Sunday December 23, 2012
“Have a wonderful sporting Christmas 2012! The year has been very enjoyable!” Happy Christmas 2012 to all and to all, have a magnificent time! Hey, despite sometimes severe external stimuli, we have made it! We are still here! That alone is tremendous cause for outright celebration, for our time here is always going to be limited! Eat, drink and be merry, for you really do not know if you will be around for the similar event in December 2013. Also, whatever you do, at least be safe! There is no need to push that life envelope! If you are Christian, I expect that Christmas 2012 would be as special as any previous Christmas too. There is always much to be thankful for; personally, collectively, sports-wise, world-wide; even if you did not get everything you may have wanted this year. This has really been quite a wild year! Already I have had many Christmas gifts, at varying times in 2012, too many to
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson and Captain Darren Sammy
Colin E. H. Croft
mention, personally, professionally and sportswise. 2012 has been a very good year indeed, even without any vino at all! The sports and politics of 2012 have been quite intriguing, so utterly invigorating, that no-one, certainly not me, should have needed anything else, not even “Five Hour Energy”, or similar, to give high spirits! One of my Christmas 2012 gifts is that my beloved Manchester United, but severely hated by some
unguided folks, is at the top of the English Premier League, despite the creaking old bones of veterans Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, whose collective age is nearing 100 years! How do they do this, MUFC, year after eternal year? Maybe it is just simply ‘Christmas Miracles’! That Sir Alec Ferguson is a megagenius is beyond doubt. No team in the EPL has had more injuries already this year than Man U, but somehow, they still manage to break
Bradley Wiggins (Grange Communications UK) Christmas Day ’12 top of EPL. That transfer, at a cost of only US$40 million, of Robin van Persie, from Arsenal to Man U, must be the absolute buy of the year! After all, USA President Barack Obama and his shambolic challenger, Mitt Romney, spent, between them, the unbelievable sum of over US$4 billion on that last election. Total, true madness! So, already, Sir Alec is highlighting ‘RVP’, who has scored an amazing fifteen goals so far since his summer signing, as the next Eric Cantona, another MUFC “mini-god”. Such comparisons are Magi’s Gold! Hey, speaking about “The Chief”, Barack has been having a field day since November’s elections! Not since “Uncle Bill”, William Jefferson Clinton, has any incumbent US president been so dominant in retaining his title. If it was a boxing match, Romney would have been permanently retired. He is! Barack even surprised his own Democrats, so total and cumulative was his victory, winning every main state. My first “real” vote anywhere, for B-O, here in
Florida, where futile efforts of the Republican Governor, shortening days for early voting to help Romney, and even after late totaling, actually counted! The Republicans have not yet woken up from that drubbing, much less to understand what is actually now taking place, but, as I noted previously, POTUS is talking very loudly and carrying a great veto stick! Yes, West Indies male cricketers celebrate Christmas 2012 as World Champions, again, a phenomenon not enjoyed for nearly a decade now. Winning ICC WT-20 2012 was one gift we all thoroughly enjoyed! West Indies coach Ottis Gibson and Captain Darren Sammy deserve very much credit indeed! Not since Christmas 2004, after Courtney Browne and Ian Bradshaw put on a ninthwicket stand of 71 to enable West Indies to beat favorites England in Champions Trophy 2004, have West Indies enjoyed such a bumper; several ‘bubblies’ too; season. That is certainly reason No. 1 to be cheerful; yes, No1!
I was extremely fortunate to be in United Kingdom, working, from March to September 2012, so that I could experience what were easily the greatest Olympics Games ever; 2012 surpassing magnificent Sydney 2000. Those six months were as enjoyable, sports-wise, as anything I have done in my life! While there were really magnificent performances, including Usain Bolt’ incredible “Double” in 100m and 200m, my favorite event at London 2012 was cycling, which I do myself, as often as possible, to keep in some shape as I approach 60. To see Bradley Wiggins “Wiggo” - cop the British “Sportsman of the Year 2012” award, after winning both Tour de France 2012, and London 2012 Olympics Gold, taking the “Time Trial”, all in one year, absolutely unprecedented, was magic! Like Bolt, Wiggins is a phenomenal athlete! Another old favorite, San Francisco 49ers, in USA’s grid-iron National Football League, are also, like Man U and West Indies, at top of points table as Christmas 2012 comes around; No. 1! I came to live in Florida in 1981 when Joe Montana and Steve Young, quarterbacks, along with the incomparable Jerry Rice, wide receiver, and Roger Craig, running back, were destroying teams. Their uniform, that orange and maroon mix, somehow reminded me of the Caribbean kaleidoscope! So, folks, raise a sporting cold one for me. Happy Christmas 2012! Enjoy!
Morale-boosting win for Nations Cup hosts South Africa DURBAN (Reuters) South Africa received a timely boost ahead of hosting the African Nations Cup next month when they began their pre-tournament preparations with a 3-1 home win over Malawi in Durban on Saturday. Two goals in the first 13 minutes got the home side off to a rollicking start as they swarmed over their opponents to score through Lehlohonolo Majoro and
Siphiwe Tshabalala. Both were tapped in from close range when Malawi’s goalkeeper Simplex Nthala failed to deal with a seventh minute shot from Lerato Chabangu and a 13th minute cross from overlapping fullback Siboniso Gaxa. Malawi threatened to claw their way back into the game after Joseph Kamwendo converted a penalty two minutes into the second half. However South Africa
restored their two-goal cushion with a penalty of their own 15 minutes from the end, converted by Swedishbased midfielder May Mahlangu. Bafana Bafana play two more warm-up games against Norway on January 8 and Algeria four days later before they kick off the Nations Cup at football City in Johannesburg on January 19 against the Cape Verde Islands.