Monday, 14 September 2009

Winning and Losing

Well thank goodness for that result. Liverpool beat Burnley 4-0 so harmony remains in our household and I can afford to be gracious in victory with Him Outdoors. It was a fantastic result for Benayoun scoring his hat-trick and Stevie G played brilliantly in his alternate position. Him Outdoors admits that his boys played well, but Liverpool are simply a class above, and I’m not exactly going to argue.

Meanwhile the All Blacks lost to South Africa allowing the South Africans to take the Tri Nations title. There is a lot of kicking and chasing and precision penalties in the South African game. Kiwis complain that this is boring – they prefer running the ball from the backs. Both of these versions of the game are equally exciting to me although at the moment, only one is proving effective. Guess which?

The All Blacks are the Man Utd of rugby – beautiful to watch when it’s going well, but ‘they don’t like it up ‘em.’ The penalties they gave away were often for ill discipline, brought about because they were frustrated on the field. Whether you like it or not, if you know you have the best kicking boots in the game, that’s a good tactic by South Africa.

The Weevil was waiting for her bags at the carousel in the airport when the All Blacks turned up, returned from their unsuccessful campaign and looking somewhat sheepish. She said she was excited to be in their midst and found herself grinning, although everyone else was looking away. No one had turned up to welcome them home.

‘Can you imagine being surrounded by the England football team?’ she asked me. I assured her I would have no self-control whatsoever if I were in touching distance of Stevie G, no matter what his recent results. She asked the husband of a friend, known to be a rugby fan, if he weren’t excited by the presence of his sporting idols. He replied, ‘Nah. I might be if they’d won.’ I think that’s indescribably sad.

Are our heroes not allowed to have bad days? Are we so capricious that we turn our backs after one tiny letdown? The All Blacks were beaten by the World Champions in formidable form. I don’t think that’s a disgrace. The only shame here should be attached to the fickle response of the so-called fans.

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