Friday 23 June 2017

Clash of cultures in Olympic torch song

"London Calling to the faraway towns." Hard to think of a better global rallying cry in advance of the 2012 Olympics, yet the use of the timeless Clash classic to plug the multi-billion pound jamboree has, to say the least, elicited a mixed response.

Grizzled old punks have pointed out that the song portrays a city beset by war and police brutality while on the verge of famine, nuclear war and, gulp, an impending ice age. There's even a drugs reference -- "that one with the yellowy eyes" -- thrown in for good measure. Not the ideal conditions in which to be thinking Citius, Altius, Fortius perhaps?

Yet don't think for a second that the PR genius responsible for such sacrilege is in the least bit put out. In a world where Tory-boy London mayor Boris Johnson can declare The Clash his favourite band without even a scintilla of shame, anything seems possible now. The over-paid guru probably reasoned, rightly, that nobody really bothers to delve deeper than the first line or chorus anymore. It's a sub-140 character world now, baby.

Depressing, but there was minor consolation at least on the BBC website where alternative suggestions were invited. Replies ranged from Ralph McTell and Vera Lynn to "anything from Chas & Dave" and, our gold medal choice, What a Waste by Ian Dury & the Blockheads.

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SLIGO ROVERS are fortunate to have fans ready to respond in the club's hour of need. Parachuted into the third qualifying round following Porto's Europa League win in May, Sligo, who had been expecting a second qualifying round tie at the most, were suddenly faced with a problem they hadn't budgeted for. The Showgrounds was suitable for second-round games, but needed upgrading for a third-round tie. Either that, or move the game to Dublin.

A suggestion by one of their supporters' clubs was taken up two weeks ago for the top-of-the-table clash with St Pat's. All season-ticket holders agreed to leave their tickets at home and pay in to help the club over its difficulties. While exact figures are not available, a sum in the region of €7,500 was raised.

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TO the admittedly untrained eye, it seemed a curious decision by Team Ireland Equestrian's show jumping manager Robert Splaine when he selected Billy Twomey and Tinka's Serenade to compete in the jump-off against Great Britain for the Aga Khan Trophy at the RDS on Friday.

Tinka's Serenade had just demolished a fence in the second round and had been wisely pulled up by Twomey. The thinking seemed to be that the mare had been warmed up, but was still fresh having not completed the round.

Britain, on the other hand, chose Nick Skelton and Carlo 273 to represent them for reasons which were almost the exact opposite of the Irish team's thinking. Skelton flew around the revamped course, while Twomey knocked over the second fence. Game over.

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Roy Keane At 40. Now there's a sports documentary we would like to have seen instead of some of the usual muck we are subjected to over the course of a year.

Anyway, the window of opportunity on that great programme idea is closing fast -- Keane hits that particular milestone on Wednesday. Maybe MUTV could finally broadcast the interview which led to his departure from Old Trafford six years ago to mark the occasion.

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THE Munster Council Coaching and Games Committee will finish its highly successful Activity Day programme in Thurles on Wednesday.

Over 4,000 schoolchildren from each of the six counties in the province have participated in this scheme over the past month. Intercounty players like Paul Galvin, Marc ó Sé and Cian O'Connor have put countless under 12 teams through their paces and explained the secrets to participating and improving standards at that level of hurling and Gaelic football.

Teams have held camps at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Gaelic Grounds, Fitzgerald Stadium and the session at Semple Stadium on Wednesday will draw the curtain on a worthwhile venture for children, clubs and families.

John O'Brien, Fergus McDonnell, Seán Ryan and Damian Lawlor

ssport@independent.ie

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