Monday, August 25, 2008

On a slightly different note...

...I just had to share this with y'll. I bolded my favourite bits. Hooray for sport.

Gloating British celebrate rare success

After 20 years of Olympic humiliation, the British have celebrated beating Australia's gold medal tally with all the restraint and good taste that you'd expect.

Tabloid UK newspaper The Sun hired tray-top trucks in both Sydney and London that were mounted with giant signs comparing Britain's (19) and Australia's (14) gold medal counts and driven around the respective cities.

Emblazoned across a Union Jack background was the question "Where the bloody hell were you?", referencing the Lara Bingle-led tourism ad campaign.

The signs also hint at Australia's relative "failure" in cycling, rowing and other sports in which the contestants sit down — events with obvious appeal to the British and where they accumulated the bulk of their gold.

The Sun even scoured London for an Australian called Bruce, finally cornering 48-year-old Bruce Howes in what they termed a "posh Kensington High Street" and confronting him with the rare defeat.

"We'll get you next time," he warned.

British expat Suzie O'Carroll, who forwarded a mobile phone photo of the truck driving along George St this morning to ninemsn, said she thought the Sun had been "pretty darn quick" in setting up the prank.

"I've heard that the bookies are offering odds of 4/7 on Britain getting more medals next time and the same odds of us beating Australia," she said.

"I'm sure the Aussies will pour everything into avoid that, but I think the GB will still come out on top."

Asked if she might rub in another victory for the motherland amongst Antipodean colleagues, Ms O'Carroll said: "Well, maybe just a little bit."

British excitement is understandable: it is the first time since the 1988 Seoul Olympics that the country has topped Australia's medal count.

The fervour has been further increased by the prospect of federal sports minister Kate Ellis wearing red, white and blue clothing to a sporting event involving the two countries as a result of a bet with her British equivalent Gerry Sutcliffe.

A spokesman for Ms Ellis said she had not yet decided when she would meet the obligation but "would be looking at the calendar in the coming months to see in which events the two nations clash".

Surely, as their population is three times ours, they should have collected three times as many gold medals? Logic? What is this logic?


Moses @ Beer and Sport said...

Not to mention the Poms recruiting three of their neighbours to help their medal tally along.

I mean they only connned the Welsh into officially joining their cricket team (well, some South Africans and Australians too), but for some reason the Scots and Northern Irish go along with assimilating for the Olympics too.

Funnily enough I can't seem to find a dragon on the Union Jack, though I can quite clearly see the cross of the dude who slayed the dragon.

Moses @ Beer and Sport said...

oh, this again re-inforces the theory that while the Poms (which includes Scots, Welsh and N.Irish) are good losers, they are attrocious winners. See Ashes, 2005.

Oomby Dave said...

Dickheads, more Ashes revenge in less than a year!

The Atheist said...

Erm... I'm not sure about the "fervor", I think "non-plussed" might be more accurate. G-funky-B only did well at sports that no-one is interested in, which only compounds the relative apathy.

I read somewhere that Eton College would be about ninth at the tables. Whereas, in the events that people watch (field events/football) we received a shafting.

Although, it is amusing to watch the over-blown Aussie reaction...

In any case, my support went to Botswana. Who, as usual, did bugger all.

Moses @ Beer and Sport said...

and what an inspiring promotion for London 2012, can't wait for them to balls up that one too


Miss Field said...

I'd say the overblown reaction originated from the English, actually, Mr Atheist.

I think it's funny about GB exceling at the sitting-down sports.

Good grief Moses, I just looked at that link... way to be scathing about one's own country. I didn't see the event, so I can't comment, I'd be surprised if it was really that bad though... was it?

I'd like to see the Opening and Closing Ceremonies toned down a bit. And if everyone could please remember the idea of exploiting a cute child was ours, so think of something else. And what a nasty skank she turned out to be. Save a child, use a pre-existing skank.

David Barry said...

The line about the English doing well in sports that involve sitting down annoys me. At best mildly funny the first time you hear it. But I've seen it across newspapers and blogs, and it's really tiresome.

It's not like Australia does well in events that require being upright most of the time....

Anonymous said...

It's all a bit sad isn't it? A wealthy former empire that compares itself to one of its former colonies.

It's a bit like Australia being excited at receiving more medals than PNG or East Timor or god forbid the Kiwis. (Yes I know they are not colonies)

What is a bit rich is that the Olympics don't hand out prizes for the nation with the most medals.

The medal table is a media creation and as far as I know individuals and teams compete for medals.

That billboard truly is an indictment on the insecurity and fragility of Great (sic) Britain.

D Charlton said...

Moses - while i am pleased GB did well in Olympics and even more pleased they pipped Aussies, this stunt and any sort of gloating is shameful. You are right, we are rotten winners. I guess we're just not used to it. Sorry for that.

For what it is worth, I am hoping for a close Ashes, whoever wins.

Leg Break said...

For once The Sun has got it right.

Any gloating campaign that takes the piss out of Lara Bingle has got to be good.

But isn’t there something very Only Fools and Horses about that van?

Moses @ Beer and Sport said...

@D Charlton, I too am hoping for a close Ashes series - please order some special mints to keep your team competitive.

Perhaps you can hold on to them for more than 10 months in the next two decades, that'd be ace.

Rusty said...

did anyone else notice how often, when discussing the Olympics, the BBC website referred (condescendingly, or sometimes derogatorily) to the "win-at-all-cost' mentality of Australians, even though they might be discussing a sport that had no Aussies in it? Note the Atheist's comment - the Aussie response is overblown - not his countrymen's, of course.

"win-at-all-cost'' - as if using mints, and Collingwood and Vaughan's attitudes to the Kiwis and Saffers recently has absolutely nothing to do with wanting to win in any way possible! As if the English achieve their sporting wins by chance (national lottery?) and without really, really wanting them! (and then have total hysterics and run round knighting everybody and his dog, not to mention vans to advertise the fact, when they do!)

It's like 2005 all over again.

The Nightwatchgirl said...

There's no arrogance coming from Nightwatchgirl. We (that's England and at a push GB) are just glad to win because it feels like such a rare thing. Let us have this now and I'm sure when you've got your Ashes again you can rub it in all our faces. Can't we all just be friends?

Moses @ Beer and Sport said...

oh we've got 'our' Ashes now, let the face rubbing commence :)

Oomby Dave said...

Sorry Nightwatchgirl you left yourself wiiiiiide open there :P

The Nightwatchgirl said...

OK. Not yours or ours just the Ashes. I will be tempting Symonds with the amazing fishing opportunities as soon as the Aussie's land in England in '09.

Val Blundell said...

Can i just say that as a 'pom'..i hate the way the media in my country go over the top on any achievement..sporting or otherwise.

Yes, we over did the Ashes celebrations.
We went over the top with the Rugby World Cup and now we have gone overboard with the Olympic (Gold) Medal haul..

Now first & foremost, i am willing to congratulate the effort and the pride these competitors feel but come on!
This country goes TOTALLY over the top on such's embarrassing!
Ever since we have celebrated our hero's, they have gone to pot so i'm not too optimistic about the 2012 Olympic team.

Trust me...there are a lot of us who cringe at all the attention the press in our country pours on our sportsmen.

It gets to such a point when I PERSONALLY want us to fail to bring the dumb ass public who believe all the hype, to understand that we..
DO NOT have the divine right to win at every sport we take part in..
IT IS NOT cool to 'loose as long as we loose well'..
ONE win DOES not turn us into the WORLD'S best team!!

KP IS NOT the saviour of English cricket..his mouth is FAR too big..his brain is NOT, therefor the two do not work well together.

I sincerely wish that the England cricket team could be more like the Australian cricket team...ruthless & arrogant.
It is the only way we can ever hope of beating you.

Buttering up our sports men & women into believing they are world beaters when they are so clearly not, is not only insulting to them but to us..the paying/viewing public too.

So there you go..i fully understand where you guys are coming from..feel free to take the p!@?..

I LOVE the England cricket, lose or draw...and that is where the problem probably lies!

Oomby Dave said...

Wow, Van Blundell, an honest pom, we should have you stuffed ;)

Val Blundell said...


Rob said...

Why do you think Australia did so badly? They usually do win a stash of medals. France did *really* badly (7 golds).

Anonymous said...

How many medals in a stash, Rob?

Australia won 43 and by my reckoning that's a pretty good performance. In my circle of friends, colleagues and family I never heard a whisper about the team performing badly.

In a healthy sign for Australian sport we even celebrated a couple of silver medals, won by Sally McLennen and Anna Meares, as hard as our golds.

Some sports like gymnastics give away far too many medals and that distorts the medal tally.

Australia won medals from memory in athletics, swimming, cycling, triathalon, basketball, kayaking, rowing, diving, sailing, equestrian, hockey, softball, water polo, shooting and canoeing.

In my mind that is a GOOD effort.

Leg Break said...

Just imagine if England ever won a World Football Cup.

Away from home.

OK; unlikely to happen in any of our lifetimes...

But just imagine.

Rob said...

I have managed to fool myself, I was in the USA while the Olympics were on and of course they only talk about US or Jamaican medals. The Aussie stats for the last three Olympics are:

2000: G 16, S 25, B 17
2004: G 17, S 16, B 16
2008: G 14, S 15, B 17

As you say Gymnastics gives away medals for individual apparatus which seems a bit silly. Swimming seems particularly bad too with all those relays...

Also Aussies remember: The Sun is not England, its a couple of guys who work in Fleet St whose job it is to cause sensation...

T said...

I'm English and i dread 2012 - the thing they did in Beijiny about it was so tacky and misrepresents England and London completely; i suppose it all has to be politically correct nowadays - no mention of Nelson and Wellington.

Britain did well in the olympics, end of.

Oh and i assure you; The Sun newspaper does NOT respresent Britain; it sadly respresents the un-educated idiots of Britain. It's a newspaper filled with rubbish so do not look in to it so deeply; that's just stupid.

Maybe you just have to quit the excessive anti Englishness going on here and accept we got more medals than you in an Olympics - GREAT! No one will remember in a few months, get over it (saying that in the nicest way possible). Oh and i won't mention the Rugby World Cup England vs Australia - Oops too late :D


T said...

ok i meant Beijing - slight mistake there.

I also remind all Aussies again that Trescothick admitted to mint usage in 2001, that is not 2005 so do not claim we only won in 2005 because of mints. Also their effectiveness is negotiable according to the people that know. Just let the sport do the talking; Olympics we win more medals, Rugby we beat you, cricket - we will beat you :D

Moses @ Beer and Sport said...

@Val Blundell, didn't realise there was an England cricket team.. forgotten the Welsh already? What if Simon Jones gets fit...

@t, Cook Cup - held by Wallabies. Ashes - held by Baggy Greens. Seems we win the games that count..