Usain Bolt to do that Usain Bolt shit in New Zealand

NEWSDESK: Multiple Olympic gold medal winner Usain Bolt is set to do that Usain Bolt shit in New Zealand. After touching down, Bolt threw a few Hulk Hogan poses in the customs queue, was ushered into the airport lobby where he fingerbanged several photographers, before being ushered quickly away by minders.

Bolt was unavailable for verbal experiences with media, but sponsors representative Heady Sunglasses told reporters Bolt was going to “You know, do that pose and potentially some other contractually approved complicated hand signals, which New Zealanders can experience on the news, or speeding past in a people mover.

“Kiwi kids seeing Usain Bolt do Usain Bolt shit here for the 3 hours and 45 minutes he spends in New Zealand could inspire a generation.”

Campbell Live viewers can watch John ask Bolt what he thinks of New Zealand at 7pm tonight.

Public enemy number one

The biggest villain in NZ sport isn’t Eden Park hot dogs or Stephen Jones’ Twitter account. Not since we turned on that stupid Tiger Woods for the way he treated the always-cheerful Stevie Williams has NZ been as united in its scorn for an athlete. Office prophets of doom around the country who’d put the boot into Adams like they were starting a troublesome motorcycle, immediately got in behind Adams and turned their scorn-lasers on Ostapchuk. guide to things Kiwis have compared Nadzeya Ostapchuk to:

 Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel (h/t Public Address)
 A very masculine man.
 A fridge / freezer unit.

The situation now is that Ostapchuk has gone totally troppo in Belarus, refusing to hand over the medal and alleging Adams is ‘totally’ on drugs. NZ’s sporting media were quick to move from their previous ‘reporting the news’ responsibilities to ‘defending Valerie’s honour’ responsibilities, labelling the accusations a ‘pack of lies’ and labelling Ostapchuk ‘troppo’ so that Adams didn’t have to. Adams’ ‘4 more yrs lol’ texts to Ostapchuk went largely unreported.

In the national game, Steve ‘sleepy’ Hansen faced off against Robbie ‘no mates’ Deans for the first time in the opening Bledisloe. Deans is as popular as jandal snot in Australia for his coaching ‘record’ in Australia, making a list of All Blacks Australians love to hate. In fairness to Robbie, ‘rugby public hating the national coach’ has always been a key factor in New Zealand rugby, so he appears to be on the right track. On Saturday’s performance, Deans has lured the rusty All Blacks into a false sense of security of full blanket, milo and Coro levels. If Robbie was hoping to turn the tables on NZ at world cup time, he obviously missed the memo that tournament took place last year, and you have to question the advice he’s getting.

Is this burning an Olympic flame?

We’ve had a pretty decent Olympics, to say the least. Gold medals! Aussie baiting! Learning about our propensity to measure ourselves against the rest of the world sporting-success-wise in unrealistic terms!

The per capita medal website gets mad revenue from NZ targeted banner advertising.

The 2012 Olympics has been a gold medal bonanza for NZ, but more importantly, we learned a lot about ourselves and each other, with Val Adams and Nick Willis manfully (and womanfully) coping with the expectations of a nation and a nation’s media in a much, much more mature fashion than the nation. To our credit, we’ve reduced the time in which we go from ‘teenager denied Fall Out Boy tickets by the man’ tantrums to ‘hey you guys, they’ve done their best’ over ‘lost’ gold medals to a few minutes, way down from 25 years as per rugby world cup cycles.

Our rowers were obviously our stars, but I was most pleased for Keirin rider Simon van Velthooven, who got the tied-for-bronze medal after an agonising wait against an absolutely top class field. And our equestrians, who exuded an air of wanting to get all the facking horse riding bore out of the way fast, so they could get on with getting on the lash, what. Bravo.

This has been dubbed the ‘social’ Olympics, ‘cos people are using the internet now and that, in the same way that trips to the loo with a smartphone are dubbed the ‘social’ ablutions. And so, sportreview presents a selection of Olympic links. Enjoy.

Boris Johnson welcomes you to London.

Legendary gold medallist and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins = Tyres from Spaced.

The Atlantic’s essential photo site In Focus have shots from the opening ceremony and the Olympic flame’s arrival – and here’s the first from the games themselves.

How would you go in the 100m against Usain Bolt? Spoiler alert! Not very well.

100m live blog from Toby Manhire.

“Almost fucked out of it there” – Yachting commentary to beat all yachting commentary (link fixed).

Find out which Olympic athlete shares your physique. Sportreview is evidently the equivalent of a Serbian table tennis player, one that looks like he’d kill a man in a second.

Potentially more awesome that any Olympic event:  Nah, it was quite good – Hamilton man rides his BMX off a 60m bridge and lands in the Waikato River.

Reading list

Probably the greatest essay on athletes’ bowel movements you’ll ever read.

One of those epic Bill Simmons and Malcolm Gladwell email exchanges, this time talking about athletes in the modern age, with the mass media and the Twitter and that. Yes, it’s long, but it’s worth sticking with.

If you’ve ever wondered how you’d really fare at paintball against ruthless killers and that, here’s how.

An amateur bowler comes *this* close to bowling three 300 games in a row. Heartbreaking. And an amateur cyclist tries drugs and quite likes them. Eye opening.

Northern Mystics unveil rolling maul

NEWSDESK: The Northern Mystics netball franchise’s ‘rolling maul’ technique has left opponents reaching for the rule book, and in some cases, seriously injured. Hot on the heels of last week’s ‘hoist lift’ manoeuvre, this week the Mystics formed a rugby-style maul in the third quarter to advance the ball through mid court, and several Canterbury Tactix netballers.

“Netball has been losing market share in the ‘blood thirsty suburban nana’ demographic to league and UFC,” said NZ Netball marketing manager Suzuki Swift. “The rugby cross-pollination has flipped that around – we’ve gained  great traction with our ‘spunky chicks smashing into each other’ promotional strategy. I’m totally confident rolling mauls will take it to the next level.”

Reports that Australia’s Melbourne Vixens was spotted practising spear tackles at training this week were unconfirmed.

Some say this post is a Clarkson tribute

Jeremy Clarkson is pretty much my first read in a Sunday Star Times. Yes, he’s a loud mouth with a haircut and dress sense worse than stablemate James May, which is no small achievement, but on paper, I find him very amusing indeed. It’s no co-incidence he’s mates with AA Gill, another fine metaphor athlete.

 Picking up the steed for the weekend

So when I was offered the chance to drive a Honda Insight for the weekend by Honda New Zealand as part of their Business Insight challenge, I thought “finally, here’s my chance to do a sweet Clarkson-style car review. Yinnow, pick up a car, hoon around in it, then write some witty shit about it. I didn’t know I’d always wanted to do this, until now”.

Unfortunately for me and my Hamilton right foot, burnouts were pretty much off the menu. The challenge (against other Telco types) was to bring the hybrid Honda back with the most fuel efficient score I could. When I arrived at Honda’s Newmarket branch, Peter (who is a lovely man) talked me through the Insight’s control panel. There’s numerous cunning ways to show how much gas I used, including a kind of glowing orb that throbs green when you drive like Metiria Turei, and throbs blue when you drive like a bogan. As I set off into Friday rush hour traffic, my eyes hovered between the road and the panel, as it told me second by second if I was using petrol, no petrol or charging the battery.

On Saturday, after a quick child-seat install (there are child seat bolts and side bars, safety fans), we went for a weekend drive from East Coast Bays along the Riverhead highway. Turns out it was possibly the worst road I could possibly have taken, its twists and turns were poison to the economical driver. I did myself no favours on the way home either, when I explained to my co-driver that I owed it to myself to plant the foot just the once. I did, and the car went forwards faster than it had before, but kind of slowly, like a hungover thirty-something creaking out of bed.

But that’s OK – you wouldn’t buy this car because you wanted to mix it up with the kids at the traffic lights. It’s a modern, well-put-together economical car. Would I buy one? Maybe. It’s like owning a good, solid golf umbrella. Yes, it’ll do its job and do it really well, but would the 16 year-old-you have reckoned you’d end up as the kind of guy who REALLY APPRECIATED the pleasures of an umbrella? Not very rock ‘n’ roll, is it? The Honda Insight is a car for grown ups, proper ones, that want the right tool for the economical car around town job – it’s perfect for that.

As for the competition, it was the Constellation Drive motorway on-ramp that killed me. I had to negotiate it and the bumper to bumper traffic on the morning I had to return the car to Newmarket. At the bottom of the on ramp my ‘economy score’ was 5.1. By the time I’d crawled to the top of the hill, apparently braking and accelerating in a more gas-guzzling manner than the Dukes Of Hazzard, I was on 5.5. Gutted. Careful negotiation of the harbour bridge and spaghetti junction took me to 5.4, mid-table in the competition.

I’m happy with that. I’ll take my rock ‘n’ roll where I can get it these days.

Flogging a dead 2011

2011 was the year you could say ‘it’s all happening’ and be right. Earthquakes. An election. A world cup. What didn’t happen? Here’s a quick round up.

Rugby World Cup
As a nation, New Zealand did the vacuuming, put the sausage rolls in the oven and hosted the rugby world simply and well, despite the haters and grandstanding, which became less and less important as we went. As for the rugby – well, we bloody won it, didn’t we? Two months on, you only have to show me Graham Henry’s post-final-win-eyebrow gymnastics or Richie McCaw being eye-gouged and I’m glowing like those folk in Cocoon.

Beating the Aussies
After a world cup (remember that) where we did our lose-in-the-semi thing, That First Win In Australia Since Ever was an epic of fingernails on the floor. It was hard to know what kind of NZ cricket team we had post-captaincy switch (alright, it’s ALWAYS hard to know what kind of team we have), but the Tasmanian fightback showed we had some real heart – and hope for the future. Bring on the South Africans.

Super Tottenham
I haven’t mentioned them much on the site, for fear of jinxing them. After missing out narrowly last time, Spurs are quietly having a brilliant season and look very much at home in the top four. Ask me more about how it’s going after we beat Chelsea this morning.

Le Tour
One of the best and worst I’ve seen – worst because of the first week crashes that took Wiggins et al out – best because of the slow burning drama and eventual, worthy winner. Cadel deserved his win for the way he rode, and the way he’s ridden over the last few years. He won’t do it again though, and I hope for a few more fireworks next year. It’s been a fantastic year for NZ’s cyclists also, the folding of Pure Black Racing aside – hoping for a big medal haul on the track in London next year too.

Man of the year
Well, who do you reckon? Stephen Donald is a bigger folk hero than Bob Dylan, his journey from whitebaiting to world cup winner was more beautiful than an unattended burger restaurant. The whole country got the Beaver fever and I couldn’t have been more pleased. Here he is resting on the beach or my little tribute. highlights
A new daughter, other family stuff and employment related madness meant I’ve not been able to give as much care and attention to the site as I’d like – but I’m still proud of how it’s gone this year. I’ve done some of my favourite rugby writing ever on the back of the world cup, with the brouhaha over the jerseys beforehand, and the nervousness against Argentina, beating Australia in the semi, the final the highlights for me. Drinking was a reoccurring theme over the year, with the All Black selectors getting drunk and this little number about alcohol abuse in the north of England.

Twitter, obviously, is where all the former sports bloggers are hanging out these days – and most of the athletes. It’s possible to go from abusing someone on the field to abusing them on the internet in no time nowadays. Two twitter related posts: for the cricket and for the rugby. I love Powerpoint (even thought it was a slow year for sportreview cartoons) and loved this.

Of course, most thanks go to you, mysterious readers. This site is obviously a little labour of love, I do it for no other reason than I enjoy it thoroughly. is the kind of crappy NZ sports blog I would like to read if this one didn’t exit – it’s extremely heartening to know others enjoy it too. Thanks, appreciate it.

Other stuff:

My top five listened to songs, from
1. Harry Nilsson – Lullaby In Ragtime
2. Robyn – Dancing On My Own
3. Robyn – Indestructible
4. Joni Mitchell – Car on a Hill
4. Harry Nilsson – Always

I’ve done bugger-all film watching or reading this year. Drive was the best (only?) (current) film I saw at the cinema, and I’m working my way through Peter Guralnick’s Elvis Bios. TV wise, I’ve really got into Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Community. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed the Discourse NZ podcast. All recommended.

Wishing you a happy and more settled 2012 – see you next year!


Just me and some guy

Me and Dan. I told him how gutted I was for him, but also how stoked I was for Stephen Donald.

Best rugby ground inNZ #rwc2011

Best rugby ground in NZ, still. Tremendous atmosphere for all three matches I went to there.


Eden Park felt like a proper international stadium during the RWC. Let’s hope they keep those temporary stands somewhere handy.

Future Tour de France champ.

Catching up – other stuff

Turns out other stuff has been happening that’s not rugby world cup related. Here’s a quick run down.

Sportsfreak has a petition going to keep domestic cricket on Radio Sport over the summer. It is your duty to support this fine initiative – one day, you’re not going to be able to put off painting that deck any longer. Do YOU want to listen to Des from Whanganui’s stream of conciousness talkback on why we should have lost the RWC while you do it? I farkin’ don’t. Support cricket, sign up.

“But don’t the writers write to the level of the fans? “Sports fans here are pretty well informed. I think they would appreciate a greater sense of journey being brought to describing sports events. They don’t start at two o’clock at kick-off. They start days beforehand.” – Tim Wilson on NZ sport writing via Quote Unquote

Long read from Wired about the new America’s Cup catamarans, and testing them on the Hauraki Gulf. Looks like the next regatta will be the yachting equivalent of playing T20 cricket on crystal meth, inside a Ferrari driven at high speed. Masochistically, I’ll kind of miss the maddeningly-slow tension build up, Dennis Conner and the lawyers.

The Premiership has gone goal crazy, with freak results every weekend – it’s going to be a great year, I look forward to Man City pulling off a Newcastle style collapse and Alex Fergusson finally exploding from stress, they look to be the obvious highlights. Meanwhile, seven Tottenham wins on the trot. I like it.

Shark pool!

Links on Friday (on Thursday)

Some guy takes LSD and tries to recreate Doc Ellis’ rumoured actual-LSD -no-hitter on a video game. Doc Ellis himself explains.

Subbuteo! It’s alive and kicking and is more than life or death to nerds everywhere – watch this guy win the Subbuteo world cup, then go all mental. Stick that up your XBox.

We’re smoking! Go easy to Paris! Wise words from Jens, via the Dropkicks.

Kenny Powers, K-Swiss CEO is farkin’ hilarious and a great example of viral sports-orientated marketing.

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.