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Re-Writing Football History – “If”s & “But For”s

Mon, 17 May 2010

BBC Sport’s chief football writer, Phil McNulty, deserves a post.

His latest blog entry, “Chelsea add to rich history”, elicited the following comment:

“21. At 01:28am on 16 May 2010, Spamburger  wrote:

We know what happened.

So what’s this article actually for?”

Another trite and banal piece from Mr McNulty.  I regularly read several of BBC Sport’s football bloggers and Mr McNulty’s articles are consistently the most pointless.  He either re-hashes “tabloid” opinions or he sounds like a schoolboy gushing over his favourite club or player.

And the last time I criticized Mr McNulty on his blog, my comment was removed by the moderators. :)

As a consequence, I by and large stopped reading his articles, until I clicked on his latest effort.  No improvement.

“16. At 00:27am on 16 May 2010, Mr George Banjo wrote:

***Chelsea are the only team in English football history to win the League/ Cup Double, the League/ League Cup Double & FA Cup/ League Cup Double***

Is this sarcasm?

Because Liverpool won the League/Cup double in 1986, the League/League Cup double in 1982, 1983 and 1984, and the FA Cup/League Cup double in 2001.”

Another piece of history that Chelsea share with Liverpool is that they are both clubs formed to occupy an otherwise vacant football stadium:)

“100. At 12:31pm on 16 May 2010, Paul Mitchell wrote:

Let the naysayers reflect that Chelsea would have been the first British representatives in the European Cup had the FA and the Football League let them enter in 1955. Had they played and won it that would have been truly historic.”

It’s a big leap from being the first English club to take part in the European Cup to winning it in its inaugural year, especially given the dominance of Real Madrid at that time.

“If”s and “but for”s are all good and well, but can be rather pointless.

Would Hungary have won the 1954 World Cup (instead of it being West Germany’s first) if Werner Liebrich had not “savagely hacked at Puskas’s ankles”?   “In essence, it was this kick that won the World Cup.”

I’m sure we could find many more “if”s and “but for”s if we apply our minds to it.

Further, the Football Association’s attitude towards English clubs in Europe in the second half of the 1950s had far more serious consequences than Chelsea being deprived of that little bit of “history”.

A more meaningful re-examination of football history should include the role of the football authorities, from national associations, to confederations to FIFA.  As I said before:

Its about time football had its own truth and reconciliation commission. It would be appropriate if it could take place before the next World Cup in 2010, in South Africa, where the term was used to overcome the injustices of the apartheid system.

I’ll end on Mr McNulty. Notwithstanding his lack of insight into football, he does seem very good at promoting and publicizing himself. As he so admirably states at the end of his article:

“You can follow me at twitter.com/philmcnulty and join me on Facebook.”

About these ads

9 comments

  1. I attempted to submit a shorter version of the above post as a comment to Mr McNulty’s article. This is what appears:

    “# 167. At 04:46am on 17 May 2010, you wrote:

    This comment has been referred to the moderators.”

    Entirely predictable.


    • Predictably:

      From: sportphilmcnultyblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk [mailto:sportphilmcnultyblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk]
      Sent: Monday, May 17, 2010 5:57 PM
      To: giffa@totalworlds.com
      Cc: sportphilmcnultyblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk
      Subject: Your BBC Posting has been removed

      Dear BBC Blog contributor,

      Thank you for contributing to a BBC Blog. Unfortunately we’ve had to remove your content below

      Comments posted to BBC blogs will be removed if they are considered likely to provoke, attack or offend others; are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable; are considered to have been posted with an intention to disrupt; contain swear words (including abbreviations or alternative spellings) or other language likely to offend.

      You can read the BBC Blog and messageboard House Rules in full here:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_house_rules.html

      If you can rewrite your contribution to remove the problem, we’d be happy for you to post it again.

      Please note that anyone who seriously or repeatedly breaks the House Rules may have action taken against their account.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_breaking_rules.html

      Regards,

      The BBC Blog Team

      URL of content (now removed):

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/blog152/F17331280?thread=7505824&post=96187324#p96187324

      Subject:
      Chelsea add to rich history

      Posting:
      “21. At 01:28am on 16 May 2010, Spamburger wrote:

      We know what happened.

      So what’s this article actually for?”

      Another trite and banal piece from Mr McNulty. I regularly read several of the BBC’s football bloggers and Mr McNulty’s articles are consistently the most pointless. He either re-hashes “controversial” stuff you’d find in the tabloids or he sounds like a schoolboy gushing over his favourite club or player.

      And the last time I criticized Mr McNulty, my comment was removed by the moderators. :)

      As a consequence, I by and large stopped reading his articles, until I clicked on this one. No improvement.

      “16. At 00:27am on 16 May 2010, Mr George Banjo wrote:

      ***Chelsea are the only team in English football history to win the League/ Cup Double, the League/ League Cup Double & FA Cup/ League Cup Double***

      Is this sarcasm?

      Because Liverpool won the League/Cup double in 1986, the League/League Cup double in 1982, 1983 and 1984, and the FA Cup/League Cup double in 2001.”

      Another piece of history that Chelsea share with Liverpool is that they are both clubs formed to occupy an otherwise vacant football stadium. :)

      http://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/clubs-formed-to-occupy-vacant/

      “100. At 12:31pm on 16 May 2010, Paul Mitchell wrote:

      Let the naysayers reflect that Chelsea would have been the first British representatives in the European Cup had the FA and the Football League let them enter in 1955. Had they played and won it that would have been truly historic.”

      It’s a big leap from being the first English club to take part in the European Cup to winning it in its inaugural year, especially given the dominance of Real Madrid at that time.

      “If”s and “but for”s are all good and well, but can be rather pointless.
      Would Hungary have won the 1954 World Cup (instead of it being West Germany’s first) if Werner Liebrich had not “savagely hacked at Puskas’s ankles”? “In essence, it was this kick that won the World Cup.”

      http://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/fifaworldcup/features/story/2009/11/21/spf-1954-switzerland.html

      I’m sure we could find many more “if”s and “but for”s if we apply our minds to it.

      The Football Association’s attitude towards English clubs in Europe in the second half of the 1950s had far more serious consequences.

      http://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2007/12/06/munich-50-years-on/

      A more meaningful re-examination of football history should include the role of the football authorities, from national associations, to confederations to FIFA.

      Its about time football had its own truth and reconciliation commission. It would be appropriate if it could take place before the next World Cup in 2010, in South Africa, where the term was used to overcome the injustices of the apartheid system.

      http://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/the-refusal-of-fifa-and-uefa-to-use-video-technology/

      http://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/re-writing-football-history-ifs-but-fors/

      This e-mail, and any attachment, is confidential. If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system, do not use or disclose the information in any way, and notify us immediately. The contents of this message may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC, unless specifically stated.

      The above post passed muster on several other BBC Sport’s blogs:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/robborobson/2010/05/carry_on_carra.html

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/davidbond/2010/05/beckham_blatter_and_bartering.html

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/chrischarles/2010/05/review_of_the_week_66.html


  2. For the sake of completeness, the e-mail I received when my post was removed on a previous occasion was:

    From: sportphilmcnultyblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk [mailto:sportphilmcnultyblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk]
    Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2010 7:40 PM
    To: giffa@totalworlds.com
    Cc: sportphilmcnultyblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk
    Subject: Your BBC Posting has been removed

    Dear BBC Blog contributor,

    Thank you for contributing to a BBC Blog. Unfortunately we’ve had to remove your content below

    Comments posted to BBC blogs will be removed if they are considered likely to provoke, attack or offend others; are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable; are considered to have been posted with an intention to disrupt; contain swear words (including abbreviations or alternative spellings) or other language likely to offend.

    You can read the BBC Blog and messageboard House Rules in full here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_house_rules.html

    If you can rewrite your contribution to remove the problem, we’d be happy for you to post it again.

    Please note that anyone who seriously or repeatedly breaks the House Rules may have action taken against their account.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_breaking_rules.html

    Regards,

    The BBC Blog Team

    URL of content (now removed):

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/blog152/F16002116?thread=7281093&post=92059510#p92059510

    Subject:
    Capello right to sack Terry

    Posting:
    No surprise to see you regurgitating the tabloid view Mr McNulty. If it looks like vomit, it probably is.

    A blogger should have a serious look at himself when many of the comments to an article are more insightful than the article itself.

    On the other hand, for an intelligent read, there’s always Jonathan Pearce – http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/8500609.stm

    Of course, Mr Pearce doesn’t do a blog.

    This e-mail, and any attachment, is confidential. If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system, do not use or disclose the information in any way, and notify us immediately. The contents of this message may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC, unless specifically stated.

    Interestingly, the e-mail was from “sportphilmcnultyblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk” and not “blog.moderators@bbc.co.uk” as is the case with other blogs.


  3. The latest removal by McNulty’s mods:

    From: sportphilmcnultyblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk [mailto:sportphilmcnultyblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk]
    Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 1:35 AM
    To: giffa@totalworlds.com
    Cc: sportphilmcnultyblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk
    Subject: Your BBC Posting has been removed

    Dear BBC Blog contributor,

    Thank you for contributing to a BBC Blog. Unfortunately we’ve had to remove your content below

    Comments posted to BBC blogs will be removed if they are considered likely to provoke, attack or offend others; are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable; are considered to have been posted with an intention to disrupt; contain swear words (including abbreviations or alternative spellings) or other language likely to offend.

    You can read the BBC Blog and messageboard House Rules in full here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_house_rules.html

    If you can rewrite your contribution to remove the problem, we’d be happy for you to post it again.

    Please note that anyone who seriously or repeatedly breaks the House Rules may have action taken against their account.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_breaking_rules.html

    Regards,

    The BBC Blog Team

    URL of content (now removed):

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/blog152/F17357886?thread=7509612&post=96292080#p96292080

    Subject:
    Premier League season review

    Posting:
    Mr McNulty, why do you bother?

    Oh, of course, because you’re paid by the BBC – you have to write something. :)

    http://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/re-writing-football-history-ifs-but-fors/

    http://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/new-premier-league-season/

    This e-mail, and any attachment, is confidential. If you have received
    it in error, please delete it from your system, do not use or disclose
    the information in any way, and notify us immediately. The contents of
    this message may contain personal views which are not the views of the
    BBC, unless specifically stated.


  4. And another:

    From: sportphilmcnultyblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk [mailto:sportphilmcnultyblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk]
    Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 1:52 PM
    To: giffa@totalworlds.com
    Cc: sportphilmcnultyblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk
    Subject: Your BBC Posting has been removed

    Dear BBC Blog contributor,

    Thank you for contributing to a BBC Blog. Unfortunately we’ve had to remove your content below

    Comments posted to BBC blogs will be removed if they are considered likely to provoke, attack or offend others; are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable; are considered to have been posted with an intention to disrupt; contain swear words (including abbreviations or alternative spellings) or other language likely to offend.

    You can read the BBC Blog and messageboard House Rules in full here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_house_rules.html

    If you can rewrite your contribution to remove the problem, we’d be happy for you to post it again.

    Please note that anyone who seriously or repeatedly breaks the House Rules may have action taken against their account.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_breaking_rules.html

    Regards,

    The BBC Blog Team

    URL of content (now removed):

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/blog152/F17357886?thread=7509612&post=96312273#p96312273

    Subject:
    Premier League season review

    Posting:
    The essence of my comment at 248 (which was removed) was:

    “Mr McNulty, why do you bother?

    Oh, of course, because you’re paid by the BBC – you have to write something. :)”

    In case 255 gets removed as well, it’s a link to my blog, where I have collated all the responses from McNulty’s mods.

    This e-mail, and any attachment, is confidential. If you have received
    it in error, please delete it from your system, do not use or disclose
    the information in any way, and notify us immediately. The contents of
    this message may contain personal views which are not the views of the
    BBC, unless specifically stated.


  5. The BBC Sport moderators haven’t got a clue – they can’t decide if I’m “inappropriate”, “spam” or “off-topic”.

    From: sporteditorsblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk [mailto:sporteditorsblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk]
    Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:04 PM
    To: giffa@totalworlds.com
    Cc: sporteditorsblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk
    Subject: Your BBC Posting has been removed

    Dear BBC blog contributor,

    Thank you for contributing to a BBC blog. Unfortunately we’ve had to remove your content below

    Your posting appears to be off-topic, in that it does not appear relate to the subject of this blog entry. You may be able to repost your message on one of the other BBC blogs or message boards, in a more relevant topic area. You can find a full list of BBC blogs here http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ and message boards here http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/

    You can read the BBC blog and message board House Rules in full here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_house_rules.html

    If you can rewrite your contribution to remove the problem, we’d be happy for you to post it again.

    Please note that anyone who seriously or repeatedly breaks the House Rules may have action taken against their account.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_breaking_rules.html

    Regards,

    The BBC Blog Team

    URL of content (now removed):

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/blog20/F17452322?thread=7522593&post=96534470#p96534470

    Subject:
    From Swindon Town to Cape Town

    Posting:
    Received the following e-mail in relation to 86 above:

    “Dear BBC blog contributor,

    Thank you for contributing to a BBC blog. Unfortunately we’ve had to remove your content below

    Comments posted to BBC blogs may be removed if they are seen to be repeated postings of the same or similar messages (referred to as ‘spam’) or if they contain no content, or contain content that is unreadable. Your content has been removed for this reason.

    You can read the BBC blog and message board House Rules in full here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_house_rules.html

    If you can rewrite your contribution to remove the problem, we’d be happy for you to post it again.

    Please note that anyone who seriously or repeatedly breaks the House Rules may have action taken against their account.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_breaking_rules.html

    Regards,

    The BBC Blog Team

    URL of content (now removed):

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/blog20/F17452322?thread=7522593&post=96532365#p96532365

    Subject:
    From Swindon Town to Cape Town

    Posting:
    I’m posting my views on as many of BBC Sport blogs and BBC 606 articles as I can:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A68897669

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/profile.shtml?userid=9995165

    A few have been removed by the moderators without good reason.

    This e-mail, and any attachment, is confidential. If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system, do not use or disclose the information in any way, and notify us immediately. The contents of this message may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC, unless specifically stated.”

    How can that be “spam”?

    And how do you “re-write” spam?

    The moderators get more pathetic by the day.

    This e-mail, and any attachment, is confidential. If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system, do not use or disclose the information in any way, and notify us immediately. The contents of this message may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC, unless specifically stated.


  6. “From: sporteditorsblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk [mailto:sporteditorsblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk]
    Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:55 PM
    To: giffa@totalworlds.com
    Cc: sporteditorsblog.moderators@bbc.co.uk
    Subject: Your BBC Posting has been removed

    Dear BBC blog contributor,

    Thank you for contributing to a BBC blog. Unfortunately we’ve had to remove your content below

    We don’t usually allow petitions on our blogs

    You can read the BBC blog and message board House Rules in full here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_house_rules.html

    If you can rewrite your contribution to remove the problem, we’d be happy for you to post it again.

    Please note that anyone who seriously or repeatedly breaks the House Rules may have action taken against their account.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/popup_breaking_rules.html

    Regards,

    The BBC Blog Team

    URL of content (now removed):

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/blog20/F17452322?thread=7522593&post=96537283#p96537283

    Subject:
    From Swindon Town to Cape Town

    Posting:
    Just tried posting the url for the petition alone. It failed the blog’s profanity filter!!!!

    Can’t see why that should be. It’s just an ordinary url.

    This e-mail, and any attachment, is confidential. If you have received
    it in error, please delete it from your system, do not use or disclose
    the information in any way, and notify us immediately. The contents of
    this message may contain personal views which are not the views of the
    BBC, unless specifically stated.”

    If you check out the house rules, there is no such rule.

    Not a particularly sophisticated form of censorship.


  7. Comment No. 345 added to McNulty’s latest post.



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