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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 Otago union.
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. Doh.
3. Royce Willis was going to be the next Colin Meads. And right about now, hundreds of people are wondering: Who is Royce Willis?
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 Otago.
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 streak.
Three local clubs have major events: Northern and Roslyn-Wakari have their 125th celebrations, and Mosgiel has its centennial.
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 cheering.
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. Ever.
• 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 Tennessee.
• 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.
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 deserving home.
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 their signatures.
The book costs $295 plus $20 for postage (firstname.lastname@example.org or 09 846-4991).
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 office.
• 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 1990s.
"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.