of sport are what really matter. Context is everything. Just three outline plots from today:
1. World Snooker: Kid who arrives from Australia with five hundred quid in his pocket vs Ex-Champ recovering from clinical depression after death of his father. His wife in recovery from cancer. Meanwhile world number one John Higgins caught on secret camera offering to throw games for money. 9-7 to the kid overnight; in the studio Hazel, John and Steve are as flat as pancakes – the scandal has absolutely destroyed them. Higgins has been suspended. But what would have happened if Higgins had made it to this final, as he might, had not (Steve) Davies beat him en route? A walkover to the opponent, a loss of sixteen hours of primetime? Who knows. Higgins is claiming to have been ‘framed.’
2. 1000 Guineas. Won by 66/1 outsider, Jacqueline Quest, owned by Jamaican Noel Martin who is in a wheelchair as a consequence of attack by Neo Nazis in Berlin fifteen years ago. Horse trained by Henry Cecil, darling of Newmarket, a cancer surviver who I’ve never seen without a fag. Stewards enquiry reverses result and gives it to French (French!) favourite as a result of ‘interference’ on run in.
3. Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea. Pre-match everyone says: Liverpool fans will want to lose because to win effectively hands the title to deadly rivals at Old Trafford. Liverpool lose, Stephen Gerrard back passes ball to Didier Drogba for Chelsea’s opener.