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March 3, 2014 | by  | in Opinion |
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Sports Banter with Sammy P

Although I don’t rate myself as a conversationalist, I do pride myself on my ability to slip very comfortably into a sporting conversation; it’s among the very limited set of skills I have. So in the spirit of this week’s ‘how to’ theme, I have compiled a dummy’s guide with a few points and hints on how to talk sports, which will hopefully enhance your capacity to discuss sporting matters and decrease the chances of you exposing your sporting ignorance.

  • Use staple statements, a staple statement being a rock-solid go-to option when conversing about sports. These can be applied to either initiate sport talk, or as a very effective yet cliché filler of awkward silences. A great example of a staple statement that’s always a winner is, “How about those All Blacks”, or, “How about those Phoenix”, or, “How about those [insert team name/athlete/politician here]”.

  • Don’t get your teams mixed up. If sports teams have two different names, there is a very good chance that they are two different teams. For example, the Wellington Lions are NOT the Wellington Hurricanes.

  • Try to avoid making unsubstantiated and rather flamboyant calls on sporting topics when you don’t really have the evidence or the knowledge to back it up. For example, try to avoid arguing that cricket is a pointless and tedious affair to a hardened purist of the game.

  • It is important to be able to identify household sporting names and phrases when discussing sporting issues. Here’s a short list of names which may or may not sound familiar:

    • Cristiano Ronaldo: Supposedly the best footballer on the planet. He has also recently opened a new line of underwear named CR7 underwear.

    • LeBron ‘King’ James: Arguably, the new Michael Jordan.

    • Floyd Mayweather, Jr: Has boxing talents that almost match Muhammad Ali’s; also carries around US$1,000,000 in cold hard cash wherever he goes.

    • Shane Warne: Retired Australian cricketer. While Aussies will tell you he’s a contender for the greatest-ever person of all time in the history of the world, he is also famous for being a chronic sexter, having unnaturally white teeth, and having a good ol’ fling with English supermodel Liz Hurley.

    • Richie McCaw: If you don’t recognise this name, you should probably avoid sports altogether, but for the record he is the current captain of the All Blacks and is considered by some to be our best-ever rugby player.

    • Kim Dotcom: Not quite an athlete yet, but there’s a good chance he’ll have a dabble in sports at some stage in the future.


In Wellington this week:   

  • Friday, 7.30 pm: Cake Tin – Hurricanes vs Brumbies.

  • Sunday, 5 pm: Cake Tin – Phoenix vs Perth Glory.

Top 3 on the box:

  • 3)     NBA: Indiana @ Houston, ESPN, Saturday, 3.30 pm.

  • 2)     Super Rugby: Stormers @ Crusaders, SS1, Saturday, 7.30 pm.

  • 1)     NRL: Warriors @ Parramatta, Sunday, 8.30 pm.

Top 5 overrated Super Rugby players of all time

With the Super Rugby season well underway, we felt it appropriate to review those players who have received perhaps a little too much hype over the years.

  •  5)     Morné Steyn: Although he almost never misses with the boot, Steyn     couldn’t tackle a 5-year-old if he tried and has the creativity of a cabbage.

  • 4)     Carlos Spencer: At his best he was dazzling, but the spectrum of quality in Spencer’s play (and his Tim Tam adverts) was far too great for him to be given the respect he often receives.

  • 3)     Stephen Brett: Touted as the next Dan Carter in his early days, Brett reportedly once told the All Blacks selectors that if they didn’t select him he’d leave the country – they were happy to give him his boarding pass.

  • 2)     Isaia Toeava: Endless potential… at least that was the catchphrase for Toeava. Perhaps he was thrown into the limelight too early, but whatever the case, Toeava was never able to impress to the level he was expected to.

  • 1)     Caleb Ralph: It’s beyond us what either the Crusaders or All Blacks selectors saw in Ralph during his playing days. The reason he takes the cake as our number-one overrated Super Rugby player of all time is because he is only really remembered for one thing – being ordinary.

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