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Archive for the ‘Sport.’ Category

Buffalo Rifles

In these dark times of shut-in life it’s important to live vicariously.

So here’s some fun from Montana, the Quigley Shoot competition.

This is held once a year and is a target shooting competition with the old-fashioned single-shot rifles once used to hunt buffalo on the vast American prairies.

The shooting distances are out to 1200 yards or more and this has to be done with iron sights or, at best, vintage telescopic sights. Sounds tough but in the interviews the shooters do say that you get used to it and you can get accurate with practice.

These guns also have a hell of a kick, so a sore shoulder at the end of the day seems likely to me.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 14, 2021 at 8:52 am

Posted in Sport., Technology, USA

The Joy of a Free People

In looking at the national impacts of the Chinese Xi Snot virus I’ve looked at Sweden, Israel and Australia, with a few glances at other nations like Great Britain, plus some prominent US states such as New York, California, Hawaii and Texas.

But it’s been a while since I looked at the USA as a whole to see how it’s doing.

First up is vaccinations. Not so good compared to many other nations.

Cases! There’s been a bit of a surge lately, as there has been in other countries as the next mutant strain, “Delta”, has taken off. In fact the case load is now back to where it was in Oct-Nov 2020 before the vaccinations started and Feb 2021.

Deaths are up too but not as was seen earlier. Still, the daily death rate is back up where it was in November 2020 and March 2021.

Terrible right? Scary. Horrifying. So how are Americans reacting to all this? They should lockdown, right?

Just click on the first Twitter video.

These are crowds for College (university) football, in action for the first time in two years and the students are going nuts. For people who only hear of the NFL and other Major League sports it may come as a shock to find out how huge college football is. Those crowds put most of our rugby stadiums to shame and there are dozens like them packed every weekend from September to December. I was stunned when I first saw how huge the Notre Dame stadium is in Indiana.

Just listen to the sheer, wonderful joyousness of them as they dance and sing and shout for their teams.

So what’s the reaction of The Powers That Be? Well here’s major Democratic operative Joe Lockhart:

Gee Joe, if I was Democrat pushing mask mandates and vaccine passports I’d look at all those young people and crap my pants about the 2022 and 2024 elections.

Americans are better than their leaders.

But that’s also Jacinda Adern, every Labour MP, Judith Collins and every National MP, The Greens and Maori Party, probably most of ACT, our entire Public Healthcare establishment and – so we’re informed by a NZ Herald poll (and remember kids, the MSM doesn’t spin or lie when reinforcing The Narrative of the moment) – some 85% of New Zealanders.

Frightened. Scared. Utterly and totally compliant. Yet also strangely smug and arrogant about how well we’ve done with our low death toll. Determined to lock down for as long as it takes to get to Year Zero. And misery loves company.

If you want to live in fear, that’s your choice. But it’s also not life.

Those scenes are life. That is joy. And in America at least, it’s back.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 8, 2021 at 5:00 am

Nice work if you can bat it.

When I saw the following article the other day I vaguely recalled the name Bobby Bonilla.

Like many American baseball players he had played for a large number of teams in the course of a fifteen year career, but where I recalled him from was when he played for the Florida Marlins in 1997 as they won a World Series after existing for just five seasons.

That stuck in the throats of a lot of fans of other ball clubs who had won nothing in decades. But it was a one-off as the owner – Wayne Huizenga, who had made his billions from various startup companies, like Blockbuster Videos (and who remembers them now in the age of streaming) – had thrown huge amounts of cash around to grab every free-agent star he could to play just the one season.

Predictably enough, the following season saw them finish with the worst record in MLB; the greatest collapse by a World Series Champion in history.

Bonilla moved on to other clubs and retired in 2001, but aside from some good batting stats and a WS ring he also left behind another legacy, the date of July 1st that is commemorated each year by teeth-grinding fans of the New York Mets as Bobby Bonilla Day:

The calendar has turned to July 1, and that means one thing: It’s time for Mets fans everywhere to wish each other a Happy Bobby Bonilla Day! Why?

On Thursday, 58-year-old Bobby Bonilla will collect a check for $1,193,248.20 from the New York Mets, as he has and will every July 1 from 2011 through 2035.

The twenty cents is a nice touch.

Now you may assume that this is just the hangover from some long-ago contract, and you would be correct. But even after reading the details in that article and the Wiki I still don’t understand how this came to be:

In 2000, the Mets agreed to buy out the remaining $5.9 million on Bonilla’s contract.

However, instead of paying Bonilla the $5.9 million at the time, the Mets agreed to make annual payments of nearly $1.2 million for 25 years starting July 1, 2011, including a negotiated 8% interest.

I’ve done finance. I know about NPV calculations, and my calcs have him at $1.62 million per year, so perhaps he kindly agreed to a slight discount?

But I still don’t know why the Nets would turn $5.9 million into $1.2 million per year for twenty five years. Apparently the Mets had invested in Bernie Madoff’s schemes and although it does not say so I guess when those crashed, the team just could not lay their hands on $5.9 million in cash.

But still – this deal was the only alternative? For a season where he didn’t even play for them?

There are other such deals around and incredibly this guy is on the receiving end of one of those too:

Bobby Bonilla (again): A second deferred-contract plan with the Mets and Orioles pays him $500,000 a year for 25 years. Those payments began in 2004.

Written by Tom Hunter

July 7, 2021 at 4:46 pm

Posted in Business, Sport., USA

Tagged with

IN A WORD DISAPPOINTING.

At a time never dreamed about for New Zealand cricket, currently toying with “The old Country” in their homeland in a two test warm up for an historic showdown with India and its Millions of fans and dollars at The Rose Bowl Southampton in a few days. An extraordinary situation where a NZ national side after all but winning a first test at lords them made changes to over half that team to have England reeling at nine down for a tiny lead at Edgbaston overnight with a full day to play.

My Disappointment, well it is only available on SPARK Sport for the army of viewers wanting to view the dramas. Getting Spark sport in a mobile mobile home is less than simple. Thanks a bunch Mister White and your board of wannabees, perhaps if a Mr black had been found in this stellar year for a game that has NZ still holding the record lowest score in an innings ever when Tyson Statham and Appleyard sent them all back to the Pavillion for twenty six all out Eden Park 1955. Having endured that sad legacy as a supporter for over half a century it might have been nice to see the current wave of success however it turns out at The Rose bowl on Sky Sport which has delivered so well for so long.

I did succumb to the lure and had fibre installed for the Last Rugby WC to enable visual from Spark only to have been more than a little chagrined over the quality then delivered.

Again, muppets, thankyou very very much.

Written by Gravedodger

June 13, 2021 at 10:03 am

Posted in New Zealand, Sport.

CLEARLY THE US PGA DROPPED THE BALL

Gave away playing vets golf yesterday to watch Phil (the thrill) Mickelson win the USA PGA Championship becoming the oldest golfer ever to do so. It was a tour de force by someone who gives so much pleasure to so many.

But a huge down-tick to the PGA of America for what happened after Phil hit his second shot on the 18th. The crowd was out of control and both Mickelson and Koepke (and their caddies) were mobbed and engulfed by an out of control crowd as they made their way to the Green. This should never happened … been allowed to happen. Koepke was quite right to voice his concern.

This cannot be allowed to detract from Mickelson’s quite remarkable performance. He was on nobody’s radar coming into the tournament and over the four days mastered a brute of a golf course in a way that left others scrambling in his wake.

Congratulations to Phil Mickelson.

p.s. Something you may not know. Mickelson is right handed in everything except golf.

Written by The Veteran

May 25, 2021 at 10:42 am

Posted in Sport.

Tagged with ,

Best Ever Pakistan Test Cricket Eleven

There is a bit of hit and miss with this line up and my experience of early Pakistan teams is pretty much limited to the fact that Hanif Mohammed was one of the few test cricketers to top 300 in a test innings in the 1950’s and 60’s. Then of course Javed Miandad became a dominant force in all forms of the game and it is of interest to me that New Zealand’s Peter Petherick was the only bowler to ever trap him LBW in a test in Pakistan. Petherick also took a test hat trick against Pakistan in Lahore in 1976/77 with his victims being – Miandad caught, Wasim Rajah caught and bowled and Intikhab Alam caught at short leg – no bunnies in that lot.

Now for my team:

  1. Hanif Mohammed
  2. Majid Khan
  3. Zaheer Abbas
  4. Javed Miandad
  5. Younis Khan
  6. Imran Khan
  7. Saqlain Mushtaq
  8. Wasim Akram
  9. Wasim Bari
  10. Abdul Qadir
  11. Waqar Younis

Imran Khan would captain the team and 12 man would be Wasim Rajah.

This is a team with a fairly long tail but such is the strength of the top order that runs should not be too much of a problem and the bowling line up is formidable. Maybe current keeper Misbah-ul-haq could have forced his way in ahead of Bari to bolster the batting and others on the fringe were Saeed Anwar, Inzamam ul haq, Mohammed Yousef and Intikhab Alam.

Not quite so contested with the bowlers – but what do you think?

Written by pdm1946

March 16, 2021 at 7:30 pm

Posted in Sport.

Best Ever South African Test Cricket Eleven

Well not much interest in my Indian Team a few days ago but lets see if we get a response from readers of South African origin. As a 16 year old I was an avid follower of the New Zealand Tour of South Africa in 1962/63 plus of course was familiar with the heroics of Bert Sutcliffe, Bob Blair and others on the 1954 tour there. I also knew that in Wellington in 1952 Jackie McGlew the South African opener became the first ever test player to be on the field for every ball of a test match – I played some cricket with and against the late Eric Fisher who played his only test for New Zealand in that match.

Here is my team in batting order:

  1. Barry Richards
  2. Graeme Smith
  3. Hashim Amla
  4. Graeme Pollock
  5. AB de Villiers
  6. Jacques Kallis
  7. Mark Boucher
  8. Vernon Philander
  9. Peter Pollock
  10. Alan Donald
  11. Hugh Tayfield

Graeme Smith will captain the team and take your pick of Colin Bland or Jonty Rhodes as 12th man. What outstanding fieldsmen those two were.

The time when South Africa were banned from participating in International cricket impacted on this team. I put Barry Richards in even though he only played four tests but left out Mike Proctor who played seven and Clive Rice who never played a test as far as I could see – what a waste.

In the end I left Jackie McGlew out for Smith and of course Hanse Cronje ruled himself out. Greats like Eddie Barlow, JB Waite, Roy Mclean, batsmen in my era missed out while bowlers Neil Adcock, Sean Pollock (I couldn’t have 3 Pollocks – could I) as well as Morne Morkel were all considered. Dave Richardson pushed Boucher for wicket keeper and JB Waite was also a contender there.

What say you South Africans – who have I omitted that you would want there?

Written by pdm1946

March 7, 2021 at 11:22 am

Posted in Sport.

Best Ever Indian Test Cricket Eleven

Apart from the last thirty years or so I have not known too much about Indian Cricket or its players. It is fair to say for most of their test cricketing history they were not the force that they have been since about 1990 even though they did win the 1983 ODI World Cup. Still they have produced a number of talented players and the records of those that I have listed below speak for themselves. In batting order my team is:

  1. Sunil Gavaskar
  2. Virender Sehwag
  3. Rahul Dravid
  4. Sachin Tendulker
  5. Virat Kohli
  6. Kapil Dev
  7. MS Dhoni
  8. Ravichandran Ashwin
  9. Bishen Bedi
  10. Javagal Srinith
  11. Jaspirit Bumrah

Captain would be MS Dhoni with Ravindra Jadeja 12th man.

Growing up I heard of batsmen like Vinoo Mankad, Polly Umrigar,Mohinder Armanath and others but the ones who came close to cracking this team include VVS Lakshman, Gautem Gambhir and even Sourav Ganguly who missed out because he had limitations when the ball was moving around and bouncing.

Bowling was a different issue with Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, Anil Kumble in the spinners and dependable left armer Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma all very worthy contenders. While Ravi Shastri was a contender for the number 6 all rounder spot.

One thing that New Zealand cricket followers and supporters can be pleased about is that on the 1975/76 tour by Indian then tearaway fast bowler Richard Hadlee was given one last chance by the selectors in the third test in Wellington and he came good with 4/35 and 7/23 – his career only went ahead from there.

What changes would you make to the above team.

Written by pdm1946

March 2, 2021 at 6:17 am

Posted in Sport.

Best Ever West Indian Test Cricket Eleven

What talent to choose from and some truely great players have missed out. The West Indians have a role in New Zealand’s cricket history through being the opposition in New Zealand’s first test win at Eden Park in 1956 but, it was on their Australian Tour in 1961 that they first really came to my attention – remember the first ever tied test in Brisbane. Then of course in the late 70’s and early 1980’s they dominated world cricket under the captaincy of Clive Lloyd, with a strong batting line up and a battery of fast bowlers.

Have a look at my best ever team:

  1. Gordon Greenidge
  2. Conrad Hunte
  3. George Headley
  4. Everton Weekes
  5. Viv Richards
  6. Garfield Sobers
  7. Jeffrey Dujon
  8. Joel Garner
  9. Michael Holding
  10. Wesley Hall
  11. Lance Gibbs

George Headley, known in his day as `the black Bradman’ would be Captain with Roger Harper 12th Man.

It says much for the West Indies that batsmen Brian Lara, Clyde Walcott, Clive Lloyd, Frank Worrell and Rohan Kanhai did not make the cut and nor did bowlers Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall, Sonny Ramadhin, or Alf Valentine. They also had the equivalent of our Rodney Redmond with VH Stollemeyer scoring 96 in his only test innings, as it was 1939 obviously the second world war curtailed his cricketing career.

I have seen the West Indies play twice – the first time against a North Island X1 at Napier in the late 60’s and again when they played India at the Basin Reserve in the 1992 World Cup. In Napier Seymour Nurse scored a hundred plus and it was Clive Lloyds first West Indies tour I believe.

Have you seen them.

Written by pdm1946

February 20, 2021 at 5:22 am

Posted in Sport.

Best Ever England Test Cricket Team

There is plenty of talent to choose from here and I am sure a few of our pommy readers as well as regular commenters will have a view not only on the players I have picked but even more so on those I have left out.

My interest in English cricket started with the 1958 New Zealand tour and grew through the 1958/59 Ashes series in Australia. One of my first ever cricket books was Trevor Baileys Cricket Book which it is fair to say may have influenced the selection of a couple of the players in my team which in batting order is – apologies for the double spacing I couldn’t get rid of it:

1 Herbert Sutcliffe

2. Jack Hobbs

3. Walter Hammond

4. Joe Root

5 David Gower

6. Ian Botham

7. Alan Knott

8. Fred Trueman

9. Jim Laker

10. Alec Bedser

11. Jimmy Anderson

Hammond would be Captain and Derek Randell (Arkle) 12thMan

As far as players who missed out they are a dime a dozen but of the modern era Alistair Cook was close while in the bowlers Brian Statham lost out to Anderson and Frank Tyson and Derek Underwood were real contenders. Alan Knotts batting got him in ahead of Godfrey Evans and Bob Taylor because with Trueman at eight the tail looked a bit long.

Going further back I really do not know how good players like Wilfred Rhodes and Dr. Grace really were so have left them out but they were icons of the game in their time.

In fact I have in mind so many good English players I was tempted to name another eleven to play a trial test to finalise my best eleven.

Over to you now – who would you have.

Written by pdm1946

February 13, 2021 at 9:42 am

Posted in Sport.