Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ponting Calls On Barmy Army For His Final Frontier

Not content with inexplicably losing back to back Ashes Tours, Ricky Ponting has now set his sights on losing the Ashes on home soil. To help him complete what most cricket fans would call Mission Impossible, our fearless leader is calling on the Barmy Army. With Ponting refusing to talk to WHAB these days, I posed as a Cricinfo journalist in an attempt to unveil his masterplan.

"Cricinfo": Thanks for joining us Ricky. It's always a pleasure to talk to you here at "Cricinfo".

Ponting: Well it sure beats talking to those deadshits at WHAB. I fucking hate those guys!

"Cricinfo": Whoa there champ! You might be able to talk with a potty mouth to WHAB but not here at the esteemed ""!

Ponting: Sorry about that. Those guys just get under my skin, like a substitute fieldsman running me out.

"Cricinfo": Now Ricky, I hear you are imploring the Barmy Army to make the trip Downunder en masse. What's your thinking there?

Ponting: Well it will just make it that bit harder for us to beat what looms as another all-time great English team. I love a challenge. Plus, they have trumpets and sing songs.

"Cricinfo": Some may say that you don't need to make it harder on yourselves after back to back Ashes Tour losses, plus the losses of Warne, McGrath, Hayden etc...and you do know those songs are generally about you, don't you?

Ponting: We are up for the challenge. Sure we'll be underdogs but...

"Cricinfo": Underdogs?!?!

Ponting: Well of course we'll be underdogs, England are easily the best side in the world at present. That's why we keep losing the Ashes. But I repeat, I am up for the challenge.

"Cricinfo": Have you heard of the phrase "there's no I in team"?

Ponting: Hey, you did say Cricinfo right? You're starting to sound like those fuc...I mean assho...those idiots from WHAB...

"Cricinfo": Settle...we are definitely from "Cricinfo". You can trust us. Now, so you really want the Barmy Army turning up in droves?

Ponting: Yes, it will just provide a great atmosphere if they can fill all the seats that the people having a few beers/building cup-snakes/starting Mexican Waves/drinking Scotch out of "Bar-noculars"/heckling Kevin Pietersen/having a "fun" day out at the cricket used to fill. Thankfully we've got rid of those bad apples and going to the cricket is much more enjoyable for families now, even if the grounds are only half full.

"Cricinfo": It doesn't concern you that you'd be losing your home ground advantage?

Ponting: Not really. I think I speak for all the boys when I say that playing in front of thousands of Poms brings out the best in us.

"Cricinfo": Aha. So you guys didn't feel the pressure when the Barmy Army mocked you for every rash shot, dropped catch, wayward delivery, poor piece of fielding and rubbish decision in England?

Ponting: No, I think we played pretty well with a young and inexperienced team, against one of the best English sides ever.

"Cricinfo": Right that's it! I can't deal with this shit! How could you not know that this team sucks when the Barmy Army sings songs about them? You were fucking there! You captained that shit! And badly!

Ponting: What the...?

WHAB: Yeah that's right, it's not Cricinfo, it's WHAB! Gotcha sucker! And the more Poms in the crowd, the more we fucking suck! And the more fucked decisions you make! And now we're so bad we can only manage 88 in an innings against Pakistan and you want more Poms in the crowd? Are you fucking nuts?!?

Ponting: Why you fucker!

WHAB: That's all I need pal, I'm outta here!

Ponting: WHAB you fuckers! You'll fucking pay for this!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

FIFA World Cup 2010 Final

Spain have dominated posession against all the teams they've played in the Cup, yet lost to the McValue Meal merchants of Switzerland, and have a biggest winning margin of 2-0 against Honduras (despite having about 100 shots on goal). It really just underlines the fact that they don't have the knockout punch without Fernando Torres firing. It remains to be seen if this lack of killer instinct comes back to bite them at the final hurdle...if you have the Dutch down, you might want to make sure you finish them off. Their passing game is second to none, and early against Germany, the Krauts simply couldn't get the ball. Defensively they've been solid except for the sloppy goal they allowed the Swiss in the first match, and more importantly, they have kept three clean sheets in the knockout stages. David Villa has been in fine form, scoring five of their seven goals...maybe Torres is due for a big game, and then, perhaps they'll be unstoppable.

The Dutch have finally lived up to the expectations of everyone except this guy:

"Aaarrrgghhh the Dutch are just so boring these days! They need to play more like Brazil. Even though they beat Brazil in the quarters, Brazil weren't playing like Brazil, so that doesn't count because it was just so boring...Aaarrrggghhh! If Brazil had of played like Spain that night they would have beaten the boring-as-batshit Dutch bastards! If the Socceroos played like Spain too..."

When I think of the Dutch, this delightful combination is the first thing that comes to my mind:

The Dutch have been keeping a hold of the ball too but not doing enough with it for Fozzie's liking. Not enough movement he says. They've looked alright to everybody else though in scoring 12 goals en route to the final. Arjen Robben and Wesley Sniejder are key players, and expect Kuyt to make the usual nuisance of himself in trying to unsettle the Spanish defense. It was worth noting that Uruguay cottoned on to the fact that Robben always tries to cut in-field onto his preferred left foot (something Slovakia somehow missed) and closed him down in that respect. Spain have no doubt taken note of that too. The Spaniards will also want to close down the area outside the box as there are numerous Dutchmen with a penchant for long-range goals.

Also of interest is the battle for the Golden Boot; David Villa and Wesley Sneijder are tied with five goals apiece. In the third place encounter, Thomas Muller and Diego Forlan have four, as does Miroslav Klose, though he is an injury doubt for the match. It would be sad for football fans if he doesn't play; he needs one more goal to tie Ronaldo's record of 15 World Cup goals. Luis Suarez is the outsider with three goals.

I'm tipping Spain to control the match and win 1-0 and me to win cash. I backed the Spaniards at the start of the Cup, and after a horror start they've come good. Defensively they've been brilliant in the knockout stages, and keeping a red hot German side scoreless emphasises this point. Holland are definitely chance, but I'm calling it Spain 1-0. Obviously I'd like to see more goals, and Fozzie would like to see more movement from the Dutch, but I reckon it's going to be tight and a goal either way could win it. And I think it could be in the script that Torres scores the winning goal...

Enjoy the game...only four more years to wait.....sigh........

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Video Refs - A Waste Of Time And Space

Watching the Roosters vs Raiders yesterday, a possible Raiders try went up to the video ref. The commentary went something like this:

Andy Raymond: No try, knock-on.
Gary Belcher: No try, knock-on. And I used to play for the Raiders...
Captain Carnage: No try, knock-on, stop looking at that fucking replay asshole, it's no fucking try!
My old man: No try, it hit the Raiders players' arm and went forward.
My missus: It went forward off the green player, what does that mean?
My blind, one-eyed dog, if he could talk: No try!

Video ref/retired on-field ref Steven Clark: Try.

And this happens probably 6 or 7 times a week. I don't know why we have them. They all have different interpretations of the rules of the game, often wild and mind-boggling. I honestly don't think they've made that much difference in determining whether tries have been scored correctly, and I would rather just go back to the on-field ref making an educated guess. It would be far less frustrating than a retired on-field ref, possibly guzzling Scotch from a hip flask, in a corporate box that could be used more wisely, making commentators, fans, players and coaches alike, ridiculously confused and downright fucking angry. None of us can understand how if you have the luxury of a hundred replays, you can still get it wrong. They are a waste of time, a waste of space, and a waste of NRL funds.