More goodness from Ahmad
Yesterday I wrote about some Words that Strike Fear into the hearts of All Blacks supporters.
Today I talk about two more such words:
Yep, it’s official. The fly-half that New Zealanders love to hate (no I’m not talking about Quade Cooper) has officially been recalled to the All Blacks World Cup squad.
I’m not here to talk about Donald’s qualities as a player, his recent form, or how he will handle the heat of sudden-death rugby at the Rugby World Cup. In fact I’d advocate that everyone just STFU about Donald, about how useless he is, and about his mistake which was blamed for handing Australia victory at the death in Hong Kong in last year’s pointless Bledisloe #4.
Sure, you might be correct in your assessement of him (and I’m not passing judgement on that here), but does it actually matter? Not a bit. He’s in the bloody squad whether you like it or not, and crying about it on talkback or to your friends: 1) simply won’t change a thing; and 2) won’t help the All Blacks an iota as they seek desperately to deliver the trophy all of New Zealand has expected them to for the last 24 years (well ok, technically 20).
It’s time for this harsh and often obnoxious criticism to stop. The growing weight of expectation that the “stadium of 4 million” exerts on the shoulders of our men in black is already great enough without adding further pressure. We sometimes wonder if our All Blacks deserve their label as “World Cup chokers” but we can’t see the link between that and the public expectation on them that swells every 4 years.
Just think how Donald is going to feel when he has to find touch with 79 minutes played in the semi-final against Australia this weekend. Would you rather he make that kick with people around the country cursing at their TVs about what a shit player he is? Or do you think, perhaps, it would be more beneficial for the All Blacks if we made Donald feel like he has 4 million people backing him as he puts his boot onto the ball?
Whatever you do please don’t pre-judge Donald. I’m not his greatest fan but I do have sympathy for a guy who was just going about his daily affairs when suddenly called up to the ABs at a Rugby World Cup, knowing how fashionable it is for New Zealanders to hate him. If he screws up this weekend then no doubt there will be plenty of trolls crawling out from their bridges to say they told us so. But until that time the 30 players that have been selected to serve *US* deserve our undivided support for them as they face what is certain to be a monumental challenge this Sunday.
While on this subject it’s time for New Zealanders to grow up and stop with the Quade Cooper hate too. I’m not saying we shouldn’t make him feel unwelcome on our home territory but the vindictive nature of much of his treatment beggers belief. Sure he took a cheap shot at our team’s Captain but something must really be lacking in your lives to carry on with such immaturity after all this time. Have you even spoken to Richie about the matter?