OPINION: Looking forward to the Ryder Cup

With a matter of minutes until the first foursome match kicks off in Chicago, I wanted to explain why I’m more excited than usual to watch the battle between USA and Europe rekindled once again (and yes it may have something to do with the rather long spell since my last post). The truth is that since the high emotions and superhuman efforts of the Olympic and Paralympic athletes, it has been difficult to find that same level of sporting drama and entertainment.

Of course, when I say this to other sports fans they stare in some disbelief, as if I’m not aware that the new football season is well under way. This is true and, so far, both the English Premier League and Champions League have started from where they left off, with plenty of goals and unexpected comebacks already. Real Madrid’s dramatic 3-2 victory in the Bernabeu has been one of the highlights.  Continue reading

T20 finals: Scott Styris

Today, Twenty20 fans will be ready for a full day of entertainment as the Friends Life T20 finals are played out. The two semi-finals will be swiftly followed by what is set to be a thrilling final showdown this evening.

There are four talented teams looking to lift the trophy; Hampshire, Somerset, Sussex and Yorkshire are all vying to become champions tonight.

Yet, with all of the talent on display there must be a favourite and Sussex are the standout team.

The Sharks have one of the best attacking line-ups with the likes of Chris Nash and Matt Prior poised to score plenty of runs. They also have the star man of this year’s competition, Scott Styris.

He put on one of the best individual batting displays of 2012 in the quarter-final against Gloucestershire. For the fans that attended, it was a golden ticket, as they admired the flair of Styris who hit a century from just 37 balls.

On his way to the joint third-fastest T20 century in history, the New Zealander scored 38 runs in an over. It was nonstop entertainment.

Personally, I will admit that before this display from Scott Styris, county cricket in Britain had never appealed to me. It just hasn’t had the same impact as the big-money Indian Premier League, which fans in the UK can also follow.

However, one moment of brilliance on a July afternoon helped to capture the imagination. Hopefully, this Saturday evening the level of entertainment will reach the same heights. Who knows? Either way, I would suggest that tonight’s final is one to keep an interested eye on.

 

 

US Open final day

Fans at The Olympic Club in San Francisco should prepare themselves for a great US Open showdown today. Last year, the script was already written for an imperious Rory McIlroy to win his first major and come back from his Augusta disaster.

Most golf fans would agree that McIlroy’s skill and flair was simply breathtaking. However, this year will be different. With Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk tied at -1 and two shots ahead of the rest of the field, it could become a two-horse race. Continue reading

LIVE EVENT: Hockey Final at the Olympic Park

Jonty Clarke, Harry Martin and  Nick Catlin of Team GB sign autographs after the match.

Last Sunday, I visited the Riverbank Arena at the Olympic Park to watch the Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament. Even though the cold temperatures made the test event feel more a part of the Winter Olympics, there were still two men’s hockey matches to look … Continue reading

Van Persie’s form down to his ‘lucky pen’

Robin Van Persie and Fabrice Muamba meet as Van Persie congratulates his former teammate for his miraculous recovery.
Source: Action Images

Last night, I was extremely fortunate to be invited to the Football Writers’ Assosciation gala dinner, where Robin Van Persie received his Footballer of the Year award. The entire evening was celebratory as Fabrice Muamba, accompanied by his fiancee Shauna … Continue reading

NBA playoff moments – Michael Jordan

The NBA playoffs are now well under way; all fire extinguishers are currently being hidden from all of the New York Knicks players and spectators are ready for some great matches and magic moments from the current stars of the game. Big names such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are always in the mix to produce something special at this point, as they have done in the past.

However, will any of these players be able to perform well enough to make them ‘the next Michael Jordan’? It’s something that is mentioned often by the media, especially because there is a talented generation playing in the NBA right now who are producing stellar performances.

Looking back though, it’s hard to see another man bring as much excitement to the NBA as Michael Jordan did.

Michael Jordan will definitely enter Play with Flair’s Hall of Fame, but which other basketball greats should join him?

Have your say below.

A Clasico weekend of sport – here’s a roundup

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both played but Ronaldo won all the plaudits.
Source:http://livesoccertv.com

For all of us sporting fans, the last weekend has been essential viewing. There have been so many talking points that I thought it best to provide a brief roundup on what’s been going on.

Ronnie O’Sullivan or Stephen Hendry?

As the World Snooker Championships begin today and Play with Flair has announced the creation of their Hall of Fame, what better way to celebrate than to discuss two of snooker’s greats: Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry.

It is great news that this year both will be competing in the event again. Together they boast almost 50 years at the Crucible, which is an astonishing amount of time. Continue reading

Countdown to London 2012: Kobe Bryant

As I’m based in the UK, I can safely say that there is a great buzz around as we prepare for London 2012. Organisers are even providing tourists with the Olympic Legends Map, if they weren’t already confused when walking about London.

All of the names on the map are rightly placed as legends of the game, but I’m excited about the man sitting on the basketball and tennis line (the black line) named Kobe Bryant.

He may have experienced some troubles in his private life recently, but this man is a living legend of the game. London 2012 will be only his second involvement with the USA team in an Olympic competition. His impact in Beijing 2008 was unquestionable as he helped Team USA win their Gold medal with a 15 point average.

Some in the NBA are beginning to question Kobe Bryant, as he is no longer one of the young talents in the game. Yet, he is still the most recognisable face of the LA Lakers and the amount that he has acheived in his 15 years as a professional shows that the talent of legends lasts forever.

See Kobe Bryant’s highlights from the Beijing 2008 final here: