Links on Friday

The new face of international diplomacy. Euro wrecker Boris Johnson drops his shoulder into the middle of an opponent’s gentleman’s area, while playing football. Best comedy foreign minister since Winston.

Long read – Premier League rivalries unraveled.
Includes Arsenal’s underhand and wholly immoral inclusion in top flight football then and forever more, and ones that spring up then fade, like Liverpool and Chelsea in the late 2000s. Some rivalries you don’t want, like when Spurs depressingly played Wimbledon something like 16 times in a week in 1999, and some are just weird, like our ‘title rivalry with Leicester City in 2016’. Tremendous pics and layout here too.

Turns out Bradley Cooper is an uber-Tennis fan, turning up all over the world to watch @PseudoFed, looking impossibly yet casually cool.

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The name of this article, “These Incredibly Shit Euro 2016 Flags Will Make You Lose All Hope For Humanity” does said flags a disservice, because they are brilliant.

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Links on Friday

“What do you think we come here for, silver? Stuff the silver, we came for the gold!” If you ever coached a rank outsider to an Olympic gold medal, this is the entirely appropriate response.

“We got on the podium and done the River Dance.” Simon Hattenstone meets the chancers who blagged their way into the Man U team photo, hit balls at Wimbledon, walked out to bat in the Ashes and more.

sportreview.net.nz is firmly Team Macca – it turns out that when you’re a universally beloved moptopped genius, all you really want is a Nets tee-shirt.

Arsenal set the standard for bleak fan comedy – here, a man tries to incinerate his shirt, fails:

Links on Friday – Martin Crowe

Gideon Haigh: “The second thing that struck me was how completely alive he was, how dedicated to getting the most and best out of every encounter, his utter humility and insatiable curiosity. Some cricketers never cease being cricketers. Even after retirement they are still at the crease; they can’t stop taking guard.”

Paul Ford in All Out Cricket: “…I think Crowe’s eccentricity made him a complicated and therefore compelling character. He wasn’t a cardboard cut-out, devoid of personality, delivering rote-learned comments to anyone who asked.” See also – Raw book launch.”

Sportsfreak: “He had this new found infatuation with short form cricket yet he attempted to incorporate it with his purist inclinations. The Max Zone was a brilliant innovation; even now commentators applaud the loft over the bowler’s head.  The four stumps idea; short lived as it was, also had purist origins. It was probably ahead of itself in terms of public demand, and was too innovative.”

Jarrod Kimber: “Martin Crowe was like a beautifully illustrated coaching manual come to life. He managed to play forward, and still late. He rotated the strike right up until the moment there was a ball he could hit for four, and then it went. His batting was calm and complete. There was no histrionics. He wasn’t a man who got sucked in to conflicts, he just batted, perfectly.”

Toby Manhire: “I was there with my friend Andrew in the Vance Stand at the Basin in 1991, to watch him fall a run short of a test 300 on the third to last ball of the game. Crowe’s howls of frustration leaked up from the dressing room beneath. You could feel his Duncan Fearnley bat bounce off the walls.”

Martin Guptill post-scoring 237 in the World Cup (from 2’20”)

Me, on The Spinoff: Endless summer days were spent happily indoors, obsessing over his old-school bat-on-the-ground stance, dead still until the last minute before leaning on a straight drive, or crashing it over the Basin’s outfield practice wickets, or manhandling a pull over Eden Park’s short boundary with those gargantuan forearms.

Taking down Wasim Akram, playing without a helmet.

Spell binding interview at the NZC cricket awards 2015 that appropriately made the show run way over time.

Scoring 50 in a charity match in 2011. Still had it.

Links on Friday

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.

Links on Friday

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.

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GIF / Dad of the week:
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Links on Friday

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.

Links on Friday

Injured BLACKCAP / Twitter superstar Jimmy Neesham’s Reddit AMA is second only to Channing Tatum’s for humour and honesty.

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.

Good things come to those who wait.
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Links on Friday

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.

The Guardian’s 50 favourite sport photographs of 2014.
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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.
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Links on Friday

Like many New Zealanders of a certain age, my memories of the Benson and Hedges Series are nothing but golden. The moustaches, the Beige, us having a great team and doing pretty well, all enjoyed at fantastic viewing times during long, humid summer nights on the couch. Even The Underarm, it warms the cockles of my heart how angry we all were (are?) together. Russell Jackson looks back:

We should always remember the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup – fondly glorifying it, misremembering how slow the net run rates actually were, perennially overrating some of the ropey touring sides who made up the numbers against Australia and the West Indies and convincing the generations below us that it was cricket nirvana because occasionally, it truly was.

This is the great man Dimitar Berbatov with a ‘did I leave the oven on’ touch, before immediately ordering those not fit to be on the same pitch as him about. Read the full list of first touches you can only dream of.

sportreview.net.nz wholeheartedly endorses skipping stones as a legitimate sport.

Neville

Manchester United’s Gary Neville asked Manchester City fan and dad rocker wag Noel Gallagher to sign what looks to be a very nice guitar. Hilarity ensues.

Links on Friday

sportreview.net.nz had a floppy-fringe-and-cardigan-and-moody-guitar-band- enabled stormer in the 90s. The football was GREAT too, with Tottenham’s ‘famous five’ of Teddy Sheringham, Jurgen Klinsmannn, Darren Anderton etc forever holding a special place in my heart – but was football in general actually *better*? Vice UK investigates.  Seriously, this page is worth it just for the Matt Le Tissier goal compilation alone, fantastic stuff.

This guy went to the Tour De France and didn’t enjoy it. Surely the ideal scenario for watching TDF in the flesh would be picking a little mountainside bar, spend the day there drinking cheap red wine and eating bread and cheese and watching it on the telly while bantering with adorable old geezers wearing berets and bags of onions and garlic, pausing only to saunter outside to watch the riders go past? He’s done it all wrong.

If sportreview.net.nz was in the market to get rad / gleam the cube etc, it would opt for a VHS-inspired deck, like so:

Skate