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   Friday, 17 January, 2003, 11:21 GMT
The weight debate
BBC Sport Online columnist Derek 'Robbo' Robson questions whether Jennifer Capriati and Serena Williams are really nine stone weaklings.

Hello Robbo.

Hello son.

How are you?

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Good point for Boro last weekend - or two dropped?

Well, the most amazing thing was that we got a penalty!! First one since September 2001 - amazing!

Maccarone stepped up and put it pasta goalie. You can't stop us with those pasta puns when he's on the pitch

Massimo Maccarone
Is Maccarone pasta his best?

He's not doing much else at the moment though, is he?

No, a bit like the pasta in our house.

OK, moving on to the first question, and it comes from Petra in the UK.

She says: Dear Robbo, I hear Serena Williams and Jennifer Capriati both reckon they weigh just over nine stones in the official WTA handbook - nearly two stones lighter than Venus - oh really?

In Capriati's case, nine stone but the other arm's a bit bigger. And there's no way Serena's nine stone, even though she's a fit lass 'n' all.

I know that for a fact, because I tried going down the gym - once. Anyway, I put myself on the scales after three weeks and I was heavier than when I started.

The bloke says: "Well, that's probably because you've turned a lot of your fat into muscle and muscle's heavier than fat."

So I said, well if I've got the choice, I'll take the fat option - and I went home.

On that basis I reckon Serena can't be that much lighter than her sister.

Jennifer Capriati
Stone me - look at those arms!

It's typical that a woman's picked up on that by the way, Petra - a bit of an unfortunate name for those of you who watched Blue Peter when I did.

Where's the sisterhood here? I'm a bloke and I would never comment on anyone's weight. Just let them be.

I really don't think it matters how fat Capriati is. When she's fit she seems to do all right.

Have your say

Next up is Chris from Carlisle who says: With you all the way, Robbo - James Beattie for England - time to ditch Heskey.

In fact Owen can go as well for the time being, let's see Defoe get a run - and Barry on the left side of midfield.

On the same subject we have Claire who makes this point: Never mind Beattie, what about bringing Shearer back?

Ah bloody hell! Go on.

Big Al's in sparkling form and could certainly show those Turkish boys a trick or two! Failing that, it's gotta be Rooney.

Well I'm all for change at the moment. I think people have worked out Owen - sit a bit deeper and he can't run past you. Simple as that. So he might as well not bother playing.

Not sure about Beattie. I think I was trying to imply that he might be one of those Andy Cole type characters who looks good in a team that's playing well - but might be a bit of a Carsten Jancker when he pulls on an England shirt.

He's a good looking lad, though, so the girls will want him in the team.

Alan Shearer
Quick, where's the halo polisher?

And did he say Barry? No, no, no son. Not Barry - he's rubbish. We've got Cole and Bridge, they'll do for now - until someone who can kick the ball with his left foot properly comes along.

As for Shearer - NO!! He had his chance and he backed out.

We're not going to St James Park with our begging bowl saying please help us out, Al, we're in a bit of a scrape.

Let's face it, he's not short of people to lick his boots at Newcastle - they even employ people there to polish his halo!

But Rooney, get him in. That lad's developing so quickly he'll be on a zimmer frame by the time he's 25.

So let's try Rooney and Beattie for now. Heskey's a nice lad, but he's not good enough. His acting's not very good in that trailer for the World Cup either.

Have your say

Right, we'll put that one to bed for the moment. Here's Aidan from England on the Olympics:

Everyone would like the Olympics to come to the North, but it's not physically possible!

Millenniumm Dome
The London bid is Domed from the start

Manchester airport does not have the capacity required - this is why London is the only place in England that has a realistic chance of winning the Olympics if it were to bid for them.

That's more bloody Cockney bias that is - they always pull out the airport excuse.

Nobody can get up to the north of England? You never bloody try, that's why!

There's loads of airports up here, not just one in Manchester. And do you think they can't build another one in seven years if they have to?

These southerners just want it all for themselves. 'Ooh, we're closer to Europe, people can get a train straight here'. Well it's not that much closer.

It takes you two hours to get across London for a start. And you've had your chance - Pickett's Lock, the Dome, Wembley Stadium - you've just made a disgrace of yourselves down there.

If it's gonna be London it might as well be Paris as far as I'm concerned.

Have your say

OK. Finally, Kev from Swindon says: We may not have any Brits (or Canadians) to support in the Australian Open tennis, but how about the unfancied Aussie who knocked out Carlos Moya - Mardy Fish!!! What a name!

What a name! Mardy Fish! I mean we've got Julie Salmon and Steve Guppy, but Mardy Fish - that's like Angry Haddock.

You could have a whole team of irritated ocean dwellers! Work on it, people, and we'll see if we can get one together.

I don't think we can follow that. Good luck to Boro for the weekend.

And good luck to QPR. You seem to be stabilising the ship a bit.

QPR's Kevin Gallen
QPR need to keep playing rubbish teams

Well we do, but we've beaten four crap teams and now we're going to get the good ones, so we'll see what happens.

We've got Plymouth on Saturday, who couldn't beat Dagenham, but then we couldn't beat Vauxhall.

Well I'd recommend nobody turns up to that one!

You might be right. See you, Robbo.

Ta-ta, son.

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 Derek 'Robbo' Robson
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