Posts Tagged ‘All Whites’

It might be unpatriotic to say so, but …

datePosted on 08:21, July 13th, 2010 by Lew

… the All Whites’ unbeaten record at the FIFA World Cup was not the tournament’s greatest underdog performance. That accolade should go to the hosts, for beating France, who were a perfect illustration of all that’s wrong with football in 2010. High-strung Ferrari-driving show-ponies who failed to perform and behaved like rebellious toddlers when expected to do so; led by dictatorial, egomaniac management who refused to accept the results of their own uselessness with any sort of humility.

South Africa were ranked second-lowest in the tournament, lower even than the All Whites, and they demonstrated that if you hang tough and play as a team you can beat a side which, on paper, is far better than you are (and keep them out of the second round). The footballing world owes South Africa a rich debt of gratitude, not only for organising what was by all accounts a cracking tournament, but for humiliating France.

A fitting end to a tournament for which they shouldn’t have qualified in the first place.

L

Visual perks of office

datePosted on 10:02, June 21st, 2010 by Lew

(NZ Herald.)

I don’t have much time today, but wanted to note the above image of John Key in an All White strip after this morning’s 1-1 victory over Italy. The significance of the event notwithstanding, the slightest chance of a result such as this, and its reflected glory, was surely a significant reason for Key to attend the All Whites-Italy match. Fair enough, too.

It also reminded me of when then-PM Helen Clark donned a Kiwis Warriors jersey after a momentous rugby league victory (2005 Tri-Nations?). But for the life of me, I can’t find a photo of that event. I know it was pretty well-seen at the time — footage of the team celebrations with Clark was part of the post-match TV broadcast and made the news, but it’s like the stills have just vanished down the memory hole.

Ironically, while googling, I did find a photo of John Key as a Warrior, though this one is apparently advertising bumpf:

(H/T NZ Conservative, who asked “I wonder if Helen would have done it?” Well, wonder no more.)

Those look suspiciously like Steve Price’s forearms.

Edit: Pat, in the comments, points out that I’m probably remembering the Warriors, not the Kiwis. Probably right. There are certainly a bunch of PR shots of Clark with the team after their 19 September 2009 playoff win over the Roosters — conveniently just a couple of weeks before the general election.

(Stuff gallery.)

Thanks Pat.

L

Bestest

datePosted on 08:52, June 18th, 2010 by Lew

Stuart Dye’s column which uses perfectly sound* logic to reach the conclusion that the All Whites are the world’s fifth-equal-best football team,** is a bit of fun. The only problem is that while reading it I kept getting flashbacks to the flimsiest rationalisations of the left’s 2008 election campaign. By careful selection and weighting of the criteria by which to judge the political field it was possible to argue — at times convincingly — that Labour and the Greens had it in the bag, and that’s what many people did instead of taking a long hard look at their team’s performance.

Ironically enough, I’m pretty sure those picking the criteria and making the rationalisations weren’t surprised in the slightest when their outcomes failed to eventuate.

Delusional partisan jingoism in a sport where we have a snowball’s chance: harmless. In politics: not so harmless.

L

* For unusual values of “perfectly” and “sound”.
** Above us are Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands and Argentina — and by now Mexico and Nigeria Greece, which I suppose makes us seventh equal.

Important question

datePosted on 11:01, March 4th, 2010 by Lew

Given that in 20 months’ time, we’ll be able to watch the All Blacks get thrashed on four different free-to-air channels simultaneously, why can’t we watch the All Whites get thrashed by Mexico on even one channel today?

L