Sunday, December 18, 2011

Scarfing down money

I'm back from New Zealand, somewhat refreshed and definitely refocused. A more detailed summary of the trip will come later, but for now I'll throw up a few photos to tide over folks. One thing I made sure to do was keep up my tradition of taking in a sporting event when I go on vacation -- this time, it was the Wellington Phoenix taking on the Perth Glory in an A-League match at Westpac Stadium in the New Zealand capital.

The Phoenix won 1-0 in a match that was long on aspiration and short on execution, but it was a decent Saturday afternoon otherwise. Ticket: 30 New Zealand dollars (US$23); Pie and a Coke: NZ$8 (US$6); Hyundai A-League (TM) Officially Licensed Wellington Phoenix Supporters Scarf: NZ$35 (US$27). I won't go so far as to say charging damn near $30 for a scarf is definitely part of what's weighing down soccer's development in Australia and New Zealand, but it sure can't help.

Here, then, is my updated scarf collection -- modest but heartfelt.

From top: Wellington Phoenix (New Zealand), Beijing Guo'an (China), Indonesia national team, Kyoto Sanga (Japan), Hiroshima Carp (Japan baseball), Seibu Lions (Japan baseball), Tokyo Verdy (Japan), Urawa Reds (Japan), Kansas City Wizards (MLS), US vs. Poland (friendly at Soldier Field, Chicago), US national team (friendly vs. Honduras at Safeco Field, Seattle). These are grouped in roughly reverse chronological order. I should note that I only buy scarves of teams I've watched in person -- it's just a point of principle for me.

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