Summer Diary - Anybody feeling like boycotting pay-per-yawn?
Published: 7 July, 2011
by RICHARD OSLEY
US Open winner Rory McIlroy was at Wimbledon on Friday cheering on Andy Murray, who LOST. He turned up again for the final on Sunday and was cheering on Rafa Nadal, who LOST.
In between, the jet-set golfer flew out to Germany for the big fight to cheer on David Haye, who LOST.
Listen carefully to me now, if he turns up to cheer on your football team next season proceed with caution.
He hardly sounds like a lucky charm.
Sadly for Rory and those of us who had to make do with watching from home (NB: you can recreate a royal box feel in your bedsit by sitting on your bed wearing a smart suit and tie next to a lifesize cardboard cut-out of Bank of England governor and perma-Wimbledon spectator Mervyn King, I did) these promising sporting showdowns were ultimately damp squibs. Don’t frown at that statement of fact. They were, be honest, they were. They were. Were.
Nadal’s biting class turned the match against Murray quickly into a procession once some first set squabbling was over. Nadal’s own errors on Sunday then ruined the Wimbledon final to some extent.
Of course, Nole Djokovic was class all over, but he was generously helped to victory by Nadal’s consistent blundering. Perhaps feeling concerned that his I-can-hit-the-ball-harder-than-you strategy was soaked up by Djokovic’s speed and craft, the Spanish bull started spraying balls long or bulleting them into the net like a misfiring robot.
Which funnily enough was exactly what Haye said Wladimir Klitschko would look like during their punch-up on Saturday while speaking at a bragathon press conference beforehand. He essentially growled: Let me attim, let me attim... They did let Haye at him, but instead of punching out, he spent the evening bobbing his head in defence and never really reaching beyond Klitschko’s jab. To think you had to pay extra money to you know who to watch this and they didn’t even televise the rounds where they play chess, which I understand Klitschko also won. Haye blamed a broken toe for not making more of the shoving contest that had unfolded. Sometimes when sports people reveal a hurdle like this it engenders sympathy. The response could have been: “Our poor British lion fought bravely against the odds”. In Haye’s case, he got the complete opposite. He was openly mocked. This surely stems from his boasts and bragging beforehand; the
T-shirt he wore with Wlad’s head exploding in a ball of blood was crude. You could say: well, Muhammad Ali, the greatest of them all, liked a crow in between his fighting. But not only was Ali smarter in his rhymes and wordplay and rapping oratory than Haye could ever muster, he also had earned the right to sting. Sadly, Haye came across like a weak pastiche before, during and after the fight.