Monthly Archives: May 2009

Guest Post: Semi Live Blogging The Champions League Final

Seeking out some atmosphere to go with an event of the magnitude of the Champions League final I am forsaking my trusty chair, easy access to coffee, and about half an hours extra sleep to head down to The Bard on Avon, Christchurch’s early morning football destination. And so Deadball is proud to bring you a live account of the final, just a bit later on ‘cos I have to transcribe it from my notebook.

The Champions League final is great but it does herald the end of the football season, it’s a pretty bleak three months once the NBA Finals are over, and does have a tendency to bring out the type of people who watch one game a year and so it is no surprise to arrive to a sea of ManU shirts already spilling out onto the outside tables. Where were all of you during the semi finals? Not wearing your shirts that’s for sure where Gunners bearers outnumbered you 10 to 1, that is until the goals went in and it turned out you’d come in plainclothes, way to stand up for what you believe in. It is a particularly bad year for this type of behaviour with two obvious teams who are also two of my most hated, slightly less on the Barca side (no more Deco, no more worlds most overrated player, they play amazing football, and it would be nice to see Henry win it).

Busy, busy for 6.30am

Busy, busy for 6.30am

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Filed under Football, Guest Post, LiveBlog, Miscellaneous, Soccer

New Zealand's Next Top Model Power Rankings 7

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After the tumescent glory of the American excursion, it was inevitable that the return home would be a little limp. Sans the enervating foulness of Teryl-Leigh’s temperament, the show just drifted along, as if we were all in mourning for her cantankerous venom and general sense of bitter, brawling life. Without her it was just a bunch of schoolgirls running around and making little half-hearted jabs behind one another’s backs. Where was the bald-faced meanness? The low-voiced taunting? Where was the hate, dammit!

It was gone, and we were all a little flat as a result, but it was also in a sly way the most shocking episode thus far. What did we learn, children? Nikki Phillips told us what a Go See was, but to paraphrase Chelsea Handler, you don’t need an explanation when the definition’s in the name. But there was a further revelation, and to keep with the paraphrasing, should someone nuke us all, you can add Hosanna’s name to the list of those who’d survive a nuclear apocalypse, alongside cockroaches and Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The girl just stares blankly into certain doom every week and feeds off of its malevolent advances. She won this week. WON! I don’t know about you, but the other girls need to start getting properly scared of her about now, Ruby in particular.

1. (LW: 1) Christobelle

By the skin of her pretty, perfect Dio teeth goes she. After wearing the wrong gruts and taking a tumble in front of the sprawling menopausal matriarch of the New Zealand fashion scene, Trelise Cooper, C-Belle could easily have fallen apart. Instead, like Chumbawamba implored all those summers ago, she got back up again, and wowed Huffer with her legs and charm. The girl remains the obvious choice for the overall win, one who could easily work in the industry (the first champ can’t be a sentimental fave figurehead, which is why, much as I love her, Rubes is making up the numbers) with her slender frame and slightly sleepy eyes (you need a hook like that these days). But the chatter about the make-up she plasters on is rising, when she needs everyone to be focusing on her pins, which is a worry, albeit possibly a contrived one. Regardless, she needs to bring her A game every week from now on, even when on a motherf***in’ boat. Because sharks are circling, kiddo, and the biggest of the lot is now directly underneath her. Continue reading

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Filed under Fandom, News

Afternoon Delight

A couple of months ago, the Crusaders had a victory so unconvincing and uninspired, I self-righteously declared the death of rugby.  In a fever of purposeful outrage, I then fasted for three days and turned my back on the Super 14. I haven’t looked back since. So, in the small hours of Sunday morning,  with a healthy dose of skepticism, I reluctantly flicked on the TV to watch the semi-final match-up between the Bulls and the Crusaders.

The Crusaders have a rich history of terrific first-five eighths, stoic captains and winning.  Some people don’t like that. Or to state the obvious, some people just don’t like the Crusaders.  They are, for some, just too bland. It’s as though people have a moral aversion to victory without self-conscious displays of style, they can’t see the beauty in the formality of a disciplined 15 man game, all those straight lines, patient kicks and measured passes.  Oh well, those people can have Carlos and his banana kicks, I’ll take Mehrtens skinny white legs and a well targeted skip pass.

But this years Crusaders displayed a perverse pleasure in defense and regimented attack that would test even the most loyal supporter. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but it just didn’t seem like they were playing rugby. Somehow they had cheated the system and were winning with an odd form non-attack. This was half-rugby. With a largely new team, Todd Blackadder had chosen the morally questionable path of focusing on only one part of the game, defense. The Crusaders scored the second to least points this competition, but allowed the least too. Defense wins champions for sure, but it doesn’t win you friends. Or fans.

Had the Crusaders won it all, they’d be the least deserving champion since last week’s American Idol winner Chris was gifted the title by America’s conservative red states, who refused to vote for the flamboyant but wildly talented Adam Lambert.

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Angels & Demons

Rockets Lakers Basketball

In the tradition of “the time I wrote a DeadBall post after watching the final of Mitre 10 Dream Home” comes the new post written whilst watching the final of Hells Kitchen Season Something. I haven’t watched this season at all, but the re-cap intro had me rooting for someone who was culled last week – her name is Corey, and she’s cute in an unorthodox way. But she’s already gone, get over it – Christina (25) and Petrozza (46) are left to fight it out.

Meanwhile, I feel I can’t let the Houston Rockets disappear into the night without giving giving them their dues. A team that breezed past the fancied Trailblazers (remember when Portland were the only team in the West that would trouble the Lakers?) with relative ease, they somehow managed to stretch the Lakers to seven games – without their two biggest stars, and refusing to playing offense properly. Pure grit, aggression, and (Battier’s stink-palm) in your face defense was enough to snatch three victories in the series. However, it was the personalities, rather than the play, that really shone. In particular, Ronald (Ron Ron) William Artest Jnr, and his post-match comments.

(Hells Kitchen) Ad break. There are a lot of asians on Lost now. Or at least, that’s what they want you to think… Continue reading

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Filed under Basketball, NBA, Playoffs

New Zealand's Next Top Model Power Rankings 6

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If ever an episode cried out to be spread thickly over two nights, so we could luxuriate in its gratuitous modelity it was our ‘ relocation to America. Every single second was outrageously good, so you’ve got to think we missed some incredible stuff in editing. But full credit to the sublime judge’s table machinations that put mortal enemies Teryl-Leigh and Hosanna in the bottom two, then sent home Teryl-Leigh – this was an act of outrageous cruelty in the service of great TV, and one for which we should all be forever grateful.

The episode was also notable for the frankness of the guests. They didn’t muck around in delivering their verdicts, with Alexis Borges of Next LA popping Ruby’s balloon, and allowing TL to drop another of her classics on us: “I’m really pleased with that, because obviously I can lose a couple of inches of weight. I can’t grow a couple of inches.” And while Hosanna may’ve got the last laugh (literally, see the instant NZ TV classic moment above), Barker and Borges assessments of her had a necessary brutality which provided a true reality check for the Hose, one she’s needed for weeks and never quite received in our friendly isles.

1. (Last Week: 3) Christobelle

As predicted in last week’s rankings, she turned it on for the US big dogs, but no one could have foreseen the force with which she took back the lead. She won all three challenges, the variety of which (styling/ TV ad/couture) should have proved impossible for any one competitor to take. This served to show her breadth at a critical time, and send a message to model-come-latelies Laura and Ruby that when she puts her mind to it, she can do anything. After indifferent work on the C4 audition a couple of weeks back few would have predicted her sunny confidence in the Cover Girl shoot, and the way she transfixed Barker (who’s seen some wannabes in his time) speaks volumes. There’s daylight between her and second place again, and with a month to go she’s picked the perfect time to make her run. Continue reading

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Filed under News, Reminiscing, Rugby

The Last Neanderthals

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Before Kurt Cobain made painful self-reflection, shyness and cardigans sexy, rock’n’roll bands were expected to operate in a sphere outside the realm of normal, everyday morality. Along with offensively tight pants, power ballads and make-up, a prerequisite for any ’80s hair band was the regular exploitation of groupie adoration. While some may still look on the free-love sexual politics of the ’60s movement with romanticism – case in point is the horrendously nostalgic The Boat that Rocked –  by the time the ’80s rolled around it was all starting to feel tired.

Free-love had evolved into its embarrassingly logical and destructive extreme; boastful accounts of conquests in dressing rooms seemed so pointless, as though the more make-up bands wore the more they had to prove they were men. The likes of Motley Crue and Poison were the mutant spawn of the rock’n’roll dream, selfish, lazy and dumb. We can thank Spinal Tap for making that abundantly clear.

No wonder then that the masses turned to the least threatening music figures they could find. With the exception of an ill-considered nu-metal phase, the biggest ‘rock’ bands of the last few decades have practiced pilates, eaten organic food and named their children after fruit. Hell, even Kanye has stopped swearing on his records. Now, only two groups can consistently be expected to act in a manner befitting the days of Poison – reality TV contestants and NRL players.  Continue reading

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Filed under News, NRL, Rugby league

New Zealand's Next Top Model Power Rankings 5

Christobelle, Laura and Ruby are best friends.

I have a long and distinguished career as photographer, using my trusty Nokia to snap pictures off the TV, but the above image might be my all time favourite. You pretty much have the entire plotline of Friday’s episode right there: Christobelle, Laura and Ruby continued their dominance, and love each other (for now). Victoria just isn’t quite there, though desperately wants to be a part of any gang that’ll have her. Teryl-Leigh and Hosanna are nowhere to be seen.

Anyway, self-congratulatory photo analysis aside, it was a pretty fantastic episode, and one which finally saw my rankings hold something close to correct. Bottom placed Lucy bade farewell to the show, poignantly on the brink of their doing something proper fun. So her final memories of the show will be linked for time immemorial to the musty, overpriced corrugated iron walls of Savemart New Lynn and and a catwalk outside the offices of Universal Music (one of the sexiest locations in New Zealand), while the rest of the models jet off to LA and a date with Nigel Barker. Harsh time to get cut, but really, we couldn’t be taking her tearful ass to America as one of the half-dozen hottest gals we’ve got, could we? It’s bad enough Hosanna’s on that plane…

1. (Last Week: 2) Ruby

She won the week comfortably, and is just brimming with confidence right now, after once again letting her natural charisma outshine the pack. In the same way last week’s show felt a little rigged for Laura, this one came good for Rubes: a cute, smart and talented designer in Abby to work with and an expression, joy, which is hardly a stretch for her. The best moment of a dominant week? How she channelled joy: “I was actually thinking about the time my friend at school fell off her chair frontwards and smashed her head on a desk.” Two lessons in that, fellow models: 1. Schadenfreude comes naturally to Hastings’ finest, so don’t go expecting pity when you’re forced to, say, go braless down the runway. 2. Ruby might actually be psychotic. Which as Naomi Campbell (and Tyra, for that matter) has proven time and again, is by no means an impediment to success in the fashion kingdom. Continue reading

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Filed under Awards, News