Monthly Archives: November 2008

Liveblogging: All Blacks vs. England

Setting the scene:

Less than 30 minutes till kick-off. The All Blacks are about to play their last test match of 2008, attempting to claim the Grand Slam, and cap off a year that has seen them capture the Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations Trophy. A pretty big year. David and I left the PARTY OF THE YEAR to be here, blogging, live, for you…

I’m excited. Dave is:


Apologies for the quality of the photography, but it is NOT going to get any better tonight. In fact, it may be the last photo of the evening. All that matters is that Dave is asleep on the couch, and he looks pretty settled.

Okay, wide shot of Twickenham, and I’ve got to say, the stadium is looking pretty good. It’s not the time to be getting into a conversation about the state of New Zealand’s rugby facilities, but that one shot says it all – we have a lot of work to do before 2011.

We’re in the final ad break before the teams take the field. Final thought – tonight is about Conrad Smith. He’s the enigma that Henry can’t seem to settle on. A scholar of the game, an unorthodox genius, a wayward craftsman. He’s constantly shadowed by the global megastar-in-the-making Richard Kahui, and tonight is his chance to cement himself in the #13 jersey. Conrad Smith is the kind of player that you just want to succeed – but can he, in the next 80 minutes, convince Graham Henry that he is the future?

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Filed under LiveBlog, Miscellaneous, Rugby

Coming Tonight… All Blacks/England Liveblog


Don’t watch the final match of the All Blacks end of year/Grand Slam tour on television. Or if you do, mute the telly and let Deadball provide the commentary. Justin and David will be live from 3.15am (NZ time) bringing you all of the big hits and haka controversy. 

This is history on the making. Don’t miss it.

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Filed under LiveBlog, Rugby

Taking a Shot at LBJ

bill_sHenry’s already covered this with impressive zeal earlier this week, but I gotta follow up after reading The Sports Guy (a definite Dead Ball Icon) on the subject this morning. The part that caught my eye came in response to a common reader question, about whether it was OK to change the Knicks name to the New York Expiring Contracts. After a couple of pars agreeing with the notion, and speaking to the essential strangeness of an entire city apparently being cool with abandoning two seasons, including one which had been going pretty swimmingly until a week or so ago, in favour of a chance of glory, he drops this absolutely dynamite conspiracy theory in our lap:

“But here’s the part that I love (just a pet theory of mine): Team LeBron is making everyone think they have a chance at LeBron in 2010 so multiple teams clear cap space and weaken themselves competitively in the short-term (like Detroit did) … which inadvertently gives Bron a better chance to win a title over these next two years! It’s devious and hilarious. I love it. I would do the same thing. Can’t you see Worldwide Wes whispering to Dumars, “Yeah, LeBron loves Detroit, he could totally see himself there, you should kill your 2009 chances so we can maybe sign with you.””

I nearly fell off my chair when I read that. It makes such great sense, and is exactly why – as Simmons himself later notes, alongside a reference to the decline of big-scoring teams in this year’s comp – watching the machinations around the sport is nearly as much fun as straight basketball this year. The thing that makes me think maybe the theory might have some legs is plugging Simmons’ theory that the Cavs are encouraging the bidding war (the one which if it comes down to dollars they win by default) to weaken teams over the next couple of seasons into a piece in Wednesday’s New York Times. Continue reading


Filed under NBA, News

Friday Guest Post: THE SKINNY – Give Thanks Pilgrims! & Motown Is No Town

Not the original Pocahontas:

This week is Thanksgiving week in the US. Of all the crappy holidays/events the US keeps exporting (Halloween, Mothers/Fathers/Secretaries Day, ‘Santa Claus’ in his Coca-Cola inspired red and white fatsuit) the only one that SHOULD be taken up elsewhere is Thanksgiving. It’s essentially an all-day roast turkey and beer pigout with zero religious overtones and not having to remember to buy anyone presents.So far, so brilliant. But then its ALWAYS on a Thursday, so no-one works Friday either. That’s the genius right there.

AND there are always at least two football games to watch as you feel your colon going into spasm. Ok, so it celebrates the Pilgrims sharing food with the American Indian they were about to decimate with influenza and the repeater rifle, but then the original Waitangi Day was no picnic either. Now pass the mashed potatoes will ya?

Every year the two regular host teams on Thanksgiving are the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions. Dallas are always a soap opera (in fact in the 80’s it WAS a soap opera) but this year they are nothing compared to the Shakespearean tragedy of the 2008 Detroit Lions. Continue reading

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Liveblogging: Breakers vs. Wildcats

While we’re finishing up our epic Panmure basketball victory*, guest blogger Niki will reluctantly provide profound insights into this intriguing matchup. She’s not a huge ball fan (actually she kinda hates it), so be gentle. We’ll be back soon (UPDATE: by midway through the second quarter).

Hi! Ok the game just started.  Its the wildcats vs breakers and of course we’re going for the breakers but

ok there’s already been 5 points scored by wildcats, oh no hold on, 8. the breakers have got 2 and now I think they must have a penalty for the breakers……but they missed. So 8 to 2 at the moment.

Ok 2 more points scored by the breakers, and wow another 3! so now the score is 8 to 7 to the wildcats.

The wildcats have quickly scored 4 more points, it’s quite hard to type fast enough to keep us with the points, I really hope the buys get home soon. Ok now they just got 2 more so now they are on 14 and the breakers must have got 2 more as well so the score now is 14 to 9.

Ok the wildcats got one in but they don’t get any points because it was a foul I think.

Awesome – 3 points to the breakers and I’m pretty sure it was Phill Jones that got it in.  Score is 14 to 12.

WC scored a 3 but then breakers just got one in too. It was a “reverse lay up” score 17 to 14 and there’s about 5 minutes to go until the quarter is up.

I’m really sorry about this terrible reporting but they are going so fast and I don’t really understand basketball.  Somehow the score is now 25 to 19 (Wildcats leading). 2.49 minutes to go. Continue reading


Filed under Kirk Penney's Hair, LiveBlog, NBL

Coming Tonight… Breakers/Wildcats Liveblog


Just a reminder that we’ll be liveblogging the Breakers vs. Wildcats tonight (assuming our Panmure lagoon stadium game goes off on schedule – I’m looking at you Celia), so come back for that from a bit after 8. Actually, seeing as it’s from the Maori TV coverage, which is delayed by like a half hour, it’s not strictly-speaking a liveblog, but hey, if they’re alowed a little latitude, so are we.

It should be a hot game, we squeaked past the Wildcats 103-99 in round seven, but they took the previous game (last season and currently sit fourth on the NBL ladder (at 9-6) to the Breakers (11-3) second. See you then.

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Filed under Kirk Penney's Hair, LiveBlog, NBL

Anfernee 'Penny' Hardaway: A Dead Ball Icon


This post is not related to any current sporting event, but sometimes it’s nice to celebrate the past.

“One is Fredo, who was never ready for me to hand it over to him. One is Sonny, who will do whatever it takes to be the man. And one is Michael, who, if you watch the trilogy, the Godfather hands it over to Michael. So I have no problem handing it over to Dwyane.”

Back in 2005, in one of the most compelling quotes in the history of the NBA, Shaquille O ‘Neal wrote the final stanza in the tragic arc of Anfernee Hardaway’s career. At one point the most popular player in the NBA, bestowed with a grace hard to fathom, now relegated to the role of bumbling and incompetant brother. Shot in a boat, forgotten. Shaq’s analogy works for Kobe’s furious quest for power and Wade’s cool-headed efficiency, but was Anfernee really not ready to claim the glory that his talents so desperatly warrented?

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Filed under Dead Ball Icons, NBA