesh teeters on the precipice, with the very real threat of losing its Test status. The BCCI will undoubtedly flex its monstrous political and financial clout to prevent the rebels from defecting. As carrots, IPL contracts will undoubtedly be offered to a select few of the rebels.

After all, the BCCI simply cannot afford a situation where it could potentially lose an all-important vote at the round table of the world sport's most incompetent administrative body - the esteemed ICC.

However, if the mass defection does occur, are we likely to witness the thus unimaginable events I described some time ago?

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Support the Tigers from Bangladesh? Get yourself a Bangladesh ODI cricket shirt!!

Continued >> >>

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Delhi Blasts - A Test Of Australian Cricket's Gumption

The Delhi blasts of 13 September have yet again exposed the inadequacy and ineptitude of Indian politicians and enforcers of law and order in protecting the common man and his / her property. The only "assets" that can ever be securely protected in India are monuments, buildings, cricket stadiums and white people. As such, Australia (or any other sporting nation, for that matter) should have no problem in progressing with its Indian tour.

However, it is going to be of great interest to see how Cricket Australia goes about justifying its soon to be taken decision of continuing with its tour of India. For the average Indian it is plain to see that foreigners have always been quite safe in the country and the Indian government always manages to ensure foreigners are almost never hurt in any of these blasts.

Undoubtedly and quite correctly, some might argue, Pakistan will feel slighted and belittled when (I don't believe it is a question of "if") Cricket Australia decides to send its team to India. The prevailing questions emanating from Pakistan upon announcement of Cricket Australia's decision will center around why Pakistan has been singled out and India let off the hook.

Obviously, money will offer some comfort during the deliberations of Australia's players and officials - money always talks (remember the players' reactions after the Jaipur blasts during the IPL). Australia could also genuinely argue that India's ability to keep strategic assets free of terrorist activities has been markedly better than that of Pakistan's.

Unfortunately, Pakistan cricket's plight is such that any ensuing hue and cry will most probably be put down to a severe case of bitterness after the postponement of the Champions Trophy. While I never enjoy observing a talented cricketing nation treated with such disdain, this series of events may just force the powers-that-be in Pakistan to clean up their act and work towards developing a cricketing establishment that is clean and honest.

PS. Just as an aside (and something totally off the topic) - you and I have always heard rumours of the complicity of Indian politicians with these bastards / terrorists. Given such rumours and that I would never wish such pain inflicted on any human being and that India's image in the global domain would suffer most if non-Indians were killed or injured in the blasts, why is it that such attacks are so well planned that they almost always only manage to impact Indian citizens for whom no Indian politician, official or system is in the least bit concerned?

Just some food for thought.

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Continued >> >>
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