MOST readers probably wonder if there is a sports film script resting in the bottom drawer of their esteemed tipster’s desk? Of course there is. It’s about a killer football.
The leather from the protagonist comes from a cow that had BSE and this gets fused with some too-tight stitching to create a football with a grudge.
The ball is bought by some kid and rolls into the middle of the street and the kid gets knocked down by a bread van. A pro footballer driving by in his Lamborghini later spots it and takes it to training and accidentally kills two defenders by kicking it against their heads.
Then the ball gets mixed up with the other balls so they decide to stab them all to make sure it’s destroyed but this just makes all the footballs angry and they didn’t manage to puncture the bad ball after all because it floated away on a stream.
The working title of the film is Bad Ball. I’m not sure how it ends yet but after they kill it they discover it shared some DNA with Hitler’s scrotum and the lead human character goes: “It just goes to show, one bad ball leads to another.” It’s only at draft script stage at the moment but as soon as we get the green light we’ll certainly be hiring local wannabe actors. And don’t be concerned you will need to have MSL-size football talent to bag a role as a lot of the parts will favour an ability to fall over spectacularly when struck by a ball, over actual football skills.
You probably imagine there are some cameos from real footballers lined up and you’d be right, and we’re hoping to interest John O’Shea in playing a grizzled pro who has seen it all before.
Not for you? I’ve also always wanted to make a buddy cop movie between two athletes who were policemen before their sporting careers kicked off.
By some considered to be the best English goalie never to have won an international cap, Steve Ogrizovic, who made over 500 appearances for Coventry, began his career in 1977 as a bobby on the hard streets of Nottingham.
Curiously, Christopher Dean (of Torvill and Dean ice-dancing fame) was also in the Nottingham constabulary at the same time. I have often dreamed of a movie called Ogrizovic and Dean, where the two join forces as mismatched partners who solve crime on the banks of the Trent. Dean would be the prissy by-the-rules detective, while Oggy likes to solve problems with his fists. Jane Torvill will be the former goalkeeper’s love interest, although for the first half of the movie she will show no interest at all in him until his gruff demeanour and no-nonsense attitude to crime eventually wins her over.
DID we ever think we’d see the day where Ireland were 4/7 to win a Grand Slam with two games still to play? Sunday will bring the first hurdle as we face the only side likely to stop us from winning the Six Nations, Scotland, at Murrayfield.
They are on 10 points after three games alongside England and France, but those two face each other at Twickenham first tomorrow.
Scotland’s last title was in 1999, the last edition of the Five Nations (when Scott Gibbs broke English hearts at Wembley with a last-second try).
We have collected four titles (including two Grand Slams) since then and have fairly lorded it over our Tartan neighbours, even at club level.
Our provinces have secured seven European Cups between them and have cabinets overflowing with league titles too. Scottish clubs? A sole Pro12 title, secured by Glasgow at Munster’s expense in 2015.
Historically, things remain evenly balanced though and if the Scots were to bag a surprise win it would be 68-all in head to heads with five draws.
If they do, they only have a home game against Italy left and taking 11/1 on them to win the title at this vantage point will have been seen as very wise indeed.
The last time we played at Murrayfield we sneaked a three-point win after Scotland had battled back into that match in impressive style from 14 points down, before Sexton held his nerve to kick the winning penalty in the 78th minute.
We are currently on a seven-game unbeaten run against the Scots, including a 27-3 hammering in the pool stages of the 2019 World Cup (we meet again in what could be a crunch final group game in October) and the win last year at Lansdowne that was a perfunctory enough 26-5.
Scotland have looked a slightly different animal this season, still mercurial, but with some added grit.
Their boss Gregor Townsend, a stellar player in the 90s, seems to be getting the most out of Finn Russell, perhaps the most creatively gifted player in the tournament.
He was initially omitted from Scotland’s autumn international plans before a mid-November call-up and has responded well.
Midfielders Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones are no slouches, while Duhan van der Merwe has been a revelation on the one wing, while the 2016 and 2017 Six Nations player of the competition Stuart Hogg (100th cap on Sunday) patrols the other.
Hogg and Russell are still only 30. Is it only me who thinks it seems like they have been lining out for the Scots since the start of the century?
They were often Scotland’s only shining lights in the past decade, but things have changed.
WE WILL surely not come home empty-handed from Hollywood this weekend? If we do. their should be some sort of Oireachtas inquiry. However, picking someone to bag a statuette is a bit more difficult. So, let’s be a spoilsport instead and opt for Scotland to win the Six Nations at 11/1 and hope we avenge it in the World Cup