Since the start of the World Cup in earnest, I haven't had much game time during the opening week. So whilst at home the other day on my day-off I decided to do a little top-up session. I roped my girlfriend, Chloe, into the session, which I wouldn't normally do, as I intensely dislike all the rubbish you see up on Instagram and Twitter, about couples who train together, apparently staying together!
Going on one of these tours, sleeping in a favela guesthouse or having dinner in a tourist friendly favela restaurant does offer an alternative to mainstream Rio. So, would YOU spend a night sleeping in a slum?
The harsh reality is that come Saturday evening one of England or Ireland will be nursing their wounds in defeat and will head into this Rugby World Cup off the back of two straight losses. The thought of it being England is too painful to think about right now, by hook or by crook England must muscle past Ireland on home soil.
If Platini is football's only hope, then there is not that much hope at all. Having been a member of Fifa's Executive Committee since 2002, Platini is far too closely associated with the organisation's past to shape its future.
Sports technologies like contactless payments, stadium apps to help you find a parking spot, order a beer to your seat, or access player information on the last goal scorer have incredible potential to boost engagement for sports fans and advertisers.
For a generation who grew up on Brazilian dominance, watching them reach the final in three consecutive World Cups between 1994 and 2002, the current absence of talent is jarring. Every country goes through troughs in performance to balance out the peaks, but Brazil's has been going on for an uncomfortably long time now.
Bribery and corruption - like beauty and so many other lofty moral issues and ideals - are always in the eye of the beholder. I recall in 1980 worki...
The cliche of football being the beautiful game is true, but tragically many of the people who run it have an ugly obsession with cash and power. The end of Blatter's era gives us a precious opportunity to change this and bring the game back to the favelas, slums and homes of people who love the game around the world. We, the people, can't afford not to take it.
So what next? The immediate reaction from the media, after the palpable shock, was undeniably celebratory, as if we were all Munchkins, freed from the yolk of the Wicked Witch of the West, who had finally done the right thing and dropped a house on her own head.
Now, you might think that the protection of my teeth would be a good reason to stop drinking drinks like Coke, but since the state of my teeth mean they're probably a lost cause anyway, let me tell you why football is the actual reason... Well, not football itself, but the worldwide governing body of the game, FIFA.
The scandal enveloping FIFA should have come of no great surprise...Football fans and pundits have long known about slush funds and payola. But it was tolerated, a reason why Sepp Blatter has been elected its head five successive times.
The World Cup in Qatar had another public relations hit recently, when a press relations exercise went badly wrong - a real 'D'OH!' moment in Doha... ...
The RFU policy on selection for the England team is frustrating; if you want to represent your country you must play your club rugby in England. The idea is simple; to make sure the best English players are playing week in week out for our clubs...
Like the spectacular solar eclipse that many were fortunate to witness the previous day, last Saturday's extraordinary day of rugby was an event made more memorable by its rarity...
Did you enjoy watching my alternative, semi-serious take on each week's big political stories across the course of 2014? Or maybe you hated it. Either way, you watched it, right? So we've pulled together the best (worst?) bits of me doing my round-ups - from me pretending to do keepy-uppys to me trying to speak German to me telling Owen Jones to eff off. Here's the past 12 months in 60 seconds.
There are three options. The first is that there is no corruption in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding processes and every report to the contrary is just an extraordinary coincidence, or a conspiracy put together by people bitter about the results of recent World Cup bids. Stop sniggering, it's possible.