Black Caps in the West Indies: Party Time! Excellent!

Lock up your sun lounger and towel – the Black Caps are in the West Indies and ready to par-tay. Any student worth their beer bong knows you need to chop a few at home before you go into town, and so the Caps warmed upwith a 7 run win against the Windies before the cup kicks off proper.Even though it was a warm up game, most of the team didn’t bother warming up, and left the scoring runs and getting wickets and that to ‘Black To The Future’ duo Scott ‘The’ Styris and Jake ‘Snake’ Oram.
Oram and Styris light their farts in the general direction of the Australian team hotel
While getting one over your hosts is a good thing, acclimatising to local conditions is crucial also. When you step off the plane to find bodies in the sand, tropical drinks melting in your hand and steel drum bands after a month of eating Christchurch shopping mall food court lunches with the Crusaders, it’s easy to lose your head. The bars and beachs of the Caribbean have been a graveyard for touring teams over the years:
Fred ‘Andrew’ Flintoff prepares for a cruise on the HMS Ian Botham
The Caps go into this tournament in the now trademark role as Dark Horses™. It’s a fact that all cricket writers and TV analysts are contractually obliged to mention New Zealand as ‘possible semifinalists’, ‘dark horses’, capable of ‘suprising teams’, and ‘could go all the way’ in tournament previews, while laughing openly at previous semi final capitulations over port in the Hilton each night.
Black Beauty here is a Dark Horse™, black (like the caps) and about the size of NZ’s chances of winning the tournament.
The tournament will be an interesting come down from the recent IPL, more Ewan Gilmor than Julian Clary, and will hopefuly be better run than the last West Indian World Cup, which lasted several years. Jesse, and backing up the captain and old pros’ form will be key for us. Go Caps.

What drove Sione out of Hamilton?

As a youth in Hamilton, often encountered youth gangs in Garden Place of a Friday night and thought “I wish I could drive to Auckland tonight, the Yuppies up there wouldn’t be all punching shit out of my knees right now.”  Early Saturday morning Sione Lauaki had the same thought, but failed the all important ‘get to Auckland’ part of the plan, which was unlucky, as he’s a  man with form when it comes to letting down the fans, but usually when he’s playing rugby or punching them in the face. So, what drove Sione out of Hamilton?

Maybe he was looking for some action. Hamilton’s nightlife options traditionally taper off shortly after lunchtime, and you can understand wanting to leave a city that can’t decide if it’s happening, if it’s more than you expect, if it’s ON, or whether it’s “Hamilton – ‘gis a fucking dollar and what the fuck are you looking at, mate?”.

A Hamilton youth protest, demanding equal council facilities for up and coming Heavy Metal bands as skateboarders
Or was Sione driving out of Hamilton as a solidarity chest thump for the Waipa Delta, the steam boat driven out of the tranquil brown waters of the Waikato River and forced to work for its keep in the Auckland Harbor ferrying ungrateful Yuppies about and having its foredeck wee-ed on like Matthew Ridge’s shoes?
The Waipa Delta in happier days – RWC organisers should note nothing says Party Central like a carvery, free Waikato Draught and a spew over the side
Or was the big smoke calling, the big smoke where ‘teh’ social media craze is creating an industry of experts not seen since the leaky homes expert boom. Like the Kids from Fame taking over a cafeteria with their dancing, you can’t walk the streets of Auckland move for social media experts forcing their friendship on you and threatening ROI.

You don’t GET these kind of personal in your online face experiences in Hamilton, where Broadband generally means a poofters’ gumboot.

Giapo, where you can ‘tweet’ about your ‘ice cream’ and upload it to the ‘pavement’ if you’re drunk enough
These are all plausible reasons (ahem – Ed), but can reveal Sione was driven out of the fountain city by the cruel mocking of a fountain. This is a man deeply, deeply insecure about his hair. Exhibit A:

The Founders Theater fountain has spoken to many young Hamilton men as they relieve themselves in its waters after a night out, but mercifully, their memories are generally wiped the next day. If you’re a pro rugby player struggling with form, fitness and 13 JD and cokes, and a fountain talks to you, you’re best to zip up and move on, not get in your car and flee. There’s no escaping the fountain, bro.

Links on Friday

These sin-binned-hockey-player-taunting green men made me laugh a lot, especially when one pretends to cry (via @cam_mcmillan)

Poor Wayne Rooney, can’t even have a pint in peace

In alternate reality comes to life news, Maradonna tuns out for Tottenham. He’s no Steffan Freund.

Casual! Casual! Casual! He’ll regret that quite spectacular own goal, and that haircut

Danny Rose’s volley

Shamefully, I texted a colleague today to acertain if the office Gooner was hurting more, less, or the same as when they lost to Barcelona. Every Tottenham fan gets funnier on days we beat Arsenal.

As Fergie says, it’s squeaky bum time, and even though our own squeaky bum involves finishing fourth, not first, I’ll take the win, especially if it’s kicked off with a strike like this. Not bad for Rose’s first premiership start.

VIDEO: The embedded goal video keeps getting taken down – you’re going to have to go search youtube yourself.

Checking in

I’m on hols, but here’s a quick one while he’s away:

Hayden Roulston finished tenth in the Paris Roubaix, the Queen of the Classics race that takes in long sections of rough cobbles. Here he is is in action, and here’s a write up form his blog. It’s a tremendous result in the hardest one day race going, and heaps better than last year.

DeadBall, who are kinda back but kinda not, have an extensive Dan Vettori interview. Interestingly, he’s read Moneyball twice.

Links on Friday

Formula One is very, very boring indeed – the only way to make it exciting is by ‘bad-ass’ ‘shredding’ on an ‘axe’

Be like Tiger without all that messy indiscriminate sleeping around and media attention with the Tiger Woods soundboard

This guy takes the ‘goal-keepers are crazy’ saying and upgrades to insane

NZers, you can see Paris-Roubaix, the hell of the north, on Sky Sport 3 on Monday at 9am. Take the day off work, tell your boss some guy on the internet said it was OK

Reading list

Barney Ronay on the IPL:

Sehwag is simply a primal talent. He swatted one of Yusuf Pathan’s lightweight off-breaks for an enormous six over mid-wicket. He uppercut violently over cover. Sehwag does this kind of thing anyway. He doesn’t need cheerleaders or a man shouting things into a microphone.

Harry Pearson on wingers that look like True Blood extras. And KD Laing:

Take a peek at film of George Best back in the day when he looked like the fifth Beatle rather than some chubby geezer who played session marimbas on the second Eagles album… all of them lads who guarded their mercurial image and seemed to live for the day they provoked the rampantly romantic Barry Davies to squawk ecstatically: “Oh, my word, and you have to admire the sheer impudence of the boy!”