I know I said I wouldn't risk doing a links post, what with the lawsuits that would follow the inevitable massive server crashes. But our hypercomputer, Maisie, has predicted the midweek Lotto numbers, and I always trust computers, so whaddya say - let's boogie!
Firstly, a terrific article on Soccerlens by Neil Jones on the numbing effect of the media's coverage of football and the difficulty of forming an unmediated opinion of a game you experience in a mostly mediated way.
On a somewhat similar tack, Roy Keane makes a glorious attack on TV punditry. Rod Liddle takes him to task in the Sunday Times, bringing Mick McCarthy into the discussion for no good reason, praising Mark Lawrenson for his "dry wit" ("dry wit" is not the same thing as "lame jokes", Rod) and having a go at David Pleat, "who has never said anything in his entire life which is remotely interesting or revelatory". I've always found that once you get past his rather dry health-and-safety-inspector manner, Pleat is one of the most insightful pundits on the telly.
If it's a Saturday in November, if the rain is lashing against the windows, if you have a big fire roaring in the hearth, it must be time for rugby's autumn internationals. Ireland easily beat Canada in Declan Kidney's first game as coach, while the never-boring Wales just missed out in an entertaining game against the world champions, South Africa.
The League of Ireland lurches from crisis to crisis. St. Pat's' Gary Dempsey admits to betting against his own team.
Kevin Garnett supports Chelsea.
A bit belated on my part, but Dave's Football Blog has an astute outsider's view of International Rules.
The Run of Play has a spiffing new look, with the world's best feed reader in the right-hand margin of the front page and an increased volume of posts which has turned the site into a cross between a footballing TrueHoop and, well, the old Run of Play. Here is the site's MLS correspondent Vandal-prone's latest post, differing from most MLS coverage in that it's 95% about Vandal-prone.
A More Splendid Life uses a fancy Greek word as an aid to explain the flaws in MLS' playoff system, which is always to be encouraged (the Greek, not the playoffs).
Tim Vickery defends El Diego against charges of irredeemable cheatiness. Left Back in the Changing Room defends diving: "I am making my own luck, evening up the unfairness of the game, I am, in short, doing the referees job for him because he is so lax with the rules of the game."
I never knew I was so interested in Major League Baseball's logo until I read this on ESPN's Uni Watch.
The Basketball Jones has gone all vidtastic on us.
Finally, the my-blog-my-rules nothing-to-do-with-sport musical selection. When asked in an interview whether he believed in the supernatural, Elvis Costello replied, "I once saw Al Green":