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How to begin. Well, I'll be honest, Issue III of ITS hasn't turned out to be the issue I wished it had. Almost a month overdue but I suppose that's what life can throw at you.

Editorial Richard Laverty

Unfortunately, shortly after the release of Issue II, my Nan passed away suddenly and my life was focused on putting her to rest and being there for my Dad, my cousins and my other immediate family who were close to my Nan. Because of this, we've lost some good, in-depth articles that we couldn't use due to the dated nature of the articles in question. But, with some work and pushing back a lot of deadlines, me and the subs have still managed to bring together plenty of in-depth pieces this month. As I said, we lost out on a lot of work and some good interviews but we hope that the things we've pushed back to Issue IIII will more than make up for that. Ryder Cup and Twenty20 feature heavily throughout, and we potentially have the broadest range of articles so far to date, with poetry and reading also featuring among the large amount of sport, film and music content. Hard work does pay off though, despite my loss I never forgot about Into The Sunset and there was never a point I wanted to give up on Issue III and put it down as a piece of bad luck. I hope you enjoy it as much as I always enjoy putting the jigsaw together. Thank you.

Richard Laverty

INTO THE SUNSET Editor: Richard Laverty Sport Editor: Jack Bradshaw Features Editor: Tom Feaheny Music Editor: Joanne Murphy Entertainment Editor: Sam Lewis Fashion Editor: Georgina Ardill

Designers: Richard Laverty & Peter Daykin Editorial Assistant: Jeremy Bond

Issue III Contributors: Brad Harper, Bobby Hare, Ben Powell, Chris Tyldesley, Josh Robinson, Matthew Williams, Sam Lewis, Anne Bradshaw

Production: Azure Graphic Design +441915679100 Product Hosts: Issuu

Social Networking

WRITERS |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||




From Northumberland, I am a 20 year old history student at the University of York with a thirst for sport, being sports editor for the 2011-12 Guardian Student Publication of the Year York Vision and also University Radio York. @1992Bradders

20 years old, University student and sport enthusiast. Editor of the magazine and in control of everybody else on this page! Writing mainly about sport and conducting interviews, hope you like what you see! @JournoRich


TOM FEAHENY Hi I'm Tom, I am a student journalist at a Leeds Trinity University College. For IntoTheSunset I am the Features/ Interviews editor, I'm a big fan of most sports as well as a fan of politics. @ThomasFeaheny

I'm Joanne, I'm 17 years old, there's not much else to say. Music is my main inspiration in life, it keeps me going and gives me strength, that's why I want to be a music journalist so badly. Other hobbies include writing, cooking and drawing. @Queen_Of_Beets




I recently finished my time at university and will soon be gaining my degree in Performance and Digital Arts. I have always had a huge interest and love for the fashion industry. The loves of my life are clothes, shoes and accessories.

A 32 year old sports writer specializing in football. Father of a 2 year old daughter, studied Media at Chichester University. Avid supporter of Peterborough United and write about Serie A and Italian football for several blogs.



Reader, writer, runner, drummer. Bookworm filmenthusiast, musiclover. Ambitious A-Level student from South Wales, hoping to go to Oxford Uni to study English. Then, who knows? Journalist? Novelist?

I am 18 years old. I live in South Africa, Cape Town. I love to blog about, mostly, events I have been to. I have been featured in quite a few magazines. My goal in life is to become an actress.



BRAD HARPER My name is Brad Harper. Interested in Sport and a particular football team. Lefthanded bowler, righthanded batsmen. Failed sportsmen, failing writer. Thinks he's funny. I'm the one on the left! @thefootylad




Manchester United supporter and very balanced football fan. In between attempting to be humorous on Twitter, I work as a marketing copywriter. I like to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. Formerly the sport editor of Into The Sunset.

Hi guys, I'm Danni Dawda, teenage student from Hertfordshire with main interests in fashion and lifestyle. I'll be mainly writing about teenage fashion for Into The Sunset, I hope you like what you read.


CHRIS TYLDESLEY I am a 20 year old University graduate. When it comes to sharing my opinion, I tend not to hold back and you'll see this is my writing which will cover a vast amount of sporting events hopefully but will see a main focus on my one true love, football. @christyldesley_




I'm a ginger-haired Welsh person living in Essex. I'm usually either pretending I can play guitar, or writing sarcastic blogs about football, life, events, or whatever happens to be going on that I can complain about.

A teenager with a positive outlook on life and a blatant enthusiasm for watching, playing and writing about football and cricket. Currently dabbling in the world of entertainment writing. Owns a sense of humour.


A thirty year old well travelled Irish man. Having spent much of his life feeding his interests of world football and quirky films he is now seeking to share his views on both. Expect his honest film reviews to come with a warning.

KIRILL Reside in Chicago and work in digital media - all my free time is spent drinking at bars, going to concerts or writing my own music. Always appreciate a few beers at the beach and some fresh powder snow in the mountains.




ALICE HALLAM I'm Alice, my interests lie within art, fashion and photography. I also like cats, festivals and glitter. I do not like animal cruelty, peas and long finger nails. @AliceHallam



I am an up and coming entertainment journalist who writes widely on the worlds of film & TV. I can regularly be found covering various film festivals, traversing the UK and elsewhere in search of the meaning of life, the meaning of cinema, and complimentary food and drink.

Born in Texas, lived in Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Moving my whole life taught me to just be myself. I love film, video, television, and animation. I love to watch anything and everything.


SASHA COOPER @sashacoops



RICHARD SCOTT 19. I study print Journalism at Staffs Uni. . I only have one major love and that is football. Nothing else can beat standing on the terrace at 3pm on Saturday afternoon shouting your team on. My team Chorley FC.

Lancashire born fashion illustrator and writer. Having graduated with a BA Hons Graphic Design Degree, I took it upon myself to link my love for fashion to the world of illustration and editorial work. My inspiration comes from catwalks and fashion trends around the world. @tasneemfulat



MATTHEW WILLIAMS I recently graduated from Keele University with a degree in English and History. To relax from the crushing experience of following Aston Villa FC, I read books, watch films and go super nerdy with video games. @LazyBoyWilliams

16. My interests are fashion & movies and My favourite kinds vary from Two Door Cinema Club to You Me At Six and loads more. I'm the middle child *violins please* no its not that bad, i have 2 sisters and we all get on, well... most of the time!












hen I interviewed Gemma, it was the end of a quiet Alongside Casualty it appears Gemma’s break from the spell in the media spotlight for the Manchester born media has paid off with several of her films coming in 2012. actress, Gemma had just appeared in ten episodes of Gemma seems to attract wintery conditions this year, her Casualty on the BBC and was back on the film trail, having other film Airborne sees an airline take off in extreme just finished shooting in the cold and windy Moscow at the conditions in the midst of a winter storm, hijackers take over start of the year. Indeed, Gemma was making a return to the the flight and it’s up to Gemma and the rest of the people on big screen several times, she’d already filmed thriller board to prevent a disaster. Alongside Billy Murray and Airborne and had been in Moscow for the film The Dyaltov Mark Hamill, the 27-year old was in good company 30,000 "HURRICANE" Pass Incident, a project created by ‘Die Hard 2’ director feet in the air. Renny Harlin, so it was a big deal for her to be cast and an experience she thoroughly enjoyed. “Obviously we don’t actually fly in these films, but I was surprised we had a whole plane to shoot in, usually it’s just “It’s the longest shoot I’ve done, but it was so rewarding,” in bits and pieces. We premiered in July in Leicester Square said Gemma. “There was a lot of filming in small, cold and it was a great success, it’s a good little movie and it’s villages around Russia and up mountains which was hard nice to be getting back into that side of the business,” work in the conditions but it was a brilliant project to be continued Gemma. involved in.” It’s reward for her hard work behind the scenes in being patient for the right script to come up at the right time.



Speaking about taking the role in the first place, “I was taken by the plot and the script, it was a good story and I was right in the middle of the action, working with Billy Murray was brilliant, he’s a great actor to learn from and we had a lot of fun!”

plan to focus on finding her the correct and exciting project. “All people in our business go through lean spells of work, even the best. As I’ve said I’m fortunate I’ve had modelling to fall back on and I do lots of charity work if there’s ever a quiet period in life,” claimed Gemma.

Gemma rose to fame in 2001 when she was cast in Hollyoaks as Lisa Hunter, but it was her modelling work that caught the eye of the masculine side of the nation as Gemma’s stock rose through her mid-twenties. “I never wanted to be cast under one shadow, modelling is very rewarding and I’m lucky to be in a position to do work like that. I love film & TV and this is where I feel I belong.”

“It was great that these opportunities came along when they did and it showed that waiting a little while was the right thing to do, they’ve all been incredible to be a part of.”

Appearances on I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here! And Soapstar Superstar kept Gemma in the public eye but she insists she was never worried about her career. A break from media work was all part of the

Indeed, Gemma supports several charities and has endured ventures such as the Great Wall of China walk and the Great Manchester Run. She’s also an avid supporter of Christie Hospital in Manchester and Cancer Research.

Gemma said her motives behind charity work are past experiences in life. “It’s great to give something back, in one way or another they’re all close to my heart, whether it be personal experiences or experiences with my family.” Three Great Manchester runs is no mean feat and it’s not the only way she keeps in shape, Gemma is a bit of a thrill-seeker when it comes down to it. “I love keeping myself occupied, there’s nothing better than an adrenaline rush. I’ve done bungee jumps, skydives, swam with Sharks and so many other things, I’m a bit of a nutcase some tell me!” she laughed. I respectfully disagreed over the different ways of getting a thrill out of life!


In terms of future work, Gemma once again wants to wait for the right offer to come in and hopes more exciting projects follow in the next few years. “I get sent a lot of scripts and attend a lot of auditions but it always has to be the right part, I’m quite picky,” declared Gemma. “I’m still filming more Casualty episodes so hopefully that’s something I can keep up with. It’s a consistent part but it doesn’t take my whole life up. If and when something comes along I’ll always be willing to give it a chance.” At 27, Gemma has years ahead of her in terms of modelling opportunities, and especially on the screens, big or small. Thrown into the spotlight at a young age, Gemma’s name is never far from people’s lips and her name is one that is still well known around the country. Four months into her permanent return to Casualty, Gemma is being thought of for some incredible projects under the eye of some of the best director’s in Hollywood. Watch this space…

Richard Laverty @JournoRich

As a fellow northerner, I appreciate the upsides of living in and around the countryside surroundings and now that Gemma is settled with a boyfriend and a career that is back on tracks, we came to the conclusion there is no finer place to be. “I love it here, being in Russia was a fantastic experience but I’ve always missed family and my boyfriend. I’d like to settle now and see what the future brings.” She continued, “It’s difficult to juggle my profession and private life but I’d like to think I’m doing a good job.”



fter what was a painfully long summer break, the F1 circus returned with a bang in Spa as the image shows! Romain Grosjean was given a one-race ban for an incident which involved Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, both Sauber drivers and Pastor Maldonado. The consequences were something we haven't seen for a long time, Grosjean's ban was serious and when the pack went on to Monza one week later the racing calmed down, but the end products were no less dramatic. Engine issues caught out Jenson Button, Seb Vettel was given a penalty and Mark Webber struggled to keep hold of his Red Bull. Singapore continued the on-going drama that has been the 2012 season. Lewis Hamilton seemed certain to close in further on Alonso's championship lead after a dominant qualifying performance, but a gearbox issue robbed Lewis of a priceless 25 points and seemingly left Alonso and Vettel to battle it out for the 2012 title. Kimi Raikkonen and indeed, Hamilton still have a chance, but Raikkonen's inability to get top two finishes will see him fall short, and Lewis' distractions of contract talks and a seemingly unreliable car may also see him fall short once again this season. There are still six races remaining, and McLaren really need to get their act in gear if they're to give Lewis a chance of winning his second world championship, and in the long-term being able to keep hold of the fastest man in Formula 1, on his day. Japan, Korea, India, Abu Dhabi, America & Brazil form the foundations for another exciting end to the season, and you can't rule Hamilton out yet. Ferrari & Red Bull still don't have the fastest car on paper, and if Hamilton can pick up a few more wins we may see another nerve-shredding Brazilian Grand Prix, perhaps shades of 2008... Whether or not Hamilton can steal the title or not, there is much more talk about where he'll be driving next season, Mercedes seem confident of snaring the 2008 champion, but it seems a strange move considering they've managed just one win in three years and can't appear to guarantee Lewis a winning formula. McLaren have a five-man shortlist of names to replace Hamilton, but they also appear confident that Lewis will stay with them for the foreseeable future. It's not just Hamilton's future up for debate, whether he moves or not, Michael Schumacher could be on the verge of another retirement, and I'd be shocked if Ferrari haven't finally lost patience with a man not capable of giving Ferrari the points tally a team of their stature demands. For me, Paul Di Resta would be a great man to have at Mercedes, and similarly Sergio Perez at Ferrari. But comments about Perez not being ready for Ferrari could see Jules Bianchi take the spot alongside Alonso next season, he's impressed in tests and seems to have genuine raw speed. Further down the field, we could see another Brit in Formula 1 next season, Max Chilton appears confident of taking Timo Glock's drive at Marussia next season. Also from GP2, Davide Valsecchi could step into Di Resta's seat at Force India and Williams will look to test driver Valtteri Bottas if they lose faith in Bruno Senna before 2013, interestingly enough, Bottas also appears to be one of the five men on McLaren's shortlist, the Scandanavian's do have a a habit for being quick F1 drivers after all...

Richard Laverty @JournoRich




Calming bluegrass tunes wash over the dried grass of Prohibition-era Virginia in Lawless, John Hillcoat’s adaptation of the 2008 true story The Wettest County in the World. Performed by screenwriter Nick Cave and previous collaborator Warren Ellis (both newcomers to bluegrass music), the score reflects on the nature of Lawless as a film: while we are watching a beautifully brotherly moment between the main trio, the folk and bluegrass stays sweet and tranquil; whereas when the ultra-violence intrudes, so does a heavier country sound more reminiscent of the earlier Though a smidge under two hours it could be shortened. While the work of Kings of Leon than of Woody Guthrie. prologue was interesting if not original, the epilogue was the opposite The film has been accused of having more brawn than brains (the Daily – no one ever tells us that much about characters’ endings because it’s Mail calling it ‘a brutal western killfest’ in a bizarre one-star review), but stupid; I didn’t want to find out that (SPOILER) Forrest dies right I’m not entirely certain if they were watching the same film. While not by after seeing him return from the dead for a second time. That just any means one to take the kids to see, there are plenty more gore-happy served to quench my good mood. films out there and there is actually a really sweet family story behind the For a simple film, it can become muddled at times. However Hardy’s mafia-like vendettas and throat-slitting. Not only from the brothers do we standout performance is grade A, and with grimace-inducing, get this sense of family and love, but also from crippled friend Cricket blood-spurting action and a great dollop of heart, this would be a (Dane DeHaan best known for his role in Chronicle) and arguably worthy addition to any DVD collection. It’s certainly a nominee, but underwritten girlfriends played by Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain. probably not winner, for my film of the year. Telling the story of the three bootlegging Bondurant brothers, Lawless cranks the tension as local moonshiners and rumrunners are whittled down until it’s only the Bondurants left in the area, leading to an inevitable showdown – predictable and formulaic, but heart-wrenching and humorous nonetheless – with evil cop Rakes, played by a slimily over the top Guy Pearce. Elsewhere on the acting front, Shia LaBeouf is on top form. Admittedly he isn’t the greatest of actors, but still, hats off to him for his portrayal of Jack, the youngest and, to begin with, wimpiest brother. Tom Hardy, on the other hand, is just fabulous. His grunting, cardigan-wearing Forrest steals the show, even providing the few laughs given by Lawless. And all while putting on an accent past his Al Capone-style cigar. Like a sleepy, hibernating bear, he is reluctant to fight if he can simply scare opponents off. However, when pushed, he is fearsome and the circulating myths of his invincibility seem well justified. The third brother, Howard, played more than acceptably by the lesser known Jason Clarke, isn’t seen as much as the other two but doesn’t disappoint.

Sam Lewis @welshsam1995



t's just over a year since the London riots, and many people appeared to be concerned about how the city could hold such an event with people living in the areas that caused such trouble twelve months previous

it could have for the London 2012 Olympics. What would people around the world think about us hosting such an event in a place where people were rioting not just in London, but around the country.

In the build-up, there was a lot of talk about who was going to do the UK proud during the summer of 2012. The obvious names popped up, Jessica Ennis, Rebecca Adlington, Tom Daley and the other high-profile names. But nobody saw coming the medal haul that Team GB would bring home in both the Olympics and the Paralympics over the last two months.

People have reservations about whether a city like Rio can host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, but I imagine many tourists thought the same about London during 2011. This country appears to get itself a reputation for being a constant let down, whether it be on the football pitch, the government, the weather or any other reason we have to nit pick at our own country.

When the riots happened, I remember Surely 2012 was our time to prove to thinking myself about the consequences the world not just what we could do in

From 27th July to the 12th August, Britain was gripped by Olympic fever. Even the most cynical, critical voices from the build-up to the London Games couldn’t help but exalt over the wondrous performances of Team GB and their athletes. Names like Farrah, Ennis, Hoy and Wiggins were glittered with gold, commentators everywhere became slightly emotional whilst describing their feats, and the British public cheered them home. It was clear, for the moment at least, that these were to be the new celebrities and superstars. Perhaps then, given that the new football season kicked off a week later, it’s not surprising that comparisons between GB’s medal winners and footballs finest began. Many offered the usual criticisms of footballers: over-paid, over-privileged, over-sexed, arrogant, violent, out of touch, underwhelming... in short, the sporting equivalent of the banker. The same criticisms have been offered in the past, usually when a British team manages to excel in another sport. However, given that this criticism comes from an Olympics that has brought 65 medals (29 of them gold) for GB, the objection to footballers has been more noticeable this time. Two questions should be examined: how fair is the comparison between Olympians and footballers and what can football learn from the Games? As stated, many complained about the nature of footballers, stating that they


revelled in their privileged lives whilst the successful Brits at the Olympics displayed real passion to take their medals. It is true that certain athletes showed incredible strength during the Games, and that some footballers do enjoy luxury lifestyles despite not always performing to their best on the pitch. Yet the argument only examines the extremes in both cases. We celebrated Greg Rutherford’s achievements in the long jump, but quietly ignored Philips Idowu’s failure to progress in the triple jump. We lauded Jessica Ennis’s gold medal, yet gave sparser coverage to those who finished outside the medal places. Football has its moments of weakness too, whether it is in John Terry’s alleged racial slurs, Joey Barton’s violent on-pitch conduct or Ryan Giggs marital indiscretions, yet there are numerous examples of footballers simply doing their jobs that do not make the headlines. Both Britain’s athletes and footballers mainly train hard to try and achieve their best, yet the public seems to have picked the extremes of the best in Olympic disciplines and the worst in football to discuss, bypassing the ordinary athletes and footballers along the way.

the sporting events, but how we could put on the greatest show the Olympics has ever seen.

really associate themselves with the rest of Europe.

Everybody knew that the Americans and I had my reservations about the the Chinese would runaway with the Opening Ceremony, the vision I had was medal table, but the good money was more like what the Closing Ceremony on the likes of Russia or Australia to be turned out to be, a bit of a the next best. For the little island in that disappointment. But the opening to the is detached from the rest of its 2012 Olympics couldn't have been more continent to come third in the overall a surprise, it was truly a spectacle that medal table was something quite made everybody who watched it proud astounding. to be associated with the country. It did look like it was building up to be a It was a sign of things to come looking disappointment when GB only managed back on it, it seems to be the mind set four medals in the first four days , and of British people that eventually, the first gold didn't arrive until day 5, something will go wrong and we'll show but when the pair of Helen Glover and ourselves up and everyone will just look Heather Stanning did bring home the on us as the little island who doesn't first gold on August 1st, it opened the

drug-taking has seen medals removed. The Belarusian shot put winner, Nadzeya Ostapchuk, was stripped of her gold for the discovery of illegal substances in her body as well. And in the Paralympics, Oscar Pistorius shamefully accused Brazilian Alan Oliviera of cheating in the T44 200m final, in what has now become known as ‘bladegate’. Whilst perceiving that football has problems, it is important not to fall into the trap of believing the Olympics is without fault.

scorn on another?

It may be slightly unfair to compare between Olympians and footballers, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some justification in football learning from the Games. One of the striking aspects of the Games was the modesty displayed by some of the best athletes in the world. When Mo Farah won his second gold medal, he could have used his time with the media to flaunt his strength. Instead, he thanked his wife and The debate is not helped by the daughter for the sacrifices they made comparison between two widely and promoted his charity, the Mo Farah different events either. While it is Foundation. Even Usain Bolt, the undeniable that the members of Team self-proclaimed ‘legend’, spent time GB trained strongly for at least four after his 200m sprint thanking the years (and often more) it is hard to deny people of London and Birmingham, that most of our Olympians competed where the Jamaican team was based. for a few hours or days at the most of Actions like that show far more humility the Games. Athletes have the than a Balotelli ‘Why Always Me?’ shirt opportunity to obtain glory in the course ever could. of a day. Footballers are cast in the Yet perhaps a sense of arrogance isn’t spotlight for around three quarters of surprising in a sport that seems to have the year, and it is difficult to show such picked up such strong sense of skill for such an extended period of time. self-worth in the last twenty years or so. One week a player can score a hat-trick, With investment in football clubs but could be sent off a week later. The coming from some of the richest areas British Olympians who were unable to of the world and sponsors lining up to be achieve a medal received a lot of printed on shirts and advertising boards, support as they left the competitive it isn’t surprising that the perception of Although not exactly applicable to Team field, yet the English national side’s the game has changed. Where it was GB at these Games, it is also worth inability to succeed at international level formerly seen as a working class mentioning that the Olympics has its fair has received far less sympathy. Perhaps past-time, it is now seen as a corporate share of controversies too, one of the this is impatience and annoyance as ‘30 event, played by millionaire mercenaries most famous being the removal of Ben years of hurt’ looks set to carry on to 50, with no connection to a lifelong fan. Of Johnson’s gold medal at the 1988 but is truly fair to pat one sportsman on course, the fact remains that the Games. Even in London, evidence of the back for an unlucky effort and pour

t flood gates for what would be the greatest Olympics for Team GB. But the weekend of the 3rd, 4th and 5th August d would prove to be the defining moment in the Olympics for Great Britain. Super Saturday it was deemed, as GB brought home six, yes six, gold medals in one day as a nation came together to celebrate one of the greatest days in British sporting history.

the Velodrome before Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farrah topped off Super Saturday. It was the sign of things to come, six more gold's arrived over the next three days and post box painters around the country were busier than ever!

fun was not over, the Paralympians continued a great summer bringing home 34 more gold's and 120 medals in total.

including me, who believed that Great Britain weren't capable of doing us all proud are now eating their words, we did better than anybody could have ever expected, and so many made household Sarah Storey, Ellie Simmonds, David names for themselves over the course Weir, Natasha Baker and Sophie Christiansen were among those to carry of the last two months. on the tradition of GB winning gold at Hopefully there are many more to their home Olympics. come.

Ben Ainslie, Alistair Brownlee and memorably Andy Murray took golds, and Laura Trott added to her tally, as did As the Paralympics drew to a close, it The Rowers got the day off to a great Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Nicola was a time to reflect on what this nation start, with Alex Gregory, Tom James, Adams, Jade Jones and Luke Campbell. is capable of, the Olympians have Pete Reed & Andrew Triggs-Hodge We can't forget those who added to the inspired a generation and hopefully this bringing home gold, before the pair of medal tally without gold though, Lizzie is the start of a beautiful era for Katherine Copeland & Sophie Hosking Armitstead, Zara Phillips, Gemma British athletics and the British Olympic took another gold. Gibbons, Laura Robson, Becky Adlington team as a whole. Danielle King, Joanna Rowsell & Laura and Ed Clancy among the others who One year on from the riots, those, Trott made it the third gold of the day in brought a nation to a standstill. But the

Olympics enjoyed a similar level of sponsorship and corporate investment, with stories emerging of the ridiculous lengths some companies went to so that their logo was the only one the public could see. Yet the Olympics also brought a sense of national unity, with Team GB being the main focus. Compare that with any match in the Barclays Premier League, which will feature a number of adverts and sponsors. When players themselves are used for advertising purposes, it only serves to make them feel more distant than ever.

Yet the fact is that the Games are a four year gathering of virtually all the world’s nations to compete for the honour of being an Olympic champion, with the added incentive of these Games being at home. The amount of hype was understandable. Likewise, the hype for football’s Premier League is understandable, but it can be overblown at times. Watch an advert for an upcoming match between two of the teams in the top six of the table and it often feels as if a blockbuster movie will be coming on instead. The dramatic music, the news that it could be ‘The Perhaps the game’s reputation is not Clash of The Season’ makes it feel imhelped by the fact that some true role portant. Until we remember that last models for the sport are so casually week was also supposed to be ‘The ignored. Both Fabrice Muamba and Stilyan Petrov were players who got on Clash of The Season’ and what about next week? Some matches can live up to quietly with their jobs at Bolton and Aston Villa respectively, with little wider the hype, such as Manchester City’s 6-1 win over their red rivals, Manchester recognition than their own fans. It was United’s 8-2 victory over Arsenal and only when both suffered from poor health (thankfully seeming to improve in more, but there are plenty of duller occasions where a 0-0 result is grounded recent weeks) that they gathered the level of media attention usually reserved out and we wonder how the game can be supported in anywhere near as much to the Rooneys and Ronaldos of the fervour as the Olympics. world. Perhaps if the achievements of e the ordinary players, who are admittedly It’s worth mentioning support as well, paid extraordinary sums, could be since this is another area that could highlighted more, a few role models seriously benefit from some Olympic might be born. spirit. The Games were marked by The hype factor has helped to maintain enthusiastic support throughout, with crowds roaring home all of Team GB’s this sense of self worth as well. The athletes no matter what the event. Olympics enjoyed a multitude of hype, with people discussing 2012 pretty much Competitors from other nations were given similar treatment, and it was only as soon as the Beijing Games finished. on rare occasions of poor sportsmanship

Richard Laverty @JournoRich

that form of negative voice was heard. Compare this to an average Premier League crowd, where any opposition player on the floor is a ‘diving c**t’, any decision against the home team means the referee is ‘a w****r’ and all the away fans are accused of bringing ‘s**t support’. It would be a cruel generalisation to suggest that every fan in the ground uses such language, but it’s certainly true that a significant number do at most grounds.

The comparison has been raised throughout the last few weeks of how Olympians have brought pride to the nation whilst footballers have only brought shame. Whilst there are definite examples to support both sides of this argument, it casually ignores those involved in football that do their best to make a positive difference. Many footballers visit those in the local community, in schools in hospitals, yet these stories are ignored because a top striker is seen falling out of a nightclub. As previously stated, comparisons The argument also does not take into between the Olympics and football account the differences between the aren’t always fair, and support is world of Olympic events and that of another matter where this is true. football. Even so, London 2012 has Olympic events bring one nation’s highlighted the positive effect that sport audience celebrating all athletes, can have; that superstars can be whereas football directly pits one team humble, that supporters can be the difference between gold and silver and against another, splitting the audience that the outcome of the event can be as a result. Even so, could the fan worth far more than the years of build support not be toned down to the up. If professional football can learn support that our athletes enjoyed this summer? Why is it that football, rightly, anything from that glorious sporting sets a firm stance against racial or sexist fortnight, then the Olympic legacy might have more far reaching consequences abuse, but casually writes off the slurs than we ever imagined. screeched out during a match as ‘just banter’? Many children attend matches, and they have to put up with language which would rightly get them told off if repeated in the playground. There are few sights more disheartening than seeing an eight year-old at a match, yelling the same abuse as the adults around him. It’s even more depressing to see a father pat him on the back, as if he’s done something to be proud of. @LazyBoyWilliams

Matthew Williams






















e sent our features editor Tom Feaheny along to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last month to speak to the people who matter, witness the best of the action and review what was a spectacular few days in the Scottish city. Tom attended a number of events and shows across the festival and brings back with him an in-depth diary of his time in Edinburgh.

This was my first time at the Edinburgh Fringe festival and it was a truly memorable experience. What impressed me most was the organisation of the festival, and the variety of shows on offer to the public, from drama, comedy, theatre, music there was literally something for anybody. I would also like to point out that all staff members from police; to stewards to ticket sellers were all extremely helpful whether giving directions or recommending shows or places to eat. These are the shows I was lucky enough to see, as well as visiting the Military Tattoo castle and enjoying the wide range of shops Edinburgh had to offer, all in all this was a truly fantastic experience.

The land of nod Chiquito Wednesday 8th August @ 7:25pm A four person act which had plenty of twist and turns along the way, the acting throughout was of a high standard and the variety of acts was surprising and enjoyed at the same time. From Mexican gangsters to Morris dancers dancing to Morrissey, this show had great variety and was enjoyed by all, infact each act had a strong start, middle and end and were enjoyable. With the prospect of the group writing another show which will be performed in Leeds in October, I can honestly say I will be attending and if you are in Edinburgh this show is worth a visit.


Mick Foley Assembly Rooms Wednesday 8th August @ 10:25 The former WWE legend turned comic enjoyed four sell out shows during his tour of the Edinburgh Fringe festival. This show was enjoyed by a majority of wrestling fans and although there were plenty of wresting references (the undertaker, hell in a cell match, his street fight against Edge at Wrestlemania, and his hopes of getting into the hall of fame soon) , I attended the show with a

non-wrestling fan who enjoyed it none the less. There was also talk about Tiger Woods and Tori Amos. Mick Foley may have delayed back surgery for this tour, but it was more than worth it for those who attended, all I can say is let’s hope Mick can make it back for 2013 at the fringe.

Rubberbandits Thursday 9th August Gilded Balloon Teviot @ 10:30pm The famous Irish duo from Limerick, who have over 25 million plus views, performed their big hits and kept the crowd entertained from start to finish. A personal favourite of mine was horse outside, but each song was enjoyable and were sung brilliantly, which really added to what was nice to see was the internet stars had real personality and were value for money. If you love catchy songs which will make you laugh as well, then this act is a must and something you will enjoy for the hour. Late N Live Thursday 9th August Gilded Balloon Teviot @ 1am From 1am till 5am there is a mixture of live music and comedy, present were plenty of merry fans who although did give some of the acts a tough time, it was all good natured banter which the comedians easily used to their advantage. The main draw for the night was the boy with tape on his face, who made members of the audience strip teases, honk horns and be involved in staged marriage. All were entertaining and worthwhile sketches. By the end of the fourth and final act, the crowd had easily got their money back, and there was still time for a band to cover a number of songs for those who had decided to stay, this is a must see for anyone who wants late night comedy.

Michael Downey Gilded Balloon Teviot Thursday 9th @ 7:45pm The comedian who once stared in the BBC new comedy awards alongside Alan Carr, Russell Howard and John Bishop in 2001, unfortunately was involved in a serious car accident in Ireland which nearly caused Michael to lose his life, before he could truly become a main name in stand-up in Britain, but now Michael is back with a stand-up tour during the Fringe. In an intimate setting Michael delivered a show which although featured moments of comedy at the same time told the story of his recovery from the accident, he got the mix correct and in the process everyone presented felt for him, this was certainly the case when he showed old footage of his stand-up routines and toy cars to display what happened to himself on the night of the accident. I really hope Michael can get back into the circuit because he still has the skill and charisma, to make it big one more time.


Late N Live Thursday 9th August Gilded Balloon Teviot @ 1am

Lolympics Live Friday 10th August at Laughing Horse Espionage @ 3:30pm

From 1am till 5am there is a mixture of live music and comedy, present were plenty of merry fans who although did give some of the acts a tough time, it was all good natured banter which the comedians easily used to their advantage.

Hosted by Bronston Jones and Marcus Ryan , this show was a chance to experience a quick ten minute sample from each comedians main show, and was a really entertaining there was even a chance for members of the public to tell their favourite joke on stage. Jen Brister was simply brilliant talking about her Spanish mother, Tony Jameson who talked about what Hartlepool truly has to offer, while Nelly Scott and her mother provided a piece of drama, which quickly turned into a fun song and dance routine.

The main draw for the night was the boy with tape on his face, who made members of the audience strip teases, honk horns and be involved in staged marriage. All were entertaining and worthwhile sketches. By the end of the fourth and final act, the crowd had easily got their money back, and there was still time for a band to cover a number of songs for those who had decided to stay, this is a must see for anyone who wants late night comedy.

Although the acts will change throughout each performance, Bronston Jones and Marcus Ryan were fun hosts, who did a great job introducing acts while also being entertaining at the same time.

Bristol improv for hire Whynot? @ 3pm Saturday 11th August If you want good old fashioned improvisation at its best then look no further than the Bristol Improv group, each actor/actress played their role brilliantly and deserves praise. From the rewind, fast-forward improvised technique, to just random fun this was improvised comedy the audience really got involved in and that’s because of the high-standard of comedy they were watching. The audience decided what was said, what objects would be involved in the scenes and this level of interactivity made for great viewing. This show was so good I would happily pay money to see them again next year, and I hope they are back in Edinburgh for next years Fringe. Do not adjust your stage Saturday 11th August Whynot? @ 4:15pm Unfortunately for do not adjust your stage which was an improvised play, based on three themes game show, soap and educational show, the crowd did not offer helpful ideas and the cast struggled to maintain an entertaining piece. The play started with a news show with headlines suggested by the audience, this was a good start with good improvising by the actors and actress, but quickly the show went downhill, the ideas set by the audience meant crying rounder’s players, a game show about a brochure and a show about science, these themes were difficult to deal with and the cast seemed to run out of steam by the end. Although I felt this was a bad day for the group, I believe this was a one off and I think they would deserve another chance.


Tom Watson Saturday 11th August Saturday 11 There was also a chance to speak to Tom er does take a turn for the worse that numbers August 8:00pm - 9:00pm RBS Main Theatre Watson afterwards and each person was given will still be good because these performances deserve it. The Edinburgh International Book Festival had at least two minutes to ask questions which were a really nice touch. just started (11th August) when I arrived and apart from the variety of well-known authors who gave talks about their books and would sign them after their talks, there was also a well-stocked book shop there as well.

Street performers various times and various places.

During the beautiful weather, a large variety of The talk I attended was by Tom Watson where shows were on offer for anyone in attendance, journalism went off the rails regarding the you could spend a whole day just watching current state of journalism, and the Murdoch these marvellous acts. From juggling to clowns Empire, what I liked about the talk was Tom to a comedy acts, really there was not a single Watson’s willingness to answer any questions street performer’s act that I didn’t make people asked by the audience, Watson also revealed laugh or smile or both. In all fairness the numerous details about the book he was brilliant weather meant each performer got a talking about Dial M for Murdoch. good crowd, and I truly hope that if the weath-

Tom Feaheny @ThomasFeaheny



ith a story as smart as its fight scenes, the Bourne series was always going to be a hit, providing a gritty alternative to the far from believable adventures of Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt and Bond’s, well, Bond. It somehow manages to ooze as much cool as its rivals, but at the same time has a refreshingly realistic take on the otherwise stale, CGI-filled action genre. And while some may accuse the Matt Damon trilogy of being a bit of a one-trick pony, it’s a) no more so than its aforesaid rivals and b) a one-trick pony that aged well – Ultimatum, the third film, received the best reviews of the three. So, I hear you cry, what about Legacy?

if critics are right to say so (which they and unbelievable. What this beginning does probably are), it doesn’t mean you should write show, though, (including a chilling and it off. extremely relevant shooting scene, following last month’s Aurora shooting) is originality, And when I say “not quite as exciting”, I’m not being general and merely meaning I’m not albeit a little forced. In the fact that Cross excited about the film. The film isn’t actually knows who he is; in the setting in which we are introduced to him, Alaska, where he fights as exciting, as gripping, as intense. Where a wolf with more style than Liam Neeson ever Jason Bourne is without memory, Legacy’s Aaron Cross is without the pills that make him mustered; in the difference between Dr. Shearing and Marie Kreutz. This originality, so inhumanly skilled in just about every though, fades. All the interest generated by the situation. So while Matt Damon was given a huge deal to work with in terms of acting (can refreshingly different beginning Legacy provides is washed away, proved meaningless, you even comprehend not knowing your when we realise that this was just a ploy to identity?), Jeremy Renner was not – he just make us think the film different, original. It wants some pills, the withdrawal of which soon all melts away revealing a simple search Hmmm, it’s not quite as exciting. It doesn’t doesn’t even affect him until he’s minutes for pills, a plot line that proves an extremely represent the typically drastic fall from grace away from getting them. Fair play to him, he mediocre replacement for Jason Bourne’s of many re-casted sequels/reboots (it’s no does well with what he’s got and makes a Jaws: The Revenge; have a little more faith sometimes refreshing change, even causing me amnesia. Likewise (or LikeWeisz), and despite than that) but nor does it rise in A Dark Knight to laugh once or twice, a first for Bourne. But first impressions, Shearing’s role turns out to -esque manner. It is a worthy addition to the in script and concept Renner has been given a be exactly the same as Kreutz’ from the original films: to give the protagonist someone series, and I’m slightly worried that reviews raw deal. to protect other than himself, and it is only will put many potential viewers off, simply Likewise, Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) Renner’s Cross who shows any real difference because of comments saying it doesn’t reach comes together with Cross in circumstances at all. the benchmark set by earlier instalments. Even that somehow manage to be both predictable


Further evidence of the weak plot are the constant references to The Bourne Ultimatum. I understand that they are telling us that events in Legacy are running alongside Ultimatum, but that doesn’t require more than a short clip near the start. Instead we are regularly shown clips of stuff we’ve already seen: Journalist Simon Ross’ assassination, conversations between Bourne’s would-be killers. It’s all a bit pointless and off topic. In fact it seemed to me as though the plot needed filling out and this was the solution. Far from solving the problem, however, it will only serve to confuse newcomers to the franchise and even make some long-term viewers long for the originals. The shaky camerawork of Paul Greengrass, Marmite for the critics in that they either love it or hate it, has been dropped or at least toned down in Legacy, in my opinion making fight scenes more watchable. Another repeat from its predecessors was Legacy’s use of Cross’ environment in action sequences. This, though, was a good decision; it would not have been Bourne without it. What did majorly disappoint me, however, was the minimal but below average and unnecessary use of CGI, pleasingly absent thus far in the series. In most aspects, then, it merely almost lives up to past instalments. Is it another mildly dissatisfying sequel following in the footsteps of The Dark Knight Rises? On the whole. Will the filmmakers ever learn when to stop? Not if there’s money to be made.

Sam Lewis @welshsam1995


BEAUTIFULLY DECEIVING We stayed up. We cheered, feared and persevered. Hands in the air to head in hands; It was, undoubtedly, British Tennis’ finest hour. Writers, the professional ones and the casual blogger, all flocked to give its reader the confirmation: Andy Murray has won the US Open, defeating reigning champion Novak Djokovic in the process. There were moments when it looked a foregone conclusion, a tightly contested three-set victory. However, Tennis isn’t easy. It’s never easy – and that’s the beauty of it, a beauty that’s not capsulated in any other sport. Henman, Rusedski, Castle, Lloyd and any other ex-British Tennis player-turned-pundit applauding in unison as that Arsenal fan from Dunblane did what they couldn’t do – vanish that stat. The famous stat. 76 year it’s taken; and, thankfully, Murray did it his own way. Murray now has an ore of arrogance about him. He had the potential, and now he has the ability. He’s never been one for conforming to the expectations of a modern-day, non-footballing athlete. Be gracious in defeat, be understanding and quotable to the media, and have that appeal to the wide audience. Murray, who at least ticks the box for graciousness, is far from the norm. The non-tennis Wimbledon watching public didn’t relate to him. “He doesn’t smile” was one of the several petty complaints they’d make. I say petty because, quite frankly, it was – and still is. There’s still an element of “that boring Scottish [insert suitable unsatisfactory word here]” about Murray. He doesn’t care. The ones that watched that Scottish boy fall to the floor at Queens in 2005 don’t care either. If a Scotsmen parades down the touchline at your local football club, no one bats an eyelid. When there’s one at the baseline it’s a different story – it’s just the nature of a sport that’ll turn from mainstream to niche in the upcoming weeks.


That’s when the beauty of the sport becomes slightly tainted. I’m not one for football comparisons, mainly because I can sit through third-tier football without questioning the financial dispositions between the two sets of clubs. It’s just 90 minutes when you don’t care that your captain cheated on his wife, or the assistant manager got charged with drink -driving, and that’ll never change. Football has its faults, like any other sport. You’ll begrudge Financial Fair Play, and laud at Arsenal’s net spend. Well, compared to Tennis, it’s nothing. Andy Murray collected a cheque for $1.9m for his US Open victory, and thankfully spent a small fortune of that in a New York bar. He could soon turn into the number one Tennis player in the world, and some say an era of Dunblane dominance is on the horizon. This newly found dominance stipulates from an Olympic gold medal. Murray won, the rowers won, the cyclists won, the athletes won. It was a sporting triumph, a generation inspired. Parents will go and buy their son/daughter a new bike, a Tennis racket perhaps? But why? Unless you’re a player of a certain quality you just won’t make it, and you’ll earn more money working in an office. Whilst Murray was deservedly drinking the night away, Andrew Fitzpatrick, a Tennis player you probably wouldn’t have heard of, was selling himself on eBay. Andrew is currently competing in Vietnam to mount some money for the flight back and some ranking points. Currently ranked at 440 – GB’s number 11, England’s number 9 – Fitzpatrick has shown a fantastic rise throughout the calendar year. Even GB’s number 2, Josh Goodall, tweets about the financial position he is in. This is the best Tennis player in England struggling to carve out a career – why is this happening? Apparently we’ve inspired a generation, but how will this generation get there without proper funding? It gets worse. I’ve had professional tennis players tell me the facilities and standard of officiating in this country is equivalent to a “third world country.”

Red Shoes I want to be the girl in the red shoes: Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choos? She’s thin as a reed, but you know (without taking a silver dime dollar bet on it) that she’ll bend, not break It’s embarrassing. We have two individuals ranked inside the top 200, and you’ll say it’s down to a lack of talent. There really is a talent pool: Golding, Broady, Edmund, Bambridge – and in the women’s game? Robson, Watson – I could go on.

and even if it rains in Manhattan and the taxi’s late,

So, we have the potential, but will they achieve the same as Andy Murray, or will they fall like so many others? It’s not about even producing Grand Slam winners, just players that play consistently at a high level. Their careers might end due to an injury, or a promise at junior level that’ll never quite hit the same heights in the professional game; but, please, lets not let a sporting career end due to not being able to afford competing.

taking a trip (there and back)

I’ll leave you with this: In PE, locally anyway, we don’t play Tennis. We play Football on the Tennis court. We play Basketball, or maybe even Rounders. They say Tennis is a game for the wealthy; well, it’ll stay that way. Two rackets, a net and some Tennis balls – that’s all you need. The finance stuff comes later. A generation inspired? Well, we can only hope this generation will be exposed to another beautiful game: Tennis.

She has a Nikon-Leica-Canon-shuttered life – exposed

she’s designed to shine and won’t get wet. She’s the one in the double-page, all-the-rage, ultra-expensive spread who makes your thoughts wander without you ever wanting them to, up to the kohl-rimmed eyes, and down to those legs that don’t meet at the thighs, but then cross like a promise in hottest July. Her skin is impossible, her clothes a joke, and the dreams – the dreams! – she can sell are the most substantial thing in a cosmic clique of astronomic incomes. like a full-frontal technicolored muse. And when, one day, with cigarette fluttering on dry, cracked lips, she finds the cold light of day intruding like an unwanted guest at the party, after everything was planned down to the last be-ribboned orchid and supposed to be ‘just perfect’ when one day she slowly unfolds those endless legs and walks, faltering, through lonely rooms of faded opulence designed by names and faces

Brad Harper

she ‘just can’t quite recall, darling’ that’s when she’ll look down and think: these damned red shoes are still to die for.


Anne Bradshaw @shrewdbanana



n September 10th 1933, Fred Perry claimed the first of his eight Grand Slam titles. The world number three overcame Jack Crawford, ranked number two, in five sensational sets of tennis. Everyone was stunned; the Australian Open champion of that year who was gunning for his sixth major title and regarded as one of the greatest players ever, was beaten. Fast-forward 79 years and you would be forgiven for thinking history was repeating itself. Last night, the ghost of Fred was finally laid to rest as Andy Murray overcame Novak Djokovic 7-6, (12-10) 7-5, 2-6 3-6 6-2, a match which lasted almost five hours, and undoubtedly one of the great modern finals. The Scot averted the ignominy of losing one’s first five Grand Slams finals in the Open era to cap the finest year in British sport, from Sergio Aguero’s last minute strike for Manchester City, through to Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France victory and the quite sensational Olympics and Paralympics. Many thought the day would never come as Murray seemingly had the misfortune of crossing lines with arguably the greatest generation of tennis players. The unprecedented imperiousness of the Federer, Nadal and Djokovic triumvirate were like members of an exclusive club, taunting Murray with their membership cards and blocking his path to the sport’s ultimate prize. Despite his talent, Murray was seemingly destined to be left with an unfinished career. The Olympic final match has been mentioned so much in terms of Murray’s development, and its importance cannot be understated. The manner in which he defeated Federer in a best-of-five set match after the heartbreak of Wimbledon led to coach Ivan Lendl, when asked at a press conference if Murray would ever win a Grand Slam, replying “He already has one”. We always knew he had the ability, but the stuff between the ears was holding him back. For instance, if you took away Djokovic’s five Grand Slams, their head-to-head was six apiece, with Murray leading 26-23 in titles. In many cases, it boils down to a few points here and there, and which man truly believes they can succeed. But Murray’s road to this US Open final had been far from academic. After suffering early defeats in the Cincinnati and Toronto Masters, the Scot produced uncertain performances in the early rounds, before confidently dispatching the much-hyped Milos Raonic in round four. Hearts were in mouths as he went a set and a double break down to Marin Cilic before mounting a memorable comeback, after which a nervy four-set win over Berdych sealed his progress to the bitter end. Some will point out not he did not face either Nadal or Federer, both absent from semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time since 2004, but this in no way detracts from the scale of his achievement.


It was easy to see why many tipped Djokovic. He was on a remarkable 27-match unbeaten run at hard court Grand Slams, stretching back to the US Open of 2010. He had swept past his opponents with consummate ease, including a straight-sets victory over Juan Martin Del Potro. And he also beat Murray in their last Grand Slam encounter, an equally-epic contest in the Australian Open semis. That day, Murray was also a set away from glory but failed to deliver the killer blow. Not this time. The first set was a tense affair with breaks being traded twice each, exemplified by an incredible 54-stroke rally in game five. Few believed this would go down as a classic until we witnessed that gripping tie break. Murray came from 5-3 down to put Djokovic on the ropes, squandering six set points against the Serb’s incredible defences before eventually claiming the set. It was a microcosm of Murray’s career; denied on so many occasions but finally engineering the breakthrough.

Ivan Lendl was 24 when he won the first of his eight Grand Slams, and so, at 25, Murray has plenty of time to win more Slams. The remaining highlights of the year include the Shanghai and Paris Masters, both in October, followed by the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 in November. For now, though, Murray deserves a good break to recharge depleted batteries before preparing himself to enter the 2013 ring. It is certainly a mouth-watering prospect with Nadal returning from injury, Del Potro getting closer to his 2009 peak, Federer still going strong and a hungry Andy Murray finally being unshackled by the game’s greats.

Jack Bradshaw @1992Bradders

Then the form which won him an Olympic gold medal flowed early in the second set, despite a great comeback from Djokovic at 4-0 down. The inside-out forehand had more weight to it as well as the cross-court backhand, but such hitting completely deserted him in the third set. The fourth was arguably the most entertaining in terms of quality with so many unbelievable rallies, but Murray was always playing catch-up. Almost inevitably, we entered the tennis equivalent of a penalty shootout.

It seemed as though Djokovic was about to emulate Richard Gonzales’ feat 63 years ago, when he came from two sets down to beat Frederick Schroeder in five. But out of nowhere, Djokovic was broken twice, struggling both physically and mentally. All of a sudden, it was he who had legs like jelly and, towards the end of this gladiatorial carnage, he sounded like a wounded animal gasping for survival. Murray was composed throughout and, for once, used his challenges wisely to correct two marginal decisions when serving for the championship, shrugging off the pain of losing a toe nail and ending the agony of a nation. The impact on British tennis and the potential to inspire a generation could prove to be priceless.




n the mid 1980s, videogames were starting to become a noticeable presence in society. The release of early games consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Master System had made stars of Mario and other mascots to a young generation of future nerds. The days of Space Invaders and Pac-man in the arcades were passing; video games were evolving. Yet whilst new consoles brought new gaming experiences, they were undeniably ‘home consoles’, and definitely not designed to be ‘on the go’. This was unlike music systems such as the Walkman or mobile phones (though their mobility can be questioned). Research even shows that a primitive, paper form of the Kindle e-reader existed during this time as well. Technology was becoming increasingly mobile in the late ‘80s, a common sight on public transport. It was inevitable that video games would make the transition, too.

had previously been held by the Game Boy and DS. The Angry Birds series has one billion downloads, whilst the free app Draw Something has enjoyed fifty million. It’s clear that the mobile app market has had a notable impact on the handheld scene. The response to this challenge from companies like Nintendo hasn’t been entirely convincing, either. Whilst Nintendo’s President, Satoru Iwata, has publicly stated that the company wouldn’t be interested in making smartphone games, Shigeru Miyamoto (the creator of series such as Mario and The Legend of Zelda) admits that after playing Angry Birds he was left ‘wishing that I had been the one to come up with the idea first’.

However, the problem with smartphone games isn’t just their creative appeal, it’s their economic value as well. Many smartphone games follow the ‘freemium’ model, where the game itself is free but added This began with Nintendo’s Game Boy, released in 1989. It may look a extras – such as new levels or weapons – cost a little extra. Even grey breeze block with an oddly green screen, but the system was premium games rarely cost more than £5.00. In contrast, Nintendo’s revolutionary at the time. It spawned a wave of Game Boys for 3DS cost £229.99 upon initial release and received a price cut after Nintendo, with the Colour and the Advance continuing the tradition only four months due to poor sales. Games themselves cost around £30 until 2004, when a dual screen portable called the DS was released by -£40. In times of economic uncertainty, it’s understandable why this the company. Since then, a number of competitors have released their might seem a little too much of a price to pay for a device only offering own portable devices, including Sony’s PSP. Despite this competition, gaming content.

though, Nintendo have generally had the most success. Titles such as Tetris, Pokémon and Brain Training captured a large audience of people who would not ordinarily classify themselves as ‘gamers’. Getting a hand on this casual audience helped to ensure massive sales for the handhelds. The modern generation of gaming handhelds mainly consists of two devices: Nintendo’s 3DS, offering 3D games on the go, and Sony’s PS Vita, an upgraded version of their Playstation Portable console. Yet there is one unexpected new challenger to the handheld gaming order: the smartphone. As handheld gaming devices grew more powerful over the last twenty years, ‘mobile gaming’ remained relatively inferior. Most people’s experiences of gaming on a mobile phone were playing Snake on a battered old Nokia whilst waiting for the bus to arrive. In the past few years, though, mobile devices have enjoyed their own technological revolution. The rise of the smartphone has allowed the mobile to become its own gaming platform. Games like Angry Birds and Draw Something have allowed the mobile to capture the casual audience that

It’s clear that the landscape of portable gaming is shifting, and the days of handheld machines being dedicated solely to videogames are numbered. With established companies like Nintendo and Sony being made to work for their hold in the market, games about flinging birds at pigs and mobile Pictionary are challenging long established platforms, racers and adventurers to be the most popular timewasters on the morning commute. If the likes of Pokémon can be taken down by a few legless, wingless, pig-hating birds, what will be the next twist or turn in the tale of the handheld console? Time will tell how much success they will have, and what other new experience might prove to be waiting just around the corner.

Matthew Williams @LazyBoyWilliams


23 YEARS... I

n 1989, 96 men, women and children went to a football match to support their heroes only never to return. 23 years on, the truth behind that unforgettable day has finally emerged. Sports writer Ben Powell looks at the whole story as it finally emerges.

would explain that one to her in years to come. As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry as she was born one week overdue. As the day approached I found my mind wandering to the families affected and wondering how the parents of the young teenagers recovered from kissing their children- their own flesh and blood- goodbye as they saw the excitement in their eyes at going off to cheer home their heroes. The only problem was, later on that night and early through the next day they would hear nothing, see nothing of those children and in many cases have to travel to Hillsborough to find out about their children and in some cases identify their bodies. How would I explain that to my daughter, that she could possibly have shared her birthday with this kind of incident? How do I still explain that to her? How do we explain it to anyone?

One date- 15th April 1989 will forever be etched in the hearts and minds of football fans and ordinary folk around the globe. The scene was Hillsborough football stadium in Sheffield. The occasion was the 1989 F.A. Cup semi-final. Thousands of Liverpool fans were flocking to South Yorkshire to watch their team take on Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest knowing that either side were only 90 minutes from Wembley Stadium and the showpiece of the season, the F.A. Cup Final. The two sides had met the previous year at the same stage of competition at the same stadium. On that day, two John Aldridge goals had seen Liverpool prevail 2-1 before losing in possibly still the biggest shock final the competition has ever seen against lowly Wimbledon. On that sunny April afternoon there was nothing to suggest that this occasion would be any different. As we were to find out In the days and weeks that followed the however, 96 men, women and children would disaster, the stories became clearer and clearer. never return home. Tales from the South Yorkshire Police of fans kicking down the door outside the Leppings Fast forward 21 years to 2010. The date was Lane end of the ground to gain entry into the fast approaching April 15th. The 21st ground. They told tales of fans turning up anniversary of the disaster and what should have been the happiest day of his life for this ticketless to the game and stinking of alcohol. writer. This was because this was the due date Fans supposedly turning up late because they had rolled out of nearby pubs after several of my daughter, my only child so far. As the date was approaching, I found myself dreading hours of non-stop drinking and causing a crush it, hoping and praying that my wife would go outside the ground which left the Police with no choice but to open the gates. As it would overdue. This was not me being selfish, turn out, nothing could be further from the merely that as a Liverpool fan as a child, I truth. couldn’t bear my daughter to share her birthday with one of the worst disasters in peacetime Britain. I just didn’t know how I

28 36

Fast forward another two years to 2012 and there is another date that will forever be etched

on mine and other football fans minds. That date is September 12th 2012. Why you might ask? This was the date when after 23 years of hurt, pain and campaigning, the truth was finally out. The families of the Hillsborough victims were allowed to see 4,500 pages of evidence gathered by an independent enquiry group that had previously been constantly kept from these people and the public at large. Prime Minister David Cameron stood in front of Parliament and offered his heartfelt apologies to the families on behalf of his current government and that of the Conservative government led by Margaret Thatcher at the time in 1989. The pages then became open to the public to view online later on that afternoon. The main few points of the findings were as follows: The Liverpool fans ‘were not the cause of the disaster’. Police emphasised exceptional, aggressive and un-anticipated crowd behaviour: large numbers of ticketless, drunk obstinate fans involved in concerted action, even ‘conspiracy’ to enter the stadium. South Yorkshire Police made ‘significant’ amendments to 116 of the 164 to remove or alter ‘unfavourable’ comments about policing. The vast majority of fans on the pitch assisted in rescuing and evaluating the injured and the dead- reports of them stealing from victims were ‘false and sensationalised’. All the dead bodies had their blood alcohol levels tested, including the children.

Police performed National Computer checks on those with a non-zero alcohol level in attempts to ‘impugn the reputations of the deceased’. Many of the dead could have been saved. Post-mortem reports found 28 of these who did not have obstruction of blood circulation and 31 had evidence of heart and lungs continuing to function after the crush. Let’s just digest some of this information. At the original inquest, the coroner stated that there was a cut-off point of 3.15pm (bear in mind the game kicked off at 3pm) beyond which none of the deceased could be saved despite witnesses including the emergency services and several police officers claiming that several of the victims had pulses and were even breathing beyond this point. The powers that be in the South Yorkshire Police-force at the time began covering up almost immediately. Graham Kelly who had just become the F.A.’s first ever Chief Executive arrived in the police control box less than five minutes after the players had left the pitch demanding to know what was going on and was told by Chief Inspector David Duckinfield who had been placed in charge of the operation that Liverpool fans had broken down the doors and stormed into pens 3 and 4 causing overcrowding. What really happened was that as the events were unfolding in front of him, Duckinfield froze. He didn’t have experience of such a large public gathering and just did not know what to do. Waiting emergency services that tried to get onto the pitch (including waiting local Ambulances) were held back and told to wait as there was much fighting on the pitch and in the terraces. To rub salt into the wounds, over the coming days and weeks after the disaster they had to

read stories in the national press that were just unbelievable. A couple of days after the disaster, The Sun, the biggest and best-selling of Britain’s tabloid newspapers ran a story on its front cover which read; ‘The Truth- Some fans picked pockets of victims, some fans urinated on the brave cops, some fans beat up PC giving kiss of life’. It was simply

to family of the victims, tell this to the family of the youngest victim ten year old Jon-Paul Gilhooley. At the time Jon-Paul was just an ordinary boy supporting his team like any other, except he never came home from Sheffield that day. His blood was tested for alcohol levels after his death. It has since emerged that Jon-Paul was the slightly older cousin of Liverpool and England’s current captain Steven Gerrard.

In the subsequent years that have followed the push for justice has been led by many different people. The families of the victims, the players themselves, the Hillsborough Family Support group of which the leader Trevor Hicks (who lost his two daughters in the tragedy) has done amazing work. A big turning point came in 2010 when at the 21st anniversary, the former Secretary of state for Health, stood up in front of 45000 fans at the anniversary memorial and vowed to fight to get justice for the families and victims despite being roundly booed. He outrageous, but unfortunately up and down the was as good as his word though as he set the country at the time it was believed by a lot of ball rolling, from which the MP for Liverpool people. In fact it was still believed today until Walton has continued to keep the pressure on these findings came out. The editor at the time the present Conservative government, leading Kelvin Mackenzie absolutely believed in what to the current situation. he was putting on his paper’s front cover. His So we have finally taken the next steps writer who wrote the piece has since claimed towards closure. We are still a long way off, that his original copy included the word but bigger strides are being made all the time. alleged against each of these claims, but The truth has finally been uncovered, now the Mackenzie over-ruled him and demanded that justice must prevail. For the 96 who died and it be left out. In the 23 years that have passed the 700 who were injured, we’ll never forget since he has stead-fastly refused to apologise you and we’ll continue to fight on. You’ll for this front cover claiming to still believe never walk alone. that the facts were right until proved otherwise. He saw sales of his paper which were reaching a million copies on Merseyside prior to Hillsborough drop down to just a few thousand copies per day over the last 23 years. He believed in what he was doing, but tell this


Ben Powell


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he Ryder Cup is one of the greatest events not only in golf, but in sporting competition as a whole. Founded in 1927, when a team of British golfers took on their American counterparts in Massachusetts, the tournament has grown into one of the most watched sporting occasions. The might of America dominated the early post-war era, only for the newly-formed European side to win on eight occasions since their formation in 1979. As a glorious summer of sport draws to a close, we look take an in-depth look at the two sides competing for glory in 2012.

There are three different types of competition in the Ryder Cup, all played over 18 holes. First, we have the eight foursome matches, which involve two players on each team taking alternate shots using the same ball. There are also eight fourball matches, where the four golfers use their own ball and each hole is won by the team whose individual golfer has the lowest score. The 12 single matches are simply head-to-head contests, completing the 28 matches. Each win counts for one point and a draw for 0.5 points. During Friday and Saturday, four foursome and fourball matches are played; the captain must decide carefully who he chooses for these since not everyone needs to play. All the single matches take place on Sunday. If the scores are tied at the end, the winner is the defending champions, which in this case is Europe.

The picturesque course will be the first to host the Ryder Cup in the state of Illinois and outside the Eastern Time Zone. Many of the players at this year’s tournament will have experience here before, since Medinah has hosted five major championships in the past. The PGA Championships of 1999 and 2006, both won by Tiger Woods, and the 1949, 1975 and 1990 US Opens were played here.

separating tee from green; the 15th short 391 yard par 4 in which it is possible to reach the green for the big hitters and the tricky par 4 18th, whose green is elevated and surrounded by bunkers.

So to navigate the obstacles presented by Medinah, both sets of players must be bold in their shot selection and have experience dealing with the wind. You can guarantee there will be some wonderful memories left for the The back nine is perhaps the most impressive, and holes to look out for eventual winners on such a fine stage. include the par 5 7th which measures a whopping 617 yards with an elevated green guarded by numerous bunkers; the par 4 12th with the beautiful oak wood guarding the left side of the green, which slopes viciously from left to right; the long par 3 13th which is usually accompanied by strong winds blowing off Lake Kadijah


Name: Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland, 23) World ranking: 1 Career highlight: Demolishing the field in the 2011 US Open. Not only was it is maiden major, but it came swiftly on the heels of his infamous Masters meltdown in Augusta. It was the response of a true champion, as was his recent 8-stroke canter at the 2012 PGA Championship. Season so far: McIlroy has just battered the field at the PGA, followed by a win at the Deutsche Bank. Talk of him going on to dominate the sport for years ahead is totally justified. Strengths: A hugely talented player, Rory has sorted out those swing problems which plagued him at this year’s Open and can hold his nerve on those crucial par putts. Weaknesses: Still struggles when battling windy conditions, and may need to raise his game to overcome the challenges of Medinah. Verdict: McIlroy will be the focus of attention in the European team, and his colleagues will be hoping he can deliver some magic to get them over the line.

Name: Luke Donald (England, 34) World ranking: 2 Career highlight: Donald has to be satisfied with having sat on top of the world rankings. In 2011, he became the first man to win the US and European money lists in the same year. A rich nearly-man. Season so far: However, All the pressure surrounding his world number one position this season has not done Donald many favours. Never really in contention for a major, except for the Open when he finished 5th, the wait for such a championship continues. Won the Transitions Championship in March. Strengths: A hard worker and perfectionist about his game, Donald’s iron play in particular is among the best in the world at the moment. Weaknesses: Putting has been his problem as he can’t seem to finish off the good work in majors when it comes to the crunch. Verdict: Donald will be hoping to prove a few doubters wrong with a top performance in the Ryder Cup. We know he has the talent to do so.

Name: Lee Westwood (England, 39) World ranking: 4 Career highlight: Westwood usurped Tiger Woods as world number one back in 2010, and while one of golf's big ones has thus far eluded him, he has been a consistent presence on major leader boards, finishing in the top 10 on fourteen occasions. Season so far: Disappointed at the US Open and PGA Championship, but delivered with top ten performances at the Masters and Open, it has been a somewhat inconsistent season for the Englishman. Strengths: A fabulous driver and iron player, Westwood can produce birdie opportunities at will and will be an excellent foursomes partner. Weaknesses: In a word, putting. It has arguably cost him multiple majors in the past. Verdict: Westwood has played in six Ryder Cups and therefore has a wealth of experience at this level.


Name: Justin Rose (England, 32) World ranking: 9 Career highlight: Announcing himself to the golfing world back in 1998 as an amateur after finishing tied fourth at The Open Championship.

Name: Graeme McDowell (Northern Ireland, 33)

World ranking: 17

World ranking: 15

Career highlight: The terrifically gifted Career highlight: Winning the 2010 US Open Spaniard occupies the same nearly-man space by a stroke to become the first ever Northern as team mate Luke Donald. While his Irish winner of that Major, and the first individual career has been pockmarked by near European player in 40 years to achieve that -misses at majors, Garcia boasts an impressive feat. Ryder Cup record of 14-6-4.

Season so far: Finished third in the US PGA, his best major championship finish to date, which followed a decent 8th at the US Open. Season so far: McDowell has had an He also won the Cadillac World Championship impressive season in the majors, tying for in March. second behind compatriot McIlroy at the US Open before finishing 5th at the Open. Strengths: A good driver and a talented recovery player, Rose can pull shots out of the hat and his solid recent form made him a certain pick.

Name: Sergio Garcia (Spain, 32)

Strengths: One of the best putters in the world, McDowell will be remembered for holding his nerve on the 17th hole against Hunter Mahan to seal the 2010 European triumph.

Weaknesses: Not the strongest player mentally, Rose often loses belief after a bad couple of shots. Often needs a good start to get Weaknesses: Needs to improve his bunker going. play, as well as driving draw tee shots.

Season so far: 12th at the Masters, but never close at the other three majors. Won the recent Wyndham Championship. Strengths: Sergio has all the shots in the locker and has stunned spectators with such variety over the years. Weaknesses: Can be horrifically inconsistent at times and fragile mentally. Verdict: In the shoot-out nature of a Ryder Cup, Garcia’s sheer talent and competitive nature will be a huge boost to Europe.

Verdict: After being hugely disappointed to Verdict: In the pressure situations, nobody miss out on the 2010 tournament, Rose will be will be better than McDowell. Likely to be relishing the occasion and will hope to put on a paired with a big hitter in the foursomes. big performance. Name: Francesco Molinari (Italy, 29)

Name: Paul Lawrie (Scotland, 43)

Name: Peter Hanson (Sweden, 34)

World ranking: 25

World ranking: 28

World ranking: 34

Career highlight: Rising to an all-time high of 14 in the world rankings in 2010; a year in which he recorded 11 top ten finishes, as well as edging Lee Westwood to the WGC-HSBC Champions crown.

Career highlight: Though reasonably consistent over a long period, Lawrie has never scaled the heights of his Open Championship triumph in 1999.

Career highlight: 2010 was a good season for Hanson, as he won the Czech Open in the play -off against Gary Boyd and Peter Lawrie and the Iberdrola Open Cala Millor Mallorca in the same season.

Season so far: Hasn’t played a great deal of tournaments this year and hasn’t particularly impressed in the majors. Molinari will need to improve quickly. Strengths: One of the best drivers on the European Tour, Molinari regularly hits over 70% of fairways to set up his opportunities. Weaknesses: Is vulnerable to missing crucial putts, although his vital putt in the 2010 Ryder Cup has gone some way to banishing those demons. Verdict: Experience, rather than skill, is Molinari’s key attribute to the European team.

Season so far: Claimed his first tour win for nine years with the Open de Andalucia de Season so far: The Swede led the 2012 Golf, finishing on -12. Skipped the US Open in Masters after three rounds, and finished a order to qualify for the Ryder Cup. creditable tied third, three strokes from victory. Strengths: With loads of experience, although Secured seventh place at the PGA, but less impressive at the Open and US Open. not at winning majors, the Scotsman will provide useful advice to the less-experienced members of the team.

Strengths: One of the most consistent players on the Tour, Hanson has soared from a ranking Weaknesses: Lawrie has never had great suc- outside the top 50 in 2008 to finish high up on cess in major US competitions; he will need to the money lists and become a potential major overcome that mental hurdle if he is to achieve contender. success with Europe. Weaknesses: Putting needs to improve if he is to make a major impression at the highest Verdict: A possible future European captain, this could well be Lawrie’s final Ryder Cup in level. a playing capacity, and he should relish every moment.


Verdict: Hanson’s experience and calm head will be vital in the European camp.

Name: Martin Kaymer (Germany, 27) World ranking: 29 Career highlight: Beating Ryder Cup opponent Bubba Watson in a three-hole playoff at the 2010 PGA Championship. In the same year, he became the first European since Nick Faldo in 1989 to win three consecutive tournaments, matching Tiger Woods' 2006 feat. Season so far: However, Kaymer has had a poor season by his high standards. He failed to win a Tour event or make the cut for either the Open or PGA, his best major finish being a 15th place at the US Open. Strengths: Excellent player when it comes to shot selection and driving. Weaknesses: His current form is probably the worst of any European player. If you drop 28 places since February 2011, something has gone wrong. Verdict: Jose Maria Olazabal will need to be cautious in his use of Kaymer who is low on confidence but certainly not short of natural talent.

Name: Ian Poulter (England, 36) (Wildcard) World ranking: 26 Career highlight: After winning the 2010 WGC-Accenture Match Play Tournament in Arizona, his first on American soil, Poulter reached a career-high rank of 5. His runner-up achievement at the 2008 Open at Royal Birkdale was also impressive. Season so far: Three major top tens in 2012 show that the flamboyant Englishman is well set for such a high profile occasion. Strengths: Blessed with a self-belief and an excellent putting game which has been the foundation for his success of late. Weaknesses: Not the cleanest ball-striker in the world and often deliberates for long periods over his shots. Verdict: Ian Poulter would make an excellent golf coach, and so his wildcard pick was a no-brainer.

Name: Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium, 29) (Wildcard) World ranking: 36 Career highlight: Being selected for Europe's Ryder Cup team. The Belgian wildcard has described his participation in such an esteemed event as a ‘fairy story’. Season so far: Burst into life during the Open, which he led early on and ended up finishing 7th. Disappointed to miss the cut at the PGA, but his Open performance showed us what he can do. Strengths: Excellent with iron shots and approach play. Weaknesses: Requires more concentration at times and often has a tendency to throw away leads at tournaments. Verdict: Colsaerts is a ‘wildcard’ in every sense. He has only just made an impression at the majors, and which version will turn up is anyone’s guess.


Name: Tiger Woods, 36

Name: Webb Simpson, 27

Name: Bubba Watson, 34

World ranking: 3

World ranking: 5

World ranking: 6

Career highlight: Winning the 2000 US Open, and becoming the youngest golfer to ever secure the career Grand Slam, will rank as one of his greatest achievements.

Career highlight: Winning this year’s US Open, his first major.

Career highlight: Winning this year’s Masters Tournament, like Webb Simpson, his first major triumph.

Strengths: Handling pressure; driving distance; bunker and recovery play; making the impossible possible.

-distance putts, as well as a few long ones, so will be comfortable on the greens at least.

Season so far: His triumph at the Olympic Club in June surprised a lot of people, but he Season so far: With three tour wins this year, represents the next generation of American there are signs Tiger is returning to his best. He stars coming through the ranks. He will be nearly won the Open Championship but has disappointed to not make the cut at the US disappointed in the other three majors, failing PGA, but he is certainly one to watch. to finish in the top 10. Strengths: Regularly holes those tricky middle

Weaknesses: His approach play has let him down recently and his putting can be erratic.

Season so far: After stunning the world at the Masters with his pink driver and unorthodox style, Bubba disappointed at the US Open, missing the cut, and was tied for 23rd at the Open. Nevertheless, this has been his breakthrough season and he will be looking to finish in style here. Strengths: Approach play and putting were especially strong during the Masters.

Weaknesses: This is Simpson’s first Ryder Cup, so it will be a completely new experience Weaknesses: Lacks consistency at times and to handle. likes to take risks.

Verdict: Woods is still Team USA’s strongest Verdict: Simpson now has the aura of a major player, and one whom the younger players will winner. The question is whether he can handle look up to. the pressure at Ryder Cup level.

Verdict: Watson has had to deal with a lot more publicity after his Masters triumph; the question is can he deal with the intense pressure at a Ryder Cup?

Name: Jason Dufner, 35

Name: Matt Kuchar, 34

Name: Keegan Bradley, 26

World ranking: 7

World ranking: 13

World ranking: 12

Career highlight: His first win on the PGA Career highlight: One of the most likeable Tour, at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in players on the tour, Kuchar scooped his biggest May, will be his most memorable achievement. tournament of his career with the Players Season so far: A second Tour win followed at Championship in May which, at the time, propelled him to world number five. the HP Byron Nelson Championship, and

Career highlight: The first player to win a major using a long putter, Bradley triumphed in the 2011 US PGA, overtaking Jason Dufner in dramatic style with three holes to go. It was a result which surprised many people.

Dufner played OK at the Masters, tying for the lead at the halfway stage. He also finished fourth at the US Open, just two shots behind compatriot Simpson, his best ever finish at the tournament.

Season so far: 2012 has been another good season for Bradley, as he claimed the World Golf Championship at Bridgestone last month, finishing one stroke ahead of compatriots Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker.

Strengths: Handles pressure excellently with his laid-back style. A fantastic ball-striker, he has one of the highest greens-in-regulation rates in the world.

Season so far: He finished tied for third at the Masters, his best major tournament performance to date, followed by a decent ninth place at the Open. He is full of confidence and worthy of his selection by captain Davis Love III. Strengths: His putting has been the platform for his success; within five feet he always comes up with the goods.

Strengths: Loves his iron shots, which was his trademark shot during his 2011 success.

Weaknesses: Perhaps Bradley could be criticised for being a slow starter; his major successes have come after mounting a late Weaknesses: Putting is Dufner’s Achilles heel, Weaknesses: His driving is not the best and possibly the worst of any top 10 player. If his his swing unusually flat, which means he often comeback. He will need to be at his best from approach play disappoints, there is a danger his hooks his shots. the off at the Ryder Cup. whole came could collapse. Verdict: This is Kuchar’s second straight Verdict: Bradley will provide a refreshing Verdict: Dufner has peaked at an old age for a golfer, but his recent victories will give him confidence going into his first Ryder Cup.


Ryder Cup appearance. He can be employed in option for Team USA as they look to make a variety of roles and will do a good job, given amends for the 2010 defeat. his confidence at present.

Name: Zach Johnson, 36

Name: Phil Mickelson, 42

World Ranking: 10

World ranking: 16

World ranking: 22

Career highlight: His one and only major, the 2007 Masters, was the first in history won by a man outside the top 50. A relative unknown at the time, he finished two shots ahead of Tiger Woods, Retief Goosen and Rory Sabbiatini.

Career highlight: Mickelson won his third Masters tournament in 2010, and his fourth major altogether, with a scintillating final two rounds in which he overtook Lee Westwood.

Career highlight: The year 2009 was Stricker’s most fruitful, winning three Tour events. These included the Bob Hope and John Deere Classics, and the Crowne Plaza Invitational.

Season so far: Johnson has won two titles this year, at the Crowne Plaza Invitational and the John Deere Classic. His ninth place at the Open was the best of his career, but he was never in contention at the other three majors. Strengths: His putting has been consistent so far this season, and is generally a good all-rounder. Weaknesses: Recovery play could perhaps be a little more consistent. Verdict: Zach Johnson is an experienced pro who knows what it takes to win a major. This is his fourth consecutive Ryder Cup and he is sure to deliver a solid performance.

Season so far: It has been a strangely indifferent season for Mickelson, tying for third at the Masters before controversially withdrawing from the Memorial Tournament, citing fatigue. He was never in contention to win the US Open and then missed the cut at the Open.

Season so far: Stricker began the year by winning the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He has only finished inside the top 10 in one major – the US PGA with a 7th-place finish on three under par. Strengths: An exceptional putter, Stricker is one of the coolest around.

Strengths: Great at salvaging position from Weaknesses: Not the most powerful player in difficult situations; his legendary shot from the the world, Stricker has suffered a multitude of 2010 Masters springs to mind. arm and shoulder problems in the past. Weaknesses: Mickelson has not putted Verdict: Stricker’s experience will be vital, especially well so far this season and looks out and his putting technique will make him a perfect option when it comes to the crunch. of sorts in almost every area. Verdict: This will be Mickelson’s ninth consecutive Ryder Cup, but he will be hoping to atone for some mediocre performances in recent tournaments.

Name: Dustin Johnson, 28 (Wildcard)

Name: Brandt Snedeker, 31 (Wildcard)

Name: Jim Furyk, 42 (Wildcard)

World ranking: 14

World ranking: 18

World ranking: 30

Career highlight: Johnson has won six tour events, the most recent being the FedEx St Jude Classic in Memphis, but his second-place finish at the 2011 Open announced to the world he will be a major contender for years to come.

Career highlight: Snedeker won his third PGA tour title at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines earlier this year and, in doing so, broke into the world top 20 for the first time.

Career highlight: Furyk’s only major triumph came at the 2003 US Open, where he tied the record for the lowest 72-hole score with a second round 66. He finished three strokes ahead of Australian Stephen Leaney.

Season so far: The triumph at Torrey Pines set up an exciting season for Snedeker. He finished third at the Open and recorded the lowest ever score after two rounds. He unfortunately missed the cut at the PGA before finishing runner up to Nick Watney.

Season so far: Good finishes of 11th and 4th in the Masters and US Open respectively were not followed up in the Open or US PGA, where he failed to finish in the top 30 of either.

Season so far: Johnson endured a frustrating start to the season, suffering a back injury which ruled him out of the Masters. His victory at St Jude Classic gave him a much-needed boost, which he followed up with ninth place at the Open. Disappointingly, he failed to make the cut at the US Open.

Strengths: When he’s in the mood, he can make more greens in regulation than anyone Strengths: He is possibly the longest driver on else. Also one of the most consistent putters the tour right now, and was placed third in the this season. driving distances between 2009 and 2011. Weaknesses: Injury has troubled Snedeker’s Weaknesses: Putting has been his major weakness, although we have seen major improvements in this department over the last couple of years.

career; he missed this year’s US Open with a rib injury, and the previous November underwent hip surgery. His Open meltdown from round three onwards suggests a lack of mental toughness.

Strengths: Furyk has a wealth of experience having spent a record 350 weeks in the top 10 between 1999 and 2010. Weaknesses: He isn’t the longest driver in the world, but this is only a tiny chink in the armour for one of the game’s great all-rounders. Verdict: Furyk has been drafted into Team USA by Davis Love III to add experience. His consistency at the highest level is almost unparalleled and he could be employed in a number of options.

Bobby Hare @bobbyhare


slightly less intense and overpowering) of “chaos” and included the most enjoyably psychopathic villain ever seen on screen. Rises, on the other hand, is a good deal more typical blockbuster material, even though it tries hard not to be. It’s like a retired dancer who thinks he’s still got the moves, and while it shines at moments, the quality that Nolan seemed to have nailed down in The Dark Knight now eludes him. What I’m saying is that this is a second-rate version of 2008’s The Dark Knight.

The Dark Knight Rises would have been a genuine miracle had it lived up to its predecessor, the most thoroughly five-star blockbuster in an age. And it didn’t. I think the problem here is that I’m about to rip apart Rises, a four-star film, on the basis that it doesn’t compare to The Dark Knight, and that seems wrong – would you punish an intelligent child just because his sibling was more intelligent? Had Rises been its own film, had it not been shackled in the shadow of Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning Joker, this review would read very differently. But knowing that doesn’t make me feel any less let down by Christopher Nolan. Yes, it is an intelligent, theme-driven film that will sit alone for the rest of time as being part of the trilogy that broke free of the traditionally camp, slightly silly superhero genre. In The Dark Knight, and Batman Begins before it, acting, plot, themes and action are all very much more grounded and believable than they are in any other superhero flick I know of. It is true to say, perhaps because of this fact, that things also get considerably darker than is normal. And both of these points are true of Rises. It is unique. However within Nolan’s strange sub-genre in which his Bat films sit alone, the threequel does not come out on top. Batman Begins was – despite the feeling that writer-director Nolan was finding his feet – a solid and fresh introduction to characters and setting, the dangers to the titular character as much psychological as physical. The Dark Knight was the following crescendo (on the subject of crescendos, Rises’ score picks up where its predecessor’s left off, perhaps


to see that film!) plays a lowly cop who single -handedly carries a good deal of the film’s story and moral messages, giving a likeable performance that others would have made OTT. A troubled Gary Oldman (aka Commissioner Gordon) is underused, perhaps a symptom of the film’s having so many characters, being made to sit in a hospital bed while JGL runs around for him. Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman brings some sexiness to the franchise for first time as neithergood-nor-bad cat burglar, Selina Kyle. Michael Cane looks even more frail and moist Not only has the trilogy slowed down in -eyed than previously and is given ample time old age, but it also appears to have put on to do so, while Morgan Freeman has fewer weight, Rises boasting an annoying 164humorous smartarse lines than in The Dark minute running time. And while you could say Knight. And finally, Christian Bale is Christian that the likes of The Lord of the Rings are even Bale; he has more to work with than before, longer, they don’t outstay their welcome but and his physically and mentally wounded require the majority of their bulk, whereas the reclusive Bruce Wayne is fascinating. build-up in Rises, in addition to the almost overwhelmingly complicating quantity of The setting, too, was captivating, helped sub-plots and characters, just feels by Nolan’s choice to use genuine New York unnecessary. Scenes and scenes can float by locations and extras over sets and CG-created with no mention – let alone sighting – of crowds. The terrorism-afflicted Gotham City Christian Bale, as Bat or Bruce. And too many is spectacular and a frightening look at a very of these scenes involve talking. I don’t mean real possibility. The culmination of this to sound like a typical teenager who only situation, though, I was not impressed with. I watches films for the violence, sex and don’t want to give spoilers (despite you probafart-gags, but where Heath Ledger’s talking bly having seen it already), but the use of a was as gripping as his fighting, Bane and the bomb countdown climax? Really? Could you multitude of other characters aren’t always come up with nothing more original than that, that intriguing. Which you might think Nolan Mr. Nolan? Likewise, the ending, while would have counteracted with more action satisfying, did not surprise me, and nor did it than the previous film, but I found the encourage thought once I had left the cinema. climactic conflict lacking in length (the only part of the film worthy of such a description). So, for the second time, I declare it second rate in comparison to The Dark And while the fight scene itself was quite Knight’s five-star class, a second-rate film that spectacular – a simple but utterly ferocious feels as though it never quite kicks off in the punch-up – fighting was all Bane seemed to be way you have been led to expect by the hype. good for. Tom Hardy’s size and physicality did While it is powerful with resounding themes, give him a fearsome presence, but his voice performances, brutal action that does enough was ridiculous. The mask (which he acted to keep bottoms on seats, and especially surprisingly well from behind) turns his voice emotion, it certainly did not rise, instead into that of a transformer, an almost falling into the four-star category that any atmosphere-destroying decision. Love him or other film would have been pleased to loath him, no one can say Bane has anything achieve. But Nolan? Nolan and Batman? I exon The Joker. pected more. And this leads me on to the other characters. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who Nolan reportedly came close to casting as The Joker after Heath Ledger’s death – how I would love

Sam Lewis



The Importance of Reading... As my summer dawdled to a delayed close (I’d officially gone back to school, but thus far had had no lessons and no work), boredom ensued. Boredom’s not something I believe in. ‘There’s always something to do,’ I often tell people when they moan about boredom. But I just wanted to get back to school and make a start on my final year’s work. So, almost instinctively, I’d been reading at an even more inhuman rate than usual in order to pass the time – fiction mainly, but the odd article too. It was during this phase that I came across an article featured on Huffington Post’s Twitter account, @HuffPostBooks. Titled ‘10 books that taught me reading is bullshit’, the piece does what it says on the tin. Ten books supposedly backing up the muddled, often one-sided opinions of comedian and author Dan Wilbur: books are BAD! At the time of writing, though you may not be able to tell after a brief edit, my article is, right now, dangerously close to becoming a full on tirade and critical analysis (with a heavy emphasis on the critical part) of Wilbur’s piece... Discipline. Restraint. And ... breathe. Right, where was I? Ah, yes. So I will now, without further rambling and with no more ado, shift immediately to the primary purpose of this piece: to explain why reading is about as far from ‘bullshit’ as it is possible to be, short of leaving the Solar System for a completely poo-free alternative. One of Wilbur’s arguments is that, instead of sitting around reading, we should be out there taking part in adventures of the sort we read of. While this would be impossible in many cases (it would be as impossible for me to live out a Dickens tale as it would be for me to pick up a wand and battle Voldemort to the death), he has an interesting point. There is the danger that we’ll end up sat in chairs for our entire lives, living out fabulous fantasies in our heads, yet rotting away physically. I can see what he means. But does that mean we should stop reading altogether as Wilbur claims to have done? How about a balance? I see myself as a perfectly fit and adventurous human being, despite reading huge amounts. Following on from this, it is also worth noting that many of my past experiences and future plans of adventure have been inspired by books I’ve read. My imagination and


appetite for childlike adventure wouldn’t be half as brilliant as it is without having read Dickens, Tolkien, and the like. Nor would my desire to travel be as passionate as it is without novels like The Rum Diary (which particularly appeals to me because of my journalistic aspirations). In fact, I cannot imagine what my life plan would be without books – I intend to study English and Creative Writing at university, before going into arts journalism. Something else the absence of books would have brought to my life would be a radically different academic level. I’ve recently followed up last year’s achievement of ‘Best GCSE Results’ with a ‘Best AS Results’ award. Aside from having great parents and the inbuilt skill to achieve such accomplishments, I also believe reading, something I was encouraged to do until it became a hobby, has had a great deal to do with this. Imagination, writing and grammar, information processing: all are given by reading. Studies show just how important it is for children (and adults) in what seems to be a text-speak dominated world; it never fails to amaze me how much more literate I, a seventeen-year-old boy, am than others. While Wilbur argues in his article that we should be ‘out there’ living, he also claims that that the TV series Breaking Bad is something ‘better to do’ than reading – quite a contradiction. Reading is something I see as being key in reducing the time we spend glued to screens. I feel oodles healthier after a completely TV-free day, something that usually means I have been for a walk/run/cycle and talked to my family a little more than I otherwise would have. Some of you may say that I am a touch biased by my aforementioned ambitions, that non-writers don’t need to read as much. But Wilbur is a writer too, if only of non-fiction. How can you hope to be a writer if you do not read? Authors worldwide have acknowledged this need: ‘To write, you must read extensively, both inside and outside your chosen genre and to the point of overflow.’ Terry Pratchett ‘If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write.’ Stephen King

issue up in all. I wha wou read such and Eng it’s r espe mak

his a to sa

Finally, I would like to add that this raises an e quite important to me because I have grown n an area where reading is not commonplace for In fact, if I was more than mildly interested in at people thought of me, taking a book to school uld be out of the question; I wouldn’t be able to d a page without being ridiculed. Comments h as ‘The only book I’ve ever read is Twilight I didn’t finish it’ have actually arisen in my glish A-Level class. Because of all this, I think really important we encourage people to read, ecially with all the basic mistakes such people ke in spelling and punctuation. Oh, and finally (really, this time), Wilbur starts article by saying ‘Reading isn’t fun.’ All I have ay to that is, ‘Actually, yes it is.’

Sam Lewis @welshsam1995


TWENTY2 Super Eights: The Super Eights will be made up of two groups of four teams. Each team will play three games in their group – once against each of the other three teams in their group. The two groups already have the seeds of the teams that will be in their respective group. Group 1: A1, B2, C1, D2; Group 2: A2, B1, C2, D1. If there are no shocks in the tournament at the group stages (in other words if all of the seeded teams progress to the Super Eights thus meaning all of the teams not seeded get eliminated at the group stages) then the two groups of four teams making up the eight teams at the Super Eights stage will look like this: Group 1: England, West Indies, Sri Lanka, New Zealand; Group 2: India, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan. The winner of Group 1 will face the runners-up of Group 2 and the winner of Group 2 will face the runners-up of Group 1. This means there are countless possibilities for the Semi-Final fixtures, so I won’t go into any depth on said possibilities.

England: Current Champions of the ICC World Twenty20 competition are England who comfortably beat rivals Australia in the final back in 2010 that was hosted in the West Indies. Two years on now, and England have evolved their Twenty20 side. Back in the 2010 tournament England’s Twenty20 Captain was Paul Collingwood, who has since been overlooked in limited overs cricket due to a change in direction and/or a freshen up of the side in this format with Stuart Broad now the Twenty20 captain. Kevin Pietersen has since retired from ODIs and Twenty20s due to the busy schedule and is speculated to be on the brink of retiring from England altogether. The England line-up that played the final back in 2010 in suspected batting order: Michael Lumb, Craig Kieswetter (WK), Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood (C), Eoin Morgan, Luke Wright, Tim Bresnan, Michael Yardy, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Ryan Sidebottom. I suspect only five, possibly six, of these players will be in the team line-up to face Afghanistan on September 21st , assuming there will be no injuries to those players from now until then. Young, upcoming talents such as recent test-debutant James Taylor and Ben Stokes will be hoping to make themselves a mainstay in this format so they can then build their international career from this foundation to eventually make themselves mainstays in the longer formats of the game. Key Player: Eoin Morgan Robbo’s One to Watch: Craig Kieswetter

The ICC World Twenty20 2012 tournament got un ‘the final’ as it’s better known to you and me, will stages and 12 teams, it will then move on to the Su to play for a place in the final, and of course the fi

There are four groups of three teams. Each team w name. Those starred are not seeded but will autom and England finished third in the group, Afghanist

India: Although there have been some changes and som recent months and years, they still maintain bags of qual that are capable of being expansive or patient; but expan be applied in this format as we know. The Indian bowlin balance with the likes of Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan i balanced with the varying spin styles with of Harbhajan and co. Key Player: Virender Sehwag Robbo’s One to Watch: Virat Kohli

Australia: Australia have a very experienced squad whi under pressure at certain times throughout the tournamen Watson, the two Hussey brothers, Cameron White, David Australia a force in this tournament, and I expect them to Super Eights (if they get there, which they should). Key Player: David Warner Robbo’s One to Watch: David Hussey

West Indies: I think West Indies could make an upset in Chris Gayle at the top of the order, a more mature and co along with fierce fast-bowler Fidel Edwards and useful a and Dwayne Bravo give a more rounded, near-complete haven’t been used to seeing in recent years. Key Player: Chris Gayle Robbo’s One to Watch: Marlon Samuels

Sri Lanka: I expect Sri Lanka to ease through the group to beat, especially if Sri Lanka bat first. Sri Lanka’s bow full of quality and consistency and so when they are defe remain disciplined whilst also being able to produce a bi to make it hard for the opposition chasing Sri Lanka’s to always been extremely strong in the past decade and it st loss of Sanath Jayasuriya through retirement the Sri Lan can still be shared across the likes of Mahela Jayawarden Kumar Sangakkara – so don’t be surprised if they post so ing the tournament. Key Player: Mahela Jayawardene Robbo’s One to Watch: Dinesh Chandimal


nderway on September 18th when the opening match between tournament-hosts Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe was played. The closing match, or take place on October 7th, meaning the tournament will be played over slightly less than three weeks. The tournament starts with the group uper Eights with, yep, you guessed it, eight teams. The four teams that progress through the Super Eights stage will make it to the semi-finals inal will then be battled out by the last two teams remaining in the competition.

will play two games in their group – once against each of the other two teams in their group. The seeds of each team are in brackets next to their matically take the seed of the team they, in effect, knock out of the competition. For example, if Afghanistan finished in the top two of Group A tan would take England’s seed in the tournament, A1, going in to the super eights groups.

me re-building from India in lity in their batting line-up nsive is the word that needs to ng attack seems to have a nice in the seam department Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin

ich will serve them well when nt. The likes of Shane d Warner et al will make o come in to their own in the

n this tournament, I really do. onsistent Marlon Samuels all-rounders Darren Sammy West Indies side that we

p stage and be a difficult side wling attack has always been ending their total they will it of quality when necessary otal. Sri Lanka’s top order has till is today, even with the nkan’s batting responsibility ne, Tillakaratne Dilshan and ome big batting scores dur-

South Africa: South Africa have always been thought of the valiant losers in tournaments; get to the latter stages time after time but just can’t produce a good enough performance when it matters. South Africa will be determined to shake the ‘chokers’ tag that has been hanging a shadow over them in tournaments for too long. South Africa are a very well-drilled cricket side and they are strong in all three disciplines, having one of the best bowlers in the world Dale Steyn along with star batsman Jacques Kallis, one of the best all-rounders cricket has ever seen. Key Player: Dale Steyn Robbo’s One to Watch: A.B de Villiers Pakistan: One day: sensational. Another day: frightfully poor. Pakistan are incredibly inconsistent but if they turn up to the tournament, figuratively speaking that is, then they could be successful indeed. Recent re-building of the Pakistan side has had to happen due to past match-fixing consequences meant some of their star players became former star players as they were banned from cricket. This rebuilding has meant this Pakistan side has a fresh feel to it which could work to their advantage. Pakistan’s disadvantage still remains their fielding which can be laughable, and will be expensive in the tournament if it hasn’t or doesn’t improve. Key Player: Shahid Afridi Robbo’s One to Watch: Saeed Ajmal New Zealand: With the talented Jesse Ryder on an indefinite break from cricket due to off-field issues, New Zealand have lost a brilliant opening batsman in limited overs cricket. Despite this loss, New Zealand still have some match-winning players in Brendon McCullum and skipper Ross Taylor and add that with the experienced ice -cool head of spinner Daniel Vettori, then you’d be inclined to believing that New Zealand are decent underdogs for a place in the semi-finals at least. Key Player: Brendon McCullum Robbo’s One to Watch: Martin Guptill

I am expecting this World Twenty20 tournament to be a closely contested affair and I expect there to be some brilliant, nail-biting, exhilarating games as there always is in the World Twenty20 tournament.

Josh Robinson @robboandsports

#RobboReckons: England will get to the Semi-Finals; West Indies are a decent outside bet to progress to the Final; Australia or South Africa to win the tournament. Disclaimer: As always, if you want to foolishly take my tips/predictions/plumps then I cannot be held responsible for your own stupidity.


FRANK TURNER Q&A “The music Man”. In December of last year, he played his biggest gig to date at Wembley Arena with Billy Bragg as support and recently at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, but what makes Frank Turner tick? Here he talks to Ben Powell about life, music and why he has been labelled ‘the hardest working man in music’.

How does a boy from Winchester end up as one of the country’s top up and coming solo artists? Ha ha, well that’s the real question I guess. Not really sure, on some levels- I’ve just kept my head down and concentrated on trying to do what I do well- playing shows and writing songs. Persistence is some part of it I suppose. I feel like I’m not the right person to answer this question though.

How did you get into music and who were your big musical influences growing up?

outsiderness made me fall in love with punk a which I am very grateful. That said I’m not whole lot harder actually. sure I’ve changed the way I do anything on their account.

Did you always know that music was going to be your chosen career path?

I suppose so yes, it wasn’t something I sat down and thought about ever really, I’ve been playing in bands since I was 12. It’s just something I’ve always loved and done as much as I can, and one day it turned into a way of making a living, which is a privilege.

Like myself, you are a Hampshire boy. How proud are you of your roots?

I’m wary of the word “pride”- for me it’s more just a case of it being a stone cold fact that I am from Hampshire/ England and that defines my character to a degree- more so as I get older. It’s something I find intriguing and You got your first break with hard core worth discussing. I do love coming back to the South Downs and Winchester, it must be said.

punk band Million Dead, but the break You shaped your solo career by -up was bad. Tell us about it? continually touring and gigging, I fell in love with rock’n’roll via Iron Maiden There’s not masses to tell really- we all fell earning yourself the label as ‘the when I was about 10. I was really into out with each other after four years of Nirvana, then the 90’s skate punk thing low-level touring. No spectacular events, just hardest working man in music’. How (Decendents and NOFX especially) and then being ground down slowly by the discomfort important is playing live and what do Black Flag took me into darker, harder of it all. We’re kind of friends with each other your fans mean to you? territory. In later years I got really into Springsteen, Dylan, Neil Young, that kind of thing.

again now, which is nice. I’m very proud of the things we achieved with that band.

Playing live is the heart of what I do. I love it and it’s my main artistic forum, it’s the thing I know how to do in life. I’ve never been a big On going solo, you’ve found support You went on a scholarship to Eton fan of the word ”fan” because it implies a over the years from the likes of Steve College with Prince William. What was Lamacq, Mike Davies, Jo Whiley and division between people who listen to music and those who make it, which is bogus to me. that like? Sara Cox. How influential have these The people who come to my shows are ace, It was an amazing education slightly marred people been in shaping your career? their attention and support enables me to do by being socially alienated- as the scholarship I’m not sure they’ve shaped my career as such what I do. I was from a slightly different background to a - they’ve been fantastic supporters and have lot of the kids there. I think that feeling of spread my music to a lot of new people, for


Frank can be seen touring at a town or You are playing the V-Festival this city near you throughout the autumn. His year. Festivals are a big part of the current album ‘England, Keep my Bones’, Frank Turner experience aren’t they? I do enjoy a good festival, and for whatever reason, my music seems to translate pretty well there as well. Being in a field with rock’n’roll is pretty great. I also think the UK does festivals way better than anywhere else.

has also re-entered the album charts following his Olympic appearance.

You played your biggest gig at Wembley arena recently, what was that like? The actual show was kind of a blur; we spent such a long time preparing for it that it went by in a flash. But it was a huge achievement for me and I’m very proud of it.

You performed at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics recently, which led to some fans and certain areas of the press labelling you ‘a sell-out’. What do you say to these people? I eagerly await the day they move out of their parents’ house and get a job. Ha. People are entitled to their opinion, but I am confident that my integrity remains intact (I haven’t actually changed anything about the way I do business). Jealousy is an ugly emotion.

What does the future hold for Francis Edward Turner? More touring and a new album at the start of next year. Hurrah!

Ben Powell @benpowellwriter



recently watched ‘Goon’ – a comedy film that is based on a true story from a book called ‘Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey’ written by Adam Frattasio and Doug Smith (Doug Smith being the original Goon which the book itself and the character Doug Glatt in the film are based on). Although a true story it is suitably tweaked and cleverly edited in order to gage the audience’s interest for the whole film thus preventing monotony. I thoroughly enjoyed the film. The storyline itself was very good and being based on real happenings, I learnt about a bit of sporting history just by watching, which I like the thought of. The main character, Doug Glatt, played superbly by Seann William Scott (best known playing the role of Steve Stiffler in the American Pie films) starts the film as a bouncer at a bar and so is, as one would presume, a well-built man. Then after an altercation with a Hockey player at a Hockey match he visits with his comically foul-mouthed friend Ryan, in which Doug beat up a hockey player in a bloody fist-fight, a coach of a Hockey team invited him to trial at his team as an ‘enforcer’ player whose job it is to beat up or injure an opponent when called upon in a punch-up in order to gain an advantage for the team. It is a response to earlier foul play by the opposition and so this is a reaction to that, partly so it doesn’t happen again in the match. In such a physical game like Hockey, especially at the time this film is set (Late 1970s, early 1980s), fights frequently broke out and Doug was wanted to be the tough guy playing the enforcer role. Doug is a simpleton but with a good heart, and in this sense draws similarities to the character ‘Lennie’ in the film ‘Of Mice and Men’. Doug often looks confused and vacant but then would suddenly punch someone who annoyed him, which at times provided a laugh. The coach of the Hockey team that invited Doug to a trial offered Doug the chance to be the enforcer of the team, a role otherwise referred to as a ‘Goon’. Doug accepts the offer and although he’s not a very good skater, he learns to become a capable one over time. The coach of Doug’s team has a brother who is the coach and general manager at the Halifax Highlanders, a team who play at a higher level in the Minor League, and the coach persuades Doug to join his sibling’s side and help the Halifax Highlanders out. The Halifax Highlanders have a player named Xavier LaFlamme who was a brilliant and skilful hockey player at a better club at one time but suffered a third degree concussion from a Ross Rhea tackle – Ross Rhea is an enforcer at another hockey team and is hailed as the master of the one-on-one punch-ups in Hockey. Ever since this injury, Xavier LaFlamme had been scared of similar tackles hurting him again and so doesn’t play very well at all due to this fear. The Halifax Highlanders wanted Doug to join the team to protect LaFlamme by ‘watching his back’ so to speak, in other words: knocking out every bloody person who goes near him. This in theory would mean LaFlamme would not need to worry about tackles coming in on him and so can return to his confident best. The team though is in poor form; they seem miss-jointed and careless which means the rebirth of LaFlamme


may not even be enough for the Highlanders to achieve any degree of success. This makes for an intriguing watch for how the team develops and makes one wonder if Doug is the man to bring success to the Highlanders – in a Hollywood film, Doug bringing instant success would probably be most likely but this is based on a true story remember. As Doug builds a reputation of being one of the best fighters in Hockey, the media request and hope for soon-to-retire Ross Rhea to fight Doug before he retires at the end of the season. The main story from then on is building up to an inevitable one-on-one fight between Ross Rhea and Doug Glatt. I found myself taking to Doug extremely easily, which I imagine is a deliberate ploy from the makers of the film to make the audience empathise with Doug and end up being very supportive of him. One part of the film typifies this. At the initial trial, one player on the team takes a dislike to Doug and taunts him face-to-face, which turned out to be a mistake as Doug punched him to the floor and floored every other player that tried to take him on – as the audience is supportive of Doug, the feeling as this happens is a feeling of happiness that Doug made the player pay for being disrespectful. “Don’t mess with Doug”, would have been my advice. The coach instead just clarified to him that he beat up his team-mates and explained that this is not ideal but seemed nonchalant in the situation as he spoke no more of it and offered Doug the chance to be the enforcer of the team.

The film is in the category of comedy and I think this can be misleading to a slight extent, as it is more of a serious, sporting, Hollywood-like film than one would imagine if they just saw that it’s a comedy starring Seann William Scott. I would have liked to have seen a bit more comedy in the changing room as although there were some funny moments in there, I feel it could have been utilised more. In the changing room, a couple of foreign team-mates continuously pulled pranks on the goalkeeper’s helmet, by sticking photos on it for example. This was slightly comical but I feel the joke didn’t really go anywhere and that the idea of the joke was potentially brilliant, but the joke was far from brilliant in reality as it didn’t provide any laugh-out-loud moments as the pranks were neither extreme enough nor frequent enough to hit the perfect comical balance to make me laugh out loud. All in all it was good to see Seann William Scott playing a similarly unique role to the character ‘Stiffler’ yet proving that he can hold his own in a more serious role. Even though Doug spends most of his time without a smile on his face, the laughs of this sporting comedy usually come at his expense or at the slapstick humour that is so well-timed by the actors for comical effect. It is generally a film which has a good balance between repetitiveness and spontaneous happenings. It is a really easy watch unless, though the violence may be too much for the faint of heart. I recommend this film for the mass to watch and, hopefully, enjoy. The film has different sub-plots outside of the Hockey rink with Doug’s relationships with LaFlamme and Eva, his love interest. These sub-plots mean the audience are engaged with the film throughout. Doug meets Eva at a night out with his Hockey team-mates and soon becomes head-over-heels for her. Eva drops a bombshell early on that she is in a relationship with another man, and this finding knocks back Doug but they continue to flirt and end up becoming closer. This weaving sub-plot love story contrasts well with the harsh nature of the sport being played and strikes the perfect ratio between watching hockey-related events and Doug’s private life from an audience’s perspective. Although the film uses several Hollywood conventions, it also has unpredictable happenings meaning it has a distinctive style of its own, making it a more than decent watch. Doug’s parents disapprove of their son playing such a violent sport and they leave the film on disapproving terms with Doug, and don’t return to the screen again for the rest of the film – a sense of realism.

I give ratings for films out of 10 using the hashtag and/or phrase #RobboRating. The reasoning behind each possible mark I give for a film is based on a simple guideline of the extent of superlative I would consider giving the film. The marks go like this: 0/10 = Dreadful; 1/10 = Extremely Poor; 2/10 = Poor; 3/10 = Underwhelming; 4/10 = Average; 5/10 = Solid; 6/10 = Decent; 7/10 = Good; 8/10 = Great; 9/10 = Brilliant; 10/10 = Perfect. I do give 0.5 marks and I give them when I believe a film is in between two of the superlatives named above. For example, if I believe is better than solid but not quite decent I would give it 6.5/10 as I believe it is Solid-Decent.

Josh Robinson @robboandsports



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Into The Sunset - Issue 3  

Issue 3 of Into The Sunset, with the latest opinions, reviews, features and interviews across Sport, Film, Music, Fashion and more.

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