Lateral Thinking

Romania specialises in many things; hairdressers, stray dogs and good, cheap, reliable motor cars are just three things that immediately spring to mind.

Another niche Romania has made its own is in broadcasting; namely, The Television Sports Channel That Shows No Sport Of Any Kind niche.

Instead of sport, which of course costs money, these ‘sports’ channels fill the endless hours with ‘news’ and talk shows, in which sport is spoken about but rarely ever seen.

On Saturday, during its hourly news report, the channel (known to many people as No covered the upcoming draw for the qualifying rounds of Euro 2012, which was being held the next day.

For once a real story, worthy of a mention on any sports bulletin.

Yet the news that ‘tomorrow the draw for the qualifying rounds of Euro 2012 will be held in Warsaw, Poland‘ is not all that long, and – until the draw has actually been made and opponents can be analysed – presents little scope for development in to more than a minute or so of airtime.

That’s where the utter genius and lateral thinking abilities of the team comes into play.

For after being told the draw was tomorrow, we were then told that the draw would be compulsory viewing for Romania’s footballers – not in order to find out who they would be playing – but because the draw was being co-presented by one of the Ukraine’s most attractive actresses.

We then got a good five minutes of soft-porn, with a full round up of this woman’s career, and were even told which Romanian players might fancy her the most.

How informative.

16 thoughts on “Lateral Thinking

      1. That’s better.

        I think you are being a bit unfair on the UEFA/Europa League. Yes the teams haven’t qualified for the Champions League but that doesn’t make it meaningless for the teams invovled. The only thing that devalues that competition is the failures from the Champions League joining in once they have been eliminated.


      2. Champions League is better than Europa League only from the quarter-finals and up. Otherwise in the last 16 you can easily see teams of the same value as in Europa League.
        But the last 8 teams in CL are really hard to beat.
        And I agree with Geronimo, EL means something for the clubs involved! For example Sevilla FC were a strong UEFA Cup side before taking the step into CL. It’s a good opportunity for the sides involved to generate some international experience and if good management continues to exist, they can step into the CL groups and with decent results.
        Steaua have qualified for the CL groups but they only got some results when Olaroiu was coach, like the 4-1 in Kiev and the 1-1 in Lyon.
        By the way, while Romanian football is crap, Romanian coaches are of the best quality! I can hardly wait to see Olaroiu and Dan Petrescu managing some important teams.
        Oh and you remember when CFR Cluj beat Roma 2-1 at Olimpico and then they made 0-0 with Chelsea at home? It was Ioan Andone’s results even if he had just left the team and his assistant was on the bench for both games. But Ioan Andone’s style was clearly on display, at Olimpico CFR Cluj played exactly as Dinamo played when they beat Everton 5-1 in Bucharest.
        We have some very very good coaches, I don’t even want to mention Dan Petrescu because he literally did miracles, but Razvan Lucescu is also good and Victor Piturca the former coach of the national team is high quality. He beat Holland in Constanta in the qualifyers and drew with France and Italy (which we should have won) in the group stages of the European Championship.
        Ok, he then lost to Holland but that’s where the limit of our national team stands, we’re not in 1994 anymore.


  1. =))
    C’mon, and gsptv are goods sports channels, only that they don’t do sports they do sports entertainment :))
    There’s always something nice waiting to happen on or gsptv, if you’re bored just turn on the tv and wait until a club owner comes live to tell us the latest about his team :))
    Compared to and gsptv, Eurosport is bullshit, I don’t think I ever watched anything else than snooker on that channel.
    Have you ever seen Peter Hill-Wood live on tv in England talking about Peter Kenyon or Malcolm Glazer?! No, obviously not, you only see the players and that’s it. While here you get to know everything about a football club, the football entertainment industry is huge in Romania, we may well compare it to the WCW wrestling show in the 90’s!


    1. Eurosport does sometimes have to resort to showing weightlifting and such like, but does show the three big cycling tours, Olympics etc. – all at great length. In Romania and Hungary it also shows the English Premier League.

      GSP and show gameshows, It’s-a-knockout style stuff.

      Your point about the bosses of Romanian football clubs hogging so much TV time is a valid one: I have often said that the fact that in the owners of Romanian football teams are more famous than the players says much about the state of Romanian football.

      Nobody even knows what Glazer, Abramovich etc. sound like. Nobody has ever heard them talk.


      1. Yes, exactly, that was the WCW in the 90’s which I loved so much: the wrestlers threatened each other for 2 months and fought for 2 minutes but the accumulated tension was huge and when the 2 minutes came everyone held their breath πŸ™‚
        Of course Romanian footbal is crap but still it sells pretty well compared to the rest of the Eastern Europe, mostly because of the show that the club owners put on. Let’s not forget that each season a Divizia A football club builds it’s budget starting from the broadcasting rights which make a big part of it’s budget for that season. Those broadcasting rights would probably be 25% of what they currently are without the show put on by the owners.
        Let’s not forget that the Serbian clubs sold much more expensive players than us (beginning with Stankovic and further on with Vidic, Zoran Tosic etc…) and still they couldn’t reach our performances in the Uefa Cup.
        I think that we are on the right track, when club owners will find out that 50% of the team is made by the coach (Olaroiu, Razvan Lucescu, Ioan Andone Dinamo – Everton 5-1, Dan Petrescu for example) then we’ll have constant performances on the European stage.


  2. By the way, can anyone name 2 good British coaches? (not including Sir Alex Ferguson) :))
    You know who I like? I like Stuart Baxter, he is currently in charge of the Finnish national team. I know him from 1998 when he took AIK Stockholm in the CL groups where they played against Juventus.
    He was also in charge of Helsingborgs IF a few years ago and he took them into the UEFA Cup group stages and I think they qualified. He had a team with Henrik Larsson and Razak Omotoyossi from Benin and also the Kenyan international who was signed by Inter a few days ago from Parma… forgot his name. Mc Donald Mariga I think.
    Stuart Baxter is a quality coach, however he didn’t get the chance to manage a Premiership team. I wonder why, there are infinetly worse managers in the Premiership.


  3. @Geronimo:

    yes that’s what I meant but I didn’t want to upset Craig :P:P

    I think Moyes was on the bench at that Dinamo – Everton 5-1 :))


    1. I am aware of that game and you are of course right. Moyes is not great because he has won every game but because of his ability to over achieve on meagre resources. Before the advent of the Premiership he would have been winning the league simply because of his ability to find, improve and motivate players. Unfortunately the Premiership has changed that and it is no longer a level playing field for young managers in the UK.

      Football is now a bit rubbish really. Even Chelsea fans must see that.


  4. It’s not so much news about sport, but news about Steaua. That’s basically all you get on Romanian “sport” TV (and in “sport” newspapers). 75% of all coverage is devoted to the goings on there, with the rest of the time devoted to quickly rounding up the other football teams and then, if you’re lucky, a bit about other sports.

    One of the reasons I know that Romania is not completely politically lost is that because of the above fact, Gigi Becali is on TV more than anybody else, and gets hours upon hours of free airtime every week, and yet still only about 1% of the country vote for him


    1. Yes, unfortunately…
      I voted for him in the European Parliament, however I was expecting more from him out there… maybe he couldn’t deliver because his fortune went down.
      I was expecting him to talk about nationalization of foreign companies which put Romanian workers into slavery.
      But Europe don’t worry, if I personally or through some group ever come come to power in Romania we’re gonna discuss in different terms πŸ˜€


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