Attending yesterday's T20 in Auckland was an interesting experience. On the field, we (fans in attendance) were treated to typical T20 action which means there was a lot of action, thus making the overall cricketing experience fun.
Everything in the periphery however didn't quite follow the lead set by the kiwi cricketers. The fun police were certainly out in force and everything you are hearing about security taking drums and Sri Lankan fans out of the stands certainly happened, throw in over-priced tickets, food and beverage and it seems that nobody at either NZ Cricket or Eden Park (more likely Eden Park) has learned their lesson.
Sidenote: I did have to laugh when I not only saw plenty of eager-beaver security guards and police, but lots of guys in suits with ear-pieces on. It seemed like everyone was preparing for something much, much worse than a few fans simply wanting to bring noise and colour to a sports event.
I'll leave the intricacies of all those issues aside, for you to discuss with your homies as I'll settle on this...
Here we are, 2016, where I can watch sport on my couch with or without my friends, clothed or naked, with a fridge full of goodies that cost the same as a packet of hot chippies and a beer/soft drink. The coverage on the telly is great these days, they have drones, all sorts of other gizmos and inbetween deliveries I can flick through Tinder.
Everything is at arms length, I bought all my food and drink goodies at a nice price and I'm in a very comfy lazy-boy ... and they want us to give this up to deal with shitty security, expensive food/drink etc.
How about all stadiums realise that they need to simply offer the consumer a better product instead of doing the opposite? Clearly these jokers aren't very smart.
As for the T20s? Well you'll notice that there's no specific content about the BLACKCAPS T20 games and it will remain that way. T20 cricket is what it is, just don't expect us to analyse it ... until the World T20 when shit gets real.
One joker who I do think is quite smart is Anthony Hudson, coach of the All Whites. Hudson came out over the weekend and basically let down his fly-zipper, squatted and did a big ol' poo all over Aotearoa's football culture.
Brave, smart or a coach who is incredibly frustrated and could be out of a job very soon?
I'm not sure, I think I tend to agree with Hudson in some regard. We certainly don't have the sporting culture where young footballers live and breathe football at an early age, attending academies, living away from home and dedicating every moment of the day to getting better as footballers. Heck, I'd extend that out to most kiwi sports with the obvious exceptions being those incredibly dedicated athletes who give up nights out etc to just get better.
You would need to talk to someone who is closer to this on a daily basis though, ah Mr Hudson!
Hudson didn't need to go public with these comments, he could have raised concerns with NZ Football and come up with ways to improve the footballing culture in private. Yet here he was, piping up so that everyone heard and I can only think that Hudson wanted to make a point and ensure that everyone got the message.
My view on Hudson's comments is that Hudson clearly isn't happy with the level of talent of our local youngsters. Hudson has leaned heavily on youth as All Whites coach which has coincided with a less than flattering past year or so for the All Whites, so I reckon Hudson is just a bit frustrated that his ploy to develop younger players has backfired because these younger player just aren't good enough.
Aren't good enough ... good, just not where they could be thanks to personal drive and motivation.
Maybe, I dunno. Hudson could just be covering his backside as he's been the one copping it from all angles.
What this does raise though is a very troublesome situation for football in Aotearoa. I have been optimistic about kiwi football thanks largely to the success in hosting the Under 20 World Cup and how that team went, throw in the Football Ferns as a very fun team to follow and I have just felt good about everything.
Meanwhile the All Whites have been struggling, the Wellington Phoenix are knee deep in sticky situation and apparently the mindset of young players is wrong. Halfway through 2016 it will be interesting to see how I feel about all of this.
March 19, lock it in. That's when our favourite MMA fighter Mark Hunt will take on Frank Mir in Brisbane on the UFC Fight Night card. Hunt recently beat up Antonio Silva, otherwise known as Big Foot and with Hunt still chasing some title action in the heavyweight division, a fight against Mir offers him the perfect chance to take a step or two closer to being in the mix for a title shot.
Hunt is still a few wins away from a title shot and Mir, like Hunt, is an experienced fighter who also beat Silva last year.
This is the only fight locked in for the Brisbane event and it will be interesting to see what other fights are put on this card. Any time the UFC comes this close to Aotearoa I get excited, as do many of y'all and after Ronda Rousey's loss to Holly Holm in Melbourne, the UFC must surely be keen to keep the big fights flowing in Australia.
Big, I guess that makes the rumoured UFC 197 card for March 5th in Las Vegas nothing short of epic. Conor McGregor vs Rafael Dos Anjos? Yeah gimme all of that and a splash of a Holly Holm title defence against Miesha Tate. The UFC is taking over folks, better get acquainted of get left behind.
Oooooooop, show and go courtesy of Manaia Cherrington...
Steven Adams funk ya