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THE SAM MORSHEAD COLUMN: Kicking the habit
6:00am Saturday 19th October 2013 in STFC News
WE’RE in the middle of Stoptober - the NHS’s month-long initiative designed to get British smokers to kick the habit - a brilliant idea and one the sporting world should take note of.
No, I’m not talking about you, Jack Wilshere. I mean the general concept. There are all sorts of irritating traits our athletes and their broadcasters relay to the global population week in, week out. And my, wouldn’t we all be better off without them.
Imagine if you could watch Wimbledon without holding your thumb in suspension above the mute button, primed to drown out the mating call of the long-legged Russian with the dulcet tones of silence.
Think how happy you’d be if Bob Willis gave up trying to get through his whole life in E flat. Envisage an entire ITV football broadcast broadcast by anyone other than ITV. Take a moment to dream of a world without Roy Keane’s multicoloured beard.
What if you woke up one morning and found that Brian Moore had discovered a capacity to be impartial, gloves were outlawed in professional football and Tiger Woods remembered how to smile?
Is it fanciful to ask Sky Sports to give up referring to press officers as ‘sources’? Could Leroy Rosenior possibly unglue his hands from the Football League Show table? Can Alan Green find it in himself to realise that jetting around the world commentating on international matches is not a hardship on a level with disenfranchised Mexican migrants washing patios for a pittance?
I urge everyone to take part in sport’s Stoptober. Encourage your favourite sportsmen, sportswomen and media figureheads to cut out those annoying little character traits that ruin an otherwise excellent night on the sofa.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see FIFA ‘kick the habit’ of a lifetime and spend four weeks actually talking sense. And, while we’re at it, let’s see referees abandon their post-match FA-sponsored silences.
Of course we’d have to set up support networks to ensure our athletic heroes made it through the tricky first fortnight.
Footballers will each be given a pocket-sized thesaurus for use whenever they feel the urge for a cliche, speedway’s administrators will be offered a common sense transplant and Tyson Fury gets anger management and elocution classes.
Every sportsman and woman will have The Black Lawyers’ Society’s hotline installed on their speed-dial. If they decline, The Black Lawyers’ Society will have something to say about it.
Tough love is the best way to make sure our top performers stick to the task at hand, and therefore a set of ground rules must be formulated.
The word ‘worldy’ is hereby banned for a month, sportsmen under five-foot 10 inches will be disallowed from owning Range Rovers, Nando’s will be placed into insolvency and all those seen to be playing GTA V will be forced to carry out 40 hours of community service.
Providing everyone sticks to the plan, we should soon be able to live in a quirk-free environment.
Now wouldn’t that be lovely.
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