Is live sport worth the effort nowadays?
Fans start piling into ANZ Stadium before the start of the Bledisloe Cup. Photo: Paul Barkley/LookPro
Going to live sport – why bother? Firstly, you buy the ticket to attend, usually a nose bleed seat worth the gross domestic product of Lichtenstein.
Then you have to get there. Usually this entails a few scenes from Planes, Trains and Automobiles, depending on how far you have to travel.
Inevitably there is either a timetable mix-up, a breakdown or a taxi driver asking you for directions in a city that you’ve been to twice.
On arrival at most stadiums you are frisked by security staff who act like it is them who have had to suffer the indignity of a public prostate examination. Offending bottles of water are confiscated for fear they may contain something that the stadium can’t make a buck out of.
Fancy a quick drink before kick-off? Think again, the line ups are usually 30 deep and a 15-minute wait at best. By the time you get to have a drink it wouldn’t matter if you were drinking full strength or mid-strength beer, you will be sober anyway.
Fancy a quick bite to eat before kick-off? Think again, the line ups are usually 30 deep and a 15-minute wait, not to mention the food is generally inedible, either arctic cold, nuclear hot, or just generally inedible.
After sidestepping your way to the said nose bleed seat, usually in the middle of the row, you have to tread on the toes of 15 people to take your seat.
They look at you with restrained hostility, as if it would only take one little spilt drop of beer from your cup for them to push you off tier three to the ground below.
Finally, the match begins. Sometimes it can be a great match that you remember forever, sometimes indifferent, sometimes so bad you wish you had eaten that artic cold meat pie earlier so that you would die a slow and painful death just to ease the pain.
There is also that feeling that deep down, you know you should have visited the urinal before kick-off. It slowly builds until you are incapable of sitting down.
You give in to the inevitable and sprint for the toilet. Unfortunately, the line ups are usually 30 deep and a 15-minute wait. During this time you will invariably miss the winning try/goal/penalty.
You finally make it back to your mates to be told about all the stuff you missed. Care for a beer on the way out to continue the chat? Forget about it, bar’s closed.
Outside the stadium you are now running the gauntlet of supporters, police, security guards and public transport.
It then takes you hours to reach your destination, be it a night out, a night in, or a night’s travel.
Finally, you get home and you are left with the feeling that all that you really managed to get out of watching sport live was a near burst bladder, a black hole in your wallet, a body frisk that leaves you slightly violated and food poisoning.
Still probably worth it though…