Sport Box

Archive - January 2014

Kiwis rush to create illusion they watch the NFL ahead of Super Bowl

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As one of the world’s largest sporting events, Super Bowl XLVIII, looms up in the minds of North American sporting fans, thousands of New Zealanders are busy swatting up on the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks as they try to convince their friends that they’ve been paying attention to the NFL all season.

“If you’re going to fool your mates into thinking you actually watch the NFL, you’re got to make sure you know your shit,” said Auckland resident Michael Tullamore, who’s hosting a Super Bowl party on Monday. “I’ve spent the last week reading Wikipedia articles and ESPN preview stories to make sure my NFL knowledge seems pretty robust.

“During most of the year you get away with just dropping a few names like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, then making sure you post an occasional highlight video that you saw on Stuff to your Facebook page, but when the Super Bowl comes, you really have to step it up. You need to known both team’s quarter backs, their running backs, their coaches. Hell, you ever have to refer to the Super Bowl as ‘Super Bowl XLVIII’ even though you have no idea what those Roman numeral thingies mean.”

“The real money shot is being able to explain a few of the rules. If you can do that, then you should be able to get through the game with your reputation intact.”

Michael pointed out that he’s already caught out two friends who were lying about actually caring about the Super Bowl.

“My mate Dave was trying to tell me that he thought that Seattle’s defence was shit. Thanks to reading an article on the Super Bowl site, I was able to correct him and say that actually, the Seahawk’s have been constantly improving their defensive stats since 2010 and were the best team this year,” said Michael. “It’s that type of basic error that ruins friendships.”

As well as doing some last minute research to preserve their Super Bowl cred, others have been busily buying up NFL related paraphernalia including team posters, hats and shirts, in order to complete the illusion of being genuine NFL fans.

“Yeah, that’s hugely important too,” said Michael. “If you don’t have the team wear or haven’t rushed to one of those imitation Chinese shops to buy some team flags or stuff, it makes fooling people pretty hard. They’ll come around to your house and be all like ‘Where’s your NFL stuff?’ and then you’re pretty much screwed. It’s basically friendship over. You’ll always be known as the guy who lied about liking sport.”

“Thankfully the Super Bowl is only once a year,” added Michael, “Because it’s hard enough pretending to care about the English Premier League and NBA for the rest of the year. I mean seriously, everyone claims that back an EPL team. Who’s fucking heard of Sunderland anyway? Is it even a real place?”

India vow to never play in New Zealand again

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Following their defeat in the fourth ODI cricket match in Hamilton last night, which led to New Zealand claiming a series win over the world’s number one ranked team, India have announced that they will never play another cricket series in this country.

Speaking from Mumbai this morning, BCCI President Narayanaswami Srinivasan announced that in the wake of the crush series defeat, India would not be touring New Zealand ever again.

“India is the greatest nation to ever have played the sport of cricket,” Srinivasan said to rounds of applause from local cricket media. “We will not have our cricketing brand damaged by allowing some collection of amateurs from an island at the end of the world show up the technical short comings of our players.

“Simply put, only India should be allowed to doctor its pitches to suit our team’s preferred playing conditions,” Srinivasan continued. “The BCCI will no longer tolerate any country that attempts to copy our methods to give themselves an equivalent home advantage to what we engineer.  New Zealand has shown absolutely no gratitude for the privilege of playing the greatest team of cricketers ever assembled by having the audacity to beat us. This is why our coup d’etat against the ICC must be confirmed by all members, so that India is never again shown up and embarrassed by our inability to play cricket outside of the sub-continent.”

New Zealand Cricket have been unable to comment on the BCCI’s announcement due to their representative on the ICC, Martin Snedden, being required to carry the luggage of the Australian and England delegates to their Dubai hotels this morning before afternoon appointments of shining the delegate’s shoes, making their coffees and then washing their clothes.

McLaren to grow clone of Ayrton Senna

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Following the sacking of Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh and the return of Ron Dennis to running the Formula 1 team, McLaren have announced an ambitious plan to resurrect the late, great Ayrton Senna in an effort to restore the team to its past glories.

Speaking shortly after McLaren failed to run its new 2014 specification MP4-29 car at the pre-season Jerez test due to electrical issues, team boss Ron Dennis said that it was clear the team needed to take desperate steps to return to the winner’s circle.

“Given the absolute shambles that McLaren finds itself in, it’s pretty clear that the current generation of drivers and staff we have are pretty useless,” admitted Dennis on Tuesday. “So along with rolling back the clock at McLaren by having me return from the wilderness, we thought we may as well go the whole hog and bring Senna back from the dead too.”

The plan will involve the team collecting DNA samples from all of Senna’s surviving relatives and using them to complete a genome based on DNA analysis of Senna’s corpse. From there, an embryo will be carefully grown at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking until it can be implanted into a surrogate.

“Once Senna II is born, we’ll obviously subject the child to a rigorous training programme to make the most of their natural talent for motorsport and imbue in them an eternal sense of gratitude and loyalty to the team,” said Dennis before adding, “Unlike that ungrateful little shit, Lewis whatever his name is.”

Dennis has remained coy on whether McLaren will try and clone other members of the 1988-1991 era of McLaren dominance, such as Alain Prost, to work with their Senna clone, though he hinted that he wasn’t adverse to kidnapping Adrian Newey by force from rivals Red Bull. “It’d make sense wouldn’t it? He designed Mika Häkkinen a pretty useful car under my leadership, and I’m pretty sure he still owes McLaren a year’s work after he abandoned us in 2006 to go to Red Bull after he pinky swore he’d stay.”

BCCI launch armed coup d’etat against ICC, MCC

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India have launched simultaneous coup d’etats against the International Cricket Council in Dubai and the Marylebone Cricket Club in London. In the early hours of this morning, BCCI bureaucrats and Mumbai bookmakers armed with cricket bats and cellphones on standby to the BCCI’s lawyers, stormed the ICC’s and Marylebone’s headquarters in a shock attempt to seize control of cricket internationally.

The coup seems to have been conducted in response to resistance to the joint proposal from Australia, England and India that would have seen the three powerhouse nations not having to lift a finger to develop the game internationally. While details from Dubai are difficult to come by, it appears that the BCCI’s agents may have gained access to the ICC headquarters after New Zealand Cricket board member Martin Snedden flew to Dubai and unlocked the doors of the building for them in an apparent attempt by New Zealand Cricket to gain favour with their new overlords.

Speaking at a hastily called press conference in Mumbai, BCCI President Narayanaswami Srinivasan announced that effectively immediately, the BCCI would be “taking responsibility for the running of cricket globally,” and that “if South Africa doesn’t like it India will never tour there again.”

“The BCCI has made it clear for some time that we have zero interest in developing cricket globally,” Srinivasan said. “I mean if we have to lower ourselves to playing rubbish sides such as New Zealand, Zimbabwe or the West Indies ones more time, we might have been forced to stop playing international cricket all together. We’d far rather just live in a money-making bubble of playing Australia and England in some sort of never-ending tri-series.”

Srinivasan went on to add that, “We also couldn’t stand by and let the ICC try and set up a Twenty 20 cricket league in the United States. How dare they try and interest more people in playing cricket? India will simply not stand for any dilution of our ability to throw our weight around in world cricket.”

The BCCI have already issued their first edict as new rulers of the ICC and MCC. Some of the highlights from it include:

  • Pakistan is banned from playing cricket, forever
  • All countries shall observe a minute’s silence in respect of Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement
  • Corey Anderson is not permitted to play in any international cricket match against India
  • Australia and England will be forced to include India in the Ashes series
  • All on-field Umpire decisions will be subject to final approval of the BCCI board.

New Zealand Cricket were unavailable for comment about their alleged role in the coup, having barricaded their Christchurch headquarters with briefcases filled with rupees.

McCullum apologises for raising expectations

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Blackcap’s captain Brendon McCullum has apologised to the New Zealand public for falsely raising their expectations about how well the Blackcaps could actually play, following the side’s humiliating defeat in Hamilton at the hands of a West Indian team missing at least six of its top 11 players.

“I feel the team owes the people of New Zealand a heartfelt apology,” McCullum said in a Radio Sport interview. “After winning the test series and Corey Anderson’s record breaking century in Queenstown, we realise now that we were really giving our fans a false perception of how good of a team we are. We’re not that good, as a collective unit we’re one of the worst teams in world cricket right now. Clearly, given how comprehensively the down and out West Indians beat us in Hamilton the other day, we’re still a pretty shit collection of players.

“Aside from me that is,” McCullum added quickly.

McCullum went on to suggest that the team would be looking hard at the individual performance of players leading into the Twenty 20 series against the tourists.

“We’ll be doing some fairly in-depth analysis on the team to figure out who’s letting us down,” McCullum said of the review. “Obviously we’ll be looking at how we can place as much blame as possible on Ross Taylor and avoiding any discussion of my own batting performances. We’ll also ask why Jessie Ryder and Corey Anderson couldn’t save us again and probably dump Luke Ronchi without giving him much of a chance to establish himself.”

When pushed on why the review won’t target him personally, McCullum was quick to defend himself.

“Look, I’ve already scored a test century this summer, what more do you want from me? We all know that’ll guarantee my place in the squad for at least the next two seasons regardless of whether I fail to do anything else of note.”