Sometimes the Diggity Doc and the Wildcard talk to each other...
Diggity Doc - El Wildcardo, the Rugby World Cup has grabbed me by the balls and oddly enough I'm very excited by it. But World Cup time brings the issue of 'minnows' which reared its silly head during the Cricket World Cup and probably will again throughout the rugby version. Both sports are sports that are played by a few countries and are tiny on the world scale, which is why I love the minnows and without their participation at World Cups we'd never really get to see them in action right?
Wildcard - Mr Doc, how are ya? When you're not being molested by the World Cup, that is. Yeah, there's really no other chance to see some of these teams play outside of this competition. And while they tend not to provide the toughest competition, its essential from my point of view. You never quite realise the reach and influence of the All Blacks and their brand until you see these nations from the other side of the world who idolise them. But if you're comparing it to cricket, then at least rugby is doing what it can to grow its sport. New countries are being given the opportunity to grow and expand their rugby base. Sometimes I wonder if the All Blacks themselves should be doing more in that regard but it's not really their job, I s'pose. That's an IRB thing, and they do make a decent go of it. Cricket, meanwhile, don't care a bit for the smaller teams, it's all about the major nation dollars, which is pretty offensive, really.
DD - The RWC could possibly show cricket how to embrace the smaller nations. We've seen the All Blacks take games to Japan, Hong Kong and America to do their bit to grow the game and add some cash to their stash while cricket ... well Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar might start a T20 league in America - different on so many levels.
WC - Oh, it could demonstrate how to do it, sure. But cricket's long since past the point of caring about anything beyond itself. It's kinda funny how the Americans are trying to get into football more and more and with that comes their usual thing about trying to fix anything. So in come the lawyers and the FBI and FIFA are finally getting slammed. Which is cool, coz we all know they deserve it. Imagine this Warney/Sachin thing takes off and finds popularity beyond cricket-loving expats... how long 'til corruption in the ICC becomes a big storyline?
DD - Mate then I'd be celebrating the FBI because the ICC is the only thing holding cricket back. What are your top non-rugby storylines at the moment?
WC - Umm, I dunno, there's always plenty going on. Though it's unlikely you'll realise that over the next six weeks or so if you only watch TV1/TV3 news and read the NZ Herald. Of course, the NRL playoffs take a precedent with the impending glory on the line for one of these remaining teams. The start of the NFL has everyone talking about Jarryd Hayne in these parts, that's got me perked up but then so does the NFL as a whole. Dunno if you saw what Tony Romo did against the Giants, but wow. Even more impressive was Marcus Mariota's flawless professional debut. And then we get the ol' Premier League and the start of European footy. Both our sides lost, but only one of us lost a left-back to a broken leg, which I'm still heartbroken over. Ooh, and I'm super pumped for the Chelsea vs Arsenal match this weekend. There's a tie that's gonna tell us enormous amounts about where these two contenders are heading.
DD - Where does Luke Shaw's leg break rank among ruthless leg breaks? It wasn't quite on the Jharal Yow Yeh or Paul George level but ruthless nonetheless.
WC - You had to draw that straw out of the lot, didn't you? I mean, you knew it was bad when they didn't show a replay. Never a good sign. I'd say it isn't as bad as the two you named, though. To get specific, it was a double fracture but it was a clean break. Plus the bone never (*shivers*) pierced the skin. So in a manner of speaking, it's the best kind of the worst kind of injury. Just as Paul George somehow managed, it's not out of the question that he plays again before the end of the season. Which is huge, because it's Euro 2016 coming up and he's England's best left back. Man, Yow Yeh's though... that's as bad as I've seen. Like, it ended his career. I remember Jimmy Bullard had a horrific one in the Premier League once. So did that Arsenal lad, Eduardo.
DD - I saw Yow Yeh's break at the time and as soon as I spotted a blob of blood on his sock it was game over. Which story do you like more between Lydia Ko and Hayne? I am all in on Ko - I think I may love her.
WC - Careful buddy, you'll be hosting a show on Radio Sport soon if you keep saying things like that. I like Hayne's one better. Both are incredible, but with Hayne, he's already dominated a sport as Ko is beginning to do. Now he's trying to make it in another one. He's done it twice, ya know? The fact that people think others might follow him to the NFL shows you that most folks are severely underestimating the achievement. Nobody in history has done what Hayne's just done. Nobody else may ever match it.
DD - So I think we both agree that people think what Hayne is doing is easier than it actually is? I reckon Hayne is an absolute freak and all this talk of other NRL players or pro rugby players emulating him is way off the mark. Maybe younger players who can go into college, but I doubt we'll see anyone make a leap like Hayne has.
WC - Yep, I'm with ya there. He's made it to the highest level of a sport he'd never played before and he's done it in less than 12 months. Unprecedented. Ooh, and apparently he might be dating some celebrity from some pop band I've never heard of. Forgive me for that, I don't listen to the radio. Given that his teammate Reggie Bush used to date Kim Kardashian, it seems young Jarryd's fitting in nicely. Good for him, seems like the perks of the NFL might be just a little bit more than in the NRL.
DD - One of many perks mate, one of many. Your football viewing habits make you a night owl, so how's your RWC viewing gonna pan out?
WC - With more difficulty than I'd like to be honest. The All Blacks' opening game seems to clash with Manchester United this week, which may mean having to rig the double telly system and getting the live streams going. Which is never easy in the middle of the bloody night. Frankly I'm expecting to have to make good use of the time-shifting functions of modern television and the daily highlights shows. You got any tips for functioning without sleep, Doc?
DD - Nah bro, I just battle through or watch it during the day time. We've got the technology so it's all good baby baby. I really don't know how many people intend on lurking out to pubs etc to watch these games which made that whole closing time kerfuffle so dumb. The majority of people will just be nice and snug on the couch won't they?
WC - Technology is a wondrous thing. Hell, yes, I'll be on the couch. Worst case scenario, I'm on someone else's couch. But you can bet your life I'm not heading to a pub at 4am, that's ridiculous. At that time in the morning, the rule is that if you have to put on pants to do it then it's not worth doing. Pretty sure that's widely known.
DD - Any trends or weird things to keep an eye out in this RWC? It used to always be watching out for Brian Lima, he was the mantis.
WC - Haha, there's a name. I guess we'll notice the trends as the games start coming and going, right now my focus is all on the pre-tournament mind games. It looks like England are going hard on them, being the hosts and all, but curiously there's been nothing from the kiwis or South Africans that I've seen. The Aussies have said some dumb stuff, and Ali Williams all of a sudden seems to have a media career even though he was always a bit of a muppet when he opened his mouth. That's probably why, actually. I think that's a good sign though, keeping quiet and focussed. Yourself? Spotted any potential game-changers?
DD - I reckon the way of the world will throw up a few funky players playing for interesting countries. Craig Wing is playing for Japan while there is Samu Manoa from the USA who looks like a beast. I actually need to go make my flight, the Georgians require peptides and I'm getting 5-star treatment because I have peptides.
WC - Craig Wing! There are always a few names that pop up that you hadn't thought of for four years until they do something cool and the good vibes come floating back. Mate, I won't hold you back, I've heard that Georgian hospitality is something to behold. You're gonna need all your energy. Safe travels, Doc.
DD - Craig Wing, arguably the best code-hopper not named Sonny Bill Williams. Actually, that's be fun to watch as Wing, SBW and Sam Burgess fight for the code-hopping crown!
They call me the peptilian master
Master crafter, herb coughs like I got asthma
Hearts broken by the All Blacks choking just need a plaster
2015 provides another opportunity to live happily ever after
But the Nichey Niche loves it all
Peace love and chicken grease to all
So big shouts to the Hayne Plane and the Ko Train
Looking down at the mainstream with disdain
It's insane how a lack of funk impacts the brain
We've got our lane, truckin' against the grain
Nichey Niche, cutting through like acid rain