Gonzo Sports Digest; The Week’s Weirdest

A Yorkshireman in the NFL, a world leader weighing in on team selection and a comedy legend’s musings on the future for one of the world’s top golfers. Gonzo’s got the big shit covered.

French PM weighs in on Benzema

I’ve offered my thoughts on the Karim Benzema alleged blackmail story before and my views on the matter haven’t massively changed but there has been an update.

The Real Madrid man seems set to miss Euro 2016, and potentially see his France career ended regardless of the final legal outcome, as a result of whatever this thing with Mathieu Valbuena actually is.

Either way it can’t be too good when the Prime Minister chirps up with his thoughts. Manuel Valls says he has “no place in the France team” if he is not “exemplary”, seemingly regardless of whether he is actually guilty or not.  Besides, based on unproven previous Benzema indiscretions, I’d say exemplary was long gone for the Los Blancos frontman.

Keep in mind the leader of France made these comments less than three weeks after their capital was attacked by a bunch of brainwashed, psychotic terrorists, and days before a huge UN climate change conference that could (but admittedly, almost certainly won’t) alter the path to our future and that of our planet’s for the infinite good began in the city.  When someone has got that on their plate and they find the time to comment on whether or not you should be kicking a ball – that’s a big deal, maybe too big for the average or even exceptional man to handle.

Sport hopping to the NFL

Sam Burgess made huge headlines when he swapped rugby league for union, that was then eclipsed by his move back in the wake of England’s disastrous World Cup campaign.  What did they expect? He was used as a bit of a scapegoat and where would you want to be, getting looked down on in Bath or worshiped in Sydney? Probably anyway, that’s hit a snag, but either way I know where I’d be aiming for.

Younger brother Tom, of NRL outfit South Sydney Rabbitohs, having a crack at the NFL has gone under the radar a bit, at least in good old Blighty.  He’s been training with the New York Giants, according to some guy called Adam Schefter of ESPN’s NFL Insider.

I don’t really follow American Football, the only sport I take an interest in from across the pond is the NBA, so I can’t comment on whether I think he’d be any good at it. I get how the game works and have watched a bit, but I don’t really understand the finer nuances, what attributes make a good player in each position, and so on.

It seems like a very tentative thing from what I can gather but good luck to the guy, I always feel a little disappointed when a decent player leaves league, and an England international to boot, but if he gets the chance to live in New York he should go for it. Burgess is a kid from Dewsbury and I’ve been to both the Yorkshire town and NYC; the best comparison I can make is to suggest it would be like dating Caitlyn Jenner and moving on to Kendall Jenner, or whichever one of those interchangeable sisters is the more respectable age.

That said I don’t mind a bit of cross-sport contamination, Curtis Woodhouse went from million pound footballer to boxer with some success, then chased down some kid who let his fingers run away with him on Twitter in an incident of pure comedy gold.

He’ll also make better money too I’d imagine, but hopefully he won’t end up at the Washington Redskins – I’ve no idea how they get away with that; It’d be like calling a team the ‘Peterborough Pikeys’ or ‘Garforth Golliwogs’ in the UK, or worse I don’t know, but either way it’s definitely not cool.

*In the time between writing and publishing it has emerged that Burgess has also had a trial with the Buffalo Bills so maybe it isn’t a ‘tentative thing’ after all.  

Larry David on Jordan Spieth

I’ve cheated massively here as this story came out way before I even thought about starting this project but it is an absolute diamond.

Larry David of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and ‘Seinfeld’ fame is a proud bald man and he supported the world’s best golfer in the only way he knows how, by dashing any of his lingering hairy hopes.

“He’s going to be a bald man,” David told the Golf Digest, via Rolling Stone. “He’s going to be wildly bald. This makes him way more appealing to me. It’s one thing to handle the pressure of the back nine at Augusta; let’s see how he does when he sees all that hair in the tub. That’s pressure. I’ll be watching him very carefully. He’s 22. He’s got three years, maybe four. He’s done.”

To put that in context if needed, here are a few of David’s other bald quotes and some kind of essay I found when looking for the first link.  My favourite is “anyone can be confident with a full head of hair. But a confident bald man – there’s your diamond in the rough”, pure unadulterated genius.

Spieth seemed to take it well and why wouldn’t he?  Win a couple of majors and no one will give a shit what you look like anyway – fortunately for him he already has. He’s got the cap option as a golfer but the fact he’s famous negates that, then again if Tiger Woods can live a secret life for so long perhaps golfers are a sneakier breed than most and maybe Spieth can con a few into thinking he’s got a full head of hair… Andre Agassi* had us fooled for years but his hair loss story is like going from New York to Dewsbury, unlike LD he did not take it well.

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*I aplogise profusely for linking to the Daily Mail, but their version of this story has his quotes closer to the top so it works best here.
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