Sometimes the Mystery Doctor and the Wildcard talk to each other...
Mystery Doctor/Mizzle Dizzle: Well Wildcard, I really don't know where to begin. I'm an odd sort, I quite like the Australian cricket team and I've got no issues in saying that I'd much rather see England get their ass whooped by the Black Caps in a pool game than the Aussies. I don't know, there's just something that irks me about the English cricket team and rugby team. Seeing them scramble, unable to deal with the situation and just generally poo their pants at what the Black Caps served up was amazing.
I'd like to also say that I will now be referred to as the Mizzle Dizzle, Mizz or Dizz. I'm sure you'll understand
Wildcard: No problem there Mizzy Dizzle. Except for the bit about liking the Aussie cricket team. They're still the bad guys. Respect them if you must, but you can't like them. I mean, they don't even have Michael Hussey anymore! England I feel a little sorry for. We ripped them. We cut and gutted them. It was embarrassing for them but I'm sure they'll survive. I just wanna sit back and marvel at what I saw from Tim Southee. That was the best I think he's ever bowled, swinging it to all angles, beating the bat at will. He clean bowled four different guys, incredible. The ball that did Moeen Ali was just unplayable. Have you ever seen better from a kiwi bowler in an ODI? Shane Bond had a couple that I'd still rank higher, but nobody else that I can think of. Oh, and Bondy gets so much credit for it all too, as a coach. We'll miss him, but he's left us in a much better place.
MD: I've diagnosed myself with irrational disregard for English cricket and rugby syndrome, not sure on the cure just yet though.
No one's really brought up that well, England are now kind of what we used to be?
Tim Southee was a mythical figure of Auckland's college cricket illustrious past, by bowling pretty quick and swinging it. Now he's doing that, of certified international standard. I want to see a few more games but if the Black Caps go well, Southee and Vettori could be the best pace bowler /best spinner combo. What vibe did England give you?
WC: The thing with this English side, and we've talked about it on The Niche Cast, is that they don't frighten you. They don't have those scary players that can take a game away from you the way that Southee and McCullum did to them. They have one style of play, and that's to chip away with the bat, get Ian Bell some runs and then let Eoin Morgan finish things off. With the ball they're even less organised. It's messy, and if that lone strategy doesn't come off right then they're lost without a compass.
For the Black Caps though, this was our statement game. We beat Sri Lanka comfortably, squeezed past the Scottish and now we've made our intentions clear. I don't believe in peaking too early, but I do worry about us winning 9 games in a row at a World Cup. So, I don't think the result against the Aussies in a week's time is gonna matter, thankfully. A loss won't be to bad of a thing, so long a we don't do what England just did. The Kiwis always seem to benefit from getting a sighter of the Aussies early in Rugby League World Cups.
Oh, and the cure for Irrational Disregard for English Cricket and Rugby Syndrome is still a mystery (much like yourself), but I've heard a dose of Joe Root's batting helps, along with a rabbit's foot, a bat's wing and a lock of Moeen Ali's beard.
MD: Yeah besides the manner in which this defeat came, there aren't many repercussions. England should still win the games they should win, we'll continue on this path and we'll still be on a crash course for knockout cricket. In the big scheme of things, this game means zilch really for us but we should obviously enjoy it.
England's media are rightfully ripping their team apart, we feel your pain there but they can still find some form and win a game in the quarters, boom, all of a sudden they're in the semi's and they just have to have a good day. Alright, if Moeen Ali's beard looks a bit funny in the next game, t'was the one and only Witch Doctoring Mizzle Dizzle.
This cocaine slanging ring in South East Queensland looks like it's going to be a mess. So far Karmichael Hunt and two Titans' players Beau Falloon and Jamie Dowling have been named, but everything I'm hearing is that there's a few more names to come out. Why would you get involved? Like even if you like to dabble in a bit of coke, wouldn't you just get your mate to hook you up? Not get balls deep in a drug ring?
WC: So what's the deal with those guys, were they selling it? Seems pretty amateur if that's the case, like, have they never seen Scarface? Or any gangster movie for that matter. Surely they must've had some muscle, some hired goons, or something to do the actual street work. Unless they were the muscle for some higher ups, but then that's stupid because the trio are recognisable faces and that's gonna draw attention to the whole illicit operation. I mean, Walter White was just the cook, he never went out on the tiles to sling his own product. What would Michael Corleone have done? I think I watch too many movies and tv shows...
Funny that this would happen on the Gold Coast, right? Of all places, the flashy, expensive tourist city on the beach would be the one where promising/star sportsmen might be sucked into a life of crime, drugs and corruption... oh no wait, that sounds exactly right.
The most shocking revelation for me, however, was that Beau Falloon won Titans player of the year last season. Man, they must really have sucked.
MD: It's a bit of a messy one because former Queensland Origin player Jason Smith and some former player Matt Seers were arrested on trafficking charges - Smith was involved from his hotel/pub thingy in Toowoomba which is west of Brisbane.
They've got a few more names to name so I suspect that it was a large group of former professional sportsmen types who thought they were above the law or some shit.
"Shit man, we all like sniffing coke so why don't we like, just get it ourselves and sell it?"
I reckon the Gold Coast is a bit different, especially for pro athletes. It's not the biggest place so I'm sure after a few weeks there you kind of run out of things to do, so you might as well spice it up. Mate, besides the lads right at the top of the sporting ladder (which none of these guys are - no, Harmichael is just now a code swapping battler) I wouldn't be surprised at any name. All this doesn't look great for the Titans as before this, there were questions being asked about the value of an NRL team here. We keep talking about NRL expansion - "Ooh there's going to be a 2nd NRL team from Aotearoa, yes!" but the Titans are struggling. The NRL has to look after their own backyard before they start mowing the neighbour's lawns.
WC: It's not like the Gold Coast doesn't have a history of failed sports franchises. It's like a graveyard for them in fact. And it's definitely a different story playing there than anywhere else. With the Titans doing as bad as they have been recently, you almost have to question the motivation of players looking to move there. So many distractions. It's something that big cities have to deal with, Los Angeles does a great job of it with the Lakers (and Clippers in more recent years), while Miami has been up and down and then mostly up with their franchises. It's different in America though, where money rules all. I doubt Aussie League brings in enough cash to cover struggling teams even in bigger markets - which the Gold Coast is not. For tourism it is, but for sports it's just middling. Although I think they've got the Comm Games next up so that'll be interesting. You know what those athletes are like in the village, maybe Car Michael and Co were building to something?
MD: Surely, an NRL team in Perth makes much more sense than the Gold Coast ... surely.
You mean they were laying their foundations, setting up the pipework so that when the Commonwealth Games come everything's set up for efficient business? For me, the Gold Coast should just carve out a niche as a place to hold one off events. Like get all the infrastructure in place so that World Cups, Com Games, any tournament type of thing can be held there. Having a team based there doesn't look to be the go.
What was your favourite move of the NBA trade mayhem?
WC: Soooo much more sense in Perth. That's the problem with tourist cities, most people don't actually live there. Hence crowd numbers aren't where they should be. The only issue with Perth is: Do they want it? Coz if yes then I don't see why they shouldn't get it.
Efficient party drugs for all the athletes, it's the perfect business. Their problem seems to be that they didn't have a proper cover story. 'Los Pollos Hermanos' and the like, to drop another Breaking Bad reference in there. I'd bet Car Michael wouldn't mind a call to Saul Goodman about now.
Wow, the NBA trade deadline. It was insane! I can't remember a trade deadline where so much happened, and this was after several big trades already in the season (Rondo, Mozgov, Waiters, etc.). My favourite? I can't really count Amar'e Stoudemire since he wasn't a trade or a deadline day thing, but I'm very happy with it. I guess my favourite one was Kevin Garnett returning to Minnesota, what a story. Though I'm also happy for Goran Dragon Dragic and Reggie Jackson for getting a couple very favourable moves. The talent was spread out nice and deep, it's gonna be a great finish to the season.
MD: You can only judge the worthiness of a team in a city by previous games held there and every NRL game that is taken to Perth, a few a season has a decent crowd and I'm sure that the city is big enough to at least get 10,000 to each game. In terms of NRL expansion, that's where I want the next team to be from ... yes, before there's another team from Aotearoa.
I can't wait for a pro sportsman to be arrested for owning a tinny house or something, that'd be awesome. Obviously terribly unfair as marijuana users are not criminals, but it would be a much more kiwi thing to do than supplying a party city with the caine, ya know?
Dragic brothers to Miami for me, I like Miami - the way they all juggled their egos and what not when LeBron James was there and now the mindset post-LeBron. They're here to make a few waves in the playoffs in the East and I like it. Goran Dragic and Reggie Jackson were in the perfect position to get trades they wanted huh? Obviously got to put a Steven Adams twist in here, the arrival of Enes Kanter should mean less minutes, but Adams has definitely shown the coaching staff that he'll be a key man as they try roll through the West.
WC: Well, first of all owning a tinny house is the very same problem as these other guys. You can't leave fingerprints, just bankroll a mate to run it. I'm not gonna comment on personal ideologies of drug use myself either, other than to say that I'm completely uncomfortable in every situation where governments impede on the agency of individuals.
I think Kanter was a great buy for OKC and for Steven Adams. They were also in the market for Brook Lopez and they probably had a deal in place, but they went for this one instead. Lopez is a better player, that's no doubt. He woulda been a starter too. But I don't think Kanter will usurp Adams in that role, and even if he does it'll be a split minutes situation. Kanter will get his chance to impress for the next few weeks while Stevie's injured, and after that I expect Scott Brooks will go for the guy who's spent a year and a half in the organisation and who has been earning more and more trust in late situations. The other thing is that because Kanter isn't as good/valuable/proven a player, they didn't have to give up all their assets in one go. They were able to let Kendrick Perkins and Reggie Jackson go in separate deals and in turn picked up a few potentially crucial bench players as well. Make no mistake, Mr Mizzy Dizzy, the Thunder are a better team now than they were a week ago.
MD: I think your quote "I'm completely uncomfortable in every situation where governments impede on the agency of individuals" sums it up best.
Well a frontcourt of Serge Ibaba, Adams and Kanter is going to be pretty good, good enough to lay a platform for the razzle dazzle of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. What's the verdict on Amar'e to the Mavs?
We've just seen that Money vs Manny is going to happen, which is nice ... it's kind of the only real fight that can draw such hoopla in boxing right now right? I'm all in on the UFC and there's some big fights been named, including one for our own Mark Hunt but this fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao could potentially break the internet, televisions and hearts
WC: As the Thunder proved the other day against the Mavs, they almost don't even need a platform for Durant and Westbrook to shine, they just need them both healthy. Which is no small feat. No available centres? Okay, we'll just unleash Serge Ibaka for 22 boards. Which perfectly highlights the Mavs need for Stoudemire. Only Tyson Chandler is a strong rebounding presence and as much as Stoudemire brings a Rondo-enabling post game on offence, his ability to haul in loose balls while Tyson rests up is gonna be crucial. He's fallen off the grid from where he once was but I'm pretty confident that with a coach as good as Rick Carlisle, he can be a strong addition. There's plenty of red wine in Texas too, so he'll be well bathed.
Ah, so it is. Manny vs Floyd. Five years too late but it had to happen eventually. The hype for this fight is gonna mean that unless we get Ali-Frazier levels of boxing, it can only be a disappointment, but the main reason for this bout is historical, I think. They're fighting so that the history books will read that Floyd Mayweather Jr defeated Manny Pacquiao - as will happen - and therefore has zero undefeated rivals in his generation. Manny's dropped a few steps the last few years, while Floyd looks as unbeatable as ever. Hey, I'm super pumped for the fight regardless, but I'm not looking forward to the media beat up at all.
MD: So Money > Manny? Like for really, really real? I think now is the perfect time for the Mizzle Dizzle to strike as the focus turns to those silly coke users, I see a gap for me to sneak through and as we speak my pager is blowing up. I've got peptides to go sell Wildcard, I'm sure you'll understand.
WC: Hunnerd percent. Not that Manny isn't still the second best fighter in that weight class, it's just that the gap has widened. But, hey, you go sell that product Dizzle. I heard the English cricket team needs a boost. Catch ya on the otherside.