Sport Review #150 - navel gaze special
Sport Review #150
|Richard Irvine||Apr 22|
150 is a weird milestone for a batsman. You’ve got the ton already, but making 150 is pretty meh - are you going to have a lash now and get caught at cow corner, or kick on and do something properly special?
You really didn’t sign up to a newsletter to read about the newsletter, but here are a few meta-thoughts to mark the 150. Normal service (such as it is) will resume next week.
In a bit of serendipity, the first mention of COVID-19 in the Sport Review archives was in newsletter #100.
We did the big lockdown, and here in Auckland we’ve done lots of little ones. The media has changed a fair bit since, for COVID and other reasons. We’ve said goodbye to Radio Sport, Metro and North and South for a while, budgets for sports newsrooms have been trimmed right back and the cricket is on Spark now.
Sport itself here still feels pretty normal though. The emergency Levels 3 and 2’s messed with the America’s Cup a bit, but we’ve just had a full international cricket season, Super Rugby Aotearoa still pulls in big crowds and the Netball’s virtually back to normal. Our COVID response has been world-beating and being able to flop on the couch and watch the game has helped the sense of continuity - you need to keep scanning though.
There’s new media popping up, big and small - SEN radio, After The Whistle, etc. Lots of people have newsletters now. And the sports themselves have innovated admirably, like the madcap Sal’s NBL with its draft held in a pizzeria. I love all of it, and the anything goes attitude, it suits our new work from home in shorts and slippers life we’re living.
I love doing my little part of it, the little ritual of keeping links through the week, then tapping it all up on Thursday night and mostly Friday morning every week(ish) makes me happy, as does the discipline of doing something creative every week.
Thanks for being part of it, and for the emails and tweets, it’s so appreciated. Apologies if I’ve bagged your team. Tell your friends and enjoy the next 50. Cheers!
Some personal fav editions
QUIZ: Are you an Eden Park resident? and Quiz: Are you plotting a coup at your local sports club over lockdown? - the quiz format really allows for projecting pettiness and I love it
Oral history of the 1995 All Blacks Zoom call and Quiz: Is your boss Sean Fitzpatrick? and QUIZ: Is the 1999 rugby world cup holding you back? - I just can’t let the 1990s All Blacks go, clearly
News: New All Black tactics trapped inside Ian Foster's house - They picked the wrong Chiefs coach, clearly, but it’s hard to hate Fozzie the man
The most cursed objects in New Zealand sport - must get around to doing Most Blessed
Thanks for reading - Richard
The week's best NZ sport content
In Trans Tasman Bubble week, Alex Brae runs through the best and most underwhelming New Zealand v Australia rivalries [Spinoff]
Chris Keall on what the rugby community can learn from the Super League brouhaha while working through the Silver Lake deal [NZ Herald]
Super League, Super Smash, Super Over - Cam McMillan ranks the most super Supers in sport [NZ Herald]
Short doco on two Ghanian athletes who defected from the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland - how they went on the run and the Kiwis who helped them [BBC]
Lovely essay on whiling away a summer with cricket and a baby from James Borrowdale [The Spinoff]
Obituary for the much-missed and velvet-voiced doyen of NZ cricket commentators Iain Gallaway, who we lost this week [NZC]
“I’m closing the bureau. For an hour.” This is so good.
Some nerds discovered the hidden scam inside McDonald’s ice cream machines, rolled out a hack and then came up against dark forces trying to shut them down [Wired]
The Off Menu podcast is a delight and a strong previous Sport Review recommendation. The 100th episode, where hosts James and Ed get to choose their own dream meals, is not to be missed.
Bring back the gif
When you and the boys invent a European Super League for a bit.
Sport Review is the week’s best NZ sport writing and loads more in your inbox every Friday at 8am. Tell your friends!