Two weeks ago there was Cringe Week where the nation found every possible reason, perceived or real, to feel outraged by the sheer evil of The English. Their players, their fans and their media; entitled, arrogant, not praiseworthy enough of the All Blacks. Basically it was a nation of Satan’s little helpers and they must be vanquished above all else.
Then the All Blacks won, their media said nice things about us and you may have thought that was the end of that. Well you were wrong.
A week on, and the normally lucid Gregor Paul has put together an extraordinarily precious piece on how shell-shocked the All Blacks were.
Even Buck Shelford, famous for his colourful speeches as a coach, labelled the fan abuse as “verbal diarrhoea”. Really Buck?
Paul then adds : The disrespectful behaviour of high profile officials and VIPs astounded them. Prince Harry was reportedly among those who attempted to drown out the haka by singing the adopted English anthem Swing Low Sweet Chariot,
How many chips on the shoulder can you display in one sentence? The VIP reference (they’re entitled), mention of a fringe royal (entitled and arrogant), singing at the same time as the haka (disrespectful), and a dig at Swing Low Sweet Chariot being adopted. Not sure what the origins of that last grievance are, but you hear it a lot.
The booing of McCaw was poor, but you could take that and raise it a Quade Cooper. And outrage at McCaw being labelled a cheat is pretty funny really.
On top of everything else, it is so counterproductive. Terms like “The bitter rivalry between the old foes is at boiling point” is only the case when you keep on stating it. And it is certainly not in NZ’s interests for that particular kettle to be switched on every week.
And the VIPs, ginger princes, and whoever else was responsible for this venomous treatment are hardly going to get put off after getting such a ridiculously easy over-reaction.
Roll on next year. Even if England do not get to meet the All Blacks, this national preciousness has ensured who the locals will be supporting.