Sport

Dear Straussy, Hi, mate. I know that you are really upset with me and won’t like the fact that I addressed you like a pal. But I really don’t care. I never did. All I cared about was me because only I deserve my attention – the rest of you are much too inferior for that privilege. The other day I smacked 355* runs in a first-class game and created news. Almost every sensible England fan wants me back in the team because of the pathetic condition it is in. With the Ashes up ahead, they can’t be blamed. But you came out and made it clear that I won’t get called up to the team. Do you realize how it feels to hear something like that after hitting a rollicking innings like the one I smashed? Oops. No, you don’t. For that, you have to make 355* first, or even 300 for that matter –...
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Stevie... I had the honour to play with you, not for long but still an amazing and unforgettable experience for me. You are a great man and a cool captain! It is a pleasure to leave free-kicks and penalties to you. I wish you all the best for your next venture and your family. You deserve the best. Good luck my friend, Mario Balotelli
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Dear Luminaries, First, I’d like to reiterate my support for all the work everyone is doing to infuse new energy into the sport we love. Since we’re in what I feel is a new phase, inevitable questions have been raised, specifically having to do with rules and what truly makes and defines our game. Fair questions all. As such I’d like to offer a proposal and possible solution that may be OK with most of us. As we all know, our sport has a couple of accepted variations, bucket and no bucket. More recently, some of us have chosen to play some sets with new rules (lets on serve, receivers’ option, fences, overhead serves etc.). The big question I’ve been hearing from everyone is, what rules are we going to adopt as the ‘official rules of Pop Tennis?’. I believe we’re asking the wrong...
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Dearest Cavcav, I was thrilled to learn of your beard ban imposed on all footballers at Gençlerbirliği Spor Kulübü. For too long, the beautiful game has been tarnished by facial hair. For too long this noble, elegant sport has been sullied by the sheer audacity of some men growing beards. Whilst dissenters grumble that this ban is simply a coy move by a cunning manager to climb the Super League, I know that despite the well documented competitive edge a clean shaven face has, you dear Cavcav, are far more altruistic than that. There is no doubt that you will donate the money from the L25,000 (about nine months of an average Turkish salary) fines to football charities striving to keep faces smooth. Beards are known to lead to a lack of chin control, rampant insecurity complexes as...
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Dear Mrs Rinehart, How good were the Socceroos! It was fantastic to watch them against Japan in their World Cup qualifier this week. Real fighting spirit. Anyway, forget the blokes. While that was all happening, FIFA, that's the mob that runs world football, decided that Asia should have five places, not three, at the next Women's World Cup. This means Australia can't miss out unless something goes disastrously wrong in the next three years - like the W-League collapses or half the girls retire and get jobs that actually pay enough money for them to eat. Did you know most of the men get paid more in a week than a women's player gets in a year? Well, have I got a deal for you. You know your fellow billionaires Clive Palmer and Nathan Tinkler like to deposit their spare...
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Dear National Hockey League, I am writing this letter to express concern over your well-being and to offer a few suggestions. I feel that you are driving a good product into the ground and doing a horrible job with your public relations. Very few people seem to care about the NHL, and even fewer follow it consistently. Many elements of your game should be extremely appealing to a lot of people in today’s society, but for many reasons it isn’t. First off, let’s address something that you probably can’t control or change anytime soon. Being able to play hockey is, for all intensive purposes, more of a privilege for children rather than an option. You don’t have to look very long at your local sporting goods store to see that hockey equipment is insanely expensive. If you have...
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Dear Commissioner Barnier, As Presidents of the three main associations in the field of gambling, we would like to jointly call for your vigilance on several points of the Action Plan on Online Gambling recently adopted by the European Commission. Our associations’ members together create more than 750,000 jobs through direct and indirect employment in the European Union. Holding exclusive rights, authorisations or licenses in all countries of the European Union, our members offer gambling products, both off- and online, only in those jurisdictions where they are specifically authorised to do so by the respective competent national or regional government. Our associations’ members work for the public interest by both promoting a responsible conduct of business and being strongly...
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Dear Mayor, I am writing to express concern at the reported decision to exclude Shooting Events from the forthcoming London 2012 Olympic Ticket giveaway for London schoolchildren – the Ticketshare scheme – as reported in the London Evening Standard. I understand that you believe that including these sports would be at odds with your efforts to reduce gun and knife crime, which we wholeheartedly support and endorse. However, the decision to exclude the target and shotgun sports from Ticketshare must be reconsidered: It will be very disappointing for the athletes preparing to compete in Shooting sports at London 2012, by creating an association between those athletes and the criminals who illegally use firearms. It compounds the decision already made to leave no legacy for shooting...
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Dear Mr. Srinivasan, The tragedy in this saga is the fact that the sport that you were meant to champion and steward has been the greatest victim of your hubris. We realise that money can buy many things like votes and support from local, regional and even international cricketing boards. However, what you have never understood is that it cannot buy you the one thing you covet most – respect. Granted money also buys you the illusion of power, and make no mistake that it is nothing more than an illusion, because it is based entirely on surrounding yourself with spineless sycophants who will march to your tune. You see, it is only your money that these people respect, and not you. If this type of power is all you seek, then I feel sorry that you will never know what it feels like to...
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Dear Mr Mbalula, A belated congratulations on your appointment. As a sports-mad South African, I hope the transformation of sport and the creation of an “Active and Winning Nation” truly is your goal. But please note, by transformation, I don’t mean haranguing rugby and cricket about quotas or the number of black players in the squads – which appears to have been the sole “transformation strategy” of your predecessors. By true, grassroots transformation, I don’t mean focusing at the senior national level, but concentrating resources, time and money at school, club and community level. By committing resources to developing structures, leagues and competitions that identify, nurture and develop talent among our young, we will provide every boy or girl with an opportunity to...
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