Monthly Archives: September 2010

New Zealand's Next Top Model Power Rankings: Cycle Two / Episode Eight

Just knowing it was coming didn’t make it any easier to take. All week they’d been running a fantastic promo portending extreme emotion, as good as signing Nellie’s death warrant. But, like one of those fancy movies where they start with the ending (say Titanic, or The Butterfly Effect), once we were rid of the suspense of wondering how things would turn out we were free to soak in the plot, and decry the injustice of the whole thing at greater length.

Because Nellie did not deserve to miss out on a trip to Phuket (budget non-fashion destination it might be, but it’s the principle). Not when Mikaela took a disastrously empty photo, and Elza nearly hospitalised herself with a very high grade freakout.

In the end, though, it had to happen. You could argue for Nellie being top five, but not top four. So she was going to get kicked out anyway. And if you’re going to get got, it might as well be in the best episode of the cycle so far. Truly this was a near masterpiece of reality television, and one with so much visual appeal I put together a small, badly shot series of images at the bottom to commemorate its glory. Before then though, we have models to be ranked… Continue reading

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The Skinny Post: The Mad Dog is Back!

Usually I write this column on a Tuesday. The reason being I like to be ahead of the other 9,000 people making picks for the weekend, and its the day I usually make my bets. I bet early because the odds are usually so much better if you do what I do, which is bet favourites. Lines on favourites tend to tighten closer to the weekend in the NFL, as exposure to 400 hours of various forms of NFL Countdown tends to convince people that potential upsets are possible. When Keyshawn Johnson tells you that there’s no way 2010 Tampa Bay win more than 4 games this year (they’re 2-0 right now) people rightly tend to herd in the other direction.

“and who else has an injury? Peterson? Who does he play for?”

My strategy is even worse – in fact its actually anathema to the spirit of gambling.

I only bet likely blowouts. Continue reading

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Fuck the Commonwealth Games

I was trying hard to think of some witty and sophisticated way of articulating it, but I failed very badly. So ‘Fuck the Commonwealth Games’ is what I came up with. Apologies for the wanton vulgarity, but it really bugs me on so many levels that this joke still persists.

You know a rubbish when it’s put in the shade by the Goodwill Games. The latter was Ted Turner’s give-peace-a-chance, made-for-ratings spectacle that attempted to provide a de-politicised Olympics where everyone had a cuddle afterwards instead of boycotting and bombing each other. It peaked around the time the Cold War de-frosted and the Berlin Wall came down, and shriveled out with some Rugby League World Cup-style scheduling irregularities. But at least it was open to all, with world class competitors and world records set by global superstars like Sergei Bubka and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

The Commonwealth Games are the limping, leprous corpse of the Empire Games, an exercise conceived as an excuse for Britain to lord its dominance over the nations it had enslaved. They finally removed the overbearing nomenclature in 1978, but the stink of colonial oppression remains, even though the Commonwealth itself has ceased to have any relevance to anyone – unless you count their weird quasi-Survivor habit of kicking out the worst of the African Dictators every few years before readmitting them after suitable shows of contrition. Continue reading

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New Zealand's Next Top Model Power Rankings: Cycle Two / Episode Seven

The episode opened with a sweet little letter from last week’s evictees, Eva and Lauren, read aloud to add poignance to their absence. Sample line from this week’s missive: “Danielle and Holly: I’ve really enjoyed spending time with you two – you have such interesting personalities.”

That might be one of the better backhanded compliments I’ve heard, at least in reality TV land, where back-handers tend to be very literal. And it turned out to be as portentous as the orange jacket incident from a couple of week’s back, with Holly taking her dead, Mako shark eyes home to her baby and (as she was so fond of telling us) ridiculously hot boyfriend. You could not argue with the result, and there was much cheering at DeadBall HQ when they finally cut her – but I for one feel a little hollow inside.

For better or worse she provided 60% of the drama on any given Friday. And while it had begun to feel rote and repetitious there was still a tension in the air whenever she was on screen. With one notable exception the girls remaining are so damned nice (exemplified by the twins deranged fawning over one another at the birthday dinner) that we might have to work hard to find much in the way of teeth going forward.

This will mean a heavier reliance upon two people: Dakota, who took her possessed mania to great heights without having the wax melt as in episodes prior; and Colin-Mathura-Jeffree who delivered what was probably his best all-around episode yet*. So maybe we’ll be alright after all.

Continue reading

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DeadCast: BALLS! 029 feat The Warriors, The Tri-Nations & NZ Sportsmen in Advertising

Duncan and Aaron discuss the inglorious end to the Warriors season (detouring through the way Mt Smart’s running track deflates the home side), the ABs new personality and an extended discussion about New Zealand sportsmen’s acting abilities – with particular reference to the on-screen career of Stephen Fleming.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F5364489%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-3XlG8&secret_url=false DeadCast: BALLS! 029 feat The Warriors, The Tri-Nations & NZ Sportsmen in Advertising by Deadball

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Filed under DeadCast, NRL, Reminiscing, Rugby, Rugby league, Tri-Nations

The Skinny Post: Flatter Than a Pancake

– I put in ‘sexy Kansas City Chiefs fan’ this is what I got –

Well well well, one week into the new season and here’s what we know:
Elite: NEW ENGLAND (yet again), NEW ORLEANS
As Good As We Knew They Were: BALTIMORE, GREEN BAY
Surprisingly good: SEATTLE (Pete Carroll is back baby!), KANSAS CITY, HOUSTON, DETROIT, TENNESSEE
Surprisingly awful: SAN FRANCISCO, NEW JERSEY (Rex Ryan, um, baby!), WASHINGTON, PHILADELPHIA, DALLAS
As Awful As We Knew They Were: ST LOUIS, OAKLAND, JACKSONVILLE
Hanging On By Reputation Only: INDIANAPOLIS, SAN DIEGO
Desperately Aiming For A Winning Season: MIAMI, ATLANTA

And they say its only College Football that has a meaningful regular season.

The surprise that shouldn’t have been was Kansas City. That’s what comes of being a small-market team in a fly-over state with an awful record the last 10 years.
Factoid: Kansas is technically flatter than a pancake. And it feels it. It’s just wheat and corn 6 feet high the size of the North Island. There’s a reason Dorothy left.
The total clusterf*ck that was the Herm Edwards tenure still sullies the KC reputation 2 years after his ouster. Herm is now like the PE teacher from hell stuffed into a loud suit on TV, with a nice line in yelling over his fellow commentators. But it boggles my mind that he not only was an NFL Head Coach, but for TWO teams. Only now, 6 years down the line are the Jets finally being rebuilt and rebranded, and the new coaching staff installed in KC this offseason is also paying immediate dividends.
Charlie Weis, who flamed out spectacularly as a Head Coach at Notre Dame, and Romeo Crenell (ditto with the Browns) are now running the KC Offence and Defence respectively. With ex-Patriot QB Matt Cassell at QB, this is New England West. That’s not a bad template. Continue reading

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The End of A Blighted Era

It was over before we knew it – literally in this case, as few had predicted that both The Panthers and The Tigers would succumb to their lower-ranked opponents. So this Warriors season, which a few days ago seemed so potent, is now over.

While it’s always hollow when your team drops out, this one didn’t hurt so bad. I was trying to figure out why. Because it doesn’t really make sense – why would you feel less saddened by the exit of a team which had come home so strongly, and which spells the end of the Warriors career of some guys you had loved – among them Brent Tate, Steve Price and Wade McKinnon.

The answer’s contained in the fact that the latter two weren’t at Skilled Park to witness our final roll of the dice. McKinnon was down the coast preparing to turn out for his Wests Tigers, while Price never took the field in the pointless final year of his contract, one which hamstrung a club which he claimed to love so dearly with a figurehead on big money who was a distraction at best for their young core.

Tate was a great servant of the club, and I never felt like he was anything less than 100% committed to it. But the trio were our marquee players during the period 2008-2010, likely eating well over a million dollars worth of salary each year. Of the combined 228 games they might have played for the club during that period, they turned out for a combined 111. That’s a shade under half the games we contracted them to play. If you want to know the source of the team’s struggles during that period, that’s a pretty good place to start. Continue reading

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Filed under NRL, Playoffs, Rugby league