By the Spotter
Define the jersey and you will start building a legacy. It could be more or less that simple in the beginning. To prove the point, look no further than the Canterbury Crusaders and their seven Super Rugby titles. These championships did not only come about because their players could run faster, jump higher, kick further, tackle harder or play smarter than the opposition. They also came to be because of the players having a resolute pride in representing their region. You could say that that pride then renders itself as a physical property in the form of the jersey. In this case, the one with the red and the black.
Sorry, but it would be difficult to envisage a Blues player welling up in quite the same way as the Crusaders’ Andy Ellis did recently when he told a media throng just how much he would miss playing in the ‘saders jersey, and with his mates. And there was also this sit-down interview on Youtube:
Then, only a week or so later, I watched Ryan Crotty on a Sky Sport filler being interviewed about his life in Rugby. I kept watching and waiting for Crotty to somehow allude to that last-minute miracle of a try for the All Blacks versus Ireland, to secure their brilliant, hundred percent match-winning 2013 season, but instead he kept firmly track with what being a Crusader meant; of how he saw it as almost his duty to emulate his teenage heroes like Marshall and Mehrtens.
You would have to surely say then, that Ellis and Crotty quite literally ‘do it for the jersey’. At this point I should tell you that I’m an Aucklander born and bred and I hope I just might be wrong on this, but for the life of me I cannot imagine any player, save perhaps Jerome Kaino, from my team The
Blues, emotively and publicly saying how much playing for their region and the jersey with the Rangitoto crest on it, means to them.
And at the end of some of those team meetings, are some of those players from my area more focused on their Saturday night plans at the Viaduct, or are they truly and wholeheartedly thinking about being on the paddock and how they will have their mates’ backs and do it for the jersey come the weekend.
Does make me wonder sometimes…and I should also say that, by god I’m jealous.
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