If it was a deer, you wouldn’t bother bringing a one-pointer home – but hey, this is the Rugby World Cup

October 24, 2011

Yes, it’s true.

Alf needed more than his normal ration of Scotch to maintain his equilibrium and keep his nerves under control last night.

The All Blacks were running it much too fine, for his liking.

But today is another day and the cup is ours.

And he thoroughly endorses the judgement this morning of the great Sir Colin Meads.

A one-point margin doesn’t matter much today, he said (or words to that effect).

But it mattered a helluva lot with 15 minutes to go last night, when the French were in full cry.

Sports minister gave French their panache – so what would McCully give the All Blacks?

October 15, 2011

When it comes to Ministers of Sport, we are at a disadvantage.

So far as Alf can tell, morale is high in the All Black camp a day ahead of the big match with Australia.

Just as well.

If we needed to bring in a political prop to help our team, we would be at a disadvantage.

According to the Herald, when French morale was low, the country flew in its Sports Minister from Paris to rally the Rugby World Cup squad to a quarter-final victory – and he is back again today.

The French Ambassador to New Zealand, Francis Etienne, said the country had followed “good tradition” to call on its leader in times of trouble.

After France’s shock loss to Tonga in its final pool match, Sports Minister David Douillet – a three-time judo world champion – was called on for support.

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A thought for Pene – if the people who need rescuing aren’t Maori, what then?

March 10, 2011

But if it's not a Maori dog, shouldn't we leave it for someone else to rescue?

There’s a New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks. So Maori wanted their own team, the Maori All Blacks.

New Zealand has a public broadcasting corporation, TVNZ. So Maori demanded and got their own TV corporation, Maori Television.

New Zealand has a government broadcasting funding agency, NZ On Air, which invests your money and mine in a range of local television, radio, music and new media content “to extend choices for New Zealand audiences”. Oh, and NZ on Air has a Maori Innovation fund ($1 million) for the creation of innovative, primetime Māori television programmes. Applications close 5pm, 15 April. But sure enough, Maori wanted their own funding agency and so we have Te Mangai Paho which makes funding available (your money and mine) to the national network of Maori radio stations and for the production of Maori language television programmes, radio programmes and music CDs.

We have Sportsman (and Sportswoman) of the Year Awards open to all. And so, inevitably, Maori had to have their own sports awards (non-Maori keep out).

We have elections at which all New Zealanders can vote in general electorates. But then there’s a cluster of Maori seats in which your eligibility to vote is determined by your ethnicity.

Yep. You’ve got to be one of our special indigenous people to vote in these electorates.

We have a civil defence force that has been doing a splendid job in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake. And so – it had to happen – some bugger has popped up to suggest it’s time for a Maori civil defence force.

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It will be a bugger of a job trying to work out which J.McSweeney should be given a wide berth

January 29, 2011

A great role model - except, perhaps, for J.McSweeney.

Somewhere around New Zealand is a bloke or sheila known to Alf and the public only as J McSweeney.

It’s a pity we don’t have a better fix on the identity of this J.McSweeney – a particularly precious and prissy person, it would appear – because there are bound to be heaps of admirable J. McSweeneys out there, and the whole point of this post is to warn all sensible folk to give the J.McSweeney in question a very wide berth.

It’s almost as perlexing as trying to work out which 46-year-old celebrity had been done for disorderly conduct after his name had been suppressed and before he outed himself as Martin Devlin.

Similarly, without knowing one J.McSweeney from another, it is hard to take heed of Alf’s warning. Accordingly we might accidently bump into the J.McSweeney who is best avoided and – too late – find that, yes, this is one who is boorish and totally and utterly lacking in a sense of humour and fun.

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Air NZ should have spurned the prissy prof’s preposterous proposition about suicidal poofs

December 13, 2010

"But if a few poofs do top themselves, they will be improving the species by removing themselves from it."

Ask anybody what adjective goes best with the word “professor,” – Alf recalls reading a few years back – and the answer will almost certainly be “absent-minded,” or possibly “nutty.”

Popular culture is full of addlebrained academics, whether they be villainous madmen like Professor Morbius in Forbidden Planet or Sherlock Holmes’s archenemy Professor Moriarty; crazy cranks like Professor Emmett Brown in Back to the Future, or well-meaning but harebrained eccentrics like Professor Brainard in The Absent-Minded Professor, Professor

The article appeared in the US Chronicle of Higher Education.

But nutty professors are to be found everywhere.

Some of the buggers in this part of the world are worse than nutters – they are seriously unhinged.

This must certainly apply to the professor who has pulled political correctness into the pits of the pathetic by complaining about a small scene in the Air New Zealand in-flight safety video.

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Someone’s Mum has brought her citizenship into question by calling for a weakening of the All Blacks

July 17, 2010

The presumption of innocence and its importance in a just and decent society is not as well understood or zealously championed as it should be.

Worse, some citizens who would deny others the presumption of innocence show deeper flaws. They make themselves candidates for deportation by wanting to weaken the All Black team.

This is tantamount to treason, and would be treason, if Alf had his say in definining this very serious offence against the state. Every self-respecting Kiwi should have a powerful urge to see the crap beaten out of the Springboks on the rugby field.

Any hint of this urge being diluted should disqualify people from citizenship.

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Hi-jinx at the Hilton and a teenage girl’s babbling about a Brooke’s bum pass

January 11, 2010

The Fijian police’s response to allegations against former All Robin Brooke is fascinating. They say it is too early to say if he will be charged … they are still investigating the incident.

So how does the former All Black lock find himself offside with a teenager?

An Auckland girl, 15, has claimed that Brooke touched her backside twice on New Year’s Eve while holidaying at the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa on Denarau Island.

Touching girls on the bottom doesn’t rate high on Alf’s list of crimes that deserve severe penalties. If this girl took such a complaint to the cops while holidaying in Rome, she would be laughed out of the police station.

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Enterprising All Blacks should be offside with all of us until they start peddling the water of life

December 20, 2009
A good reason to

Want to know why we should avoid water? Here's what frisky fish do to it with their spawning habits.

The All Blacks too often leave Alf disappointed, for their antics off the field as well as their performances on it.

The three All Blacks accused of short-changing former partners in a bottled water business serve as an example.

Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Ali Williams have been accused of collecting business contacts from three associates in one company, then dumping them to set up a rival operation.

But Carter and McCaw’s lawyer Warren Alcock strongly rejected the allegations yesterday.

“I’ve been advising Richie for 10 years and Dan for about eight, and I have never known them in anything they’ve done – in life, business or rugby – that hasn’t been above the line,” he said.

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Yep – it looks like City was robbed

September 25, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

Here’s a job for analysts with plenty of spare time on their hands: find out if the All Blacks are disadvantaged by referees when it comes to playing extra time away from home.

Alf raises the issue after reading a fascinating piece in The Guardian by Howard Davies – a Manchester City supporter of more than 50 years – who was dismayed in the last minute of last Sunday’s match against Manchester United.

Manchester United scored the winning goal in that period of play.

For the first time for years, the good guys matched the red devils kick for kick – until the last one, five and a half minutes into four minutes of extra time. We was robbed, innit?

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The All Blacks can’t foot it, so let’s change the rules

August 21, 2009

Looks like All Blacks coach Graham Henry is paying much too much attention to marketing mumbo-jumbo and not enough to beating teams that kick too much and too effectively for his liking.

He says kick-focused international rugby is a “poor product”.

Well ain’t that something. A poor product.

It’s another way – Alf reckons – of saying kick-focused international rugby has his team flummoxed.

So what does an inadequate coach do when his team is flummoxed by opponents that play an effective kicking game (to avoid playing the game in their own half)?

He calls for new rules.
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