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Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Vuvuzela

When the World Cup started I didn't mind the vuvuzela, but after so many games, if I ever saw someone carrying one of these things on the street, I'd probably snap it over his head. I hate you, vuvuzela. I hate you so much. Thanks to the vuvuzela, I no longer feel sorry for those South Africans who spent so many years stuck under the boot of apartheid. In fact, you probably deserve it, just for inventing that infernal angry-bees horn.

Video via: Up Next In Sports

A Little World Cup Warm-Up

If the USA vs England smack-talking hasn't fired you up, then this amazing goal from Spain's friendly versus Poland ought to. Yes, they're just the Polish team and thus probably distracted by a mirrored disco ball in the stand or an exceptionally shiny pair of diamond earrings, but this passing sequence is exquisite. I haven't seen a Spaniard with moves like that since Inigo Montoya!

All of a sudden, I'm very glad the US isn't in Group H.

Ronaldo: A Journey To Fatness

This video of Ronaldo throughout the years is frightening, yet also oddly mesmerizing. I think it's the music that does it, quite honestly. The fact that you can watch Ronaldo visibly grow larger and add extra chins is also kind of impressive.

What's also kind of impressive is the career Ronaldo had despite being the fattest guy to ever play soccer (apparently, anyway). Three-time FIFA player of the year, second player ever to do that, and three goals in three different world cups, also only the second player to do that. Ronaldo is kind of like the Shaq of soccer: amazing despite his weight problem and dislike of conditioning. You kind of wonder what he might have been able to do if he had been able to stay away from the McDonald's.

Soccer and America, the best of enemies.

If you don't read the Wall Street Journal, you would have never learned that soccer is ruining America. There are a lot of great points in that article. However, did you know that America is also ruining football overseas? I didn't know that for sure, but I could've easily guessed it the moment Malcolm Glazer bought a team in the Premier League.

Some of the second article's points aren't fair. I mean, blaming us for stupid stadium names? In a sport where most of the jersey is dominated by advertisements? It was only a matter of time before someone decided to sell the name and have it be Old Trafford Stadium Presented By Harry Ramsden's.

El Loco Still Going

José René Higuita Zapata, famous for inventing the Scorpion Kick, at the age of 42, has just played his first game for his new club, Deportivo Pereira. In honour of the one they call El Loco, here are a few highlights from his career. Sadly, there are no YouTube clips of his involvement in a drug-related kidnapping, but you can't have it all.

Rocket Attack On The Pitch

Rocket Man

Conor Hagen, a 26-year-old player for IFA Premiership team Linfield in Ireland, was the unfortunate target of a rocket attack just moments after his side lost the County Antrim Shield to hated cross-town and cross-religion rivals Cliftonville.

The Daily Mail has the rest of the insane pictures.

It's really staggering that, after the hundreds of years of religious warfare in Ireland, fans can still get into stadiums with fireworks. Given how American fans get patted down, metal-detected, and cavity-searched these days, you'd think that the Irish would get even more intense security screenings. Apparently they can't be that good, as someone managed to sneak in and blast a player with a bottle rocket.

Newcastle Goes Nigerian

So Newcastle United have found someone interested in buying the club. The party in question is a consortium of Nigerian businessmen, who are willing to put in the £450 million that the current owner, Mike Ashley, is asking for. They promise that if they get they club, they'll try to get Kevin Keegan back as manager. Good news, eh? All Ashley has to do is pay a £50,000 deposit to the consortium and they'll transfer the funds within a week. They'll also be requiring his bank details and his mother's maiden name, but I'm sure that's standard practice in this kind of deal.

When's a miss not a miss?

Possibly the worst refereeing decision ever. Even Graham 'Three Yellows' Poll is jealous of this one:

Something about David Beckham

When David Beckham first moved to the US, both fans and 'experts' alike predicted the end of his England career would soon follow. After all, what is the MLS, if not one big retirement home? However, it wasn't long before the national selectors started knocking on his door again, as it became very apparent that while Beckham was past his best, we really didn't have any better alternatives.

For a while, Shaun Wright-Phillips was touted as his successor, but his transfer to Chelsea, and a subsequent lack of first team opportunities, has substantially damaged his international career. Tottenham’s, David Bentley was also mentioned briefly, but didn’t do enough with his chances to really secure a place in the England team.

Then the manager, Fabio Cappello, selected Theo Walcott to play on the right of midfield – Beckham’s position. Walcott was previously known best as the shock selection for the 2006 World Cup squad, being chosen instead of more experienced strikers. He’d barely played a game for his club, and was far from ready for international football. Unsurprisingly, he finished the tournament without making a single appearance.

Anyway, all that is now forgotten, thanks to a superb hat-trick against Croatia last week. Considering that Beckham probably never scored a hat-trick in his life, apart from in his back garden against his kids, it’s probably safe to say those three goals signalled the end of his days as an international footballer. He might still make it to the squad, but I can’t see him starting any more matches.

Obviously, he’ll still be playing for LA Galaxy for a few years to come. But without regular England appearances, he’ll need to keep his profile up in order to remain an asset to his club, because, let’s face it, the main reason anyone buys Beckham is the publicity and interest he attracts.

So what’s he going to do with his time now? The modelling stuff is fine, but he’s 33, and his looks will fade. And if he’s not good-looking anymore, he might not get invited to those A-list parties and events.

Perhaps he could use some his Hollywood contacts to launch an acting career. There have certainly been rumours about it already. Of course, that won’t come to anything, due to the fact he sounds very much like a castrato when he speaks. Any attempts to become a singer would be hindered too by this affliction. Even if he did manage it, his wife would no doubt wish to impart her own wisdom upon him regarding the music biz. Failure would surely follow.

With music and film out of the equation, Beckham is left with few high-profile occupations to choose from. He’s probably too old to try a new sport, apart from golf, and in Tiger Woods, it already has its poster boy.

Things are starting to look desperate for David now. A downwards slide into alcoholism, gambling and drug abuse seems imminent, unless he can find a way to stay in the public eye. Fortunately, America offers a place where aging stars can go once their light begins to fade. It’s called politics. It worked for Arnie, Ronald Reagan and Sonny Bono. Even Jesse Ventura did it. Surely, with his apparent lack of intelligence or understanding of politics, combined with his perfect teeth and much publicised marital infidelity, David Beckham is the perfect candidate to be a State Governor. He’d get my vote. Obviously, because I’m not American, I wouldn’t have to live with the consequences, but if you ever wanted to know what a political campaign speech would sound like when delivered by a seven-year-old girl, this has to be the way forward.

"My first political... thingy, will be to make... like good stuff happen and that"

King Kev Quits Again

Right now, I almost feel like crying. Once again, Kevin Keegan, the messiah of my beloved Newcastle United, has thrown in the towel. This time, he was pissed with the club's upper management for interfering with player transfers, giving him players he didn't want, and selling those that he did. To make matters worse, the club's owner, Mike Ashley thought it wise to employ Dennis Wise as the 'Executive Director of Football', whatever that means. As well as no doubt meddling in affairs that shouldn't concern him, Wise is also a first-class dickhead, and I respect Keegan's desire not to work with him.

Anyway, what's done is done, and the absence of the King now leaves Newcastle looking for a successor. But who would want the job? David Moyes has been put forward as a possible, but I can't see him ever wanting to leave Everton, where he's built a very good squad and has the support of the fans. Didier Deschamps has also been mentioned. This is certainly a more likely suggestion, but I don't think he'd do a particularly good job in English football. However, looking for a continental manager certainly seems like a good idea, and I'd like to put forward the name of a new guy on the scene who's currently making big waves in Holland. Step forward Mr Steve McClaren.

Well, maybe not. Whoever they do get for the job, though, is going to have a hard time pleasing both the board and the fans, and I predict another year of struggling for the Toon, after which there'll no doubt be an exodus of the club's best players, followed by possible relegation.

Okay, now I really am crying.

A man who used to work for Newcastle United

Fantasy Football Time

With the new season due to start in just a few weeks, I hereby cordially invite you all to join my Fanstasy Football League, 'The Premiershit'.

You can register at

Once you have logged in and entered your team, click on the 'Leagues'
link you can find on the right of the page. Now enter the code
84045-96702 to join the private league.

Enjoy the game.

Who's The Wanker In The Black?

Recently, the world was marvelling at the antics of the Belarusian Drunk Referee. This wasn't the first time a football match official has made a fool of himself though, and here's a clip to prove it.

Sadly, it doesn't include the classic Graham Poll incident, but you can't have everything, can you?

Shaolin Soccer 2

Continuing what appears to be fast becoming a running theme here at Sportsbastards, here's a clip of China's Under-23 Olympic team and their 'friendly' against English side QPR, which quickly descended into chaos. There's even a few flying kicks in there for good measure.

It's ironic, perhaps, that as a QPR boot flies into an opponent player's face, the last thing he might see are three simple words: 'Made in China'.

Introducing 'Drunk Referee'

Belarus, in the depths of Eastern Europe, is a country famous for... er... not much really, apart from a being a bit too close to Chernobyl. However, it now has a new claim to fame, as home of the world's most inebriated match official, Sergei Shmolik. Here he is in all his glory, refereeing a Belarusian league game. Initially, it was thought he was suffering from back pain, but hospital tests revealed large amounts of alcohol in his body. To be fair, if I had to referee a Belarusian football match, I think I'd probably start taking crack.

Paid Slavery

Sepp Blatter, FIFA's official Idiot-in-chief, has once again put his foot in it, by announcing that Manchester United are treating Ronaldo like a slave, by refusing to sell him to Real Madrid. Seriously, what the hell has it got to do with him anyway? For a man with such huge responsibility, this seems deeply unprofessional to me. Also, how does paying someone thousands of pounds a week to kick a ball have anything in common with slavery? If it did, Kunta Kinte would have been shouting "Toby" in no time.

If anyone at FIFA is reading this, please, please, please sack this useless tub of shit, for the sanity of us all.