Tag Archives: News of the World

I Am Me!

Image website: http://www.uci.edu

Sitting in at a LifeRing meeting earlier on today, I was struck by the difficulty a friend of mine was having with acceptance; namely accepting that he has an alcohol problem.

Frank (not his real name) has been in and out of recovery. He need only think of having a drink and then – bang! – he’s down to the off-licence. But today may yet turn out to be a turning point for him. Frank hit on the notion of self-acceptance; an idea I caught onto almost immediately. If we can accept who we are, and the limitations that acceptance accords us, we can learn to live with ourselves and let go of the driftwood.

So, who am I? Well, for starters, I am a brother, son, cousin and nephew. I am a writer and blogger. I am a student of journalism. I am a boyfriend and lover.

I’m a caffeine and internet fiend. I sometimes think that the people who know me best are those who live inside my laptop, along with wires and microchips. But this is not true. My family and close friends know me better than I know myself, and they make no bones about letting me know that. This is why I love them dearly.

I am a reader of whatever I can get my hands on. I’m intelligent (though not an intellectual). I like football, tennis, snooker, cricket and darts. I hate boxing, trivialities, pettiness, and racial and religious intolerance.

I have been guilty of many things, including all of the above (except boxing). I can be insufferable and occasionally I promise much more than I can deliver. This is because I rarely so no. But when I do deliver, I do it with the best of my ability. I can not do otherwise.

Set me a challenge (like reading all seven of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series) and I will attack it with the gusto of a woodpecker on teak. Because that is what I do. Give me something or someone to love and I will love them until I’ve copied and pasted for the last time.

This is me. This is what makes me who I am. The fact that I don’t and can’t drink alcohol is no longer relevant. I don’t wish it to be so.

It’s Just Not Cricket!

Have you ever watched a sports event and wondered if what’s happening on the pitch or field is all down to the players and elements of chance?

Have you ever thought that someone down there knows more than they should or has an unfair advantage over their opponents?

Another question to ponder: Is the sportsman/woman in it for the glory of their team or are there more sinister motives abound.

Cheating occurs in all falls of life; in relationships, in work, at home, and in sport. There is money to be made if you play professional sport – loads of money. Just ask Tiger Woods, Brett Favre and any Barclays Premier League footballer.

But what if you decide that you can earn more money by fixing a result or manipulating events on the field? I’m not just talking about doping; I’m saying that businessmen all over the world, particularly in the Far East, use middlemen to approach sports stars, tempting them with vast sums of money if they influence a game.

The British Sunday tabloid, News of the World, is an expert in setting up such stars. You could call it entrapment, but it highlights the greed of some of the world’s biggest stars. Former world snooker champion John Higgins is suspended indefinitely from the sport because he stands accused of “throwing” frames during a tournament.

Yesterday, the tabloid released a video of one such middleman accepting a substantial sum of money, saying he could guarantee when a “no ball” would be delivered during the Fourth Test between England and Pakistan. Events, innocuous in and of themselves, occurred as planned, thereby highlighting the case that if small things like that could be fixed, the overall match result could be in doubt.

The man was arrested (he is currently on bail); England won the game and the series; but the result is tarnished.

This game – any game – becomes pointless to watch if players fall foul to betting scandals and match-fixing allegations. Cricket has been “knocked for six”.