the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Archive for the tag “sport”

Book Review; Footrot Flats Sports Collection

Very popular in Australasia and in the UK, Footrot Flats was a comic strip devised by Kiwi Murray Ball which was printed in newspapers for close to 30 years. I remember reading it every day in the Christchurch Press and also owned a few of the 20-odd volumes that came out, almost yearly. It was turned into a movie (with a hit title song, personally Dave Dobbyn does my head in, but this a classic tune) in the 80s but it all came to an end when the muse for the main character, The Dog, died.

This volume is a collection of sports anecdotes which are so funny as they are so easily related to, especially by those of us who were week-day farmers and weekend warriors on local sports fields.

If those of you around the world can get your hands on any Footrot Flats, I recommend you do so although some of it will be lost on you.








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We’re Interrupt Your Programme With Important News…

Thank you, thank you, thank you! to Mike and his lovely girlfriend Kelly for getting this important titbit (every pun intended) to me and to Lynx for what should be nominated for an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize for what can only be described as art. And now, my dear minions (all eleven of you who bother to read my shit) here is the “How To” module of the year.

For those not well-versed on the rules of rugby; this is important viewing.

For those not well-versed on terminology; this is important viewing.

For those of you who love to perve at hot chicks in skimpy bikinis; this is most important viewing. Read more…

Lost in translation…

It is an oft-quoted term that Poms are the biggest bunch of whingers in existence, and if this was based on topography, climate, leaders, personalities, achievements and culinary delights, this may well be the case.But their mantle at the top of this game is in such dispute that it is my belief the Brits have been accepting the plaudits worthy of such title fraudulently.

The true champions of bleakness, despair, and finger-pointing lies with the Kiwis (to the ill-informed, New Zealanders: to the Yanks, some country you haven’t yet invaded to save impeachment of a President). I Google’d the Kiwi (bird) to see if one of its physical traits was a tendency to whine and shift blame, but no authority (even Wiki) could confirm nor deny this fact…the same result occurred when I figured that the fruit might be a known complainer. Nope.

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Why such an attack on my adopted country?

I use the fallout from the last weekend; while New Zealander sports personalities fared well in Rugby League and Rowing, the media and nationals combined bemoan the losses by the Crusaders in the Super XV final, and the last-second capitulation (which started 45mins earlier) by the Silver Ferns in the World Netball Champs. Probably no big deal any other moment in time, however on the outside looking in, it takes on the most comical of proportions.

One radio commentator this morning went so far to say the best team in the Super XV did not win on Saturday night…riiiiiiiight…now I understand that ill-feeling in the pit of my stomach which I originally mis-diagnosed as my daughter’s pasta dish. I may not know the finer points and intricacies of modern professional rugby, but my understanding was the team that scores the most points over said opposition, and thus wins the game, and thus holds aloft the trophy, was the better team? Maybe Queensland should rescind the trophy and announce their title as null-and-void as it will surely come to them as nightmares in their sleep (A Christmas Carol?) that they have contravened world-wide opinion on the fact. How dare they class themselves champions when it is so obvious they are not. Disgusting behaviour which is no surprise considering their convict stock.

And so to the netball – it seems the same applies. Rather than Australia being given due to pull off a win on the biggest stage of all, they must be made to offer much sympathy for the Silver Ferns who must have trained harder, and better, and look a champion team. It is very unsporting that the Diamonds did not shake hands with the Kiwi’s at half-time when down by six goals. Everyone knows that such a lead is to be left, and respected, and any fight back is considered underhanded. In hindsight, I should have tossed my Aussie passport and renounced my affiliation of such icons as Bob Hawke and David Boon (unparalleled sobriety), Paul Hogan and Alan Bond (upstanding pillars of society), Greg Dyer and Peter Fitzsimmons (angelic world-class sport-superstars).

Hindsight being 20/20 I now propose that the following wrongs be righted immediately without due regard, because they so obviously deserve them;

  • The America’s Cup – what right does Alinghi have to win when all they did was turn up with a superior crew, tactics, and a boat that didn’t fall down around their ears and take on the guise of a submarine?
  • Rugby World Cup (five times) – when you are the best team in the world, and ranked as such, the insinuation that the All Blacks should have to play an opposition to earn the right to hold aloft such recognition is abhorrent. But in the interest of expanding the game to a larger audience, how about a two-tiered competition – Wallabies, Springboks, Tricolors and England in one, and New Zealand and the rest of the world in another with the winner being decided on points differential between the two table toppers. Seems fair.
  • Wimbledon,
  • Cricket World Cup – the powerhouse of modern cricket no doubt lies in NZ and when you look at their world-beaters; Martin, Mills, Oram, Ryder, and such, all stable and big game stalwarts. Despite the fact that the trophy has never been here other than on show or as photographed in papers is no excuse for the Aussies, Windies, and others to take it away. It used to be the team with the most runs that took the most wickets in the final normally earned the right to be called winners, something NZ must know all too well watching many finals from their hotel rooms having never been invited to play in one. Rephrased; please give us the cup? And take note – the underarm delivery WAS legal. Deal with it and move on.
  • While we are at it, maybe NZ could ensure their own success on the world stage by example of the greatest sporting nation ever – the United States of America: start-up an internal sports competition, spend millions branding it as a World Series, and then invite every country in the world called New Zealand. Ensure success by inventing a game that no-one else plays, win, and call yourselves World Champs.Done. Although I have my doubts that NZ could pull off such a feat – per capita, NZ has more cases of “the yips” than any other country, and if anyone could lose a NZ vs. NZ final, it would be NZ. Maybe Greg Norman is a Kiwi?

My dad once said to me; “Kiwi’s are the most level-headed people I know…they have a chip on both shoulders!”.

Ne’er a truer word spoken.

Written as I sit at work with my Aussie flag proudly draped around my shoulders looking every inch a Superhero…I just need to invest in some Australian printed y-fronts to wear outside my trousers and my alter-ego will be complete…now if this raises the ire of a nation, and they win the World Cup, great. At least it will shut them up.

Book Review – Cricket’s Greatest Scandals

by Ken Piesse

tut, tut, Hansie

This was a very interesting book, and one that would be loved by anyone who follows sports, and a lot of the stories will also fascinate those who don’t follow cricket. Unless you have been in space the last 100 years, names such as Don Bradman, , Hansie Cronje, Dennis Lillie, Ian Botham, Mikle Gatting, and Shane Warne will be instantly recognisable, and each of these, plus more all appear in their own chapter on being ‘bad boys’. And just for good measure, there is a chapter denoted to Stephen Fleming, Dion Nash and Matt Hart from NZ for the ‘popt smoking’ incident. But more than the people themselves, there are the incidents; Bodyline, The Underarm, World Series Cricket, and match fixing. Even for those, like me who consider themselves pretty knowledgeable on the sport, this book will open some new revelations for you.

It is sectioned into a “First XI” and “Second XI”, the assumption the top-tier is more scandalous than the following, however I couldn’t help but feel that some of the stories in the second half were most befitting of being promoted up the order. And for good measure, there are a couple of appendices; the first a “Timeline of Trouble” and then “Big Bets” which chronicles betting in cricket and match fixes.

This is well written by a sports journalist, although I was wary after the first couple of chapters believing he may have been very-pro Aussie, but it very much levels out and shows the unbiased reporting that should be present amongst scribes. Good photos that bring back memories such as Lillie vs. Miandad, Walsh vs. Waugh, and Michael Holding kicking down the stumps (everyone remember that series?).

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