Monday 26 November 2012

After a month of snivelling about with a cold at last I managed a day of breathing without the aid of the good people of the Proctor & Gamble family – most notably the Vicks¹ subsidiary. As a result I was passed clear by coach of my running club² to return to the streets of South Manchester. I was ready to run again. That I felt that going for a run was a good reason not to go for some work socialising with colleagues from another office is another thing entirely. What have I become? What is wrong with just saying that I can’t be fucking arsed and I don’t want to?

At this point someone less self-important would add to the mix by pointing out no-one was exactly begging me to join them for drinks – nor asked me for a reason when I said I wasn’t going to go.

There was something weird about the run. It didn’t seem really bad. It wasn’t the best thing I have ever done (dipped my finger in warm, melted chocolate and licked it off). But it didn’t seem that bad. It led me to hypothesise that there may be some link between a reduction in smoking and one’s ability to do physical exercise. Not sure that would explain why the arches of my feet didn’t hurt, though. Perhaps it was just one of those times when a run feels quite good and I shouldn’t over-analyse it.

Over-analysis might have been a part of how I coped, though. He said – in danger of over-analysing the role over-analysis played in the thing he was perhaps over-analysing.

I ran past one of the Mo Farah Virgin billboards. I must have missed him becoming part of the Virgin Broadband advertising team. I’m not having a go at him for it, make hay while the sun shines and all that. So, I wasn’t over analysing his motives. It was the image itself.

Is this an image from the Olympics with the Nike/Virgin stuff superimposed over the top of it? Or have they had him re-create the pose wearing this branded outfit? Because the former seems a bit out of order and the latter, though arguably more honest, is more false.

Why does the former seem out of order? Well it’s selling the moment from The Olympics. We’re actually being sold a moment that we created. It was a moment of pure joy for him as an athlete, the culmination of his life’s dreams and for us as a nation celebrating his glory. There were more levels to it, his pure unbridled joy; how he stood for something brilliant about modern Britain; about how we can all come together to celebrate something good. And this is being regurgitated back into our eyes as an advert for a broadband provider. If it is that moment re-badged as a corporate sell then there is something shit about it.

However, if he re-created the moment in a photography studio in Essex there is something more honest about this definitely. Even if this is the 137th shot. “Mo, loving what you are doing but can we do it one more time with added surprise – do you need to read this Virgin Broadband press release? I’m just not getting that you’re amazed by the increase in the speed of the broadband. Yes, that’s it. Can we do it again though? I forgot to press the ‘take a picture’ button on this camera.”

To be fair if it’s either then I am not sure I can put my weight behind Mo Farah as a contender for BBC’s Sports Personality of The Year award. And has it has to be one of the two options what I am saying is I am not putting my weight behind Mo Farah as a contender for BBC’s Sports Personality of The Year award.

[Is he even doing Movember? Someone is missing out on a trick here. Or does he only get involved with things where he’s getting a wedge from Richard Branson? Sickening how fame changes some people.]

I’ll be fucking honest here: I was not enamoured by the shortlist announced by the BBC today. They need to change the name of the award for a start. It’s not a new observation that there is no place for the word personality in the name of this award. Just call it Sports Person of The Year, it cuts to the shit. These nominees clearly suggest it is about achievement and not personality. The fact that it is dominated by Olympians (11 out of 12) but does not (could not) feature all of the medallists means it is an uneasy list in my reckoning. Where is Ian Poulter? Where is Laura Trott?

I was being facetious earlier about Farah not deserving the award because of an advertising campaign. No-one deserves an award like this, more accurately none of the contenders would be undeserving of recognition. However, out of the 12 (and everyone else not on the list), I would struggle to choose between Andy Murray and Bradley Wiggins. Both managed to achieve something amazing in their own sport and win a gold medal at The Olympics – and Murray bagged a silver medal too. Any other year and Murray’s win at a grand slam would be enough for me but…it’s Tour De fucking France man. Do you know how many drugs some people have taken to win that? Bradley Wiggins did it with only legal ones³.  The award (for who I think should win the award) therefore goes to Bradley Wiggins.

And anyone who points out that I have chosen the man who champions Fred Perry over the man who abandoned Fred Perry is just pure jive talking, it only had 80% to do with my decision.

¹Did you know that Vicks is called Wicks in German because of the German pronunciation of Vicks would sound like ‘ficks’ which is a word, auf Deutsch, for sexual penetration.
²Yes this is me.
³I reserve the right to retract this at a later date if he turns out to have Armstronged it.

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