Category Archives: Athletics

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



Filed under Athletics, Fandom

DeadBall Reader

In DeadBall Reader I’m going to throw up a bunch of links of what’s been causing me pause or just blowing my mind. Maybe I’ll (/we’ll) do it every once in a while, if for no other reason than a fuel for spirited conversation with Justin and Dave at the bar.

1. Basketbawful’s Word of the Day: Retired Legenditus, which featured this this little piece of genius (yes that’s trailing behind a plane across the Californian sky):


*** Continue reading

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Filed under Athletics, Basketball, Music, NBA, News, Reader, Reality TV

ANTM: Pretty Pretty is Ugly Ugly

Panty sniffer

ANTM: A Space Odyssey / When shows get to their 11th season/cycle, they need to figure out how to get the audience juiced for the same old jazz. Tyra, Ken and company decided that space was the place and robotics was the future, and gifted us an hour of television that, even by Tyra standards, comfortably met all the prereqs for being called ‘insane’.

It started outside a low rent warehouse in California, thus being able to save location cash and let the producers build one of the highest budget sets since, say, Welcome to Paradise (0 seeds, 9 leechers, 656!!! downloads. Seriously). We were welcomed to the season by the Robo J’s looking like Tommy Gun’s store window from c. 2002, had wandered off into the desert. Our models still yowled, but you could see in their eyes and mannerisms that they knew something was awry.

We met them on the catwalk, baby, and they shook their little touches on the catwalk. They all had their little hooks: Elina is a vegan omnisexual who had a strong I-arrived-in-an-Uzbekistani-shipping-container vibe. Sheena has a young Kimora Simmons’ body with Lil Kim’s personality. Lauren Brie has “a forehead just like Tyra”, to quote The Game. Isis is a man.

Uh, yeah. Isis might be the littlest thing on this cycle’s runway, but she was not only born with three things a woman doesn’t need, she’s still tucking them somewhere. The season’s bombshell had been well-signposted, but was still pretty intense. Isis, though, has a few things in her favour. She’s super fine-boned, and photographs incredibly well, so watching her beat out some of the more female contenders for the next few weeks will be a good time.

Tyra’s entrance was pretty damn incredible. They pulled out all the budgetary stops and bought a six foot tall pork microwave from the late ’70s (they generally run to around US$270-285 on ebay), and our host emerged amid a hail of smoke and lightning. Only, she kinda didn’t. I’m pretty sure that What Now?‘s special affects team pitched for this job, but baulked at doing 43 minutes of syndicated television for less than the price of a double whopper combo.

The job ended up going to a Wintec assignment winner, and they did as good a job as a man’s ever done with Windows 95 and CorelDRAW. So things continued. Tyra showed off the acting chops that got her a supporting role in 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection. She does a semi-serviceable robot voice, I guess is what I’m trying to say.

On the runway the best was saved for first, as Brittney B strutted in, long, lithe and lippy, losing a jacket along the way and looking every inch a contender. Then she let out a wild-eyed screech, and within a few seconds was answering the question “what’s that in your hand?” with “that’s my lucky underwear!”*

There are some cute things – Analeigh has a variation on the Ruby nose; a little piggie, with no definition around the nostrils, but it has a great soft focus ’60s feel. Marjorie gave Tyra an opportunity to show off some basic French, and has a good post-makeover Laura vibe, while Hannah hails from Sarah Palin’s hometown, and is “kinda ignorant [she] doesn’t really see what’s going on around [her]”. So that’s pretty different. She got to be chased around by Tyra pretending to be a moose, which again, is different.

Clark has no bodily insecurities. Joslyn (allegedly) a squeaky voice. Nikeysha a Keri Hilson vibe (and weird out-of-body fake titties). Brittany S plays the jock very poorly. Susan supposedly graduated English lit from Harvard, but had an EPIC FAIL on Tyra’s academic questions. Though the hostess did include questions about Jack London who A) is a critically maligned racist and B) is American. Though London is a big city in England, so maybe that’s where the confusion arose.

Anyway, we sat through an extremely undramatic (was it the super-imposed on-screen graphics or the patently rehearsed expressions?) selection of the next 20, then the second cull, which saw Kasey take a hike. She’d been making bad noises about Isis, so they must have somone else in line to beat up on her/him. Any which way you frame it this looks like a fantastic season, with no clear favourite, a good few egomaniacs, and an exquisitely controversial hook. Pretty sure I’m gonna be Power Ranking from next week. No spoilers in the comments!

– Duncan

* See illustration atop this post.


Filed under Athletics, Reality TV

I'm Rather Ashamed To Say I Was Party To That Goading

In 25 minutes I’m going to answer the phone, and the person on the other end of the line is going to be Steve Coogan, an English comedian who will be touring New Zealand in late April/early May (the interview will be published in April’s Real Groove). His best known creation is Alan Partridge, a Norwich radio and television ‘personality’, and perhaps the funniest character British television threw up in the ’90s.

Justin and I watched The Man Who Thinks He’s It last night, a stand up show from a decade or so ago, and I was struck by the number of sporting references strewn throughout, until I recalled that my first exposure to Partridge was via Grahame Hill’s Radio Sport show, which used to air audio of him regularly. He might be the best, and most versatile sports commentator of all time.


Continue reading


Filed under Athletics, Cycling

Get Well Telf!


I was getting excited about the imminent release of Brendan Telfer’s A Life In Sport in the next week or two when the Herald gave me the awful news that’s he’s in an induced coma after a bleed in the brain. I wrote a profile of Telf as my journalism profile a couple of years ago, which we published on DeadBall a couple of weeks back. To hear that he’s in this perilous state fills me with dread, because, as much as we and others take the piss out of him occasionally, he’s pretty much the best sports journalist in the country, and has nose for story like no other. He can be obstinate and old-fashioned, but there is no better interviewer in any field, and I can’t stand the idea of the airwaves being without his mind. Our thoughts are with him and his family.

– Duncan

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Filed under Athletics, News

Brendan Telfer: A DeadBall Icon

This is a profile I wrote of my favourite New Zealand sports journalist as student a few years back. As a result it’s probably a little over-weaning and dated, but I think it still gets to the heart of why when there’s a big sporting issue there’s no one I’d rather hear attacking it than Brendan Telfer. No one wanted to publish it at the time. I guess Telf’s not glamourous enough.

The Old Campaigner


A profile of Brendan Telfer – previously unpublished, from 2005.

By Duncan Greive

“I think we’ve had it with John O’Neill. If he can’t be bothered to answer his phone when he says he will then he can stick his A-League somewhere in his flash hair-do or something.”

Brendan Telfer is furious, in his mild-mannered way. The chief of Australian soccer has just reneged on a second scheduled interview in two days, leaving Morning Sport with a gaping hole in its schedule to fill. However unlike other Radio Sport hosts; in fact unlike almost anyone else working in broadcasting today; restraint is the word. This journalistic throwback rebels by his very orthodoxy. Where all around him radio hums with risqué comments, stings and sponsors, heat and flash, Brendan Telfer is calm, measured and very much of the Old School. Continue reading


Filed under Athletics, Community, Cricket, Dead Ball Icons, Golf

Liveblogging: The Halberg Awards

It’s t-27 minutes until the start of The Halberg Awards, the venerable sporting institution which has seen off the ultra-crap People’s Choice Awards and according to one press release, turned the Vector Arena into ‘Auckland’s largest dining room!’ Which you must admit would almost border on mildly interesting if you were at a doctor’s waiting room and they only had dated back issues of NZ Home & Garden to distract you.

Anyway, just while we’re filling in time, here’s a picture of Murray Halberg, the man who started at all, and one of the original gangstas of New Zealand’s killer athletics era. There’s some talk that Vili’s gold will lead to a wave of nostalgia for those glory days and get her the overall Halberg, but let’s just state for the permanent record that DeadBall (or at least Duncan. Dave is here but I’ve not asked him) is opposed to any such award. As well as she did, the Brickyard is history, and anything other than a Scott Dixon Supreme Award will PISS. ME. OFF.

One final thing before we get into the awards proper: I do think it’s super cool that there’s a Supreme Award winner. They don’t do that anywhere, not the Oscars, Crufts or the VMAs… That’s all of them right? Actually they do in Crufts, but I’m pretty sure they don’t do that very often at other awards ceremonies, and it’s definitely cool. Continue reading


Filed under Athletics, Awards, League, Motorsport, News, Rugby league