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Phuket prepped for Super Bowl

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket prepped for Super Bowl | The Thaiger

PHUKET TOWN: Super Bowl XLIV (that’s 44), the culmination of the NFL season and the biggest annual sporting event in the USA, will kick off early tomorrow morning, Thai time.

The New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts will meet in Miami to decide the destination of the next Vince Lombardi trophy.

It will be an historic occasion for the New Orleans Saints, who will be determined to ensure that their first Super Bowl appearance is a successful one. The Colts, by contrast, will be making their second Super Bowl appearance since 2007.

The Saints’ first ever Super Bowl is particularly significant coming just five seasons after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and forced thousands of people to take shelter in the Louisiana Superdome, rendering the stadium unsuitable as a sporting venue for the entire 2005/2006 season. The New Orleans Saints were forced to play their home games in neighboring cities that year, failing to make the divisional playoffs and finishing with an overall record of 3-13.

Expats in Phuket have been known to make an early rise – or all-night plunge – to be awake for the 6am kickoff.

This year’s game is especially important for local resident Karen Ellison, who is both owner of Duke’s Big Board Bar in Kata and a native of New Orleans. Ellison will make sure her pub is up and running for football fans the morning of the game.

“Living in South East Asia redefines the concept of a traditional ‘tailgater’ and instead we serve breakfast to the foolhardy folks willing to catch an early hour kick-off. No matter, we still get to catch the game live and replace burgers & hot dogs with bacon and eggs. At Duke’s Big Board Bar in Kata, we’re just trying to make everyone feel a little bit at home…while away from home,” she said.

For Ellison and other natives of New Orleans, the Saints’ first Super Bowl appearance is about more than just football.

“Like the tsunami which devastated Phuket in 2004, New Orleans was decimated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The spirit of New Orleans, affectionately called NOLA, has been experiencing a rebirth under the Fleur-de-lis so proudly worn by the Saints,” she said.

Things turned around in the seasons following Hurricane Katrina as the Saints worked their way towards winning records and discovered superstar talent in runningback Reggie Bush and quarterback Drew Brees. Their progressive success continued this year, finishing the regular season and booking a spot in the playoffs with a record of 13-3.

The Saints faced the Arizona Cardinals at the Louisiana Superdome in the conference semi-finals and were comfortable victors, winning 45-14 to take their place in the NFC Championship for the second time in the club’s 53 year history.

It was there that the Saints took on veteran quarterback Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings for the rights to show in Super Bowl XLIV. With the clock ticking down and the scores tied at 28-28, the Vikings had one last drive from which to score what would surely have been the winning points. The script was written for the veteran Favre – who is the oldest quarterback to ever win an NFL payoff game – to lead the Vikings to the Super Bowl, but the Saints clearly hadn’t read it. They intercepted an errant Favre pass to send the game into overtime and kicked a game-winning field goal to claim a 31-28 victory.

The Colts route to the Super Bowl was more routine for the consistently successful team. They finished the regular season 14-2 and comfortably dispatched the Baltimore Ravens 20-3, and the New York Jets 30-17, to secure the AFC Championship. Colts QB Peyton Manning – who is arguably the best player in the NFL today – continues to claim his future spot in the NFL Hall of Fame with his precision passing and widely respected team leadership.

The Saints, who go into the game as slight underdogs, will be looking to dynamic running back Reggie Bush to find a way through the Colts defense. The Colts will, as always, be reliant upon Manning, who led them to their Super Bowl success in 2006. The Saints will be hoping his opposite number Drew Brees, who has enjoyed the best season of his career to date, can conjure up a match winning performance in Miami.

A TV audience of in excess of 90 million is expected in the US, with millions more likely to tune in around the world.

Kickoff is set for 6:25am Thai time and the match will be screened live on True TV and Astro Supersport.



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Phuket

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest

The Thaiger

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Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Department of National Parks

Officers from of the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area have helped in the release of a slow loris back into the wild yesterday.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation reports that the head of Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area, Pongchart Chueahom, yesterday released the slow loris to the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Are in Thalang.

The slow loris was found near a furniture factory in Thalang last week. It was being treated at a pet hospital before being handed over to Khun Pongchart when it was ready to be set free.

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy

The Thaiger

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Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy | The Thaiger

A floating seastead has today been towed by a naval vessel back to the Port of Phuket in Cape Panwa. Meanwhile the Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam is challenging the owners and builders of the structure to take the Thai Government and Navy to the International Court of Justice.

The Royal Thai Navy’s Third Fleet ventured out with a group of reporters on Saturday to inspect the floating seastead, the first of about 20 planned Ocean Builders for the open waters about 22km from Phuket’s Koh Racha Yai.

Nothing valuable was found on board the octagon-shaped steel and aluminium structure which was attached to a floating platform.

Two vessels were used in today’s operation. The living quarters were detached and placed on the first vessel and the second towed the floating platform to the shore for safe keeping pending legal action against its owner as well as the builder, Ocean Builders Company.

Dr. Wissanu said yesterday that Thai authorities were authorised to remove or dismantle the floating housing unit with or without the consent of its owner after finding the structure could pose a threat to Thai national security and sovereignty in accordance with Article 119 of the Criminal Code.

He said that the structure also posed an obstacle to vessels and was located not far from an oil rig.

Regarding the threat by Ocean Builders Company to sue the Thai government in the International Court of Justice for the removal, the deputy PM says he welcomes the move, noting that no government anywhere would allow a seastead settlement near their maritime territory.

Seasteader Chad Andrew Edwartowski and his Thai wife, Mrs. Nadia Summergirl, are wanted by the Thai police for questioning after Thai immigration revoked the American’s non-immigrant visa and blacklisted him.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Phuket

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung

The Thaiger

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Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phattalung Rescue

Two people have sustained serious injuries after a Phuket taxi slammed into a tree in Phattalung last night.

Phattalung rescue workers were notified of the accident in Mueang Pattalung District at 7.57pm last night (Sunday).

They arrived at the scene to find the Phuket registered taxi resting in front of the big tree on the side of the road near a temple. The front of the vehicle had extensive damage following the collision.

The two people who sustained serious injuries were 58 year old Wanchai Srithong and 64 year old Jamras Srithong. They were both taken to the Phattalung Hospital.

Pattalung City Police are continuing their investigation. There has been no explanation given at this stage as to why a Phuket taxi was in Phattalung.

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger

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