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Monday, January 16, 2006

[Sport] The First Annual Hammer Awards

Ladies and Gentlemen this is moment you have been waiting for: The award ceremony for the first Annual Hammer Awards (the Hammies).

The list of nominees has been up for a while and a few of you have cast your votes. So without further ado here are your winners!

Best Team (international representation)

Nominees: All Blacks, Kiwis, Silver Ferns, Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell, Rugby Sevens team

Winner: The All Blacks (Rugby).

There has been SO much bitching in the news that the Kiwis have been snubbed by the Halburg Awards. Well crying about it wont help win the Hammer Awards either. The All Blacks finished the season 11-1 including beating eight of the world’s top ten teams (they didn’t play France or Argentina*). They dominated the game in 2005, created a generous media buzz during their northern hemisphere tour and even created a new tradition (Kapa O Pango).

* Samoa are a new addition to the top ten

Best Team (national representation)

Nominees: Canterbury Crusaders, Waikato/BOP Magic, Auckland Blues, Bay of Plenty Steamers

Winner: Waikato/BOP Magic.

The Magic dominated the National Bank Cup and did well enough to score home court advantage in the final. Their big venue (Hamilton’s Mystery Creek) was already booked and their back-up (the QEII centre in Tauranga) was unsuitable for a final (see below). They flew the length of the country to play the reigning champs in the champs’ home town…and destroyed them. Wiped the court with them! 65-39 Fuck yeah!

Best Team (non-New Zealand)

Nominees: Chicago White Sox, Liverpool FC, England cricket team, New England Patriots, West Tigers.

Winner: West Tigers.

This was actually a pretty hard contest. I was going to go with the Patriots but decided on the Tigers for the reason that their success shows how good a tournament is when every team has a shot a winning. Another team of note was the Northern Cowboys who used to suck but have now made it to the play-offs and a Grand Final in consecutive years. Liverpool are the runners-up for winning something while not being Arsenal, Man U or Chelsea.

Most Entertaining Series/Tournament

Nominees: Chappell-Hadlee Trophy Series, Fisher & Paykel Cup, British and Irish Lions Tour, The last Super 12 ever, Wellington Sevens

Winner: British and Irish Lions Tour.

The People chose the tour. “I was going to go for the Chappell-Hadlee series, but it was only two of the three games that made that exciting. The entire Lions tour was great - especially being in the UK at the time and standing around English pubs as the pride of the British Isles was being sunk!” and “Any tour that got my head out of [tabloid magazine] NW and into a sports pub has got to be special” Though the Wellington Sevens did get a mention as the best sports tournament where no one cares about the sport.

Sport of the Year

Nominees: Rugby, Netball, Rowing, Rugby League, Cricket

Winner on the day: Rugby.

Sport-you-could-seriously-not-give-a-sh*t-about of the Year

Nominees Yachting, Kick Boxing, New Zealand Basketball, New Zealand Soccer, Super 12 Rugby

Winner: Yachting.

Why did we even care about it in the first place? Oh that’s right; Peter Blake seemed like a nice chap. Then we all found out that they were all just rich ****s in boats. Like Russell Coutts.

Best Female Athlete

Nominees, Valerie Vili, Nicky Coles and Juliette Haigh, Kate McIlroy, Marina Erakovic

Winner: Nicky Coles and Juliette Haigh.

Winning the world champs after falling out of their boat at the Olympics. That is true grit. Also they won a world title without being twins.

Best Male Athlete

Nominees: Michael Campbell, Stacey Jones, Nathan Twaddle and George Bridgewater, Mahe Drysdale

Winner: Mahe Drysdale.

Just kidding, it’s really Michael Campbell. Duh. (I wonder if they’ll make the same joke at the Halburgs?)


Hottest Man in Sport

Winner: Dan Carter.

As proposed by Jenny. For increasing the demographics of rugby watchers to the other 50% of the population and for selling a boatload of undies to guys who desperately want to look like him. Dan also gets the international vote with a least one (but probably more by now) computer screen at the World Banks in Washington DC being decorated with a Dan Carter wallpaper. An honourable mention goes to Richie McCaw who gets the most searches that include the word “naked”.

And for parity

Hottest Woman in Sport

Winner: Danica Patrick.

Not only is she hot she has taken over the last true bastion of testosterone in sport: motorsport. She is also fiery and we here at the Hammer like any woman who tells F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to f*ck off. Honourable mention goes to Maria Sharapova, who lost points for being too skinny at “game weight”. Danica also recently topped Xtra’s poll of Sexiest Female Sports Stars of 2005 beating Maria Sharapova again.

Back to the “regular” awards

Best Performance inside Aotearoa

Nominees: Black Caps successful record run chase of 332 over Australia, All Blacks whitewash of the British and Irish Lions, Silver Ferns whitewash of Australia, Black Ferns whitewash of England

Winner: Black Caps.

It was a world record set against the world champions. You do not get better than that. Yes the series was dead but good God the game wasn’t!

Best Opponent

Nominees: Australian cricket team, Springboks, English rugby team, British and Irish Lions, Alinghi

Winner: Springboks.

Someone said “I'm not choosing any of them because they are w**kers”. And that person is right they are all w**kers, but someone has to win this and it only makes sense that the only team that managed to put a tick in the “L” column for the All Blacks should be it.

Best Haka

Nominees: Kapa O Pango, Ka Mate Ka Mate, Cibi, Manu Siva Tau, New Zealand Maori Haka

Winner: Kapa O Pango.

This was easily the most controversial thing to happen in New Zealand sport this year. People were either bowled over or enraged. Outside our island nation people were just shocked. Americans loved it for its showiness and brutality and the British hated it for the same reasons. We were watching the Springbok game that saw the first rendition of Kapa O Pango (the team in black) in a pub downtown. The place was packed and when the players went down on one knee (which is different to the original Ka Mate Ka Mate) the place went nuts. Kapa O Pango is only used on ‘special occasions’ but I am quite happy for the All Blacks to keep using it.

Retiree of the Year

Nominees: Matt Te Pou, David Dixon, Stacey Jones (late addition)

Winner: Matt Te Pou.

The winningest international rugby New Zealand has ever had and all around great guy. I had the pleasure to meet the man at a function last year before his teams’ historic victory over the British and Irish Lions. Even though he was the great man at the table he was still full of praise for the work of others. Humility is what makes great men into legends.

Note: Tana Umaga was too late to make the list and he wouldn’t have won anyway.

Now for the night’s most popular award

Photo of the Year

Nominees: Here (Scroll Down)

Winner: "Header" Racing Lens' Eric Carriere grimaces as he heads the ball during the UEFA Cup first round first leg soccer match against Groclin Grodzisk.

“...the type of photo that all photographers aspire to”

And finally the grand award for the Hammies…

By Grabthar’s Hammer They Were Avenged (international version)

Nominees: Black Caps successful record run chase of 332 over Australia, All Blacks beat England with three men sin-binned for questionable offences, New Zealand Maori finally beat the British and Irish Lions, Chicago White Sox win World Series, England win the Ashes

Winner: The Waikato/BOP Magic.


As I said above: The Magic gained home court advantage for the final but their back-up venue (the QEII centre in Tauranga) was unsuitable. Well actually that was a big lie. Tauranga had hosted a number of the Magic’s regular season matches but Netball New Zealand decided that the venue was too small to host a final. This was even after the venue had been remodelled to NNZ standards. Former squash world champ (and BOP resident) Dame Susan Devoy went on television and swore at the director of NNZ and then pleaded for a neutral venue but to no avail. The Magic were forced to fly (I assume at their own expense) to Invercargill, home of seven-time champions, the Southern Sting. But then the Magic rose above the controversy and instead of sulking (as many NZ teams do) they kicked ass. Like the netball version of Chuck Norris! They won the match 65-39 and by Grabthar’s Hammer and the Sons of Wothan they were avenged!!!

Well that wraps up the 2005 Hammer Awards. I hope you’ll tune in again next year when we’ll see who will the 2006 honours.


Mike said...

Awesome ...

Gibbs said...

You'll probably say that the Ashes wasnt included in your best series category because it wasnt in NZ or involving some NZ element but i have to say that no sports event or series was as spell-binding, as gripping, as tension filled as the 2005 Ashes cricket series held between Australia (current leaders of the world test championship) and perenial underdogs (and underachievers) England. I was lucky enough to watch the nailbiting finish to the second test at Edgbaston where England won by 2 runs to level the series at a game a piece. I watched the game with an English friend, a self confessed cricket dunce, who had more chance of accurately prediciting the weather in NZ for the next year than of commenting on the form of any current player in the English cricket team, yet his passion for the game and the significance of the ashes series had him near tears as the Australians edged towards what probably would have been a series winning win. The length of time between last winning the ashes, the complete domination of world cricket over the last 15 years by their opposition, and the folklore that now surrounds the five match series makes me say that this was the best sporting highlight of the whole year.