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Sports

September 18, 2017

“Faster Horses” Henry Ford is often credited as saying: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses” — the idea being that radical innovation does it arise merely from incremental improvement on the norm. Maybe if performance enhancing drugs had been developed before the combustion engine we would have […]

August 21, 2017

Unlike most lucrative career paths, say, for example, lawyering, athletes are often restricted as to where and who they work for. In New Zealand, a rugby player cannot play in another country (on a contract that is likely more lucrative) and be eligible for the All Blacks. In the United States there are a number […]

August 7, 2017

On the weekend before last, UFC 214 was held in California, the highlight of which was the heavyweight rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. The fight itself ended in typically protracted fashion after Cormier took a kick to the head, which clearly did damage but failed to finish the fight. A dazed and stumbling […]

May 22, 2017

Winning does strange things to a fandom. Since their first test match in 1903 the All Blacks have maintained a winning percentage in the high 70s and have only lost to seven of the 19 test playing nations, with Ireland securing their first win over the All Blacks in 30 matches just the other year. […]

May 8, 2017

According Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball: the Art of Winning an Unfair Game, in 2003 a revolution of sorts happened in baseball. A type of Wall Street-based logic invaded the hallowed halls of America’s oldest game. The logic privileged the “objectivity” of statistical models over the traditional and subjective “eye test”, and sought to exploit the […]

March 27, 2017

I grew up a fan of Newcastle United FC when everyone at school supported Manchester United. This was not by choice. Rather, it was an unfortunate inheritance of birth, like my receding hairline, as my dad and his dad were both from Newcastle. That’s how fandom worked; it was passed on through marriage or birth […]

March 3, 2017

The eminently punchable quarterback of the New England Patriots, Tom Brady, had just orchestrated the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history — leading his team to 25 unanswered points, sending the game into overtime at 28-28. His team’s victory in overtime seemed inevitable after the toss of the coin; NFL overtime rules are needlessly complicated, […]

September 18, 2016

In the Olympic charter, the Games—both ‘para-’ and otherwise—are to be accessed by “the widest possible audience,” through the “fullest-coverage by different media.” Yet Sky TV severely inhibited the licensing of content to NZME (Herald) and Fairfax (stuff.co.nz) during the Olympics. The situation is now even worse during the Paralympics. The economic incentive is not […]

September 4, 2016

Kieran Read: Ah yeah Shag, Boss, mate—just before you start—there seems to be a bug on my seat. The listening device found at the All Black’s hotel in Sydney was surely meant for a high level diplomat, or some multi-national CEO type. It was, I thought, more likely to have been there since Putin visited […]