Thursday, 26 July 2012

Let The Games Begin

Unless you have been on another planet, you will know that the Olympic Games start in London tomorrow night.

However, the Games have actually already started and London does not have exclusive rights to them.

The Olympics actually started yesterday in Cardiff with the first game in the women’s football event. Tonight, at 19:45 Great Britain’s men play their first game at Old Trafford in Manchester against Senegal.

What’s odd about this is that Great Britain only play as a football team in selected Olympic Games. In all other competitions, Great Britain do not compete, opting for the individual countries instead. Watching Great Britain tonight will be weird as I usually scream blue murder when England are playing.

People of other nations may find this strange; the fact that the United Kingdom is made up of different countries, some of which hate each other.

I am not one of these people. I am a proud Englishman and am equally proud to be British. Yet there are people in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland who despise the English.  There are many Scots for example who, frustrated by their own inability to qualify for the football World Cup, will support A.B.E. instead (Anyone But England).

I find this deeply irritating, particularly as I actually support Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and yes even the Republic of Ireland – in all of their individual sporting endeavours (unless their opponents are England of course).

Rugby Union (not an Olympic sport sadly) brings this together in a much better way than football; I have friends who support Ireland, Scotland and Wales and during the Six Nations we all go to the pub to watch the game and enjoy the banter that ensues.

Football seems to be taboo though; a Scottish friend of mine is particularly vociferous against England and I find myself becoming an A.B.S. fan because of this (Anyone But Scotland).

Anyway, back to the Olympics, I am looking forward to enjoying the Games but I do have a couple of  negative thoughts that I have to keep under wraps. They won’t spoil my enjoyment of the Games or my pride in the fact that they are in Britain, but I will share them with you, if you are interested.


I love London and have had many enjoyable times in The Old Smoke. Nevertheless there is a North/South divide and some Londoners do not recognise anything North of Watford. This blinkered viewpoint is evident in business and, yes, the Olympic Games too. Money is poured into the capital, sometimes at the expense of other places.

I was furious when Sebastian Coe said “The Olympics can only be held in London” after a failed bid from Manchester. Manchester held the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and they were a triumph. While Seb Coe might not have really meant what he said, there is a feeling that London is the ONLY place to visit in England.

It isn’t. Let me tell you that right now if you are not from the UK. London is great and I love it – but it is just one of many wonderful and fabulous places in the United Kingdom.

The Logo

When the 2012 logo was unveiled, most people in Britain (and I reckon the world) said:


It is awful and makes me sick every time I see it – and of course I see it a lot.

Who chose it? Who PAID MONEY for it?

Words fail me – it is dreadful, utterly dreadful and looks like the by-product of a massive binge when aliens from the planet Quakzyx mistook fluorescent paint for alcohol.

Boris Johnson

He’s Mayor of London AGAIN so the buffoon will forever be remembered if the Games are a triumph. He is a walking embarrassment and I will undoubtedly have to listen to the blithering idiot as he takes credit for the Games.

Mrs PM and the cats can expect a lot of ranting if his face appears on my telly box.

And the good things?

There are so many good things about the Olympics in London and they outweigh the bad.


I love sport and I will try to watch a lot of the Olympics. I wasn’t interested in the Beijing Olympics until it started. And then I started watching it and became addicted.

I expect the same to happen here, but I will be watching from tonight (don’t forget – the Games started yesterday really).

Team GB

I don’t like the moniker “Team GB” to represent the British athletes and sportsmen who will be competing. However, I will feel pride if our athletes win medals.

It gives you something to cheer about no matter which country you live in, when your own athletes do well. And it is great to watch and marvel at legendary performances by athletes from other countries too.

National Pride

The fact that the Games are in the United Kingdom is a massive bonus (despite what I said about London earlier). A lot of people cast aside the location and say “They’re in Britain!” and I am trying to do that myself.

The Anthem

The best thing about the Games is the Official Theme – performed by Muse, one of my favourite bands. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that Muse had been selected and this more than makes up for the awful logo.

And then I heard the song. It is absolutely brilliant – a progressive masterpiece!

I hope the Games are a rousing success (and that we do not make too many mistakes like showing the South Korean flag for the North Korean women’s football team – how embarrassing; let’s hope that there are no nukes heading our way).

Here we go – Let the Games begin – and I present for your enjoyment Survival by Muse. If the Games are anywhere near as good as this song then they will be a triumph!


River said...

This is the first time I've seen the Logo. I wondered what all the fuss was about, now I know. It is awful.
I'm ignoring the Olympics as much as possible.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Mrs PM will also be ignoring it.




MedicatedMoo said...

The logo is indeed excrementally embarrassing but we three - with five dinner guests - are all settling in for a night in front of the telly watching the opening ceremony.

Having access to UK telly means, however, that the only news I'll get of Aussie athletes will be online.

Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi! (we're known for our eloquent use of language)

Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

I might get to watch the opening ceremony, unless Mrs PM (who hates sport) spits her dummy out (in which case I will watch the highlights).

Come on GB (and good luck to all other nations too).




drb said...

Hi Mr Pm,
How do you like the Opening ceremony? I woke up on 6am on Sat to watch it. I am a sucker for Olympic opening ceremony. It was very different from the Beijin one. I like the beginning and ending but lukewarm of the middle part. I love the part where they introduced the inventor of www and the torches merging into a giantic torch.

I actually like the London olympic logo and was disappointed that it is not on the McDonald's Olympic Coke glasses.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi drb,

I loved the opening ceremony. It was quirky and typically British, particularly the self-deprecating elements of it. We love that kind of stuff.

The highlight for me was James Bond (Daniel Craig) and the Queen, particularly the parachuting in" (I wonder how many Americans actually thought she did?).

Wonderful stuff.

I'm looking forward to watching the Games - despite my apparent grumpiness, I KNEW I would.

I'll still hate the log though




Pandora Behr said...

I'd be hanging, drawing and quartering the designers of that bloody logo - sheesh.

Just penned a blog about avoiding the Olympics - which I will try to do - but you're right - you do get something out of these. I just hope there's something else on the telly for the next two weeks.

great post.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

There are people here who want to bring back that law just to punish the designers and decision makers when it comes to the logo.




drb said...

O Mr PM,

I would love it if the 'Queen' and the Union Jack parachute did land in the stadium. It was a fantastic idea but a bit of a cough-out for the parachute to land outside the stadium. I understand it may be impossible with the wires and all but would be spectacular if it were pulled off.

I like the logo because it is creative, edgy and not ho hum like the first pic you put up on your blog. Challenge - for anyone who hates it - come up with a better!

Curious what your sons' generation thinks about it? Whatever?

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi drb,

You are in a minority of people who think it is "edgy".

We'll have to agree to disagree. I *still* can't believe something so dreadful was chosen.

As for coming up with something better - if I were an artist I could, but my talent in that area is non-existent. Mind you, I think I could do that - despite my lack of artistic aptitude.

My kids don't care about it really. But I think if I gave a paintbrush to a blind gorilla, he might come up with something better in all honesty.




Anji said...

I hadn't seen the logo before seeing it here - "What does it represent?" I ask myself.

The opening ceremony was well liked here in France and we're getting repeats of all the jubilee programmes because the Queen did her part so well with James Bond.

Plastic Mancunian said...

hi Anji,

Nice to now the people of France liked it.

Do you think the Queen will have a cameo in the new Bond film?