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NOW that we are counting the months to London 2012, everything is becoming increasingly intense.
Some days just stick in your mind forever. It was a filthy wet Saturday afternoon in March in Gloucester, and I'd been sent to Kingsholm to report on the Cherry & Whites' match against the Blue Bulls of Northern Transvaal. Only there were no cherries, no blues: it was dark and muddy and raining, and the only thing you could see were the sneaky rabbit punches raining in at each ruck as the West Country knuckle-draggers got to grips with the feisty hairybacks from the High Veldt.
Last weekend was the midway point in the school holidays. When I think back to where I used to be at that precise moment - fishing for podleys, chasing Red Admirals or, inspired by the Open which had just happened, thwacking golf balls into the North Sea with a rusty mashie niblick held together with blue masking tape - it's no surpise that hardly anyone turned up at Easter Road and some of the other SPL grounds.
I love the BBC. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than immersing myself in Radio 4, listening to Question Time, or mentally taking issue with one of Nicky Campbell's more self-righteous flights of fancy. I also love sport of virtually any hue or breed. I once got bored by bowls, and I'm not sure about baseball, truck driving or synchronised swimming, but virtually anything else will do.
KRIS Boyd can pick 'em, can't he? He signs up for the Gordon Strachan era at Middlesbrough and the whole thing collapses around his ears, he decamps to Nottingham Forest where Billy Davies shows him a bit of love - and then Davies gets sacked. Privately, he sends out the SOS to Rangers but Rangers don't want to know him anymore. As the saying goes, if he didn't have bad luck he'd have no luck at all.
I have long been fascinated by what football people say. Not the actual content, which often isn't as fascinating as you'd hope, but the alacrity with which words and phrases are passed around - like oranges used to be at half-time, like tweets about orgies are now - and quickly become part of the game's language.
Scotland is vehement in its opposition to a Team GB, but the BOA's Andy Hunt is appealling directly to the players and the SFA admits it is powerless to stop him
IN 1994, John Harper sat down with his wife, Tracy, weighing up whether they should take the plunge. Barrhead isn't a bad place to raise a family - in fact, it is one of the best - but after several years in the navy, and a few holidays in Spain, he wondered if he could do more for his two children.
From time to time in the tennis world he still gets a mention. Like recently, when Novak Djokovic went on a run of 43 straight wins on tour, a fantastic achievement but nothing compared to Big Bill Tilden's glorious 98 at the height of his pomp in the Roaring Twenties.
You just can't just help yourself, can you? As soon as a season's done - and particularly a season like the last one - you make theatrical pronouncements about being glad to see the back of "the bloody football".
The year is 1973 and Jack Nicklaus is home alone. Showing on television is the Belmont Stakes, the third and final leg of American horse racing's Triple Crown.
IT'S been simmering under for a while now and last week the tensions within the Scottish Rugby Union oozed to the surface like primordial slime. Ever since a disastrous press briefing when the scribblers took Gordon McKie to task, the chief executive's mask has slipped and, if the emperor isn't quite parading around in the altogether, neither can he claim to be sporting Armani's finest.
Twitter came of age as a football phenomenon last week, proving itself as vital to the game as the rattle, the TV show Quiz Ball and the Burberry washbag in their respective eras.
When Rangers opened Murray Park I think fans of other clubs must have feared the worst. While their teams were having to make do with bibs and cones and dog poo and grumpy parkies and desultory minibus journeys in search of wet-weather alternatives, some very un-Scottish phrases like "state-of-the-art" and "high-tech" were being applied to a training complex set to propel the Ibrox club over the hill and far away.
DECIDING what's next for me is still on the back burner. I honestly don't know if I will play on but, given that Ally McCoist is going to be the manager, he will be the biggest factor in that. If he wants me to stay then I have a decision to make. If he doesn't want me then I don't have a decision to make.
If you are ever asked at a pub quiz the date that Gerry Britton last played in an SPL fixture, if you are really serious about scooping the £25 behind the bar, to be split between you and your 15 fellow team members, the answer required is May 22 2005.
IT'S been a season of two halves, both of them rank rotten.