Wayne Smith replaced John Hart as All Black coach after the 1999 World Cup. Hart ended his tenure with a .756 winning pct (from 41 tests). Hart had himself replaced Laurie Mains after the World Cup in 1995 (.676 pct from 34 tests). And Mains replaced Alex Wyllie (.862 pct from 29 tests) after the 1991 World Cup.
Smith (.705 pct from 17 tests) was replaced in October 2001 by John Mitchell making Smith the only coach in the modern era to not coach a team to the World Cup (I imagine his record against Australia, 2-4, and maybe politics had something to do with it). So John Mitchell (.821 pct from 28 tests) was dropped after the World and replaced by Graham Henry.
Henry's record is currently .859 from 66 tests. So he's not as good as Wyllie but he's had almost twice as many games. And, unlike Wyllie, Henry got to choose his assistant coaches. With his new appointment until 2011, Henry not only becomes the All Black coach with the longest tenure (seven years) he also gets two World Cups.
There's a lot to be said for long coaching tenures. Consistency being the biggest positive. The Pittsburgh Steelers are the most successful American Football franchise and have a policy of sticking with coaches.
So we can bitch and moan about the coach as much as we did in the days when we all decided that we needed Graham Henry to come and replace Mitchell and when we decided that we needed someone to replace John Hart. But with a lack of alternatives, why don't we try something different? Ignore the media's controverse du jour, support the damn team, play armchair-coach without thinking that you are actually any good at it, and if you have to be grumbly, be grumbly about the game.
Other quick notes about coaches.
- Last night Simon Dallow said in a segue to the sports news "…and we won't be seeing Robbie Deans on this side of the Tasman for a while [due to Graham Henry's reappointment]". No probably not Simon because Deans' contract also runs out after the 2011 World Cup.
- Fred Allen is still our "best" coach with a record of 14/14 in 1966-68
- Robbie Deans has coached one more test than Peter de Villiers, but has a 2% better record (thanks to Naly D for that titbit)
The Silver Ferns have a new sponsor: McCain's frozen foods. Now there is a long an interesting debate to be had about sponsorship of women's sport and how they market themselves. Domestic-product sponsorship, for example, often means the players are depicted cooking and cleaning instead of driving cars or drinking Coke.
But at the same time, we're in a recession so sports teams are very happy to receive money from anywhere, even if that means having to send players along to event where they wear aprons and cook for the attendant media.
So the best way to show this debate is to send a munter to the press conference to make lame-duck jokes and follow it up with Mark Richardson being a cock (for some reason there's 22 seconds of ads at the start of that vid).
Right, Friday-things now.
This report on the Hamilton V8 roof-sitters from Campbell Live is one of the funniest New Zealand interviews I have ever seen. As @beigebrigade said:
Skit from TV3 last night includes a Hamilton dentist who has unintentionally mastered the [Rhys Darby] Murray voice…
…and why is somebody mowing their lawns at that time of night?
It's an outrage! Look at that hole in the concrete! Bloody council.
I interviewed Ginger Tonyx and Ruby Deathskates from Richter City Roller Derby for the Dropkicks (rss feed), the audio is here:
Especially good because Ginger keeps accidentally revealing secret identities and Ruby lays down a challenge to Pirate City (Auckland).
Want to know how various football pitches compare in size? Or maybe how steep a velodrome track is? With cute infographics, like this one on MLB ticket prices, how can you not like Flip Flop Fly Ball. And continuing with the data, Pick and Go is my new favourite database.
Finally because it's Friday a very cool trick video: