17
Apr
10

Hey, Wellington, wake up!

Yeesh! Let me tell you something about the sports fans in Wellington;  they share some of the same traits as George Bush’s intelligence or Barack Obama’s birth certificate: They’re pretty much non-existent (that’s a bi-partisan burn for all you poli-sci buffs). We went to the Exodus Wellington Saint’s game last night at the mighty TSB Arena (which is no bigger than your high school gymnasium. I don’t care who is reading this sentence, that last statement is true). There are a few things you can correctly assume about basketball in New Zealand, but let me give you two big spoilers. The American imports make the biggest impact during the game, and nobody else in the arena knows what basketball is. This includes the refs.

I guarantee she calls a better game than NZ refs.

But the thing that concerned me the most, more than the shoddy refereeing, more than the lopsided scoring between Americans and Kiwis, was the complete lack of enthusiasm from the crowd. Now I understand, most Kiwis don’t care about basketball nearly as much as they do about rugby or cricket, but if you pay to see a sporting event, shouldn’t you invest some emotion to go with that $10 ticket and $5 beer? I tried my best to get the crowd into it. Do you know how tough it is to be the only guy calling someone a queer while he shoots a free throw? First off, the guy probably didn’t even hear me because I was a few rows back. Second off, the only response I got from the crowd was some dirty looks and one stuck up bitch telling me to shutup. In that moment I yearned for the rabid confines of Fenway Park’s bleacher section or the nose bleeds in the Garden. Those are real fans. Fans who don’t care what they scream or what their voice sounds like when the final whistle blows, they just want to voice the support. The loudest the crowd at the TSB “Arena” got was when the gorilla mascot was giving away free chocolates. Sidenote: Why is there a gorilla mascot for the Wellington Saints?

I rule at Photoshop.

Calling them a “home crowd” is insulting to any crowd that’s ever assembled to support anything ever. I’ve seen more raucous behavior at a funeral, and it wasn’t even an Irish funeral. Seriously, Wellington fans, you’re allowed to take your hands out from your pockets or off your cell phones to applaud when the home team does something noteworthy, even if it’s just one free throw. From the way these people sat on their hands most of the game you might have thought there was a contest where the quietest fan gets a years supply of Irvine Mince and Cheese Pies, the Kiwi’s only source of nourishment. Most of these fans are even worse than the douchebags who show up at a Celtics game just to say they went, use their Blackberry’s the whole game and then duck out after the 3rd quarter… and those people are the WORST!

"NBA? mor lyke NB-Ghey! lol"

Honestly, it’s just seems to be a lack of passion. That might be a basketball thing or that might be a Kiwi thing, but people here aren’t exactly known for getting fired up. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; the laid-back attitude here is very relaxing at times. It just would be nice if these athletes who train their whole lives to play some semblance of professional sport would get a little support behind them. I won’t let it bother me too much. After all, it’s not like I moved here. Soon I’ll be basking in the glory of the Fenway Faithful, drinking a $14 Bud Light and munching my third $12 hot dog, those too-cool-to-make-some-noise Wellington fans a distant memory. I’ll finally be home, with my crowd.

Does this image apply? Maybe not. But it's still awesome.

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