Friday, April 25, 2003

Sports Corner

Meanwhile I'm watching the snooker, a curiously relaxing way to waste your time. Tonight Peter "the alien" Ebdon is playing Tony "Dago" Drago in a match reminiscent of the hare and tortoise. Drago, the Fats Waller of the snooker world, races around the table as though he's got much better things to be doing, whilst Ebdon, bald pate and wide eyes shining, measures up each shot endlessly, like a carpenter on an important job who's had a few too many at lunch. They're almost playing different games, one ice hockey and the other five-day cricket.

In football, Man Utd hosted Real yesterday but emphatically failed to stop them scoring which, like with all great teams, is much harder than scoring against them. In the first match Real seemed to sit on the edge of United's penalty area, making sporadic incursions at will, rather in the style of the Marines at the outskirts of Baghdad. This time, with the Embassy world championships just starting, they seemed to stroke the ball as deftly as a snooker player. Beckham came on as a sub, immediately had a free-kick to take and no doubt with his wage negotiations with Madrid at the front of his mind, scored effortlessly.

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