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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Global Sport Roundup 

This is going to be shonky in the extreme. The address bar crashes internet explorer everytime you try to bring up the history or even type an address so I can't link to anything unless it's a bookmarked site.

Anyway's the wife has gone off for drinks with some old high school friends who we were just out to dinner with so onwards and onwards...

First off, I see people were having a bit of a moan about Franklins hat-trick against Bangladesh as being cheap, worthless etc etc. But I'd like to point out that the three guys he dismissed had test averages of about 36, 19 and 10 (off the top of my head) so it's fair to say that there have been plenty worse batsman to pick up the willow on a test pitch before. His hat-trick is worth the same as any other one and good on him.

Also in the first test Vettori took 8 wickets for 50 odd runs which is a nice return for him. Especially when he had only taken about a dozen wickets in his 10 previous tests. The likes of Warne and Kumble can take that many in one test so he should be getting a few more 4 and 5 fors.


Kiwis got done by Aussie 32-12 but they were up at halftime and if a couple of first half conversions had gone over they may have given themselves more of a shot at winning the game or keeping it tighter at least. Oh well, let's face it. The Kangaroos are better than us and we generally have to catch them on an off day and bust a gut to beat them. Unfortunately for us their off days never happen consecutively.

A win v the Poms in one of our two games will probably be enough to get us into the final as it would be a surprise to see them beat the Kangaroos in either of the two games but they are an outside chance to do so.


Turning to the US the baseball season is winding up. Last week witnessed probably the most amazing 7 game series in American baseball history. At least that's how the fans were seeing it on internet polls I saw. The New York Yankees went up 3 games to zero over the Boston Red Sox and were up by a run in the bottom of the 9th in game 4 before worlds collided, meteorites struck the poles, the earths magnetic field reversed and the Red Soxs flux capacitor kicked in or something.

They tied the game and went on to win with a David Ortez homer in the bottom of the 12th. Cue game 5 and an Ortiz single brings home the winning run in the bottom of the 14th inning. Game 6 and they guts out a solid win and in game 7 they whip the demoralised Yankees 10-3 to take the series.

To put this into perspective, only twice before in a seven game series had a team that was down 3-0 even forced a game 6, let alone a game 7 and win it on top of that.

Good job, I hate the Yankees. They spend about 100 million US a year on the team and are quite a way ahead of the second most expensive team (who happen to be the Red Sox). Currently the Red Sox are up 2-0 in the World Series v the St Louis Cardinals who have won the second most World Series titles, well behind the Yankees however. The Red Sox on the other hand are trying to end the Babe Ruth curse that has seen them go title-less in over 80 years after they famously traded Ruth to the Yankees back in the 20s I think it was.


Staying in the US but moving to the NFL, the bastard New England Patriots (last years Superbowl winners) won their 19th straight and have moved to 6-0 for the season. That's the longest winning streak in NFL history. They really know how to get the job done and take care of supposedly big challenges week after week.

My St Louis Rams were going along nicely at 4-2 before the weekend but managed to get flogged 31-14 by the previously winless Miami Dolphins. The Rams have been getting narrow wins so far this season and look to be pretenders rather than contenders. Oh well, we had our glory days in 2000 when "the greatest show on turf" tore the league to pieces running up 40 point scorelines week after week before beating the Titans in the Superbowl. After having to endure losing season after losing season in the 1990s I and their other long suffering supporters deserved a year in the sun.


Switching to basketball I read today that Larry Brown, coach of the NBA title holders the Detroit Pistons and US olympic team coach has said that he would like to bring Pero Cameron to his team in the nearish future. Next year perhaps. He wanted him there this year but signed another player which scuppered Cameron's potential move. I was surprised to hear about it actually as I figured Cameron was probably a bit past his best at about 30 years of age. If Brown is for real and it isn't just friendly talk then that would be fantastic for Cameron and NZ basketball.

Hopefully this year Sean Marks is injury free and gets some court time for the Spurs. He's spent time with three franchises (Raptors, Heat and Spurs) but unfortunately had little playing time. I'm sure anybody would rather be on the bench for an NBA team than not but then again I'm sure players would rather get some playing time for a god awful team in the league than get none whatsoever.


The new domestic soccer league has kicked off in NZ without too much fanfare it seems. Hopefully Waitakere United continue the season as they have started with a couple of wins. And with a bit of luck the league will still be running in 10 years so the teams can actually develop things called 'fan bases', and get something called 'sponsorship money' to pump the quality up.

It should work quite nicely as a feeder to the Kingz or whatever the hell they will be called in the new NSL when it finally gets up and running.

While NZ soccer has been poorly run for quite some time with a lot of politics involved those involved in getting this new comp off the ground deserve some credit and good luck to em' all.


And to finish on soccer. I was glad to see Arsenal's 49 game unbeaten run come to an end after they went down to Manchester United 2-0 in a controversial game at Old Trafford.

Arsenal have taken the loss like true pros and bitched and complained about absolutely everything. After their disgraceful efforts v Man U last season where they had half their team banned for their post match histrionics Arsene Wenger talked a load of shit in an effort to unite the team. It worked and they ran away with the title. Me thinks he's trying to do it again.

Regarding the dodgy penalty, Rooney flopped on the pitch under no or little contact and the ref awarded one of the softest penalties you'll ever see (though there have been plenty others like it awarded all over the world). HOWEVER if Mr. Sol Campbell doesn't want to concede penalties like that them he should stick his leg up his arse instead of cynically hanging it out to obstruct a striker making a run on goal. He diced with death and he lost.

God I hate that kind of shit in soccer. It's the NZer in me.

Expect Arsenal to carry on winning, drawing and complaining their way to another title though.

Newcastle (my team, though I'm not that rabid) almost managed to blow a game they should have wrapped up long before the final whistle. They consistently go out to 1 or 2 goal leads before falling asleep time and time again, and yesterday was no different. At halftime it was 0-0 and a sleepathon game was in progress. Cue second half where Newcastle go 2-0 up pretty quickly and then a while later I flick the channel back from the Arse v Manure game to see that Newcastle have just scored a third. Only problem is that they had let Man City in for 2 goals in the previous 3 minutes. Then a short time later Man City score again and it's 3-3. Fortunately the angry ratman scored the winner in the 89th minute and Newcastle took a much needed 3 points. So zero goals in the first half and seven goals in the second. Welcome to Newcastle ladies and gentlemen.

And aren't A Perfect Circle a great band. Listening to their second album at the moment. The world needs more good rock music and good quality ball point pens that don't dry up or leak too much ink.

Any explanation/rational/thoughts on why you think Gt Britain are an outside chance? The betting slips are calling that's all.
Well to be honest I would be a bit surprised to see them win.

Here's my take on it. In Australia they don't have a shit show of winning but with two matches in England you always have to give them a shot.

The Kangaroos have played two matches together while G Britain haven't played together yet so the Kangaroos should have all their combinations etc sorted out while G Britain won't. They'll be relying on a massive defensive effort and a great kicking/creative game from their halves.

On the otherside of the argument, the Kangaroos are missing Lockyer and somebody else who I forget which will hurt them a fair bit.

My money would be on the Kangaroos in the first game (70/30) and G Britain as a 40/60 prospect for the second test.

NZ is better than G Britain, but playing on their soil I would expect the games to be split 1 each. So the finalists should come down to who whether or not GB can upset the Kangaroos in 1 of the 2 games.
Give me TOOL over A PERFECT CIRCLE any day of the week. APC are like TOOL for people with delicate sensibilities.
"delicate sensibilities"?

What the hell does that mean?

Am I gay without realising it?

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