Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Summer of 2010: Ill Informed Predictions

One of the earliest DeadBall posts, over 18 months ago, was Henry’s advance look at a scenario right on top of us right now: the battle for LeBron, and his only slightly less talented friends Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. With that in mind we thought it worthwhile revisiting the topic via google chat. Here’s the result of Duncan and Henry’s wild conjecture based on other wild conjecture.
Duncan: So after listening to the Chad Ford/Simmons podcast, are you sold on the Chicago scenario?
Sent at 9:05 AM on Wednesday
Henry: I am pretty sold actually. The only problem is that all 3 of those guys: LBJ, Rose and Bosh play best with the ball in their hands and there is only one ball after all. But the Bulls have given themselves a chance to get 2 guys without completely gutting their team, which has to put them in the lead
Sent at 9:07 AM on Wednesday
Duncan: I just liked that story about LeBron going to the same restaurant as Jordan, sitting at the same table with the same waiter. It feels kinda obsessive, almost to a spooky level. And then you get kinda caught up in the signs, like his ditching 23 for this coming season was because you couldn’t wear that number in Chicago. But mostly, as you say, it gives him the strongest supporting cast, and therefore best chance at a championship.
Sent at 9:09 AM on Wednesday
Henry: I think the Knicks screwed it up so I have no pity for them, but I would have hoped that either the Nets or the Clippers would be hotter on the heals of the Bulls/Heat.
It’s going to be great to see how these teams pan out on a whole.  Can Miami get three All-Stars and then what? Beasley and a bunch of minimum wagers?
Sent at 9:12 AM on Wednesday
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Filed under Basketball, NBA

Invictus: Hollywood Movie or Sinister Revisionist Propaganda?

A reader recently wrote to DeadBall’s more-or-less unused email address deadballnz@gmail.com demanding answers.  And as we appear to have ground to a halt, and as we have never, to my knowledge, received inquiries from any other readers, I thought it pertinent to respond to these questions. I should also state from the outset that responding to the questions didn’t involve actually watching the film in question, which looked extremely worthy and tedious, even by sport movie standards.

Anyway, here’s the email, with our responses interspersed in italics:

Hey guys,

any chance you could do a piece on Invictus? I saw it for the first time recently, and am pretty curious / troubled by it.

Yes, there is a chance that we could do a piece on Invictus. This is it.

How true is the story actually? Did Nelson Mandela really get that involved in the rugby? Does this mean he arranged the poisoning of the All Blacks 48 hours before the final? What are the chances of Nelson Mandela pulling similar sh*t during the soccer world cup?

This is the portion of the response which is hardest to get into without having seen the film (readers who have indeed seen it should feel free to chip in with comments). As I understand it, the story is about as true as, say The Hurricane, which is to say largely true, but when the truth was inconvenient it was abandoned. I think Nelson was pretty into the rugby, seeing in it a chance to unify a riven nation, and not as a sport representing the kind of joyous funtime activity the whitefolk who imprisoned him for all those years used to wind down when they weren’t oppressing him and all other black people in South Africa. Most people would have banned rugby upon seizing power, just to spite the former oppressor, which would have been good for New Zealand rugby, in that we’d have won at least one more World Cup (possibly). But I suppose that’s why he’s Nelson Mandela and we’re just oiks on the internet.

Which I suppose suggests he didn’t arrange the All Blacks’ poisoning, being a legendarily nice man. I think the poisoning has always seemed like some kind of Boer plot, hatched by Pieter Van Zyl types. And in terms of the football World Cup, two things suggest the poisoning is unlikely to be repeated: firstly, South Africa are already watching from the sidelines/shanty towns so there’s little to be gained from going a-poisonin’; and secondly FIFA seem to control all controversial incidents very tightly, and would furious if any other organisation attempted to ambush the tight scripting of their event by getting amongst the conspiracy founding business. Continue reading

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Filed under Guest Post, Movies, Rugby