Saturday, June 7, 2008

Some more stuff you won't see in the U.S. (Part II of ???)

1) Netball. From what I can tell, it's a lot like basketball, only you don't dribble the ball, there's no backboard behind the hoop, and it looks like there are some kind of rules about how far you can move with the ball. I haven't seen anything about men's netball -- seems like mostly a women's sport, although astoundingly they still show games on TV.

I will add that sports in general are quite a bit different here. For starters
, they refer to collective sports as "sport" rather than "sports," as in, "Please hand me the sport page." Rugby has got to be hands-down the most popular sport, and there are more leagues than I can keep up with.* Cricket is probably the second most popular, but I fall asleep just thinking about it. There is a pro basketball league but you don't hear much about it. No baseball or American football to speak of.

2) Music videos.
Before you get all huffy and argumentative and try to tell me that the U.S. does have music videos and, in fact, America invented MTV, ask yourself: When was the last time you turned on the television and actually saw a music video? Hmmm? I think they still used to come on when I was in college, but since then both MTV and VH1 have been devoted solely to crappy reality shows about B-list celebrities, crappy reality shows about spoiled rich teenagers, and crappy countdown shows like "I Love the '90s, Part 29" and "Top 100 Craziest Hair Band Moments." For the record, I'm not saying I haven't enjoyed watching some of these shows. I'm just saying they're crappy.

So it's interesting to see music videos again. About half of them are bands I've never heard of, which is probably partly cultural (there seem to be a fair number of Maori hip hop artists -- who knew?) and partly because I am old and out of touch with what the kids are into these days. Much of what they play is not really my kind of music (Does anyone else feel an urge to impale the lead singer of Panic at the Disco?) but interesting enough to have on the TV for background noise while you are making silly blog lists for your friends at home.

3) Pineapple Lumps. Apparently, they are chewy, pineapple-y, and chocolatey, all wrapped into one convenient candy morsel. They are widely touted in commercials as a distinctive Kiwi treat. I saw a very sane-looking 20-something woman buying these at the grocery store yesterday, so this confirms that someone is, in fact, consuming them. They make me very afraid.

* Realizing I need a rugby team to cheer for, I have chosen the Crusaders because 1) the only full rugby match I've watched is a Crusaders game, in a bar full of Crusaders fans in Christchurch; 2) the Crusaders' colors are red and black, which are obviously the best team colors one can choose; and 3) some of their players are extremely cute, even when blood is spewing from their noses. I have subsequently learned that being a Crusaders fan will not earn you any friends in Dunedin (home of the Highlanders) -- it's something akin to marching down Milledge Avenue in Athens singing "Rocky Top" or making that obscene Florida gator gesture. Thus, I will likely keep this newfound Crusaders devotion to myself.

ADDENDUM: The Crusaders won the 2008 Super 14 championship. I didn't realize I'd picked a good team to cheer for.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

link to the rugby team page so we can see what you are rooting for and for the local team? and don't kick me but I kind of like (he he, the first time I typed that it said "lick") panic at the disco