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Monday, June 27, 2005

[Sport] The Tackle Debacle

[ED NOTE: this post will have hyperlinks added on Tuesday]

Well it’s on the front page of the Dom Post. What looks like, damning evidence against All Black captain Tana Umaga. Umaga and Kevin Mealamu either side of B&I Lions captain Brian O’Driscoll, each holding a leg and dumping O’Driscoll head-first into the ground.

This is the same Tana Umaga who was given a “fair play” award by the Welsh team a few years ago. But it is also the man who said “this isn’t tiddlywinks”. By the way, for you trivia buffs Tana’s real name is Jonathan Falefasa Umaga.

Many commentators are saying Umaga and Mealamu couldn’t do it purposefully because it isn’t in their nature. I don’t want to comment on that. We seem to view our player through rose-tinted glasses. We grinned as Chris Jack got rucked (and rightly so) for lying on the ball and Chris Jack grinned as he was punched in the face after pulling down a player (don’t remember which one) in the line out. Richard Loe’s eye gouging incidents have become a laughable joke now. Perhaps we laugh because they were censured.

The judiciary from other SANZAR nations have viewed the tapes and found no cause for a case against Umaga and Mealamu. However they suspended Danny Grewcock for two months for biting Mealamu’s hand and sent O’Connell to the bin for a professional foul n the 12th minute. The Lions are going to be pissed in the next game.

How should Umaga handle this? He has been barred from the media. It’s probably too late but he should ring O’Driscoll and apologise. Actually he should meet O’Driscoll somewhere private and buy him a beer (the way to an Irish heart is through the liver) and explain the situation to him. I think we all believe that there was no malice in the tackle; he needs to explain that to the Irish captain, because O’Driscoll is pretty pissed off right now.

Here’s something a bit more light-hearted.

I, as was mentioned on Friday, have to watch the rugby on TV3. Which is cool, I don’t need Sky (except maybe in the NFL season). The part that I hate is the TV3 commentary team. Hamish McKay is the world’s largest talking penis. I have to laugh though because unlike the normal set-up: one play-by-play commentator and one colour commentator (maybe with one sideline reporter); TV3 has nine colour commentators, 27 sideline reporters and no play-by-play. Moreover, every two minutes they have to say “All Black rugby: free on Three” or similar slogans.

Another quirk of the TV3 team is the “Echo Effect”™. What happens is one of the commentators will make a keen insight or bring up an interesting fact, the rest of the 900-strong commentary team will then repeat this fact/insight solidly for the next ten minutes and then ease it off logarithmically over the rest of the game. The effect usually ends with Hamish McKay he is always the last person to say it and the most likely to repeat it much later.

Note: there was no Mark “Brian-lover” Allen this week. Perhaps he realised his job required him to watch (and enjoy watching) men in short-shorts and tight shirts touch and grapple each other.

I made a point of writing down a few of the better lines from the TV3 commentary team (seems they were saving them up for the test matches).

At the start of the game from Hamish McKay:

  • “This is what we’ve been waiting for. It’s like counting down the sleeps until Christmas…Rugby Christmas!”
Continually through out the entire game from Ian Kirkpatrick (he was trying for the Echo Effect but it was never picked up):
  • [About Sitevini Sivivatu] “He loves chopping off his left foot!”
Hamish McKay again about the British reporters
  • I can feel them sharpening their typewriters
Let’s talk about a different sport now ay? How about league?

Yes I did say that the Warriors wouldn’t win.
“The Warriors are going to lose to the Broncos. Don’t be silly of course they are. It’s karma for that whole Shaun Metcalf thing”
Here is my excuse. That quote was before I knew they were doing a ten year anniversary game with retro jerseys, island drummers and everything. See, the Warriors of old lost to the crap teams and beat the good teams. Success depends on whether there are more good teams or crap teams.

How about some English tennis?

Safin’s gone Serena’s gone. Tim Henman has gone, perhaps for good this time as the British fans have found another hero. I’ll talk more about the tennis when it gets a bit further along.

People are still whining about the Indy F1 farce. Basically Michelin and the FIA both screwed up and left the American fans and promoters high and dry. But more has leaked about Bernie Ecclestone (F1 boss) and Danica Patrick (female indy car prodigy). Turns out not only did Bernie say to the press that Danica couldn’t race in F1 because all women should be domestic appliances (or some shit) he also rang her up and said the same thing straight to her. Danica said she was quite upset but put it behind her, and then someone in the press said “how do you feel about Ecclestone’s comments?” She was all like “How do you know he said it to me on the phone?” Then she found out he said it in public too. She was heavily pissed off.

Too f*cken right.

Maybe Bill English (whose real name is Simon, but would you vote for a Simon?) has been hanging out with Bernie. Under a National government we would have more single-sex schools. Apparently they do better than co-ed schools. This seems statistically wrong some-how. A quick check of the Ministry of Education site reveals no explicit evidence that supports English’s claim. However, I am not going to say that he is lying (a politician lying? Never!) I may come back to this issue in a non-sports post.

I’m changing jobs again on Wednesday so I may miss a post about the Netball. Go Silver Ferns! Irene you’re a real honest-to-Godzone Kiwi now, you have so much more to fight for!

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