A Big Noise in Football

Article excerpt

QUESTION Who is the very excitable Italian star of in the Ladbrokes gaming adverts? MADCAP Italian football commentator Tiziano Crudeli is a fanatical supporter of AC Milan -- the world's least neutral commentator. His emotional outpourings are legendary in Italy where he features on the Diretta Stadio programme for Italian TV company 7Gold.

The programme is a bit like the classified football results where, but rather than watching the game, viewers watch the scores while commentators watch and report the match.

During Milan games, Crudeli's commentary is frenetic: when they score he shouts and gesticulates for minutes on end. The faces of his copresenters are always priceless. Crudeli was born in Forli near Bologna but moved to Milan at 12 with his older brothers when their parents died. His first job in sport was at 30, working for the Italian Tennis Federation for whom he later become press secretary.

He edited the tennis magazine Tennis Lombard before moving into TV broadcasts. But his true love was football, and he changed media to report on football for the Milanbased Radio Peter Flowers.

Work for newspapers followed, before he became more widely known for his heated debates with Inter Milan fan Elio Corno on talk show Telelombardia.

He also works on the AC Milan channel on Sky Italy, and writes columns for the sport's weekly publication Sprint & Sport Lombardia. But it is his outbursts on Diretta Stadio, that made him nationally famous and attracted the admen from Ladbrokes.

Jim Cutter, Manchester.

QUESTION In the Sixties, I bought a set of golf clubs made by Browning. Was this the same company that made guns? THE reader must have bought the clubs later than suggested as Browning didn't start making golf clubs until 1976. In that year the Browning Arms Company (est. 1927) was acquired by Belgian firearms manufacturer FN Herstal.

Herstal used the Browning name and technology to produce a range of conventional sports equipment including golf clubs, tennis and squash racquets, all made in Belgium.

Browning Golf is perhaps best known for its innovative and unusual-looking 440 golf irons. These had a very shallow face and low centre of gravity, designed after high-speed photography proved that the ball does roll up the club face of an iron when struck.

They were manufactured between 1976 and 1985, and were known for launching a crisp clean strike from a fairway lie. The downside was that some control was lost when hitting out of the rough.

The design was so successful, it was copied by other manufacturers in clubs such as the Slotline Lowpro iron and Titleist Super Slim irons.

In 1987, rights to the Browning Golf Co were sold to a group of investors who started a component company called UT Golf. In 1998 the company was sold to GolfWorks, which didn't receive the rights to the Browning name -- they returned to Browning. The company is making clubs under the brand names Cynergy and Premier which mirror the names of some of Browning's best rifles. They are sold mainly in Belgium, Holland and France.

C.W. Adam, Formby, Lancs.

QUESTION Is there a difference between atheism and secularism? ATHEISM, from the Greek 'without God' differs from secularism in that the latter doesn't preclude religious faith. Atheism is a belief system, secularism is a political opinion.

An atheist doesn't believe in the existence of God or, more accurately, the existence of the supernatural, either divine or diabolical.

A secularist believes there should be strict 'separation of powers' between Church and State, namely that particularly political day to day activities of the socio-political State should not include or incorporate religious authority or elements and vice versa.

Many Americans support state secularism as practised in the U.S. because in their view it has protected religious faith from political interference by the political State. …