well, i think you are supposed to call it "Coca Cola Park" these days, considering we are living in the world of corporate sponsorship propping up sports and just about everything else. if FIFA happen to be in town, you have to call it "Johannesburg Stadium", as it happens, since no one but no one may get any advertisting when they are in town, either incidental or accidentally. to me, though, and many others, it is Ellis Park. and that's where we went on a rather cold, nippy Saturday afternoon!
Michele had received an invitation to go and see the Lions vs the Sharks this last weekend and asked if i fancied it. i said very much yes, and indeed a big thank you goes to those who invited us and showed us great hospitality. and i hope i have put the right link there!
with the boys at South Fork for the weekend, then, it was off to one of the greatest stadiums in the world!
we could not have been asked to attend a better game, really, as Michele is a Sharks fan and i support the Lions. as it happens, the Lions have not being doing all that well for the last year (or so), and thus Michele was looking forward to ragging me a bit as her side was expected to romp home by a high margin. erm, yeah, more on that later.
in the mean time, here's an image of the Lions getting ready to tear some Sharks apart, all whilst that Bob Skinstad does his presentation thing for the benefit of the TV cameras.
as far as i could see, no, Bob or if you will Bobby did not do that thing he does with his tongue, but that was probably due to him not scoring a try at the time he was stood below us.
in regards of what that thing is he does with his tongue, Michele did have a go at it when i suggested i take a picture of the two of us!
back to the pitch, however, and here's one of the best pictures i managed to take of the stadium with my somewhat wanting blueberry camera thing. i believe my old Nokia took much better pictures, but Nokia don't do that free messaging thing.
as far as the match itself went, well, i am sure you are aware of the final score by the time you are reading this. for some insights, though, here's an attempt at a couple of pictures. first off, and indeed scoring first, here are the Sharks scoring some of the exceptionally few points they managed to get on the board in the first half....
...and here was a very frequent sight from the first half. it got a bit much, really, watching the Lions score again and again and again in the first half. but i did enjoy watching it again and again, letting Michele know just how much better my team was doing than hers!
Grant supports the Sharks too, and i cannot imagine that he would have been all that happy when he woke up on Sunday morning in Auckland and saw the final score. oh well, toughies, not my fault your team could not be bothered to keep hold of the ball.
Tasha is also a fan of the Sharks, now that i think of it. i am assuming that her phone is broken at the moment, though, as she has made no effort to call me or send a message saying how brilliant my team were. oh well, i am sure she will when her phone is fixed.
Trigger, my personal photographer, is an avid Lions fan i am delighted to say, and is usually at Ellis Park. he decided not to go this weekend, which is a shame as seeing a Lions win is really rather rare. it would have been handy for him to have been there to get some proper pictures taken rather than my efforts on display here. i suspect, however, he would have just taken pictures of the subject matter on display in the next image!
finally - and that this is the final letter might be a cause of frustration to you as you read on - here is a picture of me enjoying the only thing one can enjoy on a cold early evening during a Johannesburg winter. yes, that's right, a nice cold cup of beer.
now then, as this picture was being taken, there was an awful lot of cheering and people looking around in my direction. i thought it was rather odd that people were for some reason celebrating me having a nice cup of Heineken for the first time in years, but all the same appreciated their gesture.
as it turns out, the cheers were not for me, or Heineken for that matter. in the stand you can see just behind me, right, a couple decided that the stadium was the best place to all of a sudden get "intimate". it seems that is what drew the celebratory cheers and looks. oh. and, indeed, no, i did not get any pictures of whatever they were up to.
quite simply, an amazing afternoon. an amazing stadium, and amazing match and outstanding, amazing hospitality. i look forward to being able to do it all again at some point soon, in particular if the Lions win again!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!