Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just Win (or get fired for cause), Baby.

Espn.com is reporting that Al Davis has fired Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin. The news isn’t surprising, but what has caused a stir is that Raiders announced that they do not plan to pay Kiffin the remainder of the salary due under his three-year, $6 million contract. The question is, can they do this? Or, perhaps, how can they do this?

Well, the Raiders are apparently claiming that Kiffin was fired “for cause” and thus has no right to any further compensation under the contract. I have not seen the terms of Kiffin’s contract, but let’s assume that it has a broad “for cause” provision that either does not specifically define for cause or gives a non-exhaustive list of examples of what might constitute for cause. For example, let’s assume the contract says something to the effect of: “If coach is fired for cause, he shall not be entitled to any further compensation under the contract.”

So, what is the “cause” for firing Kiffin in this case? It appears that the Raiders will argue that Kiffin was fired because of the team’s poor win-loss record during Kiffin’s tenure. The Raiders finished 4-12 in Kiffin’s first year as coach and have started this season with a 1-3 record. Absent a specific definition in the contract, does a 5-15 record constitute cause? Or, stated more broadly, does poor performance of a team constitute cause for firing the team’s coach?

There is some precedent in the NFL—created in part by Al Davis— supporting the Raiders on this one. Back in 1989, Al Davis fired then-head coach Mike Shanahan after he started the season with a 1-3 record (the team finished 7-9 in Shanahan’s first year as the coach) and refused to pay Shanahan the remainder of his salary. Shanahan filed a grievance against Davis, but lost. Shanahan has received some payback, though, as his Broncos have won eight out of the last ten games against the Raiders (then again, the Raiders haven’t won many games against anyone recently).

In addition, there is a fairly recent case from the Montana Supreme Court--
Cole v. Valley Ice Garden, LLC, 113 P.3d 275 (Mont. 2005)—that addresses this precise issue and provides further support for Davis. In Cole, the owner of an American West Hockey League team fired his coach for cause after the team started its season with a 1-6 record and refused to pay the coach the remainder of his salary. The coach’s contract did not define for cause, but the court concluded that for cause means a “legitimate business reason” and “[e]ssentially connotes a fair and honest cause or reason, regulated by good faith on the part of the party exercising the power.” The court therefore held that “[d]ischarging the coach of a professional sports team which is performing poorly, despite management’s good faith efforts, is a discretionary decision related to the legitimate needs of the business and constitutes ‘cause.’

This report indicates that Kiffin may also have been fired because of insubordination, citing Kiffin's “brutal public honesty about his lack of control over coaching and personnel decisions since he was hired in January 2007.” If that’s the case, Davis’ for cause argument will carry even more weight.

So, absent specific controlling language in the contract, it appears that Al Davis and the Raiders may actually have a chance to win something this year.

Update: Espn.com has an update on Al Davis' explanation for firing Kiffin. Here's the latest:

Davis read a letter that he sent to his former coach that detailed mistakes made on and off the field by Kiffin. Davis finally concluded that he fired the coach for cause because he "disgraced" the organization, citing everything from conflicts over personnel moves to outright lies to the media.

"I don't think it was any one thing," Davis said. "It was a cumulative thing. I think the pattern just disturbed me."

Again, it's hard to analyze the issue without seeing the for cause provision in the contract, but it is clear that Davis will try to rely on a lot more than Kiffin's win-loss record in arguing that he had cause to terminate.

UCLA Sports Law Panel Today on NCAA Compliance

Nate Jones, a 2L at UCLA Law School and author of Jones on the NBA, lets me know about a panel discussion today hosted by the UCLA Sports Law Federation on NCAA compliance and other legal issues surrounding amateur sports, including those involving Brandon Jennings, O.J. Mayo, and Andy Oliver. If you are in the L.A. area today, it definitely looks like a great event to check out:

Just quickly ...

A very brief blog for today. A couple of pix of Aine, the first a particular favourite as captures that special moment between dam and foal. The cows are my two lovely heifers who we made the tough decision to send away this week. Tough times call for tough decisions. Nuff said.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The NFL Loses its Voice

Although fans of the NFL may not recognize his name, most fans can immediately recognize the distinctive voice of John Facenda. For many years, Facenda was the voice of the NFL, narrating weekly highlights for NFL films with his deep baritone voice. Along with a great soundtrack, Facenda’s narration transformed ordinary NFL action into an extraordinary television event (here’s one of his best). Facenda’s legendary voice was the subject of a recent lawsuit that raises a variety of interesting intellectual property issues.

Shortly before Facenda died in 1984, he signed a “standard release” contract stating that NFL films “enjoys the unequivocal rights to use the audio and visual sequences recorded of me, or any part of them…in perpetuity and by whatever media or manner NFL Films...sees fit, provided, however, such use does not constitute and endorsement of any product or service.” In 2005, NFL Films produced “The Making of Madden NFL 06,” a 22 minute program about the newest version of the popular video game. The program, which was shown on the NFL Network eight times in a 3-day span leading up to the release of the game, featured interviews with NFL players and used three brief sound recordings of Facenda used in earlier NFL Films highlights.

Facenda’s estate then sued NFL Films for false endorsement under the Lanham Act and for violation of Facenda’s right of publicity. The Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment for Facenda’s estate on both issues. In a lengthy opinion published earlier this month, the Third Circuit vacated and remanded the Lanham Act portion of the decision but affirmed the judgment on the right of publicity claim.

Here are some of the highlights of the Third Circuit’s opinion(these are much more entertaining if you read them in a Facendian voice and play classical music in the background).

1. With respect to the false endorsement claim, the court adopted the Ninth Circuit’s test from Downing v. Abercrombie & Fitch, 265 F.3d 994 (9th Cir. 2001). Under the Downing test, likelihood of confusion regarding sponsorship or endorsement is a question of fact to be determined by weighing 8 different factors. Because there were genuine disputes over some of these factors, the Third Circuit held that summary judgment was not appropriate and remanded the case back to the district court.

2. NFL Films did not raise a First Amendment or incidental use defense to the right of publicity claim on appeal. Instead, NFL Films raised two preemption claims, both of which the court rejected.

3. First, NFL Films argued that federal copyright law expressly preempts the state right of publicity claim. The Third Circuit rejected this argument for two reasons. First, the court noted that under the express copyright preemption provision, a state law claim is not preempted if it contains an “additional element” beyond what a federal copyright infringement claim would require. Here, the “additional element” was the Pennsylvania right of publicity statute’s requirement of a showing of commercial value, defined as a “[v]aluable interest in a natural person’s name or likeness that is developed through the investment of time, effort, and money.” Second, the court held that voices are outside the subject matter of copyright and thus not subject to preemption.

4. Second, NFL Films argued that federal copyright law implied preempts the right of publicity claim. Despite the absence of an express preemption, the court explained that an implied preemption may exist because of the conflict between copyright law and the right of publicity. The Third Circuit thus asked: “When does the right of individuals to avoid commercial exploitation of their identities interfere with the rights of copyright owners to exploit their works?” To answer this question, the court looked at the use of Facenda’s voice and the scope of the copyright acquired by NFL Films in the original contract. With respect to the use issue, the court emphasized that the Madden video was not an expressive work. Rather, it was a “promotional piece akin to advertising.” With respect to the contact, the court stated that “Facenda consented to participation in films documenting NFL games, not an advertisement for a football video game.” The court thus held that implied preemption was inappropriate.

There is a lot to be said about this case, and I plan to write more about it later on, but I have one quick reaction to the decision. Although the plaintiff won on the right of publicity claim, the Third Circuit seems to continue the troubling trend of narrowing the rights protected by right of publicity statutes (Rich has blogged about the right of publicity issue extensively and persuasively), to the point where one could argue that the Third Circuit may only be willing to recognize a right of publicity in false-endorsement type cases. Granted, this issue came up in the preemption context in a false-endorsement type case with specific contract language prohibiting false endorsements, but here’s what the Third Circuit had to say about the Pennsylvania right of publicity statute and the rights it protects:

 “Precisely what Pennsylvania’s right of publicity is meant to protect is a citizen’s prerogative not to have his or her name, likeness, voice, or identity used in a commercial advertisement.”
 “Pennsylvania’s [statute] focuses solely on the commercial-advertising context. It is targeted at endorsements, not the full universe of creative works.”
 “In the endorsement context, an individual’s identity and credibility are put directly on point.”
 “Advertisements are special in the way they implicate an individual’s identity.”

Again, given the facts of the case and the legal issues before the court, it’s not surprising that the court emphasized the evils of false endorsements, but the language used by the court is at least consistent with (if not the next step in) the trend of equating the right of publicity claim with a false endorsement claim.

Upcoming Sports Law Conference at Marquette University Law School

Marquette University Law School Professor Paul Anderson, who is Associate Director of the National Sports Law Institute, has let me know of what should be an excellent sports event coming in October at Marquette Law:

On Friday, October 24, 2008 the National Sports Law Institute of Marquette University Law School will host a conference on Professional Sports: Current Issues and Their Future Implications. The day long event will be held at the Alumni Memorial Union on the Marquette campus. Conference sponsors include the Sports & Entertainment Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin, Foley & Lardner LLP, and Greenberg & Hoeschen, LLC.

Alumni Memorial Union
Four conference panels composed of leading sports lawyers, sports law professors, and industry professionals will address cutting edge legal and business issues related to the acquisition, sale, and valuation of sports franchises, sports broadcasting, playing facility issues, and a potpourri of hot topics in professional sports. Speakers include Mary K. Braza, Partner and Chair, Sports Industry Team, Foley & Lardner, LLP; Eryn Doherty, Senior Counsel, Labor Relations, Fox Entertainment Group, Inc.; Martin Greenberg, Member, Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District; Greg Heller, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Atlanta Braves; and Jim McKeown, Partner, Chair, Antitrust Practice Group, and Member, Sports Industry Team, Foley & Lardner, LLP.

The conference is from 9 am to 5 pm on Friday, October 24th. Complete details of the conference, including conference panels and participants, registration costs and forms, and conference sponsors, are available on the web at

Reilly packs a bit of a sad!

Today I moved Maude and Aine to a new paddock. This took them, oh, a whole 10 metres further away from Reilly. Clearly Reilly did not think this was such a great idea! That said, he packed his wee sad and then went back to the very important job of 're-fuelling'! He's such a dork!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Biting the Pillow

Washington is going to bail out Wall Street. This is a certainty now. We will get 24 hours to read the fine print, but do not fool yourself. You are going to take it hard and deep.

The government routinely blows money and destroys wealth, so $700 billion is no big deal. But everyone knows it won't stop there just like it didn't stop with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Bad economics will prevail, and we will all reap the consequences. Right now, I wonder if I should pull some spending money from my Wachovia account or whether there is someplace I can go to get gas for my car. I also have to listen to every shithead from politicians to pundits to Joe Schmo on the street opine on economics and talk as if they knew something. The sad reality is that they know zilch.

And so it goes. . .

Tall foal?

Amy took some photos of me standing with Aine today so I thought I would pop them on here to give some idea of her size (I am sure she is not really this ar$e high but perhaps she is!). I am 167cm.
Looking less than impressed
Still looking less than impressed

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sports Law Blog Bowl

The big sports law news is from college football:

Florida International University 35, Toledo 16, with FIU scoring 21 unanswered points in the second half. Put another way: Howard Wasserman's school 35, Geoffrey Rapp's school 16.

Pursuant to our geographic-native-food/government-official-style wager, I think Geoff owes me some Tony Packo's sausage.

Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head

RIP: Paul Newman 1925-2008.

Sunday Sunday

Hooray for daylight savings - the start of which was today. More time in the evenings to do stuff outside, yay! Two of our grazers are probably leaving today. The grass has started to grow where their owner lives and the tenant there is going to take care of them as part of her tenancy agreement. Be sad to see them go and will miss the extra income but it frees up some space for the other horses we have who will start arriving soon.

Interestingly Robbie has had no outside mares booked yet this season whereas both Hamish and Reilly have basically full books. Robbie was the most popular by about half again last season - not sure if it is just because it is still quite early or if people are a little less interested in the Clydie crosses. It will be interesting to see if he gets any bookings - to be honest I almost don't mind if he doesn't as we have our plates fairly full already with outside breedings. If the people that I have interested in leasing Hooty and Maude do decide to go ahead and breed them to Reilly, I definitely will not be accepting any more outside mares for him. I really need to get this sort of stuff organised and soon as the last thing I really want to do is muck anyone around!

We'll have two of Robbie's wives from last season coming in the next couple of weeks to foal here so it is definitely going to be all go! Had an email from a Canadian girl through HelpX yesterday so, all going to plan, we will have a willing and able assistant from mid October as well. Yay, because mucking out is becoming quite a job now and what with all the foals to handle, paddocks to muck out and mares to serve, it's going to be imperative we have a couple of extra hands around the place!

Aine is continuing to go from strength to strength although still spending too much time investigating her mother's poop! It makes it a LOT harder to pick up when it has been spread all over the place by a naughty little foal!

Today's pictorial offerings are just of Aine and Maude although Reilly managed to pop himself in there for a pose in his new pjs. The wind is so cold here today, he still has his pjs on and they will probably remain on all day. C'mon summer!!!

Reilly in his new PJ's

Maude & Aine running free

Quieter moments

Not done runnin'!

And some video with Dolly

Warriors Lose

But what a great season, to win nine out of your last twelve, to become the only team in eighth spot to beat the top ranked team in the playoffs, that hasnt happen in any sport on the face of the planet.

To then go one better and win in the next round, shows what a amazing team the Warriors are. They have only finished one game short of a Grand Final, they have made the playoffs more often than not in the 21st century, they have taken their fans on a wild ride this season, ROLL ON 2009!!!!

The garden contd.

So the garden is coming on. The fencing is pretty much up and all but the herb beds are in. We will do the tomatoes in grow bags (we have used old horse feed bags and filled them with composts from the local tip). I have $40 worth of gift vouchers from Kings Seeds thanks to our lovely friends and neighbours Karen and John plus various packets of seeds that Nick's father bought us when he was buying his own. Of course this means we have or will have more seeds than we have garden beds for so we are now discussing where to put more garden beds! Very exciting to think that in a few short weeks we will start enjoying veges from our own garden - all going to plan that is!!!

Garden 1
Garden 2
Watering the garden
Planting some seed potatoes

Friday, September 26, 2008

TVNZ, What are you thinking?

How could you call the first debate for McCain? Not only did you call it for McCain, you said he dominated, you said he was like a headmaster and Obama was a school boy? Did Karl Rove come into the news room and put a gun to ya head?

That debate was either a tie or a close victory to Obama? McCain got several facts wrong about Obama and was called on it, and Obama didn't attack at all, it was a debate with no WOW moment, I don't think any independent voters would change their vote and no Democrat or Republican change their vote either.

Both made good points, Obama stuttered a bit, but we were clear where he stand, and McCain made his points, but maybe played on emotion to much and didn't look Obama in the eye.

So it's on to debate number two, I hope TVNZ actually watches this one.

Sports Media Ethics (or lack thereof), Part III

Steve Donohue of SportsBusiness Journal has an interesting piece this week in which he discusses the recent trend of news outlets cutting costs on sports coverage, for example by reducing headcount in recent years, slashing travel budgets and not allowing beat reporters to cover as many away games (Newspaper Cutbacks Slice into Sports Coverage, 9/22/08). Donohue writes:

The trend has sports properties looking for ways to maintain their coverage and exposure, even with steps such as offering discounted hotel rooms to help lower travel expenses for journalists. Local newspapers are relying more on wire services to cover away games, and Tribune Co., Gannett and other newspaper groups often assign one local reporter to cover a game for their entire chains. Several major daily newspapers didn’t send reporters to the MLB All-Star Game in July, including The Dallas Morning News and The Cincinnati Enquirer. “The days of midsized metro papers sending their columnist to the Masters, the NCAA Final Four and the World Series every year are long gone and won’t be coming back,” said John Moriello, president of the New York State Sportswriters Association. “Maybe he still gets to cover the Super Bowl, but you’d better believe the boss expects a dozen stories or columns from him that week.”
Helping news outlets shave travel expenses is the goal of Major League Soccer, which is working with the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza to offer discounted room rates of less than $100 per night to reporters wanting to cover the Nov. 23 MLS Cup outside Los Angeles. “We’re trying to assist the print journalists with lowering their costs,” said Dan Courtemanche, MLS senior vice president of marketing and communications. MLS also subsidizes air travel costs for journalists from Latin America, whose employers, unlike American newspapers, allow reporters to accept free or discounted travel from the teams they cover, Courtemanche said.

Journalism ethics in sports coverage are eroding at a rapid pace. There are a couple of ethics issues raised by Donohue's article. First, what was once considered unethical and completely unacceptable -- journalists' receipt of benefits from teams and leagues -- is apparently now going to be tested.

The second ethics issue I see from this article is that news outlets are cutting costs in the form of reduced headcount, the elimination of travel expenses and reliance on wire services as the basis for coverage, but at the same time demanding more stories and columns from journalists. While it makes sense from a purely business standpoint, it is a formula for disaster from a journalism ethics standpoint. In essence, there are fewer journalists writing more stories and columns, and those journalists are principally relying on other sources (e.g. wire services) for their reports instead of relying on their own investigations. How can the journalist know or verify that the information in the original report is accurate? Where is the source verification?

The business objectives and incentives in the current journalism marketplace are overshadowing journalism ethics.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What a smarty pants!

I was mucking out Reilly's paddock this morning and something obviously caught Aine and Maude's attention - perhaps it was me? Maybe it was the boogey man? Who knows but they thought it was a bit exciting for a moment!

A Long Week

Well its been a long week, so here's another video of Garth to enjoy, I will rant on about some other topic in the weekend.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Did someone say fertiliser?

At last the wind died down enough for us to put fertiliser down. Here is Nick the 'farmer' putting some down. It's the most gloriously gorgeous day here in the wonderful Wairarapa.
Clearing a blockage
Goin' up!
Goin' down
Check out that view!

TF Aine - Super Model

Every morning when I muck out I make the mistake of taking my camera with me. This inevitably means that mucking out takes twice as long as I spend so long sitting and watching Aine with my camera. Anyway, here are some pix from this morning. Man she is something - I can't wait to get some decent video of her. Usually all the best bits I miss because I have my back turned and just turn around in time to see the acrobatic leaps but I really love taking photos of her - I cannot imagine finding the time to do anything once we have all the foals on the ground!!

'ere she comes Thar she goes!
Wif mum

Hell is being stuck behind a cripple.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Foals, such delightful creatures ...

Today Aine had a very dirty botty (nor surprising when you see what she has been eating!) so she came in for a little halter training and a bum clean. Amy wielded my camera and took some of the following photos and I have to say, I am pretty impressed with them, esp. for a 4 1/2 year old! Aine was great, only one little oopsy moment when we took them out of the yards and she showed her displeasure at being restrained (wonderful moment captured by Amy).

Please watch the video as it really demonstrates how delightful foals can be (hehehe!).

Being a good girl in the yards (Amy pic) Playing with the tootsies (Amy pic)
See my clean bum (Amy pic)
A pair of hoons!
Whoops!!! (Amy pic)

And Aine being ... delightful!

I am a fifth gear man in a second gear world.

Monday, September 22, 2008

1 week old Aine video

She seems to be getting a hang of her legs - she likes to go faaasssssst too!

Welfare for Wall Street

It sickens me to see all of these corporate bailouts. Now, to top it all off, W. and others have proposed buying all of these toxic assets and letting us, the American people, take it straight in the ass while these rich fat cat motherfuckers get to preserve their companies and their profits. I want to fucking puke.

This is not capitalism. In a free market, you suffer for your mistakes. It is this danger that keeps things like the housing bubble from happening in the first place. But everyone knows Uncle Sam will be there to bail you out when you fuck up.

This shit has gone on long enough. No more bailouts. No more corporate welfare. No more screwing the taxpayers of America.

Random Stuff

If you take the time to watch the video of the donk and her pony friends, please excuse Nick's Werewolf impression towards the end. I forgot to edit out the sound when I was editing the video. The clips were taken through the kitchen window (which needs a clean) the other evening. Portia is quite the antagonist - a very wicked donkey but such a personality that you cannot help but adore her. There are also some random photos of TF Aine and her mum, one of Reilly and one of my rather moth-eaten looking Laughtons Legend mare, Hooty (Wynyard Night Owl) who is due to foal in a little over two weeks. She's in foal to Coalmans Touch RID and I am very excited to be expecting a 3/4 bred Irish foal! Please forgive her awful mid moult coat. I must spend a bit more time out in the paddock with my brushes but there always seems to be something more urgent to do!

OK, have been out again so just added some pix of Rob too!

Poser trot
Robbie runnin'
Amy runs to Robbie
Aine & Maude Getting the hang of fasssssssst!
Hoot'n ay! Portia, Maxi and Straw a' gallavantin'

Pirates sign draft pick, avoid labor confusion

A couple of weeks ago, I linked to commentary on a brewing dispute between the Pittsburgh Pirates and their top draft pick, Pedro Alvarez, that threatened to raise some open issues of the labor agreement. Well, the question is moot (the car is mine); the Pirates and Alvarez have agreed on a contract worth approximately $ 6.4 million, slightly more than the original purported agreement, but over a longer term.

Update, 6:30 p.m. E.D.T., Monday:

Mark Fenster at PrawfsBlawg (whose original commentary I linked to and who comes at this as a life-long Pirates fan), gives his thoughts on the deal. Note, by the way, discrepancies as to the precise amount of the final deal.

Be nice to nice people. Be nasty to nasty people. Punch mean people in the face.

Monday is my favorite day of the week. Everyone else is pissed off that the weekend ended.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Sad Indictment on New Zealand Sporting Journalism

This book is a sad indictment of New Zealand sporting journalism, it shows the complete ignorance of Joesph Romanos one of our leading sport writers to the point of embrassement, it is so bad, that one may have to come up with a bizarre conspiracy theory to explain the total lack of knowledge not only in this book but by our leading sporting Journalists.

But first, this book is suppose to list the 100 greatest sporting achievers this country has ever had and it starts out well listing the best of the best, Peter Snell, Sir Edmund Hillary, Sir Richard Hadlee and John Walker, but then the stupidity kicks in. You see this so called Journalist has put many local sports people ahead of our international superstars and I cannot see why?

According to Joesph, achievements by Lawn Bowlers, Archers, Sheep Sharers, Netballers, Walkers, and downhill mountain bike racers are higher than that of our top Footballers (Soccer) Wynton Ruther Oceania player of the century, Ryan Nelson (Captain of Blackburn and New Zealand first Premier league player, Sean Marks (new Zealand's first NBA Player and only kiwi with an NBA Ring and Kirk Penny New Zealand's second NBA player, not to mention our two NFL players Ricki Ellison and Dave Dixon, our woman's Basketballers who have made the WNBA, our international sprinters who are now coaching at the top colleges in the USA, the list goes on and on, we have so many sports people who are achieving at global sport who don't get the recognition.

Unfortunately this is the case across the board for all our leading sport Journalists, Brendon Telfer, Chris Miriams, Murray Decker, Andrew Saville, Spiro Angew, Keith Quinn and most of our leading print Journos. They totally ignore huge achievements by Kiwis overseas, to focus on these minor little sports, why?

One word, Rugby.

This obsession with Rugby that our journalists have is disgusting and its to the detriment of leading global sports, they are fearful that another sport may take over, so instead of reporting on sports that they deemed to be in competition with Rugby, (Basketball, track and field, Soccer, League, American Football, BaseBall,boxing ) , they focused a lot of attention on minor wee sports that no one globally cares about, EG: lawn Bowls, sheep sharing and Netball.

You have to ask serious questions of Joesph who would ranked a Lawn Bowlers achievement ahead of Sean Marks our first NBA player, now he didn't write this because he thought it was correct, no one would be that stupid, so there must be another motive.

How can Journalists not report on the daily happenings on what our top sport stars are doing on the global scene and focus on lawn bowls and netball instead? They must know this is wrong, something very suspicious is going on.

Lets look at Brendon Telfer for instance , probably the most insincere Jounros in our history, he has covered many Olympics so he knows about track and field, and most other sports, yet he twists and turns his comments, to make certain global sports to be insignificant and very minor ones to be global.

When you listen to him on radio sport talking about a major sport that isn't Rugby, he will sound like he is disinterested, he may start to eat something on air so the public gets the impression that what he is talking about cant be important, what is worse though is his total disregard for the facts and his hypocritical nature that borders on being O'Reilly like.

Here are some examples:

When talking of the League world cup he said "The Rugby League World Cup is Worthless"
Yet when talking of a much lesser sport Netball he said "This has to be the sporting achievement of the year"

He also said of the 1999 Netball world champs "This is the biggest woman's sporting event this year"

Unfortunately he said this one month after one Billion people watched the USA beat China in front of 90 thousand people to win the womans soccer world cup, somehow I don't think they had that many people watching the Cook Islands versus Tonga netball match.

His hatred of League is known, when a League Player got drunk and urinated in a public bar he said "It's animal behavior, what parent would want their kid to play that game"

Yet a few months later when a Rugby player got caught doing the same thing, he giggled like a little school girl and said "Boys will be boys"

When reporting on one of New Zealand's wins at the basketball world champs he was eating a sandwich and being patronizing , getting facts wrong and acting confuse like it wasn't a big story.

When Russia beat Afghanistan in League in front of 30 thousand people he said "Well they probably have never heard of Rugby Union, that is why they play league" All these comments were made in the past ten years, his comments thru the 70's and 80s were worst, the ones I have listed are the tip of the iceberg.

But probably the one that stuck in my mind was when Beckham left united for Real Madrid, the one football journalist at radio sport was talking about what a huge global story this is and how it was shown on Sky news, CNN and Fox news all day, when Brendon walked into the studio and was asked by his colleague.. "This is huge, have you been watching it on tv, Brendon?"

Brendon replied "It's like if Johan went to japan"

No Brendon, this was nothing like if Johan went to Japan, this is a story the sport world cares about.

I'm afraid this is what its been like with the NewZealand sporting media, they must know what they are spouting is lies, every time you turn on the news there is a lack of major sports stories involving kiwis or they try to connect rugby Union into any story.

They try to connect non sporting stories to rugby.

Some more Examples

When the New Zealand soccer team played the USA in front of 60 thousand people in Mexico the NZ Journo said

" You would think it was the All Blacks playing there are so many people"

When the soccer world cup started the NZ Journo said "Normally the world would be focused on the All Blacks"

A Father of a New Zealand Basketballer was asked "Your son is big, why doesn't he play rugby"

When the great Hamish Carter came back to NZ after winning the world triathlon champs the first thing he was asked was "Which rugby team do you support?"

Ryan Nelson once wrote in an email to Billy Harris, "What is wrong with New Zealand sporting Journalists, don't they know its 50 times harder to make the Premier League than the All Blacks" He wrote this because the NZ media made fun of a kiwi player making the Premier league suggesting that his former USA club will be happy to see him go.

In a item about the the great kiwi actress Anna Paquin the public was told she loves rugby and watches when ever she can, even though she cannot stand the game.

One of the most bizarre incidents was when a print Journo wrote that Bob Dylan's song The Hurricane was about the NZ rugby team the Hurricanes.

Our media reports that Johan Lomu has the speed of a world class sprinter, now his best time is supposedly hand time at 10.8, now that is very very slow time for a WOMAN sprinter.

We have been told by our media that rugby players could make the NZ four by 400 metre relay track team, which is absurd and a insult to anyone who has every represented their country in track and field.

When actor Lawerence Fishbourne came here to film a movie, the media said he loved rugby, when asked about this, he had no idea what the reporter was going on about.

The same thing happen to actor Chris O'Donnell.

When NFL films were set to film a rugby game, TVNZ told us :They might have problems filming the all blacks because they are so fast"

Every day of every week, we are fed another lie, another inaccurate report all in the aid to boost rugby.

We hardly hear about Ryan Nelson or Sean Marks, but so the media doesn't get accused of bias, they report on sports that aren't deemed to be in competition with rugby, minor sports like Netball, lawn bowls, down hill mountain racing, walking, boat racing.

Worst of all is the lies that the non sporting media allows to past, telling us that the all blacks are a global brand and repeating this lie, even though 95% of all all black merchandise is sold in this country. They are nowhere are global brand, but yet we hear this day after day.

When a government sponsored ad, to make sure parents pay child support was filmed showing a kid not allowed to play rugby because his parents didn't pay his fees, the ad never aired because the NZRFU complained, so they refilmed it using a kids soccer game instead, the NZ soccer federation complained but the ad still aired.

When the government aired a ad to tell speeding drivers to slow down they used a soccer dad showing him speeding instead of a rugby dad. Yet all positive government ads where they show good behavior from sporting parents are rugby parents.

Now These Jounros and government departments are either doing one of two things, one just being bias towards a sport they love, promoting it by lying about its world wide popularity and more sickly trying to get the achievements of our real global sport stars down, by ramming rugby down our throats and only reporting on minor sports.

The second reason is a wild conspiracy theory, that has no actual evidence whatsoever, but was put to me by someone, like other conspiracy theory's like man landing on the moon, Elvis is alive, Garth Brooks is a figment of Chris Gaines imagination and aliens in Roswell, it has to have a hearing, bit its probably false.

I don't believe Brendon Telfer and other Journalists can be that incompetent in their jobs as journalists, so is some money changing hands? Is the NZRFU paying jounros or government departments under the table to push their own barrel? Are they paying money to the media not to report on sports that they are in competition with?? Are their gifts changing hands? Is their a Salt Lake City thing going on? What is happening? because surly our jounros can't be that stupid?

Or can they?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ghost Town

The funniest man in the world today has done it again it would seem. Ricky Gervais the creator of The Office and Extras has now moved on the big screen with his Comedy-Drama, Ghost Town.

As of writing, Ghost Town has an astounding 100% on film review site Rotten Tomatoes, which is unheard of except if your The Godfather.

I have yet to see this movie, and have only browsed clips on youtube, what I have seen is a gentler comedy than those of the past few years and a throwback to the movies of yesteryear, with a slight edge. Ricky plays a cynical dentist who dies for seven minutes while having a colonopsy, he is bought back to life and is unable to see and hear dead people, but unlike the sixth sense, he just finds the dead people annoying because they all want favours from him.

This movie would seem to have all the trademarks of Gervais's brilliance, and I for one cannot wait for it to open.

Judging by the early reviews, an Oscar for Ricky could be coming up, I'm sure he will be having a laugh right now.