The Public Apology streams live blog: Miami v Dallas, Game One

The Public Apology‘s editorial team sat down for game one of the Miami v Dallas finals series, in separate locations, armed with laptops, popcorn and a sixer of beer. Mike Davis, known in web circles as Miked12, streamed the match via his NBA league pass subscription, while Dave Edwards, known on this blog and in R18+ web chat rooms as Edmachine23, settled for a lousy delayed ESPN coverage on Foxtel.

Read below for the live blog transcript:

First Quarter:

Miked12: Lebron doing his usual pre-game routine. Slapping it up with everyone within a ten metre radius.

Edmachine23: And Miami wins the tip-off. They’ll win from here.

Miked12: (11:42) Bosh straight to the free throw line. Knocks down the first points of the 2011 finals.

Edmachine23: Clearly buoyed by his recent signing with ThePublicApology as our food and wine critic/literary editor.

Miked12: Joel Anthony on Dirk? This could get funny.

Miked12: (10:00) Every team has an ironic value starter. For the Mavs it’s gotta be DeShawn Stevenson. He’ll probably get hot now…

Edmachine23: Why is there such an abundance of light-skinned black guys with copious tattoos in the NBA? It’s almost as much of an epidemic as the NRL’s ‘arm sleeve’ situation. Watch this space for future blog post…

Miked 12: (9:14) Dirk to the line. Automatic two points

Edmachine23: Yeah don’t let Dirk get anywhere near that free throw line. He’s like the child predator of free-throws: all he needs is a sniff.

Miked12 (8:20) Our resident food critic feeling the mid range jumpers.

Miked12: (7:48) Bibby jacks up a brick from behind the arc. Everything according to script so far.

Edmachine23: Is it just me or does Bosh look like he’s got his next ThePublicApology article on his mind? He was meant to submit that article to us at 10pm last night for publishing.

Miked12: Lazy cunt. Probably too busy e-reading Updike on his iPad.

Edmachine23: (6:20) Kidd is looking really old these days. Did I just blink and miss him age five years?

Miked12: (5:30): Lebron 1 Dirk 0. Early days though… Nice finish for the 3 point play.

Emachine23: Fucking ESPN just skipped six minutes of the first quarter in preference for a lame Erik Spolestra profile piece – fuck that, fuck American commercialism, fuck ESPN.  Thanks Stuart Scott, you cross-eyed bastard.

[meanwhile, across town at ThePublicApology headquarters…]

Miked12: ThePublicApology is loving NBA league pass. No ads. That means the Miami Heat dancers! Caliente!!!

Miked12: Everyone’s favorite midget (with inflated height listing) checks into the game. Barea on LeBron! Haha, JJ cops one in the mouth.

Edmachine23 (0:37): Yikes, LeBron nearly killed Jason Terry – who looks like a fitter, younger Martin Lawrence. Two fouls for King James, but he’s not getting taken out of the game yet. Because he told the coach he wanted to stay on. No-one tells the King what to do.

Miked12: Like to give a shout out to a Southeast Asian brother, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. Best Filipino coach ever. Plenty of competition in that field.

Achtung baby!!

Second Quarter:

 

Edmachine23 (11:20): Geez, Nowtizki went harder to that basket than Hitler went into Poland.

Miked12 (10:24) Miller decides to wake up for the finals. Someone other than the Three getting in on it.

Miked12 (9:40): Loving the up tempo small Mavs backcourt of Barea andTerry. Great to watch.

Timeout

Miked12: Heat cheergirls giving away free tees.

Edmachine23 (09:02): Barea gets to the ring around a tidy screen, goddamn this midget is fast.

Miked12 (8:30): Dirk needs to “fire up”. Where have I heard that before?

Miked12 (6:54): Commentators discussing how JJ Barea couldn’t get past security at arenas because no one believed he was a player. He is also dating a (recently) former Miss Universe. No joke.

Score update: 26-25, Dallas.

Edmachine23 (6:16): My God, Bosh’s facial hair is amazingly manicured tonight, reminiscent of George Michael circa-2004. Guy has style. And he hits the two free throws, nice.

Edmachine23:Heat president Pat Riley looks like Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street. Wearing a suit and everything.

Riley rocking the cover of GQ back in the day.

Miked12 (3:40): The Book Worm hitting ‘em from everywhere… By the way American Airlines is getting some mad naming rights/sponsorship exposure. Heat home court: American Airlines Arena; Mavericks: American Airlines Center.

Miked12 (3:00): Dirk taking Gasnier’s advice – massive three! Fire up you sad (insert expletive)!

Edmachine23: Yeah for a moment it was looking like it might be Dirk No-Ring-Ski yet again, good to see him fire up…

Edmachine23 (2:40): Wade totally got fouled then. He has got to be the most fouled guy in the NBA… he’s always leaping around and getting axed mid-air.

Edmachine23 (1:12): Kidd throws an alley-oop to Chandler, wooshka! Nothing better than seeing a small white guy distribute an tight pass to an enormous black guy who subsequently dunks the shit out of the basket. And its a foul!!

Miked12: Arrrrgh!!! (basketball is the only sport that makes you yell like that)! Fuck what a play!!

Miked12 (0:25) 0.25 Chalmers again! From downtown. Playing the pest to perfection! PS I know it’s hot in Miami but Mark Cuban is one sweaty human.

 

Kidd in harder times…

Third Quarter

 

 Edmachine23 (10:29): Shit Dirk made that 16-footer look easy.

Miked12: Yeah Mavs out to a quick start to the second half. Suddenly up by 8.

Edmachine23: Fine Foxtel, let’s spice up the coverage with some shitty Australian ads. What the fuck is this betting advertisement for Tom Waterhouse (tomwaterhouse.com): “four generations of betting in my blood…” Yeah, and an equal measure of jerk. Stop instructing me to bet. Why are you trying to make gambling look like a high-class pursuit, do you think your artfully shot black-and-white TV ad is going to resonate with the average basketball watching punter? Fuck off!

Edmachine23 (9:30): What was that gay little eye-roll by Stevenson … fouling Dwayne Wade. Yeah, you did foul him.

Miked12 (9:00) Bosh is playing like a beast! Signed with The Public Apology last week. Coincidence?

Edmachine23 (8:00): Haywood takes his fanny pack off after being subbed on. What the fuck is he wearing a fanny pack for – he’s not a 60-year-old European tourist in Buenos Aires…

Miked12 (8:00) The Masterchef again! Chandler might be in a bit of foul trouble…

Edmachine23 (7:20): King James hits a three; he seriously had time to make a cup of tea then, where was the perimeter D?

Miked12 (6:28): Ever seen a 7 foot guy miss a dunk? Brendan Haywood just did.

Edmachine23: Yeah that’s terrible for a centre. What kind of a name for a black guy is Brendan Haywood, anyway? Nearly as bad as Steve Erkel. Was he adopted and raised by a middle class white family? Explains the fanny pack, possibly. And he has no tatts. Such a white kid.

Miked12 (5:56) Someone finally rejects the shit out of Barea. Stay out of Bosh’s kitchen.

Edmachine23: Yeah that was mean of Bosh

Edmachine23 (4:36): Wade hits the floor again.

Score update: 57-57

Miked12 (2:49): Dirk taking a breather. Bad Mavs turnover.

Edmachine23 (0:32): God, Juwan Howard is still playing? 17 seasons in the NBA. Knows how to hit his free-throws too, which comes with experience.

Edmachine23 (0:16): Dirk milked the shit out of that drive to grab a foul, Gasol-style. Let out the obligatory grunt to go with his flailing limbs and bulging eyes. Hits his two free-throws as well, of course. 6 from 6 in the game; 93% free throw this playoffs.

ThePublicApology’s food critic

FINAL QUARTER:

 

Edmachine23 (11:30): No Bosh, that alley-oop wasn’t for you. It was for King James. Next time just let him accept the pass, ok?

Miked12 (10:58) You know you’re up against it when Mike Miller is dropping threes on ya.

Edmachine23 (10:58): Yeah, he looks like some punk lad from Marrickville. Nice three pointer though.

Edmachine23: Commentator just said “Kidd is playing with the energy of someone in his 30s.” He is 38.

Miked12 (9:15): Barea doing everything right but can’t finish tonight.

Miked12 (6:40) Heat dominating the boards. How many cracks do the Mavs want to give them? Yep, Haslem makes them pay.

Edmachine23 (05:50): Terry goes for three and gets psyched by the Miami bench. Love how close they are to the action in this sport.

Miked12 (5:00): Mavs can’t buy a bucket.

Edmachine23 (4:34): James literally charges into a screen by Chandler. Two massive humans colliding; that’s KJ’s 4th personal.

Miked12: ThePublicApology wants to go to Miami. Caliente!!

Miked12 (3:58): Massive three point play for Shawn Marion. Couldn’t time it any better. Hits the weird free throw.

Miked12 (3:24) Great D, um D-wade… And he hits it down the other end!! Too much star power. Can anyone stop them?

Edmachine23: Yeah that is some serious end-to-end basketball…

Miked12 (2:56): We’re now in Dirk shooting free throws territory. How many trips will he make?

Edmachine23 (2:35): Holy shit! LeBron just pulled a mad crossover and an epic dunk – and 1. Love the onomatopoeia that comes with a LeBron dunk! Nowitzki’s mid-rangers are all that’s keeping the Mavs in this at the moment…

Edmachine23 (1:36): Stop fouling Nowitzki and giving away an automatic two points. The guy will not miss a free-throw. It’s like fucking clockwork.

Miked12: Yeah, Dirk, doing the usual… Auto-pilot.

Edmachine23 (1:08): Bosh dunks on a Wade steal and it’s a Dallas timeout. “Well we’ve lost this one boys, let’s just have a good last minute and look ahead to game two.”

Edmachine23: Love the final 50 seconds of a match when the crowd knows they’ve got the match in the bag…

Miked12 (0.38): Lebron just put the icing on the cake. Ouch…

Edmachine23: Yeah, mad LeBron alley-oop, great pass from Wade; he’s just fucking around now. This guy has more hops than James Squire.

Miked12: That’s it, it’s fizzled out. Great home win for Miami.

Edmachine23: Great win – and good to see the Big 3 hug it out after the whistle. Plenty of man-love there.

 

FINAL SCORE: Miami 92 Dallas 84

high fives all around...

By Dave Edwards and Mike Davis

Can long lost lovers reunite?

If you’ll allow me the analogy, rugby league and rugby union are like two bickering, divorced ex-lovers – and the combined sporting consumer base its collective offspring. Once happily married, money tore them apart and now, years later, they’re thinking about a second wedding. But what for?

The temporary reconciliation took place a month ago, with heavyweights of both codes – Robbie “Dingo” Deans, Bob “Bozo” Fulton, Max “I probably have a nick-name” Krillich and Tim “Sheensy” Sheens – among the 4000-strong crowd braving icy conditions to witness the respective schoolboy champions, Keebra Park and St Augustines, face off in the historic cross-code exhibition.

Many have mulled the idea of a hybrid game, but aside from making great conversation at the building site worksite over a Four’nTwenty – or over a skinny latte by the photocopier in the office – is the cross-code experiment now destined to become a weekly reality? While some see it as a Frankenstein-ian monster, many accept a hybrid code is fated to happen. Hardened ex-players of both codes have gone on record backing the product. Even die-hard league immortal Noel “Crusher” Cleal admitted to sports journalists that “the concept is inevitable; it’s going to happen.” He’d had 12 schooners at the time, but it’s there on the record.

THE RULES: When attacking in their own half, the teams played under rugby league rules, with the rules reversing once the attackers passed half-way. The points system was league-based – four points for a try, two for a conversion – and scrums were union-based. A 60 second “shot clock” system regulated the flow of possession, keeping the game moving by eliminating those frequent lulls during the match.

The discussion of which rules from both game would be best suit a new form of the game would be better left to a longer column. A much longer column. And personally, I’m as biased towards rugby league as Piers Akerman is allegedly towards sexually confused new members of the Young Liberals. So I’ll leave that one well alone – as should Piers. Allegedly.

THE QUESTIONS: With the enthusiasm from ex-greats from both sides of the spectrum in getting behind an alternative game, this writer is wondering what the emergence of a popular hybrid game would mean on a grassroots social context? Would the white collar/blue collar archetypes be phased out? Could we, socially, adapt to a change of this magnitude?

Here’s another one: is there something wrong with the existing products? I really enjoy watching both forms of the game; they’re entertaining, comfortable and full of characters. In saying that, so was Australian family sitcom “Hey Dad” back in the late 80‘s early 90’s. But we now know something wasn’t right there. Come to think of it, David Gallop does look a little like Robert Hughes.

THE HISTORY: The phrase “Rugby League” was first muttered – I hope by a man not dissimilar in looks to Tommy Radonikis – upon the 1901 merger of Northern English rugby union teams Yorkshire and Lancashire. The clubs, which were working-class in nature, essentially broke away from their amateur status to create the means of paying players who couldn’t perform their blue-collar jobs after sustaining injuries. At the time, union clubs were of the belief that if a player couldn’t afford to be injured he shouldn’t be playing the sport. Hence, the founding clubs set the blue-collar tone of Rugby League in the Northern Hemisphere. The same scenario played itself out again, this time south of the Equator, in 1907. This led to the creation of the NSWRL and QRL, and their respective seasons of 1908. Media reports at the time described the large crowds as drawn to the “new, fast-paced, exciting” code.

Rugby league continued its blue-collar grassroots by establishing links to Labour unions and the development of the ‘Leagues Club’: the incoming dollars from big crowds and problem gamblers helped secure rugby league at the forefront of East Coast sport. Not only did this close the door on AFL campaigners with the disdain one offers to an unwanted Jehovah’s Witness at the doorstep, but it also, most importantly, cemented the social stereotype of the ‘league supporter’. Much to ThePublicApology’s appreciation, the pokies-playing, Winfield Blue-smoking, singlet-wearing, fluoride-starved rugby league supporter has become a solid archetype; similarly has the privileged, private school-educated, collar up, corporate trader/banker/surgeon rugby union fanatic.

THE VERDICT: In reality, the existence of a hybrid code may work as a novelty schoolboy game, or even annually at the elite level. But as a genuine alternative to existing codes, I don’t see the potential. If a new game was introduced one of the existing codes would suffer financially – and eventually dissolve. League supporters are passionate and not particularly adept at dealing with change, note the rise and fall of Super League. Union has strong structural support locally and even stronger internationally. Both codes have hands too strong to fold and there is just no room for a third player.

So if a new game is not a viable long term option, then why bother? If a few elite players are injured during an exhibition game, then clubs would rightfully cry foul.  More importantly, if a cross-code form of the game did prove an unlikely success even annually, then we might soon find ourselves short of two comedic social stereotypes. I’m not sure I’m OK with that.

Rugby union and rugby league have been apart for so long that I doubt they could get back together and make it work. After all these years – not to mention the inherent rivalry and, given both codes are now professional, the different economic context – they’ve simply grown apart. They’ve also thrown too many insults at each other: rugby league is “stupid” to union lovers; rugby union is a “boring kick-fest” to leaguies.

It’s a little bit like the current situation with Woody Allen and his ex-wife Mia Farrow. They might reconcile one day, but at the back of Mia’s mind would be the eternal thought: he fucked and consequently married my daughter. I wouldn’t be cool with that, either.

I better wind this up; the footy’s almost on the tele. I’m dying for a dart and I’ve still got to make it to the TAB before kick-off. Guess which stereotype I am?

By Luke Meredith