January 19, 2015
Confessions of a Jersey Chaser (in New Zealand)
As many of you already know I am in New Zealand with my sister for vacation and will be heading to Australia in a week for the Australian Open. I am a huge tennis fan and planned to blog from there.
I figured it would be fun to take in a local popular sport while in New Zealand. My wonderful friend Adelaine and her fiancé Arnaud have been gracious enough to host us in New Plymouth.
Additionally they took a road trip with my sister and I to Rotorua – a 4 hr drive to a lake district that stinks like sulfur due to the volcano and hot springs. And yes! it stinks like sulfur everywhere!
While there we heard of a local rugby tournament – Bayleys National 7s Rugby Tournament – involving the local district teams. I think these teams feed into the All Blacks – the national rugby team. This tournament was a 7 v 7 team and had multiple cups, plates, and bowl finals. After multiple games we finally started to vaguely understand the rules of the game. My favorite part was the lift during the line out…I have no idea if that is even the right term for it, but I enjoyed it.
Congratulations to the Waikato Men’s Rugby team for coming from behind to beat Wellington and the Aukland Women’s Rugby team for beating the Manawatu team!
The night of the tournament my sister, friends and I decided to go out on the town to enjoy dinner. We had hoped to possibly run into a few of the players and teams while out but didn’t have high hopes as it seemed most were leaving for the night.
As we were driving to another part of town after dinner, we stumbled upon the winning men’s rugby team Waikato as they were leaving a local bar. We decided to act cool and walk in, but in doing so we acted too cool. They walked right past us without even a glance or acknowledgement and I left with the feeling of regret…Why didn’t we talk to them? I write a sports blog for crying out loud, I could at least approached them with that cover and asked for a picture. The kiwis down here have been nothing but welcoming and I am sure they would have loved to meet Americans that were in the stands to watch them win. I do think the boys were in their own world and just wanted to celebrate with each other but at the end of the day – Who cares? Life is about yeses and nos and unless you try, you will never get a yes or a no.
This situation takes me back to my time at Duke. Put a few drinks me in, a couple of my girls around, and my boldness and I would have chatted those boys up no problem. Granted I wasn’t always successful but again – Who cares? I don’t know if it was my sobriety, jet lag, or me just being plain out of practice – I just couldn’t bring myself to say hello.
This situation serves as a reminder for me…Get over yourself and just put yourself out there. You never know what could come of it…Perhaps this is a harbinger for what is to come with tennis or the future of my blog – regardless I need to let go of those insecurities that constantly creep in my head as I embark on my sports blogging adventure. At the end of the day isn’t that what sports is about? Collegial, teamwork, friendliness. That’s what brings people together whether it be to play or to watch.
Other Adventures in Kiwi land
We visited a national museum in Rotorua to enjoy the Pohutu Geyser and learn about the local traditions of wood carving and weaving.
On the way back from Rotorua we stopped in Waitomo to visit the set of the first Hobbit movie where they filmed the troll scenes.
Thank you to Suzie for sharing their breathtaking land and introducing us to their sheep including Polly.
Back in America
Sorry this portion will only contain the sports news I really care about since I am one day ahead and have limited TV and internet access.
A lot has been happening: you know this thing called the NFL playoffs and conference championships games that decide the Super Bowl teams.
The Green Bay Packers blew their lead over the Seattle Seahawks who turned over the ball 5 times. They were able to win and take NFC title.
The AFC title goes to the New England Patriots who didn’t even let the Colts into the game. According to Facebook they cheated and used deflated balls…haha.
Super Bowl 49 will officially be the Patriots versus the Seahawks. Congratulations to both teams and since I have no allegiance to either I will root for the team I dislike less. Go Seahawks!
Duke finally took home an ACC win against Louisville after losing to Miami and NC State in conference play. Coach K advances to 998 wins and will likely break that 1000 mark while I am away in NZ.
Just over in the land down under
Opening play has begun and what I could gather is that Rafa Nadal beat Mikhail Youzny in straight sets. Andy Murray has advanced as well as Frenchie Jeremy Chardy.
Ana Ivanovic has already exited play as well as Svletana Kousnesteva.
Shout out of the Day: Martin Luther King Jr. for his never ending message of love and determination. Happy MLK day USA!
Let this blog serve as a reminder to all my readers and myself: Carpe Diem and get over yourself! Thank you for reading and sharing!