No chance. No. Chance.
That was my feeling for years when the possibility of Dunedin
hosting another Bledisloe Cup test was raised.
Our stadium was too small and too old, and our city did not
fit the "criteria" for Category A tests (the definition of
which seems to change every year).
Dunedin was once seen as the best host of a Bledisloe Cup -
mention 1993 to people and watch their eyes glaze over - but
after 2001, it was scrubbed from the list.
Even when they broke ground on the Glasshouse, my doubts
remained. Lovely stadium - but why would the NZRU throw
millions of dollars away and give us a Bledisloe ahead of the
vastly bigger Eden Park, or better-equipped Wellington?
I was wrong. The biggest All Black test (alongside a Lions
test, which Dunedin has not had since 1983) will be back here
in October next year, as part of the rescue package for the
Hey, we can still be a little cynical. We are not going to be
getting a Bledisloe every year.
And we might need three or four All Black tests a year,
charging $500 per seat, to pay the stadium's bills.
But this is big, folks. Very big.
You can get excited.
• . . . eats some humble pie
Anyway, just to give readers a laugh, here are five other
examples where Nostrameiksus got it badly wrong with his
beliefs, assertions or predictions:
1. Lance Armstrong was clean. Ah ha ha ha ha ha.
2. David Tua was going to wipe the floor with Lennox Lewis.
3. Royce Willis was going to be the next Colin Meads. And
right about now, hundreds of people are wondering: Who is
4. Ian Butler was going to be the next Richard Hadlee. Not
quite. Though Butts has done well, and, to be fair, his
career was affected by injury.
5. Under no circumstances should Graham Henry be re-appointed
All Black coach after the 2007 debacle. Sorry, Ted.
• Val the video virgin
One of the more interesting revelations in Valerie Adams'
recently-released book is the absence of video analysis from
her training regime.
It sort of seems a given these days that elite athletes will
be breaking down their action/form/performance in minute
detail thanks to the advances in technology.
Not our Val. The shot put queen reveals she and coach
Jean-Pierre Egger prefer to rely on "feeling" than use video.
She shares the story of video of one of her throws being
captured on an iPhone by Jarrod Adams, a Dunedin athlete. Val
and JP had "a quick look" and that was that.
• Football festivities
It is going to be a massive year or three for football in
A-League action returns in March, when the Phoenix and Heart
clash at Forsyth Barr Stadium, right about the time Otago
United seals the national league title with a 10-game winning
Three local clubs have major events: Northern and
Roslyn-Wakari have their 125th celebrations, and Mosgiel has
Then we begin the build-up to the 2015 Under-20 World Cup,
the final of which WILL be held in Dunedin if organisers have
any sense. It will be massive, the biggest non-rugby sporting
event to be held in this city.
• Kids these days
Ah, I remember 14. Shortland St, Superstars of
Wrestling, the Amiga 500, Midnight Oil, Bryan Adams, Desert
Storm, KFC coming to Oamaru, being able to look down on third
formers, and "Hasta la vista, baby".
Teenagers really have not changed. Except, you know, someone
like Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old Chinese kid who just
qualified for the Masters, the greatest event in golf.
Guan won the Asia-Pacific Amateur in Thailand by a single
stroke, and will tee it up at Augusta in April.
Remarkable. And what is really crazy is he uses one of those
infernal belly putters. At 14!
• Down in front
The unwritten rule is that reporters should not cheer in the
press box - though, the day Otago finally wins the Ranfurly
Shield, I have personally authorised ODT rugby writer
Steve Hepburn to go ballistic.
Bobby Hebert, a former NFL quarterback turned broadcaster,
was in the news this week when he was escorted out of a
college football press box - by police - for excessive
Seems Bobby boy could not control his emotions when his
beloved Louisiana State took on Alabama.
Quick sidenote: Hebert's son is called T-Bob. Greatest. Name.
• Green Moon glory
What a win for Green Moon in Tuesday's Melbourne Cup.
It got me thinking: Green Moon?
Something to do with the moon being made of green cheese?
Some Googling throws up little to clarify the horse's name,
but does reveal the following:
- Green Moon is a Connecticut-based company specialising in
art, music and Spanish learning tools for children.
- There is a downloadable computer game called Green Moon.
- Green Moon was a name given to a forest moon of Endor in
Return of the Jedi. (From something called Wookieepedia,
brilliant.)- Green Moon is the first and ONLY Mayan-themed
cocktail bar in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
- Green Moon Productions released a 2001 film called The
Body, starring Antonio Banderas.
- The Cosmoquest forum reports occasional sightings of a
green hue coming off the moon.
- Green Moon Rising is a blog written by a woman from
• The expert opinion
But all you really need to know about Green Moon is that his
win was tipped - on the front page, clear as day - by
long-serving ODT racing sub-editor Bruce Fraser.
And just think how long we'll be hearing about that.
• Book giveaway
The Last Word has a book to give away - and it is easily the
biggest, most expensive book this column will pass on to a
Generals of the Rugby World Cup is author Paul
Verdon's latest ambitious project.
In the "golden leather and cigar box" style, the book is a
very impressive piece of work.
It includes analysis and coverage of all seven Rugby World
Cups, with pieces on the winning first five-eighths. Plus
The book costs $295 plus $20 for postage (firstname.lastname@example.org or
The author has kindly supplied an extra copy to give away.
Email me (see below) by noon on Wednesday to be in the draw.
The winner will need to pick up the book from our Dunedin
• Birthday of the week
Faustino Asprilla is 43 today.
Football fans of my generation recall the whacky Colombian
for his exploits with Newcastle United in the mid to late
"Tino" starred for a great Toon team that twice finished
runner-up to Manchester United in the Premier League.
He also bagged a hat trick in the Champions League - against
Barcelona - but then got the boot. All sorts of reality show
appearances and arrests followed for the cult figure.