Monthly Archives: February 2009

A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Losing

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Even the weather seemed in on the act as I watched on Maori TV. The rain began to fall just as the Breakers shots started to dry up. From the dizzying heights of a twenty point lead to the crushing lows of a six point loss , 103-97.  The photo above says it all, the tigers fed off the carcass of the Breakers’ broken dreams.

Did they fly too close to the sun on this one?   The first quarter opened with “the Bear” hitting threes and the Breakers defense looking focused, angry and eager. Up 13-0. But beneath the enthusiasm  there was a sense of desperation, like a little brother determined to beat his older, stronger brother. Rickert was all fist pumps and chest bumps, even after the most menial tasks. Boucher was performing his typical demolition job on the opposition’s offense, pulling down boards and punching the ball away in the most baffling of circumstances. At one point the tigers coach told his players “he doesn’t get another fucking rebound”.   Continue reading

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Filed under Basketball, Kirk Penney's Hair

Indian Summers

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Having been shivering my way through England and Scotland these past couple of weeks, with the only cricket news being that monumentally cool (if on another level ineffably sad) Stanford scandal all across the front pages – one I’m gonna try and approach that this weekend – it was something of a culture shock to arrive back to last night’s Twenty20.

Our friends over at Short of A Length have challenged us to something of a blog war over the course of the series, so I suppose it would be remiss of me not to have a good long gloat at the result of the match, one which went decidedly against forecast, and hopefully sets up a fine battle over the coming weeks. The thing I find most pleasurable about the outcome, from a very parochial perspective at least, is the extent to which I see the same gnawing issues in India’s play that plagued them during that infamous series last time they toured here. Continue reading

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Filed under Announcements, Cricket, News

No Guarantee

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Guarantees can be good. When John F. Kennedy promised that the United States would reach the moon within ten years, it was a perfect display of good old American confidence and ambition. When Armstrong finally took those giant leaps, I’m sure it seemed that without the bold predictions of the catholic president, it wouldn’t have happened.

 But guarantees can be bad too. Many have forgotten that Bush , eager to establish some kind of legacy,  guaranteed that a man would reach Mars in ten years. It could still happen I guess, if we discover that something top secret has been going on, but right now it’s as sure a thing as “mission accomplished” . It’s a testament to his imcompetance in so many areas that more isn’t made of this, literally, astronomical error of judgement. Continue reading

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Filed under Rugby

What I've Been Watching

MySky has certainly changed the TV lives of everyone who has turned on, tuned in and dropped out. Here’s what I’ve been watching recently:196264

A.K.A. Cassius Clay

This is one of the hidden classics of the sports documentary. Part TV sport doco, part 60’s art/be-bop film, A.K.A. Cassius Clay is as awkward as it is compelling. Made in 1970 during Ali‘s religious inspired hiatus, Richard Kiley narrated the young boxers life which is cut with archival footage, both of the boxer and of pictures of American life at the time (Malcolm X rallies, etc.), and a strange conversation between Ali and his trainer Cus D’Amato discussing the history of the sport and Ali’s former opponents. There’s a certain sloppiness to the whole thing that may annoy some but give it a certain authenticity of time and place. Continue reading

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Filed under Basketball, Boxing, NBA, News

Dance The Dance Electric , And A Storm Is Brewing

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We’ve already covered a lot on the All Star Weekend, but it’s only appropriate to recap  the score of the final game . The West beat the East 146-119. No one played defense and  in a fit of awkward nostalgia  Shaq and Kobe were awarded co-MVP awards.

Moving on to more important things:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO2f-KDCulk%5D

 It’s hard to think of another individual who has so thoroughly embraced the joy of being a professional athlete at the pinnacle of their popularity than Shaquille O’neal. What’s more, it’s not expressed through some kind of desperate hedonism –  he’s not snorting drugs off the stomach of some coked up hooker, but he is dancing with the JabbaWockeez! Just because he can.  Continue reading

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Filed under Basketball

Slow News Day: A Lost Art.

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Sport Mascotry is a true expressive artform, and no mascot had more effect on my childhood (for better or worse) than Rambo, the Canterbury Rams Ram.  Is he the last great sports mascot? Probably.  Some wondered whether there was even a human being under there, or if he was literally a wild mutant ram/man in a basketball uniform terrorising Cowles Stadium . Either way, he was very very good at what he did, and – we thought – he was to be the last of the revolutionary sports mascots. Until now…

This might just be the result of having too much time on your hands, (I’m guessing that a mascot has a fair amount of down time between games and groupies) but kudos to Clutch the Bear for the dedication he has to his craft . While other mascots focus on the mini-tramp and bad dance moves, the Houston Rockets mascot has refined his game and made what will surely become the key new developement in his industry: Stand still, pretend you’re an inflatable, wait… wait… then pounce & sceam. It’s the perfect mix of patience, timing, and child cruelty. Plus it’s nice to see a mascot take it off tha hardwood and out to tha concourse y’all.
The Houston Rockets organisation apparently allows Clutch to do this regularly throughout the season, and when you get about 1 minute into the clip below, you start to understand why. Continue reading

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Filed under Basketball, NBA, Reminiscing

Tea Bagging in Liverpool

Wandering through the clean, modern centre of Liverpool today I found myself in front of the great totem to contemporary art and culture that is the Official Liverpool FC Store. Along with the anticipated team strips and posters were some stuff for the more hardcore supporter. Here’s my top ten ridiculous Liverpool supporter’s products.

10. Little Dressing Gowns. For when you need to support Liverpool from the comfort of your home in the morning, but aren’t very big.

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Filed under Soccer