The Circus - June 22

22 June 2010 | 0:00 - By The Circus

Lady Gaga does her best to distract everyone from the weirdest World Cup in decades!

Think of a good plan, then do the opposite

Even after last night's results, European powers including Spain, Portugal, Germany, England, Italy and France, have played 12 times in the 2010 World Cup for a combined total of just three wins.

What is going wrong?

In some cases, it is obvious. Of course, not content with being outdone by the French, the English raised a mutiny of their own . . . sort of.

But if John Terry is Fletcher Christian, he may be a while finding his Pitcairn Island. He has been cut adrift, while the good ship England lists uncertainly toward the knockout stages.

Team unrest has even spread to Ghana, and who could forget the hubbub surrounding the Australian camp in the wake of the thumping by Germany?

In short, this World Cup has seen more unravelling than a twine factory invaded by an army of frisky kittens.

And yet, the manager with the slipperiest grip on reality – the one pundits all predicted would be the first to feel the force of player and media backlash – has endured and his team looms as the tournament's most accomplished.

Why? Because this is clearly the bizzaro World Cup: up is down; black is white; New Zealand is good.

So for god's sake, Pim Verbeek, before the Serbia match, grow a beard, buy a vuvuzela, promise nakedness, play a 1-1-8 formation – do anything to follow to the Maradona blueprint and get the Socceroos to the next round.

Formalities aside

The All-England lawn tennis championships began overnight and, perhaps unwilling to be totally outshone by events in South Africa, opened with a little controversy.

Apparently, Andy Murray informed the world in his erudite Scottish drawl that the tradition of bowing to Wimbledon's royal box didn't exactly lift his sporran.

Outcry followed in the English media, which accused Murray of . . . well, of being Scottish.

Unfair, said some but don't worry, the issue is resolved.

Turns out, Andy has removed the blue face paint and will now bow to the (probably absent) Queen anyway. What a relief!

All he has to do is win his first-round match against world number 80 Jan Hajek to actually make it on to centre court . . . which, considering his recent form is no mere formality.

Educating America

With headlines like 'When a Soccer Star Falls, It May Be Great Acting', it is difficult not to argue that Americans still have a lot to learn about football.

And speaking of Cristiano Ronaldo,The Circus was pleased to watch the wonderfully coiffed star break his international goal-scoring drought in Portugal's 7-0 thumping of North Korea overnight.

The goal is sure to get a run on his own official YouTube channel, but may not get a look in on the unofficial one:

Which makes good viewing for Americans still coming to terms with the finer points of the game.

Gaga-antuan antics

She's at it again. Just days after stripping, giving the finger and getting hot and heavy with an anonymous woman at a Mets game, Lady Gaga has shown up drunk and pantless to the Yankees' clubhouse . . . and they reckon security in South Africa is lax.

She grabbed her own boobs a lot too, but even that couldn't save her from being banned.

Numbers game

17 – fours hit by Pakistani thrashing machine and sometimes batsman Shahid Afridi in the ODI against Bangladesh

60 – balls faced by Afrdidi

124 – runs scored by Afridi

206.66 – Afridi's strike rate

22 – people remotely interested in Afridi's feats, coinciding as they do with the World Cup

Quote of the day

“It’s just not true. No one in Spain was blaming Sara Carbonero whatsoever, apart from maybe one or two morons on internet forums." – The Guardian's Spain reporter Sid Lowe drops a double bombshell: not only do the Spanish not blame their goalkeeper for the loss to Switzerland, but there are morons using internet forums.

Headline we'd like to read

"John Terry finally, mercifully, shuts up"

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