Richard Ferguson

The press-box experience


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 21 Jul 2010 at 08:30
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About two months ago I got asked to attend Sharks games on behalf of Sharksworld, do some live commentary and write an article or two. At first I was a bit surprised, but soon got sucked into my normal and very boring daytime job and never gave it any more thought.

Last week it hit me that I was going to a Sharks vs Bulls game as a press person and it hit me, this is big!! Nerves creeped in and the mind started running wild. What do I do? What do I say? Where do I go? What do I take? Poor Rob had to field millions of questions. So here’s how my first day went:

Seeing as I was a nervous wreck, and being an auditor, I over audited the situation and decided to go as early as I could so I could suss out the situation. I arrived at my parking at the early hour of 13h00, four hours before the main game kicked off. Early is an understatement.

Getting to the entrance of the admin took very little, but once inside, I was greeted by about 6 security guards all wanting to acquaint themselves with my press pass. Once they were all happy that I was allowed to breathe the same air as them, a security guard escorted me into the lift to make sure I go no further than the third floor.

At the entrance to the press box, I was once again asked for my accreditation (my wide eyes and sweaty palms must have given away the fact that I was either a criminal at work or a rookie not knowing where to go). I was welcomed by a very friendly young lady who asked me if I wanted a drink. I declined even though some hard alcohol would have helped.

The press box looks more like a luxury lounge than anything I have seen in the stadium before. Comfy seats, a little stage where coaches would later sit and field questions, a bar and coffee station. Drawings on the wall immediately caught my attention, depicting Sharks legends in comical paintings. I was engrossed.

Once my eyes were back in their sockets, I was showed my seat for the game. Location seems to be very important for journalists, as I had the best seats I have ever had. It was just high enough for me to see everything, yet not too high so I cannot make out what’s going on. And prime on the halfway line. Perfect doesn’t quite do it justice.

After the U19 game, I decided to test out the coffee station, simple thing that I would not be able to mess up even if I tried. So there I was, feeding my caffeine addiction, when a legend of a man walks up next to me, takes a cup, and seems to share my love for a strong cuppa… Joel Stransky. Now I know he is no favourite around here, but in my eyes, he still won a World Cup for us, and he was right there next to me… within touching distance. I decided to be a brave young grasshopper and introduced myself, after which we discussed the disappointing Springbok loss to the All Blacks that morning. Amazing moment number 1 for the day.

After this discussion, and learning that Mr Stransky does think quite a bit of his own opinion, I settled into watching the U21 game. A good start gave me hope, but a loss at the end of the day was not the way I was hoping my first day would go. Disappointing moment number 2 of the day. (Number 1 was the U19’s losing) I decided to see which famous rugby legend I would meet at the coffee station this time, only to find Mr Stransky chatting up two very attractive young ladies. No other legends available, leading to disappointing moment number 3.

The Sharks then went on to give the Bulls a bit of a rugby lesson, which made for a very nice end to my day at the stadium and the experience would have been amazing had it ended right there. But that was not all folks.. I had the pleasure of sitting through two press conferences, first Frans Ludeke trying not to cry, and then John Plumtree trying very hard not to break into song and dance. I even got to ask my first question (thanks must go to Rob for telling me what to ask, as I would much rather have just taken in the moment). Amazing moments 2-4.

Thereafter I was allowed to take the field, an experience I didn’t expect to share with the other 25 573 people who attended the game. I was allowed to chat to the players, who were each mobbed by around 450 spectators asking them to sign autographs and body parts. I did manage to get hold of the Man of the Match Mvovo, and it must be said that the man is very nice! Amazing moment number 5.

So all in all, my amazing moments far outscored my disappointing moments, and a great evening was had! I eventually found my way home after celebrating a proper Bulls hiding! A big thank you to Rob and Sharksworld for making the above experience a reality and not some sort of rugby supporters wet dream. Bring on the Pumas Friday night!!



63 Comments

  • :razz: well done

  • Comment 1, posted at 21.07.10 08:38:05 by pete69 Reply
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  • Nice! I’m a bit jealous :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 21.07.10 08:49:50 by Jarson Reply
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  • You get parking :?: :!:

  • Comment 3, posted at 21.07.10 08:55:04 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • :cool:
    so what was your first question?

  • Comment 4, posted at 21.07.10 08:55:45 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 3) : maybe they are available at 13h00 :grin:

  • Comment 5, posted at 21.07.10 08:56:13 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @Jarson (Comment 2) : btw : this ITM thing is gonna be pure fun – never heard about any of the teams before :mrgreen:

  • Comment 6, posted at 21.07.10 08:58:45 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 5) : At Newlands we don’t get parking no matter what time it is

  • Comment 7, posted at 21.07.10 09:00:12 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 7) : :|
    ohh – do you mean a parking for press or for an ordinary folk – I took it as he was so early that there was no problems with parking (no even thinking about a special arrangement for the press).

  • Comment 8, posted at 21.07.10 09:03:19 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 8) : Aha, i didnt even think that being that early meant there would be ample parking anywhere

  • Comment 9, posted at 21.07.10 09:04:19 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 6) : Not :?: :shock: U could ask Hertford, but I’m not sure he can be trusted in the matter :grin:

  • Comment 10, posted at 21.07.10 09:14:21 by Jarson Reply
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  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 4) : My first question:
    “How is Odwa Ndungane going to fit into a backline that performed so well against the Bulls tonight?”

    His answer: “He will have to wait”

  • Comment 11, posted at 21.07.10 09:24:39 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Jarson (Comment 10) : :mrgreen:
    :oops: :oops: i’m guessing that some of them are the S14 teams under bit different names, but that’s all.

    @Richard Ferguson (Comment 11) : good question. and the answer says all the right things but Plum always talk well and not always practice what he preaches. wouldn’t be surprised if odwa slots in immediately on his return. :roll:

  • Comment 12, posted at 21.07.10 09:29:07 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 12) : Thats about all I know aswell, for now :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 21.07.10 09:32:10 by Jarson Reply
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  • Lucky Git!
    Rob if you’re are reading this I volunteer for any press duties in Cape town….

  • Comment 14, posted at 21.07.10 09:36:55 by Just a Fan Reply

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  • @Just a Fan (Comment 14) : I keeeel you

  • Comment 15, posted at 21.07.10 09:40:17 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 15) : :lol: :lol:

  • Comment 16, posted at 21.07.10 09:43:36 by Just a Fan Reply

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  • Great story Richard!

    I know not many people like Stransky, but I knew him before he became famous.

    In January 1986 Stransky, Glover, Rimmer and van Wyk were four young Durbs dudes sharing a compartment on a troop train from Durban to Pretoria – on the way to do national service.

    For dinner that evening, somewhere along the way, we got a foul bowl of stuff with some gravy to eat. Joel was so disgusted that he opened the compartment window and threw the gravy out. It blew right back and covered him in the stuff. We were still pissing ourselves laughing when we pulled into Pretoria the next morning and Joel was still sulking.

    It turned out that we shared a bungalow in basics and played rugby together at Valhalla (SAAF). I was 8, Shawn Glover (Joel’s Natal & SA schools scrummie partner) was 9 and Joel was obviously 10. After basics he went off to do some air force admin job and played for Northern Tvl U20.

    I saw him a number of times after that (pre-1995) and he was always very friendly and down to earth.

    It’s a pity that fame goes to some people’s heads and it pisses me off that Joel can’t lay off the young beauties, because I knew his wife Karen (we went to school together)- she was a really nice chick.

  • Comment 17, posted at 21.07.10 09:57:42 by rhineshark Reply
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  • Well done Richard sounded an awesome experience.

    I look forward to catching up with you as you travel the world in your new media capacity ! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 21.07.10 09:59:55 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Jarson (Comment 10) :

    Cheers for setting it up …… I will try and write an article to give a few of our friends an insight into who’s who in the competition ! ;-)

    I can be trusted :lol:

  • Comment 19, posted at 21.07.10 10:02:37 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 19) : Great, and I’ll do my own research offcourse. :wink: :lol:

  • Comment 20, posted at 21.07.10 10:07:53 by Jarson Reply
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  • Nice article….it seems like a great experience…pity I don’t live in Durban so I can attend more games. :sad:

  • Comment 21, posted at 21.07.10 10:11:25 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Jarson (Comment 20) :

    I trust you will be chasing winners honours in what could be a smallish pool…… but unfortunately for you i’m involved.

    PS I’m embarassing myself in the CC Superbru Pool….may have to fake an injury! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 22, posted at 21.07.10 10:15:34 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 22) : pls don’t – some consolation for the loosers :mrgreen:

  • Comment 23, posted at 21.07.10 10:17:30 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 19) : :cool:

  • Comment 24, posted at 21.07.10 10:18:09 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • Absolutly awsome article Richardand very well done on your etiquette,i must agree with your assumption on Joel,he always seems anti sharks while commentating,both arrogant and conceited,why this should be im not sure as he enjoyed many great years with the sharks and is a kzn boy too,perhaps there is an old historical grudge he still hold with the sharks??

  • Comment 25, posted at 21.07.10 10:18:48 by ruggabugga Reply

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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 22) : My CC aint looking good either :oops: I will most definitely be competing against u, honours will be a bonus. Game On! :razz:

  • Comment 26, posted at 21.07.10 10:24:45 by Jarson Reply
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  • @Jarson (Comment 26) :

    I checked out your Superbru honours yesterday….. very impressive.

    I need to take more pride in beating you in future ! ;-)

  • Comment 27, posted at 21.07.10 10:31:31 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 27) : Thanx, but I still havent won the big ones, CC and S14 :sad: And that elusive Global Top 10/100 :sad:

  • Comment 28, posted at 21.07.10 10:45:25 by Jarson Reply
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  • @Jarson (Comment 28) :

    The way to look impressive is you set up a pool and invite a load of idiots that know nothing about the teams…. and you should win….

    …..oh ….wait a second you have just done that ! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 29, posted at 21.07.10 10:49:03 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 29) : :lol: I invited you too remember :wink:

  • Comment 30, posted at 21.07.10 10:58:12 by Jarson Reply
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  • I was welcomed by a very friendly young lady who asked me if I wanted a drink. I declined even though some hard alcohol would have helped.

    Bwahahahah…

    Mate you must join myself and Clayton at Newlands sometime…

  • Comment 31, posted at 21.07.10 11:08:30 by Morné Reply
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  • Drawings on the wall immediately caught my attention, depicting Sharks legends in comical paintings. I was engrossed.

    Those characitures are Awesome. :cool:

    I used to pay more attention to them than the discussions during our law meetings when I was still in SA. :oops:

  • Comment 32, posted at 21.07.10 14:43:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 22) : bad sport :evil: why HH i think i’m above u but what the hell u always seem to jump back up to the top ;-)

  • Comment 33, posted at 21.07.10 15:01:51 by chaz Reply

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  • Well good for u it must of been sth :smile:

    (my wide eyes and sweaty palms must have given away the fact that I was either a criminal at work or a rookie not knowing where to go). I was welcomed by a very friendly young lady :lol:
    u forgot to say and my heart was missing a beat oh my ;-)

  • Comment 34, posted at 21.07.10 15:06:17 by chaz Reply

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  • @chaz (Comment 34) : Im going to sound like such a retard now, but i havent been able to figure out what sth stands for?! I even googled it.. What the hell, I should know these things!!

  • Comment 35, posted at 21.07.10 15:29:33 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 35) : sth = something

  • Comment 36, posted at 21.07.10 15:38:25 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • Anyone here Cape based?

  • Comment 37, posted at 21.07.10 15:40:08 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 37) : on this thread only Morne methinks :grin:

  • Comment 38, posted at 21.07.10 15:42:46 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 38) : :lol: Theres a chat at False Bay RFC tonight with Tank Lanning, Charl Marais, Guy Kebble and Keith Andrews and wanted to know if someone wanted to go. Its R90 though

  • Comment 39, posted at 21.07.10 15:45:01 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 38) : oh and Just Fan :grin:

  • Comment 40, posted at 21.07.10 15:48:34 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 35) : don’t worry me didn’t either reniek had to help with that one :oops:

  • Comment 41, posted at 21.07.10 15:49:49 by chaz Reply

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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 39) : that sounds nice – too far for me though.

  • Comment 42, posted at 21.07.10 15:54:11 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • I would have taken that drink… :lol: Guess “I” will not be in the pressbox for SW soon!? Hehe

  • Comment 43, posted at 21.07.10 15:54:55 by Señora Hielo Reply
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  • @Señora Hielo (Comment 43) : eeee ;-) now what would i hv done gee press box and a beauty reniek and she say no :???: maybe Clayton got a chopper or 2 and u don’t ask :?: oh my reniek :lol: ;-)

  • Comment 44, posted at 21.07.10 15:57:55 by chaz Reply

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  • @Señora Hielo (Comment 43) : you might have gotten more info out of the legend ;-)

  • Comment 45, posted at 21.07.10 15:58:14 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 45) : Joel?? After a few I might have moered him! LOLOL

  • Comment 46, posted at 21.07.10 16:04:39 by Señora Hielo Reply
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  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 45) : now tell me sth who is this Clayton (PJLD) or am i not to know :?: ;-)

  • Comment 47, posted at 21.07.10 16:05:04 by chaz Reply

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  • @Señora Hielo (Comment 46) : eeeee you are making me hv a good laugh :mrgreen:

  • Comment 48, posted at 21.07.10 16:05:50 by chaz Reply

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  • @chaz (Comment 48) : hey no shit Chaz has 5 stars oh my now that feels very good :mrgreen:

  • Comment 49, posted at 21.07.10 16:06:42 by chaz Reply

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  • @chaz (Comment 47) : i don’t really know but he’s always been here … ;-)

    one of the administrators so we must behave ;-)

  • Comment 50, posted at 21.07.10 16:07:19 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 50) : oh my :roll: ;-) i nearlly thought it was Clayton from the radio :oops: ;-)

  • Comment 51, posted at 21.07.10 16:09:02 by chaz Reply

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  • @chaz (Comment 48) : brannewyn hetie brieke nie en gee jou baie spiere! Dit verander jou ook in die mooiste mens op die party wat baie mooi op tafels kan dans…of so hoor ek! LOL

  • Comment 52, posted at 21.07.10 16:09:09 by Señora Hielo Reply
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  • @chaz (Comment 47) : Huh?

  • Comment 53, posted at 21.07.10 16:09:38 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Señora Hielo (Comment 52) : jy kan dit weer sê maar ek drink nie BRANDEWYN nie Wyn en OBS oh ja :cool:

    :mrgreen:

  • Comment 54, posted at 21.07.10 16:12:06 by chaz Reply

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  • @chaz (Comment 51) : he may be …
    @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 53) : are u :?:

  • Comment 55, posted at 21.07.10 16:12:44 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 53) : :oops: was only guessing but must be wrong :oops:
    that was a completment me friend :lol: ;-)

  • Comment 56, posted at 21.07.10 16:13:41 by chaz Reply

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  • @chaz (Comment 54) : me neither..ek is ‘n wynvlieg!

  • Comment 57, posted at 21.07.10 16:14:41 by Señora Hielo Reply
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  • @rekinek (Go Klose!) (Comment 55) : if he’s going to tell us :???: ;-)

  • Comment 58, posted at 21.07.10 16:15:20 by chaz Reply

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  • @Señora Hielo (Comment 57) : well come to the wynflieg klub :mrgreen:

  • Comment 59, posted at 21.07.10 16:16:03 by chaz Reply

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  • Im just confused.Maybe i need a drink…yes, i think thats it

  • Comment 60, posted at 21.07.10 16:19:24 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 60) : well provincejoulekkeding must of changed his name if me is right it must be the cold air up in CT drink a OBS it warms u up from inside to outside :mrgreen:

  • Comment 61, posted at 21.07.10 16:26:36 by chaz Reply

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  • Ok maar lekka deurmekaar :lol: :lol:

  • Comment 62, posted at 21.07.10 16:27:00 by Jarson Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 60) : wynflieg :?: :lol:

  • Comment 63, posted at 21.07.10 16:48:42 by rekinek (Go Klose!) Reply
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