I watched the Scotland and England rugby match on Saturday for no other reason than it happened to be on the BBC. Rugby union about too stop start for my tastes and the rules get more arcane every season – I much prefer rugby league.
But I was interested in the shot of Scotland’s Finn Russell at the end of the game that showed markings on the back of his left hand. At first I thought it must be one of those strange tattoos that sportsmen are so keen on these days, but then realised it was actually a numbered list of instructions.
I fully expected a photo to turn up on line, but it hasn’t, at least not yet, so I scanned the image above from the Sunday papers. You can’t read the list which isn’t surprising after 80 minutes rough and tumble, but this is what I imagine the instructions to be:
- Catch the ball
- Do not drop the ball
- Run with the ball
- Get hit in face by a big man in white shirt
- Lie under a mountain of big men in blue and white shirts
- Scratch head when ref awards a penalty
- Stand up and repeat
I suppose the same instructions could apply to the players in last night’s Super Bowl, even down to the shirt colours. The head scratching has to be why that apparently fair catch by Jericho Cotchery was ruled as incomplete on review. (I sound like I know what I’m talking about don’t I?)
I was scratching my head when a 15-yard penalty was awarded against Aqib Talib 15-yard penalty extended for ‘ungentlemanly conduct’ but despite the countless slo-mos and analysis that accompany every other move of the game, I was left none the wiser as to what it was he was supposed to have done. It was left to one of the talking heads to tactfully explain that it was for ‘taunting’ which could definitely be something to introduce to the Premier League – there would be no-one left on the pitch.
Billed by the BBC as the Battle of the Quarterbacks, it lived up to the hype, but only in as much as both Peyton Manning and Cam Newton were as poor as each other to my untutored eye. Or rather the dee-fence of both sides was very good as I was informed by the pundits. Eiher way, the game was not up to the excitement of previous Super Bowls I’ve seen, so after the first half-hour ended after 90 minutes I took to my bed instead.