England commentator’s partner utterly sick of England’s magnificence

SRNZPA: Kate Harris, partner of UKTV Rugby commentator Alan Brampton is sick to the back teeth of the indomitable spirit of the men in white. “People at home might think he only goes on and on about England during the game, even if they’re being totally shafted. The thing is, he’s like that the WHOLE time. Superb England this, lionheated bravery that. Jesus wept.”

While impossibly blinkered cheer leading with little connection to actual events on the pitch may endear Brampton to ITV audiences, Harris feels it’s a sticking point in forming adult relationships. “He’s impossible. Alan’s got to be the only man in Britain with a framed photo of fucking Clive Woodward beside his bed. That’s just not right, is it? I’m not telling you what he says about Martin Johnson when we make love”.

While Harris has learned to cope with Bramptons’ harping on by tuning right out, social situations are a potential mine field. “You just can’t have a conversation. We had some old university friends of mine over for dinner, my god, it was a disaster. Toby asked Alan what he made of Gordon Brown, and he started going on about a stirring effort from the World Champions that should put the game beyond the grasp of the valiant but limited Italians. I mean, what the ruddy hell is that? Toby and Jemimah just looked at each other like ‘what the…?!?’. I just knew Jemimah got on the phone to our friends as soon as they left to laugh about me. I wanted to die”.

In hindsight, Harris feels the warning signs were there from the very start of the 18 month long relationship. “I met him in a rugby club, the fact his last wife left him just after the World Cup in 2003 should have been a big, big red flag”. Harris maintains the outlook for their relationship is not great “It’s the total lack of touch with reality that gets me. Let’s face it, England are fairly crap, aren’t they?”

Links on Friday

Spurs ball boy gets a bit over enthusiastic – a hero. A bloody hero. Maybe caretaker manager Martin Jol should sign him up. Love the crowd chanting “YIDDO” at him
Inky – entertaining rugby read from a guy who’s not just making it all up and that
PAIN – the PS3 game that has Halo nerds trading in their 360
Great interviews of the 20th Century – FANTASTIC page with audio, video, text and analysis of some of the greatest interviews ever, including John Lennon, Dennis Potter, Sex Pistols, etc. Here’s a link to full audio of the Lennon one

World Cup in brief

Whakatane man claims “I’d be as good an All Black as Robinson”
Retired farmer Rob Sweeny today laid down the gauntlet to All Black lock Keith Robinson, who has battled injury for much of this World Cup. “All Robinson’s done so far is walk around in a tracksuit and talk to reporters about his leg. I can do that” claimed Sweeny. “I can stand on a scrum machine, get on and off a bus and walk by the pool with me shirt off. No farkin’ worries”. When informed Robinson has been providing tactical insight to fellow locks Ali Williams and Chris Jack, Sweeny responded “Even better, bring it on”.

Christchruch man struggles to recall what Justin Marshall said in paper.
Early on Sunday morning in the Backout bar, engineering student Daniel McNiven came up short in his attempt to totally blow away fellow student Callum Hedley’s contention that Graham Henry’s rotation policy would pay dividends. “I’d read Marshy in the paper saying that Henry wasn’t letting combinations develop and consequently, when the players are in pressure situations, that could cause crucial mistakes that’ll cost us dearly on on both attack and defence. I can remember now, but when I needed it, all that came out was ‘Combinations… fuck'”. When pressed, McNiven confirmed alcohol may have played a role in his recollection failure.

What do you MEAN ‘the jerseys were hard to tell apart’?

I’m Dan Surchzek, Senior VP, Adidas Minority-Ass Sports Division, Pacific rim. Last night, Dan Surechzek slept like a fuckin’ baby. A heavily sedated baby. But this morning… it’s 7.15am and there I am, takin’ a shower after my 14 mile run to the office, and the phone rings (yeah, my fuckin’ iPhone’s waterproof). I take the call – it’s New Zealand on the line, but this ain’t some some hairy-dick hobbit wanting his ring back, no, they’re screamin’ “Dan! We got ourselves a fuckin’ SITUATION!”.”You can’t tell the jerseys apart!” they’re sayin’. “The All Blacks and the only other team in the world with similar colors are playing, and you fucked it up, Dan!” they’re tellin’ me. The thing they don’t realise, right, is that Dan Surchzek NEVER fucks up. Sure, there was that one time in college, but if you wanna join Pi Lamda Kappa, man, those are the risks you take. No-one FORCED the kid to run off that car park roof in blind terror. He chose his own path. He’s gotta look at life in a wheelchair as an opportunity, am I right? It’s up to HIM now.

Anyhoo, as we all know, when the shit hits the fan, El Surchzekio goes straight into solution mode. I get Vantella-May to bring me a triple shot mocha no cream, with some Avocado on toast on the double so I can think, and roll the tape. If New Zealand has got a problem, my 8.30am Racquetball game goes right out the fuckin’ window, lemme tell ya.

Here’s the deal. On one side, we got Richie McCaw and the All Blacks. On the other side, we got some bunch of fuckin’ pussies from Scotland. Hang on… hold the fuckin’ burrito – Surcheckarino’s spotted the problem straightaway – you Kiwis just don’t know how to watch Rugby. Sure, the whole thing’s a mess of grey and black and blue and grey, but you gotta forget about that. Forget it. Listen close. What are the All Blacks wearing? That’s right, a three fuckin’ dimensional garment with bodymapping technology. Made out of ClimaCool. IT! DOESN’T! FUCKIN! MATTER! About the color! And I haven’t even mentioned the Powerweb. Are you guys blind, or what?

And Scotland? Scotland got Canterbury jersys. With piping. And a chest-zone-separate-and-lift-power-strip. And what are those jerseys made of? That’s right, Temex Polycotton. You guys got me out of the shower for this? You’d have to be retarded not to tell the difference. AND a fuckin’ moron. Temex! ClimaCool! Temex! ClimaCool! It’s not so hard, is it? Sheesh.

I am so fuckin’ on. I get New Zealand back on the line, and after a bit of the ol’ Surchzek hairdryer treatment, they’re soon seeing things my way. Lemme tell you guys, we don’t spend an absolute shitload on R+D for some shit for brains with three sheep in his ass to interrupt my shower and tell me they can’t tell a ClimaCool from a fuckin’ Temex. Fuck me. Sideways.

Still, that fire’s out, and I can still make my 9.45am Pilates class. And hey – I mean, this is Rugby right? At least it wasn’t Hockey, or Basketball, then we’d have a REAL fuckin’ situation on our hands. Hasta manana, amigos.

Links on Friday

Some muppet tries to tackle a goal kicker and knocks himself out – this is the greatest thing ever. The best bit is the tacklee doesn’t even notice – AND he sticks the kick
Johan Cruyff – best first touch ever? – wow, that’s some skill. Bonus link – here’s my fav (non-spurs) goal ever, by another Ajax legend. My fav spurs goal is probably this one. Or this one. Or this one.
The Times’ Serious Football Writer Brian Glanville’s top 50 football moments – nice list, he picks a whole lot of stuff from the olden days, just to prove he’s a Serious Football Writer, though
If people behaved in meetings like they did on the internet – har. Love the guy that gets all serious

RWC 2007: two week review for the attention span-challenged

Rugby World Cups are slow burners – you forget in all the anticipation how loooong they take to really get going before plunging into sudden death. So far the tournament’s been Tri Nations – OE Edition. What the HELL have they been doing up north? Watching the darts? Updating their Facebook? This is the World Cup, team, it comes around every four years, there’s plenty of time to get ready, no excuses.

So. How’s everyone shaping up two weeks into it, and where will they finish?

New Zealand – Still building. First 20 minutes against Italy were awesome, you could feel the tension of the last six months (hell, the last four years) being released. Tricky to keep that standard up, of course, and the Portugal game was just… weird, with loads of new guys in the team, over 100 points scored, and no-one really that happy about it. Our guys are peaking for the quarters, a semi and the final – it’s hard to judge them until then, but so far so good, apart from ALL THOSE F%&@**@ INJURIES. Champions.

South Africa – a real team. And scarily for us, they’ve got Eddie Jones, the mastermind of the 2003 semi final in their corner. They looked great against England, but then again, England were pretty crap. They’re the other team who had a break mid-season – looks to be working out OK for them, alright. Losing finalists.

Australia – the woman who runs my pub quiz named her new baby Stirling George, after her two favorite Aussies, posing two questions: A. WHAT THE F$*@ IS SHE F$%&*@#!* THINKING?!?! and B. they HAVE been around for ages, haven’t they? Australia’s looking good alright, but haven’t met any decent forward packs yet, and they’re not as as well coached as in the past. Out in the semis.

Argentina – Bloody good on them. They smothered France in a defensive display worthy of anyone first up. I hope they didn’t peak just for that match, but nobody will fancy playing them now. Out in the semis.

France – the big disappointments for me because they’re the hosts, with a huge bearing on the tournament’s success. We were lead to believe they were building a formidable challenge, or had a plan at the very least. Now they look like Woodward’s Lions, and LaPorte looks like a cock. I’d love to write them off (I’d really, really, love to), but as we all know, the hoariest old cliche in Rugby is ‘write off the French at your peril’. I still reckon they’ll be out in the quarters in Cardiff, miles from home.

Ireland – the other big underachievers. With players like O’Connell, O’Callaghan, O’Driscoll, D’Arcy, O’Gara and Horgan, they should be challenging for the cup (and have a couple of six nations already), not batting to beat Georgia. Their fans (best in the world) will win the piss athletics regardless, but deserve far better – maybe they should have hung on to Warren Gatland, instead of the politically appointed O’Sullivan. Own foot shot, out in the quarters.

England – taken to bits on Saturday morning like a pimply teenager skinny dipping in Crystal Lake on Friday the 13th. They’re learning the same lesson as England’s football team, ie if your domestic competition is chocka with stars from overseas, your own players wind up carrying the tracksuits, and your national team suffers. And they can’t even get their Beckham on the pitch. They’re not getting out of their group.

Scotland and Wales – Sent home tae think again about changing the rules. Out in the quarters, if they get there.

The minnows – Georgia, Portgual, Tonga, etc. I think they’ve done bloody well, with spirited displays all around, lead by Argentina upsetting France, but you can’t count them as minnows by any stretch. No, the format’s not perfect, Yes, there’s too many mismatches, but this is the World Cup – in Rugby, the big guys play the little guys less than Matt Dunning takes the fruit breakfast option. Seeing as I know everything, I’d like to see a mini tournament for 8 teams as an entree to the main event, with two teams qualifying to join 14 other qualifiers for the World Cup proper. That’s that sorted, then.

French to All Blacks: "We will steal your girlfriends"

SRNZPA: French efforts to win the World Cup are moving from the playing field to the bedroom, launching a campaign to distract the All Blacks by stealing their girlfriends. Experts believe the players’ unrelenting focus on World Cup preparations, not sweet nothings whispered in ears, could leave them exposed to a brigade of oily French marauders. The news will come as a bombshell to Dan Carter’s girlfriend, hockey player Honor Dillon, and whomever Ali Williams is knocking off this week.

Alarm bells are ringing in the All Blacks’ camp at the potentially disastrous consequences sudden, unexpected heartbreak could have on the campaign. Despite smelling mainly of garlic, onions and cheap aftershave, French men are renowned for their sensitivity to a woman’s physical and emotional desires, compared with our Kiwi fellas’ grunting emotional unavailability. Tactics at the French gits’ disposal include admiring the starry lights of Paris by night, getting caught in the rain and seeking shelter in a cafe, browsing second hand bookshops wearing a beret, and speaking French, the language of love.

The All Blacks are now playing catch up, learning key romantic French phases like “Ici, ayez une chemise de polo d’Adidas, je l’a obtenue libre” (Here, have an Adidas polo shirt, I got it free), “Là où sont mes chaussettes propres?” (Where are my clean socks?), and “La jeune mariée d’emballement est sur le câble ce soir, bébé” (Runaway Bride is on cable tonight, baby).

In a rearguard action, All Black legend Colin Meads is being rushed to Paris to chaperon the player’s partners, organising a series of bingo and bridge nights to distract them from any skinny, cigarette smoking fuckwits. Meads has promised to deliver any French arseholes sniffing around “a farkin’ backhander right in the Eiffel tower”.

This tactic is not without precedent. In 1986 the French attempted to steal Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford’s girlfriend after brutally ripping open his nutsack during a test match, for the love of all that’s holy. Luckily, they were intercepted at an after match function and ran off into the night, chased by Shelford (gingerly) and All Black officials.

Reading List – Rugby World Cup

Time to round up the interweb’s best – anything’s got to be better than watching England v South Africa. England are crap, their boneheaded approach summed up thus – Jason Robinson’s just gone to ground having pulled a hamstring, only to have his entire forward pack leap on him as one. Dicks.

Habana beware as we unleash our whizzo pranks – the brilliant Harry Pearson on how England can compete: “…Clive Woodward led his squad team-building in what survival experts acknowledge is the world’s harshest environment – a provincial prep school… Martin Johnson and his men were subjected to a brutal regime of syrup of figs, boiled cabbage, cold showers, cross-country runs, Latin, and being forced to watch as the older boys ate all the cakes their mummies had sent…Jonny Wilkinson told the BBC’s John Inverdale… “Please don’t lock me in the ink cupboard again, sir. It’s dark and it smells and there are creatures scurrying and scratching . . .” – Har

The Dropkicks help office drones survive the World Cup – nice action. The droppies have been on fire, with a record turnaround podcast and bonus fashion run-down… they were even nice enough to publish my lame-ass lolblacks

This guy reckons Doug Howlett looks like Darth Vader – makes a change from the usual Greg Sommerville / Yoda comparison

– Oh, and go see Superbad for a break from the rubgy, it’s way funny

Links on Friday

Pulp Sports’ The Butcher Sopranos parody – what was the Sopranos finale all about? Did he die or what? My heart was going like anything…
Ronny Rosenthal misses a sitter – and what a sitter. Luckily, he did it for the bin dippers, and not Spurs
The most rockin song of all time – is Credences’ ‘Ramble Tamble’ apparently. And it’s pretty bloody good. I’ve got a soft spot for ‘Keep your hands to yourself’ by Georgia Satellites myself. Or the Ramones’ ‘Rockaway Beach’
Urban planner clearly depressed when she came up with street names – Har