The jokes came thick and fast on Twitter after Manchester United’s 2-0 first leg Champions League defeat by Olympiakos in Athens: “The greatest Hellenic triumph since George Michael’s Careless Whisper.”
Former footballers were equally unforgiving: "MUFC have had the odd bad day over the years, but I cannot recall such an abject, hopeless, forlorn performance,” tweeted ex-England international Gary Lineker. “And against such mediocrity."
Then there were the photoshopped pictures of Manchester United’s tactical shape joined together by a thick red line spelling out “LOL.”
Wednesday’s media headlines tightened the tourniquet.
Tabloid newspaper the Sun went for full punning scorn: “Pitta-ful Utd in Greek tragedy as fans demand … MOUSACKA MOYES.”
Arguably only three events at the Winter Games could be deemed low risk to athletes' health. That is to say, with a small chance of injury from speed, stage or equipment.
By my reckoning curling, cross-country skiing and biathlon are low risk, though even in the last discipline - given athletes are carrying a firearm - there is a potential for injury.
All the others border on the bonkers end of the risk spectrum when you take a moment to assess them. Other global sport competitions just can't match the feast of fear-conquering on show here.
In the Summer Games, the 100 meters is undoubtedly a tough competition to take part in, but the injury threat it carries can't be too dissimilar from a walk in the park.
The last time Manchester City played Barcelona, I got Shaun Goater to sign the match program. It was ten seasons ago and Ronaldinho and co. had rolled into town for the commemorative opening match at City’s new home, The City of Manchester Stadium.
Goater, the Bermudan striker, had left City for Reading at the end of the previous season after scoring 103 goals in 212 appearances during five years at the club. He’d arrived on a £400,000 transfer from Bristol City and achieved lifelong cult status with City fans for his never-say-die, bundle-it-in, keep-on-fighting attitude through the yoyo years.
The fans’ anthem, to the tune of the Welsh hymn Bread of Heaven, summed up everything about City in the managerial years of Joe Royle and Kevin Keegan: a bit daft but endearing and full of passion and ironic self-belief: "Feed the goat, feed the goat, feed the goat and he will score." FULL POST
Let's wind this back a bit. In the 1960s, during the height of the Cold War, the United States of America and the Soviet Union took the world to the brink of nuclear war over 13 long days of missile mayhem in Cuba.
How nice then, that in 2014, not only are we all still alive and breathing but that relations have improved to such an extent that when the mother country of the USSR, Russia, now hosts an Olympics, America turns up to participate.
Better still, all of the historical grievances, cultural differences and national posturing can live on, peacefully, through the prism of a sport both nations are completely united in their passion over.
Ice hockey: It's the game that always takes top billing at the Winter Olympics, the men's final has a box-office appeal that no other event can match. And it's easy to see why.
It's not a fashionable thing, to report good news.
As a reporter the focus is all too often on unearthing the "sexier" headline and go straight for the jugular. And let's face it, Sochi has had plenty of bad press.
"Tradition is the living faith of the dead" as theologian Jan Pelikan once said and I'm in romantic mood, and not only because Valentine's Day is just around the corner.
So here's a thought for you - Sochi is proving more charming than anticipated. FULL POST