The schedules are out(pdf) and I know the keenest amongst you are already on the phone booking accommodation for that "family road trip".
Of course there are still some unknowns such as Americas 1 and 2 and the mysterious "Play-off Winner". But generally the new Eden Park will be getting a decent seeing-to hosting most of the games (9).
As an aside, every time I see an update on the new Yankee Stadium, I keep thinking, "this is going to happen to Eden Park"
Naly at the Dropkicks did a good city by city rundown (check the URL for his real thoughts):
Eden Park 9,
Christchurch, Wellington 7
Hamilton, Dunedin, North Harbour, Rotorua, Taranaki 3
Invercargill, Napier, Nelson, Palmerston North, Northland 2
Shafted in the deal is Tauranga. Verbatim, my initial thoughts were:
Here's my initial thought... "Roto-fucking-rua?! Are you fucking kidding me?"
Rotorua's "International Stadium" was a shithole back 05 when the Lions played there and is usually passed up by BOP who play in Tauranga's Blue Chip Stadium. Oh and Tauranga has a larger population too. Seriously WTF!?
Naturally the idea is to get those money-carrying tourists to places where they can stop and unload the most cash. And seeing that's why Rotorua exists it gets first choice.
And if you want to see the All Blacks play the best advice is to not live in the South Island. The All Blacks will play in Auckland thrice, and Wellington and Hamilton. Take that with as much smugness or anger as you will.
I suppose I feel a wee bit miffed that the last four games will be in Auckland (including the 3rd-4th playoff). But at least we've done our best to send the other possible contenders around the country (does North Harbour Stadium still only have one grandstand?).
The real kick in the sensitive bits is the 9pm start time for the big games. 8pm I could handle but 9pm is reeeeaaally just pandering of the worst kind.
Isn't it part of the "fun" of an overseas tournament? Setting the alarm clock so you can get up with a cup of cocoa and watch your team play at some godless hour (God is a 9-5 guy). At halftime you run to the kitchen to make a batch of scrambled eggs and bacon. At which point a non-sport-watching member of the whanau emerges and asks for a run-down of the game with no real interest in anything but stealing some breakfast. It sets you up for the day.
From the future to the past. Didn't the Indians look awesome as they spanked us all over the park on Wednesday?
I got home early and considered writing a glog (game log) but this particular cricket match with its stop-start action made it hard to do that.
I can tell you (from the notes I made) that at 39.4 overs into the first innings there was clear tension in the commentary box over where to put Guptil in the batting order and whether or not to call up Scott Styris. However one of the commentators (not sure which one) correctly identified Cumulonimbus clouds and knew the abbreviation was Cb.
The best sign I saw in the crowd was a guy holding up an advertisement for an Indian restaurant which he turned around revealing "[the Indian team] ate at my restaurant, jealous much?"
But when Sehwag got going it was all over. And getting his ton by hitting (world's #1 ODI bowler) Daniel Vettori for six was just mental.
Hey maybe now that Indian has the series we can win the last game? Nah, probably not.
In other exciting news (well for me), the NRL season is about to start and the Warriors WILL be wearing another throwback uniform!
There's a heritage round again and the boys are wearing a stylised version of last year's blue-and-white-V strip
By the way the nzwarriors twitter feed is pretty good if you're a fan.
As with every season I am cautiously optimistic about the Warriors.
Oh and the Super 14 is still going through the motions. yay.