Green Notebook from Portimao

I often use the expression “pecking order” in articles about Formula 1, but I realised the other night that I had no idea what it actually meant. I discovered this vital gem of knowledge because a poorly-calibrated Portuguese rooster decided to crow at three forty-five in the morning, waking sleeping dogs who naturally wanted to continue to enjoy the Land of Nod and so barked what I took to be canine abuse at the foul fowl. I presume this included threats to turn said cockerel into a capon. I am not one who believes in violence but I have to admit that he, she or it (even chickens must be treated fairly in the Age of Woke) should have been transformed into a chicken nugget to be dunked into tomato ketchup and eaten by a fat kid, which I concluded was the ultimate in humiliation for a proud rooster.

Once I was awake, of course, that was it and so, being an inquisitive soul by nature, I decided to investigate why it is that cocks crow in the morning and I soon stumbled upon a 2013 research paper from the University of Nagoya in Japan, which explained that chickens have a very complex societal structure, which means that the most powerful hen is allowed to peck the others, but the second most powerful can only peck those less powerful and so on until there is one poor chicken who can only indulge in self-harm or trampling poor unsuspecting worms.

Amazingly, it seems that crowing is the same. The most powerful rooster gets to crow first and then the others may follow, but only in the order of their importance. So, if the leader of the gang is out of sync with nature, they all are… As to why they crow when they crow, it seems that they have some built-in mechanism that usually works.

I relate these tales only because it might help the reader to understand the trials of life as a Formula 1 racing reporter on the road in Portugal. To be fair, we don’t have much dealing with chickens in F1, although some of the Continental members of the F1 community seem to think that a deviation in the race track is called a “chicken” rather than a chicane.

Still, we do have a pecking order and after three races things are becoming a little more clear. For now, everyone can still say: “We’ve only had three races…” but a couple more Grands Prix and we’ll be getting towards a quarter of the season (because I don’t think anyone really believes we will get 23 races this year) and that means that the Silly Season can begin and decisions can be made about who is going to drive where in 2022. And the signs are that the market will probably move quite quickly because drivers and their managements will be wary of suggestions (from Zak Brown) that driver costs should be regulated to put the sport on a more level playing field. What he means by this is that drivers should have a salary cap.

Thus deals that are done early could end up being more valuable than contracts that are negotiated later in the year, if any action comes as a result of Brown’s suggestions. We know that a number of drivers are on the market at the end of the current season and there will probably be some other changes brought on by poor performances from a driver or a team. The older generation of F1 drivers are still hoping that their experience is worth more than speed, but the fact remains that racing is about getting results and if they are not doing so then they need to watch out. So, Kimi needs to beat Antonio, Seb needs to beat Lance and Fernando needs to beat Esteban. Oh, and Valtteri needs to beat Lewis as well, because George is snapping at VB’s heels. And Red Bull has to decide whether it wants to keep Sergio Perez for another year and things are complicated because the Austrians have five drivers and four seats and Alex Albon is too good to waste, as there are other teams who would be happy to get him. 

Pierre Gasly has more than proved his worth at Scuderia AlphaTauri but there are currently no obvious opportunities for him outside the Red Bull structure, unless he is pushed out. He doesn’t fit with the ethos of Scuderia AlphaTauri, which is to develop young drivers for Red Bull Racing… 

Traditionally, the start of the European season is when the talks begin to get serious and with Monaco coming up, the so-called “Silly Season” should become more lively. After five races teams and drivers are in a better position to know where there are – and what they want to do in the future.

Brown’s letter to the world, which was published by McLaren, made a few interesting points, including mentioning the fact that it is unheard of on Netflix for a series to rate better with its third iteration than with its first. He concluded that this was down to the human stories of the protagonists and because Drive to Survive is an entry level guide to a very complex sport. He was not very keen on the ever-increasing schedule of races which “places a challenging physical and mental strain on travelling personnel” and said that it would be better to race across 25 markets but have only 20 races with 15 of them fixed and five rotating between two different venues. Variety, he concluded, is good and allows room for new countries to host a grand prix, while maintaining a level of scarcity value in our sport.

My view on this is pretty much the same. I think 25 races is too many and if they want to push up revenues they should squeeze more money out of the “nasty” and rich governments and hit their revenue targets in this way. It’s not that I don’t like travelling, but I also like some time at home and as the years have gone on, that has been squeezed more and more. A season used to be just 16 races, mainly in Europe and now it is (in theory) 23 all across the world. This year, of course, it is harder than ever because of COVID restrictions. We thought it was tough last year, but this year is a lot harder and we are now down to just two journalists who have done all 20 races since the world went mental. This is hurting the sport because pay-TV, which has all the access these days can only do so much. If you look at the numbers of viewers, it is a fraction of what it used to be, even if the revenues are better. This is no good for any sport.

It is interesting to note that in Germany, where the rights are held by Sky Deutschland, he viewing numbers have collapsed of late, but the former broadcaster RTL has just done a deal with Sky to broadcast four F1 races this year because it seems to have realised that giving up F1 was not a great idea as Sebastian Vettel’s move to Aston Martin and the arrival of Mick Schumacher have made more Germans interested in the sport.

Ultimately the way to go is probably for the sport to get rid of the middle men and go direct to consumers with a reasonable price for watching a race, and if they like other levels of access for the richer folk who want more. But pay-TV does not generate new business. This is why Netflix has been so important for F1 but it is also why they need the written media (which, by the way, has a far larger reach than pay-TV) because it is the scribblers who give the TV chatterers their leads. In any case, TV can only ever tell a pretty basic story, with a few sound bites, stitched in. It is the writers who weave the tapestry that turns casual fans into people who will pay money to attend races and buy F1 merchandise. F1’s stated goal is to turn its casual fans into paying customers and so it should really be supporting the media. Some of the people at the FIA understand this but I get the impression that some of people who deal with COVID rules don’t have a clue, but are enjoying their time in power.

Some TV people may have the ability to get drivers to open up and be themselves, but a TV camera is an intimidating piece of machinery and with a team PR person standing nearby, the drivers – particularly the younger ones – tend to say only bland things, if only to protect themselves. But while bland might be good for them, it very definitely isn’t the best thing for the sport. We need a grid full of characters: good guys, bad guys, monosyllabic Finns and garrulous Australians. What we don’t need is PR police so teams should allow the drivers more freedom to say what they really think. Hopefully, F1 writers will soon be allowed back into the paddock and not have to stand in a cage with COVID police peeking out of windows policing them lest they get within 1m75 of the person they are talking to. I still struggle to understand what the difference is between a TV journalist and a written journalist when it comes to our ability to spread viruses. The statistics clearly shows that the TV people are far more dangerous to the sport than the journalists are, and the worst of the lot are the drivers, who seem to be a bunch of superspreaders and should be avoided at all costs!

Anyway, I continue to avoid airports, which look more and more like virus factories. The open road is free and easy and airy and one is in control of one’s own destiny and not stuck in an airport at the mercy of airlines that cancel flights without even blinking. The paperwork involved in driving seems to be less as well, although it is still pretty daunting and if one documents is not there, you are torpedoed if anyone asks. The trip to Portugal is the longest of the year, as the drive from home to Budapest is a piffling 1,000 miles, while the trip to Portimao is a solid 1,300. I didn’t work it all out very much but I am pretty sure that driving costs more, takes longer and causes wear and tear on the person and the vehicle, but I don’t care. I get to go to the races and I feel safe doing it. I take a stack of documents wherever I go and I keep shoving bits of paper at policemen, if they ask, until they give up asking questions and wave you through.

Driving also gives you a little more respect for the F1 teams need to do, sending dozens of trucks from place to place. But we all seem to keep turning up in the right places, so we must be doing something vaguely right. I am sure that the teams have everything planned out in military detail, but I tend not to do that. I just wing it (it’s not hard these days, as there are so few people on the move) and so, after a beautiful day driving across France, I found myself in the rather unbeautiful city of Miranda de Ebro.

If I was writing a travel blog rather than a motor racing column I could wax lyrical about the glories of the A28, which crosses Normandy from Rouen to Le Mans and never has any traffic as it works it way from glory to glory, but let’s just say that it starts near the Circuit of Rouen-Les-Essarts and ends up near Circuit de La Sarthe. I had time to stop and look up Robert le Diable, because there is a chateau (ruin) named after him, which one sees on those brown “Points of interest” signs you see across Europe. I was wondering who he was because I didn’t remember the name and so I was delighted to learn that I hadn’t forgotten some obscure king with a silly name like Charles the Simple, Louis le Fainéant (Lazy) or William the Bastard, because Robert was a medieval myth, who discovered, so they say, that he was the son of Satan. I guess Mummy has a wild night out with some undesirables at some point…

The Franco-Spanish frontier had a lot of blue flashing lights but no-one paid me any attention and I was waved through without a document being inspected. After leaving France I didn’t see a non-Spanish car until I had crossed the border into Portugal. The signs in Spain declare every few miles that there is a “Estado d’alarma” – a state of emergency.

If you haven’t heard of Miranda de Ebro, you should try to imagine a sort Spanish version of Crewe, a big railway junction, where lines from east and west met those from north and south. Sadly, it’s not really remembered for that, but rather because it was a very nasty prison camp where the unlovely General Franco had lots of people killed and incarcerated international prisoners.

I left without a backward glance and pottered amid majestic cathedral-like rock formations of the Montes Obarenes range before finding the motorway again and climbing up on to the plateau of Castille, where one is about 2,500ft above sea level. The signs suggest that one should watch out for “bancos de nieblas” and there are snow poles and signs for refuges so this must be wild country when the sun is not out.

I decided at Salamanca to take a different route to last year and headed south on the Autovia de La Plata (literally, the silver motorway) which follows the path of an old pilgrimage route that goes north to Santiago de Compostela. Heading south, one crosses the Sierra de Béjar (where the fog is super-thick) and then across the plains of Extramadura to Caceres and Merida, and from there into Portugal, by way of Badajoz.

Roosters aside, it has been an enjoyable week in Portugal, even if we were under lockdown conditions in some areas (but not in others). Now F1 has gone and the hotel is filled with bicycle teams which have arrived for the Volta ao Algarve.

If people think F1 is invasive, they should watch out for cycle teams. My car in the hotel car park is completely surrounded by Ineos Grenadier vehicles are other paraphenalia and the hotel dining room (quite important in these days without restaurants) has been taken over by the said team, UAE Team Emirates and Deceuninck Quick-Step.

It’s interesting to see how they operate, but I’ll be happy to get on the road again. Next stop Ciudad Real, en route to Barcelona…

57 thoughts on “Green Notebook from Portimao

  1. Where to begin, well with chickens first. Both because I have experience in that area, and it is relevant to my other observations. Our cockerel, Simon, is not top of our pecking order. I might rename him Seb.

    If I were Toto I would be looking at Lando, and if I was George, I would be worried about that. If I was Bottas I would be talking to broadcasters.

    In many ways, driver-wise, I think we have one of the best ever grids if you ignore Mazepin, who possibly deserves half a season before he is judged. But as the Hulk knows, not everyone can be a winner.

    My suspicion is next season there will be some high-level casualties. Some of them might even be unexpected, and I suspect they might involve the entire field from first to last

    So my far out predictions. Gasly to Alpine. Norris to Merc ,Russell to McLaren. Retiring Bottas, Kimi and Seb, Ocon demoted (sadly) and Mazepin had better have a lot of legitimate money behind him

    1. Speaking of chickens and pecking orders, the pecking can be fatal and chickens can turn cannibalistic and eat their own…….

      1. And then there’s the “Henpecked” term. Means that the female is the boss over the male…

        1. There’s a town park down the street from me called Henpeck Park. I kid you not. I have no idea how it got it’s name.

  2. Hi Joe, thanks for your Green Book update! I think you’d have been much happier stopping of in Vitoria rather than Mirada del Ebro. With that in mind, and whilst I am sure you must have good reason to travel to Ciudad Real, Toledo en route to Madrid (and then the A2 up to Barcelona) would be a more interesting option. Or Almagro, near Ciudad Real, a pretty place to stop off! Or you can always come to Madrid and I’ll invite you to a beer, whilst everyone is busy voting in the regional elections.

    Incidentally, the “silver motorway” gets its name from the Vía de la Plata (the silver route), a paved route built by the Romans connecting the North and South of Spain. But whilst the Romans did take a load of gold and silver out of the Iberian peninsula, I understand that the name of the road is not connected to that, but down to an ancient spelling mistake!

  3. Good luck with Ciudad Real. Spent a year there in the mid 70s and never felt the need to return.

    Ref pay TV,here in Spain Movistar has been obliged by mínimal and ever-dwindling audiences to do a deal with DAZN. So now we are able to stream the same content as Movistar for just 10€ month, plus MotoGP, Premier League etc, etc. Surely the future is in volume, not exclusión by paywall?

    Goodwood did a fantastic job of streaming their C19 hit product to the world last year. And Mónaco historic got a lot of exposure last week. We don’t need no steenkin’ TV companies.

    Get Outlook for Android


    1. Ironic. When I booked the hotel I hadn’t looked closely enough at the roads and Ciudad Real made no sense so I cancelled and am now in a town called Valdepenas

  4. Yet more great insight Joe and as I am sure he reads this blog, but if not why not, a message to Ross Brawn. F1 needs Joe, all fans need Joe to have full access the the Paddock, the Teams and Drivers. Being a F1 fan for may decades and now a SKY couch fan, keep up the good work Ted, we see many TV ‘experts’ but also a multitude of ‘hangers-on’ in the Paddock. Please, please allow Joe and the other F1 journalists back in so that they can help you to publicise F1 with good reporting and information on the sport.

    1. Yes, surely Ross Brawn would see the logic of Joe – and other traditional and professional journalists – now being allowed back into the F1 paddock.

  5. Mr. Saward, in your automobile travels do you rely on traditional paper maps or online maps to plan your route? Do you use a GPS on your phone or is your vehicle equipped with a map in the dashboard? Do you use a dash cam ?

      1. I’d strongly recommend Waze. Far better than all the car manufacturers sat nav’s, which will undoubtedly get you there, but often on an awful route.

        18 months after I told my girlfriend, she absolutely…has considered downloading it for herself.

        1. I agree. I have used Waze for many years. It’s strength is when there are unexpected changes as it reroutes quite well. It does sometimes take you on strange routes if those roads are frequently busy at certain times, but might not be at the time.
          Google maps is almost as good. Waze uses the same data as it is now part of Google, I think.

  6. Do you believe in a team reshuffle (somewhere) in this season backfired by the Silly Season or for getting results ?
    Do you support having fixed circuits on the calendar and having others being in/out to have more diversity and spice?
    About an A28 route for your travel blog. Next time, let me suggest to you a new path from France to Algarve. A bit longer but with new fragrances. A28 at the border of Portugal and Galiza (Tui/Valença) to Oporto. Enjoy!

  7. The spirit of DSJ Continental Correspondent lives on.
    Are you driving a Porsche 356 by any chance?

  8. Re your observations on the treatment of print journalists in F1 these days, I think it does at least partly reflect a corporate disdain for uncontrolled media on the part of Liberty, and their belief they can get away with it in F1 as ‘owners’ of the sport when they would never be able to in stick-and/or-ball sports with local teams covered by local media. A degree of control freakery has always been part of the F1 subculture (and is of course a guiding principle for the FIA), but at least when Bernie was captain of the pirate ship he could see F1 needed to maximise exposure and accommodated all kinds of outlets and perspectives. I don’t really see a way out short of enlightened self-interest prevailing amongst the decision makers at Liberty – keeping in mind that the senior management’s understanding of F1 and its appeal must still be quite superficial after only a few years in charge. Perhaps Domenicali will make the difference…

  9. I wondered why a lot of the TV chatter was suddenly about Lewis being keen to extend his one year contract.

  10. A great note book read again – thanks Joe, really enjoyed your explanation of the “pecking order” and the historian’s view of the travel routes.

    “The statistics clearly shows that the TV people are far more dangerous to the sport than the journalists are” – I cannot understand how and why the F1 industry has not designed a face mask that stays in place when talking, after all this time? Watching the Channel 4 (UK) highlights programmes taken from Sky output, I wince at the two resident commentators who seem to have, almost, “access all areas”; ex racing driver Coulthard (the one that doesn’t agree with track limits – at least the ones Red Bull drivers ignore), and the Welshman, constantly picking away at their contaminated face masks with their bare hands, in an attempt to prevent them sliding entirely down their faces! You mention racing cycle teams – in most cases they have gone for “function over form” and have face masks that look like disposable nappies with ear tags, but seem to work well in covering the mouth and nose during vigorous talking, often while gasping for breath after a sprint finish.

    Thanks for GP+ and the Green Notebook – something I look forward to, “locked down” under State rules!

    1. When you think of the internal design expertise that must lie with McLaren, it really surprises me that they are unable to achieve an effective mask design that can be hung from Danny Ricc’s nose, without falling down.

      The cheap blue surgical masks actually seem to be the most effective.

    2. I agree. Even the relatively expensive McLaren masks (on their web store) seem to fall down too. I use this one and it stays in place very well:

  11. Joe, I had almost forgotten how entertaining your travelogues are. Long may they entertain us [for free], and long may the “monosyllabic Finn” remain in F1. Kimi’s feedback is gold dust to engineers attempting to improve car performance. But you need cash to follow up on the advice, and that does not seem to be the case with Alfa Romeo.

    Good luck on the third world roads of the Algarve, scenic and beautiful though it is.

  12. I’ll make the same comment I always make about F! streaming: It doesn’t work for those of us who time shift the race by a couple of hours because we live in an inconvenient time zone, as I do on The Left Coast of the USofA. It’s better now-6am vs 5am-but still a bit early. So I get up 7 or 8ish and watch the race, staying off the internet. You can’t do this with streaming, which typically delays replays for 24 hours.

    1. The America’s Cup and Sail GP are streamed on Youtube, and you can start watching at any time after the start of the event, so time shifting is fully supported. This coverage is currently free, but I can do the same things with some cultural programs that I subscribe to and pay for – they start live, but you can join later and see them from the beginning. Streaming at low cost per person, to a large audience, is the obvious way forward.

    2. The streaming depends on the country. The last couple years we have gotten the stream live. This year they have gone to 4k and have tracking, car feeds and a bunch of other crap, that eats up so much bandwidth and you can’t turn off, so it is constantly buffering. The result is I can’t stream live, even on high speed internet and have to wait and watch it as a replay.

  13. Joe

    As usual an informative and interesting green book

    Both generations (a 13 year old and a grumpy old man) thought season 3 of Drive to survive was not good at all and season 2 the benchmark. The 13 year old watches them over and over and it’s always season 2

    On how we watch, we had a subscription to the 🇿🇦 version of Sky and we get the whole shooting match. However we are letting that lapse and have bought a subscription to F1 TV at a tenth of the price, no irritating smaller screens while we are adverts for credit scores, strip bars or whatever other toot. I have 4 screens in my home office, which my son commandeers for Practice, Qualy and the race and with some smart work we have 6 feeds to watch. It’s amazing and the future. Sadly we still have to put up with rentapun Crofty, but the real benefit is no more Simon Lazy so and so.

    If you can get F1 TV in your jurisdiction, it’s the best investment you will make. The back catalogue is amazing it’s selling us the stuff we want to watch. If only kaaskop Mackenzie from the vulture society that uses to own F1 was interested in a good show and money. #JustSaying.

    Whose the second journo who has done all the races. My R10 says Adam Cooper.

      1. I shared a bedroom with him in 1992 in Orlando when he was reporting on the Daytona 24 hour!! He stayed at one of the drivers house and I was staying there too.

  14. Dear Joe,

    Merci d’avoir partagé votre cahier de notes encore une fois. Always an entertaining read. It is amazing you have managed to keep a 100% attendance record throughout all this chaos. Drive safe.

  15. At the moment I am able to watch all Grand Prix on TSN here in Canada. I don’t watch every race but read Grand Prix Plus “cover-to-cover” after every race. When TSN inevitably give up the F1 rights to Pay-per-View, I won’t be going to PPV, I’ll read all about it in GP+………just like I did in Autosport and Motor Sport all those years ago.

    1. In Canada it is $80.00/yr to buy it direct from F1 TV. It is a very complete package, includes all the practices, pre and post shows and all the support events running. It allows 5 devices so find a friend and it cut costs some more.

      1. It’s $80 here in the US and a good buy. I live on the west coast and got tired of watching at 6:00 am; now I just have to dodge the internet and can watch the quali and race at human times and also enjoy a beer or two.

        1. Tried to follow up the recommendations of F1 TV – only to find F1 TV Pro is not available in the UK due to “other rights” – presumably Sky TV and to access F1 on that you have to take a complete TV package before adding on Sport to include F1! There is a highlights and live timing sub on UK F1 TV, but I might as well get the highlights on free to view TV, which I can record and watch at my leisure.

        2. You guys are getting ripped off, I paid only $79. 😂😂😂

          There were a few cheaper options too, one for as little as $24, but we went for the most comprehensive.

          I just wish I could get the same with Indycar, but they barred from direct streaming to 🇿🇦 because there is a broadcast deal in place, despite it being just the races .

  16. For me since the 50’s motor racing print journalism coverage has always been the standard. Amazing to read the background story of Texas Motorway Speedway 2001 published recently in an American Magazine. Love your travels Joe takes me across the world with out having too from New Zealand…….!

  17. Joe re drivers as characters rather than clones.

    Arnoux who won 7 races which is where Dani ricc is I think who was a polarising character, would he have made it on today’s grid?
    Mazepin might have the talent to win 7 grand Prix but today his mindset doesn’t fit
    Oh and I hope you can indulge me but in your opinion which grand Prix driver you have covered has had the most volcanic temper?

    1. Arnoux was quick. So yes. Maze pin is finding his feet. He’s struggling but the potential is there. Temper-wise? Hmm… I need to think about that one. Mansell was very unpredictable. Schumacher had a temper that blew from time to time. He’s a very complex individual.

      1. Thanks Joe, I think it was Schumacher when he hit DC at spa and he was running to find him and he did look the angriest man on the planet that day!

  18. When they have effectively culled the number of full-time F1 journalists to just 2, they have clearly lost sight of the big picture. I struggle to believe that Bernie would have sanctioned such stupidity.

    WE RACE AS ONE covers a multitude of failures of the past, but not being able to recognise this gross injustice seems the most bizarre form of intentional segregation.

  19. Mazepin finished over a minute behind Schumacher. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pay drivers, but being so slow is no good for anyone. Mazepin is more Taki Inoue than Pedro Diniz it seems.

  20. Regarding roosters, I live in Key West where chickens and roosters run freely about the island.. fascinating about the dominant rooster ! On a note, a popular belief here is that instinctively roosters crow at sunrise. However, in today’s life a street light, or an illuminated sign will fool them and they start sounding off at some heathen hour like 3:37 am , no doubt the dominant rooster starts off the medley, followed by his back up singing henchmen!

    1. Which is why I used to stay in The Chart Room or Don’s until 4am, that way, when I got home I didn’t hear a thing.. 😀

  21. I’ve been driving quite a lot in Europe as well since covid started and I agree it’s a safe and reliable way to move about.
    Regarding coverage, Ziggo in The Netherlands offers a Sport package which includes a racing channel that shows F1. The coverage is understandably very pro Max Verstappen, which annoys me a bit (the world is against him, everything that happens to him is somebody else’s fault and they tend to give quite a lot of ear to what Jos has to say). This year, subscription to this Ziggo package gives access to F1 TV Pro, which I definitely recommend. So now I can complain about Crofty shouting his lungs off.

  22. Joe do you find a big difference between drivers in different countries would love to hear about road habits,As someone said earlier memories of DSJ

    1. To be honest, there are not great differences these days. Even the Germans have lost their old lane discipline…

  23. I agree with the suggestion of capping the calendar at 20 races (ideally 16-18) and having a variety of venues each year as I’ve found it refreshing seeing “old-style” tracks such as Portimau and returning to Imola.
    As a fan of almost 35 years, I find the current calendar (and plan for 25 races) too sprawling and too demanding.
    More and more, F1 clashes with demands on my time from my job, interest in other sports and just life generally. Of course, Liberty’s thinking is that any fans who drop off (either from occasional races or altogether) will be quickly replaced by new paying customers so that doesn’t bother them.
    But as the old saying goes, more is less.
    Sixteen races per year (or thereabouts) meant every event felt special to me. With almost 25, it can become a bit samey and I’m finding the sport is losing its lustre.
    I’ve even started recording races and watching them later that evening – something I’d have looked at as unthinkable not all that long ago.

  24. Interesting parallel between F1 and cycling. Sponsor driven team names, although “pay” pro cyclists are few and far between, even in Russian funded teams. And “invasive” ? Surely the “Energy Station”/Holzhaus would be far more invasive had it had to be dumped in a hotel car park….

  25. I know about the “pecking order”, because I spent three summers working on my university’s Poultry Farm. As I like to say, I was in Poultry Husbandry “until I was caught at it”. (“That’s a joke, son; I say, that there’s a JOKE.” From Foghorn Leghorn, courtesy of Warner Bros. Cartoons.)

  26. Who are all those other people in the Barcelona paddock? How does a French footballer get in there when a professional reporter cannot?

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