On Wednesday I kinda celebrated Australia Day. Obviously I didn't actually celebrate Australia Day (why would I?), I just celebrated the idea of a national holiday being about pride and good times instead of Waitangi Day here in Aotearoa for example which is also punctuated with protests and silly political smuck.
You've always got to be careful what you wish for though and on the same day that I celebrated the idea of Australia Day, Mitchell Pearce reminded me that maybe those Aussies don't have it quite figured out. I mean, if I had to get excessively drunk, pee on a couch, appear to shag a dog and generally act like a plonker on Australia Day, I'd pass and just enjoy my day off in celebration of our own indigenous people - not the fact that my European ancestors did a nice job of screwing over those indigenous folk.
I couldn't help but chuckle to myself at how the stars had aligned. Here I was thinking Australia Day was pretty cool, only to be reminded in the most Australian way possible that the grass isn't always greener.
In saying that, I'd still like our kiwi national holiday to be about un-abashed pride and not political smuck, yuck.
Mitchell Pearce's shenanigans have dominated the air waves and I've voiced my over-arching views on this issue, concentrating on how Pearce's actions impact the Sydney Roosters' NRL season. At the Nichey Niche, we like to focus more on the sporting action and less on the peripheral fluff which the mainstream enjoy, with the only though regarding Pearce himself and his actions is our reliance on alcohol.
We celebrate alcohol like it's some sacred beverage, though I'm not here to preach to the average citizen, just the athletes - why bother? Why bother with alcohol? What good does alcohol bring you as any sort of athlete? Zero, so anyone who gets into alcohol-related dramas has no sympathy from me.
This weekend is shaping as an interesting one with the Wellington Sevens, Ford Trophy final and game three between the BLACKCAPS and Pakistan all going down. The Sevens is always funky and here's hoping we're not fed how much of a failure/success it was because the crowd was this big or this small, I'm only worried about the All Blacks Sevens team and how they fare with such a stellar line up.
The Ford Trophy final will be shown on telly tomorrow, with Canterbury and Central Districts going at it for the crown. Check out my preview and get familiar with our domestic cricketers as there's far too little domestic cricket shown on telly.
As for the BLACKCAPS, well this limited-overs diet isn't leaving me satisfied. I need some Test cricket and I barely even noticed when yesterday's game in Napier was rained off.
Dan Hooker what's good son? The Hangman aka the only kiwi UFC fighter fighting out of Aotearoa has been added to the UFC Fight Night: Brisbane where he'll fight Mark Eddiva from the Phillipines on March 19. Aslo on this card is James Te Huna who will fight Canadian Steve Bosse and it's been a hot minute since we've seen Te Huna fight so this should be fun.
UFC Fight Night: Brisbane is headlined by Mark Hunt vs Frank Mir and with two more kiwi fighters on the card we're seeing how beneficial it is to piggy-back on Australian UFC events.
We're unlikely to host our own UFC event in Aotearoa any time in the near future and with Australia proving to be a bankable location for the UFC, we will only see more events in Australia and hopefully more kiwi fighters getting a look in.
Adam Milne has signed with Essex for some English T20 cricket, joining Kane Williamson who will return to Yorkshire as this week's BLACKCAPS to County Cricket Crew. It's great to have more and more kiwi cricketers moving to England for a few weeks, it would just be nicer if there were more who were actually going to play County Cricket and not just NatWest T20 cricket. Just a minor gripe.
Here's what Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie and Prince Kane had to say via Yorkshire...
“We are delighted to welcome Kane (Williamson) back to Headingley. He is a quality player and person.
“The opportunity to secure one of, if not, the best players in the world is one you have to take up.
“His value as a player is beyond question. His attitude, work ethic and leadership as an overseas player is brilliant.
“We can’t wait to welcome Kane back to his second home at our great club.”
“I am very excited to be heading back to Yorkshire,” added Williamson, who became the first New Zealand batsman to score more than 2000 runs in all international cricket in a calendar year.
“I have certainly enjoyed my first two stints there and I am looking forward to joining the team for a third term this summer. To be fortunate to play for Yorkshire, a great set-up with a top bunch of people, can only help me improve and enhance my game.
For the record, Prince Kane has never averaged below 36 in any of his English First Class cricket seasons.
This whole cha-ching/Mohammad Amir thing has got very weird, very quickly. Kiwis have voiced their opinions, NZ Cricket have apologised and we've completely ignored how Amir himself feels ... or doesn't that matter? Maybe Amir didn't care at all, maybe he didn't even notice? Yet here us kiwis are getting our knickers in a twist, weird.
Why is England rugby always in our news? It's summer, we've got cricket and Super Rugby and all other sorts of cool stuff so who gives a shit about Dylan Hartley.
Martin Kennedy will now be known as the other Rooster to grab headlines, right after Pearce's antics as the Roosters' prop has been handed a 2-year ban for his role in some dopey doping. Kennedy didn't feature for the Roosters last season thanks to some dopey doping stuff and he's best know for this...
The New Zealand Under-19 cricket team got their Under-19 World Cup off to a sloppy start, going down to Nepal. Nepal set the kiwis 239 to win and after three run-outs, the kiwis could only manage 206, yeah nice.
Finally, all these match-fixing dramas are a bit meh. Get my attention when it involves some top tennis players in big matches, otherwise I won't care too much because a little bit of evil is expected in anything and I'd rather it takes place in a small portion of minor games as opposed to finals etc.