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A graduate of Sports Studies at Paisley University, which is about as rewarding as being the best dancer in the Spinal Unit.

Thursday, 22 October 2009


In a move that may open the flood gates from many Rocks and SSF Employees to do the same, our very own Scott Russell has been entered (by his lovely, abeit optimistic girlfriend, Laura) into No1 Magazine’s HUNK competition.
Sometimes, these articles just write themselves.
Over to the No.1 Magazine Website for more:
“The hunt is on! No.1 have teamed up with luxury menswear brand Slaters and the Scottish Sun to uncover the hottest hunk in Scotland! From Elgin to Edinburgh, Dumfries to Dundee and Glasgow to Gretna – we are scouring our bonny country for a man with the X factor!”
From the places mentioned, im guessing the “X-Factor” criteria doesn’t necessarily include teeth or a full set of eyes.
This year’s No.1 Hunk will win:
• A luxury trip to New York.
• A year’s modelling contract with the exclusive modelling agency Colours.
• The Scottish Sun’s title of Mr Scotland plus the opportunity to compete in Mr World.
• An on-location modelling shoot with No.1 magazine.
• The winner of the No.1 Hunks competition will be considered for a future advertising campaign with luxury menswear brand Slaters.
On initial inspection of the No.1 Hunks entries page, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve accidentally stumbled across some kind of offenders register. Nestled amongst the unemployed and the future stars of Barlinnie’s North Wing sits our Golden Boy, gazing into camera in a fashion that makes any responsible father nervous.
I know what your’e thinking. Scott Russell entering a modelling competition would be like watching Stevie Wonder manoeuvring the Total Wipeout course.
It would be brilliant. So get ready to get voting. The campaign starts here and you will be the front line. They are still taking entries so voting won’t actually begin until sometime later, meaning you will need to check back on a regular basis. But please do. Ill be keeping you updated with every Slate edition including all the news, gossip and progress of Johnstone’s finest export (if you exclude cabbages, those plastic bits on the end of shoelaces and the recently deceased).

Jamie Barr (Hunk no. 37)


"The time spent going through in detail each and every part of our preparation programme," says Chris Spice, Performance Director. "From scheduling, coaching, scouting, team administration, sport science and medicine and most importantly, performance at the EuroBasket tournament.”
Good one, Spice. Lets be honest, you were free wheeling and enjoying a post in British Sport that is like being the best dancer in the spinal unit. Great Britain tragically regards basketball with as much respect as is warranted to John and Edward on a Saturday night. Its only when a genuine NBA star took interest in the team that you suddenly had to stub out the fag, dust the Pringles off your jumper and put some effort in. We were all impressed when Britain “almost shocked the world” when they got beaten by Spain. Anywhere else, a loss is a loss. In the UK, because we made it past 70 points it must be the beginning of a new era. The next game was an 18 point rout by Serbia. Eleventh loss in twelve games.
Phew, back ‘on track’.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Ode to a Basketball Referee

Refereeing are the sporting equivalent of Traffic Wardens.
They stalk their respective domains looking for misdemeanours, dressed in a uniform that is only less favourable to that of a Nazi officer, doing an essential job of which the only guaranteed outcome at the end of every day is that they will be universally, unequivocally and profoundly hated.
Who would be a referee?
Its a thankless task, where no matter how efficient you may be, you are still unpopular. You have to be prepared for criticism, ridicule and in many cases physical abuse from both players and spectators. YouTube is packed with videos where a referee has made a decision (one of potentially hundreds during a match) and has had to endure a swift barrage of awkward looking kicks from players, on his way off the pitch to be greeted by 80,000 even angrier people. In Wicklow a few years back, a few folk took offence to a referee’s view on the game and expressed their displeasure by catching him after the match, batting him around the head a little before locking him in a car boot for a few hours. Referees in Brazil pay for that stuff on the weekend in comparison to the consequences of a dodgy call. Over the years they have been routinely shot, stabbed, set on fire or tortured as a result of a single decision.
So who would be a referee? Why would you want to be a referee?
Some would argue that they are people who wanted to be involved in sport but were unable due to lack of general athletic ability. Others might suggest the more interesting theory is that the feeling of power attracts them. The attention, good or bad inspires them to continue making people miserable or indifferent. But surely, it isn’t a sports enthusiasts ambition to become a ref?
 Pierre Luigi Collina as a youth enjoyed playing the game but was not interested in refereeing until a fellow secondary school student suggested it might be fun to attend a short course for potential referees. This casual invitation was the catalyst which launched Collina on a remarkable career in Italian and global football. Recognized for a natural ability to control matches (due mainly to a card-accompanying stare that could strip paint) and admired for his courage in adjusting to the illness alopecia, which left him hairless at twenty-four, Collina emerged as an exceptional personality on the world football stage. He become an idol of millions of fans, players and officials, and provided a welcome boost to the image of the man in the middle. These types of role models are few and far between in the referees’ world.
And yet we need them. People may throw tantrums all they want, throw insults, punches and coins. The fact of the matter is these (power hungry or selfless, however you want to look at it) people in the world are as important in our sport as the ball itself.