Friday, October 24, 2008

Right, then.  

Air New Zealand Cup final is tonight; kick-off is in an hour and a quarter or so.

Wellington vs Canterbury, in Wellington.

Brat is a Wellington supporter.  I am a Canterbury supporter.

Here's my prediction:  No matter what happens, it's going to end in tears for one of us.  I don't think it'll be me, obviously.  I'm going for Canterbury by 12 points.

Entry fee to the next Actual Size Project event is riding on this, so Canterbury had better play their red-and-black hearts out.  Which they will, because that's what they do.


Rugby? At Labour weekend?

The Cheap Seats have a problem. Something of a war has broken out, over the Air NZ cup. For while both Madame Backslash and I live most of the time in the glorious city of Dunedin (enjoy your stay and have a riot!) I herald from Wellington and she heralds from... Christchurch.

While I appreciate that the Lions are underdogs I believe they have what it takes to pull off victory. The weather is total bollocks, the wind will spring up and the game will get scrappy. Wellington play bloody well when the game gets scrappy. They're utter bollocks when they have to put together set pieces, and if it was a clear night, Canterbury would wipe the floor with them. But this icky drizzle? I think it should give us the upper hand. And well... We want it. Not quite as much as we wanted the Ranfurly Shield, but we want it. Sure, Serge Lilo is going to have a tough game marking Richie McCaw. but we have the talent, we've got our All Blacks back (where's Dan then?) and we have Hosea Gear, a man who will be done a great injustice if he does not go on tour this year, cos he has been bloody awesome.

So my prediction? Wellington will take it. Just.

And now for something completely different...

One of the things I love most about Sky sport is what they manage to fish up when rain delays the cricket. Not only the very random medleys of tours set to pop-alt-rock but the old tests. Today we got NZ vs Bangladesh from back in 2001. Ahhh, the memories... Remember when Chris Martin had hair? Dan Vettori lacked a beard? Shane Bond was young, fit and playing? We weren't kitted out in what is now the most ridiculous uniform in world cricket?
Honestly, it was brilliant. In fact, at 25/2 I was almost convinced that we were watching it live.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dear Silver Ferns,

What the Fuck?



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mrs Robinson

So I was at a sports bar a couple of nights ago with the Brat, watching the end of the Bathurst race, the end of the Japanese GP and a bit of the cricket.  As you do.  

The cricket in question was the India vs Australia test in Bangalore.  I'll cop to not having paid much attention to cricket in the last while, my mind having been focussed on more worldly matters (like earning money so I can afford beer and tickets to the rugby).  

I have, however, found a reason to pay more attention to the cricket, and that reason's name is Ishant Sharma.  

Apart from being one hell of a fast bowler (he was responsible for taking out Ricky "I'm just going out to the creases, I may be some time" Ponting), it struck me after a while that he's an Afghan Hound in human form. 

No, seriously.  Stay with me here.

Observe the strong yet delicate long-legged frame, the noble profile, the flowing, glossy coat.  Observe the "if I try to look past the end of my nose I'll go cross-eyed and fall over" expression on his face.  Observe the complete underestimation of his intelligence by his opponents (based on the aforementioned expression) and the lethal speed and accuracy with which he takes down his prey.

Yeah, I think I'll be paying more attention to the cricket from now on.  I've always liked Afghan Hounds.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Now, because procrastinating will totally help me pass my exams, I bring you the ACTUAL SIZE! project. Where I, the Brat, take photos of Madame Backslash and various sportspeople, in order to prove one of two things. Either Madame is very short, or sportsmen are stupidly huge.

Here is Madame, in all her 5'0" (while wearing steelcaps) glory.

Here is Toby Moreland, the shortest member of the Otago squad. He is listed on the ORFU website as 1.8m (5'11") tall. This is a gratuitous lie. The Brat is in fact taller than him. So here is Toby at ACTUAL SIZE!

And to continue to prove that Toby's stats are a lie, here is Chris Noakes, also listed as 1.8m, with Madame and her actual size sign.

Here is Craig Newby (1.89m, 6'3"), outgoing Otago captain and very happy man. He can kick conversions, you know.

This is Madame with Adam Thompson, whose stats are not listed on the Otago site. Looks about 6'4" dont he?

And we hit the tall timber - Seko Qaraniqio (no idea how thats pronounced, sorry) who stands at a whopping 1.98m tall - Thats 6'6" in the old vernacular.

And finally Ross Kennedy - 2 meters tall! More than a foot and a half taller than Madame Backslash. He was nice enough to kneel down at first for the photo, and seemed very surprised when we asked him to stand up. Chur Ross, we can gloss over the fact that Emma beat you on the rowing machine when she was sixteen.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


And now, after moving, The Cheap Seats have gone upmarket. I have moved from the rubble of my former house and can now bear witness to the rubble of the Black Cap's current performances. (See what I did there?)

What the hell is going on? Have our batsmen begun to believe their own press? Did they all get together and draw straws as to who was going to have to do all the work this series and Jake Oram lost?
And how on earth do we think we are going to beat Australia playing like, well... that?

I have a theory.
The new uniforms made by Canterbury bear a startling resemblance to those unfortunate silver things worn by the All Blacks against France around a year ago. And we all know what happened there. Thus, the silver panels on the Black Caps chests which make everyone bar Brendon McCullum look like they have man-boobs (and let's face it, Baz would look good in a potato sack) is wicking away talent like the hi-tech undies wick away sweat. Jake manages to survive this by having a lot of talent. Or a lot of body.

Silver does not work for us, as a sporting nation. Let's put the boys back in black. Or teal. Or even beige. Something needs to be done to restore our mojo.

(To Madame Backslash's peanut gallery... Actual Size photos will be up soon. I need to remember my camera.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008


So, here I am, in the rubble of my soon-to-be former house. The Tin Shed is going to be sold and I have a week to move my crap. I had relied on Wellington to boost my spirits by winning at the 'Brook, but Otago once again got their giant killer act on and stuffed them. I'm not sure WHAT Wellington were up to, or what the Otago boys had with their half-time oranges, but that second half was something very special. I don't think Wellington had the ball in Otago's half at all. Shameful display.
I was quite disturbed at just how good Ma'a Nonu looked compared to everyone else. How different a competition would the Air NZ cup have been if the All Blacks had been involved? Would there have been more than three men, a dog, a bunch of ex-Wellington College boys, Madam Backslash and I on the terraces?

The terraces are an interesting proposition. When packed with students they emit a life and energy that dwarfs anything short of the Wellington Sevens (which I will sadly not be going to next year.) When they're not full... You feel like more of a sports-yob just being there and cheering. I will be glad to journey north to my spiritual home of the Basin Reserve, where I always feel like a sports-yob just being there. And the ground staff know me by name.

But before then I will be homeless, both spiritually and physically, while I study for those pesky exams and watch the Black Caps beat Bangladesh. Onwards to the packing! (I don't really need three rugby balls, do I?)