It's good to be back
Sport Review #112
|Richard Irvine||Jun 11|
You know things aren’t normal when the Blues sell out Eden Park.
But - our whole family, friends and the kids’ friends will all be on the bus from the Shore on Sunday. We’re so relieved to be doing things that aren’t a Zoom call we’re off to see teams we don’t particularly support, ‘cos we want to be part of it.
There’s some light at the end of the tunnel. I take my hat off to everyone still working in sport media (and commiserate with those who’ve lost their jobs) for doing an amazing job while there were no games to report on.
The online chat has been outstanding too. It sounds cheesy, but without the distraction of actual sport, fans have been left free to talk about what they have in common (like wondering what drugs the ICC Twitter account is on) rather than bicker about referees’ calls. The retro games on SKY have helped bring everyone together too.
The scary thing for sport, like so many parts of the economy, is how close to the line it operates. There have been big hand ups from the government, but the people that are left have to do things differently.
Take the live NBL draft last night - new, innovative, shamelessly commercial… getting things running at a viable level will take a proper team effort. Sponsors dipping into their pockets, organisations putting a great product out and fans turning up to support it.
For any number of reasons, we’re lucky to live here. Sport is small beer compared to the pandemic-inflicted loss of life, and the injustice and anger on the streets of American cities. Nowhere else in the world is there a safe crowd of 35,000 people happening. Now we’ve been given the chance, let’s get behind it.
We’ve talked about missing sport from every angle for the last month, now’s the time to show it. If you can do it safely, get along to the rugby, netball, basketball, football and all the rest, and make sure you throw a few dollars at the kids’ sports club’s bar or sausage sizzle. Not only will it be another valuable trip out of the house, but it’s going to help us all get through and keep doing the things we love on the other side. Now wash your hands.
PS I’m still hoping the pipe dreams of the NBA or Premiership packing everything up, doing two weeks in a hotel and finishing their seasons here in New Zealand come to something. The Lakers v Warriors from North Shore Events Centre and Liverpool v Spurs at Beecroft would be nirvana, basically.
Thanks for reading - Richard
The week's best NZ sport content
Karl Budge on how sport gets funded and if there’s another way to go about it [NZ Herald]
Jamie Bell tells the story of White Ferns trail blazer Trish McKelvey in the latest edition of Vox Cricket, a new online cricket magazine [Vox Cricket]
NZ Netball CEO talks to podcast legend Sports Geek about her time in charge and plans for the future [Sports Geek]
Dylan Cleaver on the perfect storm hitting club rugby playing numbers this weekend [NZ Herald]
The Niche Cache looks at the Spark Sport / NZ Cricket deal and what you can expect a few months out [Niche Cache]
How competitive are local Super Rugby matches really? James Rodbourn runs the numbers [Sportsfreak]
From the archives - Can an amateur cyclist become a whole lot better by taking performance-enhancing drugs? You betcha [Outside]
We love everything about Killing Eve. The locations, the music, and the wonderful cast. The latest series didn’t have quite enough Villanelle - Eve encounters, but it’s still one of the best watches by miles. It’s all on TVNZ on demand.
Selected weekend fixtures
RUBGY! It’s Highlanders v Chiefs tonight from Dunedin at 7.05pm, and Blues v Hurricanes at Eden Park at 3.35pm on Sunday - I’ll be there, can’t wait. The rugby’s all on SKY
The Warriors play the Cowboys from Gosford at 8pm tonight, it’s on SKY
Bring back the gif
Getting familiar with stadium food once more.
Sport Review is the week’s best NZ sport writing and loads more in your inbox every Friday at 8am. Tell your friends!