Thursday, 10 June 2010

Two great sporting events this weekend

It's now considerably less than 24 hours before the world’s greatest sporting festival kicks off in Johannesburg – a month-long celebration of triumph, adversity, determination and the sales of bottle openers that chant ‘ENG-ER-LAND’.

Africa is primed, as is the watching world – waiting with baited breath for the tournament to unfold. Some – like this Daily Mail (UK) reader would like things to be a little different from the 64 game soccerfest that awaits:-

These opinions are not only bigoted but wholly wrong-headed – I for one would watch 22 grandmothers play each other if by some quirk they qualified for the World Cup, and fully intend to watch every game – yes, even Slovakia v Paraguay.

What’s more I’ll be following #wc2010 on Twitter, scouring the net for the best journalism, eye-catching features and trying not to get annoyed by some of the pundits. I will also be posting up daily match reports from our own sporting titan – The Cup of Good Hop – which we are holding in Brighton this Sunday.

Our methodology will be quite simple – four of us (myself, James, Dan Last from European Football Weekends and Stuart Fuller from theballisround) will conduct 64 ‘tasting matches’ with the beers until a winner is found. In the absence of any Cameroonian beer, we have plumbed for ‘Celebration’ an old-skool French brew. After all – colonialism was a long-lived tradition for the French for centuries – though I’ve heard a rumour that Stuart is hot on the trail of authentic Cameroonian beer.

We will write reports for each match, capture as much of the event across various media as possible, and serve it up to you – and with any luck it will be a light-hearted, informative garnish to your World Cup main course.

Ok, so we’ve had to substitute the odd beer or two to complete our quest, but on the whole it’s a pretty impressive haul and we’re going to take great delight in demolishing the lot. You can get involved by voting for your favourite beers with the newly-installed right-hand column polls. If you’re tempted to do a COGH yourself but haven’t had the time to trawl around for all 32, you could do better than study Beer Genie’s guide to the World Cup – they’ve chosen many of the same brews as us, but have also supplied culinary tips and some ‘did you knows’

Before the action starts I’d like to say a few thank yous – there’s all you out there who have taken an interest in COGH (more than 3,700 so far, from 38 countries across the globe) – and to the likes of Paul, Dave, Stevica and others who have tried to source some of the hard-to-get beers in the final hours. I’d also like to thank Dan and Stuart for agreeing to be our EBTs – Executive Beer Tasters on Sunday, and for the support they have given us over the last month. I'd like to unthank the BBC 5Live producer who cut me off in my prime after 30 seconds on the Tony Livesey show last night. Well, I think that’s enough of that…

I’ve just noticed that ‘Bongo Bongoland’ is now the number one trending topic on Twitter – oh dear. At least most of the posts don’t share the sentiments of Mike ‘Bongo Bonkers’ Phelps of Yeovil.

So, watch out for COGH match reports on Monday and then throughout the competition, laced with other content that we can be arsed to cobble together inbetween games – have a wonderful month – may your cup be of good hop.

I’ll leave you with some photographic flavour for the tournament to come and my betting tips – Torres (14/1) and Crouch (50-1) for top scorer – fingers crossed and ten quid down…

Know any Dexy’s Midnight Runners?

South Africa’s veteran skipper announces his retirement after lifting the trophy

Confusion reigns in the US team

Peter & James, 10 June 2010


  1. Mike Phelps - isn't that this American swimmer from the last Olympics? Surprised he moved to Yeovil...

    That aside, I was lucky enough to sample all Cameroonian beers on the market when I went there a few years ago. All of the lagers are brewed locally in cooperation with breweries from either Alsace (France) or Germany. And at least the top 4 taste very good, provided they are being served chilled (which is usually the case). Here's my personal ranking:

    1. Baobab
    2. Muetzig
    3. Isenbeck
    4. 33 Export
    5. Castel
    6. Millennium
    7. Beaufort

    I deliberately did not include the locally brewed Guinness Foreign Extra (7.5% vol.) in my verdict as you can't really compare it with the lagers. Anyway, I know this won't help you in your quest. Just to let you know that Cameroon would have a good chance if they were in the competition with one of their own.

    Enjoy the tasting session!

  2. Dear 1860er,

    This is way beyond encyclopaedic knowledge - we bow down to your expertise.

    Fingers crossed we will have one of the above for Sunday (that particular mission is not part of my remit) and if so no-one will be more pleased than myself.

    To be honest, Cameroon have one of the easier COGH groups on paper - but we'll have to see.



  3. I'm guessing the match reports are going to be getting a little shorter from the quarter finals onwards...

  4. Hi Michael,

    I m guessing you could be right. We ve had a hearty breakfast and are just about to plan the big COGH big match day.