Football writer's beware

Phil Simms writes: I recieved an interesting email from my chief-sub at the Times and after some research the writer of the email (below) is quite correct. Bare this in mind all you budding sports reporters. Dear Times Sport Re: Martin Samuel April 14, 2008 : Safety First, Progress Last - Inequalities of fortune (paragraph heading). Although not a professor of English or usually a pedant, it continues to frustrate that the phrase "stoneWALL penalty" has recently become ubiquitous in football ? Now, even award winning journalists at The Times have succumbed to the habit. Are you sure the use of this idiom is correct ? Is this not just another football malapropism such as Rio Ferdinand's recent "Giggsy has stepped in and taken up the mantelpiece" ? To "stoneWALL" is to delay or obstruct. Spurs "parking the bus" in front of the Chelsea attack may be described a "stoneWALL" tactics. But "stoneWALL penalty" has no meaning ! A blatant, obvious penalty decision may be described as a "stoneCOLD certainty" perhaps shortened to "stoneCOLD penalty". Ian Wright started the ignorant use of this English (American) idiom and its incorrect use (to my mind at least) has spread through football commentary, punditry and now serious journalism like wildfire. I expected Martin Samuel to be better that the run of the mill. Very disappointing. Your faithfully, a loyal Times Sport reader