The United States is no longer the superpower it once was, but when it comes to pomp and ceremony in sport they’re still undisputed world champions. I usually like my entertainers to entertain and my sports stars to play sport, but the US can combine these different activities better than anyone else. The Super Bowl halftime show this year featuring Beyonce was nearly as good as the game itself, and the pop punk band Fall Out Boy rocked the slam dunk contest in the NBA All-Star weekend. Even though I think the NBA All-Star Game isn’t a true sporting event, I must admit I found myself enjoying the show.
There has been some exciting cricket being played with the English over in New Zealand and the Pakistanis in South Africa. This is a crucial series for the Kiwis who will start as massive underdogs against the Poms in the Test matches. They are playing the shorter versions of the game before the Tests and the Kiwis are always good value in limited over matches. The Pakistanis also put in a good effort against the South Africans after a fighting comeback by Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq who came together as the tourists were looking down the barrel at 4/33. Both scored centuries and helped Pakistan to secure a small first-innings lead. Even though they crumbled and lost the game, it was a solid effort. After all, they were playing against the best Test side in the world on their home field.
In the football, First Division teams Millwall, Barnsley and Blackburn made it through to the final eight of the FA Cup. Blackburn upset Arsenal in London – it must really hurt being a Gunners supporter when you can’t win games like this. The fairy tale is over for Luton Town and Milton Keynes Dons who did incredibly well to get this far in the competition.
The mighty Australian racehorse Black Caviar smashed the 1000 meter track record at Flemington, which had stood for 25 years. Will the mighty mare go to Ascot again and really show what she is made of? We can only hope. To be the greatest racehorse in Asia Pacific, she will need to travel one more time and win dominantly instead of just falling over the line like she did last year in England’s premier sprint race.
In the golf, Sergio Garcia got off to a great start in the first round at Riviera Country Club but ended up missing out on the top 10 by one solitary shot. Unfortunately, this is how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Hopefully, we’ll have a better result in the match play coming up this weekend.
Good luck and good punting.