The Sevens is a fabulous festival. Once my brother returns to his home in Wellington (nothing like free accommodation), I fully intend to buy tickets, get a costume, and attend. Our capital city goes off when the Sevens are in town. It's a wildly successful sporting ficture, and the most looked-forward-to rugby event on the calendar. It looks like fun, fun, fun. So we'll be there, with bells on.
But will we? I see there are plans by the Rugby union (which never hesitates to find a pile of poo into which to throw itself) to open the Sevens up to other cities. yes, they're after more money. Apparently, the festival is worth $15 million or so to the host city... and both Auckland and Dunedin are salivatingat the thought of having a mass Borat mankini demonstration.
The Rugby Union wants more money. And, if they move it, more money is what they will get - for a year. If the Sevens is moved to Auckland, it fall, fail, and turn into a couple of days of mild interest. Wellington was made for a carnival. It's tight, small, and tumbling in on itself. The Cake Tin is an easy walk away from the town., and that superb waterfront. It is, in fact, party central. It would make a perfect place to launch the World Cup - but the Union wants the extra 20,000 seats that Eden Park has.
Fair enough. They'rfe running a business. What they don't seem to know is that sport isn't just a business. It's showbusiness. And for longevity you go to where the best audiences are. For the first year Eden Park would undoubtedly be filled by the Sevens crowd, and they'd make a gazillion bucks. But at the end of the day, where does the audience go? They want to keep entertaining themselves. They want a party. They can walk to Kingsland, which couldn't cope. The city is at least an hour away . The crowd would lose cohesiveness, and dissolve.
Dunedin? I don't know about you, but I don't want to travel 17 million kilometres to go to a party. Especially one that's held in a place where people use their refrigerators to stop their food from freezing.
Fiji would be a better option, but the NZRU wouldn't make a bean from it. Oddly, I'm picking the Fiji Rugby Union doesn't make much from the Sevens, despite the fact they win it so often. Thought: the NZRU could help Fiji run it, and score some bucks that way. Licence it to a coupleof airlines to get the people there.... and all of Fiji would rock. They could hold the Sevens on the same day they hold their elections. Oh, yeah - they don't have elections, do they. Perhaps the Rugby people could make that a condition: sport wins where diplomacy fails....
LISTENING TO: Janis Ian, "Between The Lines". An oldy, and a goody.
READING: Still on the same book. Struggling, though. This Frenchman is the only person who can make a cavalry charge read like a love letter from a horny teenager. It's a skill, I suppose.
Word of the Day: Foolish. Describes the NZRU perfectly.
Arthur was aghast.
“Sir, I joined up with the express intention of becoming a First-Aid man: I’m more or less a Quaker, Sir: if I hadn’t volunteered for this duty, then I would have signed on as a Conchy.”
“When you signed on, Sergeant, you signed a piece of paper that says your heart and soul and body are mine, to do with as I see fit. I’m sorry, Arthur, but that’s the way of it. You will probably save more lives as a sniper than you will as a Zambuck. “
“But Sir – killing? I can’t do it, Sir, and I shan’t!”
The Colonel stroked his nicotine-stained moustache, looked down at his desk, then surged to his feet. “Sergeant, I don’t give two tuppeny tin whistles about your conscience,” he snarled. “What I do care about is getting as many of my men back to their families at the end of this bloody bunfight, and you, mister high and bloody mighty Tomlinson, have given me a weapon which will help me in this endeavour. Now, I can have you shot. I can have you jailed. I can have all the miseries of Job brought down upon your head, Tomlinson, or I can reward you mightily for a job well done when you fulfil the task I have set you. Conchy? Bah, and bloody humbug, Tomlinson! You are a soldier, my soldier, and I am making you the Battalion sniper, and you will remain so until I decree otherwise. Now is that clear?”
It was a gale of words, a hurricane of emotion and direction that swept Tomlinson’s courage away, and all he could do was quail before the storm, and salute.
Arthur Tomlinson, idealist, blacksmith, and would-be lover, had broken.
In a place where death is the best, if not only, answer to most problems, there can be no room for a sane man.