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Monday, May 30, 2005

[Sport] Round Up

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog.

This is mainly a sports based post today but it may wander of the track a little way through.

First a thing that has boiled my blood ever since it happened. Shaun Matcalf (and couple of his mates) decided that he didn’t want his pregnant girlfriend to keep their baby. So he lured to a secluded area and then he and his friends attacked her, kicking her in the stomach repeatedly in an attempt to cause a miscarriage.

Metcalf was a young rugby league star. He had become the youngest player to ever represent the New Zealand Warriors and was on his way to (adult) national representation (he and his friends had already represented NZ in the under 16 competition).

Perhaps this meteoric rise had gone to their heads, who knows. But they were told, after the conviction, that they would never play league again. After a review, they have now been told that they can resume playing.

The article is unclear as to whether this means club or professional league and if it is the later then I am very unhappy with the New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) board. Here is a quote from the NZRL from the NZ Herald.
“Though what they did was abhorrent and foul, it did not lead to the death of anyone.”
O.K. So you can premeditate a vicious assault on a pregnant woman with the intention of killing her unborn child, but as long as you fail and the woman herself doesn’t die, then you still represent your team in sport. Given that Metcalf’s girlfriend had decided to keep the child, this is attempted murder.

This is a rather unsafe message being sent to the league-playing youth of New Zealand and indeed to New Zealand as a whole: If you are good at sports, you don’t have worry about being punished.

Let him play club league because, as the NZRL says, it can be rehabilitative. But do not let him ever be in a position to be able to represent our country (or even a province) ever again, he has lost that right. Despite whether they should be or not, sportsmen and women are role models, I do not want Shaun Metcalf to be anybody’s role model.

On a lighter note (although given the previous topic ANYTHING would be lighter) at Stuff you can vote for your All Black team one position at a time. (Do we really only have three prospects for loosehead prop? One of whom has already left the country.)

Now I’m here I’ll stick with rugby. The Lions have announced their team to play the (mighty) Bay of Plenty in Rotorua this weekend. And it’s a full strength one (or at least pretty close). No Jonny Wilkinson, but they probably don’t want him injured just yet; still Brian O’Driscoll will be captaining the squad. I’ll be there to watch all the carnage. I’m expecting the Bay boys to give them a closer run than most would think, but without Glenn (what more do I have to do to be an All Black) Jackson they don't have a great kicker/playmaker to rely on.
[I could blog all day about the glaring exclusion of Glenn Jackson from the All Blacks last year (being a young version of Andrew Mehrtens is obviously not enough, nor is being the top points scorer in the NPC, nor is being a winning first five for the NZ Māori).]

Oh, and apparently there was a Super 12 final (literally final) on the weekend. Apparently the Crusaders won, again. Yawn. Bring on the Super 14, so we can see the Crusaders win, again. Sanzar, just hear me out…

The guys on TV3’s Arena all said that if they were selecting the All Blacks Justin Marshall would be their first pick. Actually what happened was one person said it in an emphatic fashion and all the rest copied in order to look like they actually knew something. Jeez, if you all Love Justin Marshall so much why don’t you marry him?

My first pick would be Richie McCaw then Dan Carter then Tana Umaga and then a whole bunch of others (like Glenn Jackson [see above]) and if, when I had finished, there were enough Cantabrians in the squad I would consider Justin Marshall. Marshall plays his best football when surrounded by people who play better than he does. Byron Kelleher passes and runs better and can easily adapt to whomever he is playing beside, Marshall seems to have trouble doing this. I would pick Marshall as the guy who thinks up tactics on the sideline. Also Marshall pouts too much. Kelleher just goes like a Jack Russell.

Let’s switch codes now. The French tennis open is happening as we speak and the hype factory Williams sisters have departed leaving only Lindsey Davenport to keep America’s hopes alive. For the first time in a long while the men’s tournament is more interesting than the women’s. Roger Federer is so good, but he is yet to win at Roland Garros.

In baseball, the Yankees lost to the Red Sox. Of course this is baseball so one game is just 0.62% of your total games, but still: SMACKDOWN. I don’t like the Yankees. I think it’s funny that despite every punk kid from New York to Auckland to Djibouti wearing an NY cap, Manchester United is still the largest sports franchise in the world. Ha ha ha.

This seems to be a good place for a quick note from Arse fan Jim Coe [by Arse I mean Arsenal, but Arse is funnier]:

[Malcolm] Glazer may be a billionaire, but seems he doesn't have the spare cash to buy [Manchester United] outright. So he has to borrow to pay for it. So the debt is his, but the club's assets are the collateral on the loans, so if he can't pay the interest then the club belongs to the bank. Presumably, a bank has no interest (no pun intended) in running a football club, so they will sell off the club's assets. Like players. Think Leeds, times about six times the debt.

So as far as the club is concerned they are going from debt-free to being ₤650m in the hole. Profits will go into servicing debt rather than improving the club. The 650m is over 10 years, but United's half year profits to March were only 8m. Oops.

Of course, this is a worst-case scenario, but it is certainly plausible.

Ha ha. Suddenly Arsenal's debt doesn't seem that bad.

Malcolm Glazer also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The NFL had to approve his purchase as the NFL has rules regarding cross-ownership. The NFL was worried about the connection between Man U and a casino that is to be built by the club in conjunction with the Las Vegas Sands Corp. The NFL does not want to be connected with gambling.

The 2005 Indy 500 has been won by a Briton. Well done, Dan Wheldon, you can drive in a circle better than anyone else. Indy cars are so very boring, possibly the most boring sport in the world. But how hardcore is Danica Patrick? She is a rookie and came fourth.

By the way Danica Patrick is a girl. But quite frankly who cares? First and foremost Danica is an awesome driver, the reason she lost was because her car almost ran out of fuel so she had to slow down. You will notice that most people will say: “Danica did really well for a girl” and similar things. On TV3 last night she said “I want to be remembered for winning rather than being a girl”. TV3 sports presenter Michelle Pickles then said: “you go girl”, deftly undermining Danica with a single line. (Note: in most articles, like the ESPN one above, they will refer to her as Danica, while referring to other (male) drivers by their surnames, I believe that this is because it could be confusing for a reader to see “Patrick is the first female driver to…”. I have done the same here).
UPDATE: The best quote about Danica I have seen is this one:

In any case, a fourth-place finish with 24 laps led – the first ever for a non-male driver at Indianapolis – should be more than enough for Patrick to clinch the $25,000 JPMorgan Chase Rookie of the Year Award.

"Non-Male"? Do they mean female? Were the Indy car reporters considering transgendered people?

Given the money poured into creating cars that are lighter and lighter, I am surprised that more racing teams aren’t encouraging smaller, lighter women to drive their cars. Read the article and then say it with me: “Robby Gordon, dry your eyes mate…”

Also if you’re like me and watch TV3 sports news, you could be forgiven for forgetting that there is an NBA finals series being played out in the states. The Suns are almost out, with the Spurs taking a commanding lead. But the big battle (and quite frankly the real grand final series) is between the Miami Heat and the Detroit Pistons. I don’t want to pick a winner of that one. They are tied at one game apiece (the third is being played out as I write this). I like Shaq and the Heat but you can’t go past the retro coolness of the Pistons.

Almost finally, here is where I move away from sport, the Herald is running this non-article. Methinks that a certain reporter may be in a certain 48hours film team.

Here is short piece on a bitter Mikey Havoc. Seems there was a bit of leaving-in-the-lurch by dirty old, rotten old, dirty old Newsboy. Still I love Eating Media Lunch and Quality Time. I think the Havo just needs to find himself a new straight guy, or do an current affairs-style show. Think Campbell: Live with more swearing and humour, like the best bits from Quality Time (i.e. not the skits).

1 comment:

mike said...

That really is a bizarre non-article at the NZ Herald on the 48 Hrs. What's even bizarrererer is that A Fairy Good Tale won the Auckland region last night. Check out C4 on Sunday 12 June at 9pm to see the four regional finalists battle it out. The Wellington entrant looks very slick and probably has a good a chance as any. Almost finished my wrap up of the Welly final.