From the stands: Toon soap opera hits roadblock for Carroll
Life just isn't fair sometimes. There's poor Andy Carroll, 21, trying to make his way in the world when the whole lot comes tumbling down around him.
Fair enough, he had a little tiff with his 18-year-old lingerie model girlfriend (who hasn't?) which led to an assault charge and a bail condition that he was to live with club captain Kevin Nolan, but did he really deserve to have his brand new £150,000 chrome-plated Range Rover burned out in Nolan's driveway?
Carroll bought the car to celebrate his new £30,000-a-week five-year-contract with the Coronation Street XI, sorry, Newcastle United, who saw another former hero, Paul Gascoigne, plead guilty to one of two drink driving charges on Wednesday before being arrested on Thursday night on suspicion of possession of a Class A drug.
All of which amazingly makes Rio Ferdinand look positively saintly. All he could manage last week was to launch a new range of shoes called Five -- after his shirt number (who says footballers aren't amazingly clever?)
No wonder Ian Holloway said: "The world should change if it's wrong and football should look at itself. The people in charge of the game are wrong. They are so wrong this is frightening."
* * * * *
And speaking of Ian Holloway, the Blackpool manager is always good for a quote with his quirky way of looking at football -- "That's three decisions that's swung the game to the millionaires. Goliath has walked off with all three points and David's packing up his sling."
But even he was outdone last week, firstly by Rafa Benitez and then by Alex Ferguson, both of whom took the dairy angle.
"We have a saying in Spanish," said Rafa, "which is: 'White liquid in a bottle has to be milk'. The Americans, they chose a new managing director and everything changed. So, if you want to ask again what was going on, it's simple: they changed something and, at the end, they changed everything. So, white liquid in a bottle: milk. You will know who is to blame."
Fergie went one better. "Sometimes you look in a field and you see a cow and you think it's a better cow than the one you've got in the field. [But] it's probably the same cow and it's not as good as your own cow."
Confused? You should be.
* * * * *
The GAA's desire to have full-time secretaries appointed in each county seems to have encountered some resistance, with several outposts still acting on a voluntary basis and some unlikely at this stage to comply.
This is believed to be for two reasons: they don't feel the need and they don't have the money. The greatest compliance appears to be in Ulster and Munster. Offaly, one example of a county still persisting with the old system, has yet to appoint a full-time Games Manager, a commitment which has been met by almost all counties. But the Faithful will have that vacancy filled soon, we are assured.
* * * * *
We thought here at 'From the Stands' that we couldn't be shocked anymore by the lack of knowledge shown by sports presenters on RTE Radio. Alas no. A recent edition of BallBusters on 2fm shocked us once more. Fiona Looney and Fergus Sweeney were unable to identify Miguel Angel Jimenez, one of the most recognisable professional golfers. They were baffled as to who the guy with mullet was in the European Ryder Cup team picture. And if that wasn't bad enough, they both admitted that they had missed the Munster v Leinster Magners League clash because they were watching The X Factor.
* * * * *
Budget time is almost upon us and the GAA grants scheme is again under threat. On Friday Minister Mary Hanafin refused to give any guarantee that the scheme will survive the chop in December. However, Hanafin did reassure athletes preparing for London 2012 that she is focusing on getting them to the Olympics. The phrase robbing Peter to pay Paul springs to mind.
Fergus McDonnell, Dermot Crowe and Marie Crowe