Exhausting football, Roland-Garros and pigeon racing training | sport
1) Premier League clubs are back for what is essentially a second preseason ahead of the league resumes on June 17th. Some worry about the effect on players of trying to condense too much fitness work into such a short period of time. Well-being of the players? Pah! Jock Wallace would have been flabbergasted. Here’s Sandy Jardine revealing how only six of Rangers’ 46 players completed one of Wallace’s grueling drills at the time, with two requiring oxygen. And then there are the infamous images of Wallace barking at his Leicester players as they approaching breaking point sprinting down the sandy hills of Wanlip in 1978. “Don’t touch that damn sand!” “
2) Horse racing was one of the first to make a comeback in England, but without fans in Newcastle. Many rule changes are in place, including a ban on saunas, which means talks like this with David Crosse at Newton Abbot will not be possible. Johnny Murtagh may have been very worried when they told him they would need to attach a mic. Have no fear, there will still be time to fascinating interviews.
3) Cricket is back! Guernsey hosted a practice match during the week, with all social distancing rules in place. There were a lot of big hits, takes and wickets, all in front of real spectators.
4) There is no Roland-Garros this summer. Instead, we can only look back on what we’re potentially missing this time around. A decade ago Rafael Nadal passed Robin Soderling to win one of his 12 Roland Garros titles. He made up for being shocked by swedish last year, one of the rare career losses in the French capital. It also means that we will miss out on these kind of light jokes, when Goran Ivanisevic swapped his racket with a ball collector in 2015, not to mention that glory of Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. Twenty years ago, Mary Pierce produces one of the best trick shots ever on French soil.
5) Relaunched Rugby League Ashes series is latest to be canceled due to coronavirus, which means we’re going to miss classics like this from 2003 and more attritional stuff from 1994. It means at least that we will be unsavory incidents spared.
6) Technically, pigeon racing was the first competitive sport to return to these hills. It might just be flat caps and feathers in UK, but for the Chinese it’s a very big deal. Although it is surprising how many stereotypes are checked in this documentary. Not to mention the fact that Mike Tyson is a fan.
1) The condition of the pitch for the 1970 League Cup final was terrible. Always, at least it’s not that bad.
2) Celebrity golf, you say? Try Terry Wogan’s Hole what was the longest televised putt then.
3) Final score of 1986. How is your team doing?
Observer badges: ChampagneChino, who brought oranges, jezzan, LeeWall.