09 November 2020

Review: Sh*t Moments in New Zealand Sport by Rick Furphy & Geoff Rissole

Sh*t Moments in New Zealand Sport by Rick Furphy & Geoff Rissole book cover
* Copy courtesy of Allen & Unwin *

The Kiwi duo of Rick Furphy and Geoff Rissole are back and this time they're giving readers Sh*t Moments in New Zealand Sport.

Here Furphy and Rissole cover some of the greatest losses and terrible moments in New Zealand sporting history.

My favourite moment of the book was learning that in 1996 the America's Cup was on display in Auckland's Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron when it was damaged by a Maori sovereignty activist. He broke into the building and smashed the display case and hit the trophy so many times with a sledgehammer, it was feared the cup was beyond saving. I rushed off to Wikipedia to learn that it took silversmiths three months to restore the trophy to its original condition. How have I not heard about this? (Page 43)

While that was certainly the highlight of the book, the lowlight came on page 71, when authors explain that:
'The combined New Zealand and Australian Competitive Hill Climbing team travelled to Gallipoli in 1915 in their first international tour...Unfortunately, they copped a rough draw and ended up facing the very formidable Turkish team on home soil. Powered by Anzac biscuits and an unquestioned belief in God, King and Country, the New Zealanders gave it their best shot but ultimately ended up suffering a grievous loss.' Page 71
Now, you don't need to be a Veteran to take offence at this. Just re-reading it again so I could write this review had me wishing I'd set this book aside at this point. War is not a sport and it certainly shouldn't be fodder for jokes as low as this. This was incredibly poor taste and while I recognise Furphy and Rissole are experts at taking the piss, there's nothing even remotely funny about this.

Using the word poof on page 85 was also offensive and I'm surprised these two entries survived the editing process.

It was mildly interesting that New Zealand didn't win any medals at the Moscow Olympics in 1980 (Page 96), but by then I didn't care. With cricket and rugby dominating the content and the offensive content above, I was glad to reach the end.

Reflecting that Kiwis hate losing to Australia, I'll leave you with an amusing quote from page 102, the only shining moment of the book:
'Much like a horror-movie villain, Australian sports teams are never dead and buried until the head is decapitated, the body burnt to a cinder and whatever remains is flung into the sun.'
Ultimately, their first book Sh*t Towns of New Zealand (written by Anonymous) remains their best. I'd advise reading that instead and giving this one a miss.

You can seize this book at Booktopia.

My Rating:

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