Season 41 Game 680 Bomber down Pints, down pints.

The beer was good. It was hearty, strong, fruit forward. The fries were crispy and more-ish. The platter of batter enough to secure a cardiologists cashflow for years to come.

An hour before the Bombers stood happily quaffing their ales, they too had been hearty and strong. Faced with the old enemy from Brooklyn, the Pints, the Bombers had continued from their winning performance the previous week.

As lions roared below, The Bombers took control of the midfield. A freshly minted 35 year old with a foreign name had been pressed into the team to replace the previous model, wantaway Iggy, the Argentinian carpetbagger. The new version added pep to the increasingly decreasing skills and stamina of Son of God and Stent Boy. Zeus was hurling thunderbolts in the middle of defence, and the water feature know as Mingus was welcomed back on the right side of a back three.

After 10 minutes the heartiness and strength was clear. As the sun strafed the cold expanse of Melrose Park, a competent but slow Pints team were overrun, as shot after shot flew past their goal.  In the 11thminute, fruit forward Genome miscontrolled a simple pass, reached to recover the ball, and watched as surprised as everyone else when it wobbled along the turf slowly but faster than the malevolent gnome in goal could be arsed to move. It was a funny old goal, but now Genome was on the board, and 7 minutes later he was at it again. 

This time it was no accident. Picking up the ball 30 metres from the gnome’s goal, he mooched forward and fired an arcing shot into the top corner. A televisual moment. On the sideline Marky did a little poo in his acrylic pantaloons.

For most of the half The Ragster had been off the pace. But as a corner came in he rose a full 4 inches at the near post to flick it on, and Jackal, ever ready, headed the ball hard and true into the Pints’ goal. Yay.

3-0 nil at half time. Cue the customary word salad of Gyles’ tactical coaching.

 The second half passed most Bombers by, and the Pints scored a goal with their first shot as The Ragster, deputised for the Shirt of Shame, flopped casually to his left too late to stop a speculative poke.

Only two other things of note happened in the half. Tiberius/Love Slave/ Diablo maintained his 100% non-scoring record, a record which now stretches back to the last government. And JB swanned onto the field for the dying embers of the game, pulled a groin sinew within seconds, and then proceeded to swipe hopelessly at the ball in a vaudeville routine that made Marky do another little poo.

The Pints have sadly lost their venomous rebarbacity in recent decades, while the Bombers look nailed on to win the division. Warm up the open top bus.

Season 41 Game 679 Bomber Begin March to Title

The Masters 5 champions-elect weathered two storms on the opening day of the 2019 season.

Deep in the dark heart of the Hutt, where life is cheap and only the sounds of backfiring Commodores and children’s screams pierced the sullen gloom, the latest version of the Bombers ambled in their ones and twos onto the field for the standard desultory warm-up drill. Bringing back fond memories of 2018, this drill consists largely of misaimed and mishit shots flying into the adjacent field. Rien ca change, plus c’est la meme chose, observed the ever lugubrious Hansie, dancing for warmth in his saggy onesie leotard.

It was cold. A wind born in the car yards of South Dunedin had matured on its journey north into a full bone cracking storm. Raincicles pricked the eyes. The Stop Out foes were lined up and ready to go while the Bombers were still in human centipede mode, as The Assistant Gardener won the toss and elected to play against the wind in both halves, and soi disant leader JB rallied the rabble into a new and worrying 3-4-3 formation. This little trick with small numbers represents the greatest change in Bombers history since Pachy introduced the now embraced stationary midfield.

The usual suspects took the field, and proceeded to play on the back foot, skillfully luring Stop Out ever deeper into the Bombers half to enable quickfire breaks on the counter.  Unfortunately it was a huge field and a big negatively-directed wind. Despite this, the masterplan almost worked, until master strategist Gyles, seeing the Bombers in a comfort zone, decided to spice things up by dropping the ball at the feet of a startled attacker. One-nil. The first assist of the season. Rien ca change, parped Hansie.

Halftime, and a barrage of loose arguments.  The hot mess that is Kirk bickered with the dumpster fire that is Gene.  All good stuff, and the stage well set for the rough sleeper that is Marky Mark. The wind reversed itself on cue.

Within a minute it was 1-1, with doughty wee Graeme skidding through tackles and spearing a shot at the near post, which seemed, oddly, to raise his anger level to 11.

As more doomed children shrieked in the hills, the Bombers bombed forward and were shortly down 3-1. Now was the time for the Bombers to weather a storm on the scoreline, as well as the soaking wind.

If the Bombers have a secret sauce, it is not hard work, organisational discipline, flair with pace. It is a debut wunderkind. An amiable passerby named Koen Overkamp (do you mean Bergmars?. Ed) borrowed some shorts and stepped into the rim riding role vacated by the imperious Marky.  Also, in a sadly tragic move, JB crawled out of his 4thretirement for the final, pointless 20 minutes.

Almost immediately he broke the line, moved infield and after a lung bursting four second stumble took aim for the right top corner of the goal. The Stop Out keeper stretched a reached it with his fingertips, only to se wee Graeme, bristling with anomie, poke the ball home. 

The same duo delivered the same result minutes later when the Angry One shot hopefully and the keeper palmed the ball gently into his goal at the near post. 3-3.

 The clock was running down. Ten minutes left. But not even ten minutes of appalling refereeing from some fat Commodore driving cunt sporting a grizzled womb broom could stop Bergmars from rifling in two cracking shots, sending the Bombers top of the league and home from the badlands with an unfamiliar feeling of success.

Champions-elect. May as well not even play the next game. It is written.

Every English graveyard has a yew tree, symbolising life eternal. As the yew growsand matures, its core dies, fertilising new growth from its new shoots. The Bombers are football’s yew. The graves around them hold the hapless challengers of past and present.

Season 40 Game 678 Calamari looks at people with his cold dead squiddly eyes

I’m confused.

My last Bombers playing top proudly states ‘Bombers FC est. 1979’ (the others are in the musee de calamar). The new 40th anniversary top sports the words ‘Bombers FC 1978-2018’.  

What’s going on? Was there a secret year of establishment we have only now found out about? Did Bombers FC begin in 1978 in some Illuminati-like society, with goat sacrifices and virgins? (if so then the mystery of Marky Mark is solved. You’re welcome). Regardless of the reason, there seems to be some inconsistencies in Bombers FC. 

Ah. Yes. Inconsistency FC.  

Inconsistency FC- a starting eleven with unpredictability and inconstancy upfront. The midfield of variability, instability, irregularity and unevenness. The back four of unsteadiness, self-contradiction, self-contrariety and capriciousness. And in goal, volatility. The bench includes fickleness, unreliability, undependability and flightiness. This is the squad that can make good teams penitent and bad teams jubilant. 

And lo, so it was on a brisk northerly day Bombers/Inconsistency FC (40 years young) took the pitch against Fuck Knows FC.  A tale of opposites.

They were bottom of the table and had been consistently bad. We were middle of the table and inconsistently good and/or bad. They had a giant, we had a dwarf. They had a goalkeeper, we had Ragg-boy. They all wear the same tops, we wear different versions of the same tops. They had no substitutes, we are all substitutes. Men of the earth playing on an artificial pitch. 

The game, like many in Masters 4, began with a whimper and got less frantic and skilful from there. Old hands (Nintendo, Son of God, Doc, Mingus, Calamari, Hansie - collectively with possibly nearly 200 years of Bombers’ service) playing alongside some people with actual skill, speed and agility - Stent, Nacho, Sparky Mark, Tiberius/Diablo, Ragg, Magic et al.  What could go wrong? 0-1 after 10 minutes. That’s what. But not to worry, the comeback would be underway. 0-2 said differently.  

Half-time and some inspiring words from injured Bombers El Capitan AG (at least he showed up – I’m looking at YOU JB). “It’s a 3-goal wind….and I know we just had the wind, but…fuck, just get stuck in, tackle, pass, score, defend, be the ball….”. I almost cried (the wind affects me like that).

Into the wind the brave bombers went. Calamari was playing like two men (this was because there were two calamari shirts running around) and with the lion’s share of possession with the Bombers, this eventually leads to a Bombers’ goal. Who scored it? Every fucking player that was there that day that’s who. It’s a team game and how DARE you need a report to single players out for special glory (yep, you guessed it, I can’t remember who scored it).

Try as Bombers FC might (I’m looking at YOU Tiberius/Diablo), a second goal would not be coming. 1-2 the final score and so off to the pub for beer, fried food and to discuss the ‘me too’ movement and Bombers’ Beach Bash 2018. A Bomber’s Saturday always ends well.

(Thanks Calamari, that was a very lovely precis of the game. A solid C+. And we admire the way you rise above your handicap. Meanwhile, sharp-eyed readers will have spotted that there have been no match reports for the last 7 or so matches. Who to blame? Well, in a word, and not to personalise it, Gyles.  Apparently if a report doesn't include the words 'the tech heavy NASDAQ' he is unable to compose a bulletin.  I'll leave there. No bitterness. Just bantz.).

Season 40 Game 670 Bombers Play like Brasil

New territory for the Bombers, in our long and illustrious career this is the first time we are scheduled to play at St Patrick’s College in Kilbirnie. Cue muttering from the good Doctor; despite being east of the tunnel, for him this is hostile ground.

It’s an 8pm kickoff too, our regular Saturday fixture being played mid week. Nineteen Bombers decline to 13, including Jackel’s young man. Genome has better things to do in the Islands, while the OAP cries off with talk of an early start the following morning. “My fans will notice if I’m not on form”, he opines. Even the injured don’t show. Raggster straps his ribs to don the shirt of shame. 

The team sorts itself out. Apparently it’s our home game, which sees us down to 12. Stent takes the whistle while the recently orphaned Marky Mark manfully assumes the role of impact sub.

The SPC field is large, turf, not well lit and slick with dew or the scend of Evans Bay – the soothsayers among the team did not need to examine entrails to divine that the evening was unlikely to end well. Imagine their surprise when within 5 minutes Zeus swings over a corner that is met by Jackel’s well positioned skull. The ball pings off a defender, wrong footing the tennis-ball shaped & coloured goalie and hits the back of the net. 1-0 to the Bombers. The Ides of May have come, Soothsayer! Aye Caesar, but not yet gone.

Off we go again. The Irish attack down the wings with flair and speed. The ball skips rapidly across the turf, embarrassing more than one Bomber. Successive cross field diagonals sees Nickname running Swedishly through the gloom of the far corner but the balls are too skeats for him to catch up with. For minutes the game hangs in the balance before the first Irish shot on target slips under Raggy & into the net. 1-1. Five minutes later, the same sequence of events ended in the same outcome. 1-2 You’d have got good odds at this point on our goalie being named man of the match.

Five minutes later still, an Irish attack sees their centre forward bundle the ball goalward before Raggster clears. “It was over the line”, claims said centre forward. Along with the rest of us, Stent is too far from the action to see, but up steps Raggster to confirm. A coin-operated salesman by trade, that’s his honesty quota ticked off for the year. 1-3.

We’re battling away in the middle of the park. It’s a quick game, ball pinging around all over. Marky Mark is on the field, his usual deft control enabling him to play around the Irish. Jackel’s Young Man looks up at him, sees the playing class and silver streaks as an innovative pony-style and plays a pass for Marky to run on to, and thus are his limitations exposed. Jackel is monstering all over the pitch; Iggy is the untouchable target man and the rest of us are running around; but they attack through the middle with an Irishman going left, right and left again before slotting past a helpless Raggster. 1-4. “Bloody hell, where is the midfield?” storms the King of the Gods, thereby proving his lack of omnipotence. 

Half time. This time we’ll have the wind! Stent assumes a consultant’s demeanor and persuades the mob-handed Irish to take the whistle for the second half. It’s Hobson’s choice, but we need the extra legs. 

Stent, Dave & JYM are weaving pictures through the midfield, crosses are coming in. One incident sees us attempting to walk the ball in. “Shoot, for Christ’s sake” booms one blasphemer. We’re pressing forward, they’re reveling in the space afforded.  The defence holds the line, blocking off access until one shot from well outside the box goes over the Raggster and would be going out until it dies and dips under the bar. 1-5. They’ve got the wind.

The second half is interminable. Sparky Mark is late-charged by a chubby Irishman; the Doctor lectures the ref on the offside law and is offered the whistle in return. Argy-bargy breaks out. Their next attack sees Zeus turned inside out once more before the ball is dispatched home; only to be called back for a clearly (not) offside. 

The attacks continue. Son of God plays like he can’t see the ball, which is only half as bad as it sounds. Mingus calmly plays everything on its merits, which is a great tune. There are a couple of goalmouth scrambles that should have seen them score, but a combination of Raggster calmness and Alamo-scale heroics all round leaves the Irish with three leaf clovers. Finally a cross from the right is nodded home by one of the younger, fitter, taller Irish. 1-6.

The gloom is getting gloomier, the ball is getting zippier and the crowd have gone home. Space opens up as both sides tire. They peg another, the details lost to memory. 1-7. We’re playing like Brasil. 

At 9.30pm on the dot, half the floodlights expire. “But it’s our corner” some wag shouts. Zeus sends it over, it’s cleared by the Irish, Son of God connects cleanly for the only time that evening and wellies the ball into the Stygian murk. The three cheers are as muted as one would expect. Raggster receives the cap; no one collects against the marvelous odds. The Bombers slip away, denied their post game cheer by the cheerless hour. The Ides of May have been and gone.

Next match: just a couple of days away. This is cruelty to old men. Has singularity reached the fixtures computer?





Season 40 Game 670. Are we not Maslow's Men?

Thoughts on the game from the Silver Surfer

Legend has it that, as Maslow lay on his deathbed, he sat up and said, “no, there is a level beyond self-actualisation, it is the actualisation of others!” With that utterance he transitioned into another realm beyond our ken.  But it does raise the very real possibility that, as a collective, we Bombers have reached the top of the pyramid whereby we enable others to reach their full potential. How else but to explain our generosity in conceding 4.75 goals a game this season? Rejoice Bombers, for we have reached the summit of human development!

I propose that the Bombers are, in fact, akin to the Dunedin study - a 40-year observation of Maslow’s postulation played out.  Cast your minds back to where you were 30 or 35 years ago. Were you not struggling away at the bottom levels of Maslow’s hierarchy, securing employment for safety, food, and shelter?  From there you set about securing love and belonging, your involvement in the Bombers’ brotherhood central to the attainment of that step in Maslow’s pyramid.

The objective observer would say the degree to which Maslow’s next levels of human attainment, esteem and self-actualisation, have been achieved are unevenly represented through the Bombers’ tribe. However, when it comes to actualising other, as a collective we have arrived.

The game this week is a case in point. The first half was an even tallying back and forth, and for long periods Gyles was restless in his goal but for Doc’s conversation.  But our generosity and actualisation of others was not too far away with two goals conceded before the break. The half time pep talk from Maslow’s conductor of ceremonies was predictable.

“For God’s sake guys, I can’t do it alone. I can only let in what you give me! We’ve got to give them more space. Hang off the tackles, stop marking, and for God’s sake, lose shape in the midfield! And Gene, what the hell are you thinking? You had acres of time to compose yourself and miss.”

Heads hung low, we returned to the field and resumed the glorious work of actualising others. The last five minutes was spent in the opposition penalty box with a flurry of activity, but each time we selflessly cleared the ball off their goal line.  What joy!

Kirk, leaping like Michael Jordan, ruptures his archilles and provides an opportunity for a budding A & E intern to actualise. Stent Boy selflessly donates a windshield for an auto glazier’s self-expression.

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”.  Men, what lives we are living! 

Season 40 Game 668. Snappy Happy Valley Rally

The Spring sun strobed across the slope at Happy Valley. Veteran Bombers have come to loathe this place. This is their Ypres, their Somme, their Crete. Far back in the mists of time brave Bombers have laid down their youth on this innocuous lawn. New Bombers could not read and could not hope to understand what lay behind the haunted expressions of their elders.  The dread ran deep. Eyes moistened softly. The fallen were remembered with silence. Nacho farted.

Missing in Inaction were Zel Boy (more a concept than a Bomber), Tiberius (chairing the annual Satanist convention in Dargaville), Ragg Boy (last seen flying to Sydney for gender reassignment surgery, to fulfill his long held desire to be a man). And Marky Mark, who was rubbing Silvo into his carapace.

The further you stand from a moving object, the slower it appears to be moving. This is a standard ocular phenomenon. So it follows that the closer you get, the faster it appears. Your correspondent could observe no discernable difference in any of the Bombers. Despite the fact that the Island Bay goatsuckers appeared to be a whizz of continuous and exponentially accelerating movement, the Bombers appeared to be in a poorly produced claymation epic. Rings were run around them. With apparent effortless ease. 

Within nanoseconds the goatsuckers were up two-nil. It was starting look like one of those ‘lost’ seasons. On the sideline, Doc wept. And wept.

But lo! Who was that spikey-haired banshee stepping through the mud and scoring a neat goal for the Bombers? And what was that odd barrel-bellied form flying economically up the wing, then bundling the ball over the line? And who was that Finnish cult-hero rising like a virgins sigh to head in a third for the Bombers? Defeat was inevitable on this unhappy mire, but the Bombers were firing all their shots and the goatsuckers were going to have to come from 2-3 behind  at halftime.

After the all too brief lull in hostilities, the goatsuckers threw themselves at the Bombers, who fell back in disarray. Bodies lay littered across the sward. The prescribed equalizer duly came, then another nail in the coffin. 4-3. Doom approached.

All was lost, until the pelvine JB scuttled after a ball that rested over the line and out of play in the farthest corner at the edge of the world.  As the goatsuckers strolled up to take the throw, JB hoofed it to Genome, who hoofed it forward to Jackal, who sliced it to Nacho, who shattered it into the net for the wholly unlikely equalizer. 

As the bugler moistened her lips for Last Post, one final sortee forward from the Bombers. Jackal, in full idiot mode, chased a pass into the box. He fell over a defender. Up stepped the Belfast Banshee to roll the ball down the centre of the goal from the spot. Off dived the goatsucker keeper to the right. Bombers ahead 5-4. Last ditch saves were made, bodies lay stacked like firewood. Somewhere a whistle blew, signaling a retreat to the Mess. Beer was drunk. Lies were told. Hansie's butt was pinched. The absent were mocked. Faces softened in the forgiving light. The war could wait another week.

Season 40 Game 667 Musings on football and going down on the PM

Report filed by cub reporter Marky Mark (on probation)

Editor's note: the subtext of this report is that a football team of great renown played a game of football and fought like wildcats right up to to the kickoff.


A Sparrow Falls to Earth 

Ask any of the other discarded toy-boys who turned up again, deeply confused, at Nairnville Park at

12.30 on Saturday, bellies distended by high-living and tapeworms.

Full of fire,Youtube videos of CR7 and, in Tiberius’ case, curdling semen... (Gay

rumours do indeed persist).

Such a splendid summer!

Some gilded memories I share with you, my Brothers in Alms:

Sipping oh-so-lightly chilled Valpolicella under the fig trees with my bearded love doll Mingatone,

while the wind whispers of forbidden love...



Swapping electric banter with Two-Halves and Alison at JB’s sold-out poetry headliner at the

Fringe Bar. ( Was that a freak indoor snow flurry, or just flocks of lightly soiled bloomers going

south for the winner? Are these things ultimately knowable? Let.s hope not.)...

Planting a forest of stinky logs in the trusty ancient 501’s at 3 a,m after the 28th Estrella beer...

Stella getting published... again...

A new PM I’d happily go down on and on and on...



Slivers of bliss to be shattered in a trice.

“Is there something crouching in our Bomber DNA that sniggers at success, sips deeply of the

well-waxed crotch of The Bitch Goddess, and, having tasted heaven, falters ?”

“Calm down Hansie,” I said.

 “night school is a fey mistress. And, how is your injured injury, old fool?”

The Op Shop truck of life  drops last season’s fashions at the sideline.

War was been declared.

NW Wanderers the foe du jour.

To cut a long story short.

They spanked us.


Played as a team of aging fantasists should.

We were great for first 20. Pass and pass again.

Handsie and Marky sharing a cigarillo.

Tibs and Jakaal probing the gusset of hairy defence.

Michael Michael accepting the sun’s praise on his chiselled profile.

Ming fossicking in his pockets for another 4 inches of penis.

Danno tackling sandflies and theological connundra’

Same old. Same old.



The worm turned.

At 25 minutes in Marky closed his eyes and handed over to  hairdo Skeatsie.

No causal connection.

It was Zulu, remade by, er, Zulus.

Wave upon wave they came. And scored and scored and scored.

Another Victoria’s Secret Cross to Quatrocentagenarian (40th, right?)Assistant Gardener.

Emptys more nets than a quota-drunk Sealord shareholder.

Probably half time. Probably “strategy” talk. Probably ignored.

Down about 3 or 4 nil at this stage. Can’t remember. Cackling with love rat Nige after first 25.


Half the second.

Us still useless. 11 drips without a plumber.

Think they scored again.

Marky masturbating in penalty area.

Corner ball glanced off surprised penis.

Quel surprise!


How terrific.

Must do much much better.




Auntie Mavis

Season 37 Game 666 The number of the Beast

Few words chill a Bomber more than “I’ve got your back”.

They give false hope that you can advance, that you can be stranded in an isolated spot confronting the opposition and not imperil the team, that you are more than one, not alone, defending the bastion.

The Bombers have never played a competitive game on Boyd Wilson field. A few in their callow youth pretended to train there when the grass, stones, and mud made the Somme look like a billiard table.

Several trained women’s teams there and watched them give their all on a Sunday morning. The football was probably only a cover.

So a bright Saturday afternoon, a pristine plastic pitch, final game of the season. What could be better ?

Another five players for a start. Another opposition other than the table topping Turtles.  We could have done without the emaciated streak of whispy beard and the big boned, hoydenish provincial throwing Frisbee at one end of the ground.

We could have done without the subs bench resembling a triage clearing station. Hansie managed to match Dutchie’s record for self injury before the game started. Marky Mark puffed on his concession to technology – an electric fag.

The first 10 minutes passed uneventfully as the Turtles struggled to agree on a game plan about who was due to score first.

In true Bombers’ fashion we took the decision out of their hands. JB uttered the fateful words – “I’ve got your ….. Assistant Gardener advanced beyond his near post to confront an attacker only to see the ball whipped past him to connect with JB’s raised leg.. from a metre with no keeper not even JB misses.

As the Bombers’s poet laureate, JB at times mixes Ted Hughes, Larkin, and Tennyson in unequal measures. “OK Bombers,” he intoned. “They still haven’t scored.” True but that would change.

A few minutes later a fast break through the defence saw a visibly slow Assistant Gardener attempt to beat the striker to the ball. Two-nil.

Three came with a looping ball top corner. Four came from a goal mouth melee. Five came like a mysterious child in a Stephen King story .. it turned up out of nowhere, nobody remembers it parentage only its malevolence.

Half time came.

It would be unjust to ignore the other Bombers. Endeavour is the middle name of every Bomber defender.

A sort of recruitment programme has unearthed several potential Bombers with skill, courage and nous. Dave with No Name fears little, says little, but Kipling-like keeps his head. He joined the triage station. The others are still pondering the intricacies of the Bosman ruling, and were nowhere to be seen but for our Ulster Pixie, Graham.

He knows hell when he sees it. He worked for an Australian investment company.

With 12 bodies, few of them abled, Assistant Gardener gave the necessary – ‘For fucks sake keep it below 10 and let’s see if we can score a couple.”

The second half whistle came like a call to leave the comfort of the trenches and walk across no-man’s land.

But a little Irish magic transformed a Bomber foray into their area into a goal.

Son of God, larruped a hopeful shot or two goalwards. Chromosome roamed and battled, twisted and shouted, hurled and harried. “Not me, them, you plonker,” cursed Smut. Carlos, who most of the season has been the go-to man, was spent.

The dozen Turtles on the sidelines chilled their craft beers and cheered as JB and Assistant Gardener proved old-fashioned manners are not dead, allowing an opponent to sneak a ball away from them and tuck it away for six.

Young people are not always as stupid as they often sound, look and act. The steady stream of students passing around the ground nary gave a second look to the game. Occasionally one would stop to throw back a ball that had whistled over the Bombers’ goal like a North Korean test missile.

The Frisbee throwers were still annoyingly at the other end.

Seven followed six as in an Indo-Arabic numbering system.

But Ulster Man, nourished on the Troubles and hardened by corporate incompetence, launched another attack and rifled (small calibre) one into the corner for our second.

An on the pitch strategy session is unheard ofamong Bombers, but Nintendo, Ragg Boy, Vespa and JB held an impromptu war council.

The words “No Pasaran” could be read on their collective lips. The Turtle didn’t know what hit him, but he got 5.7 for the tumbling, and a free kick.

A penalty came and was despatched. Eight.

Nintendo copped one full in the face and retired bleeding to the sidelines, only to re-emerge minutes later and make it 12 Bombers on the field.  Ten minutes at the end of the season who was going to notice. Apart from Assistant Gardener, no-one else but JB. But 12 couldn’t do what 11 couldn’t.


A couple of heroic saves, a curse or three. And a final whistle on season 38.

The 20 Turtles sportingly shook the hands of the 14 vanquished, muttering in practised condescension, “Well played”.

The final chapter of the season. Game number 666, but it was no revelation. Perhaps only in Hell could a host of Turtles vanquish a crew of Bombers.

The Frisbees continued at the other end.

Played 18; won 6; drew 2; lost 9 – points 20 .. goal difference unkindly negative.

We faced the two imposters of success and failure – we’re still working out who they are. 

See you next season we all said at the Backbencher. We’d better get a new strip to see us into the 40th year. I think we just might.



Season 37 Game 665 Bombers sinking faster than Greens

Filed by cub reporter Kirk "Bummer" Hope

We got spanked on the scoresheet, but on the upside a shed load of new young capable players. The only reason we got done is we didn’t put our opportunities away –and they did - we had plenty and I mean plenty of chances final score 6 - I think - 2. Bummer

OK so that's what the wee fella reported from the match. Let's break this succinct report down:

We got spanked on the scoresheet  Well, who cares about that? It's not the winning, it's the being taken apart that counts.

But  There's always a but.

A shed load of new young capable players   How big is this shed? How young is young? It's relative. Desmond Tutu is 'young' compared with, say, Gyles.  Capable is a word seldom reported in these columns. Did he mean 'culpable'? Let's assume so. What time is it? Time for a false dawn.

The only reason we got done is we didn’t put our opportunities away –and they did on reflection this seems to be the only reason any team loses to any other team, ever. Always good to have a universal truth in a match report.

We had plenty and I mean plenty of chances  another reliable constant, and he means it.

Final score 6 - I think - 2  facts, man, facts. Not guesses. Interesting that Kirk can confidently go to very high numbers on one side of the ledger but gets jittery and loose boweled trying to count Bombers low scoring outputs.

Bummer   Surfer speak for whatever.

Season 37 Game 664 Knocked out loaded

By cub reporter Graham "Lumpy" Law

(Editor's note to readers: barely detectable traces of football appear in this report. We apologise on behalf of the author, who is a little bewildered).



A concussion is an injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function. It usually is caused by a blow to the head. In many cases, there are no external signs of head trauma. Many people assume that concussions involve a loss of consciousness, but that is not true. In many cases, a person with a concussion never loses consciousness.

The formal medical definition of concussion is a clinical syndrome characterized by immediate and transient alteration in brain function, including alteration of mental status and level of consciousness, resulting from mechanical force or trauma.

People with concussions often cannot remember what happened immediately before or after the injury and may act confused. A concussion can affect memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance and muscle coordination. Paramedics and athletic trainers who suspect a person has suffered a concussion may ask the injured person if they know their name, what month/year it is and where they are.

Even mild concussions should not be taken lightly. Neurosurgeons and other brain-injury experts emphasize that although some concussions are less serious than others, there is no such thing as a "minor concussion." In most cases, a single concussion should not cause permanent damage. A second concussion soon after the first one does not have to be very strong for its effects to be permanently disabling or deadly.

How can you test yourself for a concussion?

After a blow to the head, any loss of consciousness, numbness or weakness in an extremity, or tenderness and/or loss of motion in the neck can all be signs of a concussion.

While it is ideal to have someone else who has not suffered a head injury perform a concussion test, there are some ways to self-test to see if a recent head injury was actually a concussion. People who have trouble standing on one foot with their eyes open; walking in a straight line; or stretching out a hand and then touching their nose with their index finger, alternating arms, may have experienced a concussion.

People who are confused, foggy or have trouble remembering events that took place around the time of the injury may all have had a concussion. Slurring of speech, slowed physical or verbal responses and inappropriate drowsiness are also signs of a concussion but are more difficult to self-diagnose. People who think they may have had a concussion should visit an urgent care clinic or their physician as soon as possible, but those who cannot stop vomiting, suffer seizures or find their confusion or headache level is steadily increasing should head to the emergency room immediately if no other facilities are open


Well I don’t think any of the above applies to me … I remember everything except the last milliseconds before the head clash and that’s probably just because I had my eyes shut – always was poor at heading the ball!!!!

Was fine on Saturday night and Sunday but Monday wasn’t too flash; felt a bit blurry out of my left eye.  So went home after presenting some rather large numbers to our Minister …. everyone seems happy with how that went so must have been ok. Fine by Wednesday, head now a nice dark yellow and purple colour.


Back to some football and something for us all to aspire to …. some of my favorite George Best quotes:

·      I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.

·      I used to go missing a lot... Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World.

·      In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol - it was the worst 20 minutes of my life.

·      They say I slept with seven Miss Worlds.  I didn’t. It was only four.  I didn’t turn up for the other three.

·      I've stopped drinking, but only while I'm asleep

Happy to talk anyone through my favourite George Best stories.

Anyway the six highlights of the match from what I can remember were:

·      How were we not 6-0 up in the first 15 minutes?  Talk about a goal against the run of play.

·      Oh yes my shooting was shite – apologies, that will be the reason.  But somehow managed to get one eventually.

·      Note some type of cap is in order to prevent sun strike.

·      In my seven games I don’t think I’ve seen Marky Mark move, never mind pounce, like that for the second equaliser.

·      Surely Kirk’s a ‘lover not a fighter’ but apparently it’s his Maori blood.

·      Slide rule pass, Kirks through, shoot big fella shoot … preferably into the goals not the side netting!!!!

Points dropped, mud wins.



Season 37 Game 663 Bombers batter utopian idealists

Clinical history compiled by Stent Boy

The Bombers have been playing away games now for 135 years, so know a thing or two about the otherworldliness of foreign parts. A certain type of fortitude is needed to endure the strange atmosphere, the odd phenomena, and the unusual peoples that inhabit those out of the way places. Think Space Family Robinson featuring Marky Mark as the scheming Dr Smith, Roger taking the part of the ingénue Will Robinson and the Robot played by Gyles, somehow managing to outwit the aliens on planet Gob.

Such was the challenge faced as the Bombers turned up at a soggy desolate Naenae Park. Having a decent understanding of your opponent helps. The rapid search on Google revealed NaeNae to be most widely understood as a dance move that when practised by aging males makes them look ridiculous, which surely has some relevance to Masters 4. The Maori translation is mosquito, an annoying bug dwelling in marshy situations, again some sort of fit.

However Naenae was conceived as a utopian suburban Modernist development promising carefree living in a delightful environment. That’s not quite how things appear to have turned out, especially at Naenae Park in July. This promised to be one of “those” away games, reflected in the Bombers faces as they trudged through puddles towards a brutal breezeblock affair to change, and then on to the wetland pitch, scattering groups of mallard ducks.

Officialdom and Naenae haven’t been easy companions in the past, especially when provided by the Bombers, so an additional worry was the sight of our old foe, the especially burly pommie fellow, taking the whistle. The wind and rain took up a position blowing directly at us.

“Hurricane” Skeats and “JB” JB had both announced their unavailability, apparently synchronising their diaries for once, and Zel, who only exists on-line these days wasn’t coming either. Doc was crocked and beyond healing himself. Iggy Pop had managed to break his toe under Son of God’s tutelage, and other part-timers were spending their time at other parts.

However, though faced with such mammoth difficulties, the Bombers started brightly and were two goals to the good after 10 minutes. Genome buried a loose ball from Handyman’s corner, then Graham tidily slotted a cross ball in the corner using his hefty kneebrace. Obviously the proper thing to do at this point was to change the winning formula and make a few subs. Naenae possibly then scored 4 goals before halftime, some rather delightful and others farcical.

If the first half was eventful, what followed made the ducks sit up and take notice. Bombers struck with Genome putting away a goalmouth scramble, after the too seldom-seen Fish rocked the crossbar, then struck again with the big fella chipping the keeper to complete a handy hat-trick.

Things weren’t getting any easier in the bog but the Bombers managed to fashion another chance which appeared to be lost, until one of their defenders, attempting to clear his lines, wellied the ball into the considerable bulk of a team-mate and the ball rocketed into the goal. 5 – 4!

Five minutes to go and the Naenae cause seemed lost, until a hopeful cross squirmed it’s way through Gyles’s splayed limbs and it was touched in. Shite! We know what happens next – we go and concede another, but no, some bloke missed a sitter, and the Bombers scored. Cool heads and smart interplay between Genome and Carl provided Tiberius with the opportunity to poke it home. Blimey!

Then to celebrate with Export Gold in quart bottles and revel in the alien habitat. Actually the Naenae blokes turned out to be decent sorts after all.

Season 37 Game 662 (Part the Second) New York Minute

Thoughts on the match against Wainui at Kilburn Park, from master butcher Marky Mark


New York minute

i say red raincoat

because I can

let’s contine totryst

when I need you.

here we are

so early my 


on treasure island.

of course i didn’t save

your blue cardboard box of gewgaws

of course I don’t have it with me

of course I want to take what you have

to get youwalking again

then you can

misplace things 



Season 37 Game 662 (Part the First) The Worm (re)turns

Story by cub reporter Dr "Doc" Tim "Tim"


On Kelburn when the sun was low

All bloodless lay the untrodden grass

And dark as winter was the flow

Of Wainui panelbeaters whose prime had past .


There was a smile on the breath of Bombers old and new…the long imagined prospect of playing the hutt valley’s underbelly in a rare primetime slot on our home ground.

The opposition’s goal difference of -471 and their winless season prompted the wisest on the field to proclaim “ I’ll come out of goal when we are 5 nil up.”

And so it seemed …within a minute Carl had scythed through the bellybutton of the park and was playing skilled,pacey football with Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid . The charming interchange of passing left Wainui defenders bereft and culminated in a lancinating shot billowing the net …. God it was good : 1-0.

Even the Bomber’s fashion sense was cheerful. Nintendo had put on his canary yellow hi-vis blouson whilst dressing in the dark that morning and suddenly realized he was refereeing the game 15 minutes in.

Prince Harry was visiting ( pledging to eradicate the stigma of social disease amongst the Bombers) and was shod in a pair of pure white boots setting off his fine red hair.

Marky Mark plied one of his many black pantaloon outfits and a matching hair-tie.

But be not deceived . God is not mocked….

Prince Harry fell over a kneeling Wainui penitent who had been beseeching divine intervention…and so began a litany of disaster.

First Steadfast Lance made his long awaited return to competitive football , lasting 47 seconds before his pain threshold was overcome.

Then Wainui’s toothless attack managed to strike a ball inside the penalty box that suckled on Mingus’  “white hand of little employment” dangling limply by his side.

The Stickman had no chance : 1-1

The Worm had re-turned with happy stripey socks and found his sharp head picked out perfectly by DNA but the goal was scorned and died, wriggling amongst the clods.

Wainui , emboldened by both God and ring-ins, began to create chances.  The Asst Gardener saw one coming from 30 metres, carefully lowered himself almost parallel towards the earth before letting gravity take over for the final 6 inch fall to the grass. Goal and bone density saved.

As half time jitterbugged near, Prince Harry made multiple deft touches ,beating 2 players then passing to a Bomber who was looking at our home clubrooms and wondering why we never got to have a drink there.

More class appeared asthe Bombers realized they had left the path of righteousness long ago and might as well continue to spit up God’s nostrils.

JB almost cruyffed it after a sweet Sceatsy pass and Stent boy lofted a lovely ball over the keeper from 18 metres.

Half Time 2-1


The rousing half time speech from the captain along with the perennial advice from SoG did the usual.

Within minutes Wainui’s God wiped his nose with a curling corner kick into the top of the net with nary a caress from the fingertips of the Raggster now in goal. 2-2

The gardening referree took special time out to coach Ragboy in the 2 fisted technique appropriateto such a situation rather than the vertical crab pincer movement.

The remainder of the 2nd half stretched out like an MSD brainstorming session on social housing.

The Prison Architect was overheard pleading: “ Take this cup awaaay from meee, I don’t want to   taste    it’s poison.”

Iggy could make no sense of what his teammates were doing so just hoofed a perfect cross and hoped .

The ball landed squarely on the Worm’s towering bonceand once again was turned and spurned by God south of the goalmouth.

( Like any great striker the Worm was later heard to say , “I thought I hit mine pretty well” )

 JB on the sideline knew his ruptured buttock could not hold up for long.

‘”I’ll come on in 5 minutes.” “ Keep going ..Just 5 minutes more“

“ Wait5 minutes” “ If I come on and score I am retiring from the Bombers again”

 Neither scenario came to pass…but JB did make the keen observation that Wainui were very “shouty”. That , JB, is what having God on your side does.

Chances came at both ends of the curved earth that is Kelburn Park .

Rule XII attacked Mingus again but he was well outside the box.

Wainui had 23 corners .

Carlos shook the upright’s very xylem with a header.

Desperate Mike ran aggressively out from the back and almost constructed something pretty with the prison architect.

 “We do have some great ideas” said Stent from the sideline.




Season 37 Game 661 Jumps to nowhere - Iggy Pops Bombers' bubble

Come gather round, children

It's high time ye learned

'Bout a team named The Bombers

In a field named Ben Burn

Is there anything worse than giving the responsibility of writing a report to an Argentinian with limited skills in a foreign language and serious issues to understand what his teammates say and write?  Well, it seems there is. Playing at Ben Burn (Bin Birn in New Zealand English) on a rainy winter afternoon and being the second slot on that field can be worse. A lot worse.

Reality is that if we wait for good sunny weather in Wellington to play some footy, chances are we will spend most of the winter postponing games or just skipping them and going straight to the pub. Which after seeing Bombers performance during the last few games don’t seem to be a bad idea at all.

Playing against a team called "Fossils" makes a lot of sense when as soon as you jump into the field your boots look like they have been just found in an archaeological site. Someone could say some players look like that too but it will better not to mention it and keep peace within the team.

Match begins and the two teams try to stand still in a field that loses green surface on a higher speed than the Amazon rain forest. Soon the jerseys can't be distinguished anymore and there are 22 brown tops running all over the field. Short passes are not the best idea but long shots with a ball heavier than a cannonball is not an easy task. In the middle of confusion, Fossils' number 11 (although he should use number 1 as every other loosehead prop in the world) shot from 30 yards and finds the net. It seems it’s going to be a long afternoon

The damage of climate change affects what it should be the most beautiful sport in the world and turns it into a sad show of bad timing tackles, awful passes and jumps to nowhere. Having the possession of the ball is a risk that nobody is willing to take. Only Hansie, JB and Marky Mark seems to adapt to the weather conditions, well protected under their umbrellas. The 2-0 confirms what we all know by now: It’s going to be a long afternoon.

Suddenly, just like the phoenix who arise from its ashes, the men in black found their momentum. Less than a minute after the second goal and at the first time that the Bombers could make three passes in a row, the ball reached Jackal, who scored after a weak reaction of the goalkeeper. And to everyone's shock, the draw comes through the feet of the jackal again (the left one, to be specific). Panic takes over the home team, can be seen in their eyes. 

Any team in the world after a comeback like this becomes the owner of the game. Not the Bombers. No sir. This team refuses to follow rules because it creates their own. Why to be like everyone else when you can build your own path, be different than the rest, follow the less traveled road. And to be unique is the reason why, after the equalizer, the Bombers did the opposite. Third goal for the Fossils and back to square one. 

During the second half rain becomes present again in Ben Burn to give some epic frame to the match but other than the classic discussions of Carl and Tiberius with the rivals and the ref, nothing happens. Game is coming to an end with some crossing passes to the penalty area, few shots to goal and a couple of occasions for the home team to seal the deal, well neutralized by Asst Gardener (one day I promise to find out the origin of those nicknames).

The last few minutes saw the Bombers trying by all means to reach a draw that by then would taste like victory. The field said enough and conditions were more likely to be Stalingrad in the winter of 1943 than Karori in 2017. Or maybe Karori always looks like Stalingrad, who knows. Score didn't change and the wisdom of the great Alfredo di Stefano reaches the shores of New Zealand: we played like never, we lost as always.

By cub reporter Iggy Nacho

Season 37 Game 660 The Tale of the Dallas Hand-Wife

Rags week in Valhalla

Did anyone else not meet the hottest late thirtyish red-head today in the large print

section of the Central Library, and make stinky monkey time on the changing table

in the upstairs family nappy crapper?

Perhaps rhetorical.

Bear with me, petulant menchkinder.  May I draw Your Honour's attention to Exhibit A.
First half finds the usual lost souls escaping family and DIY trivia to entertain the lost and injured. If you will, some of the best footie I've seen for ages from the black collective. 

Fenian interlopers ON THE RACK. Nintendo magnificate! Michael Michael doing what Michael Michael does. Ming  tells me he's chasing shadows. I tell him he's pushing the bastards wider and buying older legs just enoughtime in the centre.Raggspaz is mis-filing himself very effectively.
Graham is an elegant ghost in mid-field. Foiled only, in a break-out move, by their clearly drug-enhanced keeper. Roscoe sharks away. As sharks do.Tiberius is the barber's cat. Hard-used as a dollar a day apprentice. Working his guts out, as usual. The swarthy one, on a dickey passport, is also a soft strangle short of goal bliss. 

AG, poster-boy for well-priced tantric anti-hopelessness week-end retreats, has a BLINDER. Save of this,or any, season. Our very own negro panther finds Christmas morning on the fingertips of his right (so right!) hand. Skeatsy's hair is wonderful.

Stentbythehour continues to seek 360 degree closure.  Heart-stopping commitment. Armpits so full of violets. Bloody magic!

JB and me agree on something .First time last time. First half over. Nil all. ROBBERY. Should be 4-1, and waggling private parts in the face of their dryishaunties.

JB leaves. Anna is crook. In hospital.

Say, 10 in, and they score.  An ok goal. But nothing to put the chips aside for a self-root during Dallas re-runs. ( Ellie-May was always my go-to hand-wife.) There is great hara (look it up) to be taken. A thing of wonder and bravery, that first half.
The second too.

Rags week in Valhalla.
The Bitch goddess doesn't play favourites

Ask Phar Lap how that worked out.
But, if she is flame-haired, 
and of gently failing sight.
I may be at the Lido
before seven or after eight
through most


Cub reporter Marky Mark
(under fire,largely, of his own making )

(last message from the the star ship Nostromo)



Season 37 Game 659 Wriggling through a tiny tear in the the Driftnet of Mortality

Filed by Cub Reporter Marky Mark,

You know you've passed your best when those crunchy thingsstuck to your buttocks, while gingerly leveringout of the Executive Lay-Z Boy, are not potato chips, but lumps of rotting dermis, making spirited bids for freedom from a sinking ship.

The centre cannot hold...

Jump cut from badly aging roue, Marky Mark, muttering Lear-like, to his kidnapped geranium family, in his charmingly un-appointed garage pied-a-terre, to Macalister Park, on a forebodingly pleasant, sun-drenched winter afternoon.

Hold shot for 20 seconds of silence. Fade in music from Jaws...

Jump cut back to interior of midlifecrisis Jeep: Ragg and Marky are chattering animatedly about girls' bottoms and the probable trajectory of late-period capitalism. The traffic treacles. We are caught in the   funeral cortege for equality in New Zealand. Ragg giggles winningly, and points out his Newtown  rental property holdings, as we crawl towards Adelaide Road.

We are now in the changing rooms. There is testosteronalbanter. There are athletic supports. There are no mirrors. Tiberius sulks and refuses to play. We tell him he is a GQ cover manque, and he relents.

Today the Bombers Machine is a gap-toothed smile. So many creaky heros are AWOL.

We can't go on, but we'll go on...

Besides, it's family day! Tiberius' daughters are here to slowly freeze, as the sun slinks over the hill, and learn a life lesson, where the Inuit elders, no longer able to contribute to the seal hunt, are set adrift on an ice floe, for the survival of the tribe. Such a caring father. NZ Biz is surely safe in his expensively- manicured claws.

Also, a delightful Skeatson and concubine, to enliven sideline society. With children, and Danny, about, normally robust supporter badinage is severely de-salinated.

Who would have expected the words ' heck', 'golly', 'crikey penis' and 'by Jove' to pass Marky's nicostained lips!?

After 15 sun-stealing minutes of faffing about waiting for nets to go up (how precious!)  the leather Orb of Dreams is set free! This unreliable rapporteur missed the first goal through sideline intercourse. A powerful long shot from fuckatone, or suckmyvongole or takeamymummylikea  dogliataliemanaged to evade the arthritic paws of Assistant Gardener. 1-0, after only 3 or 4 minutes. Mama mia! Was this to be the al dente tip of a starchy tsunami? 

Missed their second goal too, through sideline intercourse. No idea. Sorry. 

There was ebb. There was flow. We were committed, and doing ok. But giving away too much easy possession. We had chances. Gino had a good shot. Raggster hit the bar, and their left back, repeatedly, in the head. Matinee idol, Hansie Valentino, retires, limping pitifully. 

Think it was 2-0 to the essential food group at half time...

Team huddle. Contradictory tactical suggestions. Eyes avoid eyes. Feet shuffle. The usual unsound and mystifying contributions from JB and his wounded glute.

Half the second.

We are still competing well. But they are very composed. They are relaxed on the ball. They have time. And the lion's share of possession. And you need possession to score. And they did again. But (you guessed it)  I missed it due to sideline intercourse.

25 minutes in. A perfect corner from Tiberius finds the unmarked head of the Stentbeast! Absolutely splendid strike.  3-1. We are back in the hunt!

More too and fro. Nintendo is everywhere, unleashing his inner left winger! Between brief stints on the sideline, reviving his weakling pre-hypothermic brood, Tiberius stalks the upper third of the field like a wolf with piles. He will not be denied. His increasing frustration is channelled into constructive advice to his teammates.

Nintendo shows his appreciation , after their 4th goal, kicking the ball towards Cook Strait and jeopardising his standing in the fair play awards. A very poignant moment, straight out of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. George (Nintendo) makes Lennie, the slow-witted gentle giant, (er, AG) traipse off to retieve the crushed kitten. Such is Bombers football. Such is life.

 As the Bada Bing social club says, 'whatcha gonna do?'.

Ming is holding the line. Stenter is tireless in midfield. Gene is pushing forward. Skeatsie is the schoolyard bully, playing up to the gallery. Radio Danny continues to broadcast … continuously, even after the continent has fallen.

Surgery survivor, Fishboy, comes on for an effective 10 minute cameo, then reires and pronounces himself alive, to the breath-bated sideline rabble, who may or may not have been taking bets on the resilience of his piscene ticker. Welcome back, escapee from the drift-net of mortality! May timeless goals continue to fill your kete with kai moana.

Doc makes an awkard challenge (how unusual!) and does his hammie. Exit stage east.

Ten minutes left and Maradonnatella steps up to take a 35 yard free kick. He strikes the ball so sweetly. Long shot. Slo-mo. This thing should have filed a flight plan.  And still it floats...dips miraculously and kisses the underside of the cross-bar. Confusion, until Michael Michael arrogants the ball over the line, like a blonde panzer division, purring on the Polish border, on a cold morning in early autumn 1939. (See. You do learn things from Bombers match reports. See also 'Garbanzola').

We push hard for the last 12 minutes. They score a soft, completely unnecessary, 5th goal. Which I missed due to... (see also, All Blacks v Samoa. What were they thinking!? The quality of mercy was most definitely not strained.)

5-2.  Well done pasta boys. A disciplined performance.

Too many long balls, Marky muses later that post-match night, glimpsing his gravity-riven scrotal 

sac in the full-length bathroom mirror...

Life imitates art.

There was beauty. Comedy too. And, ultimately heartbreak.

We drop two places, to fifth on the table, on GD. ('Table? We have a table!? I rub my naked anoos

up and down on your steenking table', curmudgeons JB). 

We are no longer goal positive.

Loins will be girded against the Karori fenian tide to come next Saturday.




At our house


The puggy earth

is waking

scenting battle

hungry for













Season 37 Game 658 Garmonbozia on your fries, sir ?

Through its first 45 minutes, The Bombers defeat of Wests was unsettling, weird, funny and basically impossible to review.

Two things I was wrong about regarding the 2017 version of the Bombers, which hit its pomp for 45 minutes on Saturday: First, when the match was announced and then when Hansie briefly pulled out of the project, I was vocally skeptical that a man who had ghosted through 300 games in the past 20 years was going to somehow turn around and put in a useful shift; and second, as the match neared, I frequently joked that fans expecting the Bombers who broke football when they sauntered onto Kelburn Park in 1979 were about to have their brains broken by a rude introduction to the reality of Nairnville Park in 2017 on a wet cold day.

Apparently Hansie really did direct and co-write the entirety of the Bombers 2017 experiment — the 18-episode run is being called a limited series — and although there may have been a long time between the project's announcement and its apex, it wasn't any longer than the gap between the announcement and premiere of the vastly less ambitious J-Lo vehicle Shades of Blue.

And although the first 45 minutes of this match against Wests saw them fall between space, times and dimensions (or whatever the heck is going on with the midfield) with abandon, they don't represent some audience-taxing chunk of confrontational sewer art like The Turtles. The thing that struck me most immediately about the first half is how relatively cogent it was, with a clear emphasis on "relatively." What happened on Saturday was as accessibly scary, disturbing and audaciously funny as many of the best parts of the original Bombers, and nowhere near as hallucinatory and subtextually distilled as the prequel in 1978.

That does not mean that I could tell you in any linear description what happened in the first half. Hansie and his crippled sidekick Asst Gardener decided not to make the tactics available to team mates early and embargoed those team mates who attended the warm up aimless kick around event until after the first half to keep plot details hidden.

This will take the form of a normal review, rather than a recap, and won't give away more than the general plot outline, but even within these parameters nothing I describe would "spoil" anything. The Bombers are a sensation that engulfs you and a journey you take, not a cluster of fat men waiting to happen. It's also a really strange team to attempt to review after only 600 matches. I generally bristle at the fanboys who claim their idol Hansie , despite his walnut features, is going to be an 18 game player this year. There was no discernible separation between everyone in the midfield and if goals hadn't rolled in at regular and frequent intervals, the second half could probably just as easily have flowed into bizarroworld. This isn't episodic football. It's another thing. Pie, anyone ?


With a proper spoiler warning, what are the basic details I can provide?

Well, Agent Nintendo (played by himself, outplayed by most others) is in the Black Lodge aka the midfield, that red-draped expanse with the grassy floor that reminds me of the Hitchcock/Dali collaboration in Spellbound. It's there that Laura Raggboy (also played by himself) told Nintendo that she'd see him in 25 years when the season ended 25 years ago. I'm not going to tell you what Nintendo is doing there or if it's voluntary.

In the town of Khandallah, Doc (played by both of himselves) gets a call from the Log Lady (the late Mingus), which has him looking into the files from Agent Nintendo’s time in town. "Something is missing and you have to find it," is part of her log's message to him. Is it tackling ? Is it running ? Eventually, the investigation may involve beer and fries, but so far it has not.

There's a guy who looks like Agent Nintendo, only as a leather-clad badass, going around causing trouble in the forwards. He might have supernatural powers or appetites or he may just be Argentinian.

In another dimension there's a guy whose name I don't think is ever given (but could be Hilda) and his job is watching an empty penalty area in the shadow of a towering macrocarpa. This box represents the sanctuary of the Bombers backline. He initially notes that his predecessor once saw something moving in the box, but he has not.

Oh and on the wings, a grotesque stumbletackle involves Sceatsy and Genome, who professes innocence. As we know, in the Bombers, sometimes people do things they don't want to do and don't remember doing.

That's all I would tell you about Hansie’s narrative if this were a traditional review — and I don't think it tells you much or spoils much.

An attempt to critique or unwrap the midfield thematics or symbolism would probably just be undone by the 11th game of the season, but a lot of it comes straight from the original 1979 series, so if you saw the shimmering pale figure as a harbinger of doom before, it probably still is Son of God. There are numbers referenced and I'm not going to try to unpack them; Three goals by halftime, beautifully etched from the granite of improbability by SoG, the hairy Argentinian guy and Laura Raggboy. I legitimately don't remember if they tie in with numbers given in the original season. References to animal savagery and the inherent savagery of human nature are everywhere, but nobody in the nippy, trippy midfield utters the word "garmonbozia" once. You've gotta make history wait.

Unlike in 1979 which occasionally wallowed in nudity and mature language because Gyles was unshackled from marital restrictions and because he was depicting the nightmarish descent of Marxisms last days, this version of the Bombers could nearly have passed FIFA’s current standards, even the partially exposed butt of a panicky cardiologist. There's at least one visceral scare in the box and several moments by the corner flag that left me scrawling "Ew" in my notes, but it's possible that the most unsettling part of the early minutes is the shocking alien beauty of Hansie. He has an ease and familiarity with the intimacy and smallness of Mingus, causing even casual passes to take my breath away.

So much that happened in the first half of this season is off-putting and alienating and it's all exactly Hansian enough to smooth over how much time is spent watching an unconventional team do a very conventional thing, namely mark the opposing players at corners.

"Is it future... or is it past?" is a question asked by a well-known face in the midfield, and we're supposed to think it's all deep and ominous, but it's a pretty fundamental question.

Whether Tiberius wants to mess with the lines between future and present and past, as he surely does, he's not opposed to a little continuity.

Twenty-five years passing is a lot of time, and the Bitch Goddess wants us to be shocked or moved when somebody has changed on the sideline, whether it's a new beard as a signifier for a character in a new line of work or weight packed onto a formerly gangly character as evidence of domesticity (e.g. Bodo). 

Hansie grooves on taking the familiar and sanding it down, eroding it, weathering it. Hansie also wants us to marvel when somebody hasn't changed at all, as with JB. At 19, he was a broken dissolute wreck. Nothing changes. And he wants us to reflect on death, a mourning process that is organic whenever you return to the land of Laura Raggster, and which is unavoidable given how many Bombers have passed since the original series and even since production began on the 2017 reboot.

Familiarity also brings humor. I can't imagine audiences knowing how to respond to Marky Mark if they haven't watched previous episodes, but hearing his fraternal rhythms unchanged is funny. Chuckles otherwise come from expected Hansian disconnects, like the Bomber more concerned about his set piece positioning than his husband being in bed with a halfling. I laughed a lot at these first half, a nice relief after the previous week, which had too much misery on its mind to make room for mirth. I like my defence to include uncomfortable amusement, seasoned with a tragic animus.

Nairnville is a quirkier place now than when the Bombers first premiered. It would have been fair to wonder if Agent Nintendo might look this quaint in 2018. The most significant thing I can say by way of review when it comes to the 2017 Bombers isn't really whether they're good or bad, because I'm not there yet and the team’s past has taught me to be cautious. I also have a hard time reviewing things like performances, both because there are so many people who appear so fleetingly in these matches and also because football for most of them is such a peculiar thing, down to manic blinks and tilts of the head. The question, then, is whether the midfield is what it seems. For the most part, so far it does. Or doesn’t.

Bonus extra follows


Ship of the Line (the Fighting Temaraire)

By Marky (Marky Mark) Mark Carruthers


My knee gave up


in a Turner painting

light rain dancing

in the late honey sun

mud blood and

manly banter

so what will 

I do

next Saturday ?

the crush 

of the


the pull

of the


the alternative 







box seats

are cheap


the slow

death of



Season 37 Game 657 Bombers locked out of Home of Football

Reporting by Calamari

Viscount Kelburne was born Patrick John Boyle in 1874. He was the first-born son of David Boyle, the 7th Earl of Glasgow, and soon to be NZ Governor. The Viscount also was by many accounts, a bit of a cunt.

He was a land owner (quelle surpris) and had ties to fascism during the 1920s. Being of wealth and privilege, he clearly had it all. Then he didn't. Probably through greed and mismanagement of his estates, he found himself virtually bankrupt. But being an honourable man, he worked hard to re-establish his finances and duly settle the debts he owed. The previous sentence is of course a load of bollocks. The real story is the fascist prick took off to France faster than a cheetah on steroids.

When Boyle was 22 (and only a young fascist) he got a suburb named after him. The Upland Estate Company bought land off a chap called William Moxham and established a new suburb, naming it ‘Kelburne’. They eventually dropped the ‘e’ at the end to avoid confusion with Kilbirnie. Now it seems that even though one suburb was on a hill and had a few different letters in the name was not enough to distinguish the two suburbs. This tells us that the good people of Wellington at the end of the 19th century were easily confused.

The phrase ‘easily confused’ brings us to 21st century and The Bombers. 18 men (and whatever Marky Mark is) who turned up on a relatively fine Wellington winter’s day to play the simplest game in the world and then proceed to overcomplicate it. 

The opposing team (Brooklyn) all had nicknames to do with pasta – though ravioli and tortellini were stuffed early on and farfalle was clearly overdressed (look it up). They also all had the same strip on. Conversely, The Bombers had nicknames that were a range for the clever (Assistant Gardener) to obvious (Doc) to dumb (you know who you are).  The Bombers also had a combination of tops and shorts that made them look like a group of homeless people had got together to go for a walk with a football.

The Bombers warmed up as they usually do. Standing around, talking and occasionally blasting shots over the bar. This is why AG doesn’t warm up before the game because he is not required to save anything.

Eleven Bombers take the field. JB is the ref. His command of the whistle is admirable, as is his laissez-faire attitude to the rules. The game flows like a river. Or it would if The Bombers could string more than 3 passes together.  The word ‘altruistic’ comes to mind. The Bombers give the ball away often and never expect to get it back in return.  However, there is always an exception to the rule, The Irish Rover, clearly a selfish prick, holds the ball and refuses to let Brooklyn have the ball by passing to another Bomber. What a wanker. Amazingly Gene blasts the ball into the net after a rare sequence of passing and the Bombers go 1-0 up. Unsurprisingly, the pasta ponces draw level soon after. Seeing the benefit of passing the ball and then shooting on target, they do it again and at halftime it is 2-1 to the macaroni men.

Changes are made. With 19 Bombers nothing can ever stay the same. This includes the score line. In the early stages of the second half, the ball heads down the left-hand side of the pitch. The ball is played in the air for Doc at right fullback to easily head away to safety. Doc heads the ball - with his feet. This was funnier to watch than it sounds. He falls over, tries to get the ball, fails to do so. The rigatoni runts get the ball back and before you can say “mark that guy! yeah the one all by himself in the box”, the lasagne lads are now 3-1 up.

With the game in the balance, the Irish Rover, and clearly the only one who understands the simplicity of football, takes himself off and runs away. Ragg Boy, positioning himself well at left fullback, seems to be under instruction to kick the ball away from any other Bomber. The word ‘control’ is not part of his lexicon (though he is not alone in this team). JB comes on for his 945th cap and begins to bark orders along the lines of ‘here we go lads! Up and over the trenches!”. His accurate pass to Calamari, who is in the attacking box with a shot on goal for the first time in a decade, goes unrewarded. The shot is on target but a defender does defending work and blocks the shot. Shortly after, Tiberius shoots right at the vermicelli varmint’s keeper. This time a defender gets in the way and a nice deflection helps the ball in the in net. 2-3.

Suddenly the bombers are passing the ball. Moving forward. Shooting. But nothing is getting through or on target. Calamari decides that his nickname is more in keeping with the likes of fettucine and spaghetti and in a sign of this new solidarity decides to pass to them on a couple of occasions. This, unsurprisingly, does not help. For the last 5 minutes, the Bombers are all over the tortellini twats but just can’t get the equaliser. Whistles blows. Game over. 3-2 to the penne people. The bitch goddess of football chuckles to herself and then goes back to making her spinach and ricotta cannelloni.

A team photo was taken, to be found on the Posers page of this website. 

Once at the pub, all is soon forgotten. Beer and fried food is consumed. Stories are shared, and men are men. These are good people.  Calamari declines to buy a round of $400 calamari micro-nibbles, thereby adopting the new sobriquet Wedge. It is oddly fitting (unlike his shirt: ed). The world could do with more of them and less Viscounts.

Season 37 Game 8 - Bombers cruise past world's fastest Indians

Story by Nintendo

I steered the Nissan Primera past the Urubamba river, winding my way up two and half thousand metres, up past Machu Picchu til I found myself above the cloud line at Newlands park .

After circling the facility for an hour and abandoning the car near the unbroken yellow lines that decorate the suburb, I caught a glimpse of some Incas in the mist. Bronze-skinned, potbellied warriors with fearsome mullets – Wainui Pacifica.

The temperature goosebumped to a healthy six degrees, the mud coagulated in the light rain and the sky lowered a little further as the gods and goddesses sat in their armchairs above to take in proceedings.

The email plaintives has resulted in a record turn out of past, present, never present, barely present and Argentine men in black. I arrived a little late and was immediately met by a menacing figure in sheepskin lined suede jacket holding a stool. This lion tamer of man informed me I wouldn’t play the first half and would instead be taking photographs. And so like Mathew Brady approaching a civil war battlefield with due reverence I whipped out my mobile to begin recording proceedings. But it wasn’t possible. There wasn’t enough light. The Gods had closed the sky and the figures blurred into a morass of grey and indigo.

Newlands Park will one day become an airport or a city in its own right, but for now it must simply be what it is – the world’s biggest soccer field. A Wembley to the power of ten. The first half was an end to end slug fest but the Bombers more than held their own. There was running, passing and motivation not seen since we’d scaled the Dardenelles in ’15. Our snow bear, the Controller nodded approvingly from the sidelines. The combo of Ignacio, Ragg, Stent and Jackal started to fire, but the revelation was yet another import – an Irish Danny Boyexcept he’s called Graham who once played football at a very high level and we’re not talking altitude here, we’re talking ability and Graham’s ability to mop up every loose ball and stray limb in the midfield was a wonder to behold. The mud also enabled plenty of sliding tackles by Son of God . Meanwhile Hilda, Mingus, Hansie, Mike and Doc looked as relaxed and assured at the back as travel agents at an annual beach conference. Operation Inca was going to plan.

After 38 seasons in the mud, the Bombers had at last achieved parity in the midfield. I’ll leave that sentence tall and meta tag it so it can be googled by football historians when the gods write our story on the walls of Olympus.

The second half began in drizzle and we slowly gained even greater dominance in midfield and started to thread serious passes together. Triangles, rhomboids, parallelograms. This intricate stitching paid dividends when the ball reached Malvinas and he lashed an uncatchable shot goalwards. It was parried by their keeper but the greyhound of the Bombers – the Jackal – hurled himself at the rebound and nodded past the prostrate keeper. One nil.

Wainui doubled their efforts but for once we responded in kind and after more midfield embroidery the ball reached Graham who sent a peach of cross sailing into the box where once more it was met by Jackal’s dome and dispatched into the net.

The Wainui team knew there was only one way to respond at Masters Four level. It was time to abuse the ref and dispute every call. The remainder of the match was spent in this testy fashion as Graham’s challenges became more medical in their intervention. The fleet footed Incas of the Valley poured forward but mild mannered Mike employed an offside trap with slide rule precision and the home refereeing did the rest. Hilda made an exceptional save from a corner after Nintendo blithely invited the Head Mullet to have first go at the ball.

Wainui fashioned a few more presentable chances after this but were sporting enough to spurn them, even from a metre out.

Despite the two film-ready goals scored by the Bombers, the clear highlight of the game came when Nintendo, prone to falling over at any time, was toppled by an eddy in the lightly roaring Southerly somewhere near his own penalty spot. Nothing unusual in this, except he fell onto the ball and hugged it like a branch in a swollen river. Gyles retreated to the corner flag to claim he was unsighted and immune to the strident and justified appeals of the refugees from the Raj. Accordingly, in line with the proud traditions of their culture, six of them started kicking at Nintendo. Mikey Mike, Hansie and  Son of God joined in. Hartina Mingus flew in with perfect foot stabs. Nintendo squirmed in the mud like a banker in a sex cellar - in pain and delight. Two strangely compelling minutes later his little stick arms released the ball - to the disappointment of everyone and the clear annoyance of JB who had jogged 76 metres from halfway to join the angry jerk circle.

The Bombers soaked up the remaining 20 minutes of the game by retrieving the ball from the nearby school in time-honoured fashion and in a flash the twenty minutes had become five then three and then two and a second later after the word two was uttered the whistle went and the time space continuum collapsed into the black hole of full time.

The Urubamba river filled with beer and was diverted to Khandallah where jug after jug was consumed accompanied by chips. Three wins on the trot. Fourth equal. Football doesn’t get any colder than this.