Monday 30 April 2007

Football players jumping stupidly high

Adrian Wilson (Arizona Cardinals)

John Wendling (Buffalo Bills) [Rookie]

Moss gathering in New England

Mosses are small, soft plants that are typically 1–10 cm tall, though some species are much larger. They commonly grow close together in clumps or mats in damp or shady locations. They do not have flowers or seeds, and their simple leaves cover the thin wiry stems. At certain times mosses produce spore capsules which may appear as beak-like capsules borne aloft on thin stalks

Mosses are found chiefly in areas of low light and dampness. Mosses are common in wooded areas and at the edges of streams. Mosses are also found in cracks between paving stones in damp city streets. Some types have adapted to urban conditions and are found only in cities. A few species are wholly aquatic, such as Fontinalis antipyretica, and others such as Sphagnum inhabit bogs, marshes and very slow-moving waterways. Such aquatic or semi-aquatic mosses can greatly exceed the normal range of lengths seen in terestial mosses. Individual plants 20–30 cm or more long are common in Sphagnum species for example.

Wherever they occur, mosses require moisture to survive because of the small size and thinness of tissues, lack of cuticle (waxy covering to prevent water loss), and the need for liquid water to complete fertilisation. Some mosses can survive desiccation, returning to life within a few hours of rehydration.

In northern latitudes, the north side of trees and rocks will generally have more moss on average than other sides (though south-side outcroppings are not unknown). This is assumed to be because of the lack of sufficient water for reproduction on the sun-facing side of trees. South of the equator the reverse is true. In deep forests where sunlight does not penetrate, mosses grow equally well on all sides of
the tree trunk

Moss is considered a weed in grass lawns, but is deliberately encouraged to grow under aesthetic principles exemplified by Japanese gardening. In old temple gardens, moss can carpet a forest scene. Moss is thought to add a sense of calm, age, and stillness to a garden scene. Rules of cultivation are not widely established. Moss collections are quite often begun using samples transplanted from the wild in a water-retaining bag. However, specific species of moss can be extremely difficult to maintain away from their natural sites with their unique combinations of light, humidity, shelter from wind, etc.

Growing moss from spores is even less controlled. Moss spores fall in a constant rain on exposed surfaces; those surfaces which are hospitable to a certain species of moss will typically be colonised by that moss within a few years of exposure to wind and rain. Materials which are porous and moisture retentive, such as brick, wood, and certain coarse concrete mixtures are hospitable to moss. Surfaces can also be prepared with acidic substances, including buttermilk, yogurt, urine, and gently puréed mixtures of moss samples, water and ericaceous compost

...oh ye and something about a troublesome wide receiver from Oakland being traded
to the Patriots too. Traded for a fourth round pick in the draft, that's embarrassing. Given that the Pats have also acquire Donte Stallworth, Kelly Washington and Wes Welker this off season means that Tom Brady has a worryingly good receiving corps to work with next year... not that he needed it really. The only thing that could possibly go wrong is if Moss implodes a la T.O. at Philly and takes his new team with him... but I'm sure that won't happen

Sports do not build character, they reveal it

"Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting." - George Orwell


Yank Football

Ice Hockey


Bouncy Ball


Sunday 29 April 2007

NFL Draft - No.1 overall

JaMarcus Russell
- Quarterback [6-6, 263 lbs.]
- L.S.U. [25-4 record as a starter]
- Drafted by the Oakland Raiders
- 4.72 in the 40-yard dash
- 335-pound bench press
- 515-pound squat
- 31-inch vertical

Russell enrolled at Louisiana State in 2003, spending the season on the scout team. He played in 11 games and shared quarterback duties with Marcus Randall in 2004, earning five starts. He completed 73 of 144 passes (50.7 percent) for 1,053 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions. But, despite his 4.7 speed, he was sacked 13 times and lost 41 yards on 26 carries, finishing with 1,012 yards in total offense.

Russell became the full-time starter for the Tigers in 2005 and led the team to a 10-2 record in the Tigers' first 12 games. He suffered a left shoulder separation and ligament damage in his right wrist vs. Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, forcing him to miss the Peach Bowl and 2005 spring practice after undergoing wrist surgery. His '05 season totals -- 188-of-311 attempts (60.5 percent) for 2,443 yards, 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He scored twice on 61 carries, but lost 22 yards, as he was sacked 21 times and lost four fumbles

Russell and his favorite target, receiver Dwayne Bowe, combined to become the most prolific pass-catch scoring tandem in school history. The duo connected on 23 touchdowns. Russell leaves LSU as the school's second-ranked passer with a 61.86 completion percentage and 52 touchdown passes. He is just the third player in school history to throw for more than 6,000 yards in his career and the first to lead the team to at least 10 victories in consecutive seasons. Russell also proved to be a heroic passer; he rallied the team to eight victories after trailing in the fourth quarter or overtime.

In 36 games at Louisiana State, Russell started 30 games and threw for 6,625 yards, 52 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He completed 493-of-797 passes (61.9 percent) and rushed 139 times for 79 yards (0.6 yards per carry) with four scores. On 936 total plays, Russell piled up 6,704 yards in total offense, an average of 186.22 yards per game

Given the fact that Oakland actually had one of the best defences in the league last year but couldn't do anything on offence this a good choice for a new-look Raiders under rookie head coach Kiffin. Russell could potentially/probably be the starter in silver and black come opening day and given his talent he should have an immediate impact. There is very little pressure on him taking control of such a dud offence and at the same time if anyone could get some positive production out of that pack of donkeys it'll be Russell. Good sensible call by Oakland at no.1... unlike last year...Texans.... 'Reggie who? No what we REALLY need is a defensive linesman.. Mario Williams is our man.'... Mario who?....

[As an aside Baltimore took a guard in the first round as back up for ze aging Johnathon Ogden]

Saturday 28 April 2007

New Zealand warm-up to the RWC [courtesy of the rugby roundtable]

'Hello to the global world of international lovers of All Blacks rugby,I know there's a lot of you out there. It's the Jedi speaking! In this most auspicious of rugby years its time to take a bloody good look at yourself and answer the hard questions.. how the hell are you gonna listen to the rugby? Yes, the alternative rugby commentary, live, online! The alternative rugby commentary is streaming live to the internet in 2007, for a blockbusting winter of international relations. This year the Frogs pop in for a two test tapping, and those crazy Canucks give it a crack. Then the Blackness prepares to fall upon the 'Criminal Element' and Afrique du Sud in the annual tri-nations before the big dance comes along in September, then its world cup fever....clear the bloody decks, this June to September All Blacks fans, there's only one question you need to answer... am I Black enough? The alternative rugby commentary, this year we're black and we're proud.'

Somewhere between the sacred silence and sleep

I like sport. Having played some kind of team-orientated game since I was old enough to stand you could say I have a somewhat deep rooted love of all things involving a ball of varying shape and size (stick to control the ball is optional). Because of this lifetime engrossed in playing I naturally acquired a desire to watch sport on t.v. at any given oppurtunity. This has on occasion been to the detriment of my education slightly (world cup in J.C., Lion tour during the L.C., the Heineken cup in general, the six nations, NFL) but other than that it is a completely harmless addiction and I can quit whenever I like by simply turning off the t.v.

Or not, in the grand pantheon of sport I have a particular soft spot for ones of extreme violence. Having spent 6 years playing rugby I think I've developed a somewhat sadistic desire to watch, as much as possible, two groups (or just two fighters) of hilariously large men beat the living crap out of each other. To this end the NFL, NHL and UFC have become firm favourites of mine in the last couple of years, months and weeks respectively. There is also rugby, in any way shape and form and the occasional Aussie Rules, both of which I watch religiously too.

The main difference between my new favourite sports and the old guard is the average kick-off time. I'm not a late night kinda guy to begin with and the UFC isn't that bad cos of bravo's delayed coverage (they show the fight the night AFTER it happens, but at a normal hour) but watching the NFl and NHL is almost painful.

Right now it is 10:51 a.m. (I've been up since 9) and I'm watching the overtime in the Vanvouver - Anaheim hockey game. I went to bed at 5:30... just a little over 5 hours ago. I've had 3 and a half hours sleep, my eyes are actually fighting to stay closed I'm so tired. This is my only real grievance about watching hockey or football. I think both are fantastic spectator sports but damnable time difference makes watching them live a chore.

What would improve the experience significantly would be the removal of the goddamn ad-breaks, once you've seen the same ad for Zoom airlines 3oo million times, you don't feel like flying cheap from the U.K. to Canada, you just wanna kill someone. I thought it was bad in the NFL, but yank football lends itself to numerous ad breaks with its stop/start nature. Hockey though... how they manage to drag an ice hockey game, thats 3 periods of 20 minutes into a 3 hour long affair is quite a feat of time management. To compare with say rugby, 2 halves, 40 minutes long, 15 mins for half time, 15 mins for build-up if you wanna watch it, maybe another 15 if you watch the match reaction after; thats a grand total of 125 mins, just over 2 hours. So in the space of time it would take you to watch 2 hockey games 12:00 a.m. -> 6:00 a.m you could potentially watch 3 rugby matches... and a hockey match is 60 minutes total, rugby is 80...

hmmm something is rotten in the state of sports television

[Puppy sleepin pic is in honour of my dog, who decided to taunt me by sleepin on the rug in front of the t.v. this morning]

Mirko Filipovic 'Cro Cop'

A former Croatian special forces officer Mirko Filipovic (usually billed as Mirko Cro Cop after his earlier life) is now recognised as one of the most fearsome strikers in MMA. Starting out kick-boxing in K-1 in 1996 he moved into full MMA in 2001 when he joined Pride. His record so far, having fought for the Pride and UFC MMA organisations stands at 22 wins, 5 losses (I think that includes the Gonzaga fight) and 2 draws. Of his 22 wins, 15 have come from knockout. Cro Cop still lives in Zagreb presumably to exercise his political power in the Croat parliament, which he was elected to in 2003.

Sunday 22 April 2007

Pittsburgh Penguins 06-07 season

They may have crashed out of the playoffs in spectacular fashion (lost 4-1 in a 7 game series to ze Ottawa Senators), the Pingus regular season makes for some sweet highlght reels

Road Trippin'

Yesterday myself, Ed, Mullane and Manzy went on a bit of a trek to Dundalk to see Ireland play Luxembourg in the 2nd, possibly 3rd tier world Ice Hockey championships. Now when you say it like that your immediate reaction is probably, 'what the fuck? what a terrible idea.' But I'm telling ya, greatest road trip ever. Not only did we get to see the game (rinkside haha) which was class (good work by Ed getting us in there at all after our promised free tickets went awol) but the sights and sounds of Dundalk were fantastic. From the moment we arrived and saw the Mongolian Ice Hockey team waiting for a bus... you could just tell it was gonna be a special day.. and oh how it was. Between those Mongolian chaps (they were everywhere), KFC, 'the Kitchen', that mysterious lone electric windmill and as I said a class game (ended 3-3 after overtime, penalty shootout is the vid)... greatest road trip ever (well to date anyway)

Friday 20 April 2007

NFL Safeties

Brian Dawkins (Philadelphia Eagles)
11 Years Pro
800 Tackles
18 Sack
32 Interceptions
27 Fumbles forced

Ed Reed (Baltimore Ravens)
5 Years Pro
328 Tackles
4 Sacks
27 Interceptions
5 Fumbles forced

Roy Williams (Dallas Cowboys)
5 Years Pro
408 Tackles
6.5 Sacks
17 Interceptions
9 Fumbles forced

Sean Taylor (Washington Redskins)
3 Years Pro
257 Tackles
2 Sacks
7 Interceptions
7 Fumbles forced

Thursday 19 April 2007

Possibly the best rugby podcast I've ever heard

Its called the rugby roundtable, you can suscribe to it from the All Blacks webpage and it is fucking hilarious, so good, yis it is mate
'It was orgasmic in the commentary box'

Wednesday 18 April 2007

Shawne 'Lights Out' Merriman

Outside Linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, he earned the nickname 'Lights Out' in high school when he managed to knock unconscious not one, not two, not even three but four opponents in the first half of a game.
Only two season pro he's already established himself as one of the best players in his position

2006-2007 stats
Played: 12/16
Tackles: 62
Sacks: 17
Interceptions: 1
Fumbles Forced: 4

Despite not playing four games of the season his 17 sacks led the league this year... which is ridiculous

Thursday 12 April 2007

Baltimore Ravens 06-07 schedule

Sep 10

Sep 16
N.Y. Jets

Sep 23

Sep 30

Oct 7
@San Francisco

Oct 14
St. Louis

Oct 21

Week 8

Nov 5

Nov 11

Nov 18

Nov 25
@San Diego

Dec 3
New England

Dec 9

Dec 16

Dec 23

Dec 30

That is such a pathetically easy schedule until about week 9... then things start to go to shit. Baltimore could very easily be 7-0 before week 9, the only matches that look difficult are the ones @ Cincinatti and San Fransisco. After the bye-week things just get progressively worse, away to Seattle and San Diego... great. Indianapolis and New England in Maryland? Not much better. Throw in two games against a possibly resurgent Steelers team and another Bengals game and you've got all the ingredients of a veritable shit sandwich. So I reckon the Ravens need one fucker of a good start to the year and then survive that blitz of tough games in the second half of the season to reach el playoffs.

Tuesday 10 April 2007


NHL Playoffs

Eastern Conference

Buffalo Sabres (1) vs NY Islanders (8)

New Jersey Devils (2) vs Tampa Bay Lightening (7)

Atlanta Thrashers (3) vs NY Rangers (6)

Ottawa Senators (4) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (5)

Western Conference

Detroit Redwings (1) vs Calgary Flame (8)

Anaheim Mighty Ducks (2) vs Minnesota Wild (7)

Vancouver Canucks (3) vs Dallas Stars (6)

Nashville Predators (4) vs San Jose Sharks (5)

GoooooooOOOOOOooooo Penguins!!

Sunday 8 April 2007

Watching NHL

Google has a whole load of hockey games online from this season up online.. the whole thing... for free... with no breaks whatsoever, its so good. They've got matches up as far as January posted up at the mo which is a bit of a while ago i know but its still pretty sweet. Having watched the New Jersey Devils and the Pittsburgh Penguins in my youth via that NHL Hour or whatever it was called on tg4 I'm currently engrossed in rediscovering my love of this sport. (That being said I'm throwing my lot in with Pittsburgh, also I hate the Philadelphia Flyers already for no real reason) Cutting out all the ad breaks lets ya really appreciate the sport. As oppossed to just getting steadily more angry every time they break for 5 minutes seemingly every 5 minutes you get to watch the whole match pretty much non stop. It still clocks in at around an hour and forty minutes though... but its worth it. Ice hockey is such a good game to watch...I'd love to see an NFL match without stoppages now...

Thursday 5 April 2007

Power Rankings - April

1.Easter bunny over Santa Claus - no brainer, the cute bunny wabbit or the doped up obese old man, kept on so many different uppers by the Coke corporation that he doesn't even notice th ridiculus red suit they put on him, nor the countless acts of reindeer abuse he's building up for himself that will inevitably get him in shit with the WWF. Not to mention the rampant paedophilia...

2. South Dublin Spartans over the entire Dublin division

3. Leonidas of Sparta over Chuck Norris... just about
4. NHL over NFL - I'm trading one stop/start yank sport involving unneccesary amounts of body armour for another this month. Mainly cos I'm rediscovering the joys of watching hockey (anyone else remember the NHL show that used to be on tg4?) and the NFL is in its offseason which means NOTHING interesting is happening.

5. South Park over Family Guy - ever since I saw the cartoon wars episodes I can't even look at Family Guy

6. Llanelli Scarletts and London Wasps over Leicster Tigers and Northampton Saints respectively.

7. George St. Pierre over Matt Serra - why? because he's a French Canadian karate kid, why wouldn't you want him to win?

8. The Mission soundtrack - is class

9. Super Mario All-Stars - like a fine wine, it gets better with age

10. Ron over DK - Dave if you're reading this BOOK YOUR FUCKING FLIGHTS!!

Sporting Icons - Carlos Spencer - New Zealand All Blacks

Born in 1975 Carlos Spencer was eduacated at Waiopehu college. Gifted with a mecurial running attack Carlos defied conventional approaches to the game at every given oppurtunity playing the game at his own, unique, high speed tempo. Widely regarded as an absolute genius with ball in hand his creative play earned him a place in the Aucland NPC set-up when he was only 17. Graham Henry (the present All-Blacks coach) took Carlos under his wing and by the young fly-half quickly became a key component of the Auckland team. He stayed with Auckland for his entire career in New Zealand, playing for the Auckland Blues franchise in the super 14 from the tournaments inception in 1996 until 2005. His electrifying style of play made him a firm fan favourite, earning him the nickname "King" Carlos, and the bane of defences in the southern hemisphere. In 1997 he was rewarded with his first All-Blacks cap, playing against Argentina. He would break the record for the most points for an All-Blacks debut, amassing 33 in total. Unfortunately for Spencer he rose to prominance in New Zealand at the same time as Andrew Mehrtens. Mehrtens, although not as explosive as Spencer was a much more reliable option than the sometimes inconsistant Spencer. From 1997-2002 Mehrtens managed to keep Spencer out of the coveted number 10 jersey but Spencer finally got his chance in 2003 after a particularly spectacular seaon for the Blues. He was the focal point for the All Blacks world cup that year, expected in many way to carry the team to the final through his creative attacking play. New Zealand lost out in the semi-final to Australia and Spencer fond himself on the fringes of the All Blacks squad again. A drop of form in 2004 and 2005 coupled with the rise of Dan Carter saw Spencer take his bow from international rugby. He played his last game in the black strip of New Zealand for the Maori against the touring British and Irish Lions in 2005. Only Grant Fox, Andrew Mehrtens and Dan Carter have scored more points for New Zealand than Spencer who tallied 291 points in 35 tests. Now 32, he plays his rugby for the Northampton Saints in England, his creative magician like antics livening up an otherwise dreary conservative English domestic league.

Sunday 1 April 2007

Heineken Cup Quarter Finals

Llanelli Scarlets 24 - 15 Munster
I have NEVER seen Munster that badly whupped in the Heineken cup. The men in red weren't just beaten, they were embarrassed. On a day that called for vintage Munster kicking to the corners rugby the Irishmen tried to run the ball, putting width on their game from early on. Far from catching the Llanelli defence off guard it simply played into the Welshmen's hands. The inability of the Munster backline to manufacture any kind of threatening attack was complimented by their bumbling mistakes that often turned the ball over cheaply to the Llanelli backs in dangerous positions. Where the Munster backline had all the hitting power of a wet sponge, the Llanelli attack was a different beast altogether. Their pack were immense, completely dominating the Munster eight throughout. Popham and Rees stood out in particular interlinking well with the backs and consistantly breaking the gainline. Munster simply had no answer to the power of the Welsh pack or the creativity of their backline, their Heineken cup defence dying with a whimper in Stradey Park.

London Wasps 35 - 13 Leinster
Much like their fellow countrymen Leinster entered their away fixture with a reasonable degree of confidence and a considerably strong Heineken cup pedigree. Unfortunately for them, they were also bullied around and battered off the park in exactly the same way as Munster. All the talk prior to kick off had been about the Leinster pack and whether or not they would be able to stand up to the substantially larger Wasps eight. The answer was a resounding no. Whilst the lineout was stable enough the Leinster pack was constantly shunted back in the scrum and had problems all game trying to provide quick ball for their backs. To add insult to injury however, on the rare occasion that the Leinster backs did find themselves in possession they found themselves facing a veritable wall of black and yellow. All day long the Wasps rush defence was up in Leinsters face and their backline couldn't cope. With Contopomi strangled by a lack of go-forward ball and a fearsome blitz defence, D'Arcy struggled to create anything by himself in the midfield. O'Driscoll was sorely missed both in attack and defence. Despite being down to 14 men on two occassions Wasps managed to put up 22 points don a man, a testimony to their extreme fitness and their overall desire. A desire which was sadly lacking from Leinster.

Biarritz 6 - 7 Northampton Saints
Didn't see this but.... bahahahaahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahhaha

Leicster 21 - 20 Stade Francais
Didn't see this either...

Semi Finals
Northampton Saints - London Wasps
Leicster - Llanelli Scarlets