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Alive 9

Uh oh,  we're in trouble,  it's the Alive Sports page,  with some news which
won't be seen anywhere else! Good job too!

We  firstly turn to  consider the new path  that  Formula One motorsport  is
heading down.

Wacky Races F1!

Dateline - Yesterday

Formula  One HQ was the backdrop for a breathtaking shock announcement  that
effectively  casts  the  future  of  Grand Prix  motorsport  in  a  new  and
unexpected direction.

In a bid to end the 'procession' of stale and predictable races, with recent
championships  being dominated by by a single driver Michael Schumacher, and
his  constructors  team  Ferrari,  the  bosses  and  rulemakers  of  F1 have
effectively  thrown away all the current rules governing the sport,  and are
starting again from scratch.

From  next season,  out go niggling safety-orientated rulings on car design,
restrictions on add-ons and new technology.  Instead, each team is getting a
single,  wildly  different  car,  each  with their own selection  of  hidden
gadgets and unique road-holding properties.  Jenson Button,  who is reported
to be test-driving the Arkansas Chug-a-Bug commented thus:-

"It might not look like much, but it can manage a good turn of speed when my
co-driver,  a big and constantly  frightened  blubbering bear,  gets out and
pushes it from behind!"

And it is not only the cars that will be revamped.  The whole vexed question
of  circuit  design  and  track safety has been  abolished  at  one  stroke.
Instead,  a  rally-style race will be run in F1 supremo Bernie  Ecclestone's
least  favourite  location  on Earth,  the backroads  and  backwoods  around
Silverstone,  Northamptonshire,  England. "The rather rural and muddy locale
fits  in  perfectly with the spirit of the original  Hanna  Barbera  cartoon
series."  said Penelope Pitstop lookalike David Coulthard.  "It lends itself
perfectly  to Dick Dastardly drawing a realistic looking hole in  the  road,
all  the other cars going over it as if nothing were untoward,  and when  he
tries to drive over it himself, he falls straight in!" added J.P.Montoya.

An ecstatic and happyjoyjoy Bernie Ecclestone, yesterday.
WARNING! Extreme wealth can make you look like this too!

This  'wacky' style of racing will be made all the more entertaining by  the
antics of one competitor in particular. It is still a closely guarded secret
who  will get to drive the coveted 'double zero' car of Dick Dastardly,  but
we think the following picture might prove to be a security leak too far?

Schumacher and Barrichello receive their new team orders for next season!

Euro 2004!

People  across Europe are today waking up to the realisation that  the  vast
majority of them have backed losing teams!

Previously,  the  massive  hype  and feelgood atmosphere of  the  Euro  2004
tournament  led  to the majority of people,  many of them not even  football
fans, into believing that they were somehow going to have their lives vastly
enhanced by winning the tournament.  In those heady days,  everyone believed
that  football,  and  a  good performance by their team  could  cure  spots,
impotence, baldness, lack of meeting beautiful women, and more.

Instead,  as the tournament has progressed, more and more people are tasting
the  bitter  vending machine taste of the coffee of stark  reality,  stirred
with  a wormwood spoon.  That only ONE team will be singing because they are
winning! All the others will be losers.

Our  investigators  attempted to get a reaction from Italy  following  their
shock  exit  at the end of the group stage (22nd June).  A phone call  to  a
random  location there resulted in severe eardrum damage to our  agent  when
the person on the other end slammed the handset down after being told  "It's
only a game after all!"

Scottish Support!

And to our friends in Scotland,  whose football team were not members of the
"Never were club",  namely as they didn't qualify to get to Euro 2004 in the
first place..

Now  loyal  Scotsman  have demonstrated an  interest  whenever  the  English
football  team  are  playing  in an  international  tournament,  usually  by
supporting  the  other side!  Even an outfit as universally reviled  as  the
hopefully  fictional  "Latin American Death-Squad Paedophile  Nazi  United",
would   attract   some  favourable  attention  from   the   hardline   Scots
Nationalists,  if  they  were  playing against England in  a  pre-tournament
friendly.  And  that  is  after taking their pre-match warm-up  routine,  of
ritually  sacrificing a bunch of blameless orphans under steamrollers,  into

The  most  recent  manifestation of this "special"  relationship  was  their
contribution to the final group game of England vs Croatia. This was a piece
of turf,  which was robbed from Wembley stadium by Scots fans, the last time
they won an England vs Scotland match in 1977, I think? This was supposed to
be placed behind the England goalmouth to provide good luck to the  Croatian
striker going on target.

This  must have been the lucky turf,  with the special brand of  wish-no-ill
Scottish  luck  that  so enjoyably backfires on idiot lamers,  kept  in  the
garden of a house,  which was destroyed in a mysterious fire,  and just when
they had rebuilt,  it was destroyed again in a freak hailstorm of anvils and
used car batteries!

At  least going by the 4 - 2 drubbing of Croatia by England,  that's what it
looks like to us?

And  on  a little side-note to our loyal Scots readers,  we can lose all  by
ourselves, without any extra help from you, thanks all the same! The England
team  are sure to turn in one of their truly dismal performances before  too
long,  Rooney hype aside.  When they're good,  they rock with the best,  but
when they are shite, it is like watching eleven random strangers of no fixed
footballing talent, who were picked up off the street and introduced to each
other ten minutes before the match!

Which  leads me on nicely to the final serious topic of this column.  Do you
suppose  that  a lot of the violent ill-behaviour of  certain  England  fans
could be down to the brain-bending way that the team often chooses to play?

I would like to conduct the following medical experiment,  without having to
worry  about  any  of  those  nasty  medico-legal  objections  to  it  being
"unethical" of course.

Take  a  crowd of average Englishmen,  lightly hypnotise them  with  tabloid
newspapers  about  how this football thing is literally the  most  important
thing  in the world.  Lubricate liberally with alcohol before and during the
match, oh yes, the alcohol is a crucial component.

Then you screen a tape of the low-lights of England the football team's most
baffling negative play moments,  something like a nil-all draw with Andorra.
The  majority of the team would rather be somewhere else,  like a nightclub,
and  it shows in their playing performances,  which seem to be mostly phoned
in from the changing room.  Missed shots,  forlorn hit and hope passing, and
half-dead "runs" in midfield giving away possession all feature strongly. In
short,  it  is  a  performance  intentionally  designed  to  wind  and  stir
passionate and concerned people who really care into blind fury!

Then act surprised at the end of this tragic display, when the anger-boosted
crowd go out to wreck stuff!

Right,  that's  enough  sport stuff already,  this column is feeling far too
healthy and it's spreading to the rest of the mag! Stop it!

CiH, for Alive mag,June 2004.

Alive 9