Let’s not kid ourselves, the return of ‘I’m A Celeb’ has been more entertaining than the international break, hasn’t it?
While England have been proving they can only beat countries within the name template of ‘Ieland’, you’ve been able to watch penises and testicles chomped up without having to scramble for a private browser (we don’t judge around here).
Besides, Ant and Dec seem to have better chemistry than half the Germany squad, Vernon Kay was moving more barrels of s*** than Manuel Neuer was making saves and their defense got more of a battering than Jordan North’s esophagus.
‘I’m A Celeb’ vs international football
Now, as much as that might make footballing hipsters’ round-lensed glasses plop into their latté, I don’t think I’ve been alone in checking my watch for 21:00 as the Three Lions cruise to a win over their latest ‘Ieland’ victim.
But perhaps let’s find a middle ground and imagine what ‘I’m A Celeb’ would be like with footballers and footballers alone… that’s got to beat San Marino vs Gibraltar, surely?
You know, Cristiano Ronaldo doing his ‘cojones’ celebration after eating, erm, cojones; Steve Bruce replacing Kiosk Cledwyn and Emmanuel Adebayor being right at home in a Bushtucker trial full of snak– woah, sorry, can you tell I’m a Gooner?
Either that or they could recruit Roy Keane to make him face challenges ranging from Micah Me Vomit and Give Me A B̶r̶e̶a̶k̶ Broken Leg to Stuck in Fergatory and On A Haaland to Hell.
One For The Road
But whatever your tipple – whether the jungle or football kind – we have exactly the refreshment you need on the back of a whacky week of sport, so pour yourself ‘One For The Road’ here at the sanatorium of GIVEMESPORT.
Trivia of the week
Can you name the three players who started for England in both the 2-1 defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016 and this week’s 4-0 victory over the same opponents? Answers at the bottom of the newsletter.
Gone in three seconds
Along with ‘I’m A Celeb’, those who hate international football the most would probably argue that getting your cranium smashed into Heinz Vegetable Soup by bare knuckles is also more gripping than the UEFA Nations League.
Ok, maybe not, but at the very least, we’ve found a method that puts you to sleep quicker than any England game could because the fastest knockout in the history of bare-knuckle boxing took place this week.
Donelei Benedetto was given a one-way ticket to the Land of Nod when Ulysses Diaz poleaxed him with a punch so terrifying that I’m writing this newsletter in the foetal position in the corner of my bedroom with 15 teddy bears.
But if knocking one out in three seconds is your thing, remember what we said about not judging, then be sure to check out the full footage here.
Letter: Hi Kobe. My name’s Mason and people are giving me a really hard time at the moment. They don’t seem to appreciate my work and are accusing me of having inappropriate relationships with my two bosses.
Response: Hi Mason, thanks for writing in. Let’s face it, it’s not easy living in the shadow of a sexy friend who seems to have wooed the entire country, while you get the blame whenever you turn up without him.
They’re sitting there, belt unbuckled, waiting for Gorgeous Grealish to strut his stuff with that majestic mane, that golden-tongued accent, those mesmerising feet, those chiseled abs… uhum, christ, yeh, he is effective, isn’t he?
But that shouldn’t take away from your qualities, Mase, because if there isn’t footage of you taking part in a strange spooning triangle with Gareth Southgate and Frank Lampard, then I ain’t buying it.
Nine goals for Chelsea and three strikes for England is something to be proud of at 21 years old; most people scoring that often at your age need a trip to the Sexual Health clinic afterwards.
So, keep your head up, reassure yourself that being slagged off despite being top-quality means aficionados will call you ‘underrated’ and just don’t hug Lampard so much that the tabloids think you’re having triplets.
You know those old news clips of Americans on Black Friday: people pressing their cheeks against glass sliding-doors like zoo animals ready to tear their neighbour’s scalp off and trample toddlers just because there’s 10% off a toaster?
Well, the virtual version of that happened this week as the UK and Europe simultaneously creamed and soiled themselves at the release of the PlayStation 5 after approximately two millennia of build-up.
When we tried getting into Currys PC World on Wednesday, there were 167,368 people in the queue – which is more than the population of 16 countries – and thousands had their orders cancelled because of an error at their end.
I haven’t been that p***ed off at ‘Currys’ since my local gave me a vindaloo instead of a korma and trust me, that’s only the first dad joke of the newsletter – find out more about the carnage here.
Letter: Hi Kobe, it’s Deontay. I lost the biggest fight of my life back in February, but I’m bewildered that the whole world is annoyed with me since I came up with a load of bogus excuses more than eight months down the line!?
Response: Look, Deontay, I really, really feel for you here, because there are now more reasons you lost to Tyson Fury than you lasted rounds against him, it’s no wonder you didn’t stand… a chance, I meant to add ‘a chance’. Sorry.
First off, I don’t know how you managed to throw a punch after wearing the whole Blackpool Illuminations during your ring-walk but, to your credit, it was worth looking like a Batman knock-off to completely incapacitate your legs.
Oh lord and your coach throwing in the towel – what was he doing!? He must have thought he was a psycho tourist at 5am eying up the best sunbed and not mercifully looking after your health as you were getting pummelled. *Nervously laughs*
And now we’re onto Fury’s fingernails, woof. Hugh Jackman only quit the role of Wolverine because he knew the ‘Gypsy King’ was packing such claws and ‘I’ll have the Fury please’ is now the most popular order in nail salons.
Then there’s the spiked drink… I feel for you there. If I was a coach in the corner of one of the biggest fights of my life, I would also be like: ‘f*** it, shall I jeopardise my fighter’s chance of winning for a laugh?’
And then the biased ref, the foreign objects in the gloves, the position of the moon, the aliens in Area 51, the Cookie Monster, the meaning of life itself… ok, maybe not the last few.
But in seriousness, stop it, Deontay. Regardless of what you genuinely thought happened… please, for the love of the sport, act like a champion out of the ring just as you did for so long in it.
Lionel Messi ‘told to show respect’
UEFA are releasing a new documentary called ‘Man In The Middle, which, by way of revealing real conversations from big European matches, probably has half the sport praying their ‘put your f***ing glasses on ref’ didn’t make the cut.
And while Messi probably didn’t use those exact words, footage of him being put down by the match official during Barcelona‘s 3-0 win over Liverpool in 2019 – what could go wrong there? – was indeed made public.
You can’t help chuckling at the cosmic foreboding of Messi being ‘told to show respect’ in a game that would feel right at home on the ‘photos taken right before disaster’ Twitter account.
So, in a week where Messi declared ‘Two times you’ve f***ed us’ at technology – whatever you’re into, Leo – be sure to do yourself a favour and check out his ‘Man in the Middle’ appearance here.
Accidental football punditry
What do Mary Berry’s pet hate and Joachim Low’s emotions at 6-0 down against Spain have in common? Soggy bottom.
See, I told you the terrible jokes weren’t over and it seems as though Great British Bake-Off finalist Peter had discovered Luis Enrique’s pre-match team-talk for the thrashing instead of focusing on his patisserie showstopper.
I can’t vouch for whether the philosophy behind nailing a chocolate, raspberry and pistachio cube cake is indeed the same as beating former world champions but, to be fair, both ended in qualifying for finals.
Football TV schedule
Saturday November 21
Newcastle United v Chelsea (BT Sport 1)
Aston Villa v Brighton & Hove Albion (BT Sport 1)
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City (Sky Sports Main Event)
Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion (BT Sport 1)
Sunday November 22
Fulham v Everton (BBC One)
Sheffield United v West Ham United (Sky Sports Main Event)
Leeds United v Arsenal (Sky Sports Main Event)
Liverpool v Leicester City (Sky Sports Main Event)
Monday November 23
Burnley v Crystal Palace (Sky Sports Main Event)
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Southampton (Sky Sports Main Event)
Tuesday November 24
Rennes v Chelsea (BT Sport 3)
Manchester United v Istanbul Basaksehir (BT Sport 2)
Wednesday November 25
Olympiakos v Manchester City (BT Sport 3)
Inter Milan v Real Madrid (BT Sport ESPN)
Liverpool v Atalanta (BT Sport 2)
Thursday November 25
Molde v Arsenal (BT Sport 2)
SC Braga v Leicester City (BT Sport 1)
Tottenham Hotspur v Ludogorets (BT Sport 2)
Top of the stops: Premier League
=1. Rui Patricio (Wolverhampton Wanderers) – 4 clean sheets
=1. Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa) – 4
=1. Alex McCarthy (Southampton) – 4
=3. Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham United) – 3
=3. Edouard Mendy (Chelsea) – 3
=3. Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City) – 3
Top of the shots: Premier League
=1. Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) – 8 goals
=1. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – 8
=1. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – 8
=1. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) – 8
=5. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – 7
=5. Patrick Bamford (Leeds United) – 7
=7. Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) – 6
=7. Callum Wilson (Newcastle United) – 6
Can you name the three players who started for England in both the 2-1 defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016 and this week’s 4-0 victory over the same opponents?
1. Kyle Walker
2. Eric Dier
3. Harry Kane
Bish, bash, bosh, you’ve made it. The international break is flushed down the toilet until 2021 and you can almost taste Manchester City vs Tottenham and Liverpool vs Leicester like a stunning roast dinner.
That’s not to mention the fact we’ll be previewing Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr next week as they fight over each other’s bus passes and the lion’s share of their state pensions to close out this godforsaken year.
Besides, if the return of ‘I’m A Celeb’ can help in any way at all, it’s probably that the best way to treat 2020 as we mercifully wiggle out from its vice-like grip is indeed to scream: GET ME OUT OF HEREEEEEEE!!!