TMQB: The best sports column EVER

In honour of the great Justin Marshall, TMQB is proud to bring you the greatest column in the history of sports writing. Ever.

From the snappy intro followed by the clever one-word second sentence to the clever as a fox with a masters degree in rat cunning outro you’ll almost certainly get to in about 450 more words, this column is unquestionably perfect in every aspect.

At least that’s how Marshall will see it. A congratulatory phone call to the Newsroom newsroom from Marshall that begins with his trademark uber-excited scream, which sounds curiously like he’s just experienced an unexpected but nonetheless powerful orgasm (often brought on witnessing by Nehe Milner-Skudder flick pass) will be patched in any moment.

We know this because this column is brilliant and Marshall is not one to hold off on praise (or orgasmic screams of delight) when merited.

The former All Blacks halfback certainly didn’t hold back in his assessment of Springboks hooker Malcolm Marx’s game on Sunday morning.

“Have you ever, EVER” Marshall screamed shortly after Marx fell over the line at the back of a rolling maul to score a ridiculously simple try against a team that had clearly run out of puff.

At this point it’s possible Marshall paused for dramatic effect. It’s also possible – although less likely – that he paused because he had second thoughts about whether he really wanted to go all in on his current train of thought.

If that was the case, Marshy damned the torpedoes in no uncertain terms.

“…seen a performance by and individual so dominant? We see it sometimes from backs, we see moments of brilliance. But this has been, you would have to say, closer to one of the most complete performances a hooker has ever produced in any game of rugby ever.”

Things have clearly changed at the Herald since TMQB was in charge of the test match player ratings. At that time 10s were banned on the questionable logic that ‘what do we do if a player played even better the next week?’

Even for a comments man not exactly known to favour mild understatement, an assessment that comes up just one EVER short of Outkast’s Sorry Miss Jackson is some bold assessment.

The most dominant, complete performance ever. Forever ever?

Are you for real?

Marx was good all right, setting up an earlier try with a simple catch and pass and generally going about his work in impressive fashion. But the best performance every by anyone in any game ever?

To answer Marshy’s initial question – have we ever, EVER witnessed anything quite like it? Maybe. Probably. Chances are we just didn’t notice it. There’s a reason why Marshall is an expert live TV rugby comments man, while this column comes out a day late and tends to witter on about not much at all.

The greatest hooking display in history, in any match ever, may well have unfolded in front of TMQB’s eyes while we were obsessing about Ardie Savea’s haircut. If so, we suspect it was played by Dane Coles. Or Jason Rutledge.

Whomever they were, the chances are the player that did produce the best ever, most dominant, most complete ever display found themselves on the winning side – which seems somewhat of a prerequisite when it comes to issues of completeness.

But we’re probably just nit picking.

Marshall certainly had plenty of support for his assessment, with the NZ Herald’s Chris Rattue handing Marx a rare Torvill and Dean in his player ratings.

Things have clearly changed at the Herald since TMQB was in charge of the test match player ratings. At that time 10s were banned on the questionable logic that ‘what do we do if a player played even better the next week?’

TMQB never did hand out a Torvill. We did give a Bradford rugby league prop a minus 3, which didn’t go over all that well with the player, even though he quite clearly had the worst, most terrible, merit-free performance, not just in league, but in any sport.


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