And what'd'ya know!? There's more doping in sport. More corruption, more cheating and more silly old men getting a wee bit greedy. Honestly, that's the main issue here and I encourage ya'll to look around the world and observe the dramas of the sporting world and the corporate world which can be all put down to greedy old men.
The findings from an investigation into doping claims have been released and apparently Russia was knee deep in the dope-game. It's one thing to take some performance enhancing substances by yourself - not ideal, but better than a government-led doping program which not only encouraged doping but then went to great lengths to cover it up. If it was going to be anyone, the Russians would have been a good bet.
I'm a youngster, so this along with Lance Armstrong's antics stand out as the biggest doping dramas of my lifetime. Should we be concerned? Obviously, yet I also think that there's room to be encouraged that issues like widespread doping in athletics and the FIFA shenanigans are actually being investigated.
Russia's defence at the moment is that the world is anti-Russia. For the average joker that means that sporting and political boundaries are being further blurred and that is one of my biggest worries with all of this. It was the FBI who put the wheels in motion for the anti-FIFA crusade and who is Sepp Blatter's homie? Ah, Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader and here we are again, caught up in the 'I'm More Of A Greedy Old Man Than You Are' contest.
Unrelated to the greedy old man angle is that athletics does have a serious problem here and as there have been consistent questions about a number of countries and their programs, this might not be the end.
Two other interesting side-stories to all of this is Sebastian Coe (possible greedy old man candidate) and his role as president of the IAAF, as well as brands like Nike who appear to sponsor most of the drug cheats around the world. Coe and the IAAF have no choice but to take a tough stance here and surely they must be considering banning Russia from competing in events for a few years ... unless Russia's bribe pigeon shows up with some cash.
The Nike thing is just a funky thought. Whether brands like Nike know what is going on with their athletes or whether they are just giving them shoes, training gear and some cash, it's a bad look for your brand when athletes that you sponsor get caught up in doping. One day these brands might take a stand and run a far tighter ship instead of being greedy, demanding the very best. Or these brands might continue to support doping on the down-low.
Joseph Parker will be back in the ring ... against two boxers who don't even have Wikipedia pages! People talk shit about Wikipedia but if you don't have a Wikipedia page as a boxer, you haven't really moved the needle as a boxer and that's where we are at with Parker. Daniel Martz will fight Parker at the Fight For Life on December 5th, with Jason Bergman then set to fight Parker in Samoa on January 23rd.
Martz is huge lad while Bergman is a southpaw, which is a smart move by Kevin Barry and Duco who are preparing Parker slowly and surely for a title push. I don't mind that as it is clear to see the path that Parker is taking and I'd rather see Parker gain more experience against different boxers instead of fighting fights he's not ready for. That's all good, so shout out to all involved.
What is really dumb is that people are expected to pay to watch Parker fight nobodies. These nobodies serve their purpose as punching bags for Parker and there will be videos online after the fights that you can watch for free, so meh. Allow this English guy to break it down without the kiwi-bias/hype...
Finally, this New Zealand Phoenix stuff is an interesting twist in the #SaveTheNix campaign. This shows that there's a fair chance of a future in the A-League for the Wellington Phoenix and it also shows that Frank Lowy (and David Gallop) and their case against the Phoenix is weak. It was clearly weak to start with and now they are just throwing bullshit around to cover their backsides.
As an Aucklander, I don't think it makes much of a difference whether it's the NZ Phoenix or the Wellington Phoenix. I still view the Phoenix as my football team and I actually love that this team is a Wellington team - it doesn't change how I support the Phoenix. In fact, Wellington deserves to have 'Wellington' associated with the Phoenix because it is Wellington and the people of Wellington who we have to thank for the existence of the Phoenix.
Auckland, or New Zealand had its chance with the Knights/Kingz which failed miserably. Wellington is the home of the Phoenix and without Wellington we wouldn't have the Phoenix, simple as that.
Lowy's comments will only further piss the core fanbase in Wellington off even more and shows just how disconnected he and the FFA are with the Wellington Phoenix and the future of the A-League.
Oh, Wayne Rooney what a guy!