As I dragged myself out of bed at 6am yesterday to watch the World Cup Quarter finals, splashing warm tea on my face and enjoying a mug of bacon, I was surprised by some of what I saw. Actually, that is technically not true. I was more surprised by something that I heard.
Some pundits *cough Stephen Jones *cough* have a history of winding up the Kiwis, insulting everything from hospitality to weather to their general attitude. But so far the welcome here has been amazing, and ne’re a grumpy kiwi in sight. Although a few eccentrics for sure, like the guy who runs up and down Baldwin St (steepest in the world) every day.
They’re harsh on their team here in New Zealand.
After the All Blacks humped a stoic Tongan side by 6 tries to 1 with clinical counter attacking rugby but failed to score quite so much in the second half, pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to reckons they were truly, truly awful, or words to that effect. Usually ones rhyming with “hit” or “height”. Graham “Ted” Henry only gave them 5/10. So how then to view Scotland’s decidedly mixed performance on Saturday against a fired-up Romanian team?
After much blood, sweat and tears here is the Scotland RWC11 Fanzine – ‘Scots Wae Hae’. Containing a range of information this fanzine will hopefully provide the travelling Scotland fan with enough information to ensure they know what pubs to drink in, what songs to sing, where to get something to eat and what to do the the following morning when they realise they’ve lost their passport!
This is the baby of the Blog’s favorite ex-pat Colin so a million thanks to him for his considerable hard work. If you meet Colin in New Zealand be sure to buy him a pint!
Download fanzine here: ‘Scots Wa Hae’
3 days to go and the mounting pressure and rise in exposure is inescapable.
RWC 2011 kicks off on Friday with Tonga unleashing the Sipi Tau against the hosts, NZ, and suddenly we are made aware of every movement by every team, every day. It will continue like this throughout the tournament and at a time when every top tier nation is looking for recognition and respect we can only expect more scrutiny than ever before.
Carl Lewis once said, “Life is about timing.”
He may have slickly been suggesting that everything had fallen into place for him, but in sporting terms he was certainly correct. If you get there in the right time you get Gold. If you show your hand too early you lose the pot. If you slow your pace too much you are behind the fans, and they are gone.
Before every major event we get caught up in the madness of predictions. We follow speculation as if it were Gospel. We force ourselves to show blind faith, regardless of what common sense has been telling us for 3 years out of 4.
Suddenly people at the office you rarely speak to are talking to you about sport. That distant mate no one has seen for years is emailing you about fantasy leagues. You’re heading to the bookies when, normally, you’re that person that doesn’t buy a lottery ticket on Rollover day.