Monday 31 December 2007

Wanderlei Silva - UFC All Access

He may have been beaten by Chuck Liddell the other night but this Brazilian chap put up one mother of a fight, going toe to toe with the Iceman for three rounds trading punch for punch before Liddell won by decision at the end of the third (booo)

Striving For Perfection

New England 38-35 New York

Having come from behind to beat off the Giants in the final week of the regular season the Patriots become the first team in NFL history to go 16-0. En route QB Tom Brady broke the record for most touchdowns thrown in a season surpassing the tally set by Peyton Manning only a few years previously. Randy Moss also took over the record for most TD receptions in a season, breaking the record held by Jerry Rice.

Ever since the spy-gate scandal against the New York Jets in the opening weeks of the season this Patriots team has been on a mission. Out to prove a point (ie we do not need to cheat, we are this good) the Pats have simply dominated teams all year long. Their consistently stellar defence has played to its full potential whilst Brady has finally been able to show off his ability at its full extent with a veritable arsenal of new weapons wideout. Wes Welker, Dante Stallworth and Randy Moss arrived in the offseason and made an immediate impact in New England. Though the Pats have definitely become a pass first offence, second year running back Lawrence Maroney and veteran Kevin Faulk have contributed significantly on the ground as well, the Patriots have a good ground game too.

Comparisons with the legendary undefeated 1972 Dolphins were inescapable as early as week 10 in the season and as they saw off the challenges from Indy and Dallas the possibility of New England going all the way was quickly galvanised into a reality. Despite close games against Philly, Baltimore and the Giants the Patriots held on to achieve their perfect regular season record. If memory serves, that Dolphins team went 17-0 INCLUDING their playoff run. If New England manage to go all the way to the Superbowl that will leave them at 19-0 and with their 4th Superbowl in 5 years or something similarly ridiculous. Should they achieve this it will leave them as indisputably the best team in the NFL. Ever. Contrary to what any of the '72 Dolphins think (search youtube for Mercury Morris, he was the 2nd string RB on the '72 Dolphins). Back in '72, there was no salary cap, no parity between the teams and less games. I don't care what kind of twisted logic Mercury Morris try to apply to the situation, if New England go completely undefeated (and god I hope they do just to shut the geriatric Dolphins up) they are the best ever, end of story.

Remember the Fallen

With the NFL regular season over it is unfortunate that some of the premier talent and entertainers in the NFL will sadly not be present in the Playoffs. Either cruelly pipped at the post by another franchise, by losing too many games early or later on in the season or by finding that winning form a little too late; I give you my obituary of players and teams who either failed to live up to their playoff potential or deserved to be in there (*cough* Browns *cough* but some other useless pile of cack made it in instead (booo Tennessee)

Baltimore - from a good 13-3 to a not so good 5-11 I dunno what happened really

Cincinnati - similar story to Baltimore, great preseason promise, failed to deliver, Chad Johnson was hilariously quiet all season

Cleveland - should be the playoffs, looking good for the first time in years, they took advantage of an off-form Baltimore and Cincinnati to come tantalisingly close to a playoff berth

Texans - I know that finishing 8-8 is the best record the Texans have ever had but it could have been so much more, bottled spectacularly in the last few weeks

Philly - pretty tough division I guess so you can't really be THAT disappointed with the Eagles but... disappointing

Minnesota - so close.. yet so.. far. No Purple Jesus in the playoffs is a crime. Adrian Peterson is a shoe-in for rookie of the year and if he plays like he did this year for the rest of his career he'll be a shoe-in for Canton too.

Detroit - what was that Kitna, 10 wins? Another team that bottled spectacularly after showing some rare promise.

Chicago - same story as Baltimore, defence couldn't make the big plays they did last year which exposed a hideously weak offence. Propped up on more than one occasion by the brilliance of Devin Hester

New Orleans - late flourish not enough to make up for a poor poor season

Cardinals - I was daring to dream that the Cards may actually reach the promised land this year. Again, another team that let go of playoff glory when it was in their grasp. A real shame for a team with some fearsome offensive talent

Playoff Picture

AFC Wildcard
Jacksonville (5) at Pittsburgh (4)
Tennessee (6) at San Diego (3)

NFC Wildcard
Washington (6) at Seattle (3)
New York Giants (5) at Tampa Bay (4)

New England (1) and Indianapolis (2) get byes into the next round in the AFC as do Dallas (1) and Green Bay (2) in the NFC. The (1) seed will play the winner of (4) vs. (5) whilst the number (2) will obviously play the winner of (3) vs. (6).

The AFC looks set to continue its dominance over the entire league this season, the playoff teams on their side of the draw are considerably better than their NFC counterparts. Personally I believe (hope with all my heart) that Jacksonville will roll the Steelers in Heinz Field before bowing out manfully to New England in the next round. I'd also presume a somewhat shaky looking Chargers outfit to scrape by Tennessee before being soundly whomped by Manning and the Colts in Indy.

The Jaguars enter the postseason as THE team no one wants to play. Qualifying for the playoffs as second best in their division behind the Colts kind of allowed Jacksonville to enter the playoff arena under the radar. But this team has a solid running game that could throw a sufficiently large spanner in any franchise's playoff aspirations. In David Garrard they have found an efficient QB that can kickstart that offence should the running game splutter. Their defence is gonna have to step up against the Pittsburgh unit which is ranked number one in the NFL. For their part the Steelers have the experience of winning a Superbowl a year or two ago and an offence that operates in a fairly similar way to Jacksonvilles. Smashmouth football (best phrase ever), like vs like... but J-ville do it better.

I reckon the Jags - Steelers could be a classic but the Titans - Chargers game... meh, the Titans seem to have picked it up over the last few weeks as have the Chargers after their dismal opening to the year. That being said I'm not convinced either of these two can go the distance. Both have young, inexperienced QBs who have misfired spectacularly this year and both teams have not done enough to convince me they can topple the Colts in the next round.. making this game somewhat irrelevant really

oh and btw I'm moderately upset that Tennessee got into the playoffs instead of Cleveland.

My sorrow at the Browns exclusion from the Big Dance is somewhat lessened by the ridiculousness that is the Washington Redskins finding themselves in the Superbowl hunt. If I remember correctly Washington not only needed to win yesterday to get in, but also for New Orleans to lose away at Chicago and Minnesota to lose on the road to Denver. Both duly lost, Washington won and out of nowhere the 'Skins are in the playoffs.

And I hope to christ they beat Seattle cos, well I just don't like the Seahawks. They probably are a lot better than I give them credit for but when you're in a division with the 49ers, Rams and the Cardinals... of course you're gonna do well.

Not to be too disparaging towards the NFC but I couldn't give a donkeys who wins the other game, though I suspect younger (lesser) Manning to bottle (again) and New York to crash out with a whimper in Tampa and then the Bucs will roll into Dallas to be thoroughly spanked by Romo's Cowboys So in a nutshell:
San Diego to beat Tennessee
Jacksonville to beat Pittsburgh
Tampa Bay to beat New York
Washington to beat Seattle

Wednesday 19 December 2007

AFC should have just sent New England by themselves

Tom Brady, New England
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh

Running back
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego
Joseph Addai, Indianapolis
Willie Parker, Pittsburgh

Lorenzo Neal, San Diego

Wide receiver
Randy Moss, New England
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
Braylon Edwards, Cleveland
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati

Tight end
Antonio Gates, San Diego
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City

Again, boo-erns to the offensive line; 3 from New England, 1 from Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Indianapolis and San Diego

Defensive end
Jared Allen, Kansas City
Kyle Vanden Bosch, Tennessee
Jason Taylor, Miami

Defensive tackle
Albert Haynesworth, Tennessee
Vince Wilfork, New England
Jamal Williams, San Diego

Outside linebacker
James Harrison, Pittsburgh
Mike Vrabel, New England
Shawne Merriman, San Diego

Inside linebacker
DeMeco Ryans, Houston
Ray Lewis, Baltimore

Champ Bailey, Denver
Asante Samuel, New England
Antonio Cromartie, San Diego

Free safety
Ed Reed, Baltimore

Strong safety
Bob Sanders, Indianapolis
Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh

I would like to point out that it is STUPIDLY hard to find highlight vids of AFC players on youtube
I do my best

NFC will be shown the light by Purple Jesus

Brett Favre, Green Bay
Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle
Tony Romo, Dallas

Running back
Adrian Peterson Purple Jesus, Minnesota
Marion Barber, Dallas
Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia

Tony Richardson, Minnesota

Wide receiver
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
Terrell Owens, Dallas
Donald Driver, Green Bay
Torry Holt, St. Louis

Tight end
Jason Witten, Dallas
Chris Cooley, Washington

I'm not wasting my time on the offensive line suffice to say 3 from Dallas, 2 from Minnesotta, 1 from Philly, 1 from Seattle and 1 from Washington

Defensive end
Aaron Kampman, Green Bay
Patrick Kerney, Seattle
Osi Umenyiora, N.Y. Giants

Defensive tackle
Kevin Williams, Minnesota
Pat Williams, Minnesota
Tommie Harris, Chicago

Outside linebacker
Julian Peterson, Seattle
DeMarcus Ware, Dallas
Lance Briggs, Chicago

Inside linebacker
Lofa Tatupu, Seattle
Patrick Willis, San Francisco

Al Harris, Green Bay
Marcus Trufant, Seattle
Terence Newman, Dallas

Free safety
Sean Taylor, Washington
Ken Hamlin, Dallas

Strong safety
Darren Sharper, Minnesota

With Devin Hester, Chicago on special teams

Monday 17 December 2007


Not content with ruining this season for their own fans, the Baltimore Ravens seem to be going out of their way to disappoint just about everybody who follows the NFL this year. Miami were three, THREE games away from a 'Black Season'. 0-16, it would have stood as the worst record ever in the NFL and could have acted as a fitting reflection of the Patriots 16-0 record (the one and only team to have a completely perfect season were the 1972 Dolphins, more on that in a bit). It was essentially a done deal, Miami play New England next week and after Brady had done a number on their piss poor defence Carson Palmer and his Bengalis will most probably rip the Dolphins to shreds in the last week of the season. All Baltimore needed to do, the only thing every NFL fan (bar Miami fans I guess) prayed for the Ravens to do was just not to suck for one game... one game... please?

Miami 22-16 Baltimore
... goddammit... the worst thing about this game is that the Ravens should have won it. The tie went into overtime and Baltimore worked themselves into field goal territory only for 'Mr. Reliable' to push his attempt wide. Up steps that random QB Miami have who throws an absolute bomb which blows up the already porous Ravens secondary for the winning score. Miami wins, the football community mourns

Monday 10 December 2007

Simply Breathtaking

Majestic, graceful, somewhat arousing. This is in contention for touchdown of the year in my opinion

Tuesday 4 December 2007

It's A Moral Victory

"Sean is the only thing we playing for tonight, you understand that? What this means? Its about family right now. One of our brothers is going home to rest, lets send him home right" - Ray Lewis

Now I had, perhaps naively assumed, that the only team to be truly galvanised by the death of Redskins Safety Sean Taylor would be his own Washington teammates. But on the evidence of Baltimore's defensive heroics last night it seems that Taylors untimely passing was all the inspiration Ray Lewis and co. needed to play possibly their best game of the season.

And for a defensive unit desperately trying to rediscover that ruthless dominance of previous years this couldn't have come at a better time. With the Pats coming to Baltimore with an 11-0 record squaring off against a poor Ravens team that had lost its last five games everything looked set for another blowout victory for New England.

New England did win eventually 27-24 after a last ditch hail mary pass from Kyle Boller was caught just two yards shy of the end zone a time expired. That's how close this game was. Despite their troubled season Baltimore have come closer than any other team this year to toppling Tom Brady's points scoring machine holding the QB to his worst rating for the season. Even the Baltimore offence stepped up for once, RB Willis McGahee going for a buck thirty-eight whilst QB Kyle Boller showed a rare (yet still ultimately unspectacular) show of competence throwing for 2 TDs and just one pick.

Still that wasn't enough to stop the New England juggernaut as the Patriots move to 12-0 and the Ravens slide further towards mediocrity at 4-8. (At least they're still ahead of the Bengals... I hope). Despite the loss it was a fitting way for one of the best defences in the league to pay homage to one of the most promising young Safetys. I still love you Baltimore, don't worry

The Steel Curtain

When it comes to team sports I have to admit I'm a BIG fan of solid defences. I love the organisation and structure allied to the controlled aggression and overall meanness of a good, aggressive defensive unit. The refusal to submit, to never give an inch and more, to make your opponent regret even trying. In almost every sport defensive players are the enforcers, the biggest, ugliest fuckers on the squad that you simply do not mess with. There is a degree of sadistic satisfaction that comes with some poncy forward/back/offensive (football/rugby/yank football) player getting his deserved comeuppance for his impudence in attack. I like to think of an attacking player as a lamb, a wee lamb being mercilessly pursued and cut down by a pack of wolves. Like a pack of wolves every defence needs a leader, a general to orchestrate and lead his charges, preferably by example. When it all comes together A rock solid defence (contrary to what others may think) is simply the greatest spectacle to watch on tv.

And what's better than a rock solid defence? One with a damn fine nickname. The "Steel Curtain" was the affectionate term used to describe the Pittsburgh Steelers defence of the 1970s, arguably the most dominate defensive unit in NFL history. In 1976 this defence was at its peak. With the Steelers opening the season 1-4 and losing their starting QB, the defence carried the franchise through the rest of the year. Led by MLB Jack Lambert (pictured above and video below) They allowed a frankly ridiculous 2 touchdowns in the next nine games. Eight of the '76 curtain made Pro Bowl that year with Lambert named defensive MVP for the entire league in recognition of his inspirational leadership.

Sunday 2 December 2007

NHL... quarter mark?

There is a point in a competitive sports league structure when the number of games played per season becomes vaguely ridiculous. For me this would be any amount of matches over say 40. In the NHL every team plays 82. Yes, 82 games a year. On the one hand this is kinda good for the avid hockey fan as he/she would be able to watch their favourite team (or any team they like) nearly every day of the week. Tickets for games would also be easier to come by as well I'd presume. It probably makes good business sense as well, more games = more attendance, more merchandise sales at games, greater tv audience etc etc

BUT as a neutral observer in a far away land I hate this 82 games a year bullshit. It makes it impossibly hard to keep track of whose doing well or not. Stay out of the NHL loop for a week and your beloved franchise may have crashed to the bottom of their division despite standing proudly at the top of said division last Monday. The sheer volume of matches played just seems to dilute their importance. In any league, no matter what the sport is, if a team loses ten games on the trot, that should be it. Their season should be caput, the coach/manager sacked and blame pointed at several under performing players. That's how it should be dammit.

Less games = greater importance for the teams, more excitement for the fans, greater drama for the tv viewers etc. But not as much profit... dammit

So I looked at the NHL standings today for the first time all season, turns out they're 24 games into their sporting year in the hockey world and its not even Christmas yet. Contrast that with an NFL season which runs from roughly September to February with each team playing 20 games total, at most. Anyway seems my Pingus aren't doing so well but the Vancouver (hurray) Canucks are cleaning house at the top of their division. For nostalgic (as well as for glory) purposes I'm backing those lovable Canuck swine this year. Now if only they'd play the hockey at a more reasonable hour on Setanta..

Friday 30 November 2007

Tuesday 27 November 2007

Redskin's Safety Sean Taylor Shot Dead

Sean Taylor 1983-2007

Sean Taylor, only 24 years old, died of gunshot wounds he received during an attempted burglary at his home in the Miami area on Monday night. Normally I wouldn't bother posting anything about this kind of malarkey cos NFL players seem to attract trouble to themselves (the entire Bengals franchise for example) but this is exceptionally depressing, Taylor was a damn good safety.

"He loved football. He felt like that's what he was made to do," [Redskins Coach] Gibbs said. "And I think what I've noticed over the last year and a half ... is he matured. I think his baby had a huge impact on him. There was a real growing up in his life."

Thursday 22 November 2007

Why The Hell Not...

As an aside, and this has absolutely nothing to do with the below vid, but everybody should go see 'Into The Wild'. It is awesome

Tuesday 20 November 2007

Maurice Jones-Drew LEVELS Shawne Merriman

Maurice Jones-Drew: 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs 208 pounds
Shawne Merriman: 6 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 272 pounds

Camped on the San Diego goalline the Jags use a play-fake to get in for a touchdown. Now look at the right hand side of the Jag's O-Line as Jones-Drew sells the play-fake to the right and then absolutely obliterates Shawne 'Lights Out' Merriman. The Jags went on to beat the Chargers 24-17.
I'm holding back from any further mockery of the Chargers in light of Baltimore's humiliating loss to Cleveland... which I'm going to pretend never happened

Monday 19 November 2007

A Reason To Watch Golf

Natalie Gublis

More pictures ici

Saturday 17 November 2007

All You Can Do Is Laugh

John McKay was the first head coach of the new NFL expansion team in Tampa Bay back in 1976. He wasn't too successful in his first year in charge going 0-14. These are a collection of his quotes I found onlie today, I like the cut of this guy's jib.

* On the execution of the Bucs offense: ``I think it's a good idea.''

* On why he rarely had bed checks: ``You usually wind up staying up all night, or until your best player comes in.''

* On the significance of experience: ``If you have everyone back from a team that lost 10 games, experience isn't too important.''

* On the weaknesses of linebacker Hugh Green: ``He's not twins.''

* On Bill Capece, who was waived in 1983 after missing a field goal and extra point: ``Capece is kaput.''

* On place-kicker Pete Rajecki having a bad camp with the Bucs because McKay made him nervous: ``I don't think he's got much of a future here, because I plan on going to all the games.''

* On the Bucs' 42-0 loss to Pittsburgh on a very cold day: ``I remember in Pittsburgh we had no players and the ones we did have wanted to stay at the hotel by the fire. I was ticked because that's where I wanted to stand.''

* On the importance of an older quarterback's mobility: ``As a person gets older he doesn't get faster. Our quarterback will run from fright or lack of protection.''

* On fan mail he received as a Tampa Bay coach: ``It was about three-to-one that I was not an SOB. But there were a lot of ones.''

* On why coaching an expansion team is a religious experience: ``You do a lot of praying, but most of the time the answer is `No.' ''

* On the Bucs early games: ``Every time I look up, it seems we're punting.''

* On O.J. Simpson carrying the ball 47 times in a USC game: `` He doesn't belong to a union. Anyway, the ball doesn't weigh that much.''

* On blocking strategy: ``Hold when you're at home and don't hold when you're on the road.''

* On his disdain for the Packers: ``If a contest had 97 prizes, the 98th would be a trip to Green Bay.''

* On opening days: ``Opening games make me nervous. To tell the truth, I'd rather open with our second game.''

* On training camp: ``It's shattering when a player loses interest in camp. When you lose your desire to stand around and eat steaks, you lose everything.''

* Asked if Lynn Cain of the Atlanta Falcons was ready to play against the Bucs: ``Let me know if Cain is able.''

2002 Bucs (Apparently they won the Super Bowl)

Thursday 8 November 2007

Rugby World Cup Ads


New Zealand


South Africa



ok and now that bloody Irish Captain's ad... which as it turns out had already been done by the mighty Blackness, observe...

The Blackness

Benneton Treviso For The Win!

Group A
Benneton Treviso
London Irish
Newport-Gwent Dragons

Perpignan will top this group. Everything else is irrelevant

Group B
Neath-Swansea Ospreys

I like Ulster. Maybe it's because my mum is from the north, maybe it's because the half of my relatives I actually like are from there or maybe I just like the underdog
I don't know. And I can't explain it, there's nothing remotely remarkable about this team, propped up by David 'Why won't they let me retire?' Humphreys. They'll struggle (more so than usual) to get out of a group that contains Gloucester, the Ospreys and Bourgoin too.

Group C
Bristol Rugby
Cardiff Blues
Stade Francais

Foregone conclusion - Stade Francais to crush everyone else in this group. By 50 points. In every game. The Parisian outfit have an ungodly amount of talent in every position in the park as well as a hideous depth just in case anyone had the cheek to injure one of their starters. As well as Hernandez, Dominici, Skrela, Pichot, Corleto and mini Bergamasco in the backs, in the pack you'll find greater Bergamasco, Parisse, Taylor, Martin, Pape, Roncero, Ledesma, Szarzewski, de Villiers and Marconnet. With liberal splatterings of Beauxais, Liebenberg, Glas, Jeanjean and Rabadan. Like I said, foregone conclusion.

Group D
Biarritz Olympique
Glasgow Warriors

Biarritz are essentially the French Munster. The nearly men. The team that get so close nearly every year only for something to go horribly horribly wrong in the knock-out stages. Despite usually sauntering into the quarter-finals every single year the French team always seem to bottle in spectacular fashion when they relocate to that fortress of a stadium at San Sebastien. In time-honoured fashion I do expect Biarritz to advance relatively comfortably from this group. Only Saracens could trouble them but.. I doubt it

Group E
ASM Clermont Auvergne
Llanelli Scarlets
London Wasps

If Munster get out of this group... I'll be furiously angry. I've never liked Munster, sure there might have been a time when I begrudgingly rooted for them as they gallantly exited the Heineken cup again.. and again... and again and again and again until they won the damn thing. They've had their moment, its done, lets drop it. I know they've invested in some new backs this year but I'll put money on them still being one of the most unimaginative, boring rugby teams in the entire competition. And dammit, I want to see some attacking rugby. That's why I'm secretly hoping that those bogger bastards get blitzed by Llanelli, Clermont Auvergne and Wasps. For the sake of the game, lets see some teams reach the knock-out stages by using all 15 players. Say NO to 10 man rugby, throw rocks at Ronan O'Gara

Group F
Edinburgh Rugby
Leicester Tigers

Oh shit... well it sucks to be Edinburgh. Not really much better if you're a Leinster, Leicester or Toulouse fan either to be honest. The Tigers travel to Dublin this weekend and the Frenchys are the first of the big three to get their hands on the sacrificial lamb that is the Edinburgh team. Needless to say Leinster need to get this years campaign off to a winning start, defeat at home this weekend effectively puts an end to the Irishmens (+ 1 Argentinian) hopes of qualification. Like Munster in Group E Leinster find themselves in a situation where fucking up is very much NOT an option.

Early Knock-Out Predictions

The Heineken cup has a relatively bizarre seeding system for the knock-out stages. Quarter-finals are not worked out by the usual '1st place in Group A plays second in Group B principle' but rather strangely the 8 qualifying teams are ranked 1 through 8 by their points tally in the group stages. Those that racked up the most wins and bonus points at the top leading down to the bottom. Given the 6 group approach of the tournie the 8 teams in the knock-out stages are all 6 of the group winners AND the two best runners up in the group stages. Once all this malarkey is worked out and the teams are ranked 1 plays 8, 2 plays 7, 3 plays 6, 4 plays 5. Simple eh?

1.Biarritz Olympique
2.Stade Francais
3.Neath-Swansea Ospreys
5.Llanelli Scarlets
6.Leicester Tigers
7.Saracens (Best runner-up)
8.Toulouse (Best runner-up)

Tuesday 6 November 2007

Half-Way House - NFC

Second part of my midway NFL season review, first part here

NFC North
Green Bay (7-1)
Detroit (6-2)
Minnesota (3-5)
Chicago (3-5)

New fan of Brett Favre right here. You gotta love the old guy for putting off retirement for another year just for the slim chance that he could accomplish something with this Packer's team. And although they may have been completely written off at the start of the season this Pack has risen to the challenge in spectacular fashion. They keep winning, Favre keeps smashing records, anything looks possible in Green Bay. Detroit run the Packers close as revelation of the year too, the very fact that they have a positive record is testament to the teams new offensive capabilities. Meanwhile Minnesota's rookie RB Adrian Peterson has been unbelievable, 8 games in and he's on course for 2000+ yards for the season. And what the holy HELL happened to Chicago? Rex Grossman, that is all.

NFC East
Dallas (7-1)
New York Giants (6-2)
Washington (5-3)
Philadelphia (3-5)

Tony Romo vs Eli Manning. Cowboys or Giants. Washington and Philly have nothing really. This division is very much between the Cowboys and the Giants. But with Dallas on fire this season, and Romo seemingly incapable of doing much wrong I wouldn't bet against the Texas franchise reaching the playoffs with a bye

NFC West
Seattle (4-4)
Arizona (3-5)
San Fransisco (2-6)
St. Louis (0-8)

Jesus Christ what a spectacular lack of talent collected into one division. No matter which team gets out of this division, the game of football loses.

NFC South
Tampa Bay (5-4)
Carolina (4-4)
New Orleans (4-4)
Atlanta (2-6)

This division is bizarre. Even last year the NFC South would have been considered one of the strongest divisions in the NFL. These days it is a hollow mockery of its former glory. Atlanta have declined at a disturbingly rapid rate following the Vick scandal and New Orleans have been hobbling along all season, a shadow of their 2006 season form. But thanks to the overall poor standard of this division the Saints still find themselves very much in the hunt behind two very ordinary sides (Tampa and Carolina) I'm expecting the Saints offence to WAKE THE FUCK UP!! and start playing the way we know they can in the second half of the season, and Carolina to implode under their hilarious amount of QB problems. Tampa are annoyingly consistent, yet not actually that good. NFC South is there for the taking if the Saints want it.

Playoff Predictions
1.Green Bay
4.New Orleans
5.New York Giants

Record Breakers

Ok at this stage I've actually lost count of the amount of records that have been broken this year (Just think Brett Favre and every passing record possible) but this is one of the more recent ones, Adrian Peterson (that rookie chap from the Vikings, otherwise known as 'Purple Jesus') rushed for 296 yards against a non-existent Chargers D to beat Jamal Lewis' previous record of 295 yards (set against the forever shit Cleveland Browns)

Geriatric Football

Last Saturday in Alpine, Texas Mike Flynt stepped back onto a football field for the first time in 37 years. The 59 year old had decided to return to his old college Sul Ross State to play out his 'senior' year for the football team he had left all those years ago. The regret at missing out on his final year in college ball was all the motivation this grandfather needed as well as some gentle goading from friends at a class reunion last summer.

Having worked as a strength coach in Oregan, Nebraska and Texas A&M Flynt has kept himself in incredibly good condition. Now that he's taken his first couple of snaps this season on special teams Flynt seems determined to reclaim his starting linebacker spot that he surrendered some forty years ago. Good luck to the crazy bastard.

(As an aside Mike Flynt was a member of the '65 Permian Panthers team, the first Odessa team to win the Texas state championship which makes about 356% more of a legend)

Half-Way House - AFC

Week 9 has just passed us by in the NFL and with every team having played at least 8 games at this stage I feel a review be in order
AFC North
Pittsburgh (6-2)
Cleveland (5-3)
Baltimore (4-4)
Cincinatti (1-7)

I'd rather skip over this division to be honest. My beloved Ravens were on the receiving end of a 38-7 drubbing last night courtesy of Roethlisberger's Steelers. A defeat that will probably turn out to be the defining moment of this season in the AFC North. The win gives Pittsburgh some breathing room at the top and condemns the Ravens to 3rd place below the Browns (oh the humiliation). With the timetable from hell coming into full effect in the second half of this season Baltimore look Donald Ducked to say the very least. (yes visits from Indy and New England are NOT going to help the Raven's situation)

AFC East
New England (9-0)
Buffalo (4-4)
New York Jets (1-8)
Miami (0-8)

New England = unstoppable, the rest of the AFC East = mediocre. After Belicheck-gate the Patriots are a team on a mission. A mission to embarrass every other offence and defence in the league. Playing with a large chip on their shoulder this ridiculously talented Pats' outfit have just simply been ripping teams apart this season. Brady's numbers are insane and he's been helped out a class receiving corps and a rock solid D all season long. Undefeated? Possibly. Playoff bound? Well bar a nuke hitting Foxboro, most definitely

AFC West
Kansas City (4-4)
San Diego (4-4)
Denver (3-5)
Oakland (2-6)

Worst. division. ever. The Chargers should count themselves lucky to be in a division that is so poor that they are still tied for top spot at (4-4). These 4 teams have probably been the most disappointing in the league. Even Oakland looked somewhat menacing this year but all the pre-season talk and posturing has come to nought. Denver have imploded, Kansas are as bad as they were last year and so are Oakland. The worst offenders however, are San Diego by the distance of a South California bush fire. New Coach Norv Turner has somehow failed to ignite an offence that couldn't stop scoring points last season. Rivers has looked a shadow of his former self as has L.T.. The AFC west is just a bit crap to be honest

AFC South
Indianapolis (7-1)
Tennessee (6-2)
Jacksonville (5-3)
Houston (4-5)

This has become the most infuriatingly predictable division over the last few years (so has the AFC east for that matter). I fully expect Manning and his Colts to recover from their loss against New England by thoroughly whomping every other team they play this season. The Titans may trouble Indy again as they did earlier in the season but I'm still highly sceptical of their chances of actually beating them. Good to see the Jags with a positive record and Houston slumping to their usual negative record at (4-5) after such promise earlier in the year. Everythings back to normal in the AFC South.

Playoff Predictions
1. New England
2. Indianapolis
3. Pittsburgh
4. San Diego
5. Tennessee (Wildcard)
6. Cleveland (Wildcard)


Apologies for my general laziness in posting recently but I have been preoccupied with several other ventures including:
28th-30th October - Giants at Dolphins in Wembley
3rd November - Bloc Party
5th November - Sir Neville Marriner, Beethoven't 6th and 7th symphonies
... actually that's pretty much been it, I'm just incredibly lazy

Buuuut Wembley was unbelievable, the new stadium is quite possibly one of the most impressive structures I have ever had the privilege to watch sports and get drunk in. And the crowd were fantastic despite (I presume) a general ignorance of the sport and judging by the myriad of different jerseys to be seen around the stadium little to no love for either the Giants or the Dolphins.

This was the first NFL regular season game to be played overseas which is kinda the equivalent of playing a Champions League game in the States and as such, the crowd really did rise to the occasion. The atmosphere inside the stadium was awesome even though the game itself came under attack from some typically blustery London weather.

This was never going to be a particularly high scoring affair anyway but the weather really threw a considerably sodden spanner in the works. Both teams struggled to establish any kind of pass offence and the match degenerated into a battle for field possession with the Giants eventually eking out a win 13-10.

Moments of the game:
1.Eli Manning's hilariously slow TD run
2.Cleo Lemon's equally hilarious fumble
3.That dropped interception by the Giants safety (closest the crowd came to a 'HI-OOOOO YOU'RE SHIT!' moment)
and this guy...

Thursday 1 November 2007

Sunday 21 October 2007

World Cup XV

Ye olde selection below is based on the relative importance of the players to their respective team and the individual's impact on the tournament as a whole
1. Rodrigo Roncero (Argentina)
2. Mario Ledesma (Argentina)
3. CJ Van Der Linde (South Africa)
4. Ali Williams (New Zealand)
5. Victor Matfield (South Africa)
6. Jerry Collins (New Zealand)
7. Juan Smith (South Africa)
8. Finau Maka (Tonga)
9. Mosese Rauluni (Fiji)
10.Juan-Martin Hernandez (Argentina)
11.Bryan Habana (South Africa)
12.Felipe Contopomi (Argentina)
13.Seru Rabeni (Fiji)
14.Vilimoni Delasau (Fiji)
15.Jason Robinson (England)

Honourable mention: Marius Tincu (Hooker, Romania), Sebastien Chabal (Lock, France), Simon Shaw (Lock, England), Thierry Dusautoir (Flanker, France), Nili Latu (Flanker, Tonga), Vasco Uva (Number Eight, Portugal), Agustin Pichot (Scrum-half, Argentina), Fourie du Preez (Scrum-half, South Africa), Jonny Wilkinson (Out-half, England), Stirling Mortlock (Centre, Australia), Drew Mitchell (Wing, Australia), Doug Howlett (Wing, New Zealand), Sitivini Sivivatu (Wing, New Zealand), Ignacio Corleto (Full-back, Argentina), Percy Montgomery (Full-back, South Africa)

The Wheels Fall Off The Sweet Chariot

South Africa 15-6 England

Justice. Sweet merciful justice. The Boks turned out to be one mountain too high for the sweet chariot to conquer. In a surprisingly close game South Africa managed to edge ze Eng-u-lish out of contention through the boot of their outstanding full-back, Percy Montgomery. The Springbok fifteen was given a solid platform to operate from his pack, Matfield in particular was immense. The two second rows, the gruesome twosome, abused the English lineout all day long. Between them Matfield and second row partner Bakkies Botha had stolen on average 7 lineouts a game in the tournament and last night it showed.

England's only chance of winning the game lay in their own monstrous pack. But after an initial show of strength shoving South Africa backwards on the first scrum the English Rose wilted spectacularly. The lineout was a shambles, the rucking was slow with poor ball presented to the backs and whenever they tried to attack around the fringes the English were faced with an implacable wall of green and gold. The Springboks were not going to be denied and their defence was ferocious.

The English may feel hard done by the video ref who denied Mark Cueto what appeared to be a legitimate score in the corner that with the conversion would have put England ahead 10-9. Though to be honest, bar that one incident the English never looked as though they were going to conjure a score to bring them back from the brink. For South Africa it was a simple case of beating England at their own game. Once they had established their lead the Boks just sat back and absorbed the English attacks, punishing England whenever they committed a mistake. Jonny Wilkinson's late attempt to drop a goal when the English were behind by 9 was a testament to the Springboks defence and typical of England's lack of creativity.

For the South Africans the joyous celebration of four years planning was uncontainable at the final whistle. All credit to the geriatric English team, Dad's Army had an unbelievable journey through the World Cup but if they had won it would've been the greatest injustice in the sporting world ever. Ever

Puma Power

Argentina 34-10 France

Argentina. The team of the world cup. Bar the French for obvious reasons, who doesn't love the Pumas? A team of ex-pat professionals with a splattering of amateurs, recruited weeks before the world cup to a hastily constructed training camp. They don't have the same top of the range facilities as the Australians or the large, fanatical player base of New Zealand. Yet a country were football is sporting religion has shook the rugby world for the last four weeks.

With so many veterans playing their last world cup the Argentines played with such an intense passion that they had seemingly exhausted themselves by the time they lost to the Boks in the semi-finals. The Pumas were defiant to the end however. Rallying around the grizzled veteran pack the Argentine backline cut loose in the third place game. After an initial French blitz in the opening twenty minutes the Argentines replied in kind with a quick brace of tries inside 5 minutes. Suddenly the French found themselves 17-3 down despite the fact that they had been dominating the game so far.

The French tried to fight back but the Argentines fought tooth and nail every step of the way. Around the fringes the French forwards were met with a stubborn resistance by the men in blue and white hoops. Ball was slow coming back, the Argentine pack slowing the ball up at every given opportunity and frustrating their French counterparts. So great was the Argentine pressure at the breakdown that the French backline never got any good go forward ball and found themselves constantly on the back foot.

The Pumas for their part were completely ruthless. They didn't simply sit back and absorb the French attack, they struck back with scores of their own. In a display of attacking rugby sorely missing in this world cup the Argentines ran in 5 scores, including one pitch long effort by Ignacio Corleto while Argentina were down a man. France were completely dominated. They simply had no answer to the Pumas ferocious defence and opportunistic attacking play.

Argy Bargy were a joy to watch in their final game, Contopomi and Hernandez were back to their glorious best after stuttering somewhat in the earlier knockout stages. With the pressure off them the Pumas unleashed their full bag of tricks and playmakers. Fittingly, Contopomi nabbed two tries himself and the veteran prop Omar Hasan scored in his final game for Los Pumas. Third place, after beating the French in Paris, the best result an Argentine rugby team has ever enjoyed in a world cup, its not a bad way to go out at all. We should salute the latino flair of Los Pumas, many of whom we will not see playing in the blue and white of their country again. They came to this tournament as a family and played in the true spirit of the game, enjoying every minute, and although they didn't reach the final they thoroughly deserve everything they've achieved in this tournament. Not enough praise can be heaped upon Argentina, the heart of France 2007.
Argentina 17-12 France
Argentina 33-03 Georgia
Argentina 63-03 Namibia
Argentina 30-15 Ireland
Argentina 19-12 Scotland
Argentina 13-37 South Africa
Argentina 34-10 France

Wednesday 10 October 2007

The Richie McCaw Facts

Richie McCaw's hand is the only hand that can beat a royal flush

Richie McCaw can slam a revolving door

Richie McCaw can kill two stones with one bird

Richie McCaw never wears a condom, because there is no protection from Richie McCaw

The eternal conundrum "what would happen when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object" was finally solved when Richie McCaw punched himself in the face

Richie McCaw beat the black out of Michael Jackson

The grass is always greener on the other side, unless Richie McCaw has been there, in which case the grass will be splattered with blood and tears

If you google 'Richie McCaw missing a tackle' you will generate zero results. It just doesn't happen

I NEED to see this documentary

Tony Romo - What A Difference A Year Makes

From this mess... this

Tuesday 9 October 2007

Sebastien Chabal

Crouching Tiger, Sleeping Puma

Argentina 19-13 Scotland

Soooo tired mang. Four weeks of world cup rugby has seemingly aged an already veteran Argentina team another ten years. The Pumas, who were so devastatingly thorough in the group stages, lookded fatgiued against the Scots yesterday. Scotland were average, but were it not by an atrocious game for both of the Lamont brothers the Kilted ones could be in a semi-final right now

Argentina should have won this game comfortably but they were pedestrian to the point of warranting an Asbo for loitering. Their dangerously lazy policy of doing just enough to keep the Scots at a safe distance came perilously close to backfiring in the dying moments as the Scots pressed the Argentine line in search of a winning try and the upset of the year.

Scotland could find no way through a determined Argy defence however, a desperation cross-field kick for a woeful Sean Lamont was hideously overcooked and Argentina advance to the semis. Whilt they unquestinably deserved to be in the final four on the basis of their spectacular group form Argentina need to rediscover their earlier fire and passion or they could get a hiding from the Boks in a weeks time. And for god's sake get some sleep...

Bok Power

South Africa 37-20 Fiji

Take a bow Fiji, the great entertainers took their exit from Rugby's greatest stage to rapturous applause from both Springbok and Fiji supporters alike. Throughout the tournament Fiji, along with their Pacific island neighbours Samoa and Tonga have the respect and affection of anyone who has had the pleasure of watching them do their islander thing. In the tense cauldron of rugby world cup game play that sees s many teams go all conservative for fear of making costly mistakes, Fiji dared to be audacious. They threw the ball around with joyful abandon, displaying wonderful handling and attacking ability throughout the tournament producing several highlight reels worth of trys.

The difference this year was the superior Fijian organisation. For a team that has traditionally simply 'played what was in front of them' the islanders showed the benefits of increased IRB funding with a more professional ethos to their play. No longer were they completely blown out at the breakdown, or failed to compete at the set-piece. Fiji, and all the islanders for that matter, have now combined their considerably impressive natural game with structure. This new solid forward base, whilst not the greatest in the world obviously, has more than stood up to the challenge in this world cup, going toe to toe with the Boks and giving those devastating backs a platform to work from.

With the Welsh dispatched in stunning circumstances 38-34 to put the islanders into their first quarter final since 1987, there were still few who believed that they could seriously trouble the Boks. Especially without their talismanic out-half Nikki Little, who tore ligaments in his knee at the end of the Welsh game. But stand to the Springbok challenge they did, defiant little Fiji fronting up to the might of powerful South Africa. However the Fijians slipped to a 20-6 deficit with half an hour to go and with Rabeni in the bin, the floodgates looked set to burst.

The South Africans were relying on their monstrous pack to win the game for them by bullying their Fijian counterparts around the park but the Boks were struggling to contain the Fijians out wide. Delasau chipping head and winning the foot race to bring Fiji back to within a try. Then the madness began, regathering the kickoff Fiji ran it from inside their own 22. Tearing the South African defence to shreds they went 100 metres in a minute and had scored again, 20-20.

For the next ten minutes Fiji put the Boks under siege in their 22 but were unable to score. South Africa eventually scrambled out of their hole, nudging ahead with a Montgomery penalty before two late trys orchestrated by the Boks' pack sealed Fiji's fate.

Boke Boke
Allez Les Bleus!!
Boooo England

Allez Les Bleus!!

France 20-18 New Zealand

Glancing up at the big screen at half-time in the Millennium stadium the scoreline read 13-3 to the Blackness. An ominous 10 point lead it looked as well. Although New Zealand had not dominated the French as many may have expected they had looked comfortable for the majority of the opening forty minutes. They were winning French lineout ball, dealing comfortably with the French counter-rucking and defence, McAlister scything through the line of blue defenders more than once. The Kiwis had engineered the only try of the match so far, McAlister touching down after a rampaging Jerry Collins had rumbled forward taking several defenders with him. The Blacks took their chances methodically and professionally, the French bottled two early kicks and a drop goal attempt before finally getting on the board just before half with a Lionel Beauxais penalty.

With things looking potentially disastrous the French came out in the second half with a new approach. Taking a leaf from the All Blacks' book they ran everything right back a New Zealand and caught the Kiwis unprepared. The French revival was ferocious, the tempo they kept the game at was too much for the All Blacks. Their golden boy in the first half McAlister was sin-binned early on for desperately tying to slow the French down. Shortly afterwards the usually infallible Dan Carter missed with a penalty attempt of his own, the perfect Blacks were making mistakes and the French smelt blood.

Led by new arrival on the paddock, one Monsieur Sebastien Chabal, the French attacked mercilessly pressing the Kiwis into their own half and eventually generating enough of an overlap for Dusautoir to slip through for the try. At 13-13 Graham Henry seemed to panic. Mass New Zealand subs after the try saw Dan Carter, Byron Kelleher and Anton Oliver leave the field. The shot of the dejected trio in the stands looking positively shell-shocked went up on the big screen. The roar from the French support inside the Millennium stadium was deafening. The All Blacks were broken.

New Zealand, badly shaken by the expansive French play came on all conservative after the Dusautoir try using their forwards to pound the ball into the French 22 were Rodney So'ialo touched down for a second All Blacks try which McAlister failed to convert. Trailing 18-13 with fifteen minutes to go, Bernard Laporte played his trump card, the mercurial joker of the pack, Frederic Michalek. With almost his first touch of the ball the enigmatic Frenchman was streaking down the wing. With New Zealand defenders rushing across to close him off the break appeared to be about to come to naught. Michalek went to ground, looking for support runners. He delayed his pass waiting for fellow-Toulouse player Yannick Jauzion to cut the line that would break Kiwi hearts. The big centre crashed over and Elliasade added the two to leave France 20-18 up with ten minutes to go.

What followed was a Herculean effort by both teams. With the Blackness pressing hard for a game winning try (apparently they don't know what a drop-goal is in New Zealand) the French tackled themselves to a stand still (178 tackles to New Zealand's 36 in the game) and a lame attempt by McAlister at a drop goal drifted embarrassingly wide. At the final whistle, joy was unconfined for the French who march on to meet an average English team in the semi-finals.

Allez Les Bleus!!
Booooo England


England 12-10 Australia

*Yaawwwwwwwwn* As expected the Poms bored the Criminal Element into submission at Marseille on Saturday. Led by the boot of good aul' Jonny the Eng-u-lish once again proved that they are completely incapable of producing any kind of creative play to produce trys but were more than happy to subject the crowd in the stadium and the millions around the world to a thorough presentation on 'how to win at rugby when you're big, but not very good.'

Taking advantage of the fact that the Wallabies don't have the greatest pack in world rugby, the Poms set about bullying the Crooks' tight five off the park. The unsportsmanlike English refused to let the poor Aussies play. As if this was all some kind of twisted conspiracy referee Alain Rolland compounded the Wallabies misery by seeing fit to constantly penalise the belated Australians.

Despite the considerable obstacles amassed against them, the Aussies were able to navigate mount Sheridan and grab the games only try through Lote Tuquri. But with the English completely smothering the Aussie pack there was little the stifled Australian backline could accomplish with such meagre possession. The Poms turned the screw, Jonny kicked the goals and all of a sudden the Crooks were out.

As one happy (wasted) English fan I met in Cardiff said: 'After the game the most surprised guys were the 22 boys in white'

Boooo England

Tuesday 2 October 2007

Island Kings

September 25th
Canada 12-12 Japan
Romania 14-10 Portugal

September 26th
Georgia 30-0 Namibia
Samoa 25-21 USA

September 28th
England 36-20 Tonga

September 29th
New Zealand 85-8 Romania
Australia 37-6 Canada
Wales 34-38 Fiji
Scotland 18-16 Italy

September 30th
France 64-7 Georgia
Argentina 30-15 Ireland
South Africa 64-15

With the last round of group matches over and done with the eight teams left standing are an odd mixture of the blindingly predictable (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland and France), the random (Argentina) and the glaringly unpredictable (Fiji). The Boks, Crooks and especially the Blackness arrive in the knockout stages having cruised through their respective groups (bar a near slip-up by a second-string Boks team against the mighty kingdom of Tonga). The English scrape through by the boot of Prince Wilko after boring the Samoans and Tongans into submission. France progressed after their initial shock defeat to the Argies by thumping the other unfortunates in Group D and finishing in second place behiond Argentina who put the Irish out of their misery with a convincing 30-15 win. Scotland kicked the Italians to death, Chris Paterson having yet to miss a kick in this world cup. But the shock (and the most fantastic) result of this round came from the final pool game in Group B as Wales fell to proud Fiji in an epic struggle that only decided in the last 5 minutes as the Islanders found the try line again having just moments earlier surrendered their lead to a Martyn Williams intercept try.

Having lost their talisman and out-half Nikki Little to a presumed ACL tear things look bleak for the tournaments arch-entertainers as they bring their sexy rugby roadshow to bear against the might and power of Afrique du Sud. In much the same way I expect Argentina to smash a 'spirited' Scottish effort I reckon South Africa may be a step too far for the intrepid Fijians. I'm genuinely worried that the Poms could beat the Criminals too. With Wilkinson back England at least have a plan 'A'. This new found organisation may be enough to confuse and batter the convicts into defeat. Expect a lot of kicking for the corners, and the posts and.. kicking in general. The quarter final has to the Blackness againast the host's France. Being played in Cardiff (take that cocky French organisers) the French have been steadily improving whilst the Kiwis are yet to be challenged seriously (though they have dispatched all opponents with ann eerie efficiency). The best thing about this match is.. THAT I'M GOING! Mwahahaha

Wednesday 26 September 2007

I love Brett Favre

NFL Week 3
Titans 31-14 Saints... boooooooooo New Orleans boooooo, you've go nothing at the moment @ 0-3

Cowboys 34-10 Bears... Cowboys move to 3-0 wth a statement of T.O. related intent, Bears slip to 1-2

Jaguars 23-14 Broncos... I told ya Denver weren't any good

Bengals 21-24 Seahawks... hahahahahhhahaha nice football team Cincinatti

Brown 24-26 Raiders... The Browns... were .. oh so close... to back to back wins... but no

Chargers 24-31 THE PACK... I love Brett Favre, he's my hero

Lions 21-56 Eagles... that's more like the Lions we all know and love

Bills 7-38 Patriots... ouch

Colts 30-24 Texans... stupid Manning, you'll never be as loved as Brett

Tuesday 25 September 2007

The NHL is back

Round 1: NY Rangers vs NY Islanders

Saturday 22 September 2007

A New Power Is Rising, And It Wears Baby Blue

September 16th
Fiji 29-16 Canada
Samoa 15-19 Tonga
France 87-10 Namibia

September 18th
Scotland 42-0 Romania

September 19th
Italy 31-5 Portugal

September 21st
France 25-3 Ireland

September 22nd
South Africa 30-25 Tonga
England 44-22 Samoa
Argentina 63-3 Namibia

Ireland are all but out at this stage, the boys in green need to shift something like 80 points against Argy Bargy in their last pool game to get through. The Argentines look poised to top the group and avoid the Blackness in the quarter finals, the dubious honour of playing the Kiwis set to fall to the host nation France. That is set to be a mother of a game though, both Argentina and France have been looking good in the second half of the group stages. Argentina will now have their sights set on a semi-final berth given that they'll be played ze Scots or the Italians in the next round. The French can take some heart from the fact that New Zealand haven't really been tested in the pool stages but... I reckon the Frogs are still in for a right thumping.

Across the other pools, the Islanders put on one hell of a show this week with Samoa and Tonga fist of all kicking several shades of shit out of each other. A mother of a game which saw the underdog Tongans sneak by four points. Then six days later the Tongans nearly produce the shock of the tournie by scaring the Springboks witless in a game only won when Boks coach Jake White emptied his bench to prop up his floundering second string team. Later in the day Samoa played England, and given the Poms recent form, most were predicting an upset but with the return of Jonny Boy at ten the English were back to their usually monotonous, boring ways and strangled the islanders out of the match-up. Credit to the English though, they looked about hundred times better today then they have in the last four years.

The Quarter Final teams are all but decided bar group B, with the second place spot still up for grabs between Fiji and Wales now that the Evil Wizard Mortlock and his Wallabies have clinched the first place.
I'll post again in about a week, until then, BOOOOOO England, Lets go TONGA!!

World Cup XV so far
1. Os du Randt (South Africa)
2. Mario Ledesma (Argentina)
3. Carl Hayman (New Zealand)
4. Ali Williams (New Zealand)
5. Sebastien Chabal (France)
6. Jerry Collins (New Zealand)
7. Nili Latu (Tonga)
8. Finau Maka (Tonga)
9. Fourie du Preez (South Africa)
10. Juan Hernandez (Argentina)
11. Vincent Clerc (France)
12. Felipe Contopomi (Argentina)
13. Stirling Mortlock (Australia)
14. Ignacio Corleto (Argentina)
15. Chris Latham (Australia)

Thursday 20 September 2007

UFC 76: Knockout

Chuck 'The Iceman' Liddel vs Keith 'The Dean of Mean' Jardine

Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua vs Forrest Griffin

Jon Fitch vs Diego 'NIghtmare' Sanchez

I'm not gonna lie, I'm not really remotely interested in the Sanchez fight but it was the third fight on the card so I figured it must be relatively important. In actual fact I'm not too interested in the Liddel-Jardine brawl either, I'll be watching this fight night purely to see Shogun Rua potentially dismantle Forrest Griffin limb by limb. I've heard good things about this guy, painful things.

Monday 17 September 2007

NFL Week 2: Things Look Strange...

Scores Of Note (home team in italics)

Chargers 14-38 Patriots... over exposure to a certain Irish WR has had a seemingly catastrophic effect on the once terrifying San Diego offence who were never ever in this game. On the other side of the fence Moss goes for over 100 yards for his second consecutive week as the Pats move comfortably to 2-0

Raiders 20-23 Broncos... The Raiders let another game slip through their fingers as the Broncos claw home in overtime. Don't let their 2-0 start fool you, this Denver team is NOT good

Seahawks 20-23 Cardinals... bahahahahahahaahhhahaha, I don't like Seattle

Vikings 17-20 Lions... hmm Lions are 2-0... that's not right..

Saints 14-31 Bucs... boooo New Orleans drop to 0-2, old man Garcia looking good for Tampa though

Bengals 45-51 Browns... I don't know whats more hilarious, the fact that the Bengals LOST to the Browns, the fact that Carson Palmer threw for 6 touchdowns and Cincinnati still LOST to the Browns or the fact that the Browns are now 2-0. Former Raven cum-Brown Jamal Lewis ran for over 200 yards in this game, take that Baltimore

Texans 34-21 Panthers... Houston are 2-0... what the hell is wrong with this league at the moment... the Texans and Browns aren't supposed to win anything.. ever... I'm pretty sure it's a rule

49ers 17-16 Rams... 49ers are 2-0... there's some kind of conspiracy going down here I'm sure of it

Packers 35-13 Giants... old man Favre and his Pack go 2-0 whilst breaking some kind of record

I was gonna put up a Browns vid in honour of their win over the Bengalis but this is the only remotely interesting piece on youtube concerning the Browns (Oh and I am aawre that the Redskins-Eagles game hasn't been played at the time of publication but... I don't care about either of those teams and neither should you

Sunday 16 September 2007

BOOM!! Rugby World Cup Edition: Brian 'The Chiropractor' Lima

about 15 seconds in.. (qualifying game against Fiji)

about 25 seconds in... (against South Africa in RWC 2003)

about 1:25 in... (against South Africa in RWC 2007)

Leave Belichick Alone!!

For those who are unaware of recent developments in the NFL, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has come under fire for allegedly cheating during last weeks game against the New York Jets. A member of the Pats coaching staff was found wandering the Jets sideline, camera in hand, supposedly spying on their defensive calls. So far, if memory serves, Belichick has been fined the NFL maximum of $500,000, the Pats' owner is facing a fine of $250,000 and should New England reach the playoffs, they will be stripped of their first round pick in next years draft. If they fail to reach the post season they only lose their 2nd and 3rd round picks. (I would like to point out that the Pariots actually already have 2 first round picks this year anyway thanks to the deal that brought Moss to New England)

btw this is a piss take of this 'passionate' fan's reaction to the negative rection one Britney Spears received following her recent performance at the VMAs

Saturday 15 September 2007

Georgia On My Mind

September 11th
Argentina 33-3 Georgia

September 12th
USA 15-25 Tonga
Japan 31-35 Fiji
Italy 24-18 Romania

September 14th
England 0-36 South Africa

September 15th
New Zealand 108-13 Portugal
Wales 20-32 Australia
Ireland 14-10 Georgia

This is the Minnows World Cup cried one tv pundit during the debacle of a match that was the Irish game last night. With all fairness to the emerging nations, although they have shown an enormous amont of heart that is for whatever reason lacking in the established nations play, these low scoring, tight games between the emerging ntions and the home countries are more a result of the big northern hemisphere teams just not turning up to play. So far Ireland have twice come close to an embarrassing upset (Namibia and Georgia), Italy stuttered after being thumped by the Blackness against Romania, the Welsh took their time to dispath the Canadians, Argy Bargy had a deceptively tough time of it against Namibia and the English were made to look decidedly ordinary by the Yanks. Not to take anything away from the smaller nations, they have truly dispelled any pre-tournament fears concerning their inability to stand against the rugby nations but the scorelines thus far have been smewhat misguiding as far as guaging the gulf betwen the rugby tiers. This tournament has been an anomally created mainly by the northern hemisphere teams laxadasical attitude. Look what South Africa, New Zealand and Australia have done to Samoa, Portugal and Japan respectvely for a more accurate depiction of the vast space between the rugby tiers.

As well as the 'apparent' rise of the small nations the most striking aspect of this week came from THE big game of the week, Fouie du Preez vs England... I mean South Africa vs England. The Pom were bloody awful, suffering their first shut-out in over a hundred games and being completely domnted in every facert of the game by a Springboks team that was simply better than them at everything. Even more embarrassingly for the English management, were seemingly in cruise control for the entire game. I have never seen a team so thoroughly dominated in every aspect of the gme, over every inch of the park, it was impressive by the Boks, woeful from England. If this isn't enough of a kick in the balls for the former world champions to drop their old-guard (and Ashton while they're at it) and start afresh I dunno what is. Worst World Champions Ever!!

Predictions (Winners in italics)
September 16th
Canada - Fiji
Samoa - Tonga
France - Namibia

September 18th
Scotland - Romania

September 19th
Italy - Portugal

September 20th
Wales- Japan

September 21st
Ireland - France

Friday 14 September 2007

NFL Week One

Suffering as I was from a severe case of jet-lag I didn't watch/pay any kind of attention to the opening week of the NFL (all my energy was focused on the rugby world cup, and I do mean ALL my energy, time difference between Canada and Ireland first is mucho unaccommodating). Looking over the scores from the opening weekend a couple of results stand out. Home team in bold

Bengals 27-20 Ravens... boooooooo Mullane, booooooo

Chargers 14-3 Bears... so holding LT to his worst rushing total in 27 games isn't enough to beat San Diego apparently

Lions 36-21 Raiders... Oakland had one of the best defensve units last year so this is a BIG (note capitals) win for the perennially shite Detroit, flash in the pan or a sign of things to come?

Steelers 34-7 Browns... big points from Pittsburgh despite meagre passing numbers from a new and improved 'air-it-out' offence whilst another big loss for the Browns at home is another big push towards starting rookie QB Brady Quinn

Chiefs 3-20 Texans... there it is, the only game Houston will win all year

Eagles 13-16 Packers... old man Favre shuffles towards the all-time wins for a QB record, he needs a victory this week to break it.

Patriots 38-14 Jets... new offensive weapons Walker and Moss come up big for New England but the win has been somewhat tainted by this spying controversy that is now surrounding the Patriots camp

Monday 10 September 2007

Rugby World Cup: Opening Shots

September 7th
France 12-17 Argentina

September 8th
New Zealand 76-14 Italy
Australia 91-3 Japan
England 28-10 USA

September 9th
Wales 42-17 Canada
South Africa 59-7 Samoa
Scotland 56-10 Portugal
Ireland 32-17 Namibia

There was an air of predictability floating around the results from the opening weekend of the RWC. The hammerings dealt out by the All Blacks, Criminals and Boks against relative minnows (Italy, Japan and Samoa respectively) were somewhat expected. Although special note should be made of the Kiwis domination of the Italians; unlike the drubbings inflicted upon Japan or Samoa New Zealand were made to work hard for their 76 points, making their victory easily the most impressive of the three southern hemisphere nations, and somewhat terrifying for the rest of their competition.

Whilst the boys from south of the equator got off to a flying start the home nations sputtered and struggled into life. Wales and Scotland took 60 odd minutes to finally get motoring against weak opponents, both teams completely unconvincing in their first outings. Ireland were a hollow mockery of the team that has shown such potential over the past few years in the Six Nations. The Irish had real difficulties dominating a Namibian side that had been smashed by over a hundred points by South Africa in the build-up to the world cup.

Ireland's problems are heightened by the shock success of group rivals Argentina who overcame hosts France in the tournament opener in Paris. A French team completely devoid of direction found themselves bullied around the park by a much more aggressive Argentine eight who completely controlled the contact situation for the entire eighty minutes. Dispatching of the French puts the Argentines into a very powerful position in the group of death, putting increasing pressure on a seemingly out of form Ireland team to perform.

Predictions (predicted winners in italics)
September 11th
Argentina - Georgia

September 12th
USA - Tonga
Japan - Fiji
Italy - Romania

September 14th
England - South Africa

September 15th
New Zealand - Portugal
Wales - Australia
Ireland - Georgia