Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Santa's Sporting Almanac

Ho Ho Ho! Or whatever. Being Santa, I have to constantly pretend to be jolly, in order to fulfil the fat man stereotype that has been created for me. Like no skinny man could be good natured enough to go around the world on one night every December, clambering down chimneys to deliver increasingly more opulent presents to increasingly less deserving children, and all for the reward of several billion nips of brandy and a thousand tons of Christmas cake.

Actually I'm quite a trim gent, physically more similar to a Sigmund Freud or a later years John Gielgud than the morbidly obese pie-fiend you'd expect. You have to be to get the sleigh-speeds up, especially on the long Pacific crossing. The Honolulu to Yokohama run is the acid test of your aerodynamism, and on these modern fibre-glass sleighs, every ounce counts. I humbly request that people leave out some hummus and Ryvita for my refreshment, rather than the traditional coronary inducing fare.

Anyway, let's have a look at these letters. Ok, my favourite part: naughty people.

Straight to the bin with Ashley Cole's letter. Wants another £5,000 a week - greedy, greedy boy; Craig Bellamy's not getting that Scalextrix either (I know he was acquitted of that assault charge, but I haven't been to his house since, at the age of four, he called his kindergarten teacher a f**king c***; hence I have no idea of the way); Sven Goran Eriksson - the English FA may have voluntary paid him £4 million a year, but it still amounts to robbery in my book. Nothing in the stocking for Kieran Fallon either - that child is simply wilful.

My elves have been telling me that Graeme Dott has, tick-like, sucked the last vestiges of colour and excitement from the game of snooker, leaving nothing but Ronnie O'Sullivan's madness in his wake. No quirky new waistcoat for you, young Dott.

I can tell you right away who'll be crying come Christmas morning - those Australian international rules players! Big bullies all of them, and Santa doesn't come to bullies, you know. I don't mind the Irish ones. They can batter away all they want - they're only amateur you see. Boxing somebody in the head on a football field is only wrong if you get paid for it. Santa says so.
There's some bold boys in the FAI I've been hearing about too. Denying Dundalk their rightful place in the Premier Division; appointing a world class manager who'd never managed, well, anywhere in the world whatsoever; making that "this place was built on bigotry" crack about Croke Park....well ok, that last one was so delightfully controversial, and quite lyrically put, that we can't stay mad at them for long.

Do you know whose letter I just fished out of the shredder bin? Little Jose Mourinho's. Well he's just gone and proved us all wrong. All that moaning, the ungracious celebrations, the unctious behaviour, the referee-baiting - I didn't need my elves to tell me about his naughtiness quotient.

Then, just today, he sidles up, tail between his legs, and says sorry for accusing Andrew Johnson of cheating! Well there's a heartwarming seasonal tail of redemption and forgiveness if I ever heard it! This season's black Armani overcoat is on its way to you, my lad.

Marco Materazzi can forget about those new goatee trimmers he is begging pathetically for. What a rotter! Yes he may have been ostensibly the wronged party, receiving as he did a rather forceful butt on the chest from a deranged Frenchman. But when that deranged Frenchman is charismatic football legend and star of arthouse cinema, Zinedine Zidane, and you've suggested that his mother is a foreign national who plies her trade in the wee small hours around Marseilles's less salubrious quarters...well, take that sir!

Now, I have a package here for Sammy Allardyce....hang on a mo! What's this about a bungs report? Elves!!


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