Not often I pick up the sports section of my Telegraph and read three really cheering stories. Today is such an occasion. The first is about Ryan Giggs, just about the best example of a top line sportsman you will ever find. Despite being surrounded by greed and posturing, Giggs has remained a model professional throughout his long career. Last weekend he was voted BBC Sportsman of the Year. Personally, I thought this award should have gone to Mark Cavendish, whose performances in the Tour de France were epic. Giggs deserved something more like a 'Lifetime Achievement Award' - 900 first team appearances for one of the world's best teams, 11 Premiership titles, 2 European Cups. Tragedy that he was never able to strut his stuff on the biggest stage of all, the World Cup finals. The popular vote demonstrates how much he is admired. A worthy successor to Sir Bobby Charlton as Man U's 'decency' standard bearer.
And then there was James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who have turned their backs on the megabucks available in the Indian Premier League. These two sportsmen put pride in playing for their national team first. With this sort of commitment, we can expect to see success on the cricket squares of England and Wales.
Thirdly, there's the newspaper reaction to the vile, cowardly 'gouging' that may have been perpetrated by two Stade Francais players on Ulster flanker, Stephen Ferris. The reputations of Julien Dupuy and David Attoub will be forever sullied if they are found guilty. Shaun Edwards, no shrinking violet himself, has called for a year's ban. The whole game of rugby was disgusted when Springbok flanker, Shalk Burger and Italian wonderman were 'punished' with pathetically short bans last year. As I watched the autumn internationals, I felt nauseated to see these talented, but flawed players on the field at all. It seems that at last the game might be finally waking up to the disgust fans feel by this most despicable of acts. Gougers should be kicked out of the game altogether. Lets hope the authorities don't bottle it again this time.