So. Sport and that. Have to say, actual sport to watch has been a little thin on the ground with the Super 15 at a sedative point of the competition and the Black Caps being on the world’s longest holiday. Still, we DID get another classic piece of Alex Ferguson media relations to enjoy this week – I reckon he gets Darth Vader to help him brush up on press conference technique. Sunday morning’s Champions League final (at a very civilised time, NZers!) could be a classic, or it could be a classic ‘cancel each other out’. Be grateful though, the alternative final could have been Real Madrid v Chelsea, in what would have been the nastiest match since Oscar the Grouch took on Judith Collins at cage fighting. I predict 1-0 to Barca, with Messi nutmegging Ryan Giggs, tweeting about it, dribbling through the defence three times before smacking it into the net off Fergie’s face. Looking forward to it.
The big story in Rugby has been Dan Carter and Richie McCaw signing back up with NZ for four more years. The NZRFU is all about flexible contracts these days, with sabbaticals, casual Fridays and god knows what else on the menu. sportreview’s admiration for Richie McCaw went up about tenfold when he decided to re-sign at his local rugby club, doing the presser from a bar leaner.
Where would one expect the captain of one of the world’s most successful sporting teams to make such a momentous announcement?
Parliament Buildings for the ubiquitous prime ministerial photo opportunity? A swank golfing resort? The red-carpeted lobby of some five-star hotel (though there aren’t many of those left in Christchurch)?
Nope. Richie McCaw – who hails from a family farm in the Hakataramea Valley but a proud Cantabrian now – opted instead for his local footy club.
The only way he could have done it in a more Kiwi fashion is if he’d done a yard class and spewed $5 of chips on a TV camera. On ya. Now, the focus turns to Sonny Bill signing up – the big issue seems to be letting him smash people over in-between matches. Considering how comfortable the NZRFU have been with All Blacks smashing people over in bars in the past, I reckon the deal is as good as done.
On Wednesday night, I tuned in to watch the State Of Origin. I was a big fan in the 90s – Graham Lowe, Alfie Langer masks, Cockroaches, big Mark Geyer, big Marty Bella, state against state, mate against that guy that shat in that hotel corridor, big men sorting their differences out with their fists and each other’s faces. Fantastic stuff. But my GOD, I caught about 15 minutes of the build-up to Origin One (as everyone INSISTS you call it), and was convinced Australia was about to collectively disappear up it’s own arse so far that they’d somehow disappear and pop out as a nation somewhere on the Afghanistan / Pakistan boarder and be forced to make a new life for themselves without all the sharks and minerals and that. It was that over the top – interviews with the player’s families in the crowd, Phil Gould wandering beneath the goalposts looking like he was trying to find his way out of the stadium after a messy corporate function three weeks previous. Have to confess, I watched about half an hour of the match and went to bed. Some things are just more important than sport.