Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cah Crash Chooseday

One from the archives, DTM in 1995.
This kind of crash is the reason drivers get so pissed off when they qualify down the order.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Like Nails on a Chalkboard

LeBron James has a new shoe out, called 'Chalk'.

Here's the ad [Note the inclusion of Lil Wayne... I'm not sure why. The song is by Cornershop. The reference to Chalk is a way of paying homage to James' custom of throwing it in the air at games he plays at.]:

Hope you're all having a good break!

[I've syndicated this post on The Dropkicks, because I don't have enough time to find seperate stories... Sorry!]


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Why can't we have sports fans like this in New Zealand?
For those who do not recognise the song, it is the Fox Sports theme used to introduce NFL matches.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cah Crash Chooseday

There's some posts coming soon, I promise. Unfortunately my correspondents have taken a while to get back to me.


Friday, December 19, 2008

2008 Race of Champions

The 2008 Race of Champions has been run, and you can find all the results in a good writeup here.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Five e-Minutes with Andrew Gourdie

Andrew Gourdie is a journalist who caught my eye from day one. Maybe it was his good looks. Maybe it was his dulcet tones. But most likely it was the fact he was a passionate football fan and his stories reflected this, unlike previous 'football' reporters who seemed to treat the stories as a chore. So I decided I'd send him a few questions and run a profile on him. He also has a blog which is updated every once in a while here.

Questions after the jump.
First off, how did you get into football and what is your first footballing memory [either as a spectator or player]?
I got into football through my dad's side of the family. He and his brothers all played football. It actually goes back to my grandmother who once coached the first XI at the secondary school me, my dad and my uncles all went to in Christchurch .
My first football memory was my first game when I was about 6. I played for Nomads against Malvern in Darfield. All I can remember was running around like a headless chicken chasing the ball like all the other kids. After the game I told my dad I was absolutely exhausted, so during the 30 min drive home he gave me my first lesson about positional play. I listened.

How did you get into journalism?
I was a keen sportsman in my younger days but was never going to be good enough to make a career out of it. I loved sport, so from the age of 14 i wanted to be a sports journalist. After i finished school i studied journalism at the New Zealand Broadcasting School in Christchurch .

What is your standout memory of this year's A-League season to date?
Without doubt, Shane Smeltz' screamer against Melbourne [Naly D: Good choice]. We are certainly going to miss him.

What do you think of the SPARC funding allocation, recognising the improved performance in recent times of both the men's and women's teams?
I was really impressed with SPARC's initiative in providing a funding boost for women's football. If the results of our U20 and U17 women over the last year tell us anything, it's that we can compete at this level. Hopefully this money will help our olympic and senior teams achieve the same results, if not better.
The All Whites have their best chance since 1982 to reach the world cup finals, and they are going to need all the help they can get to achieve that. Again, it shows fantastic initiative by SPARC to provide some extra help.

Do you think the creation of the Phoenix has helped this?
It hasn't helped achieve results at a national level, although having a large number of the team playing for the All Whites will help in years to come.
However the Phoenix have undoubtedly helped lift the profile of football in New Zealand , so their presence has helped make SPARC's decision a popular one among the public.

Why do you think the Auckland Knights failed and do you believe the Phoenix are safe from this?
Having spoken to one or two former players, the Knights' on-field problems were born off the field. Issues with managers, CEO's etc were a constant problem from day 1, and made it impossible to create a winning environment. Even from my days covering the team's progress, the Knights never even seemed to have a visible 'club base'. They played and trained at North Harbour Stadium, but I wouldn't know where to find the chairman or CEO there.
It's completely different with the phoenix. We all know Terry and Tony and where to find them. They are both very approachable people and easy to contact [Naly D: In my experience this is true also, and their staff are very prompt at answering questions].
In terms of the off-field setup, the Knights and Phoenix couldn't be more different. I think they're safe from any administrative problems in that respect, but it's hard to know what will come of the issues arising through the Asian Football Confederation.

Do you think the A-League is a competitive league, and could teams in the league perform against european clubs?
The a-league is a very competitive competition. I think some of the players could make the step up to playing for a european club, but i think teams would struggle playing against european opposition.
The club world cup so far has been a good example. Australian teams are still a step behind Japanese teams, who are quite a big step behind europe , but I'm sure that gap will close over time.

The Phoenix are registered to Federation Football Australia and the players are the same, but several play for the All Whites. Do you think the All Whites and Football NZ have benefited from the Phoenix and as such, do you think the Phoenix are shooting themselves in the foot by not being able to receive reward from FNZ by being registered in Australia? [Naly D:If you don't understand this either, I'm working on a story and all will be revealed soon...]
I don't quite understand your question but I'll try to answer the best i can.
Essentially, the Phoenix don't have a choice. They have to be registered in Australia or they can't compete in the a-league. As we all know, the Phoenix are in no-man's land thanks to Australia's decision to join Asia, which means their situation is completely different to other NZ teams competing in Australian competitions like the Warriors or the Breakers.
I'm not sure what kind of rewards the Phoenix could expect to get from NZF, but as a professional team they need to operate largely off tickets sales, and Terry's cheque book. They're not shooting themselves in the foot by being registered in Australia , but to ensure their future they need Asian Football Confederation and the FFA to accept that for all intents and purposes, the Phoenix is a team based on an island off the coast of Australia . Hopefully they'll be able to have some kind of dispensation to be allowed extra New Zealand players, but essentially they need to be considered an Australian team, and have the same rights as other Australian clubs.

Do you think that New Zealand football teams, such as the Under-20 women, punch above their weight, or does the lack of public interest cause us to have low expectations of the team?
Those teams undoubtedly punch above their weight against nations that pour incredible amounts of money into sport. In saying that, we don't expect our football teams to do well on the world stage so it's a bonus when we do.

Finally, here's a clip of Andrew from his bright-eyed, bushy-tailed broadcasting school days. [Starts at 1:40]


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I've gone Viral

I'm writing for The Dropkicks now, go check them out. And while you're at it, why not find your nearest stockist and drink some Epic Beer?
And here's some other links of goodness:

Richard Irvine of sportreview fame has a great and unique sense of humour. It's like the Winnebago Man of blogs. It's so funny because it's so strange. Or is it so strange because it's so funny?

Iain O'Brien, the BLACKCAP who looks like he'd scare your child for life, has his own apparently unsanctioned blog and it makes for good, candid, reading. I suspect if his cricket career is brief, he'll be picked up by a paper quick smart.

Bridget is a 12-year-old Aussie cricketer and she blogs about her favourite sport.

Glenn Marvin is a runner who is preparing to compete in the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon and blogs about his favourite sport. He's gonna be looking for people to help him get there and support his really good cause, so if you've got a tenner down the back of the couch I'm sure he'd appreciate it.

The Cheap Seats is what Scrubs would be if it were a blog on cricket. Check out the cricket drinking game for a laff.

This one here is one of my fav's - it's not really that high quality or in depth, but analysis of the media or sport [or the two] is always gonna get kudos from moi.


Strange Things Happenin' at the Three-Point Line

There are some strange things going on in the land of Australasian Basketball at the moment. First, you've got the Sydney Spirit almost leaving the NBL, only to be helped out by Andrew Bogut. Then, a week later, the Cairns Taipans get into the same situation. The Taipans situation seemed to come from left field, but it should have been expected really.

The Taipans went downhill so quickly because their main sponsor - Pacific Toyota - was struggling to make money and pulled out. Apparently this clause had been in their contract from the word go. Which makes me think one of two things. Either the relationship between the Taipans and Pacific Toyota was not supposed to be long-term, or somebody at Taipans head office did not get their act together and have a secondary sponsor lined up in case this clause was ever actioned.

The Breakers meanwhile, continue their healthy [heh] relationship with Burger King and their reign at or near the top of the NBL continues unabated. That's all I'll say on them, for reasons I have outlined here.

The New Zealand domestic competition hasn't escaped though. The Otago Nuggets signalled their intention to pull out what seems like donkeys years ago. The situation in Canterbury seemed to be a replica, with the Canterbury Rams not convinced they could make their payments. Along come rumours of a shadow team - Rumours I paid no attention to, at my peril.

Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the Christchurch Cougars. Besides the obvious Top Gun jokes, the Cougar name is crap. Sure, you wanted a name which featured alliteration, but naming your team after an animal which doesn't even exist in New Zealand? [Note: I'm not sure if there are Cougars at Christchurch's Orana Park.] Why not name them after something in the area? How about the Christchurch Cardinals [the religious type, not the bird, continuing the link with the Crusaders - and a good blog headline for me when Wellington beat them: Saints give Cardinals bloody baptism], Christchurch Kakapo, Christchurch Gondaliers, etc? At least Rams had relevance to the area. The team apparently have eight members already signed up, which is great to hear given how quickly they've set up shop, and hopefully they can give a kickstart to basketball in the South [it can't die if it wasn't really established in the first place - Nelson you're excluded from this statement of course.]

Which leads me to actually talk about our competition. I've been a Wizards/Saints fan for four name changes [other fans will know this is 12 years] and last season was a dream for me. But I noticed at the start of the year that TSB Arena was hardly ever full. Games were usually on a Thursday/Friday. The booze was cheap, plentiful and every seat had a good view. Yet there were still many, many empties. It seemed a lack of promotion was to blame [tickets were cheap as hell]. But the cliche of 'success draws crowds' prevaled. As the season went on and we won more and more matches - and subsequently when Terry Serepisos dipped deeper into his non-Phoenix pocket [the Saints are actually the Century City Saints, the company owned by Serepisos who also owns the Wellington Phoenix, for the uninitiated.] giving a bigger allowance to advertising, the crowd rolled up. The last home match against Waikato was packed and it was great. We just need some of that down south because surely a nine team domestic series shouldn't struggle to draw crowds?


Monday, December 15, 2008

Le Tas'man revolutione!

In this post right here, I speculated what the future would hold for the Tasman Makos.
Now, I was completely wrong, but I thought I'd explain my logic, as the previous post was written in a couple of minutes [after a full day's thought] as I was about to head home from work.

Breakdown/explanation of my predictions after the jump.

The first point, about financial statement, goes without saying really. I expect this goes on already to a certain extent, but in cases like that of the Makos I believe financial transparency is paramount. While no organisation likes revealing their costs to another, I believe the only way the NZRU can help Tasman's financial security is to be able to see where they can save money [not direct them where to spend it, but advice would be welcomed, surely?]

The second point, about the appointment of two board members, was not intended to be read as NZRU board members being appointed, but rather that the NZRU could choose to appoint two 'independent advisors' if you will. I was thinking along the lines of a financial advisor [which would work with the above point] and somebody who has experience as a manager/coach. Someone like John Hart [although he is involved with the Warriors, but that's the sort of person I was thinking] because let's face it, Tasman's board are minnows in the world of professional rugby. [I've tried to find who they are but can't find a damned thing, unlike the Canterbury board. Can anyone help?]

The third and fourth point are hand-in-hand. The Makos are projecting a $380,000 shortfall from this season and have been told to find $250,000 of that. Now they've recovered a lot from last year, but the NZRU and rival unions are unlikely to be too happy about bailing out Tasman time and again. The logic is simple, and more of a scare tactic. If you can't run at a profit, you can't be responsible or a positive reflection on NZ rugby.


It's an early Christmas Present

I arrived at work today to have an invite sitting in my inbox.

A very, very special sort of invite.

Our work had a contract with SPARC earlier this year to monitor the media coverage of their Olympic athletes, with the information being compiled to track positive/negative coverage, as well as when an athlete was mentioned for quantitative measures.

As the resident sports-nut, I was delegated the role of tracking the television coverage of the Olympics [I may have been hired with this in mind, it appears to be a subject of conjecture]. This literally meant I was being paid to watch 8 hours of Olympics coverage - It wasn't all like that though, it had been recorded from the night before and I had to get through it in 2 hours.

Anyway, our report to SPARC has been completed and will be presented on Friday... And I was invited... Can't wait!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Will the Makos continue to bite?

The NZRU is set to announce the future of the beleaguered Tasman Makos in the Air New Zealand Cup today. No decision has been made public as yet, but I'm going to throw out what I think will happen.

The Tasman Makos will remain for the 2009 season in the Air New Zealand Cup, under the proviso that the Makos and parent body the Tasman Rugby Union provide regular financial reports to the NZRU.
The NZRU will be allowed to appoint two members to the board of the Tasman Rugby Union.
The Tasman Rugby Union is to remain financially viable for the 2009 season, or its team, the Tasman Makos, will be relegated at the end of that season.
If the Tasman Makos are relegated, the Tasman Rugby Union will be liable for the $380,000 shortfall for the 2008 season, which has been paid by the NZRU.

That is how I see the contract between the two drawn up anyway... Guess we'll find out at 4pm!


Don't cap my Celery

Well, analytic company Offlode has come up with a novel idea and reviewed 23 competitions in terms of closeness and whether the salary caps work. I've posted the full list, as well as my comments, after the jump.

Where I think this list is flawed is in that the top half of the list has much, much longer seasons than the bottom half, so random fluctuations where a bottom team beats a top team are going to occur more often [though in saying that, I do agree that the American draft system (where the team which finishes last in a season gets to have the first pick of a rookie player in the next season and has to play for that team for a certain length of time, I think 2 years is the norm) is very effective in creating a level playing field, while the Super 14 'draft' system (where a team can 'protect' 22 players from their region from being picked up by other teams) is a joke.]

Taking Major League Baseball as an example, eventual winners the Philidelphia Phillies played a total of 162 matches in the 2008 regular season. Makes our 16-match Super 14 look a bit naff. Or the beautiful Boston Celtics, who played 82 matches throughout the entire [including playoffs] season. There is definately a lot more room in those matches for a team to field a weak lineup, knowing they're in the playoffs, and get done by a weaker team.

The list itself:

Major League (Baseball)
French Ligue 1 (Football)
Magners League (Rugby)
Primera Argentina (Football)
MLS *(Football)
Spanish La Liga (Football)
Primera Mexico (Football)
German Bundesliga (Football)
ANBL *(Basketball) NBA *(Basketball)
NFL *(Gridiron)
Dutch Eredivisie (Football)
Italian Serie A (Football)
AFL *(Aussie Rules)
NRL *(League)
Scottish Premier League (Football)
NHL *(Ice Hockey)
English Premier League (Football)
Guinness Premiership *(Rugby)
Air New Zealand Cup *(Rugby)
Super 14 (Rugby)
Currie Cup (Rugby)
National Bank Cup (Netball)

* denotes competitions which use a salary cap.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thank Heavens for Mad Mike

There's some big rennovations for this blog on their way too.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Super 14 jersey's - a second look.

Thanks to Hadyn I got to have a closer look at the new S14 jerseys today.
I had only seen the long, wide-angle shot on RugbyHeaven which failed to show off how awesome they actually are - especially the Highlanders one! The little embossed pictures are so cool. The Crusaders away strip is growing on me, I reckon from a distance it'll kinda look like chain-mail.

Hadyn's gallery is here.

PS Hadyn, you're wrong. The 'Canes strip is the best. It's gonna look so good with Cory Jane running at a full sprint in it.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

In other news

The 2009 Rebel Sport Super 14 draw has been announced.
This took me ages to format, stupid press releases.

Highlanders v Brumbies
W Force v Blues
Lions v Cheetahs

Crusaders v Chiefs
Hurricanes v Waratahs
Stormers v Sharks
Bulls v Reds

Hurricanes v Highlanders
Waratahs v Chiefs
W Force v Cheetahs
Stormers v Reds

Brumbies v Crusaders
Bulls v Blues
Sharks v Lions

Crusaders v Hurricanes
Waratahs v Highlanders

Chiefs v Sharks
Brumbies v W Force
Lions v Bulls
Stormers v Blues
Reds v Cheetahs

Chiefs v W Force
Waratahs v Reds
Hurricanes v Cheetahs

Blues v Sharks
Highlanders v Crusaders
Bulls v Stormers
Brumbies/Lions Bye

Blues v Cheetahs
Brumbies v Waratahs

Crusaders v W Force
Highlanders v Chiefs
Reds v Sharks
Stormers v Lions
Hurricanes/Bulls Bye

Hurricanes v Bulls
Highlanders v Cheetahs
Chiefs v Blues
Waratahs v Crusaders
W Force v Sharks
Lions v Brumbies
Reds/Stormers Bye

Blues v Waratahs
Highlanders v Bulls
Crusaders v Stormers
Reds v Chiefs
Sharks v Brumbies
Lions v Hurricanes
Cheetahs/W Force Bye

Crusaders v Bulls
W Force v Reds
Sharks v Hurricanes
Chiefs v Lions
Waratahs v Stormers
Cheetahs v Brumbies
Blues/Highlanders Bye

Blues v Lions
W Force v Hurricanes
Highlanders v Reds
Brumbies v Stormers
Waratahs v Bulls
Cheetahs v Sharks
Chiefs/Crusaders Bye

Blues v Highlanders
Brumbies v Bulls
Hurricanes v Stormers
Reds v Lions
Waratahs v W Force
Cheetahs v Chiefs
Sharks v Crusaders

Highlanders v Stormers
W Force v Lions
Blues v Reds
Hurricanes v Brumbies
Cheetahs v Crusaders
Bulls v Chiefs
Waratahs/Sharks Bye

Hurricanes v Blues
Lions v Crusaders
Cheetahs v Waratahs
Reds v Brumbies
Sharks v Highlanders
Bulls v W Force
Stormers v Chiefs

Crusaders v Reds
Lions v Highlanders
Chiefs v Hurricanes
Brumbies v Blues
Sharks v Waratahs
Bulls v Cheetahs
Stormers v W Force

Chiefs v Brumbies
Lions v Waratahs
Blues v Crusaders
Reds v Hurricanes
W Force v Highlanders
Cheetahs v Stormers
Sharks v Bulls

Week 15 - SEMI FINAL
Friday 22 May TBA v TBA
Saturday 23 May TBA v TBA

Week 16 - FINAL
Saturday 30 May TBA v TBA


Your attention please!

The NZ Super 14 jerseys were to released this afternoon.

I guess they'll grow on us...


Roughies - Edition 2

Poor Sam McKinnon.
MVP for the 2007 NBL.
Captain of Australia.
His team currently sits third on the table.

And he gets a blood clot which may kill him.
I feel for you bud.

[To those wondering why this is the first time I've mentioned the NBL and I've ignored my favourite Breakers, it's because I don't want to place the commentators curse on them.]


Cah Crash Chooseday


You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany

I'm a Ford fan and always have been. But I can always have respect for a good driver, such as Mark Skaife. As such, I have been saddened to watch him fall further and further down the grid over the years [in much the same way as Glenn Seton], which means I can't help but feel this latest story is appalling.

To put it in rugby terms: adidas, the main sponsor, stops giving the NZRU money. At the same time, adidas, who are locked into a contract to provide boots, shirts, etc raise their prices. But you only get a bill at the end of the year. So Steve Tew gives the NZRU to adidas, or else the NZRU will become bankrupt.

That's so messed up beyond words. Not to mention Tom Walkinshaw's dubious past.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Plaxico + Gun = Leg Trauma.

Yeah yeah yeah, it's been a while since the last one.
But you know that old addage that good things take time?
Case in point.
I'm a Patriots fan, so this was karma.
"Burress, 31, who was sporting flashy jewelry and carrying loads of cash, told club management he needed the gun to protect himself, sources said.
The mercurial Giant was waved inside the crowded Latin-themed club on Lexington Ave. about midnight. He downed several drinks, making already jittery security guards more nervous about his weapon.
As Burress was being led into a VIP area, with a drink in his hand, the gun slipped down his pants leg. He reached for the weapon, but fumbled it and it went off, sources said. The bullet tore through Burress' already injured right thigh, police said.
"[The bullet] went in and out. No bones," Chief Michael Collins, a police spokesman, said."

But the story gets better. Click the link up there.

Oh, and ten reasons why this happened.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cah Crash Chooseday

Here's one from the FIA World GT.
The thing I love about Hockenheim is that you don't realise how fast the cars are going, as the circuit is huoooge.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Music brings the People together

For today's post, I was going to touch on bands.
For my first idea, I wanted to talk about bands that had sporting success. It didn't seem like it would be that unlikely. If Jeff Wilson can play cricket [Average ODI of 20.60, eat that Mr Mark-10.50-Richardson] and rugby, then get named as North Harbour co-coach, why can't Kevin Tamati play league and be a drummer for Dragon? Looks like he's got the wrist movements down.
Anyway, I digress. I couldn't find anything suitable in my first three Google's. So then I thought 'What about sportspeople who have gone on to make music?!'
Shaq's rap, anyone? Or I could have followed the 'sports-teams-doing-their-damn-thang' route. But I wanted cool. Not lame. So my hunt gradually epic fail'ed.
So instead, I decided I'd just do my ownlist of 'Sportsmen of today who should be in bands'.
Peyton Manning - R.E.M. Just ignore the fact that they're from Seattle [and that Peyton has a penchant for country], something about Manning just says '90's grunge'.
Richard Kahui - Backstreet Boys. C'mon, you can fully see him taking over from the weird one with glasses.
Shane Smeltz - 'N Sync. Not quite as good looking as the Backstreet Boys, or with the same amount of fans, or ability to consistently perform. Kind of like the Phoenix vs All Blacks argument really.
Daniel Vettori - Jose Gonzalez. Learned. Gentle. Wordsmith.
Greg Murphy - Fred Durst. Hypocritical douche, not respected by his peers, but still has a devoted legion of fans who will buy his stuff - mainly due to the inaccurate media coverage he only receives three times a year.

Yours please...


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Where is the Motorsport <3?

I'm appealing to you, the five readers of my blog, to help me find NZ-based motorsport blogs. Whether written by professionals, amateurs or just enthusiasts, I would like to find a decent quality, regularly updated [every 3 weeks at least] blog.



Bears! Playing! Hockey!

No, it's not the name of a new indie band.

I concede that this situation may have been cruel as these bears appear to have been raised in captivity, however in no way by posting this video do I support or endorse any acts of violence or cruelty to animals. If you are offended by the video, here is Ninja Cat.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Maybe I should have listened to my mum more

Graham Henry wins World Fair Play award [Stuff]


Cah Crash Chooseday

Robert Kubica's phenomenal crash at Canada last year, as seen from an alternate angle to the TV broadcast.


Couple of interesting stories out of the US this morning.

Regarding the Chargers v Steelers match. It gives all the background in there except the savings to the bookies are estimated at $64m. [video here]

And it seems like Mark Cuban is in a spot of bother.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Join the dots

Lion Nathan's attempts to take over Coca-Cola Amatil come to light on the same day as SPARC make these statements following comments by National's sports spokesman on an apparent review of the rules regarding alcohol advertising in sport. [Last couple of paragraphs]

As a side note, I finally found National's sports policy the other day, in a press release dated Nov 03. Odd that it doesn't actually appear on the policy page though.


Where to from here?

Ahhh, the Cowboys.
The glory boys of the NFL.
"America's Team".
The team which annually receives the most media exposure [In their bye-week they still remained in the daily top stories on the front page of nfl.com]. [Very good article on this here]
Touted this year to make the playoffs, if not go undefeated.
And now they're 5-4. If Umaga is supposed to be quaking in his boots for the poor performance of Toulon, how does Wade Phillips feel about now?


Something wicked this way comes...

It would appear that Warren Gatland is planning to do something silly.
Or smart, since he won't have to listen to the talkback on it...

This talkback will not doubt bring the debate on the haka to the fore yet again.
Year after year, people argue 'it's not the property of the All Blacks' or 'it's disrepectful to rip it off/sell it'.
These uniformed talkbackers [is there any other kind] do not realise the haka is part of culture. Maori culture, Samoan culture, Tongan culture, Hawaiian culture.
adidas and the All Blacks have not attempted to 'sell off' or 'corporatise' the haka - which was being used by the team years before adidas came along.
Even the so-called 'new' haka is not. Originally called Ko Niu Tireni, I had a severe case of deja vu when I first saw it performed against South Africa. Because this was essentially the same haka as I had performed when attending Wellington College.
It was first performed by the 'Invicibles' in 1924. [Thanks to this site for the info]


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Don't Pluck Me, Bro

looks like Wales have gotten themselves in a spot of PETA bother for their new Canary-jersey.



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cah Chrash Chooseday

This week's crash:


Some people get all the luck.

Read it through all the way. For those who can't , basically a guy had a car, he died, someone went to sell it on eBay for $500, only to find out it was one of six extremely rare Pontiac's. And it ends up selling for $250,000.


Friday, November 7, 2008

This is the Stig

The Stig.
There is many a debate about who he/she/it is.
Ex-F1 drivers, current F1 drivers, Darren Turner, Ben Collins etc etc...

Well, last night I got an interesting phone call.
A friend of mine has this year taken up a senior role with a European-based carmaker. During filming for the new season, he was invited on set. With his companies test driver. Who was then filmed as The Stig.

Apparently, the deal is this. The car makers got very nervous at some stage about letting someone who was unfamiliar with their car [understandable] take it for hot laps. It started off with one maker, the one my friend is at, before the others began demanding their drivers be allowed to drive their cars - or their cars simply would not appear on the show any more.

Makes sense to me. Your thoughts?


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Is Craig Stanaway an Idiot?

Today on BSport he was having a go about Dan Carter not playing enough.
His main bone of contention was that Carter has played less than 1000 minutes of rugby during this season's Super 14, which is apparently very little in comparison to top players in other sports.

Newsflash Craig. The Crusaders played 15 matches this year, including the semi and final. If he were to have played every single minute of every single game, that's 1200 minutes. Adding on the 3 pre-season matches, that's 1440.

But let me take you back, to a match between the Hurricanes and Crusaders, held at Westpac Stadium. Remember that? Remember Carter getting injured? This Herald article says it happened on March 28, while this one is shortly before his return.

So March 28 - May 5 = 5 games. 5x80=400. 1200-400=800. Plus the pre-season match against the Waratahs [he missed the first two due to injury] = 880.

Do some research before you go and try and drum up a lynch mob, Craig. While you were right about him playing less than 1000 minutes, you simply cannot claim this was his decision.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sporting Funnies: We Interrupt this Broadcast...

UPDATEDThe Bill and Ben Party launched their campaign on BSport last Friday.
Here it is:

Part One
Part Two
Update: Today they appeared on Paul Holmes Breakfast.
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Bill reads an advertorial


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Talkin' about a TITANic Effort

At the start of the NFL season I was reading the ESPN Magazine - which had picked the Titans for the playoffs. Sure, I agreed. They're an above average team which should have no problem making the playoffs. But they aren't winners.

Boy was I wrong. 7-0 run this season [helped by misfortune to other teams, though...]
The rest of the season looks pretty good for their playoff chances too, with games against the Bears, Steelers and a rematch with the Colts seemingly their only obstacles. Next question... Conference winners?


The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round

I was going to ignore the F1 Brazilian GP which was held yesterday, but I can't.
Last year's F1 was by far the best I've seen, but this year's series was just its crappier hangover.

A year that started off with BMW adding more dangly bits than anybody else [Note: three links there] but not as a result of Honda's lack of a decent crack at it.

The season then quietened down for the first few rounds, with the first really good bitchfight at Bahrain, where Hamilton was a douche to Fisichella. On Lap 1 oif this year's race Hamilton got a poor start, which eventually damaged his wing. On lap 2, he ran into Alonso. Both camps then attributed the crash to each other, with McLaren-Mercedes claiming Alonso brake-checked his former teammate, while the Renault camp believed Hamilton's lack of downforce caused the crash. Fanboys on the internet were much aggrieved.

Next up, cult favourite Super Aguri began its descent into oblivion.

A few boring rounds followed, before heading to Canada, where BMW and Robert Kubica got the win in a race where the F1 cars [apparently] pulled up the tarmac. Hamilton won at Silverstone, giving Bernie Ecclestone's hard-on some justification, yet he still moved the British GP to Donnington, which will have an altered layout.

Sept 08: The Hamilton camp gets penalised 25 seconds for passing Raikonnen after 'cutting a corner'.

Alonso came from seemingly nowhere to win the Singaporean GP. Then backed it up the next round in Japan. Then ran his mouth.

The season was dominated by commentary, as all good motorsport should. Unfortunately, this series' commentary never fails to reach new levels of awful. I've included an excerpt for your pleasure [just imagine it is being screamed in your ear by a Briton who sounds as though he failed as a greyhound announcer].

The two coolest things about this season were:

and when I discovered this


Monday, November 3, 2008

Monthly Blog Spotlight

I'm going to try and start this monthly, if I can remember.
For November, I've chosen ruggerblogger, run by Ferdy.

Her writing is good and her insight is valuable - a lack of real technical analysis and the fact there are only news posts after the All Blacks play are both a positive and a negative, however.

Keep up the good work, Ferds.


One Rule for you, another for us.

Lesley Murdoch talking on the John Dunne show about the netball between the Silver Ferns and Australia.
'What on earth are two men doing umpiring an international women's fixture like that?'

Sorry, but what?
Sexism isn't cool, Lesley.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

No Chop Suey for Dingo

So the All Blacks beat Australia last night in a very, very average test match.

The gameplan for both teams was made obvious from the outset [with some bourbon-marks on the table helping me to demonstrate to those less obvious] - All Blacks kick for territory, knowing the Australians will run it back and 'play what they see in front of them'. Sure, they can do that in the freezing night-climes of Eden Park, but Hong Kong? With 80% humidity? C'mon Robbie.

Referee Alan Lewis has drawn a lot of criticism, but I think he did well. While the game did not flow flawlessly which is what the crowd wanted to see, I think this is simply a flow-on of the adjustment to playing two different sets of rules. Talkback today was claiming Lewis over-reffed the scrums, but I disagree. How many times in the past few years have coaches complained that scrums aren't watched enough? Or called for new rules? There is no point introducing new rules when the current trend for scrummaging requires them to be reset five times. In my opinion, the game would be better removing scrums completely. They just make it look clumsy and slow. If we're trying to 'promote' the game to new markets, what kind of signal does this send?

Don't get me started on the pitch quality either.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

'Allo 'Allo 'Allo, What's goin' 'ere then?

Rioting in Gaza?
The fighting on the Gold Coast?

Nope, it's fans celebrating after the Phillies won the World Series of Baseball 4-3.
Incidentally, for those who wonder 'why is it the WORLD series, when it's only American and Canadian teams?' The answer is that it was sponsored by the World Newspaper.
EDIT: It appears I was wrong, thanks Hadyn.


Check this out


It is a rugby manager game - completely free - which allows you to create your own teams and take on other users. If you've ever played Battrick or Hattrick, the layout will be very familiar.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sporting Politics

You may remember a rant I had about National's criticism of SPARC. Well, Murray McCully was on Morning Sport today and first I must go off track to two things.

1. This is the first interview I have ever heard on Radio Sport where the compere has actually let rip into the interviewee.
2. McCully is one smooth operator.

McCully refused to be drawn on his party's sport policy, but said it will be released soon. He said it will mirror John Key's speech earlier in the year, which was damning of SPARC.

McCully also criticised the SPARC programs aimed at young children [something which has been repeated by many National MP's] and it seems the party will remove this obligation on SPARC and direct they to direct ALL their funding at high performance atheles. Which I think is illogical [How do you get athletes to be great without funding them earlier in their career?]. I have my own personal beliefs on the SPARC programs, but am interested to hear those of others.

Current Minister of Sport and Recreation and Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove will appear on Morning Sport tomorrow to discuss the same issue.

As a side note, I am trying to get Back Benches host Wallace Chapman to have a show on the subject of sport. If it is successful, I hope to see you there.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Biggest Problem... Yeah Right

Remember after the last world cup, when all those All Blacks buggered off over to shag good looking French birds and drink wine, or if you were a forward, to fight football hooligans and sleep with fat English birds, Steve Tew and Jock Hobbs bemoaning the fact that all these fat cats with their big wallets were destroying the domestic competition for us? That it was causing us to rush players into professional rugby before they were ready for it?

I'm here to tell you a story of that very situation. In 2006 two holy groups joined together in domestic rugby bliss. A honeymoon period ensued where the new pairing celebrated their first point in the competition, were steamrolled by a dominant fathering union, before recording their first win in round three against a semi-rural team which had only just taken the big step up to face the big boys.

For those who haven't already guessed, I'm talking about Tasman. Now, I'm not going to get on the NZRU's back because at the end of last season they were certainly gone for all money and wouldn't have made too many noises if they had been dumped in the off season.

But, I think this years competition has been good [possibly due to the exclusion of the All Blacks] in evening the competition - If you had told someone at the end of the NPC that Southland, Northland, Taranaki, Hawke's Bay and Bay of Plenty would all make the top 8 two years later while Auckland, North Harbour and Otago would not progress past the knockout stage they would have taken the car keys off you and called you a cab to go home. Yet that is exactly the situation we have seen and I personally hope it continues. Those 'small' unions are slowly becoming more financially viable and signing/keeping their big players. [Hawke's Bay + Thomas Waldrom, good deal mateys. And Taranaki will be a good unit next season.]

Anyway, back to the Tasman thing. They've been competitive, rattling Wellington for a while and almost capturing the Ranfurly Shield. If Marlborough pull out of the merger though, the NZRU has said it will pull the plug. The entire board of Tasman has also just stood down in an effort to fix the rift between Marlborough and Nelson Bays, the two unions forming Tasman. Hang on, if Tasman collapses, who benefits from the whole three season ordeal? Oh yeah, the Crusaders, in receiving the services of Todd Blackadder [refer to earlier point about inexperience being rushed to the top] in some kind of South Island incestuous self-fulfulling prophecy.

In any case, if Marlborough pull out, shouldn't Nelson Bays be allowed to find another merger partner? In some weird way I could see West Coast or Horowhenua-Kapiti being keen to get out of the Heartland.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Sporting Funnies

This made me laugh, so I had to upload it.
Lush cuts off the BSport guys and they get their revenge the next day.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

The All Blacks 15 I'd take Up North.

This is the team I'd pick, based on Air NZ Cup performance if I was Graham Henry and operating under a 'well you Northern f***ers bring development 'first grade' teams down here, so we'll send one up to you guys'.

Edit: The ones I got right are in bold.

1. Fakaa’naua Taumalolo
2. Andrew Hore
3. Neemia Tialata
4. Ali Williams
5. Anthony Boric
6. Scott Waldrom
7. Adam Thompson
8. Jerome Kaino

9. Jimmy Cowan
10. Willie Ripia
11. Joe Rokocoko
12. Ma'a Nonu
13. Conrad Smith

14. Zac Guilford/Hosea Gear
15. Jonathan Spratt


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Don't Vote for National

Now, although the title is deceiving, I don't want to stir up anything.
I think sport and parliament should be as far removed as possible, bar funding.
But this seems to have been forgotten. By this, for those too lazy to click the link, I'm talking about National leader John Key's speech on sport at a lunch. I'd like to draw attention specifically to this:

"Take Sport and Recreation New Zealand (Sparc). This is the government agency charged with promoting physical activity and supporting elite athletes. Last year, Sparc had 86 full-time staff. Fourteen of those staff were paid more than $150,000 a year, while 47 of them earned more than $100,000 a year.

You would hope those staff were busy putting funds directly into regional sports trusts, clubs, and national sporting bodies. But no, almost a third of the money Sparc receives - $35 million in fact – never makes it outside the Wellington office....

An incoming National Government will have a look at all these programmes, regardless of which portfolio technically funds them, to ensure we get the balance right between funding promotional programmes and telling people to lead healthier lifestyles, and funding actual sports organisations with actual facilities at which sport is actually being played.

It's clear that with a firm sense of priorities, and a disciplined approach to taxpayer funds, National will be able to free up meaningful additional funding for schools and sports clubs. "

That's a very longwinded quote (but then again, it's a political speech) but what Key is saying without saying anything is that he wants to pull SPARC funding and shovel it into education. I have nothing against education, but what I have an issue with is that SPARC seems to be perceived as operating solely as an elite sport body. While it is true that SPARC operates for elite athletes, it also focuses on schools. In fact, if it wasn't for SPARC and the Kiwi Kids holiday program (the actual name escapes me) I would have only stuck with cricket and football, without experiencing any other sport.

It is my personal belief that where SPARC does not perform is in the middle sector. The majority of funding goes to world class atheletes and children, but the high-school and university age athletes have to seek sponsorship or have their school foot the bill (as I have personally experienced).

Now, neither party has released a policy on sport (a point which was noted by a caller, Graham, on BSport yesterday) but we know Labour has a strong commitment to sport (what with there being a Minister for the Rugby World Cup - I don't neccessarily agree with this, but nevertheless) while National appears committed to cutting sport funding... To fund tax cuts perhaps?

As I said, don't take this to be influencing your vote. I just want to draw attention to an overlooked issue.

What are your thoughts? Should sport be governed independently or should the Government have full control? Should SPARC be funded by the Government or seek money from the private sector?


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's Coming Closer.

Oh and


Monday, October 13, 2008

Will she be white, bro?

In case you missed it, Richard Boock wrote an article on racism in sport in yesterdays Sunday Star Times. BSport had a discussion on the subject, with Lonergan furious at what he percieves as a lack of representation on the board of SPARC and various other sporting bodies.

Now, I agree with Lonergan's points, but do we really need a quota of Polynesian/Maori people on sporting bodies? What is to says that Va'aiga Tuigamala [Lonergan's expert on the subject] is going to be any more representative of the group than somebody from a European-Kiwi background?

Let's not forget that this is New Zealand, where businesses and organisations are bound to stick to certain roles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

As to Boock's belief that there is a racist culture who believes that 'blacks' cannot play in pivotal roles in New Zealand, WHAT?

Mils Muliaina? Ma'a Nonu? Jesse Ryder? Michael Campbell? Piri Weepu?

Those who argue that the lack of Polynesian/Maori's at top level Hockey, Cricket, Athletics etc, I'd suggest you look at American sport. I was having a discussion on the subject with my flatmate who hails from Boston not so long ago. What he was saying was that the reason there are not many black quarterbacks or kickers is to do with the upbringing of these children, not the coaching structure.

What Ben was saying was that the majority of African-American's involved in NFL originally started on a path toward professional basketball. It seems that due to the way the American structure works, these kids get into NCAA Basketball, but get poached by football coaches shortly afterward as the athletic skills required by wide receivers and safety's are similar to those required by basketballers. Ben claims that this is now a career path that kids in the States actively pursue.

On top of that, he said that the kids from the ghetto areas are more likely to go after basketball as they know someone who has 'made it', can participate with friends and... The costs are low, with a ball the only equipment neccessary.

Well, while New Zealand isn't a parallel of that, I think that the 'minor' sports miss out on that Polynesian/Maori experience due to a lack of funding and exposure. When is the last time you heard of a New Zealand Hockey player being sent to Europe for a year to develop their skills? Or how about an NZ football signing a $2m contract?


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Live Blogging Bathurst

Thanks to Hadyn at Dropkicks for the idea.
I'm working today and started at 1300, so missed the first wee while (which I'm not too happy about).

LAP 28: Skaife is in for his first CPS. The Kelly/Dumbrell 16 has just been wheeled into the pits.
LAP 29: The lead car of Courtney/Besnard has also just pitted. Looks like Besnard has just jumped in the car. Besnard and the 51 of Wood/Noske just had a fantastic drag up mountain straight, with the 51 coming out on top. Looks like Lowndes/Whincup's 888 is now leading.
LAP 30: Courtney is being interviewed and looks quite happy and confident. Will be interesting to see if that changes as the race goes on.
LAP 31: Pit lane has sprung into life, with the 14, 33 and somebody else (looks like the 55?) all in. They stay in this order.
Besnard just put a fantastic move on 51 out of the Chase.
LAP 32: The 18 of Davison/Johnson is in. They dropped the car early and the crew member helping Johnson climb in got whacked in the head. He looks ok. #2 is also in, with a driver change.
LAP 33: Lowndes is sliding the 888 like a maniac across the top! Morris has just jumped in 39, after Ingall did well in the first stint. 25 of Bright/Macrow has also come in, but I don't think there was a driver change.
LAP 34: 888 is in, with half a lap to spare over Besnard in 4. Whincup has jumped into the car. Whincup has come out in front!!! Besnard did not try to pull alongside up mountain straight, but looks for the inside line into the cutting. Whincup shuts the door.
LAP 35: Whincup and Besnard continue. Besnard gained a couple of tenths heading up mountain straight anddddd. Ad break.

LAP 36: 51 is in the pits, looks like there was a problem as it's being pushed by the crew.
LAP 37: The 3 of Murph/J. Richards just blasted past Besnard into the chase. The top three is now 888, 3, 4.
LAP 38: No sooner than they get to second does the 3 pit for brake change. BIG PROBLEM FOR 12, the front is rooted. Looks like the took turn 2 too hard, swung out, spun and punched the wall on the inside.
LAP 39: 12 gets to the pits and goes straight into the garage. Ad break.
LAP 42: 6 just got around 4, I think Frosty is at the wheel of 6. They've interviewed Courtney and Ross Stone, so I think there may be a problem with the 4. Awesome super slo-mo footage of Besnard locking the front left just now.
LAP 43: Interviewing Tander, who looks hquietly confident. I must say, the number 1 is doing well. 39 went off at the Chase.
LAP 45: One of the DJR cars is in the pits, possibly 18. One of the tires ripped off was rooted and it looks like the car took off before the refueler was done.
LAP 46: Geez, the number 6 is looking tidy. 888 is in front of them by 27 seconds though. Ad break.

LAP 47: 9 is in for a brake pad change. Van Gisbergen is doing well so far.
LAP 48: Number 25, with I think Bright at the wheel, is all over number 4.
LAP 50: 18 is battling to get around the HRT #1!
LAP 51: Johnson's got a run on Skaife/Tander into turn one AND HE'S GOT PAST! Now the 55 is lining up for a crack and it looks like he got past too.
LAP 52: 34 is in the pits, so is the 5 on Youlden and Canto which has been on the pace more or less. Mix up in the 34, the driver got out (possibly Ritter) for a driver change, but there was nobody to jump in for him! He promptly got shoved back in by a crew member.
LAP 54: Coulthard's 111 is in the pits, that's another car that has been running well. 1 is in as well and Tander has just jumped in. Order is 888, 6, 39.
LAP 55: Ad break.

LAP 57: 4 is in the pits, Courtney has jumped in. 6 is also in, with Richards getting behind the wheel. I have to do some real work now, so will update in a few.

LAP 80: I'm back in action and it looks like Price has set a new lap record!!! 0.032!! That's lightening quick. But seriously, what's gone wrong with the timing monitors? Looks like all the tires are tearing themselves to shreds too.
LAP 81: Tander runs wide at the chase trying to get past the 39 of Morris/Ingall!
LAP 82: We're getting a technical explanation of negative camber (where the tire is fitted on an angle so when driving straight only a little bit makes contact, but during cornering the tire rolls so the full surface touches the road. Ad break.

Lap 84: Running order is Lowndes, Davison, Ingall, Richards. A DJR pit member just held a board out telling Davison to check his earpugs. I hate not having audio, but could this be a repeat of balaclavagate?
LAP 85: Lowndes has a 2 second lead over Davison. The top 10 are pretty compacted overall, which bodes well for the rest of the race. Ad break

LAP 87: Paul Cruickshank is being interviewed and says there may be a second car next year. Good to see him being interviewed. Running order is Lowndes/Davison/Ingall/Murphy.

LAP 100: What the hell? I do some work, come back and Murphy/Richards are in the lead, while Mark Skaife in the 1 has gone off the track!
LAP 101: Car 3 is in the pits. Richards has jumped in the drivers seat. I'm not even sure of who is leading what at this stage.
LAP 102: 888 is trying to catch 1. Not sure if this will put them a lap down, or if it is for position. Nope, it's for position, although Skaife has to pit again soon. Ad break.

LAP 104: Skaife has effectively ruined the HRT 1's chances, running wide after what looks like a tyre problem. Lots of race tape has been applied and the team will be hoping the light stays good, as their lights will be useless. Now what does this mean for Whincup and Winterbottom, who are chasing the championship?
LAP 105: Focusing on Luke Youlden in the second FPR car. OThe DJR 18 has just pitted, tyres only.
LAP 106: There's only been one safety car so far in the race which is odd. Whoops, I spoke too soon. Car 34 has spun and is deep in the gravel at McPhillamey Park it looks like. Safety car is on track. Car 33 also spun at the final turn, did a big four wheel drift trying to get around number 6.
LAP 107: Pit lane is busy.
LAP 108: Number 6 just got around 2 at the chase and now 111 is lining up for a crack.
LAP 109: Running order Whincup/Macrow/Winterbottom. 33 just punted off 777 at the chase, while 6 has rounded up Macrow.
LAP 110: Winterbottom is hustling!
Lap 113: Winterbottom and Whincup are getting closer. Ad break.

LAP 115: A freight train is forming behind one of the Jack Daniel's cars. Whincup/Winterbottom/Macrow is the order.
LAP 116: 25 is in the pits, I think Brighty will jump in. Nope, looks like tyres and fuel only. Two cars have pushed the 14 out of the way to get past and now the 51 and 4 are stuck behind 88, looking to out-drag the European pairing down Conrod. The 88 has a decent whack of horsepower, but 51 and 4 get him at the chase and 55 looks to get an inside run into the final turn. Yep, he's through.
LAP 117: Courtney (I think) is trying to round up number 51, but it looks like 51 is using some pretty sharp defensive lines. The SBR car got him down Conrod, while 55 rounded him up into the chase.
LAP 119: Car 3 just outdragged 88 along pit straight. Ad break.

LAP 122: Car 18 is in AGAIN (Another tyre is rooted) and Dick Johnson is having some stern words with Dunlop officials. Ad break.

LAP 125: Frosty's out on his own and pedalling hard.
LAP 126: 111 is in, looks like Coulthard may have jumped in. I'd guess he's going to double-stint to the end. Came out behind 18 and ahead of 25, which isn't bad! Meanwhile 33 is all over the back of 88.
LAP 127: The Kelly/Dumbrell 16 is back out, hunting for points I guess. Meanwhile the PMM 67 went deep into the chase and did a bit of motocross.
LAP 128: Safety car. Not sure what for, took my eyes off. Everyone is in to fill up and change drivers, looking to double stint. This is where it gets hard to know who is in what. 111 is back in for some reason. 6 has pitted too, with Richards jumping in! It looks like 67 went off that the chase again, which is possibly the trigger for the SC period. Ingall is behind the wheel of 39. The order appears to be 4, 888, 6.
LAP 30: Underway again. 888 rounded up 1 well, but Richards in 6 is stuck behind him over the top of the mountain. That tape can't help 1's aerodynamics, so I expect 6 will round him up down Conrod. Nope, I was wrong!
LAP 131: 6 has got past, but 3 is right on Richard's arse down Conrod, while Jamie Whincup looks like Dory from Finding Nemo as he is interviewed on mute.
LAP 132: Here's a spit roast you wouldn't want to join, Whincup is on the left and Craig Lowndes is on the right (in car camera, obviously). Ad break.

LAP 135: Huge focus on car 39, which has a little bit of blue smoke coming from the back. No! Keep going, win and turn my $5 into $175!!! 6 has pulled a reasonable lead away from 3.
LAP 136: A whole bunch of people were looking down the inside into turn two just now.
LAP 137: Jeez, that DJR car has balls, roaring up mountain straight.
LAP 138: Ingall's out! 4 is in the pits. So is 6! Lots of gravel in the front radiator. I don't think this was a planned stop.
LAP 139: 88 has spun! Looks like a safety car will be out.
LAP ???: Car 33 is stranded, safety car is out. Order appears to be 888/6/3. Ad break.

LAP 143: 6 is trying to hustle up to 888, but 3 looks around the outside at 2 AND HE'S GOT THROUGH! 6 comes back though before the cutting. He's pulling away now, but 3's oming back down Conrod thanks to the draft. 888 has about 2 seconds lead.
LAP 144: Slo-mo replay shows something flying from 4, but doesn't look too critical.
LAP 145: 67 is in the tyre wall! Looks like it might be at the end of the chase, where Radisich crashed in 2006. (Edit: Nup, it's at the final turn) Safety car is out. Ad break.

LAP 147: Restart and already HRT 2 is out! Straight into the tyres at turn two! And we get to see a dirty ginger in the HRT garage look disappointed. (Guess they really take this 'red' thing seriously huh?) In their defence, 17 took a wild dive inside and clipped the rear right, sending them out of control. Safety car and ad break.

LAP ???: Order is still 888/6/3. Frosty is looking pretty happy and is still in his leathers, so I guess there is a possibility of a driver change at their final stop.
LAP 150: Racing again. 17 has a black flag!
LAP 151: 4 is making serious moves to get past 14...
LAP 152: ... And it's continuing. Just keeps your cool James, don't bin it with 10 to go! 888 just breezed past 777, as did 6, 3, 14 and 4.
LAP 153: 3 is right on 6's ass, but the pair appear to be making subtle gains on 888. I just saw 021 is on the track on the timing monitor! Courtney just rounded up 14.
LAP 155: Although I don't want to admit it, I think the FPR 6 has conceded defeat to 888 and is looking to the longer situation, the championship.
LAP 156: SPECTACULAR slo-mo shot of something dripping out the back of 3. That was gorgeous.
LAP 157: 2 second gap between 888 and 6.
LAP 158: 6 is continuing to hold off 3, but struggling to gain any ground on 888. HE JUST WENT WIDE AT THE CHASE! 3 ALONGSIDE INTO THE FINAL TURN AND HE'S THROUGH!
LAP 159: Be interesting to see if 3 can chase down 888 with 3 laps to run. 777 has spun in a dangerous possie and buried in the wall, will this bring out the SC?! He's limping around the track. 3's catching 888. This is exciting! 4 has just pushed 6 out of the way!
LAP 160: Frosty Winterbottom looks really upset, he's just watched a podium slip away over the past two laps.
LAP 161: 2.8 seconds between Lowndes in the 888 in P1 and Murph in 3 in P2. At a guess I'd say Lowndes has it stiched up, I don't think Lowndes was gunning for it the past wee while. Lowndes has won! Triple 8 take three in a row!!! Murph/J Richards second and Courtney/Besnard third. For the record, Murph finished 2.4 seconds behind.


Circle driving: It ain't just about two races.

It's Bathurst weekend. Yet another chance for New Zealanders to pretend to care about motorsport and for the Holden 'fans' to come crawling out of the woodwork to slang the Fords. There was an interesting interview on Radio Sport with Mark Winterbottom yesterday, which proved this very point.

But it was odd, because D'Arcy Waldegrave comes from a motorsport background, having done commentary for the then Shell Helix Motorsport, as well as this years Rally New Zealand. On a side note, BSport is a far better station and I encourage you all to listen to it, for the simple fact that [to coin a cliche] they ask the hard questions. Just listen to the interview with Steve Tew from last week and this will be apparent. But I digress.

I can remember going to the old Mobil street races in Wellington and meeting Peter Brock (my mother was a flag marshall) and watching Bathurst a couple of times as a kid. My father had a good run in go-karts and Formula Ford during his university days, but oddly, my family is not motorsport orientated. I'm the odd one out.
It was the 2004 season, at the age o 16, that I saw my first race. My father had been flicking through tv channels and I was laid up on the couch with the flu. All of a sudden, a wet race track comes on tv right as Marcos Ambrose at the Eastern Creek round goes off and gets collected as he reenters ahead of Todd Kelly.

That was it. I was captivated. I made my father promise to take me to Pukekohe that year (we were living in Auckland at the time) and he did so.

So, as an avid (meaning I spend at least two hours at work each day catching up on the V8 news) V8SC fan, it really irritates me when Bathurst rolls around. I love the race. I love the track. But what it is is this sudden feigned interest by broadcasters. My father once told me that Pukekohe and Bathurst are 'the only races that matter' (during a debate on the merits of Greg Murphy, to put it into context) and I think this is true of the New Zealand media. I'm so glad that TV3 have wrestled the rights off TV ONE, where for years I had to deal with staying up until 1am on a school/work night to watch a race held 7 hours previous.

But still, if you watch the news from this week, it's all just Greg 'Murph' Murphy and Jason 'Jase' Richards (Nothing against you Jase, but I hate Nelson so I can't root for you). This was evidenced when the TAB had them priced as third favourites in a year where I struggle to remember either breaking the top 10, bar Jason's fantastic drive at Winton.

Where is the love for Lowndes/Whincup? Tander/Skaife? Winterbottom/S. Richards (go you beauties)? Ingall/Morris? Dumbrell/Kelly? (Feel sorry for Dave Reynolds, touted as HRT's answer to Lewis Hamilton and last year doesn't get to turn a lap when McConville's engine gives out and this year gets his place taken by Kelly after Radisich bins it in practice. PS hope you're ok Paul, and not reliving 2006 too much.)


Saturday, October 11, 2008

BLACKCAPS should ship up, sell out.

It's been a while since the last posting, but with a new motivation to blog, I shall attempt to re-start this thing, and it is possible I should branch out into sports other than rugby.

Hadyn of Dropkicks and Public Address fame has taken to discussing uniforms, one of my favourite aspects of sport. By far the worst (and weirdest) uniform to come out of New Zealand this year is that of the BLACKCAPS. For starters, it's got those weird shapes that only a geometry professor can love. Secondly, there was all the discussion of the 'technological advancements' the uniform. Seriously, aside from climacool, what the hell else could benefit a cricketer? Skins, to aid their muscles from all that running (or not) that the fielders do?

Anyway, the point of this post was to talk about advertising. I am of two minds when it comes to advertising in sport. While I don't like to see good uniforms ruined by massive logos, I do like to see creative advertising, such as that on the back of an NRL team I can't remember's shorts, where it would make the logo of the company. (I think it was either the Titans or Dragons, but can't find it on either. And yes, some of us are still upset about the disappearance of the Illawarra Steelers.)
Now, while watching the second test of the BLACKCAPS current tour of Bangladesh, I couldn't help but wonder... Why does nobody advertise on the face of the bat? We've got advertising on helmets, wickets, uniform, even the boundary rope. But if you think about it, in a 50 over match, with every ball bowled, you'll see the face of the bat 600 times. That's not including slow-motion replays. If you could get your logo on that piece of real estate, you'd be a lot more visible than a logo on the chest (because, when you think about it, batsmen stand side on, bowlers always have an arm in the way and fielders when standing still always have their bloody arms folded!

Imagine how nice a National Bank horse would look on Patel's bat as he smacks a six to make the tail wag. Something to think about, I reckon.


Monday, June 9, 2008

All Blacks vs Ireland First Test - AKA What the F*** Happened?

On a cold, wet night in the capital, Henry's Heroes lined up against the keen-spirited (but seemingly feeling the early effects of pneunomia) Irish.

Congratulations to all involved. For the first 60 minutes the All Blacks played like a bunch of fourth formers (sorry, year 10) selected for the first XV. The fire and enthusiasm was there, but the combinations weren't firing, the kicks were more for territory than exciting play, passes weren't sticking, penalties and possesion were going to the Irish. Who played exceptionally gritty, unrelenting football.

It is worth noting that the Irish are by no means a mediocre, weak nation. By playing the first test of the season against them, which is historically a fixture reserved for a Pacific nation for the very reason I just outlined - it allows the team room to get into the flow of things and gain confidence - The NZRU played a game of Russian roulette. The media would not let a loss go down lightly and in turn more fans would be lost. Or at least, thats the way journalists would spin it.

But both teams held together. Conrad Smith proved suprisingly elusive in what may have been his best professional game to date, McCaw was, as always, dominating at the breakdown and So'oialo again showed his talent in covering number 6.
The team escaped with only Afoa injured, although Carter may be a bit staggered by his goal-kicking stats on the night.

If fans were to be gained, we would have needed to win this by 30 or more points. But those who watched the game would agree any team would have struggled to beat an on form Irish team in the rain that night.

Final score 21 - 11.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Halfway through

Hurricanes v Crusaders
However way you look at it, this is going to be the game of the regular season. A few weeks ago the Blues v Crusaders would have claimed this title, but Nuci's boys have left a lot to be desired lately. Anyway, on to the game. Potentially an All Black trial, there are dream match ups in almost every position (bar Gopperth/Carter, as we all know who has that one stitched up). The Crusaders have been the 'Canes bugbear over the seasons, but they have the game plan to rattle the men from the garden city.

One to watch
How about Tialata v Sommerville? Eaton v Williams? Weepu v Ellis? Masoe v McCaw?


Waratahs v Cheetahs
The Cheetahs took the game to the Brumbies last week and could have very nearly won. The Waratahs, despite the protestations of Phil Waugh to otherwise, were nowhere near the Crusaders stature. This could shape to be a tremendous upset if the Cheetahs win, as everyone has been keen to write them off (my $5 bet for them by less than 12 will pay out $40). The 'Tahs need to assert some dominance from the word go to gain some confidence.

One to watch


Force v Stormers
The Force and Stormers are both on the rise, so this should be a close one. The Force beat the Blues and the Blues beat the Stormers, so smart money would be on the Force to get 4 points.

One to Watch
Ryan Cross


Chiefs v Highlanders
The Highlanders have been all but written off by the NZ public, but I believe they've been tremendously unlucky to not win as yet. They've rattled everyone they've come up against, notably the Force and Hurricanes. However, the Chiefs have players back from injury - and the halfway point always sees them have a strong run home.

One to Watch


Blues v Bulls
The Blues were at one stage being labelled as better than the Crusaders, but as always the wheels have somewhat fallen off the wagon. Meanwhile in Bulls-land noone is sure what has gone on this season.
However, with Du Prieer and Habana back, this weekends side will be reinvigorated and playing to their full potential.

One to Watch


Sharks v Reds
Easy pick. Reds have been less than contend able this season.

One to Watch




Thursday, March 20, 2008

Over the Neglect

I began with good intentions, but have been tied up with assignments due this week.

Anyway, my look at this weekends Super 14 matchups:

Crusaders v Waratahs

Without question the Crusaders are the form team in the competition at the moment, despite that little shake up the Force gave them - May I add the Force were very unlucky to lose that one and deserved to win. Waratahs have been struggling for consistency following their thrashing of the Canes where they had looked to be a force.

All eyes on:
Beale vs Carter


Brumbies v Cheetahs

Another easy pick. Although the Cheetahs head to Brisbane with a number of rested players, the Brumbies should cruise.

All eyes on:
Tyrone Smith


Highlanders v Force

Could swing either way. on the one hand, the Highlanders have done a fantastic job this season and defend like a brick wall. On the other hand, the Force put in a mighty effort against the Crusaders and showed up the Blues, so it could go either way, which is what makes it the Game Of The Round. Giteau could spark a solid attack if he spies any chinks in the Highlanders armour.

All Eyes On:


Blues v Stormers
Another two form teams, with the Stormers beginning to pick up their act at the moment. The Blues will need to be ruthless to bounce back from their loss last week, without allowing the Stormers to assert control.

All Eyes On:
Tony Brown


Chiefs v Bulls

Its always a shame when the defending champion fails to fire the following season - a common occurrence in the NFL, yet not so much in the Super series. Yet this is the story of the 08 Bulls, underlined by their performance against the Reds last weekend. The Chiefs will get their season back on track this weekend, relieving a little of the pressure they're feeling from their nearly written off season.

All Eyes On:
Stephen Donald (although this could change, I'd be more interested in watching Stephen Brett at #10 for the Chiefs as RugbyHeaven say he is)


Lions v Reds

The Reds are coming off a strong performance against the aforementioned Bulls(**ts) and should dust off the hapless Lions with ease.

All Eyes On:


Bye Hurricanes


Friday, March 7, 2008

Roughies [An irregular feature]

The first edition for Roughies has to be split between two sportsmen, as both have had potentially career-ending ailments revealed very publicly this week.

First off, 29 year-old Julian Huxley.

The former Queensland Reds and current Brumbies player was taken to hospital after collapsing following a tackle during last weekends game against the Reds. Cleared of any spinal injuries, he was sent for an MRI and was found to have a benign brain tumour. The tumour is believed to be at the top of his brain which can affect an individuals motor skills - obviously not the most desirable affliction for a world-class utility.
Peter Playford has been named as Huxley's replacement for this weekends derby against the Warratahs.

Next, New Zealand rower Rob Waddell.

Waddell was World Champion in 1998 and 1999, then an Olympic Gold medalist in 2000 and has also won the Halberg Award. After leaving the sport he joined Team New Zealand as a grinder in the 2003 and 2007 Americas Cup series, before returning to rowing and beginning training no more than six months ago. The past summer has seen him competing against current world champion, Mahe Drysdale. The two have been locked into an enthralling battle all summer for the Olympic single-sculls berth. Unfortunately, in the final race in a best-of-three series, Waddell encountered a flare-up of atrial fibrillation, a condition he has lived with in secret for many years. This led to Drysdale scoring an easy victory over Waddell and as announced today, the single sculls berth.
Waddell can still attempt to qualify for a seat in the men's double scull.

Good luck to both Huxley and Waddell in bouncing back from their rough week.


Monday, March 3, 2008

The Opening Salvo - On Super14, Cricket and Rowing

My, what an excellent weekend I can use to kickstart this blog.
A triumph for the beloved Hurricanes, Brendan McCullums surgical disembowelment of the Auckland Aces in the national cricket final and the looming regatta between Rob Wadell and Mahe Drysdale.