The Lions series up till now reminded me of a movie I saw many years back, 12 Monkeys. After the movie I thought; “Wow! What an absolute waste of my time”.
Years later however I found myself in front of a television and the movie just happened to be on again. This time, knowing basically what the storyline (or lack of one) was, I actually realised what a brilliant movie it actually was.
This Lions series strikes me as something similar.
Somehow we lost the plot completely about what this series is all about, the actual rugby. It seems every man and his dog choose to focus on all the sideshows and for some unbeknown reason rugby is actually taking the backseat, or rather, forced into the background.
At first I thought it is typical Pom press who would like to deflect attention away from the series loss they suffered, I mean as far as I read their reports this Lions team is made out to be heroes! But at closer inspection, I found that even the South African press and supporters on blogs and on newspapers would rather comment on off-field drama’s than realise and enjoy the fact that we have just won a Lions series – a team we will not see for another 12 years!
Peter Bills writing for the IOL yesterday started his column asking whether there was in fact any rugby going on, because he seemed to have missed it. Now at first I thought; ‘Nice, finally someone that will focus on our series win’… But unfortunately he continued to blabber on spewing drivel in the same vein most media men chose to do in recent days following the test series win.
Reports and comments have basically ranged from ‘ag whatever’, to shocking to absolute gutter journalism and views.
I remember an article from Gavin Rich last year just after we lost to Australia in Durban, where he had a go at the national coach and those who support him, saying that Peter de Villiers when he got appointed asked to be judged on rugby alone, so his criticism was well justified and Peter de Villiers, according to him, way out of his depth. Fair enough I thought, let’s judge him on rugby.
That was the last test De Villiers lost to date.
I should have known better than to think that since that loss in Durban, things will change when De Villiers starts winning, because as soon as he started snotting Australia and England, individuals resorted to unsubstantiated character assassination that even included sex scandal claims, to the coach being an embarrassment to the nations and the Springbok because he addresses the media (with the respect they deserve in my view, which is none) differently. And after reading the unedited (read media spin and bullshit removed) script of the full media briefing on Monday the only embarrassment I could pick up was that of the media who should hang their heads in shame.
Now that Peter de Villiers cannot be judged on rugby anymore as Gavin Rich promised, because he is currently sitting with a better winning record than Nick Mallet, they attack his character and at times, even his religion and his political affiliation.
It made me think of another movie I once saw, Enemy of the State, where the one baddy instructed his troops to find any dirt on the guy that threatened their existence even if it was finding out that he has a porn collection or watched a porn movie when he was 12 years old.
It got more ridiculous than that, ‘Sources close to certain media men’ (we never get to know who these sources are) claims that since our Durban defeat, where Gavin Rich promised to only judge him on rugby and asked us to read his criticism as that, the Boks only started winning because the players took charge in the Bok camp – superseding management…
Probably the most ridiculous thing I have heard in the history of rugby!
The Boks as a team has improved from one that only managed to win 66% of their matches, to one that is currently winning 73% of their matches, and if we win this weekend, we will not only be the first Bok team to whitewash a touring British and Irish Lions team in the history of this series, but they will be winning 75% of their matches.
For those who missed it, the Springboks just won a British and Lions test series, something we failed to do 12 years ago, and something we can cherish for the next 12 years.
But I suppose, full appreciation of this achievement will only come years from now when people sit back, knowing what the outcome or storyline is, and simply enjoy the amazing RUGBY we have witnessed the past couple of weeks.Tweet