“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.
Sometimes it’s a horrible mistake to let ten-year-olds name their own baseball team. Then again, sometimes they crush it. pic.twitter.com/I1jgDqrPfp
As average cricketers go, I’m pretty much middle of the pack. After playing through school, club cricket at Uni and a magical Guinness-soaked season in Ireland I haven’t bothered an oval in any fashion until late 2015, when I’ve had the honour of representing the mighty Mairangi Vice in East Coast Bays cricket club’s Bays Big Bash comp.
It’s an eight a side Twenty20 comp designed for chaps who’ve played a bit in the past but are too hectic with kids / jobs / laziness to play at the weekends, and are also probably mostly injured. There’s a few rules designed to get the game done before dark like short run ups and only bowling from one end – it felt good to be playing with a proper ball again. Our team was made up of Dads from around the neighbourhood and around the world, with South Africa, England and India as well as NZ represented, we were a happy unit.
Most Monday nights I’d drift off to sleep replaying the one that really came out of the middle of the bat with a satisfyingly wooden-sounding Tchock. Or feeling more useless than Darren Lehmann’s thesaurus because I’d dropped another catch. Either way, playing again has been bloody magic.
Trade Me definitely enabled the excitement before season one. I needed a new bat and won the auction for a Slazenger V900 bow, a nice piece of willow that was definitely wider with bigger edges than the ones I was used to back in the day. I was a bit devastated to see Michael Clarke’s name on the back of it, and even more so when I scored a new bag, which also turned out to be endorsed by my least favourite cricketer ever. That will learn me and I look forward to getting my Shane Watson pads next year.
I consider myself mainly a bowler, yer medium pace out swing, off cutter, obvious slow balls kind of carry on, but my memories didn’t really match up with what my arm refused to do any more. We were playing with white balls that swung alarmingly for the first four overs, then immediately transformed into pieces of dry soap, and it took me some time to get into a decent rhythm and get those effort-ball-leg-side wides out of my game. A few wickets came but I was never the game changer I envisaged on the drive to the ground. Batsman’s game, innit.
In game one this year, full of confidence after a hasty net the day before I somehow managed to rattle up 65 not out. In my mind it was Guptill at the cake tin. The reality was probably more paddle crab with bat.
You can always tell what kind of backyard a batsman has from his go-to shots. For me, the target areas were straight down the ground to the back fence, slashing between point and the covers into the large shrubs and nothing on the leg side, where the windows were. I did manage to work a kind of golf shot to cow corner into this limited set of shots and somehow managed another three 50s this year to my utter delight and furious eye rolling of my partner and kids.
The real shocker was in the field, I could not take a catch to save my life. Everything went great in practice but get me out there with a real live chance and I went to pieces, mournfully throwing the ball back, apologising to the bowler and muttering all the swear words I know to myself for the next few overs. I have no excuse, and if I get to play again, I’ll be out there doing proper practice pre-season. Hopefully.
Full credit goes to the umpires who put up with us, Louis at East Coast Bays and the Mairangi Vice fellas themselves for their enthusiasm and reliability. I’m sure I’ve done something to my shoulder, and while I’m busy not doing anything about it during the winter I’ll have those happy memories of a straight half-volley sailing over the boundary or actually getting a yorker right for once. It’s been amazing fun.
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?
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.
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.
NEWSDESK: Eye gouging, refereeing criticism and boot throwing – you can now add a surreptitious pre-match steamer to the list.
Under-fire Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has been accused of defecating and creating an offensive odour in the All Black dressing room before his team’s 29-9 defeat at Westpac Stadium on Saturday night.
Closed circuit TV confirms the Wallabies coach entered the opposition shed carrying that morning’s Dominion Post sport section under one arm, shortly before the cave painting was discovered.
Head coach Steve Hansen is playing the incident down. “The smell was worse than a dead possum in the boot, but we train for this kind of thing. The boys stuck to their processes and still got the result.
“We like to invite the opposition in for a beer after the match, but a spray and wipe like this certainly crosses a line. When Michael looks back at his decision making around dropping the kids off at the pool he’ll be disappointed.”
The IRB issued a statement expressing its disappointment in the inter-changing room floater, and reminded member countries to obey the usual home and away ablution protocols. The incident was being referred to the newly formed Bodily Function Sub-Committee, whose report is due mid-2019.
The incident is the first trans-Tasman turd since Michael Brial shat in Frank Bunce’s shoe at a 1996 Bledisloe post-match function.
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.