Yesterday some bright spark suggested a Premier League
All-Star game, which got Early Doors thinking about some of the additional fun
that could take place in the course of an All-Star weekend.
Now you might think taking your sporting cues from America is a
bit like taking relationship advice from Frank Lampard, but those
gimmick-loving Yanks have got some cracking ideas.
Events like the Slam Dunk Contest, the Three-Point Shootout
and baseball's Home Run Derby are
arguably as popular as the All-Star games themselves.
Here's what ED
suggests to accompany the Premier League edition:
A ball is placed in the middle of a Playstation Dance Mat,
and the player must complete the hardest level of one of those games that makes
you put the correct foot in the right position in time with increasingly-rapid
music. Bonus points for anyone who dives off the mat, clutching his knee, when
the next contestant comes for his turn.
Predicted winner: Cristiano Ronaldo
ROW Z RALLY
The format for this one is taken directly from Major League
Baseball's Home Run Derby, and tests
defenders' ability to repeatedly boom
clearances into touch. Aimless passes are played into a penalty area and
the contestant simply boots them as far as he can into the crowd. Every failure
to send the ball at least 10 rows back results in the loss of a life - each
player has five lives. Extra points are available for hitting strategically-placed targets including a six-year-old girl, a bloke carrying a tray of
teas and a steward with his back turned to the action.
Predicted winner: Robert Huth
Each team selects their hardest player to take part in this
old WWF favourite. One by one, the fighters are thrown out of the ring until
only the Royal Rumble champion remains. Along with traditional wrestling props
like steel chairs, players will be able to use a selection of custom weapons
such as golf clubs, pizzas and Liam Lawrence's
dog. With Rob Styles refereeing the bout, there will be plenty of opportunity
to 'accidentally' clobber the man in black and white. Look out for
some special guest appearances from legendary hard men.
Predicted winner: 'Oh
my God! That's Duncan Ferguson's music!'
A crack team of England
internationals has a week to practise its penalties ahead of a make-or-break
shoot-out against pupils from Oakington
School near Wembley. To even the playing field, the under-11s
must take their penalties blindfolded while England players fire paintballs at
Predicted winner: Oakington
Early Doors is sure it has seen this on some two-bit
satellite channel but, no matter, it will nab the concept anyway. Players shoot
from halfway and attempt to strike the crossbar. If they succeed, it would
appear to be customary for his team-mates to leap on top of him and remove his
clothes while whooping hysterically.
Predicted winner: Given his unerring ability to hit the woodwork
when faced with an open goal, Robbie Keane.
Top managers are locked in a room, separated from each other
by glass partitions, and invited to play mind games with each other. The aim is
simply to stay in the room and hurl insults at opposing bosses without
surrendering or turning into a gibbering wreck. Note: Rafa Benitez will not be
allowed to take part as he has not been judged of a sound enough mind.
Predicted winner: A shock triumph for the unflappable Roy
BIG GLOVES BONANZA
Inspired by the moment nearly a minute into the Anfield Rap video,
when Bruce Grobbelaar dons an enormous pair of foam gloves and is pelted with
footballs. Keepers will be equipped with oversized but ultimately useless
gloves, bombarded with 500 balls inside a minute, and required to concede 10 or
less. In terms of the game's chaotic
hopelessness, it is matched only by the final challenge in the Crystal Maze,
where players are expected to separate gold and silver bits of foil under
flashing lights in the middle of a blizzard.
Predicted winner: None - rollover to 2010.
We all know refs walk around with massive inferiority
complexes because they were no good at playing and had to settle for the next
best thing. Well, now is their chance to shine, as two teams of Premier League
match officials play a full 90-minute game. The catch - the game is officiated
by the division's most combustible
players and managers. Imagine the glee of seeing Mike Riley tear a strip off linesman
Wayne Rooney after seeing a goal chalked off for a dodgy offside.
Predicted winner: Football
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: For all Britain's attempts to establish itself as a credible
gastronomical centre, it obviously isn't
working. Here's Roman Pavlyuchenko: "I
don't like English dishes. At the Spurs training ground, the food is modest.
All they have there is a simple canteen. At the Spartak training camp, near Moscow, the choice and
quality is better. But since my wife Larisa
joined me in London
it's not a problem for me any more. She is a good cook and now I eat at home.
I'm back to my favourite borsch and vareniki - dumplings stuffed with cottage
cheese - and from this point of view I now feel as if I never moved countries."
He also thinks Russia has better-looking women than the UK. And he
might well be right.
FOREIGN VIEW: Having missed last Friday's deadline to sign David Beckham from LA Galaxy,
Gazzetta dello Sport suggests that a new deadline has been set - er, this
Friday. Why not just have a deadline every week?