So last night the rain robbed us of a series win in Australia - ugh! Our weakest cricket team in a generation was a few raindrops a way from knocking off the world champions in their own backyard - double ugh! How frustrating...
Maybe a cathartic spleen-venting reflection on other sporting frustrations will help me feel better. Here goes (with an eye mainly on this NZ context):
1. When will the upper levels of NZ basketball recognise that a dependency on three point shooting to win games will always be a less successful strategy than establishing a strong inside game with its higher percentage shots?
2. When will we wake up to the fact that professional sports and national sports are not a great mix? When players make big bucks playing for clubs their commitment to playing for their country will diminish, no matter what they say to the media. The only exception seems to be FIFA who rule soccer/football with an iron fist. The International Cricket Council (ICC) desperately needs to find some FIFA-iron to replace their own clay before a combo of Indian billionaries and bollywoods run away with the game.
3. When will the game of netball tidy up its pedantic rulebook and prevent officious whistle-happy referees ruining the game? The game deserves better.
4. When will commentators start doing their homework before games? This is one area where New Zealand lags way behind the North Atlantic. What percentage of commentators prepare for a sporting event like students prepare for an exam - reading books and tracking websites and having conversations - searching for some new angle that will fascinate the viewer? Too many cliches. Too little intelligence.
5. When will television producers start realising that the immediacy and potency of technology should be used to improve their broadcasts? In the breaks in play they should be displaying statistics and facts. They should be replaying relevant clips from previous games. Particularly with cricket coverage...
6. Do we always have to have our own commentators doing our own games? It is always healthy to see ourselves through other peoples eyes. [Yes, I confess that one exception to this may be those sychophantic Aussie cricket commentators. I went with my son to watch the recent games in Melbourne and Sydney. While I am an Aussie-phile and respect the way they are the finest sporting nation in the world, I was stunned by the disdain with which journalists and reporters referred to the NZ team, particularly when we were 2-0 up in the series. Such arrogance - not unlike how other rugby nations feel about us NZers, it must be said.]
7. Despite the fact that it is an appalling name in our modern world, the 'All Blacks' are a fixture and one of the most recognisable and winningest brands in global sport. OK - that's fine. But why the failure in imagination in naming other NZ sports teams by reference to those All Blacks, coming up with awful names in our globalised world. The All Whites? The Tall Blacks? You can't be serious! And how did the name 'Crusaders' get through the audit process?
8. When will New Zealand rugby realise that there is one too many layers in the game in this country. You can't have club and provincial and Super 14 and national rugby! There are not enough players and not enough money and not enough days for all of them. Once the Super 14 commenced, provincial rugby became the new club rugby...
9. Do you think school sports in NZ will ever get beyond handing out player-of-the-day trophies as if they were on a roster where everyone gets their turn?
10. Who will solve one of the great mysteries in NZ sport for me? When played well, two of the most compelling games to watch (and I do have pretty wide sporting interests) are netball and rugby league. But then why, oh why, are their World Cups such pathetic affairs with such poor global coverage? We know who is in the final before the tournaments start.
There you go - I am feeling so much better already. Actually I think we drew that series 2-2 last night. Jolly good effort chaps. Well done. Bring on the Indians.
One more thing. Sensing my frustration my daughter constructed a photo to cheer me up.