Was Roger Wrong About Wimbledon’s White?

Roger Federer moaning? Surely not, and moaning about Wimbledon? Surely some mistake!
Well, yes, he did indeed have a good old moan, but I think he may be wrong…

"Roger Federer"
Ah, Wimbledon – the gentle thwack of the balls as a backdrop to strawberries and cream, with Roger Federer strutting his chiselled jaw for us all to swoon at – it’s an image that screams ‘SUMMER.’

Ok, the thwack is swamped by the grunting of the players, the strawberries cost a tenner, and it’s probably pouring with rain. Add in the fact that Roger Federer is moaning, and welcome to 2015!

Roger has been moaning about Wimbledon’s famous rule that the players have to wear ‘attire that is almost entirely white.’

At the French Open he wore a purple top and bright orange shorts, but said that wouldn’t be happening at Wimbledon where the rules had got ‘ridiculously strict.’

Well, excuse us!

Excuse any concept of tradition, why don’t you!

It didn’t seem to bother old Roger, when Wimbledon relentlessly lifted him to the top of the tennis tree, and then to the top of the tree of *sport*, making him one of the most famous, and one of the richest sportsmen ever.

It didn’t seem bother him when Bjorn Borg sat in the stand to see him get his record.

Nor did it bother him when he turned up that year in trousers coupled with cardigan and jacket for his warm up, as all the interviewers told him it ‘looked classy’ through stifled giggles.

No, as the love affair grew between Roger and Wimbledon, he never had a problem with the all white rule.

He shouldn’t have a problem with it now either!

Unless his sponsors Nike have suddenly stopped doing white tennis clothes for him to whack his ‘RF‘ logo on to, I can’t see what the problem is- in fact, I’d go further and say I like the all white rule. In fact I *love* it!

It’s one of the things that makes Wimbledon what it is. If you ask any tennis player which tournament they’d like to win, it would be Wimbledon. It’s set apart from the others.

Roger has said this many times himself over the years.

There are a few things that set it apart, the grass surface for one, but it’s really the traditions of it that make it stand out, and a huge part of that tradition is the white clothes rule. Get rid of that rule, and Wimbledon becomes just another major to add to the list.

The fact that Wimbledon held fast with this rule throughout the years, despite numerous attempts by players to test the limits of it, makes all the more reason to keep it now.

I’ve noticed over the last few years that the players stopped trying to push the limits, instead they embraced it, enjoying the special feeling of wearing white only as part of what makes Wimbledon unique. Although it must be said, some of the ladies are pushing their luck on the, er, undergarment front…

So no, I’m not having it Roger, I’m really not!

If you don’t like the all white rule after all these years, if your need to wear purple and orange is so great, you could always just not play. I suspect that won’t be what happens though.

If I’m honest, I was surprised to hear that he’d said it in the first place, and even though I’m sure the TV interviewers will bring it up, I’m rather hoping he doesn’t say it again. He’s trodden the line so well both on and off court for so many years, but I think this time Roger got it wrong.

Don’t you?

Do let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
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Should Caitlin Jenner Give Bruce Jenner’s Gold Medal Back?

When Caitlin Jenner was ‘unveiled’ with a front cover on Vanity Fair, it didn’t take long for a petition to emerge saying that the gold medal won by Bruce Jenner should be taken away.

"Gordon Bryan"
Jenner won Gold in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have said the medal won’t be taken away, and despite the petition getting many thousands of signatures, I can see problems with the petition.

Two big problems actually…

The first problem is comes from one of the sections of the petition, namely:

“It is only fair to all involved that women receive their credit as champions of the decathlon and that men racing Ms. Jenner are not expected to compete with a superior, streamlined being such as herself.”

Sarcasm, anybody?

That sounds like it was written by a woman being funny I think, not a serious suggestion. It also brings me to the second problem with the logic of the petition.

The suggestion is that it wasn’t fair on the other athletes, because she was a woman competing against men. Hang on, surely it would need to be the other way round for it to be a problem?

Women don’t even *do* the decathlon at the Olympics, which harks back to the crusty old view of women simply not being capable! So surely if it was a woman competing against men, the advantage would be with the men?

Unless the idea behind the petition is that it’s an embarrassment for the men to have been beaten by a woman, particularly since the world record was broken in the process!

No, it’s a nonsense argument.

If you take account of the fact that Bruce Jenner has been a reality star and tabloid celebrity for years, I think that gives a better flavour behind the petition, i.e. publicity.

If we look at another high profile case, famous at the time, but largely forgotten since, it shows that the issue is a serious one (when it’s the other way round), and it’s that of Caster Semenya.

South African Semenya won gold in the women’s 800m at the 2009 World Championships. She had been making vast improvements in her time in the lead up to the championships, raising suspicions of doping, but the IAAF leaked details of gender testing *3 hours* before the world championship final.

It took a year for the IAAF to ‘clear’ her, meaning she had been dragged through the mud and humiliated for that year.

No reality TV show. No celebrity magazines. Just accusation and a sullied reputation.

If you add to that the proven systematic doping programmes of the East German female athletes in the 70s and 80s, and you can see that it’s obviously a problem in women’s events when competitors exhibit male advantages.

I can’t think of a single case with it the other way round, that an advantage is gained in men’s events if you sneakily take part when you are a woman. If there are cases, I’d be interested to hear of them, but until then the argument is null and void for me.

It’s quite possible that with the issue of gender and gender changing becoming ever more mainstream, the subject of ‘fairness’ will crop up again, but in this case? No, I’m not buying it.

It was Bruce Jenner that won Olympic gold 40 years ago. I don’t think the unveiling of Caitlin Jenner changes that, does it?

Do let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
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Is This The Solution To The Biggest Problem In Football?

As the 2014/15 football season comes to an end, my over-riding memory is of something that needs to be got rid of to improve the sport…

"Gordon Bryan"
Hassling the referee.

That’s it, that’s what needs to be got rid of. The cheating at the highest level has become so endemic that as soon as there’s any contact between two players, one of them, or more often than not both of them, will hit the floor and pretend they have a grievous injury.

They’re trying to cheat, basically, to con the referee into penalising the opponent.

As part of this process, it’s now common for the rest of the team to surround the referee, pleading for him to take action. Of course if it’s *their* player that committed the foul, they still surround the ref, this time pleading his innocence and the cheating nature of the player on the floor.

It’s complete nonsense. It rarely serves any purpose, and it’s ugly. So ugly in fact that it turned me off the game years ago.

This season was just the same, with one example involving Chelsea grabbing the headlines, when John Terry sprinted 30 yards to harangue the ref. He’s not sprinted that fast for many seasons!

He got derided so badly for it, that he tried to defend himself by saying he agreed it doesn’t look good, but that he had to do it because everyone else does it.

Er, no John, no.

While I think his response makes him sound idiotic (not for the first time), and only sets an example for everyone else right down the football chain to do the same, it could be argued that he does have a point – if the other team is doing it, and your team isn’t, aren’t you giving them an advantage?

Is any team going to say they are taking the higher ground by putting a stop to it?

If that’s the problem then, what’s the solution? Could we look to rugby maybe, and have miked up referees and a 10 minute sin bin?

Probably not, and here’s why…

In rugby, the referee speaks to the offending player in the presence of the captain, and we can all hear via the microphone. The player is warned fair and square that if he reoffends, or talks back to the ref, he will be in the bin. The player replies ‘yes sir,’ and gets sent away. Then if he reoffends, the ref sends him to the bin as he said he would.

If you get a player sent to the bin for 10 minutes, the structure of the game means that the difference in player numbers will make a difference, and it normally results in a team losing an average of maybe 10 points.

It’s not the same in football.
In football, if a team loses a player, they change to a defensive formation, sacrificing an attacking player to build a wall of defenders. Instead of making it easier to score, it often makes it harder for the team with an extra player – the defending team makes no attempt to attack, so the gap created by the extra player never appears.

It destroys any flow in the game, and various stints of 10 minutes of that would not make for a good watch.

When it comes to miking the refs, the problem with that is the swearing. Yes, in time it would stop as the resulting suspensions hit home, but we would all have to put up with a barrage of expletives until the pampered rich boys got the lesson into their heads.

So, the sin bin wouldn’t work, in my view. Microphones on refs could work, but would have a horrendous bedding in period. I do think there is something we could take from rugby and apply more to football though – the retrospective punishment.

If a player who isn’t the captain, hassles the ref after a clear warning, they should be punished retrospectively, and the club as well. I think that’s something that can be done, would make a difference, and would improve the game as a spectacle.

Let’s face it though, it’s all talk, because any changes like this would need to be agreed by FIFA, the governing body. Apart from doing a good line in chocolate teapots, they are not known for their progressive actions, so I’m not holding my breath.

That’s a shame, because it means we already know that next season will be marred by the same old nonsense, the same ugly cheating on the pitch, while other sports like rugby seem to have got it sorted.

Dear FIFA, any chance of some common sense?

Do let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
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Drugs Storm – Say It Ain’t So, Mo!

Mo Farah has been caught up in a classic athletics drugs storm. Except he hasn’t. Except he has. Oh please Mo, please say it ain’t so…

"Gordon Bryan's blog"
Actually he already has said it ain’t!

In fact it’s his *coach* that’s been caught up in a drugs scandal, but that’s meant double World and Olympic Champion Farah has been dragged in by association.

In a sport tainted by drugs for 40 years, British athletes, while not coming through totally unblemished by a long way, have largely held the attitude that they are one of the ‘good’ nations, upholding the values of fair play.

As for Mo himself, his story of hard work and success found in Britain, culminating in that Saturday night at the London 2012 Olympics are etched into the British sporting history.

So, to have any possibility of a whiff (or injection) of drugs, makes sports fan wince. Well, it did me. Here’s the story…

When Mo relocated to the US, it was to take his performance to that extra level it needed, and he went to American coach Alberto Salazar. Salazar was acclaimed for his meticulous approach, and the results were clear to see, with Mo and training partner Galen Rupp seeing ever improving results, leading to that famous gold and silver for them in that London race.

The problem is that people in the Salazar camp, former athletes and staff, have now come forward to make claims against the regime, the Nike Oregon Project, claims involving the dreaded ‘D’ word – DRUGS!

It’s claimed that Salazar was particularly adept at using the system know as TUEs, or Therapeutic Use Exemption. Basically these allow athletes to use drugs that are, or might be, on the banned list, if they have a proven medical need to take them.

The claims are that Salazar used them, with Rupp in particular, to allow him to take testosterone, maybe as far back as when he was 16.

Another athlete, Kara Goucher, has claimed that when Salazar told her she needed to lose weight quicker, she got a delivery of prescription drugs, without medically needing them or having an actual prescription!

An assistant coach has claimed Salazar used to get his son to rub different amounts of testosterone gel into his skin to see how much would trigger a failed test. Salazar claimed this was to guard against anyone rubbing the gel into another athletes skin after a race to get them caught. Hmm…

Salazar has denied any wrongdoing. Rupp has denied any wrongdoing. Farah has denied any wrongdoing.

Hang on, why has Farah denied something he hasn’t even been accused of?

Because he has to.

Even though all the reporting has stated repeatedly that there is no accusation that Mo has taken drugs, if accusations surface against a coach, in the past it has often meant that most, if not all of their athletes have been involved. Since Farah is the biggest star Salazar has coached, it’s natural for the gaze of publicity to then fall on Farah.

At a press conference before a meeting he was due to appear at, Farah was almost pleading with the press, that it wasn’t fair that his reputation was “being dragged through the mud” when he hadn’t done anything, and that he would be seeking urgent answers from both Salazar and Rupp.

The next day he pulled out of the race and flew back to the USA. Now UK Athletics say they will be looking back over all of his medical history.

Now it’s just a matter of time. Time that will show whether Salazar, Rupp and others have been down the drugs road taken by so many others, and time that will show whether Farah was involved, or knew.

The problem for Mo, is that even if he’s never even accused, his reputation *is* now tainted by association, unless Salazar is totally exonerated, and even then, only time will tell if that mud sticks or not.

All Mo can do for now is do what he already has done – say it ain’t so.

Do let me know what you think, I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. Don’t forget to grab my book showing you how to turn your passions into online profits – FB Passion Profits!

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As The First European Games Open in Baku, Will There Ever Be A Second?

June 12th 2015, and the Opening Ceremony of the 1st European Games takes place in Azerbaijan, to much excitement – or did it..?

"Baku 2015"
Well yes, it did. It did take place, in front of nearly 70,000 spectators in the stadium. I watched it live on the event’s you tube channel, as TV coverage here for me in the UK was restricted to a channel I don’t have.

The BBC was pretty silent about it, as if they’d forgotten it was on, and as for the printed press, well the tabloids had nothing about it at all the next day, and when I say nothing, I mean it. Absolutely nothing.

So, why the lack of coverage, the lack of excitement for such a big event, and why would the 2019 event be in jeopardy?

The lack of coverage can be put down to human rights and the press, I think.

Azerbaijan does not have a good reputation at all when it comes to human rights, and people who challenge or criticise tend to find themselves in jail, journalists included.

If journalists find themselves in jail, or refused entry, then there will be coverage of *that* story in the press, but the appetite for promoting the actual event is unsurprisingly reduced I imagine!

It was hoped to be seen as a massive event, under the banner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to finally bring a European equivalent to the well established events like the Pan-American or Asia Games.

6,000 athletes, from 50 countries, over 17 days and 18 event venues – we’re not talking about the school sports day here!

With qualification for the Rio Olympics up for grabs, it was hoped that many of the events would be packed with elite athletes. The problem with that, is that many of those elite athletes, particularly in swimming and athletics, do not *need* the European Games as a qualification route, so the rush of elite athletes hasn’t happened.

As EOC President Patrick Head handed the historic first gold medal to Switzerland’s Jolanda Neff, he has said there is nothing he can do about journalists not being allowed in, as they don’t have the power.

Oh yes they do.

The IOC is all powerful when it comes to staging Olympic events. This event comes under the IOC umbrella, and the head of the organising committee is the First Lady of Azerbaijan, so if they wanted to let journalists in, they could, and to say otherwise just sounds a bit silly.

I think another issue is that Azerbaijan was *asked* to host the event, with no other bidders, so that does give Azerbaijan more leeway in which demands they bow down to, because unlike the Olympics, which has countries falling over themselves to do whatever the IOC says, what could the EOC do here – take the event elsewhere, when no-one else was bidding?

As for the 2019 event, what the EOC does *not* want to hear, a few days before the first staging, is that the hosts of the second staging have pulled out. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened, with the Netherlands citing cost issues as their reason for pulling out.

Pat Head was bullish about this as well, which you’d expect him to be, saying that another host was in place, would be announced soon, and the staging of the 2019 event was not in question.


Throw in the lack of interest from elite athletes in some of the sports, the relationship with the press which provides the lifeblood of these events, publicity, and while at the moment I’d say that sports politics would dictate there *will* be a second European Games, I’d say that many eyes will be closely monitoring this first!

That’s assuming you even knew it was on.

Ok, let me know what you think, I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
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The Women’s World Cup Kicks Off! You Did Know It Was On, Right?

The World Cup kicks off this week – hooray! The Women’s World Cup. Hang on, you did know it was on, right?

Quite possibly not.

"Gordon Bryan"
Despite the sports press in Britain being heavily football dominated, to the point of saturation, and despite the glaring spotlight of publicity being shone on FIFA with the FBI arrest of many executives, the women’s World Cup is so under the radar it’s almost non existent.

Well, it *is* on, and I’ll be settling down to watch as many games as I can, the same as I do for the men’s version.

This event, in Canada, from June 6th to July 5th will be the 7th staging of the event, with the number of countries rising to 24 this time, from 16 last time. The usual suspects will be there – the USA, Germany, Sweden, Brazil, and yes, England.

It could be argued the winner will be one of those teams, because the women’s game does not have the strength in depth that the men’s game has. In fact I’d still class it as a developing sport.

Many attempts have been made to develop the game in the USA, and there’s a currently momentum in England, but it’s Germany which seems to have got it right. Finance and structure have been in place for years, which is why the national team is always expected to be right up there at the business end of any tournament, and it’s up to other countries to catch up.

In England, most football fans still see the women’s game as a novelty, and more than that, a novelty not worth the effort to watch.

Now, that’s obviously a sweeping generalisation, but the real fans of the women’s game are predominantly younger girls. Nothing wrong with that, because that’s how the sport develops, by attracting the interest of those that the sport needs to take up the game, but I think it’s a shame the big outside world mostly seems to ignore it.

The BBC tries hard, showing live matches, and it will be covering the World Cup heavily, but until the sports press weighs in, plastering the back pages, it’s an uphill battle.

The London 2012 Olympics generated a lot of interest, in part due to the quirk of having a GB team rather than separate home nation teams, and it’s only England that has qualified this time from the British teams.

So, why is the women’s game still seen as a novelty by so many?

Well, it didn’t help that FIFA President Sepp Blatter said the spectacle would be improved if the women wore tighter shorts! Yes, he really said that, although let’s face it, anything Sepp Blatter says about football can probably be ignored!

The first argument, and I put this first because it’s one I’ve heard for years, and one I used to subscribe to, is the goalkeeping…

It used to be said that women goalkeepers just do not dive around as much as their male counterparts. The male goalkeepers tend to be well over 6 feet tall, and they fling themselves through the air, making it harder to score.

The view is that the women goalkeepers, who aren’t as tall, simply don’t dive through the air as effectively. Those differences are accentuated by the fact they play with goals the same size as the men’s, and you can see the point, that goals are conceded which get groans from fans of the men’s game, because they are too easy.

As I said, I used to hold that view myself, and to be honest, you can still see it. There will be goals in this World Cup that just wouldn’t happen in the male game. The counter point of course, and it’s a valid one, is that comparing the men’s and women’s game is a red herring, as it is in any sport, because the women are not competing against men, they’re competing against other women, and the goal keeping issue is improving.

I think it’s fair to point out 2 other arguments trotted out against the women’s game – firstly that the level of skill all round is so behind the men’s game, that watching it is sometimes like watching schoolchildren playing, and secondly that the atmosphere at the games just isn’t the same – without the roar of 70,000 plus male voices, and the ebb and flow of games in the balance, it simply isn’t the same.

Well, again, of course it’s not the same! Yes, the noise of the fans is quieter because there’s less of them and yes it sounds different with a predominantly female tone. Yes, it’s also true that many of the games are one sided, too much so, but is that the fault of the team that’s winning? Is that the fault of the team, that’s losing?

No, it isn’t. The comparisons may be truisms, but it’s also true that that the women tennis players walk off after playing 3 sets instead of 5. It’s also true that the women only do the heptathlon instead of the decathlon.

As it happens, I’d like to see both of those sports change as well, but men’s sport is men’s sport, and women’s sport is women’s sport. They must be taken as that, just sport!

This upcoming World Cup is a joint pinnacle of the game for these athletes, along with the Olympics. That should be celebrated, I know I’ll be celebrating it, watching and enjoying it in the same way as I do the men’s.

Give it go, hop on for the ride, let’s help spread the word – you might find you enjoy it!

Let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
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Lewis Hamilton Needs To Stop The Sulking!

There always seems to be a debate around the level of popularity of Lewis Hamilton, with some people ‘demanding’ he deserves more popularity. I’m not so sure, I think popularity is earned rather than demanded, and the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix summed it up for me…

"Gordon Bryan" "Lewis Hamilton"
There were a few images from the race weekend that showed the source of the debate, with one post race photo in particular catching my eye. Hamilton wasn’t even in it, and that’s the problem.

It was a photo of the Mercedes team, celebrating their success of scoring two podium positions in both the drivers and constructors championships. Nico Rosberg was there, having won the race, but Hamilton who came third, was nowhere to be seen.

In fact he had left the circuit, with permission from the team it must be said, but he had left nonetheless. The reason for his strop, and the reason the team had not stopped him leaving, was that he had the race win all but secured, until a tactical error by the team saw him make an unnecessary pit stop which allowed both Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel to pass him, relegating Hamilton to that third place finish.

Hamilton was fuming. The team bosses were fuming too, and wasted no time in issuing a full public admission of the mistake, and an apology to Hamilton. All done and dusted, right? Well, maybe not.

I think Hamilton needs to stop sulking. Really.

The man’s won two World Championships, with a very real prospect of a third this season, he’s just signed a 3 year deal worth a purported $100 million, and he’s having the time of his life.

Some people say he should be given more respect due to his achievements, and some people enjoy the fact that he wears his heart on his sleeve – driving flamboyantly when needed, celebrating enthusiastically, and being equally as demonstrable when he’s unhappy.

That’s where I beg to differ, and it’s why I find myself falling into the *other* camp.

The other camp that says he’s sometimes not as gracious as he could be when he wins, is not above bending things to his own way, both on and off the track, and he’s certainly not above throwing his toys out of his pram when things don’t go his way.

That’s what happened in Monaco, with a surly attitude on the podium, almost going out of his way to show he was *not* taking part, and then clearing off altogether without fulfilling his media obligations.

Some might point to Michael Schumacher, seven time world champion, who was equally as demonstrative in both victory and defeat, who also was not above some moves on the track which some might call shady at best.

I think the Schumacher comparison works well for both sides of the debate. Yes, Schumacher won 7 titles, and did it by dragging his teams up to his level, and doing whatever it took to win, using the smallest advantage.

He also had a big following, but that was countered with a big ‘anti’ following who would reel off the Schumacher negatives at the drop of a hat.

It’s worth saying that when he’s in a good mood, Hamilton comes across really well, having fun and taking full part in media activities. Personally I just don’t enjoy the other side to that personality coin.

Maybe Hamilton is quite happy to go down the Schumacher route on the popularity front, I suspect he probably is , but it’s well known that Hamilton is interested in how his ‘legacy’ is seen, and in my opinion he’d be much more popular if he eased up a little with the strops, and maybe took his foot off the pedal a bit when it comes to the sulking.

What do you think? I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
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BBC Film Crew Arrested – A World Cup ‘D’OH!’ in Doha!

The World Cup in Qatar had another public relations hit recently, when a press relations exercise went badly wrong – a real ‘D’OH!’ moment in Doha…

"Doha" "Gordon Bryan"
The idea was this – invite some journalists to come and see some flagship accommodation built for migrant workers for the 2022 World Cup, to put to bed the idea that there was mistreatment.

All sounds good, right? Well, maybe. The journalists knew full well that they were being shown a specific place, with specific conditions, and workers who were happily smiling.

So, journalists being journalists, a crew from the BBC went off and did some filming of their own, at a place which most certainly *wouldn’t* end the mistreatment stories, and which the Qatari authorities most certainly wouldn’t want them to see.

Workers crammed together in dirty accommodation, little facilities, long working hours, and so on.

So, the crew were surrounded, arrested, thrown in jail and interrogated.

Public relations exercise not quite going to plan…

After the crew, headed by Mark Lobel, were told they may well be held for another few days ‘to teach them a lesson,’ they found themselves suddenly released, and somewhat bizarrely simply escorted back to join the official press trip. Without their seized equipment though.

Now, in interests of fairness, I should give the Qatari response, which is that any journalists coming to their country need permits in order to film, and without those permits they are breaking the law.

That sounds reasonable on face value, but it raises a few points –

1. Qatar is way down any recognised list of countries and their freedom of press ratings.

2. Their line doesn’t explain why the crew were filmed for days previous to their arrest.

3. It doesn’t actually address the problem that the journalists were investigating!

So, instead of arresting journalists trying to report mistreatment, I’d suggest a better solution would be to address the problem!

Many workers have died, with claims that some of them were due to lack of water in the heat.

To be honest, the whole Qatar World Cup is a head shaker.

When it was originally announced as the host, everyone was shocked, as there is no football culture to speak of there, and in the summer it’s one of the hottest places on earth, hardly ideal for a World Cup.

Despite initial claims that all the matches would be played in 70,000 air conditioned stadia(!) after a few years FIFA finally declared what everyone else had known all along – that it would be too hot in summer, and the tournament would now be held in winter.

More head shaking, and the person at the helm of this fiasco? A certain Sepp Blatter, who would make a great CEO of a company making chocolate teapots. That’s if he ever retired from being FIFA President of course, which he’s not about to do anytime soon, saying he is the person needed to steer FIFA through troubled waters.

His comment on mistreatment of workers is that ‘Qatar must do better,’ which must have them really quaking in their boots. FIFA also say they will investigate the incident with the BBC crew, but I’m not holding my breath on that one either.

So, although it wasn’t actually Homer Simpson in charge of this latest public relations disaster, it might just as well have been as, not for the first time, events in Doha have the world shouting ‘D’OH!’

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below!

‘Til Next Time,
health & happiness,
P.S. If sport is a passion for you, don’t forget to grab my book on how to turn it into profit via social media:
‘FB Passion Profits!’

Posted in Entertainment, News, Self Improvement, Sport | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Never Mind Elections, In Our Lives We’re All Politicians All the Time!

UK General Election in 2015. US Presidential Election in 2016. Elections come and go, politicians come and go, but in between the elections politics is not for us, right?


Now, if I say I’m not talking about ‘politics,’ but ‘politics,’ that may sound odd – let me explain..!

"Gordon Bryan"
I don’t mean the party political stuff, I don’t mean political campaigns, and I’m not talking about any individual politician. That’s because my point is that we are *all* politicians!

I’m going to repeat that. We are *all* politicians!

If we look at what the word ‘politics’ actually means, it’s to do with influencing other people, positions of governance, organising control, distribution of power and resources, inter-relationships and persuasion, about bringing change.

Phew, that’s a lot of concepts, but it’s not that hard to see all of them apply when we think of party politics, the government or politicians is it? If we twist it though, we’ll get to my point, which is to ask whether you think of these concepts when you apply them to *yourself?*

That connection may not come so easily, but it’s a vital connection, because we do it all the time. We always have, and in fact if we stop and look around us, our circumstances are the result of how we’ve applied these concepts, or not, in our own lives.

The more aware we become of this fact, the more we can actively steer our futures rather being some sort of victim of circumstance, letting external politics of others lead the way.

The basic formula of self improvement and goal achievement can be broken down into 3 steps – define your goal, work out how to do it, then start taking action. Along with that basic formula, you have to throw in belief in the goal and yourself, and relationships with others, dealing with both those that will help you and those that are hindering you.

Once you believe your goal and start taking action, you are taking control of your future, governing your resources, influencing yourself and others. You’ll be persuading others as you continue to persuade yourself, and you’ll be bringing about change.

Sounds like the words I used when describing ‘politics,’ doesn’t it?

I’m going to take the analogy a bit further, and ask what happens if you don’t think you’re a politician…

When people say they don’t vote, it’s normally justified by ‘it won’t make any difference,’ or ‘it’s a waste of time.’

Those are lazy excuses in my view. If you think it’s a waste of time, you leave space and opportunity for other who don’t consider it a waste of time! Similarly, if you decide that it won’t make any difference, all you do is leave the way free for those that *do* think it makes a difference!

That’s true in the world of politics, and it’s true just the same in your own life. The only way you can’t make a difference is when you tell yourself you can’t. As soon as you tell yourself you can, and act on that belief, the politics of life will start to turn in your favour.

It might be slow at first, as political change often is, but like politics, once change builds up momentum, it can be impossible to stop.

So, don’t pigeon hole ‘politics’ as something that you only think about every few years, and event then only relate to a tick in the box for others, think about it in your own life, all the time – seeing yourself as your own politician can bring transformation that will amaze you.

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think – I love the feedback! Feel free to comment, like, share, tweet etc, I’d appreciate it.

‘Til Next Time,
health & happiness,
P.S. Why not grab a copy of my motivational book
‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’ it has a full money back guarantee if you don’t like it! (I reckon you will though, why not test me!)

Posted in Goal Achievement, Goal Setting, Inspiration, Motivation, Personal Development, Self Improvement, Setting goals | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Here’s Why I Won’t Be Watching Justin Gatlin Run 9.74

Did you see Justin Gatlin run 9.74 for the 100m in Doha? No, me neither, but in my case I’ll be going out of my way to make sure I don’t see him at all…

May 2015, and the lucrative Diamond League series of athletics meetings opened in Doha. So many sports are going to that part of the world nowadays, because there is big money there, and sport is driven by money, more so today than ever.

The sponsorship money sloshes around, the TV money is starting to slosh around in athletics, the appearance money for the top athletes sloshes around, and everyone wins. Except maybe the poor old sports fan who, even if they find the money chasing a bit on the grubby side, can’t do a lot about it.

Actually, the humble sports fan *can* do something about it – I’ll come to that a bit later, but let me go back to Mr. Gatlin…

Gatlin was banned for 2 years in 2001 for amphetamines, but that was overturned on the basis it was down to medication he had taken since childhood. Then in 2006, 2 years after winning Olympic Gold, he tested positive again, this time for testosterone. He denied all charges, but in the end he co-operated with the authorities in order to get a lifetime ban reduced to 4 years.

Many in the athletics world have welcomed Gatlin back with open arms, but many others have not been so impressed, saying that he is still benefiting from the drugs he took earlier. No-one is actually saying he is taking drugs, because that would be libel or slander, but suspicions remain.

Seeing him run the fastest 100m by anyone in 3 years, at 33, does nothing to quell the suspicious mind. Still, there’s nothing that can be done, right?

Well, as I said earlier, I think there *is* something that can be done, and it can be done by the people propping up the whole money structure driving sport, and that’s the fans.

The money-go-round in any sport is dependent on the fans at the bottom actually watching. If the fans don’t watch, the TV money dries up, the advertising and sponsor money dries up, the appearance money dries up, etc, etc.

In my own case, I watch so much sport on free to air TV, that I don’t pay to watch any, because I’d struggle to find the time. That does mean I miss some of the big sporting events. As it happened, I didn’t watch Gatlin in Doha, but had I been able to, I still wouldn’t have.

That’s the power that the humble sports fan can wield – just don’t watch!

Make sure you get in touch with the broadcaster, and tell them that you are not watching any Diamond League event involving Gatlin, and also tell the IAAF, and maybe some of the big sponsors too.

They’ll probably initially dismiss your contact, but if the number of people telling them that starts to build up, it can have an impact.

Emirates Airlines pulled out of football World Cup sponsorship due the whiff of corruption that has been surrounding FIFA for years, and they’ve put their money elsewhere, the English FA Cup for example.

I wrote to Coca Cola telling them I’d not be buying any more Coke while they were still a headline sponsor of the World Cup. They replied with a standard line that they had already published to the press about hoping things were cleared up quickly, but my note to them had been, er, noted.

So no, I didn’t see Gatlin. I wouldn’t want to see him, and not only will I not be watching if I get the chance, I’ll be going out of my way to not watch him. Gatlin versus Bolt showdown? No thanks.

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
health & happiness,
P.S. 3 quick links for you –
1. If sport is a passion for you, check out my book on how to turn it into profit – FB Passion Profits!
2. Take a look at my motivational book
‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’
3. This article was originally published via the Gordon Bryan on Huffington Post account, where you can see my other articles there

Posted in Entertainment, Goal Achievement, Goal Setting, Inspiration, Motivation, News, Personal Development, Self Improvement, Setting goals, Sport | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments