A 45-minute wait for a beer? That's nothing. Eden Park crowds should get in line
Fans at the New Zealand-Pakistan T20 game are complaining long and hard, about prices and poor service which included waiting 45 minutes in a queue for beer.
"It's your round, Dave," can spell disaster at Eden Park, although I'm at a loss to explain why anyone would voluntarily queue that long for anything.
Eden Park is not alone in the dodgy sports stadium experience stakes. Even the Land of the Free can serve up an expensive tangle.
I went to New York two years ago and the biggest shock was how friendly the people were. Felt at home, right away. Where the hell were all those rude New Yorkers.
The next biggest surprise was MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home to the NFL's Giants and Jets. My mate was so shocked by the food/prices that he returned empty handed and we dined out on the atmosphere, which was great.
The security arrangements were poorly directed - we ended up in a massive queue to retrieve our bags after the game, yet there were no queues at other bag-holding tents. Worse followed. We were dumped in what can only be described as a hot, cramped holding pen for a good 40 minutes, waiting for a train. They won't ever make a film called Straight Outta MetLife.
Some stadiums seem alert, alive, on top of things. Others don't.
People rave about their experiences in Melbourne and Brisbane. Suncorp Stadium is such an amazing viewing/atmosphere deal that you won't remember if the fish and chips were soggy or not because the game itself will be alive in your mind, which is the way it should be.
Back to the US of A.
A Herald colleague had a completely different Stateside experience to mine, at AT&T Park in San Francisco which is home to the baseball Giants. He still raves about the place - the variety of food, access and even the prices. In America, the vending machines are of the walking and talking variety. To get his hot dog, he was persuaded to release his money along the human chain of spectators sitting next to him. Back came the banger in a bun, and correct change. (This is the sort of thing that tourists love while some locals get sick of passing food and beer along).
It's hard to figure out why American football New York-style was a bit shoddy, but you can have a decent guess at what is happening at Eden Park.
It's a ground under pressure, which is when people think like nervous accountants instead of energetic entertainers. Eden Park is out of date. Not every spectator bags the place, but Eden Park is a has-been and will never get ahead of the game.
Bare-knuckle fight with a bank - guess who won?
Kiwi UFC star Mark Hunt took on a bank about its fees and won. Stuff reported that Hunt bashed Westpac Australia into submission with his social media campaign which included "(many) tweets too explicit to print".
Westpac returned fire, not, with corporate speak. They refused to comment on Hunt's case for those oft-used and highly convenient privacy and confidentiality reasons.
Hunt doesn't do privacy and confidentiality about himself. He is a bloke who has laid it all bare.
I'm midway through reading his 2015 book Born to Fight, after a glowing recommendation by a friend who reckoned it was the best sports read about a New Zealander.
It is brutally open and a cracking read.
"I must have stolen dozens and dozens of cars in my early teens," isn't the sort of stuff that leaps from most of our sporting biographies (and who of us knew that the underrated Datsun 180B was so popular in South Auckland.)
There's so much more to the book than that. Born to Fight, ghost written by an ex-Sydney Morning Herald feature writer Ben Mckelvey, is a rare treat.
Williams wants self-important golfers to lighten up
Caddie extraordinaire Steve Williams believes the modern golfer needs to lighten up.
"It's a serious business but they need to stop taking themselves so seriously," said the big Kiwi, who became the game's highest profile caddie while working for Tiger Woods.
Williams has confirmed the details of a controversial conversation he had with Korean-American golfer Kevin Na, during a 2014 tournament in Germany. Na revealed in a Sports Illustrated profile last week he got upset with Williams, who told Na he was like a bad movie.
However, Williams stressed to the Herald how slow Na was playing. Williams, who was working for Aussie Adam Scott, said the group including Na - who is notorious as golf's slowest player - was put on the clock twice, upsetting the rhythm of his playing partners.
Williams, a caddie since the 1970s, also told me that players of old were less sensitive and enjoyed verbal exchanges between themselves and banter with the galleries. He reckoned golf of today could learn a lesson from the past.
The 52-year-old Williams also confirmed he would carry Scott's bag again this year, after his surprise comeback mid-2015. The 2016 plan is to work for Scott in eight to 10 tournaments, including the four majors.
Scott was initially opposed to Williams returning on a part-time basis, but changed his mind telling the Sydney Morning Herald: "My hope is that Steve will caddie as many weeks as possible...but certainly it's not going to be a full-time gig. He's the first to say that, and that's fine."