Links on Friday

Mascots are generally soul-less husks, but the New York Mets’ Mr Met brings a raw honesty to his work. He’s been fired, of course.

I’d just bought a flat but the moving-in day was the Tuesday of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston. I get picked on Sunday. I’m speaking to the chairman of selectors and I say, ‘That’s great, but I’ve kind of bought a flat and I need to move in on Tuesday, do you mind if I turn up on the Wednesday?’ I’d made up my mind that I was going to do everything on my own terms. He was probably thinking, ‘Who’s this guy?’

Long, raw and fascinating interview with Mark Butcher on his bizzaro life as an international cricketer. The ‘few beers in a pub garden’ interviewing style here really works.

SIGNAL from Revel Co. on Vimeo.

Nothing worse than social media criticism – but consider England, responsible for cricket’s existence, being mocked by the game’s governing body with a GIF featuring  a reality TV (presumably) unknown. Cheap effort for clicks from a digital team who’re otherwise kicking arse at making footage and exclusives available online fast.

Links on Friday

Most Fridays I post links to videos, long reads and weird stuff. Peruse the Links on Friday archive.

Ian Anderson puts in an application for the Northern Knights T20 coaching gig, promising some serious Moneyball-style resource maximisation. sportreview.net.nz understands Ian will take flash-tactic-suggestions mid-match via Twitter, and is therefore 100% behind his campaign.

Grab a nice red and settle in for 5 minutes 34 seconds of Juan Roman Riquelme passing a football:

“Because an entire industry is geared toward suppressing objectivity and encouraging fans to feel they are members of something they can never leave, no matter how grindingly unhappy they might become with the product.”

Sobering stuff for Arsenal and football fans (boom!) – is your innate sense of ownership and loyalty to your team cynically exploited smoke and mirrors?

Links on Friday

Most Fridays I post links to videos, long reads and weird stuff. Peruse the Links on Friday archive.

“It’s child cruelty, really, isn’t it? Taking your kid to lower league football. That’s the joke. It is sometimes made to me. I sometimes make it myself, in a self-deprecating way. But I’ve been taking my little boy to watch Leyton Orient this season, during the worst period of their long history, and I can’t help but worry that I’m going to ruin football for him.”

Martin Belam on taking your kids to the football. I’ve had similar feelings about taking sportreview junior to rugby. Phones definitely help – I’m concerned he sees 80 minutes of Super Rugby as an opportunity for uninterrupted device time. As we all do now, come to think of it.

Links on Friday

Who did the best presidential first pitch? For sportreview.net.nz, Obama wins best jeans, Regan best jacket, Clinton takes most surprising lack of fire while JFK wins for best suit and not even bothering to get out on the field.  See them all.

The connoisseurs of Litton’s audacity were galvanized. They stared at course maps: He could have cut it there—or there. For the conspiracy-minded, it was a juicy peach, and LetsRun contributors adopted handles like Lone Gunman and Zapruder. The paramount question was “How?” Did he have an accomplice? Did he drive from point to point? Ride a bicycle? Devise digital subversions?

Long read from the New Yorker – amateur sleuths suspect marathon runner of cheating, crowdsource massive / obsessive / nerdy  investigation.

Two guys kayak down a drain at about eleven thousand miles an hour. Try and watch this without ducking at your desk:

Links on Friday

The FIFA 17 football game can get deeply weird – but FIFA 17 in real life is weirder:

This professional wide boy looks after the Premier League’s highly paid man-child’s every need, from mobile phones to super cars.

My friend told me, “Now I have to work, you’re kind of on your own from here.” In other words, If you get caught, I don’t know you. The three rules he gave me were no autographs, no personal photos, and no cheering.

All you need to get press access to a major league baseball game is a fake newspaper and a fair amount of Chutzpah.

Behold – the coolest sneakers in movies in one minute:

Links on Friday

From the ‘fark that’ files – downhill urban mountain biking:

Watching Ronaldo was like watching a river flowing, lightning flashing, or a herd of bulls stampeding across the plains. It was profound and beautiful, insomuch as it was a natural occurrence. Ronaldo was a phenomenon, and he inspired the requisite human awe.

Vice on Ronaldo, the proper buck-toothed, huge shouldered, twinkletoed one, not the irritating gobshite one.

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If, like perennially slow to the party sportreview.net.nz, you had no idea what the Crying Jordan meme was all about, the New York Times has you covered.

Fan engagement at its absolute best, from the sportreview.net.nz-endorsed Oakland A’s:

Links on Friday

Brendon McCullum’s all-time Test XI. All the great aggressive batsmen are there (except Baz himself). Sir Viv is captain and Tim n Trent are the seamers. An extremely solid line up this one, and I’d expect Kane to slip in at number 3 or 4 in the next few years.


Team GB’s psychological training for Rio included finding your bag at the airport, apparently.

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These ‘sneakers’ would look more at home parked on the driveway than on your feet – there are worse, much worse, in the 20 ugliest sneakers of the past 20 years.

Missing the games already? This is old but well worth another look – Irish sailing commentator has no idea and abuses Australians, pleasingly.

Links on Friday

Godzilla – great at trampling model buildings, breathing fire. Shit at putting it in the net:

Watching blokes fish for Yellowfin Tuna and Giant Travelly in the Seychelles is the kind of thing that makes you want to run away to sea.

John McEnroe – still the greatest.

Road cycling and peacocking go hand in hand, as mainly middle aged white guys want to make it clear to passersby they’ve dropped shitloads of wonga on their rides and lycra – but if you’re a proper Tour de France rider forced to wear a team uniform by The Man, how do you stand out? New York Times investigates.

Links on Friday

Asterix and Obelix taught me wild boars were something you chased for a little while, then magically transformed into a roast. Asterix and Obelix lied.

If you’ve watched Kane’s cover drives and Guppy’s lofted straight drives and thought you could do that, you are wrong. It’s a bit bloody different when you’re out there with an actual bat facing an actual ball, even in sportreview.net.nz’s old-man’s T20 league – real life tends a bit more… agricultural. Pete Langman on the shots we *actually* play.

Game Of Life is for losers.

Links on Friday

Lord’s with lights looks amazing. And they’re only bloody telescopic.

Hunter took at least another two minutes lining up his putt, then struck it quickly. He missed the putt by about a foot and, charging after it, let out a howl as he winged his putter into the pond. The geese started honking and Hunter ran back to the cart, pulled the 12-gauge from his golf bag and fired over the geese, and they lifted off the pond like a sparkling cloud of gray and white feathers.

This is what it’s like to play golf with Hunter S. Thompson on acid.

When your centre forward suffers a horrible injury, there’s nothing more reassuring than a tweet of them thumbs aloft in a hospital bed, enjoying the food – and so: a brief history of sportsmen in hospital beds.

The pigs are all like ‘this kind of shit happens all the time – oh look, lunch is here!’: