Guy with ‘make Otago jersey green’ idea told “don’t have any more ideas”

NEWSDESK: Otago Highlanders marketing exec Steve ‘Steve’ Landrover, who conceptualised changing the famous blue, gold and maroon colours to green, has been instructed to not have any more ideas.

Landrover, who believes Highlanders management “aren’t seeing the bigger picture,” said “I triangulated this opportunity for literally hours. HOURS. When you factor in the synergies between rugby – which is played on grass, and grass – which is green, it’s obvious.”

When told about the new green playing strip, which is launching this Friday, Highlanders Chairman Ross Laidlaw commented “fucking WHAT?” before refusing to comment. Otago salwart Laurie Mains is outraged, telling reporters “It’s fair to say I’m outraged – I don’t even know how outraged I am to be honest, but I’m sure it’s going to be pretty fucking outraged. I’ll figure it out and get back to you,” before hurrumphing weightily several times.

Landrover’s plans for ‘Bring A Flaming Couch, Get In Half Price’, ‘Buy One Beer, Get 14 Free’ and ‘Kids Get Pinecones Covered In Cow Shit day’ promotions have been shelved at this stage.

Will to live status: being sucked

So. Sport and that. Have to say, actual sport to watch has been a little thin on the ground with the Super 15 at a sedative point of the competition and the Black Caps being on the world’s longest holiday. Still, we DID get another classic piece of Alex Ferguson media relations to enjoy this week – I reckon he gets Darth Vader to help him brush up on press conference technique. Sunday morning’s Champions League final (at a very civilised time, NZers!) could be a classic, or it could be a classic ‘cancel each other out’. Be grateful though, the alternative final could have been Real Madrid v Chelsea, in what would have been the nastiest match since Oscar the Grouch took on Judith Collins at cage fighting. I predict 1-0 to Barca, with Messi nutmegging Ryan Giggs, tweeting about it, dribbling through the defence three times before smacking it into the net off Fergie’s face. Looking forward to it.

The big story in Rugby has been Dan Carter and Richie McCaw signing back up with NZ for four more years. The NZRFU is all about flexible contracts these days, with sabbaticals, casual Fridays and god knows what else on the menu. sportreview’s admiration for Richie McCaw went up about tenfold when he decided to re-sign at his local rugby club, doing the presser from a bar leaner.

Where would one expect the captain of one of the world’s most successful sporting teams to make such a momentous announcement?

Parliament Buildings for the ubiquitous prime ministerial photo opportunity? A swank golfing resort? The red-carpeted lobby of some five-star hotel (though there aren’t many of those left in Christchurch)?

Nope. Richie McCaw – who hails from a family farm in the Hakataramea Valley but a proud Cantabrian now – opted instead for his local footy club.

The only way he could have done it in a more Kiwi fashion is if he’d done a yard class and spewed $5 of chips on a TV camera. On ya. Now, the focus turns to Sonny Bill signing up – the big issue seems to be letting him smash people over in-between matches. Considering how comfortable the NZRFU have been with All Blacks smashing people over in bars in the past, I reckon the deal is as good as done.

On Wednesday night, I tuned in to watch the State Of Origin. I was a big fan in the 90s – Graham Lowe, Alfie Langer masks, Cockroaches, big Mark Geyer, big Marty Bella, state against state, mate against that guy that shat in that hotel corridor, big men sorting their differences out with their fists and each other’s faces. Fantastic stuff. But my GOD, I caught about 15 minutes of the build-up to Origin One (as everyone INSISTS you call it), and was convinced Australia was about to collectively disappear up it’s own arse so far that they’d somehow disappear and pop out as a nation somewhere on the Afghanistan / Pakistan boarder and be forced to make a new life for themselves without all the sharks and minerals and that. It was that over the top – interviews with the player’s families in the crowd, Phil Gould wandering beneath the goalposts looking like he was trying to find his way out of the stadium after a messy corporate function three weeks previous. Have to confess, I watched about half an hour of the match and went to bed. Some things are just more important than sport.

Reading list

Lionel Messi gets the New York Times treatment. Wish Maradonna had read this.

Meanwhile, the New Yorker says let’s wait until Lance is proven guilty; from the same author, a long 2002 profile.

As a father of two under-three Waikato fans born on the North Shore, I know the importance of giving the offspring absolutely no choice in which team they support.

A 13 year old scores his own version of my favourite goal ever.

Parore scales Everest, still a twat

NEWSDESK: Former Black Cap and woman’s magazine regular Adam Parore remains a twat, despite climbing Mt Everest.

Parore, who once referred to himself as a brand, completed the 8848m ascent on Friday, no doubt thinking all the while about getting back to his trim decaf Lattés and Range Rover he left double parked on Ponsonby Road.

“My goals have always been to criticise Jesse Ryder’s weight in the national press and climb Everest, so it’s great to have knocked those bastards off,” said Parore, from the Kathmandu airport Koru Lounge.

Tweet yourself unemployed

Twitter’s Cory Jane got in hot lineament this week when he posted “Siit … If the ABs team got picked 2moro on form NO #Chiefs or #Hurricanes would make it apart from #ConradSmith & @LiamMessam #JustSaying” to popular social networking site Twitter.

Before he had time to pick up his homies in his Hummer and roll to Hurricanes training, Cory found himself on the front page. published both his reported tweet, and his protest that an All Black expressing an opinion shouldn’t be news. He’s right, it shouldn’t, but as a nation, we’re more conditioned to hearing our national team expressing opinions on their preferred choice of underarm deodorant, breakfast cereal, carbonated soft drink or big grunty V8 petrol burner of choice. We rarely hear them talk about rugby, especially so if you tune in to the post match interviews.

Presumably, as an All Black, Cory is more media trained than John Campbell’s surprised look, so he’s being naive in the extreme. If he believes his tweet wasn’t newsworthy, he probably believes Dan Carter really is a heat pump, the NZRFU cares about the Ranfurly Shield, and that Steve Hanson didn’t go missing in Graham Henry’s eyebrow for three weeks in late 2005.

While @Coryjane1080 winding up on the front page of with a silly tweet is quite big, I still predict a bigger, proper Hurricanes Horror Twitter Explosion is yet to occur. Someone is really going to lose it at some stage – I do not envy the Hurricanes and NZRFU media teams’ jobs, they must be having kittens – but it’s going to be awesome to watch when it does happen. Watch out around All Black selection time, or in the weeks afterwards. There’s only so much playstation an ex All Black with time on his hands can take.

The Crusaders attempt to capture the lucrative youth / internet market with mid-game planking.

Elsewhere, heat pump to the nation Dan Carter will announce his playing future today. New Zealanders follow Dan the same way they’d follow a duckling trying to cross the southern motorway, every move he makes causes howls of angst. “Left! Left, little ducky! Watch out for that sixteen wheeler Mac truck!” “Dan! Dan! Ignore that shady looking Frenchman carrying cash in a suitcase and smelling vaguely of cheap hotel room!”. It goes on. Whatever happens, Dan will be part of our next world cup, his third, and look half asleep. I predict he’ll re-sign with the NZRFU, with a couple of sabbaticals to get highly paid / injured / catch up on playstation inbetween.

Reading list

There may be no entrapped pool of human talent left on earth with the dollar value of Cuban baseball players.
Sharpest keyboard in the west Michael Lewis on Cuban baseball players

I felt as intensely focused as a diamond-cutting laser; Grand Theft Auto IV was ready to go. My friend and I played it for the next 30 hours straight.
Guy gets addicted to coke, pot and Grand Theft Auto

Instead, I was waiting for someone… said to be a genius and a paranoid obsessive, the greatest chess player who ever lived and an obnoxious crackpot. I was looking for Bobby Fischer.
Potted history of the potty recluse Bobby Fischer

I can unequivocally say that this is one of the top five most abysmally, hyperventilatingly, throbbingly appalling experiences of my life. The only small ray of consolation was that I wasn’t alone … It’s not just me being humiliated, it’s the culture and inhabitants of an entire continent. writing hero AA Gill goes to the gym in Manhattan

Former All Black available for out-of-touch opinion on pretty much anything

NEWSDESK: Barry Shovel, a half back capped six times for the All Blacks between 1967 and 1978 is not short of an opinion. Ask him about any issue of the day and he’ll give you both barrels and six sprigs down your back. Which is why journalists have been beating a path to his Te Waibotherau sheep farm gate, or the bowls club if it’s after half eleven.

“If there’s one thing wrong with this country, people are afraid to call a spade a spade,” said Shovel. “Back in my day, a man didn’t need a bloody car phone or America’s Cup yacht to have an opinion. It’s still a free country, despite what those woofters up in Wellington reckon – I call it how I see it, and if you don’t like it you can stick it in your tractor, get it up to 80kph, smash it into the pub and die in a flaming fireball. Or something.”

“Shovel has fast become the New Zealand sporting media’s go-to political correctness gone mad quote source,” said Media Expert Brian Sanctimonious. “His ability to churn out cantankerous, ill informed, traditional-values-based, borderline racist moralising sound bites is an easy way to confirm the journalist’s original hypothesis and fill three to eight seconds.” Some of Shovel’s most prominent quotes include:

“Adidas needs a high tech punch punch in the face” – High tech panels to be sewn to the front of the All Blacks’ jerseys

“If Fitzy needs a Hydatids shot, he knows where to find me” – Springbok prop Johan La Roux bites Sean Fitzpatrick on the ear

“It’s touch rugby’s fault” – NZ’s 2007 quarter final defeat to France

“It’s got Helen Clark written all over it” – Proposed red fern on All Black jersey to commemorate Christchurch earthquake

Recently, Shovel has branched out into broader social commentary, telling NewsTalk ZB’s Larry Williams “Next thing you know, they’ll make it illegal to drink and drive,” in a piece about the left hand turn rule review.

Trouble in the carpark

Seve Ballesteros died this week at 54.

Holding a slender lead in The Open of 1979, with Jack Nicklaus breathing down his neck, Seve was fearless from the tee, swinging hard and landing erraticly, missing 8 of 9 fairways when he took his driver. In the clip below, he gives his drive everything, lands 60-70 feet right of target in the car park, delicately lofts his ball back onto the green and rolls it in for birdie. He won the tournament.

Sure, Jack had fetching taste in knitwear and 18 majors to Seve’s 5, but there’s little doubt who’s cooler. Never forget about style and imagination in sport, team, they’re  important. Danny Blanchflower‘s quote seems appropriate: “The game is about glory. It’s about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom.”

Lawrence Donegan on Seve

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