If you want to watch a sport on television while in New Zealand, you have three choices: cricket, netball and rugby. The only exception is fortunately they carry Sunday and Monday night football games in the restaurant on campus, so I've gotten to see the Steelers 2-0 start in the divisional games.
1. Netball: I was kind of excited about this sport. I knew nothing about it, but the name sounds cool, and I knew it was popular here, so I figured it'd be awesome. WRONG. First off, it's only played by women, so you know it's going to be a snoozefest. Turns out it's basically women's basketball without backboards, dribbling, or jumpshots. If any country could figure out how to make women's basketball less exciting, New Zealand did it. I was going to post a youtube link of the game, but that'd just be cruel.
Check out that action! That's right, netball is full of people with indeterminate genders, and for some reason with letters instead of numbers on their uniforms. Here's a picture of New Zealand's captain:
2. Rugby: I thought rugby would be sweet. I was wrong. First I thought the sport was confusing, then when I was told each side had 5 downs to score, it made sense: it was American football without passing, and a lot more standing in a line. It's basically running and punting, and who doesn't love watching the Ravens play the Chiefs? Here's a much better alternative:
Gaelic football is awesome. When I went to a game in Dublin, one player got hurt, then continued to play for about 10 minutes before it was obvious he had to be taken off. Turns out he ruptured his ACL and MCL, but kept playing.
3. I'm not even going to talk about cricket. If you thought a baseball game was boring, you were right. But cricket's worse. It's longer, and has literally no sweet defensive plays, which is the only saving grace for baseball. To sum it up, one of the greatest NZ cricket players ever said 'cricket isn't a phyiscal sport.' Neither is chess. But no cricket game can match Searching for Bobby Fischer. Here's another place New Zealand can take a page from Ireland:
Hurling is awesome.