Thursday, September 21, 2006

The life and times of the annoying Ashley Cole

I don't know about you, but this Ashley Cole is seriously starting to get on my nerves. Someone once told told me I look very much like him - I disagree, of course - which naturally made me resent the bugger even more.

Add to that the fact that he played for Arsenal at the time of the said comment, which is really no big problem with me, except that I associate him with a period of swashbuckling, breath-taking football wizardry at Highbury that many of us Man Utd fans (and some lesser others) were grossly envious of, even of many of us don't have the heart to admit it.

Also, he is a total and utterly shameless brat. Just like almost that entire Arsenal team (above) were a bunch of first-rate, thorough-bred whiners, whingers, and w***ers (7 letters, rhymes with anchors).

The guys in charge of the Chelsea kit couldn't tell the difference between their Cs and the Hs

But what really gets my goat these days is the continuing footage and print real estate given to his so-called illustrious career, all neatly put together in a ridiculous periodical otherwise refered to as a 'biography'.

Somebody should tell these youngsters it's usually fit to release a biography having achieved a lifetime of success, and having accumulated a certain measure of wisdom, lessons and even regrets.

Not something people like Ashley Cole know anything about, certainly. As it is, I am highly doubtful that he might even know the real meaning of several words quoted so eloquently in the book in question, such as:

1. camaraderie
2. duplicitous
3. loyalty
4. the

Biographies for people like the great Matt Busby and Bill Shankly are warranted, welcomed and bring absolute joy to the downtrodden masses. So too stalwarts like Sirs Alex Ferguson and Bobby Robson.

Even stuff on other Brits like Neil Kinnock, Jeremy Clarkson, George Harrison, or Sting. Certainly for giants of the game like Roy Keane and Kenny Daglish. Even Ian Wright (both the former Gunner and the Discovery Travel & Adventure host - he's the bomb!). And I'm definitely on the look-out for those on retiring geniuses like Agassi, Schumacher and the late Steve Irwin @ Crocodile Hunter.

But Ashley Cole? WTF?

Your thoughts, please. Discuss.

I know recent updates on *Dish* *Bish* have been quite slow. Apologies, I've just been saddled with a truckload of work.

As it is, I'm off next week to Amsterdam, to attend the season-opening race of the A1 GP in the famous beach circuit of Zandvoort, that sadly took the life of the great Gilles Villenueve (Jacques' daddy). Coming along with me are two good guys from The Star and New Straits Times.

Look out for updates in 15 days.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A city, a punk, and a crazy guy

The trip to London may have been short, but rewarding nonetheless. I have returned safely to my beloved Kuala Lumpur with:

One... A sudden surge of enthusiasm for the work that I do, knowing that there new opportunities opening up right at my doorstep, and the fact that I work with some really nice people;

Two... A new-found respect for Alex Yoong and team Malaysia at the A1 GP;

Three... Very fond memories of Silverstone. To be honest, it was a bit overwhelming standing on the same piece of tarmac where greats like Senna, Mansell, Hakkinen, Schumacher and some of the older buggers did the ‘bees-knees’ (business)... but I did try conceal my excitement, just so my colleagues from the other offices around the world wouldn’t see what a total nerd I was.

The trip reminded me that there are many beautiful places in the world, as much as there are beautiful people. The folks in London do a pretty good job of selling the metropolitan-ness of the city: Heathrow is manned by whites, blacks, browns, yellows and some other colours in between (please spare me the grief / stares / spankings on this non-PC comment).

There are ‘brothers’ there who sound like they’ve been around since the Victorian times, but who look like they’ve just stepped out after a good meal of home-cooked rice, curd and fish curry.

Right round the corner from our hotel was this eatery proudly advertising their ‘Penang and Oriental Cuisine’. Vans transporting frozen kebabs here. A tandoori outlet there. Everyone and their brother from every corner of the globe, all trying to make a buck or a million, riding the underground, Daily Mirror tucked under arm, looking uninterested / unshaven / like Bob Geldof.

I wish I could have spent a few more days there. Maybe soon.
"The scoreboard says I have lost but what it doesn't say is what I have found... you have given me your shoulders to stand on to reach for my dreams. In my last 21 years I have found you and will take the memory of you for the rest of my life."

So goes Andre Agassi, in a retirement speech that much of Hollywood would envy.

I remember first watching Agassi win Wimbledon many years ago. Up until that point, the worst a tennis player looked like was Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker or Martina Navratilova (if not for her first name, I wouldn’t have guessed the gender; even now I’m not too sure).

Then comes this dude, looking like a blend between a junkie, a surfer, and a tomcat, and he totally blew the Tennis world away.

Blew. Them. Away.

Along the way, he helped himself to 8 Grand Slam titles, and still found a few minutes to bag a pin-up babe like Steffi Graf.

Ta-ta Andre, thanks for the memories.
And it’s goodbye too to Steve Irwin @ Crocodile Hunter, who single-handedly made the Animal Planet channel watch-able for thousands of folks around the world.

I was chatting with an Aussie friend this morning, and he told me that most of Australia feels the same way the British people felt when they heard of Princess Di’s death, and pretty much the way the whole world felt when Mother Teresa passed on.

Because he was such an ‘out-there' person, with so much life and energy, it’s even a double blow that he won’t around anymore. Surreal. Bizarre. Even dream-like.

What I will remember most about him is that he was probably the sort of man most chldren will want for a dad – fearless, witty, up for it, and so generously endowed with a sense of ‘can-do’. His heart was exactly where he said it was, and that makes him pretty tall in my book.

Crickey, mate... It’s been really good, innit?

All right, luv? Isn't she just bee-yoo-tiful!