Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Graeme McDowell will be in heaven in 2011

Graeme McDowell

Billy Weir’s alternative view as to what might, or might not, happen in the world of sport next year

JANUARY

1-10: The Shotgun World Cup — Northern Ireland’s hopes are dashed when Davy McLoyalist and Brendan O’Continuity are apprehended in a pre-tournament practice session at a bookies office.

3 : Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor wins 16th world darts crown. Sid Waddell now so high-pitched he’s only able to be understood by US Navy-trained dolphins

3-7: As Ricky Ponting’s Ashes are spread after his slaying and subsequent funeral barbecue at Port Jackson, a new era begins in the Fifth Test with returning skipper Shane Warne calling up Liz Hurley to the team citing she has a couple of bouncers that need watching. Allegedly.

8-9: FA Cup Round Three — Manchester United defeat Liverpool 37-0 to set a new world record score. Roy Hodgson given vote of confidence by owners pleased that the scoreline reflects the move towards a more American-style scoring system. Adrian Chiles spontaneously combusts in the ITV studio.

7-23: World Indoor Bowls Championships — Controversy as the noise of Werther’s Originals being bounced off the back of dentures makes play impossible.

13-16: Joburg Open: Someone finally notices that South Africa is not part of Europe and European Tour is forced to flee whilst being chased by irked cheetahs. Graeme McDowell wins, his odds for Sports Personality of the Year are slashed to 5,000,000-1.

17-23: European Skeleton Championships. Following Amy Williams’ gold medal, we’re now all huge fans of going down a big slippery thing on a tea-tray. Clare Balding buys a big coat knowing she’ll be the one to have to cover it.

17-30: Australian Open Tennis — Andy Murray vows to end his slam drought. Loses in first round to Harold Bishop.

FEBRUARY

1: After allegations of widespread corruption and fears that Sochi will not be ready for the Winter Olympics in 2014, organisers take the unheard step of moving the games. “We’re confident Castlederg 2014 will be the best ever,” said local spokesman Oleg Sproule.

4-5: The Six Nations begins with a Gavin Henson-inspired Welsh rout of England. Eddie Butler and Brian Moore are spotted wrestling in the commentary box, France treat Scotland very badly and Italy lose 82-3 to Ireland in Rome. George Hook disappointed at consolation of penalty.

6: A disastrous opening to their National League campaign with a 10-67 to 0-1 defeat by Tyrone sees Derry bosses take immediate action. Gregory Campbell is the surprise new boss stating that ‘it’s time GAA in Londonderry was put back on the map’. Paddy Bradley retires.

6: Superbowl XLV — Two teams of lumbering giants with daft names in silly costumes bounce about awkwardly whilst trying to work out how many ‘XLV’ is. A bit like It’s a Knockout, but sillier.

14-20: The Dubai Duty Free Championships. Carlos the waiter beats Keith Barron in a keenly contested final with hilarious consequences.

18-20: The Track Cycling World Cup from Manchester. Lord Chris Hoy complains that the cobbles on the velodrome are playing havoc with the suspension on his Chopper.

24: The last 32 of the Europa League gets underway. No-one really notices.

27: Carling Cup Final — see above.

27: Graeme McDowell wins WGC-Accenture Match Play with four rounds of 58. Sports Personality judges start to panic and rule that, because he sounds like he’s from abroad and lives in Portrush, he’s technically an overseas competitor.

MARCH

4-6: Jessica Ennis clinches bronze at Euro Indoor Championships. Now 1-100 to win Sports Personality of the Year.

8-13: Tom Daley and his partner no-one ever mentions win gold at the European Diving Championships. Immediately installed favourite to win Young Sportsperson of the Year although it turns out he’s actually 28 and just annoying.

13: Graeme McDowell wins World Golf Championship and comes third in Northern Ireland’s Strangest Accent Championships narrowly losing out to Nadine Coyle and Gloria Hunniford.

8-9: Champions League second legs of last 16 games. Not long now until we get to the matches that anyone really gives a monkey’s about.

13: Yippee, a new season of Formula One gets underway with the Bahrain Grand Prix. Bernie Ecclestone announces new street series with Rome in 2012, New York in 2013 and Kennedy Way in 2014 once assurances are given to the DoE that there will be no donutting.

19: Ireland’s golden generation finally can prove their worth and lay down a marker for the World Cup. They lose 63-0 to England, as agreed in the loan arrangement between the two governments, as France win Grand Slam. George Hook is spotted heading towards the GPO muttering something about rebellion.

25: Serbia v Northern Ireland. UEFA dictate that it’s far too dangerous to actually play the game and rule that the two managers will battle it out via Xbox Live. Nigel Worthington loses out but does get Sonic the Hedgehog to level three, prompting Jackie Fullerton to shout ‘it’s that man again, Robotnik’ when the spaceship arrives.

19-27: Curling World Championships. Competitors complain that conditions are just too cold at Dergview Park to allow effective stone chucking.

APRIL

2: Australia beat England to win the Cricket World Cup thanks to a world record stand of 456 by new opening pair Rolf Harris and Paul Hogan. Sir Ian Botham punches a kangaroo in a fit of pique and is transported to England.

4: Men’s Clay Championships in Texas. Andy Murray loses in straight sets to Morph.

4: The Family Circle Cup in South Carolina. Venus beats Serena and has first pick from the box; opts for Bourbon Creams.

6: Dwindling crowds and a lack of Canadians means the Belfast Giants are forced to relocate. The newly formed Castlederg Baltics will play in the Elite League on the River Derg.

8: Ulster travel to France and beat Toulouse in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup. Jim Neilly combusts in the Radio Ulster commentary booth.

9: Tony McCoy wins Grand National on Kauto Star. Horse-racing now ends as it can’t really get any better than that.

10: Graeme McDowell beats Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke in a three-way play-off for the Masters. Lee Westwood comes eighth and is now 6-1 to win Sports Personality of the Year.

16: The start of the World Snooker Championships is thrown into disarray when defending champion Neil Robertson is not allowed into the Crucible after not being recognised by security.

23: With 18 matches still outstanding in the Carling Premiership, the IFA decides to award the title to Linfield and immediately fines all other clubs for bringing the game into disrepute by trying to win in the first place.

24: The returning Paddy Bradley inspires Derry to victory in the National League Division Two with an epic win over Tyrone. Mickey Harte admits Gregory Campbell’s coaching is the difference between the two teams while UUP leader Tom Elliott (I think that’s his name) watches game with one eye closed.

MAY

5-6: International Olympic Committee meeting in London. Great Britain’s Gymnastics team in meltdown for 2012 after Slade announce reunion tour and Beth Tweddle is spotted leaving Noddy Holder’s house with a guitar.

7: Ballymena United defeat Coleraine 7-0 to win the JJB Sports Irish Cup. A cuddly sports journalist starts to respond well to treatment in hospital.

19: Premier League Darts Final. Phil Taylor defeats Raymond van Barneveld in front of 78,000 people at Wembley Stadium. Sid Waddell screams uncontrollably and such ear-splitting Geordie sounds haven’t been heard since Cheryl Cole’s last single.

21: Stephen Watson-Live is so excited by the North West 200 that he actually catches fire in the pits but the snowy conditions soon dampen the flames. Michael Dunlop wins the big race, in a snow plough.

21: All roads, well the middle class ones anyway, lead to the Millennium Stadium as Ulster, after seeing off Munster in the semi-final, face Leinster in the Heineken Cup Final. Stephen Ferris’ six tries ensure victory for Ulster and makes up for being brought down to earth at Ravenhill last week.

23: Carling Nations Cup. Northern Ireland fans gather behind a man with a white horse and a big drum in Carrickfergus to start march south to take on Republic of Ireland. Garda and PSNI advise game will not be played at Aviva Stadium but in a big field on the outskirts of Drogheda.

28: A Ji-Sung Park-inspired Manchester United defeat Barcelona 5-4 in the Champions League Final at Wembley. Lionel Messi’s four goals are not enough as a Wayne Rooney hat-trick and a double from Matty Burrows wins the cup for United.

29: Graeme McDowell wins BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Hazel Irvine so excited about success of British competitor she takes off two of her body warmers.

JUNE

2-5: The Celtic Manor Wales Open. Expect vast amounts of flashbacks to ‘that’ incredible weekend and a bit of the Ryder Cup and ‘that’ putt being replayed all the time.

4: England lose 3-0 to Switzerland in a European Championship qualifier. Fabio Capello is rushed to hospital to have a Toblerone removed from an awkward location.

5: Andy Murray reaches the final of the French Open in Paris, losing in an epic encounter with Rene Artois.

12: Valentino Rossi wins the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and merits 12 seconds of TV coverage as Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button battle it out for seventh at the Canadian Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel now leads championship by 122 points.

19: Derry, minus the recently retired Paddy Bradley, leave it late to see off Armagh to reach the final of the Ulster Senior Football Championship. Gregory Campbell is concerned that the race for the Sam Maguire could be derailed by his plans for the marching season.

20: Ronseal goes into receivership as Sue Barker and Andrew Castle announce new sponsorship deal with Sadolin as Wimbledon gets underway.

22: Andy Murray loses out to a perennial Wimbledon favourite in a real first round shocker. Orinoco will now play someone you’ve never heard of in round two.

23: The Travellers Golf Championship is won by Tiger Woods. The first prize of a two-berth Coachman Amara is just what he needed.

26: The Women’s World Cup gets underway. Expect Gabby Logan and Garth Crooks to be stuck in a studio telling us all we need to know about South Korea v Norway.

See next Thursday’s Belfast Telegraph for part two

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