On the eve of probably the biggest test apart from a World Cup final, I find it disgusting how immature South Africa rugby supporters and the media still are.
Rob asked me to do something for Sharksworld and I could think of nothing better than to try and remind us all why we support and love this game in the first place, and that it is perhaps time to grow up a bit.
The Boks take on the All Blacks this weekend in the land of the Long White Cloud with arguably the best chance to get one over the old foe in over a decade, and still immature little cry-babies cannot see past the colour barrier.
I am actually a bit tired of being politically correct all the time when I engage these people in person or online, because no matter what sense or logic you apply in your support for the coach and the team, you come up against a wall of excuses and backwards reasoning killing of any mature debate one might have on our team and its players.
I am a bit tired of constantly defending (well this is the perception) the coach, or certain selections. But I am mostly tired of hearing comments like; “I will support the All Blacks out of principle”.
You know what, if that is how you feel, then sod-off and go support them, SA Rugby and Springbok rugby does not need you, and I am tired of listening to you.
I have been involved in the game of rugby at levels other than just playing. I have been involved in commentating, administration and coaching and analysis and I only got involved with it in the last 8 or so years. But it is crystal clear to me now that the fact that I took this path, actually counts against me whenever I try and debate or discuss any issues within rugby.
In all my years, in the ‘New South Africa’ I have never come across a fellow ‘quota’ administrator, a ‘quota’ commentator, a ‘quota’ coach or analyst, and even a ‘quota’ player. Every single person I have met in rugby, was doing what they do simply because they love the game – it was/is their passion.
I have also been lucky enough to meet some of the current top provincial players and some Springboks, and even our current Springbok coach, Peter de Villiers – and I have never seen a bigger desire in any of them to fulfil their dreams of being involved with the sport they love passionately at the highest level, the Springboks.
I do however question the so-called passion some rugby supporters have when it comes to Springbok rugby.
So you know what, I see no point in trying to logically explain (read defend) that there is a good case for the selection of Conrad Jantjes. I see no point to list the great things Odwa Ndungane has done in this year’s Super 14 and how he was arguably the better of his already capped brother. Why try and highlight the magnificent, sometimes match-winning touches Adi Jacobs have showed in the last couple of years?
Why point out that experience is also vital in the selection of Bolla Conradie and Joe van Niekerk? Or why point out the great seasons props like Beast and Mujati had under the ELV’s which will be used in the Tri-Nations too?
Because I do see some logic, and some thinking, and some plan in those selections. Do I have to agree with all of them? Hell no, but not agreeing with it will make me no-less of a Springbok supporter.
Because at least I know that my Bok coach, yes mine (as it should be yours), have said to all that ‘wanted’ to listen that Springbok rugby is not about him, it is about the players and the country (us supporters) and if he could add to the legacy that has been going for over 100 years, he would have done his job.
Springbok rugby has outlived many people, its ethos and traditions has overcome many attempted hijacking’s from many pretenders of the ‘third force’ and you know what, it will continue to do so the day me and you no longer walk this earth.
Peter de Villiers, and the current crop of players are simply the current custodians of what we know to be Springbok rugby, and as he stated, his dream is to build on that legacy – not the one that started in 1992, oh no, Peter de Villiers is much more mature than that – he wants to build on the legacy of over 100 years of Springbok rugby, even though he was not allowed to be part of that legacy for a long time himself.
So go buy yourself an All Black or Australian jersey, support them all you want, because if that is the way you feel about a legacy that is bigger than you, then you are not adding one iota to it. And if you do not want to add to the legacy of Springbok rugby, then you do not deserve to be called a Springbok supporter.
My blood will remain green till the day I die, because I know tomorrow, win or lose, those guys over in New Zealand will give 150% for that jersey, that emblem and that legacy that they know, is bigger than them. And that is all I ever ask as a supporter, whether I agree with selections or non-selections, or not.
Go Bokke, go Peter – go kick those Kiwi’s asses!Tweet