Beware the vegetarian lions

The draw for the qualifying rounds of the CAF Champions League – the CAF version of the UEFA Champions League – has been made and both the local teams involved now know their opposition.

Orlando Pirates travel to the Seychelles for a tie against Light Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns… well… they face:

Leones Vegetarianos Fútbol Club

Because if you’re a Spanish businessman and you’re setting up a football club in Equatorial Guinea in 2001, you’re going to want to scare off the opposition by naming them after the King of the Jungle, Panthera leo.

However, imagine that you are Spanish businessman Juan Manuel Rojas and you’re setting up a football club in Equatorial Guinea in 2001, and you want to scare off the opposition by naming them after the King of the Jungle, Panthera leo  – but you don’t agree with their dietary choices!

Well then, you name that club Leones Vegetarianos.

Admittedly, slightly less terrifying than their carnivorous cousins, somewhat weaker and paler, and with an interesting odour, but importantly STILL LIONS. HEAR THEIR ROAR!

Interestingly, if you think that “The Vegetarian Lions” is a rather implausible idea, then you obviously overlooked “The Light Stars”. Our sun is a tiny example of the genus and it weighs in an estimated 1,989,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg.

The best of luck to both SA teams.
I can’t wait to see who they’ll draw in the next round.

Unscathed

I usually write posts on here in the afternoon or evening ready for publication the following morning.

This time though, it wouldn’t have made any sense to do that, because I wouldn’t have known what to write.

The jury was still out. Overnight deliberations.

Although we lost, physically, the first football game post knee surgery went well last night – but it’s always the morning after that the truth really comes out, isn’t it?

The great news is that I’m writing this post from a static bike at the gym. I’m cycling through Monument Valley. So things can’t be that bad, can they? And yes, I’m taking it easy because yes, I am a bit stiff here and there, but the knee is certainly no worse than anywhere else.

I am unscathed.

Thanks to the guys for taking me back so readily and with such open arms. Not that I ever expected anything else.

Next week, we go again.

Five fine

After my problems with my knee at the beginning of the year (and then throughout the rest of the year, if we’re being completely honest), I’ve been working hard to put things right.

I’m happy to say that it’s paying off.

Some decent weight loss (still a work in progress), a huge improvement in fitness (also ongoing) and, this last weekend, a 5km run. Walking isn’t an issue, but that constant impact on the knee as one runs isn’t good. 5km might not sound like much, but given that I wasn’t sure that I’d ever be able to run again, it was huge.

I was dragged out to try a flat parkrun on the weekend and – without wanting to blow my own trumpet – I smashed it. No knee issues whatsoever, and I finished feeling that I could have gone faster or further if I’d wanted to.

Boom.

Sure, a little muscle stiffness here and there the next day, but nothing terrible. And so now I’m moving straight onto the next hurdle: a game of football on Tuesday evening. Running apparently isn’t an issue, but that constant impact on the knee as one plays football isn’t good. A game of football on Tuesday evening might not sound like much, but given that I wasn’t sure that I’d ever be able to play a game of football again, it will be huge.

Hold thumbs for great news on Wednesday morning.

Sports which can be cancelled because of windy weather

Yachting:

While offshore and trans-oceanic racers clearly have no choice but to face the conditions at sea, high winds can also be associated with large waves on inshore courses. Since inshore craft are often smaller than their long-range cousins, races may be delayed or abandoned completely should the race organisers feel that conditions could pose a risk to the safety of the crews or officials.

Aerobatics:

The Red Bull Air Race™ pilots are all very experienced in their field. However, the maneuverability of their aircraft depends on the use of a light airframe, and this can easily be affected by adverse wind conditions. The Red Bull Air Race™ tour around the world is timed to try to avoid well-known local seasonal meteorological “hotspots”. However, if the safety of pilots or spectators is ever called into question, the race will be halted, postponed or completely abandoned.

Jenga:

When played outside, excessive wind can result in the tower being unstable and premature tumbling may occur. If this happens, Rule 8.6(a) allows for the event to either be postponed or moved to a suitable indoor location, provided all competitors are in agreement.

Archery:

Generally only an issue in very high winds, especially those from lateral or semi-lateral directions, driftage of arrows between bow and target could result in potential injury to those in the vicinity. In these instances, competition is suspended until conditions improve. A 4 hour suspension is allowed for by the World Archery Federation, provided that failing light does not then become an additional hazard because of the delay.

Lawn Bowls:

A “howling northwester” (also known as a “stiff breeze”) is usually the only category of wind which can result in cancellation of a game of lawn bowls. Should these be the prevailing conditions, an announcement should be made not earlier than 1 hour and 3 minutes before play is due to commence (when a game has been arranged for 6 weeks or more). While the safety of competitors is unlikely to be compromised by a bit of a blow, the game “is meant to be fun” and clearly, attempting to roll some heavy balls in a mildly gusty Force 5 while nursing a massive hangover falls outside that descriptor.
Competitors should note that there is no internal appeals system within the informal lawn bowls organisation, and any photos of administrators passed out drunk at a party a few hours before the official start time which were shared on social media platforms should be overlooked.
It was entirely the “howling northwester” that was to blame.

Badminton (Outdoor):

You’re taking the piss, right? Completely unmanageable.
[avoids all of the jokes about blowing cocks all over the place]

 

How was your Sunday morning?

Top

This happened for a week last season and things didn’t work out quite as I would have liked. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth celebrating again now.

After a hard-fought win over Hull City yesterday – the mighty Sheffield United are top of the league. And while I might not be the Premiership (yet), you can only beat who you’re up against, and we seem to be doing that quite nicely. Who knows if it’ll last?

I hope so, but in the meantime, some song lyrics come to mind.

Smile for the while and let’s be jolly
We shouldn’t be so melancholy
Come along and share the good times while we can

More tenuous football news links to one hit wonders from the 1980s will surely follow. Or perhaps not