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October 15, 2007 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]


I’m pulling this column together less than two hours after the All Blacks (in their Earl Grey strip) bid au revoir to the 2007 Rugby World Cup. My fingers are busy flicking from message board to message board; my ears are tensing up at the crackles and spits emanating from Radio Sport; my mind is hopping between thoughts of disbelief and shear embarrassment – it’s a sensory bonanza, and one of which I really could have done without.

The previous evening, I and my fellow Salient cohorts were found schmoozing, mingling and working the room at the 2007 ASPA awards. I, myself, had been nominated for Sports Writer of the Year, which resonated so deeply, that I had completely forgotten about ceremony and had to be reminded the night before that my attendance would be useful given the whole “being nominated” thing. What was even more surprising was the fact I managed to dupe some well-rounded sports journo-cum-judge into thinking I actually knew what I was talking about, so much so that I actually won. Yeah, I know, right?

The guy who could only score interviews with Graham Moody and Tony Schirato for a bumbling world cup feature actually got to take a certificate home. Oh yeah, baby, you better believe it’s getting laminated.

So when someone’s recognised as being “good” in a particular field, they become a sort of beacon for all sorts of “questions” and “queries” about this, that and the other thing. That evening I was asked what my thoughts were on the AB’s chances against France (“We’ll either dick them, or they’ll dick us by, like, five.”), whether or not the Black Caps have what it takes to be a to be a world-beating squadron in this post-Fleming age (“Of course we will – our captain looks like Andy Dick!”), my thoughts on the America’s Cup; did I think Graham Henry looked like the US Vice President?; is Beckham worth paying to see? (“It’s the sport of dicks, so who cares?” “He’s no Dick.” “Why would you pay good money to see that dick?”) Sport is nothing if not phallic, you see.

In the slosh of inebriated student journos, I got to thinking. Each and every year, kiwi sports fans subject their senses – not to mention their hearts and minds – to a variety of different sporting triumphs and failings, and it’s fair to say that 2007 hasn’t been the most satisfying calendar years for anyone donning the silver fern. But in spite of how trying the moods of defeat are, we, the hale and hardy, will always come back for more in the hope our senses will be rewarded with the kind of euphoria that only sporting success can bring.

Maybe 2007 won’t be a year we put in the pool room, but that’s not to say 2008 is doomed to follow suit. We’ll anticipate success irregardless of history; it is part of the reason why being a sports fan is so enjoyable.


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Kia ora, biography box, kia ora.

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