Four Kings in Wellington is a great place to watch sport. It has everything you need: a very large number of TVs and beer. After that it falls into the same traps that befall other sports bars: a very large number of munters and bad beer.
The company I was with were jovial and fun; the group next to us were fuckwits of the highest order. Although you know what's funny? Watching drunken idiots making very loud homophobic comments and then banging the top of their friend's beer bottle with the bottom of theirs, causing the friend's beer to froth out uncontrollably, without noticing the subtext.
But we were there to watch the rugby and drink beer and luckily the munters (football players if you were interested) left/were thrown out.
I was still quite happy at the Chiefs victory over the Brumbies, but found myself in the odd situation of supporting the Crusaders (a Crusaders victory over the Blues would knock the Waratahs out of the finals).
And what a tense wee match that was. It wasn't exciting with flashy tries and fantastic backline moves (that would be the Hurricanes-Reds game) but the score was close and only a poxy dropgoal by Leon MacDonald sealed the win for the Crusaders.
But really from that position on the field, how do you defend the dropgoal? Assuming the kicker is halfway decent it's going to go over and you need two runners with enough speed to cover the distance from the back of the ruck to the kicker in roughly the same amount of time as the pass.
Sadly cheering for the Crusaders and having the Crusaders actually win wasn't as satisfying as I thought. Neither was watching the Hurricanes coast through a predictable win over the Reds.
Note: this para is about uniforms. The Queensland Reds uniform may be the worst in the Super 14. On TV it looks pink, not red. It has three different Queensland Rugby logos on it, including the retro 80s neon version (in the centre of the chest) and the angry koala – it'll cuddlesnuggle you to death. They also do names-on-back which is usually kind of cool but it just looks too "busy" on the Reds' jersey. And finally Quade Cooper had number troubles as the 1 on his back began peeling off.
So we head into the play-offs with a fairly good chance of a New Zealand team making the final. And the entire viewing market of Australia not giving a shit for… well ok they may not have cared from the start but now we can't get any of them watching.
No loss from now on is an upset. I refuse to listen to talk of "underdogs" or of respect being paid. These are the four best teams in the Super 14 and the two best and most exciting teams (in my most humble opinion) will be meeting for the second time in two weeks.
I've got the Bulls v the Chiefs in the finals with a triumphant but bloodied Chiefs' squad arising victorious after a hard fought battle in South Africa. You may see things differently.
Explanation for Michael Phelps' post-Olympics bad-boy-ness: clearly he has been replaced by Evil Michael Phelps from the mirror universe. The goatee is a dead giveaway.
A bit more on the "liking sports is not a character flaw" argument: Jack Kerouac had a fantasy baseball league and kept it meticulously updated, but hid it from his other writing friends.
"I don't think the others knew. Or if they did, they didn't learn it from Kerouac. I think he was worried they might think it childish."
Jack Kerouac thought he would be ridiculed for liking sport. You beatniks sicken me with your prejudice.