Humility is an attribute that is getting rarer in contemporary professional sport. With football players refusing to play so they can get big money transfers and NFL MVPs obligated to say they are “going to Disneyland!” you are unlikely to see the best of the best refusing to celebrate or a last-gasp loser showing magnanimity.
Welcome to the precipice. In front of you is a sharp drop. A fall from grace. Behind you is a queue of people waiting to push you off. That same queue of people that always said Scottish rugby wasn’t very good. You always ignored them. Hoping that the glory days would return. Now you have to listen to their deafening chant and you can’t fight the urge to look down…
Here at Scottish Rugby Blog HQ we wondered: what would we say if we had the chance to give the Scotland Team a private message before the Argentina game?
Would we give them a Jim Telfer style roasting, or would we caress their egos? Would we go around the room speaking to each individual or roar about the passion of a nation? It is a tough one and in the end we thought we would rather ask other people what they would say…
…and wouldn’t you believe it! Some proud Scots gave us their message and we put it on YouTube. Right here!
Enjoy the clips and if you have a message for the lads either post it here, post it on YouTube under the video or make your own video and post it on twitter with the hashtag #MessageForScotland.
Look out Argentina!
“I’m really looking forward to this game – I think it’s going to be very close and hard to predict. Argentina have played well in both their first two games, and it was very pleasing to show against Romania that there’s more to our game than power and a strong set-piece. We will need to play well in all these areas against Scotland, because they are tough up front and have a number of good strike runners behind the scrum. It should be a very absorbing game.”
Referees are everywhere. They are in the park. They are in your classroom. They inhabit every boozer and drinking hole that has a TV in the corner. Everyone knows the rules better than the man in the middle.
So during this World Cup there have been some public outpourings of vitriol directed at the real match officials. These men can rarely stand up for themselves and they are in the most exposed situation they could ever imagine. This is the most televised rugby event in history and they are right there in the mix, regularly disappointing one large section of the crowd.
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.
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.
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.