Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ah, Friday.

Conversation I just had with a colleague this morning.


Setting: Kitchen at work.
Players: Dom, George

George enters kitchen to find Dom cooking porridge in microwave

George: Plans for the weekend?
Dom: Cricket then off to a wedding in Napier
G: Yours or a friends?
D: Haha, A friends, though admittedly I'll make sure my wedding is on a Sunday so I can play cricket.
G: I’m not married.
D: Yeah.
pause
D: Do you have plans? (in reference to the long weekend ahead)
G: I think I’m too old to marry. At my age, 36, the likely hood of developing a long lasting relationship is very low.
D: Bollocks.
G: Building a successful marriage is really only possible when you are in your twenties and have time. As you get older it becomes much more difficult. Things just get in the way.
D: Cheer up mate. Seems rather a bleak outlook.

They both make to leave the kitchen.

G: In Victorian times, if you weren’t married by 25, you never married. I wonder what was different about their society from today’s?
D: Everyone tended to die when they were 50?
G: Mmmmmm. (Wandering away, in the wrong direction to get to his desk) Maybe.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sports Thorts

There has been a lot of talk recently about Shane Bond who pulled out of the Black Caps latest match with a back concern.

The guy seems to attract injuries like Shane Warne attracts text messages from English chavs. It was suggested on sports radio that he was fragile and had broken down so many times in recent years that the slightest twinge would cause him to withdraw from playing until he was cleared.

Some of the bigger boofheads in NZ sports circles have said that often you have to play through a bit of pain, that the niggles are just that and tend to stay as niggles. They suggest that Bond is now paranoid or gun shy and panics with the merest stiffness or discomfort.

When you bowl at the level of cricket Bond does, the slightest error gets punished. He could get away with bowling with a few ‘niggles’ in club cricket but when you are bowling at the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, and Brian Lara there is no room for error. At the ODI level bowling at 100% and bowling at 90% can mean the difference between 10 overs for 30 runs and 3 wickets and 8 overs for 45 runs and no wickets.

So what does our Shane do? Bowl at less than 100% physical fitness and come away looking like Kyle Mills (despite his figures the other day, he is a horse’s arse).Or does he rehabilitate again, spending months on the sideline. Poor Bond is really in a bad situation, damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

And here is where we the sporting public stop being so bloody selfish and let the guy do what is good for him. We are not the ones who will be struggling to get out of bed at age 50 because every movement of our back leads to crippling pain. We are not the ones who won’t be able to bend down and pick up our grandchildren because our knees have been reconstructed so many times there is no longer any cartilage to support them.

Piss off and leave him alone NZ. Just marvel at what he does when he is fit and wish him a speedy recovery when he is not.

Still with cricket:

That we have place so much pressure on one man to save our bowling attack is as much a reflection of our shocking grass-roots cricket level and lack of nurturing of young talent as it is our on sports fanaticism.

We are always in search of the next fastest fast bowler. Is that really necessary? Glenn McGrath, the best, most effective fast bowler his generation, never topped 140km. NZ cricket sit waiting on the edge of their seats with fingers, toes, legs, arms and even eyes crossed, hoping, just hoping that Bond will be fit for the next campaign. Instead they should be looking at finding the next Glenn McGrath or better yet, the next Richard Hadlee, who used cricket smarts, patience and guile better than any other cricket of our lifetimes. He was a fast bowler, but he was never a super quick bowler, like the Lee’s, Harmison’s, Jones’s, Bond’s or cheaten Aktar’s. Yet he took an amazing amount of wickets and had opposition batsmen continually on the back foot.

Cricket is a great game that way. Unlike so many other sports such as NFL, Football, Rugby, League, and Basketball, where the strongest and fastest teams will win more than lose, Cricket stands only with Baseball as sports where intelligence and cunning can march evenly with speed and strength.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Land of hope and glory

I’ve been doing some thinking about this. It occurred to me as I was writing to a friend in the UK, that the UK is not entirely accurate. In theory (and actually also in practice too I believe), Holland is a United Kingdom. So its England that’s the name. But where did that come from? There are a few lands out there. Here’s a quick look at them.

The Best

Iceland, the land of Ice. Excellent.

Swaziland, the land of Swazi. Very cool.

Scotland, land of the Scots. Ace.

The Rest

Ireland, the land of Ire (classic and in Gaelic it is known as Eire anyway).

Finland, the land of Fin. Sweet.

Thailand, land of Thais. Makes sense.

Holland/Netherlands. The land of the Nethers. Ditto.

New Zealand, the land of New Zea. Not bad.

Poland, the land of Po’s. Eh.

The Odd

Switzerland, land of Switzers.Wha?.

The Worst

England. The land of Eng. Nuff said.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Well put, that man.

From a buddy, Matt:

Re Zidane, personally I reckon Cantona had a word to him before the
match.
Eric: Now listen Zizou, if you want to be remembered as a genuine
French soccer hero, you must go out in a blaze of ill-tempered
violence.
Zidane: But Master, what about Joga Bonito?
SLAP!!!
Eric: You brainless fool! That's only for the uneducated masses. We
are French. We do not 'Play Beautiful'! HOIK, PTT!!! Now go! Do as I
command!
Zidane: It shall be done, Master.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

You are one pathetic loser.

Hadyn has been reminding me lately that if I want to return to the “in crowd” (Wellington blogging) I am actually going to have to blog now and then. Its not as easy as it sounds though. I’m not that smart. I’m only funny when I’m drunk. And I’m actually quite boring. So, what to blog about…..

Um…

Yeah…

I guess I could… no. been done.

I looked over Hadyn’s blog (wow two pimpings in one blog Had, you OWE me) for some inspiration. I don’t have an ipod. So there goes that one. Politics? That would require some reading…. (long intake of breath) probably not gonna happen. Sports stories? Theres that annoying ‘reading’ thing again.

Ah World Cup.

Hooray. Well the Football world cup started about two weeks ago. It was highly anticipated by sports mad people the world over. And for good reason. Football is the beautiful game and this would be the best of the best putting on a show for a world wide TV audience of some 20 billion. But what some people looked forward to even more was the plethora of fantasy/picking/sweepstakes that would tumble down upon them like a massive avalanche. For a measly $2, $5, $10 or even $20 you could have your chance to pick the results of some 60 odd games, plus you’d pick a team out of a hat to win the competition overall. Offices all over the world ground to a shuddering halt as the office poindexter compiled a sweepstake sometimes of his or her own design but more often than not ripped off the internet.

Added to this is the wealth of online picking and fantasy football games. From the mighty to the meek.

I duly took part in about a half dozen of these competitions costing me $37 in total. I spread my bets too mixing up results and testing different hypothesis here and there. Here are my results

Competition

Team Name

Team picked to win World Cup

Cost

Current Standing

vs my buddies

Likely return

Premier league Fantasy Football

Monkey Mountain Fire

England

my soul

23,471 / 307,280 My best ranking.

none playing

an after-life-time of pain and suffering (OOS, RSI etc). My details are on some crazy foreign website now. Bugger. I’ll be bombarded by annoying emails for the rest of my days.

TVNZ Virtual Football

Micklack

Germany

Nil

27,325 / 41,905

10/13 including a bogus team I set up to be my fall guy, and he’s coming ahead of me!

Nil. In it for shits and giggles really.

Work Sweep & picking contest

Dom

Netherlands

$5

34 / 36 (and Geoff didn’t even make any guesses so that means im effectively 34 / 35

ditto

Small possibility with 3rd ranked Netherlands but, whatever. (cough) Chokers (cough).

Jon’s sweep upstairs

Dom

Sweden

$2 (A bargin)

No picks for this one, was just a sweep out of the hat.

Sweden qualified for the second round but will be roughly pounded from behind by the cruelly efficient Germans.

Mike’s picking contest

Rogan’s Heroes

Germany

$10

19 / 25

ditto

Nil. I waaaaay to far back. The best picks comp. lots of levels, but little reward in the later stages mean Dom will be watching someone else spend his ten bucks.

Yakka’s picking contest

Gibbs

N/A

$20

=31 / 51 I was 51st for a while

Ditto

Biggest possible return ($400 for winning) and massive points up for grabs in the later rounds. Trouble is, I over analyse every game, and an old mate Belly has cursed me forever with his “law of averages” logic. I swear if I hear anyone say that again I may just combust.

Well there’s the sad, sad story of me. Pretty pathetic really. I may as well have just gone right ahead and set fire to that 37 bucks and saved myself the jeers of my co-workers who have started smirking behind their hands and pointing (except for Tibor (the only guy behind me in the work sweep). And whats worse, is that I play the game, know all the players, all the teams, their histories, their form, their styles of play. And yet, Liz, who thinks Argentine striker Hernan Crespo, is some type of new South American breakfast wine, that Portuguese winger, Christiano Ronaldo “has a nice smile” and that Rio Ferdinand is the King of Spain, is kicking my arse. Conspiracy? Do they merely hide behind Such is life. Good luck Liz.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bad rugby union, thats naughty.

I don’t think its possible to ever have a salary cap for the super 14.

Each union (SRU, ARU, & NZRFU) runs its teams as virtual trials for the national representative teams, with very few exemptions made.

The NFL does not have this concern

All players are contracted to the same organisation (NZRFU for example) and the players are on a collective contract with very few individual differences, exceptions being All Blacks captains etc. Players are rated and then put into salary bands.

There is a very strong bond between the clubs of a province and the super 14 team that they are covered by. NFL does not have this same affiliation with their great feeder unit, College Football. All players are fair game.

Where as players of club and college football in NZ will tend to stay in their respective provinces in pursuit of a place in that super 14 team, College football players will go where they are drafted. NFL teams give no thought to State or City loyalty. Its always a big deal when a player “comes home” to where he grew up in NFL games because its so rare to be playing where you had your formative years.

Super 14 teams can show some allegiance to players by including them in their protected player quota. Hence the reason the Crusaders were able to hold on to so many All Blacks for so long. It goes against everything about NZ and Rugby to enter a draft and be selected for another team away from your home. It’s all about playing with your “mates”, your Whanau. A very different mindset to NFL.

<>But the number one reason why the Super 14 will never have a salary cap? The greedy NZRFU doesn’t want to share. They are the big kid in the sandpit who has collected all the best toys and will not let anyone else have them. It has been the practise since very early on in the professional rugby days for the NZRFU to secure all the talent it possibly could. NZ doesn’t want to let anyone else make use of the massive rugby talent pool that we currently enjoy. To entertain the possibility of a Queensland Reds team sprinkled with NZ rugby players upsetting the Blues in the final of the super 14 would be nothing short of blasphemy. It’s a classic case of having your cake and eating it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Its just a cartoon, people!


There has been a lot of controversy over the publishing of the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad lately. The thing is that it isn’t the first time someone has drawn a caricature of Muhammad. In a 2001 South Park episode, Jesus gathers together his group of superfriends to battle the evil David Blaine. Included in the superfriends were such deities as Krishna, Buddha, Mormon founder Joseph Smith, Lao Tsu founder of Taoism, Moses, and you guessed it, Muhammad. I don’t know about you but I don’t remember any news of violence associated with this depiction. And it wasn’t just a picture, they had him talking and using his ‘fire breathing’ powers!!