Monthly Archives: April 2009

Restoring the Bond

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News has broken that the BCCI has decided, in its infinite benevolence, to allow its players an amnesty until May 31 to cut all ties to the ICL. This means any Indian cricketer who ended their career by signing with the rebel league can rescucitate them and make nice with the effective governors of world cricket for the next 30 or so days.

This is long overdue, and frankly the situation should never have gotten to the blacklisting stage in the first place. (As an aside, is there any sport that loves blacklisting as much as cricket? The Packer era, Apartheid rebel tours, latter-day Zimbabwe… It’s a very McCarthyist sport.)

Why should we care? Because all national boards are expected to follow suit, meaning that the glaring hole in our current team’s make up, that of a genuine strike bowler, might be filled… Yeah, Bond could be back playing for us as soon as the Twenty20 World Cup, should sanity prevail and the ridiculous ‘cooling off period’ (what are we, 12?) be abandoned. Does anyone else find the timing of this a little convenient? Continue reading

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Filed under Cricket, News

Changing Of The Guards

Power suit of a franchise player

It’s exciting times in the basketball world right now, promising young players are eagerly removing their ill-fitting coats of adolescence in exchange for the imposing presence of tailored, grown-ass, franchise player power suits. At the same time, older, wiser players are humbly trying on cardigans, ready to retreat to the porch for long and lazy discussions on how things were in their day. Dare I say, this is a time of transition. And it’s happening now.

Of course, I’m not talking about the NBA playoffs. I’m talking about New Zealand’s very own version of the NBA, the NBL!

We’ve discussed the economic woes plaguing sports at DeadBall before, but perhaps no league is feeling this more than NBL. It costs 5,000 dollars to enter this league, not that high, some of you in Parnell are thinking, but it’s enough to throw those poor souls in Otago out of a team and force the glorious Canterbury Rams to be replaced by the shockingly titled Cougars. They must be hoping to reach an untapped and infamously desperate market.

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Filed under Basketball

New Zealand's Next Top Model Fixed Price Odds

"I'm not a stripper, so I didn't go anywhere near that dirty pole."

"I'm not a stripper, so I didn't go anywhere near that dirty pole."

In honour of this week’s non-entity recap episode, featuring about 30 seconds of unseen footage and a whole lot of reiterating what the hardcore ALREADY KNOW, we’ll do a similar thing with the Power Rankings this week. Because I know what you teenagers get up to when NTM isn’t on, and I can’t let the first ever copy of New Zealand Truth Weekly I’ve ever bought go to waste.

Basically this post will attempt to emulate the recap by synthesising the first five weeks of competition into one, and extrapolating the chances of wining the big prize based on that. While the Power Rankings lean heavily on that week’s episode, with a Hollinger-esque ratio taking into account previous wins, momentum and potential upside, the fixed price odds are less results driven than that, based entirely on the remaining models’ chances of actually winning the whole thing.

1. Christobelle $3.50

Watching the recap you got a sense of just how stealthy Christobelle’s rise to favouritism has been. In the early episodes she was just another frivolous, pretty young thing, cracking jokes and cruising through. It was only with the makeover that you got a sense of how bad she wants it, and the way she turned the disappointment into a victory straight afterward pointed at the steel behind those doe eyes. DeadBall can reveal that The Truth’s screaming headline “TV CATFIGHT” uncovered little save a spoiler alert regarding the two finalists (predictable, and almost certainly conjecture). Apparently poor Christobelle’s parents are divorcing, though quite how the juxtaposition of her and the number two on this list with the word ‘catfight’ related to the piece is beyond me. I just hope all those amazing headlines regarding Vice Girls in the past had more substance behind them. In any case, the main reveal was that C-Belle’s surname is Grierson-Ryrie, which sounds appropriately posh I reckon.

Key quote: “I think it was quite mean of me to not care that Hosanna was crying. But I had more important things on my mind.”– Christobelle on Michael Hill Jeweler shoot

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Filed under Awards, Golf, News

The Machine: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LA Lakers

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OK, so Dave, Justin and I were chatting NBA Playoffs over the bar the other night, talking about the teams and players we liked and disliked. The usual. Also, earlier in the day Duncan had told me that he had decided that liberated fandom was all well and good, but that a man needed a team for life, a team to rise and fall with, to laugh and cry with, and that he had decided that the Portland Trailblazers would be that team for him.

While none of us went that far, it became somewhat of an issue for the three of us. Who were our favorite teams? Continue reading

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Filed under Basketball, Fandom, NBA, Playoffs

Thursday Night Fever

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Over the past few years Thursday has become basketball day in New Zealand. It makes good commercial sense, in a lot of ways. Even with the occasional midweek game of Origin, Thursday’s normally clear of any other sport, except the least exciting game of NPC, and even that tends to neatly dovetail with the NBL/ANBL off-season. Tonight Phill Jones’ Nelson Giants (see starting 5 above) take on, uh, Dylan Boucher’s Auckland Stars (no z! do they not know the golden rule of NZ franchise naming? No wonder they nearly ran out of money last year).

Last year this would’ve been televised on Maori TV, and provide a good opportunity for the more gifted ballers amongst us to think ‘I could do better than that’. ‘More gifted’ in this context means anyone capable of shooting layups at over 60%. Anyway, it’s pretty fun watching the NBL, and I’d been looking forward to catching some games this year – only they’d been oddly absent. Well the reason can finally be revealed, buried near the bottom of a piece in today’s Herald, and it’s pretty f***ing amazing. Continue reading

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Filed under Basketball, NBL, NFL

The Frozen Stare Of A Man Possessed

Some relief from the intensity (and something for Henry):

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz-t961nKJ4%5D

A quick note:

Allen, Parker, Blazers – these guys had to front in Round 2, and all three went seriously big-time over the last 24 hours. Analysis later, but these Playoffs have already evolved into something more significant and dramatic and real than I’m able to handle right now. 

And all of a sudden the Mavs/Spurs series got very interesting. Who’s looking forward to Parker’s first push into the paint in Game 3? 

– Justin

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Filed under Basketball, NBA, Playoffs

Playoffs Special: Justin – Forever's Gonna Start Tonight

nba-madness

DeadBall is about to go mental over the NBA playoffs (this post arrives hot on the heels of David and Henyry’s – sorry, but we may as well just keep this fire burning), so I’ll just keep it brief. Plus I’m fresh off the final of Mitre 10 Dream Home, and a little shaky emotionally as a result. I have no idea how Jane Kiely held it together in those final climactic moments – I’ll put it down to her experience as a world class athlete (was it long jump? I’m not prepared to get on the googler for this one), and her time on A Game Of Two Halves where she regularly appeared as the female foil between Veitchy and Ridgey (and unenviable position for any woman, although possibly not an exclusive club).
Of all the intriguing matchups and possibilities of Round One, Sky TV NZ kindly offered us the Spurs v Mavericks game this weekend. Brief thoughts on the match itself a little later, but come on Sky – a team, who thanks to McCain & Palin I will never again take seriously, against a team that I feel guilty for wanting to win. It was worth watching just to get a taste of the occasion, but the frustration of reading about the other games of the opening round has makes me question the relevance of ATPA Tractor Pulling – and I hate myself for questioning tractor pulling.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVIaqCjvLpU%5D

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Filed under Basketball, NBA, Playoffs