For Critic Issue 15 of 2012 I have compiled ten reasons I'm excited about sports in second semester. Semester One was okay I guess, but Semester Two is offering up an absolute smorgasbord of sexy sporting action to watch both locally and on the telly. So, in no particular order, here are some things to get excited about. Except for the Olympics, which is obviously number one.
10 Uni Snow Games (Aug 26 – 31) – Students from Otago will take on and probably beat students from across the country in a variety of steezy pursuits. Events include Giant Slalom, Half Pipe, Gravity X, Parallel Slalom, Slope Style, Big Air and Cross Country Skiing. Held in Wanaka across three venues – Treble Cone, Cardrona, and Snow Farm. This event is not just about winning. It’s also about having fun in the snow and getting on the piss. It's not too late too enter, and you don't even need to be very good.
09 Super XV Playoffs (Jul 20 – Aug 4) – While the Highlanders will spend another year watching the Super XV playoffs from the couch, the business end of the competition is still going to be exciting. At least two and probably three NZ teams will be involved. You know the Crusaders are going to be close to the top. Can the Chiefs carry on their great form into the knockout games? The one thing that could stand in their way is the possibility of sudden death games in South Africa, which is probably too much for either team to handle.
08 The Tour de France (Jun 30 – Jul 22) – Lance Armstrong is a drug cheat (allegedly). This year none of them are drug cheats, or some of them are drug cheats, or all of them are drug cheats. Who knows? Who cares? Someone's going to win, someone's going to get busted with a skinful of horse urine, and hundreds of thousands of people will write something in chalk on the road in order for their message to get less than a second of camera time. Plus it’s the only time you get to say the word “peloton” without looking like a moron.
07 The Melbourne Cup (Nov 6) – Wingatui race course holds its own Melbourne Cup festival on the big day. There is a student tent to shield the horrific drunkenness from the sensitive grown ups, although they can hardly talk – last year I saw a real estate agent piss her pants. The actual race is shown on the big screens. A great excuse to wear your best dress and then fall in the mud.
6 Club Sports (ongoing) – Rugby, football, netball, hockey, and a few others all have their knockout stages coming up. The rugby final will probably be at the stadium, so there’s an excuse to go.
05 Canterbury Sports Exchange (Sept 8 – 9) – Just like those high school inter-schools which got you a day off school all those times. The University of Otago debating, football, hockey, netball, rugby, Ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball clubs are all sending their respective teams. This year it’s in Christchurch, so pack your earthquake shoes.
04 American Sports (NFL kickoff Sept 5, World Series Game One Oct 24) – Timed perfectly to distract you from exam preparation. Wile away those spring afternoons watching enormous men smash the hell out of each other, or alternately smashing the hell out of a small white ball.
03 The inaugural “Rugby Championships” (Aug 18 – Oct 7) – This year Argentina has been added. Whether that makes the old Tri-Nations better or just longer is for you to decide. Argentina will be hard to beat at home, but I can’t see them as title contenders for at least 5 years.
02 Blues & Golds Awards (Oct 4) – University of Otago Blues and Golds are the highest honours OUSA can present to students who have excelled in Sport, Arts, Culture, or Services to these activities. Nominations close 4pm Friday 27 July 2012.
01 The Olympics (Jul 27 – Aug 12) – I don’t need to tell you what the Olympics is.