Links on Friday

So this is the kind-of return of Links on Friday – as long as you don’t expect links *every* Friday it’ll be sweet.

This is magic. Some guy creates one video game American football team that’s awesome and aggressive and puts it up against another video game American football team that’s feeble. Along the way he raises money for charity and makes some hil-ar-ious GIFS – but then something really freaky happens.

Some poor / heroic bugger has taken up the task of  going through the fabbo Alternative Commentary Collective archives and compiling some best-ofs. Here’s the first edition, get in there.

The mysterious Inky comes back with an email newsletter after about, oh, five years away. It’s a fabulous ramble through Ted, Steve H and All Black coaching cycles, dark hints about what he wants to say but can’t and somehow Hillary Clinton is mixed in there as well. Get on board.

BMX as conceptual art via

Free kick freakery

Is this a great effort from Hakan Calhanoglu of Hamburger SV, or something else?

To me, this doesn’t even look like an attempt on goal, it’s more like a golfer’s chip from the bunker. Just get it up close and see what happens. Even the celebration seems a bit half-hearted. Compare and contrast with Roberto Carlo’s effort here, where the intent is obvious.

Maybe it’s the state of modern hi-tech footballs that makes this unpredictable swerve possible, or maybe it was just really windy on the day, but it seems equally likely that Calhanoglu could have hit the corner flag. In all seriousness, WHAT was the ‘keeper meant to do here?


Give us that microphone

On Sunday I was interviewed by Colin Peacock for Radio New Zealand’s Mediawatch show (again) about the Alternative Commentary Collective, the travelling band of commentators who covered the glorious ANZ ODI series v India, won 4-0 by the BLACKCAPS. Paul Ford‘s Cricinfo blog sets out what it’s all about.

You can listen to the Mediawatch show here – relevant bit comes on about twenty minutes in.

From here, it seems the ACC was a great success. It was hilarious. It got people talking. To me, it was pretty much a dream team of chaps who talked cricket at every chance they got in their other roles (comedy, TV, radio, what have you) finally being able to just talk cricket . There was a whole lot of knowledge and enthusiasm as well as some really, really funny stuff. The fact we happened to beat the world champs 4-0 in this series gave the whole affair a slightly surreal feel.

It all got a bit emotional toward the end of the final broadcast from Wellington when everyone was realising that that was it for this year. I hope it continues and I also hope that some poor bugger will sit down and go through the five matches’ commentary and put together some kind of Best Bits podcast or download, it was too good to be heard only once.

Fair play to everyone involved. Commentary is one of those things everyone reckons they can do better, but is actually bloody hard when you have a real live microphone to talk into. These chaps made it sound easy.


For those comfortable with turning their TV volume down and venturing into the world of alt-commentary, there’s (a few) options.

Jed Thian is the best known alt-commentator in New Zealand with the full-noise Alternative Rugby Commentary empire, which he’s taken around the world.

Graeme Hill, Paul Casserley and (ACC chap) Jeremy Wells among others did rugby commentary for BFM in the early 1990s to the mid-2000s, which have a legendary reputation, but very little of which exists online, there’s a brief run-down here.

Test Match Sofa are a well-established alt-commentary troupe covering all England Test matches with a range of guests but have locked legal horns with ECB over commentary rights.

Roy and HG have been doing this kind of thing for years over the ditch.

And this is what I meant on the radio about unashamedly biased fan commentary – it’s got a certain charm I guess, but seems to be a case of who can shout the loudest in this instance.