This geeky great white hope could have had pretty much any job he wanted, and to choose Liverpool, the quintessential under-achievers with over-expectations, says both ‘I was into football before it was cool’ and ‘I am a bit mad’. Fair play to him.
Make sure you get all over The Spinoff’s steroided-up sports section – it’s the internet equivalent of a Barcelona-style team goal with 30 stroked passes leading to a stonking finish, with Scotty Stevenson in the editor’s seat and friend-of-sportreview Calum Henderson contributing. Hopefully Spinoff supremo Duncan Grieve will find time among running the most impressive actual-writing site in NZ to write some sport, ‘cos he’s ace at it. Well played.
Anyone who says football is faster now obviously hasn’t seen Marco Tardelli take down Gianni Rivera two seconds after kick off. Yellow card.
A major part of my job is to lie (sorry, Mom). I have to use deception to manipulate two, sometimes three, defenders guarding me. It’s a 90-minute game of chess. If I know we don’t have the ball in a threatening spot, I’ll often sacrifice my positioning for a little while so I can soften up the defenders for later.
Could you win a Madden NFL Superbowl with an average dude at quarterback? The challenge is to add a player to a video game with roughly the same stats and skills as yer average couch / beer / chips athlete. I don’t think he’s going to go well.
Yorkshire Postman gets very very angry about a bicycle race road closure, takes matters into his own hands, and uses impressively bad language if you listen carefully.
“I’m star-struck when I see Paul Scholes, because you never see him. On the pitch you can’t catch him. Off the pitch he disappears.” – Luis Figo
sportreview.net.nz agrees, so here’s an essay about Scholes and Patrick Viera, two totems of the Premier League when it was arguably at its peak.
Speaking of Woolich, in a lazy but effective troll, A Genius inserts a photocopied pic of Van Persie celebrating scoring for Man U v Arsenal instead of the promised Arsenal DVD in online trade. Approved.
Golfing athletic wear may seem like an elaborate attempt to attract a mate, but here are the top ten encounters with actual animals on the PGA Tour, featuring alligators, turtles and bees.
Couple of Tottenham links to get Our Year underway – here’s Harry Kane with a casual run and edge of the box screamer in first pre-season run. sportreview.net.nz reaction – “Woof,” and “that’s great but please can we have another striker to go with him? Thanks.”
From the Guardian’s tremendous Golden Goal series – a big read on Glen Hoddle’s Watford Chip:
We can just watch, jaws gently agape, and recall the words of Mike in Swingers: “That was so fucking money. That was like the Jedi mind shit.”
And here it is:
Karim Benzema posts an Instagram of himself on an aeroplane, and the grim corner of the internet that is Arsenal fans gets all excited over nothing.
Umbrellas blowing down a beach – not sport as such but sportreview.net.nz can’t take its eyes off it.
Tour de France winner and stirrer Greg LeMonde says the most important thing when public speaking is staying relaxed.
Great read from the very, very smart Aaron Timms on Shane Watson, anointing him the most awkward of Australia’s long line of ‘non-blokey’ cricketers.
When I was eight, and still dreaming of a career in the baggy green, I would burst into tears whenever I got out. Fortunately, I outgrow the habit by the age of 10. Watto, even at the age of 34, greets every dismissal as if still in the throes of that impending juvenile trauma. He bristles with purpose, but it’s a purpose with no team solidarity; his sporting will is entirely self-centred.
Not only is Cristiano Ronaldo a pale imitation of the proper Ronaldo, it turns out he’s happy to hawk any old shit in Japan to make cash.
Pirlo long ball to Baggio, who finishes exquisitely. This is basically pornography for football nerds.
BIG DATA! Picking a winner in a golf tournament is more difficult than combing an annoyed cat. Fivethirtyeight.com, however, have figured out that Rory McIlroy’s withdrawal has apparently increased Masters and US Open winner Jordan Spieth’s chances by 3% in the British Open – go deep and go figure.
The Cricket Monthly on the Greatest Ball. Great piece, Wasim and Waqar feature.
Paneka penalties are a sportreview.net.nz favourite, and to attempt one that only dribbles accross the line to win the Copa America, even if you are a gooner, is pretty classy.
Tennis racquet abuse – a top ten
Things get cooking at number four. McEnroe, the master, smashes a racquet, then argues he hasn’t smashed it. Then a guy smashes all his racquets and has to abandon the game, while number one smashes about nine in a row, not even bothering to get them out of the plastic. It’s hardly Pete Townsend smashing guitars-level rock ‘n’ roll, but still satisfying action.
Let’s face it – sports fans are bloody nerds hey. This Power Rankings list for NBA court markings shows just how easy it is to succumb. At first I was all ‘this is a shit list, just for nerds,’ then I was all ‘HOW can they put the magnificent Memphis Grizzlies court markings at a lowly 17 ???!?” You were warned.
Here’s a tremendous profile of Andrew Jennings, the English TV reporter who thoroughly investigated and exposed FIFA corruption.
“I know that they are criminal scum, and I’ve known it for years,” he said. “And that is a thoughtful summation. That is not an insult. That is not throwing about wild words.”
Hockey player gets sent off, has a ‘mare trying to leave the ice.
Q: What are you thinking as you are batting?
A: “Ok get through the first couple of balls. Jeez that was quick. Ok knuckle down here. Oooh that girl’s quite pretty-Oi stop it, concentrate. Watch the ball. Shit that came off the bat quite nicely. I wonder how long it is til lunch? These pants are a bit tight, maybe I should get some new ones. Watch the ball. NO KANE NO. Come on mate there’s no run there, jeez. Oooh it’s lunch, I wonder if there’s cheesecake?”
Turns out Unleash The Quiche is a Reddit regular. Go read the whole thing.
Absolutely tremendous footage of an All Whites v Newcastle United friendly from 1985 at the Basin bloody Reserve. Peter Beardsley, 9, features and I like to think there was a piece to camera post-match, with kids leaping around pulling faces in the background.
sportreview.net.nz is a big fan of the retro-inspired football kits, and it turns out turning out in a classy, classic kit that respects your club’s history makes you play better than the standard ‘seagull vomit‘ most clubs settle for.
Football eh? The beautiful game. The footwork. The tactical intricacies. The drama. The partying alongside a shirtless Chuck Blazer in a sweet Dubai mansion that you own.
With all the he-said, she-said and unprecedented large-scale arrests, it can be hard to keep up, so here’s sportreview.net.nz’s guide to the key players.
Football’s answer to both Baron Silas Greenback and Tony Soprano. Inexplicably voted FIFA president time after time, due to world class Teflon coating shielding him from multiple and prolonged corruption allegations, not to mention all sense of shame or irony.
Blatter promised to stamp out systemic corruption in football, but then prioritised commissioning a feature film showcasing his contribution to football, turning Tim Roth from Mr Pink to Mr Stink at a stroke. Resigned after a corruption-related arrests of his henchmen senior officials, who are now lining up to dob him in faster than Alex Ferguson losing his temper. Still serving as FIFA President.
Suspended and sacked CONCAF President now under arrest. Great mates with Blazer, Chuck. Brilliantly, was totally sucked in by this Onion article. Has promised to name and shame FIFA wrong do-ers. To the highest bidder.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. If your sport is going to end up down a cesspit of sleaze, it may as well be lead by a gargantuan American called Chuck, all belly, beard and cheesy grin who’s no stranger to a strange photo op.
A keen blogger, Chuck worked his way up from chief CONCAF wheeler dealer to FIFA’s marketing supremo, while lining the Blazer pocket the whole way. Once the IRS took him down, he was only too happy to roll over like Stephen Gerrard defending the centre circle. He and Bernie Madoff are going to get on famously in prison. Recommended long read.
No-one knows anything about Prince Ali except that he’s a prince and seems as dynamic as a Dido album. But because he ran for FIFA president against Sepp Blatter, he became a folk hero. For five or six minutes.
So much to enjoy here. The Beige. Richie commentating. Hadlee’s restrained chat. Botham having no idea what’s going on, but appearing pretty comfortable with it. Hadlee eventually getting bored with swinging it all around Botham’s bat and setting him up like a Vegas card counter. A typically un-sunsmart 80s crowd. The duck. Just watch.
Colorado Rapids / Fulham fan runs batshit Twitter campaign to get promotion / relegation into Major League Soccer. A former political operative, his strategy seems to be exhausting everyone on the internet into submission. No-one get any ideas.
Nike explains how they make their athlete’s signature shoes. And there’s this awesome John McEnroe pic.