by Harry Exclusive
Golf: no laughing matter
European PGA Tour chiefs are set to widen the appeal of their sport with a new, fun direction. European PGA Tour Assistant Director for Operations David Probyn said exclusively to me this week "Golf has traditionally been a rather dour sport. After all, the game did originate in Scotland, but I want to widen it's appeal so that people can see how fun it can be". And how do you intend doing this? Probyn added "Well, I am wary of going over the top. I mean, we did toy with the idea of dressing up all the caddies in full clown regalia and having them squirt the golfers with water, bringing out rubber putters, putting quicksand in the bunkers so that they might drown, but that didn't go down too well with the caddy union. Instead, we've started sending some of our top golfers to comedians for some tips. Comedy and golf have had a great history together, just look at Jimmy Tarbuck for example; he likes a round of golf and a laugh as much as the next man. And the dearly missed Bernard Manning once threatened to strike an Asian man with a short iron, so you can see what a bond comedy and golf have".
Clowns: no laughing matter
How is this new direction going to effect the tour's top golfers? With Europeans leading the way at the recent Open, is there any need for this, quite frankly, absurd idea? "The golfers have so far been very receptive to my proposals. Padraig Harrington laughed in my face when I said that I wanted him to play the typical Irish fool in the vein of those from the Englishman, Irishman, Scotsman jokes. It just goes to show what a tremendous sense of humour he has, he couldn't stop laughing when I told him of my plans," said Probyn. He added "I've also been in talks with Snooker's governing body - yet another dull sport - about how they've managed to use humour to good effect. For years and years at the Crucible they would have John Virgo doing poor to middling impressions of his fellow professionals on a slow day, and let's not forget the tremendous success of the World Trickshot Championship where humour has a big part to play. Plus, who hasn't laughed at Neal Foulds' poor spelling and use of grammar on the internet? They've told me that they're thinking of rebranding Snooker as SnooLOLker, so, obviously, we would go down the same path and change the name of our sport to GLOLf".
Akabusi: laughing no matter what
In the 1980's the question on everyone's lips was: Sport and Politics; do they mix? In these heady days of the noughties it appears that the question is now: Humour and Sport: Why? I spoke to several leading figures in the sporting world reknowned for their love of a laugh and a joke, beginning with laughing addict and former Olympic Bronze Medallist Kriss Akabusi to find out more. He said "Hahahahahahahahahahaha, I've always enjoyed laughing, hahahahahahahahahaha. And I've always enjoyed sport, hahahahahahahaha. If you can't have fun, hahahahahahahahaha, when you're running fast, then when can you? Hahahahahahahahahaha".
Marsh's haircut exposes brain matter
Ex-footballer and disgraced former Sky Sports pundit Rodney Marsh is another sports star fond of wisecracking "Let me tell you, I've made more bad and inappropriate jokes than any other man in the history of sport. It started when I went to America to play in the NASL; that in itself was one big joke, wasn't it? I'll never forget the laughs me and Bestie had whenever we were together, and there was also that time when Beckenbauer farted during a penalty shoot-out in a game against the Cosmos which had upwards of three thousand people in stitches. One of the main reasons the league failed was because the NASL chiefs didn't like the funnymen, people like Cubillas, Neeskens and Bruce Grobbelaar; once they started shipping them out and bringing in boring fuckers like Peter Beardsley, Colin Todd and Archie Gemmill, then the league was bound to fail. Americans love showmen; entertainers, and it was a dark day when I was sacked from the Tampa Bay Rowdies for a practical joke which was taken the wrong way. John Gorman was the miserable sod who got me into trouble. All I did was soak his jockstrap in a bowl of chillies overnight and he failed to see the funny side of it. That man never had a sense of humour until he got the Swindon job".
So, Sport and Humour - is there any need for it outside of Question of Sport? This correspondent says "no". Next week I'll slag off Ally McCoist & co. in a potentially libellous column. Remember, you read it here first.