The UNGODLYs 2014

In sport, glory is temporary; shame is forever.

It is the bad guys (and gals) that truly inspire us – the couch-slobbing, snack-binging, backside-scratching normal members of society – to follow them on their epic journey from hero to zero and on into the minus numbers of drug bans, years in the sporting wilderness and the withdrawal of their Lottery funding.

So well done to Lewis Hamilton and Rory McIlroy, to the German football team and Gareth Bale, to Jo Pavey and Lizzy Yarnold and anyone else who has been remotely good at poncing about in shorts, Lycra, bad trousers or flame-retardant suits.

And now forget all about them.

Because sport is all about the failures, the cheats, the did-that-really-happens and the my-nan-could-do-better-than-that-and-she’s-deads. And that’s what the UNGODLYs are here to celebrate.

Oh, and that’s Up North’s Gongs Of Dis Last Year, in case you were wondering.

And so on to our first award…


3) England, in nearly every sport. We invented most of the damned things and continue to fail miserably at mastering them. So well done us. For our consistency, if nothing else.

2) Approximately 99% of the Russian athletics team. That’s the (conservative and alleged) estimate of how many of them are alleged drugs cheats, allegedly, according to a recent German television documentary. Maybe next year they’ll go all out to make it to the 110% that all sporting achievement seems to be based on. Allegedly.

And the winner is…

Brazil’s football team.

Brazil 1 Germany 7. That is all.

Luiz in tears as usual

David Luiz – Sideshow Blub








3) Nico Rosberg. As the old saying goes: ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, try crashing into ‘em at high speed or deliberately breaking down so as to stop final qualifying at Monaco when you’re on pole’.  It didn’t work though did it, Nico?

2) And in other F1 news…Sebastian Vettel. When you’re the reigning world champion, what better way to welcome a new driver into your team than by being consistently out-qualified, out-performed and out-scored by him? Such selflessness deserves a special prize, and that prize is a move to the dysfunctional world of Ferrari.

And the winner is…

Kevin Pietersen.

He railed against the big egos, the cliques and the self-obsessed in England’s dressing room while somehow failing to notice that he was all of these things himself.

There’s no ‘I’ in team, but there’s two in ‘Kevin Pietersen’ and none in ‘Andy Flower’.


KP – lock, stock and two smoking egos









3) David Moyes. He was ‘The Chosen One’. So he chose a nice red-striped tie and set about losing the dressing room, a great big heap of points and £27.5 million on Marouane Fellaini. He was then chosen again…to be fired.

2) Vladimir Putin. A great sporting year for the cuddliest Russian leader since Stalin. First came the Winter Olympics at Sochi – a triumph for any athlete as long as they weren’t gay – and then the destruction of most of the paperwork concerning Russia’s successful bid for the 2018 World Cup. Throw in a major drugs scandal (see above) and a successful tour of the Crimea and you’ve got all the proof you need that sport and politics really do mix.

And the winner is…

Tom Watson.

Take one good man with a reputation for golfing excellence, add a brilliant European Ryder Cup team, a misfiring American one and an incredibly bitter Phil Mickelson and watch that reputation melt before your very eyes.

And finally…The Big One…The Most Ungodly One Of Them All…

MAN OF THE YEAR (And by ‘man’ we mean ‘human’ rather than just the male of the species)

Honorable mentions to Luis ‘Megabite’ Suarez, Stevie ‘Gravitational Issues’ Gerrard and Spain’s brilliant defence of their World Cup crown.

3) Massimo Cellino. The Leeds owner is not allowed to be the Leeds owner after failing the Football League’s ‘Fit and Proper Person’ test. This is almost impossible to do, like a woman presenting ‘Top Gear Saudi Arabia’ or Liverpool winning the league. But Massimo managed it.


2) At least four of the Iranian women’s football team. Why? Because they were probably blokes.

Iranian women. And men.

As Jimmy Hill always said, it’s a man’s game








And the winner is…

Sepp Blatter.

In 1996, football was coming home, according to Skinner and Baddiel anyway.

Since then, Herr Blatter has been taking football to hell in a handcart. Via Russia, Qatar and a corruption scandal of, well, FIFA proportions.

And yet he’s still planning to stand for yet another term as President.

Wow. Just wow.

Have a happy Christmas, a cracking new year and let’s hope for all our sporting sakes that 2015 is as ungodly as ever.