Driving Geography! - A Tour of Southern Africa - Mozambique

Mozambique
Crossing into Mozambique towards Maputo was pleasureable as the landscape was very good at redirecting your attention from the obvious change in the road surface. Potholes were scattered across the width of the road every few km's and sometimes there were some policeman scattered across the road as well. The landscape does eventually flatten out to reveal a country that we know is still in recovery from the aftermath of a brutal civil war. The scenery transforms from a green, hilly jungle to reveal pockets of war-ridden buildings, clearly inhabited, but probably without the means to fix the remnants of the Kalashnikov fire. Anyhow after negotiating the Potholes and as you approach the capital City of Maputo, you realise that there is something else you need to negotiate: Oncoming traffic! From all directions. There is no sense of .... no wait. There is no SENSE in the way Maputo-'eans' drive. They seem to drive as the Crow flies. If there is road underneath them then great, but if not, they keep on ploughing along. I felt a sense of relief when the road widened to a dual lane freeway but that relief was short lived as was the highway.


We had to take an exit heading towards Inhambane, the coastal district. This road would prove to be the worst start to a holiday I have ever had. What was probably a 60km drive out of the city took us nearly 3 hours in peak hour traffic. And that traffic was not just cars. It was everything! Mopeds, Trikes, Tuc-Tucs, Buses, Trucks, Cars, Animal-drawn carts, Taxis, Pedestrians, Salesman, Bicycles, Wheelbarrows you name it, was on this road. And going in every direction you can think of. You would think that when you approach a four-way stop, you would do just that. But no! Nobody Stops. Everybody plays Chicken and sees who can get through the maize of things on the road without hurting themselves. They don't really care about scratches on their paintwork and dented fenders and all that, as long as they get to where they are going. It is insane! Nobody pays attention to traffic signals, traffic lights or anything traffic related. They just drive and hope they get there. Which is why the sides of the road are full of make-shift panel beater shops, tyre centres, bumper replacement specialists, food outlets, you name it. The theory is simple. If while you're barreling down the road and happen to lose a bumper, grille or fender, you can get another one back on in a few minutes. And then those same blokes will sell your old one to someone else. There is also everything else flanking the road: food outlets, shebeens, grocers, bed-makers, clothing etc. It's almost as if you can do everything you want to while driving, without actually driving. Cause that's definitely not what they do in Maputo. Driving is absolutely not what they do!

Eventually we did get out of that place and 'headed for the border' - literally. But the border was far so we needed to make a stop or two along the way. And so the woes continued.

We now had to travel 420kms up the coast of Mozambique to Inhambane and one might normally think this would take about 6 hours if we include pit stops and coffee breaks and chilled driving. Mmm..It took us 10 hours! Why you might ask. Well. No changes from Maputo really, except that the roads become narrower and the traffic lessens to more of the car and truck variety. The potholes are everywhere, the trucks are plenty and the undulating road surface only gets worse. So you could imagine that driving at night is quite treacherous and it is! The trucks are the most treacherous: They all drive quite quickly and they use their brakes sparingly. They do warn you that you're in the way with a flash of their high beams and a yank of the hooter and that's awfully nice of them. "Hey you're in my way - Get Out!"

However, we did pick up a trick about all of them. They have all realised how bad the roads are and they've probably all lost many trucking jobs for driving stupidly before, so they seem to have developed a way of telling driver's behind them when it is safe to overtake and when NOT to overtake. They crest a blindrise and monitor the situation. If all is clear, they put their left indicator on which means, 'put your foot to the floor and try overtake me.' If however, they see an oncoming car or a dead cow or some pieces of road have vanished (yes this happens), they turn on the right indicator basically saying 'if you overtake me now, I will not be friendly to you in heaven' or 'I will be unemployed and steal all your wheels'.
We found that the indicator trick was great and eventually our average speed seemed to get better. Thanks Mad Truckers!

I could wax lyrical about Mozambique drivers and roads as we still travelled a further 780kms in this place, but here is a shortened summary of advice:

1) The roads are not good but a normal sedan can cope unless you're staying in a beach villa and traversing beach sand roads is the only way to get there.

2) There are some service stations that do not have/run out of petrol and diesel. In this case, ask around and someone, somewhere around the corner will have some drums of the stuff in a makeshift shed at the back of his hut. You'll pay for it though. Rather go to Mo in a diesel. Its more economical and seemingly in more abundance.

3) Don't expect a friendly welcome reception from the Police. They seem to want money only. Nothing else. Not even good driving.

4) Listen out for the trucks and get out of the way when they ask you.



Yeah I know it seems a pitiful place, but remember, this blog is about the roads and the drivers ... and they are both BAD! The end!


(Mozambique as a holiday destination is magnificent. But I don't blog about that. My wife does. Follow her stories here.)

Driving Geography – A Tour of Southern Africa - Swaziland to start!

Having just completed a near 5000km round trip through four Southern African countries, I am somewhat sad to be back on South African soil, and moreso on South African roads. Don’t get me wrong, South African roads are a dream. In fact, they are undoubtedly the best roads I have ever driven on. But I digress. Let me set the scene:

10 days, 2 cars and 3 different border posts made for some interesting driving lessons. And I can definitely tell where a driver comes from just by observing driving style – no number plates required.

Swaziland
Crossing into Swaziland from South Africa is a good revelation. The roads are actually better on the other side. (only for a while though) Swaziland has recently built a Highway that runs from the Oshoek/Ngwenya border through the capital of Mbabane and into Manzini, the other commercial hub of the kingdom. Although sometimes littered with cows, goats or dogs and of course roadkill, the Highway is a dual-lane haven full of twisties for those who enjoy their driving. It meanders its way down the infamous Malagwane hill: a 5km descent through some breathtaking scenery. This hill used to be treacherous and many a life has been lost on this road. There was a murmur some years back that the hill had a Ghost hitchhiker. It used to scare the love out of me when I was younger, but I never saw her so I don’t believe it anymore. The story was that you would pick up this beautiful woman dressed in white, and when you got to the bottom of the hill, she would have vanished from the back seat of your car. Anyways, there was also a murmur that the hill was in the Guinness Book of Records for being the most fatal stretch of road in the world. I never looked into that one.


Like some of the neighbouring Southern African countries (except South Africa), Swaziland has been flooded with second hand cars from Japan and Singapore. The cars are more affectionately known as ‘Dubai’s’ and you’ll find everything from weirdly named Toyotas to Subaru WRX’s and of course, the ever famous Nissan GT-R in all it’s different forms. The cars are cheap, but the banks don’t fund them so it’s a cash-only game. But it seems to be working, as the roads are full of them and young, hardworking guys can actually afford sports cars. It’s fantastic!

Swazi drivers are fantastic too. They’re polite, they drive slowly and obey most of the rules of the road. If anything, you need to keep your eyes open in the evening for: 1) black cows in the middle of the road; 2) Zionist worshippers walking on the road in the dead of night; (3) An old battered bakkie or tractor with absolutely no lights and any other forms of wildlife. (I have been fortunate enough to witness a huge Lion crossing the main road in all its majestic splendour. What a sight! I will never forget it.)

Other than that, an amazing country with amazing people, respectable roads and similarly respectable drivers. Yes there are potholes and unroadworthy cars, but as you read on, you’ll realise Swaziland has a twinkle in its eye. Bayethe!

Peugeot also have a GTi!

Why do the French get so much flack for the cars they produce? Or is that old news?

I drive the old Peugeot 307 2.0 XS and after 7 years now, I love the little Pug. Is it fast? NO! Is it beautiful? Uhm....maybe a little. But it's taken care of us for a while and with a quarter of a million km's on the clock, I have enjoyed it thoroughly. Being me, my only gripe with her has always been her lack of grunt. I even fitted a 'Chip & Zorst' to her at one point(Yes I know) and though it made a small difference, it was never worth the effort. Not to mention the change from being a very silent cruiser to a loud and rude baritone. So, when Car Magazine mentioned that Peugeot were bringing a 308 GTi to the country, I was intrigued. Mmm, would it live up to that name?

The GTi name, no matter what car it's stuck on, has some serious weight. You can't call any car a GTi without it holding some chin up. So, courtesy of Peugeot SA I was invited to come and sample the latest Sports model from Peugeot almost at the same time as they launched their sexy RCZ sports coupe.





Honestly, I wasn't expecting much in the way of grunt, but the numbers looked substantial with 147kw on tap. I expected a fair amount of lag from the High pressure 1.6 Turbo unit, and I expected a bouncing, rocking typical FWD handful. What I got was....a shock! The power is surprisingly impressive and the lag was minimal. I ran the car around a few twisties a couple times, each time feeling how the ESP(a new feature) behaved and I was impressed that the 308 GTi is at the very least, entertaining. The steering feedback was somewhat clinical, and YES the FWD does seem to struggle to put down the power, but that aside, my word it's fun to drive! What impresses me most is that you just don't expect so much power and such immediate(almost) response and such entertaining roadholding. The car is understated, with only the tailipes and 18-inch rims giving it away. The other feature that I must mention is the flat bottomed steering which gives the already tasteful cabin an 'edge'.


As said, Peugeot is not known for it's Sporty prowess and I'll say this now. It's not a VW GTi or a Opel Astra OPC. Or anything close. It's a HOT hatch with a bit of common sense. It's well priced, just under 290k. It's amply specced and space is up there with the rest and best of the Hatches. It's super comfortable and it's fast but not mad. The appeal here is that it's the perfect compromise on what is not a very exclusive market. Think VW GTi and Ford Focus. This will get you noticed and your wife/gf will be happy with it too.


Oh and before I forget: The BEST feature about this car is that it features a Glass Roof that stretches from the top of the windscreen to the rear spoiler. I would buy this car simply for this. It adds a touch of class, exclusivity and ambience to what is already a good car.


Take one for a drive. I promise you won't be disappointed!

Red Bull gives you Wiiiiings - Box Cart Style




"Red Bull are having their Box Cart Race again. I think we should enter and You must be the driver!"



"Okay, No problem, I'm in"


And that's how it started. The Red Bull Box Cart Race was something I had no clue about. I just heard the word 'Race' and 'Drive' and I was hooked. Little did I know, the race involved a list of things to be achieved before any racing took place.


1) Get a 4-person team together. Elton the DJ. Bradley the engineer. Reagan the clown/entertainer and myself, the driver. Check!


2) Design your own cart and send designs to RB for approval - this was the entry form as it were. After some brainstorming with the team and our talented Uncle Eric, we came up with a plan to weld two mountain bikes together to form a 4-wheeled, lightweight racing machine. Red Bull liked it, and we were in. 1 of the 55 teams selected out of more than 700 entries. Check!

3) Build your own cart: No engine; more than 2 wheels; restrictions in size; maximum weight 100kgs; MUST have a working hooter; MUST have a working steering mechanism(but of course) and MUST have a working brake system.


And this is where the fun started. Uncle Eric 'Mrebi' Middleton, took the bull by the horns and within a matter of 2 Sundays of welding and cutting and trimming and bending, we had a very good first draft version of our cart. The steering was seriously homemade, and the brakes were the same system that was on the Mountain bikes when they arrived, except that only the rear brake cables could be wangled in such a way that our homemade footbrake could work. With a cart almost mechanically sound, we decided to do some testing. And this is what happened. http://bit.ly/cZx5GZ (Eish)


Plan B: The brakes were suspect. As soon as I hit them, the right rear locked up and I rolled the thing after just 1 test. Eish!! So we frantically rushed to the bike store and got another 2 rims. With these fitted, the team decided that no more testing could be done. If anyone was going to roll it again, it would have to be on the day in front of thousands of people. Eish again!

4) Get a Team name and a theme for your team: Somehow, we ended up with the name JIVA INKUNZI which loosely translated means, the Dancing Bulls. Catchy hey? And we decided to name the cart, INKUNZI SPEEDSTER. The team theme was supposed to be around state-of-the-art engineering technology, but with a hint of fun. The real theme was the exact opposite, with FUN being the operative word and state of the art being a complete lie. With Red Bulls that were given to us every few weeks, we seemed to be in a general state of clowning around. And after 4 weekends of work, We had our dance routine prepared, our brand was solid and our kart was complete. We were Ready!


Thursday morning, the day before the event, we were all tasked to be there for the first of our 3 judging sessions. Soweto at 7 in the morning was perfect! The culture, the colours and the people were very welcoming, and it dawned on us that all our clowning around would be for the entertainment and enjoyment of this historical place. When we arrived, something was very wrong. Our competitors were all there, carts and all, but somehow, we were VERY underdressed and our pit area was even worse. We had missed the bit about decorating your pit area and creatively bringing across your theme. Four bewildered faces stared at each other and at every other team there. This was waaaay more serious than we had anticipated. Man! There were karts there made entirely of aluminium. There was a Spaza Shop, with all the stock including a live chicken. There were sportscar replicas; 3 wheeled lightweight works of art; Formula 1 replicas; Bathtubs with running water. I am talking serious stuff. And there we were, with our beloved Inkunzi Speedster. And that's it! We were feeling very conspicuous! And the media and few people that were there made it worse by not paying any attention to us whatsoever.


So we hatched Plan C: Reagan and Elton headed into Soweto to try and salvage something of this situation. Bradley and I remained with IS and made some desperate calls to do the same. Media would be with us within 2 hours and by then, we would need to get our story straight and have out pit area fairly respectable. After hanging some printed sheets and pillow cases, and some posters around our machine, we were as ready as we could be. We certanly weren't the best, but we were feeling much better. The media came and went as did the competitors and though we were clearly not the favourites to win in the decor, there was a quiet confidence about our carts performance.


Friday 24th September: National Heritage Day and Race Day for the Red Bull Box Cart Race 2010. Soweto came alive in the morning sun, and crowds began to gather around the narrow 400 metre course that we were seeing for the first time. A long narrow straight followed by a S-bend leading onto another straight, then onto another kink preceded by a 20 cm ramp before the end stretch. I wasn't too phased. It was way less intimidating than I had conjured up in my mind. So, track walk done, briefing done, and the races started. We knew we were going to be in for a long wait when the schedule was passed around. We would be the 34th Team to run.
We were supported by great friends and family who came from all over Joburg, and even managed to get some support from some of the local kids. Our Ladies team T-shirts were printed in Zulu, but our spelling was wrong which didn't impress all but one or two men who came to lecture us on why it was wrong and why we are embarassing. Oh well, My bad!


At about 14:30, we wheeled our beloved IS up the hill to the start line. The thousands of people in the crowd seemed to inspire me as I started to realise that I was about to put the hopes of 3 other guys on my shoulders. Thanks to the commentators, Gugu Zulu in particular, that weight was quadrupled after they mentioned that I was the only one to ever have driven an F1 car. No pressure then.


But before we raced, we had to 'show dem da moves'. Our unique entertainment piece was a combination of Tsipa & Quasa Quasa moves which involved some heavy gyrating movements. The crowd seemed to love it and most of the judges did too, except for Pollen Ndlanya who is obviously still bitter about not being young enough to play in the 2010 World Cup.


With about 4 teams who made it below the 60 second mark, that was where I was aiming. The 3 iEngines, Reagan, Elton and Bradley gave me a superb push and I was off. This is what happened. http://bit.ly/cZx5GZ

Once again, the brakes let us down. In fact, this time, they didn't work at all. I knew that if I were to take the s-bend at the speed I was doing, it would be all over, so I scraped some of the sides of the hay bales that lined the track and slowed down enough to steer through the corners. YES, we did it. No accidents, No rolling, and no embarrassing stops on the track.

I met Carol Manana at the bottom who gave us our time: A disappointing but respectable 1:01:26. Eish. I was somewhat gutted. I knew we wouldn't be quickest, but a sub-60 would have been quite respectable. After some calculations that put us 7th fastest overall and quite surprisingly, our creative score was 39/50. MUCH better than we had initially thought.


And that was pretty much it. Adrenalin pumping, legs shaking, I made my way back up to a very proud and cheerful team. We could hold our heads high knowing that as 1st time entrants, we had made it close to the top 3(in the speed stakes). More importantly, we had come to Soweto to have the time of our lives. Yes the sun was hot and the food was off, but the support and time with friends and family was unmatched; the crowds were inspirational and the event itself was top notch. No hitches, no issues, no unhappiness - just genuine unprecedented FUN.


Our beloved Inkunzi Speedster rests now: waiting for the day in 4 years time, when she will be refreshed, reformed and refined to take on the challange once again.


Nice one Uncle Mrebi! Nice one Jiva Inkunzi team and the beautiful ladies who supported us through all the late nights, building, arguing and dancing. Nice one Red Bull South Africa!



Mercedes Benz Cabriolet: Smiles up; Top down

It was not too long ago that Montecasino decided to give back to the guests who choose to spend the time and money at the Tuscany styled establishment. They called it the 'Platinum Privelege' and for two months, the patrons who played there were able to rack up as many points as possible in order to be placed into a draw to win something special. What was the special prize? A silver R800k Mercedes-Benz E350 Cabriolet. The decision to buy this particular car was a small challenge within the Montecasino Marketing Team. We had the budget, but couldn't agree on what car would give us the best yield of interest. If you have any recollection of the car arguments at most weekend braais or pub nights, you'll know that arguing about what is best is almost as difficult as arguing one's religion. Okay it wasn't that dramatic and in the end, there were four names that crept up. BMW - who would have thought? Mercedes Benz - imagine the arguments now. Audi - They seem to spoiling the fun often these days, and Jaguar - they too are climbing well on the reputation ladder again. But what could you buy for R800,000 that would be beautiful, appealing and rewarding? You could go for the mid-super saloons such as an M3, but that would appeal to one end of the market: The go fast wannabe racers, the petrol-heads, the young, rich, buff boys, the JHB club owners. And that's a fairly small market. You could look at the cheaper S5 Cabriolet; but that too is aggressive and not as poised as some other Audi S cars. So the decision to bag the Benz was mostly out of the fact that is was new on the showroom floors, somewhat exclusive on SA roads, and most of all, beautiful and graceful but without having that 'only for ladies' air that the SLK seems to have inherited.

The E350 sat on the Casino Floor at Montecasino, until 9pm on Thursday 29th July when the final draw took place. One lucky Montecasino patron walked away having won the silver beauty, courtesy of Montecasino. The man was beaming, visibly impressed and surprised by his win. When he sat in his new wheels, the excitement overflowed! He was an instant celebrity on the casino floor, with many coming to congratulate him and take pictures with him.

The car had to be moved from the casino entrance to the VIP parking the very next morning, and the opportunity to drive it was handed to myself: A short drive with the top down; from one end of the Montecasino boulevard to the other, around three dual lane traffic circles was enough to convince me of a few things: 1) R800k is a fair sum to spend on a V6 convertible, but if I had the pocket to afford it and a wife that would allow it, I would do it in a heartbeat. It's a special car, with a special comfort in driving it. 2) I was never a fan of convertibles, fearing that my skin would be scorched by the sun, that the wind would irritate me and that I wouldn't be able to be myself in the car with the outside world looking in. But you know what, I wouldn't mind the eyeballs, the wind is minimal and the winter sun felt amazing on my skin. The tiny breeze through the cabin was a little cool, but I did have time to turn on the AIRSCARF which put that right immediately. Good job on that one Mercedes Benz.


I didn't want to get out of the car. I wanted to stay inside it, and keep it to myself. But alas, I need to take a bite of reality and start convincing my wife that we may need to relook our budget priorities. It's a much better investment than say, property or holidays. Isn't it :)?













Eff One - The Greatest Sport on Earth?

Formula 1 is a sport that floods the TV screens of something like 600 million viewers worldwide; and packs the grandstands at the tracks in the many cities in which it is hosted. The BBC has invested in this sport for decades, and the Big B' that owns a large chunk of the commercial rights to the sport is one of the richest men in the world. And when it comes to the people who go to watch the races LIVE, these figures are just as unbelievable. Silverstone this year had more than 130,000 people who were at the track just on raceday. So it's a huge wonder to me that my weekend braai arguments always seem to veer off in the direction of why I even bother to watch this sport. I am continually being harassed about why I don't watch more entertaining sports...like soccer or cricket or (someone help me) rugby.

Mmm.....let me see....

For a start, Formula 1 is the world's most expensive sport. Some have said that the combined turnover of all the players in F1 would add up to the GDP of the world's 4th largest economy.
And that makes it aspirational, in the same way a Pagani Zonda is to a 16 year-old boy who has no idea what R10million is. It makes it cool. It makes you want to know what it's all about underneath.

Which brings me to my next point. F1 is not about racing drivers; or racing cars; or both. No, F1 is a technological labyrinth, with millions of factors that make up the winners and losers we see on the 'slick' packaged sport we watch on TV. Cars are designed in the cleanest, state-of-the-art factories in the world. The world's fastest and best Super computers are used to design and build F1 cars including sophisticated wind tunnels and CFD systems. The technology is groundbreaking and pushes the boundaries of what is deemed possible by the laws of physics, so much so that much of the technology born in F1 makes it to road cars for you and I to use and experience (if you drive a Ferrari or SLS AMG or course).

Everything from the engines to the wheel nuts have been designed with the purpose of producing the most advanced cars on the planet. They are hardly even cars; the drivers are more commonly referred to as pilots. Because that's what these things are - they are fighter jets that do battle on the ground. They produce downforce, the opposite of the 'lift' that causes planes to go up - and at over 160km/h, that downforce is more than 1.6 tons, which means they can corner faster than a normal human body can handle. F1 cars go from 0-330km/h in 10.8
seconds. Can you even imagine that? Your Golf Gti DSG does half that speed in double that time. And you thought it was fast. What's more is that they stop faster and harder than hitting a brick wall. Hit the brakes from top speed in an F1 car, and by the time your organs are all back in
place, you'll only have counted 6.5 seconds. And you'll be in physical pain.

Because of all this technical wizardry and driving genius, the sport is filled with people who love 2 things: Money! and Winning! And those two ingredients are sure to dish up a great deal of drama, both on and off the track. One of the great things about F1 is the people who are involved - everyone has some part to play. Let's start with the owner. Bernie Ecclestone
is a business-focused genius who bought into the commercial rights of F1 early. He's controversial and not shy to piss people off nor care about what they think. He's usually part of the high-level drama and controversy. Yes, he's made a lot of money but has also spent a lot of money, making sure the sport is sexy. (have you seen the grid girls?) Thanks Bernie.
Then of course, who can forget the FIA stewards - no names mentioned here, but these guys can turn a race on it's head, simply because they don't like one of the guys on track. Thanks Nigel Mansell. More drama.
F1 Engineers are in a war of their own - constantly building and designing and re-designing. The teams who are smartest at finding loopholes in the rulebook, and who are smartest at designing their cars are generally the teams that challenge at the front. But that doesn't mean they always win. Just ask Mclaren or Red Bull.
And of course, there are strategists who decide on how their drivers will run - they are to master all the factors of the competition and the weather (another character on it's own) and the traffic, and come up with a race plan that will yield best results. These plans, of course, are constantly changing as the race weekend progresses.
And lastly, but definitely worth a mention, are the pilots/drivers. The guys(and girls) that we actually think we know; the ones we see doing their business in the cockpits; the ones we hear in the interviews and the ones we all love and hate the most. Every year, someone special comes along to replace the loser that came before...but actually, here's the thing - no-one is a loser in F1. Being in F1 usually means you are one of the top 24 drivers in the entire world and in that, there is no LOSER status. But every now and then someone comes along who just outshines the rest and takes the sport to a whole new level. To mention a few from the recent F1 story: Michael Schumacher did it and is now one of the richest sportsmen for it. Kimi Raikonnen did it, for more interesting reasons. He was quiet and reserved and cold on the outside. Hence the pseudonym 'Iceman'. But off track he was wild and party mad. And the world
loves him for it. Most recently, Lewis Hamilton seems to be doing it too - for a 24 year-
old, he is paid quite handsomely, (he earns something in the region of 30 million a year
) And he dates a Pussy Cat which makes for great Heat magazine pictures.
And the fact that he is coloured made F1 history.
So - so far, we really have the plot outline for a really great film. We have a technical masterpiece, that is sexy, rich and aspirational. The cast and crew are all geniuses
in their own right. There is drama beyond expectation, a lot of laughter and tears, and the soundtrack is composed of nothing more goosebump inspiring than the howl of engines and the burning of rubber. But the BEST part of this F1 film is the action. The spectacle of wheel to wheel racing at fascinating speeds defies logic and makes for riveting entertainment.
The unexpected crashes are nothing short of spectacular and leave you anxious and concerned for a few seconds, after which drivers nowadays, generally just get out of the car and walk away with their heads down, but their body still in tact - which leaves you as a viewer even more impressed with the safety of these fascinating machines.

My friends liken F1 to a swarm of mosquitoes flying around. 'It's just cars going round and round in circles' they chirp. I stop myself before reminding them that Nascar is what they are referring to. I mean how can you argue with such an intelligent statement? A colleague once told me a similar comment about soccer, "...it's just a bunch of men, all chasing after the same ball. How stupid is that?"

I suppose I could argue it on the same grounds but I would be disrespecting the true brilliance of a sport that has withstood wars; weather disasters; 2 economic depressions; two threats of a breakaway series and many more. I would be disrespecting the Greatest Sport on earth!