Midweek Bulletin - Stormin' Norman

Truth be told, my memories of Norm Berryman aren't crystal clear in my young mind, but they do exist. The headgear and usually in the red and black of Auckland's arch rivals, Canterbury stick out vividly. But it was also the multiple shades of blue of Northland that stick out when thinking of Berryman and I think that that's all that really needs to be said about the type of player that Berryman was.

Not only did he venture down to Canterbury to join the Crusaders, but he showed that he was more than capable of stepping up for one of Aotearoa's premier rugby teams. He didn't just perform on the field, he was also welcomed with open arms by the lads from the South Island, those staunch lads from Canterbury. Mana comes to mind.

Which puts this video from 2011 into some context and I think we can all be thankful that Berryman got this sort of appreciation before his life was taken far too soon. 

Who knows what the kiwi rugby and sporting community has done to lose two of its soldiers in quick succession, it's all pretty shitty but in times like these you're able to look back and really sit in awe of both Jerry Collins and Berryman. 

Pour some out, light one up.

The Wellington Sevens, over the past few years as it has dwindled in scale I have found myself questioning plenty of decisions made by those who wield the power stick. Here I am again, questioning why the fun police feel the need to change the perception of the Wellington Sevens.

They've now made a few alterations to the event; making it over a Saturday and Sunday in late January on the same weekend as Auckland Anniversary weekend and putting it in a glorious period for Wellingtonians with three horse races. Everyone loves a good horse race, getting dressed up and getting drunk ... wait, that sounds like the old Wellington Sevens?

It's kinda good I guess, they are trying to switch things up, but damn, they aren't very creative are they? The Auckland Anniversary idea sounds good, but so does heading to the beach for the weekend and it sounds like the Wellington event is still having a bit of an identity crisis.

To add some funk to all of this, Wellington's contract thingy to hold the Sevens event in Aotearoa runs out soon. It's really really hard to see anywhere else in Aotearoa hosting the Sevens, especially with Aucklanders getting balls deep in the NRL Nines. 

The Black Sticks ladies have continued to put the goals away with a 5-0 win over India. This followed a 12-0 win over Poland with both opponents not posing much of a threat, especially as the Black Sticks struggles against India came thanks to a lack of basic skills. Those struggles only existed for bits and pieces of the game with the kiwi girls too fast, strong and skillful for the Indians. The Indians who are without a goal or a point so far.

Striker Gemma Flynn is proving to be a handful for the Black Sticks as she scored twice and now leads the goal tally for the tournament with six in two games. This sets up the biggun' against Australia who face Belgium tomorrow, meaning the kiwi girls get a day off to rest and also see what the Aussies are up to. 

In my browsing of the interwebs I found this dope yarn from the BBC in which cyclist Mark Cavendish breaks down the art of sprinting. Cavendish is well known as cycling's best sprinter, resembling a cannon ball being shot from a pack of cyclists and he does a great job of explaining how all that shit goes down.

There's lots of little gems in there, but this one took the cake for me 

"Speed?" remarked Jackie Stewart, a few months after winning the first of his three Formula 1 world titles in 1969. "The whole business is the reverse of speed. Speed doesn't exist for me unless I'm driving poorly. Then things seem to be coming at me quickly instead of passing in slow motion.

"In form, I see things a long way off, in fine detail. A corner will come towards me very slowly… everything is clear, neither hurried nor distorted, like a slowed-down movie film."

As true for a road sprinter as a Grand Prix driver?

"That's a brilliant quote," says Cavendish. "That really is how it works.

"You know what's going on around you, you're aware of some things, but there's no detail in your peripheral vision. It's only what's in front of you.

"I watched a documentary on time recently, about how time is just what you perceive it to be. If your adrenaline is going, it's your body trying to absorb every bit of information, physical and emotional, so it can learn for the next time it happens to you.

"And that's what happens to me. It's what your body does in its instinctive state."

Cricket Australia have come out and said that they are well aware of discussions between the Essel Group and a few of its cricketers. Long story short, the Essel group are backed by Subhash Chandra who was behind the failed Indian Cricket League T20 competition and is trying to start another rebel T20 league as well as shaking the apple cart in world cricket.

David Warner has been front and centre of this, mainly because he was offered a cool $50 milly, but also because he said that he would be a fool not to consider it. Fair play, but he also said that he was pretty much just covering his basis - he'd look like a fool if he said no and then for whatever reason decided to do it.

Most of these discussions took place as Australia's cricketers were in India for the Indian Premier League, but it all sounds a bit fluffy at this stage. Chandra doesn't have a great history in cricket, although he does in business. I wouldn't pay this no mind until I start to hear noise about feathers being ruffle on a larger scale, which has been hinted at - some competition to the ICC. 

Bruh, how about this Women's World Cup!? Australia upset Brazil and now England have beaten Norway 2-1 while the USA took care of Columbia. Wait, why am I getting excited, this looks like all the countries who think they run the world doing well, shit. 

This sets up some epic quarter finals, although we still have Japan vs the Netherlands in the round of 16 but it's hard not to get excited about Germany vs France which will be the highlight of the QF's. We've also got China vs USA and England vs Canada with Australia to play either Japan or the Dutch.