I read the news today

For nerds who enjoy reading news about the news, this was a depressing week. First Radio Sport was shut down in the most brutal fashion you can imagine, switching straight to Newstalk ZB at 1pm on Monday. Gone just like that - even radiosport.co.nz now just has one page letting you know they’re off-air (WTF?).

There was plenty written and said about no longer taking cricket commentary a couple of months back (seems like ages ago hey?). I can’t help thinking about a) all the young (and old!) journalists who work their arses off to produce world-class sport coverage, with top humour and insight and what they’ll do now, b) the community of fans and yes, talkback callers built up over many years and where they can safely rant about the Warriors and c) all the New Zealand sports, particularly those who struggle for coverage, for whom Radio Sport was a vital part of the infrastructure. It’s all a bit rubbish.

The Bauer closure hit hard. Many people are mourning the Listener’s weekly sport coverage from top writers like Joseph Romanos and Paul Lewis, who stepped out of the breathless week to week rounds to look at the big picture, and cover other sports than yer usual rugby, cricket, netball etc. North and South too, was a home for long-form sport journalism and profiles.

But I’ll really miss Metro. I was lucky enough to have parents that bought it through the 80s and 90s. It was a big, heavy magazine that looked amazing (loved the Bernadino ads), packed with short snappy bits (despite being a teenager in Hamilton, I was all over the art gallery opening and bar scene thanks to the society photos and Felicity Ferret) and fantastic features. I loved it when editor Warwick Roger would write, and still treasure his books The Other Side, a collection of his essays, and Old Heroes about the 1956 Springboks, one of the great NZ sport books. Track them down when the second hand shops open up again.

It made Auckland seem like a wonderland, and when I drove up the motorway for Real Groovy raids or gigs, I was always disappointed not to see Judith Baragwanath tottering down the pavement. The quality remained sky-high through the years, especially under Simon Wilson. Its current form, complete with snappy adaptation for the internet, has been vital. I really hope it pops up again soon, somehow.

Finally, a massive well done to Kieran McAnulty for the subtle cricket bat in his home-office-select-committee Zoom background, we see you mate. Nice one.

Thanks for reading - Richard

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The week's best NZ sport content

‘A million voices moaned about the Warriors - and then were silenced’. Radio Sport stopping in an instant was just the start of the shocking media closures this week. Dylan Cleaver on why we’ll miss it more than we think [NZ Herald]

Suzanne McFadden profiles Kereyn Smith, head of the NZ Olympic Committee and one of the most powerful voices in the turmoil [Locker Room]

It’s all retro these days - here’s Spinoff cricket nerds Calum Henderson and Simon Day on essential Blackcaps matches of the past, while Dylan Cleaver ranks every Blackcaps Test hundred since 2010 [Spinoff, NZ Herald]

A flashback in time - Jamie Bell on Nathan Astle’s 222 and his Dunedin flat [Sportsfreak]

None of our plans are plans any more - RNZ reporter Stephen Hewson was supposed to be representing NZ at the over 50’s cricket world cup in South Africa about now, but that’s no longer happening [RNZ]

Video nasty

The little-seen-but-actually-genius Filthy, Rich and Catflap was what Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmonson (and Nigel Planner!) did between The Young Ones and Bottom. It’s all on YouTube if you fancy it.

Long read

From the archives - dedicated smoker, drinker and contrarian Christopher Hitchens visits a Los Angeles health farm [Vanity Fair, 2008]

Recommendation

Tiger King is on Netflix, it’s insane, get on the roller coaster before your friends tell you what happens.

Bring back the gif 

When the weather and water are perfect but there is also a virus.

Sport Review is the week’s best NZ sport writing and loads more in your inbox every Friday at 8am. Tell your friends!

Just a massive YouTube rabbit hole

Sport Review #101

I hate to break it to you, but this is only day two. We’re all looking at our four walls and wondering what they’ll look like in four weeks. If, like me, your screen time is way up and you’re looking for distraction, here are some recommendations that might help. I hope you and yours are well, let me know how you’re going.

Rob Moody is an international treasure, archiving hours of footage, often from VHS and putting it on YouTube in the face of every copyright rule going. If you’re a cricket fan, there’s *weeks* of viewing here.

The Average MTB Guy is an Auckland dad (and former Sport Review schoolmate) who rides all the NZ trails and tests equipment. Relatable stuff that’ll get you in the mood for when we’re all allowed out again.

Bon Appétit is the gold standard cooking channel, with a lot of stuff you’d never even think of (there are amazing recipes on their website), and a really sold look at the basics.

Tom Scott just finds interesting things and explains them really well.

Conan O’Brien’s youtube channel is hours of high quality comedy, with virtually every interview, travel series and skit with his staff he’s ever done.

Scott Brown is an Auckland carpenter that puts everything he does on YouTube - it’s incredibly relaxing watching someone else who actually knows what they’re doing.

Thanks for reading - Richard

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The week's best NZ sport content

Dana Johannsen joins RNZ’s The Detail team to go over Drug Free Sport New Zealand’s case taken against weekend warriors and amateur sportspeople [RNZ]

Suzanne McFadden on staying fit through lockdown [Newroom]

TVNZ’s Scotty Stevenson has been shrinking before our eyes - here’s the story behind it, starting with a simple run [Stuff]

Dylan Cleaver on why missing kids’ sport is going to be the hardest part of the lockdown [NZ Herald]

Video nasty

Behold - Gerald the gorilla.

Long read

One from the 2005 archive - The Suspects Wore Louboutins. The story of a group of young women who’d break into Hollywood mansions to ransack the bling [Vanity Fair]

Recommendation

If you’re craving escapism back to a simpler time. A much, much simpler time, that means it’s time for an Inbetweeners re-watch. There are three season on Netflix, and they’re short so you won’t be up all night.

Selected weekend fixtures 

  • Check your SKY guide for some of the amazing retro matches

  • Other than that, it’s going for another walk

Bring back the gif 

When someone breaks the 2 metre bubble on your morning walk.

Sport Review is the week’s best NZ sport writing and loads more in your inbox every Friday at 8am. Tell your friends!

N-n-n-n-nineteen

Sport Review #100

The NBA was called off only eight days ago - it seems like years since then.

The rug’s been ripped from under everything, then we’ve been beaten up with the rug. Tha counts for sport, and your life in general.

Everything is COVID-19 now, from how you work to whether you’re going out to grab lunch. While we try to piece some kind of big picture together in our minds, the breaking news keeps coming, changing it again.

It’s the lack of routine that throws you. Friday night in front of the rugby, tuning the car radio to the cricket, getting up early on a Sunday to watch the football. These are like family, sometimes they’re amazing, sometimes they’re frustrating, but they’re always there. That’s all not happening for the foreseeable.

The thing that’s bothered me most is junior sport - we all probably get as much (if not more) satisfaction watching our kids play as watching the pros, and that’s off too. Along with the sideline chat and family tootling about on a Saturday.

But - good things are still happening. I’m grateful for health professionals and the work they’re doing. Creativity is thriving. Whatever we can do to support people in entertainment, sport and hospitality industries that rely on people being out and about is really important, and we should keep doing it as long as we’re safe. I keep selfishly thinking I’m really glad we live in New Zealand.

BTW, this is the 100th email I have sent you in this particular format. The days of the other 99 emails, and writing about the tribulations of sitting around watching sport from the couch seem a world away hey. Thanks to you for being part of it, it’s so much appreciated. I hope you and the whanāu are going well.

Thanks for reading - Richard

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The week's best NZ sport content

Dylan Cleaver on COVID-19’s effect on sport - solid points, but Monday already feels like years ago [NZ Herald]

Alice Webb-Lidell got personalised motivational speeches from Colin Munro and Katrina Rore. They’re honestly lovely and if ever there’s a service whose time has come… [Spinoff]

Netball is still happening this weekend - Dana Johanssen on the breakup between Netball New Zealand and Australia, and why it’s working out [Stuff]

Football Fern Rebecca Stott is playing in Australia’s W-League grand final this weekend, she spoke to Ella Rilley [LockerRoom]

Video nasty

“He’s put my stapler in jelly again.”

Long read

The tale of the Millenium Dome, a dazzling structure and exhibit that everyone hated at the time, but might have actually been OK in hindsight [Guardian]

Recommendation

In desperate times, I give you the gift of Rake, one of the greatest TV series I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing. It’s got sex, drink, drugs, superb writing, just about every New Zealand and Australian actor you’ve ever seen and is equal parts hilarious and heart-warming. There are four series on Netflix - if you’ve not seen it, you’re in for a treat. Do your self-isolation the right way.

Selected weekend fixtures 

  • SKY has four classic Crusaders v Hurricanes encounters (fog final?) at 7.30pm tonight, get ready for a bit of this, you can ask them for your favourite

  • The now-Australian Warriors play the Raiders at 5pm tomorrow, it’s on SKY

  • There’s a full round of ANZ Premiership netball on Sunday, starting with Northern Mystics v Mainland Tactix at 4.10pm, it’s on SKY

Bring back the gif 

Every time the sodding breaking news thingo goes ‘bing’.

Sport Review is the week’s best NZ sport writing and loads more in your inbox every Friday at 8am. Tell your friends!

Instagram posts by 80s All Blacks

Sport Review #99

Terry Wright deep in concentration over a tabletop Galaga game at a Howick bowling alley / barber.

Sean Fitzpatrick with an apron, hair net and wide smile at the opening of new Georgie Pie franchise he has business interests in.

Allan Whetton’s side account @boateeinthe09 detailing his adventures queueing for exclusive boat shoe drops at Auckland CBD boutiques.

Joe Stanley wearing a multicouloured baggy training jersey and stonewash jeans looking bemused in the middle of the Auckland Cheerleaders.

Grizz Wylie reading Racing News in the Aratika Cook Straight Ferry’s bar.

Zinzan Brooke in a chambray shirt doing a tequila layback on the Poenamu Tavern bar (since deleted).

John Gallagher sitting on a new Honda City with the Sale Of The Century models.

Richard Loe in the main road of Ngahinapouri holding a huge orange chainsaw in each hand with a deeply concerning facial expression.

Nick Tansley shaves Gary Whetton’s moustache thanks to a caller dare during a Telethon while a group of marching girls look on.

Thanks for reading - Richard

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The week's best NZ sport content

Dana Johannsen has the story of Drug Free NZ’s investigation into low-level athletes buying performance-enhancing drugs online, taking in the long legal battles and the murky outcomes [Stuff]

One way to keep Eden Park relevant is finally getting some concerts happening, and the campaign is in full swing - here’s a rundown on where we’re at now and which residents association is which from the Spinoff, and this from Newsroom’s Tim Murphy

Extreme content warning - the tale of Beige Brigade founder Mike Lane’s lump he had removed from his forehead. The main message is ‘get anything you’re worried about checked out’ - but watch out for the really, really graphic image as you scroll [NZ Herald]

Video nasty

Remember this from Dan Carter, 12?

Long read

Archive read - bit of modern day gonzo journalism from 2016, when the idea of Donald Trump being an actual real-life president was all a bit of a laugh. If only. [Buzzfeed]

Recommendation

If you’re a Frank Zappa fan, you may love this 6-disc studio out-takes release of the seminal Hot Rats LP. If you’re not, you’ll either find it perplexing or life-changing.

Selected weekend fixtures 

  • BLACKCAPS are back in Aus, for an ODI series this time. It’s been a proper rollercoaster season so far, no idea what’s going to happen here. It’s in Sydney, starting this afternoon at 3.20pm NZ time on SKY

  • Chiefs v Hurricanes is always tasty, it’s on from Waikato Stadium at 7.05 tonight, it’s on SKY

  • Phoenix have Melbourne City at home on Sunday at 6.20pm, it’s on SKY

Bring back the gif 

When you want to just do normal things, but there is also a virus happening.

Sport Review is the week’s best NZ sport writing and loads more in your inbox every Friday at 8am. Tell your friends!

Awkward sporting questions edition

Sport Review #98

How many games of Super Rugby have you missed ‘cos of the earlier kick-off?

Actually, how many games of Super Rugby have you tried to watch?

Did you know that other fish hooks in tournament conditions include a ‘no buses or taxis’ rule for the 3rd and 4th playoff, and full squad ice cream countback in the event of a tie?

What are you going to do with your awesome AM/FM radio permanently stuck on Radio Sport now?

And does the Spark Sport / possible internet radio thing mean you finally have to get internet at the bach?

At what point do newsletter writers start to feel guilty about taking the piss out of the Blues? Asking for a friend obviously.

How long did it take you to get SKY back after binning it for the world cup?

Thanks for reading - Richard

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The week's best NZ sport content

Alex Braae catches the last of Brian Waddle and Jeremy Coney calling a home Test on Radio Sport. Incredibly tough times but it’s hard to see there being no cricket on the radio next year? [Spinoff]

The story of Kyle Jamieson and how hard work in domestic and age grade cricket has let him burst into the BLACKCAPS [Stuff]

Kate King went along on a programme that gets kids who’ve never been to the beach up and surfing [SKY Sport]

Rob Waddell’s Sky Sport Collective, that puts high school sport on TV, is copping it for creating the wrong drivers for some kids and consequences for schools [NZ Herald]

Fair play to Jamie Wall for a) trying to lift the original Tri Nations trophy and b) doing it while looking like Wally Lewis [Twitter]

Video nasty

The Dutch headwind cycling championship looks like a rubbish time.

Long read

Everyone hates business speak, but how did it actually come about? And more importantly, whose fault is it? [Vulture.com]

Recommendation

I only just caught Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, but it’s certainly a rockin’ good time, I loved it. If you’ve seen it, check out the early Rewatchables podcast.

Selected weekend fixtures 

  • It’s Hurricanes v Blues 7.05pm Saturday night at the Caketin, it’s on SKY

  • The Womens T20 world cup final is Australia v India, 8pm Sunday night on SKY

Bring back the gif 

When you get out of work at 4.55pm

Sport Review is the week’s best NZ sport writing and loads more in your inbox every Friday at 8am. Tell your friends!

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