Morné

Pride and prejudice


Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 1 Aug 2011 at 12:09
Tagged with :

Similar to the Jane Austen classic, South African Rugby is a mixture of misplaced pride, shady characters with delusions of grandeur and the inability to focus on the obvious, all of which leads to the degradation and ultimate destruction of that which really matters.

Following the Springboks tour of Australia and New Zealand, I asked a couple of everyday rugby supporters what their single biggest disappointment was.  There was some reference to coaching, coaching personalities and ability, team selections and game strategy or plans, but the common theme from most of the responses was the lack of pride and passion in something we all hold very dear, the Springbok jersey.

South Africa is a very proud sporting nation.  It is bred into our culture from a very young age based largely on historical achievements and events which contributes to this sense of responsibility we believe should be present even today, 100 years later.  It is what motivates those responses I received from rugby fans on Sunday (some of whom were born post-isolation) or quotes similar to what I received from a friend yesterday which reads; “You can’t judge the present if you don’t know your history.”

Pride, specifically in sport, is one of our greatest assets, but it can also become our greatest enemy.

No-one is exempt from this, our misplaced pride as supporters often leads us into believing that one player is more deserved of wearing the Springbok jersey than another where this is based more on the colour of the jersey that individual wears at union representative level against the player ‘that does not deserve to be there’.  What happens then is that our personal preference, or rather, prejudice, takes over.  Prejudice controlling your sense of pride.

Players too fall into this trap.  The ‘honour’ and pride associated to an event such as the Rugby World Cup often sees players focus or misplace their pride in the Springbok jersey from what it already is and represents, to something that still needs to take place.  It can also see players who believe they can still serve the cause (Springbok Rugby) by accomplishing something special (in future) and through that stick around for a year or two too long where they should have simply sat back, call it a day and celebrate their contributions already made to Springbok rugby and its history.

Coaches who believe they serve Springbok rugby best by qualifying or justifying losses as collateral damage with the eye on the bigger prize also fall into this same trap of misplaced pride in the cause.

Even administrators who close multi-million Rand deals around boardroom tables does so for the purpose of ‘serving the game’ and its interests but because it does not conform to our standards of what is best ‘for the cause’ we allow our personal prejudice to take control.

The most common mistake all of us make at all levels of the game is that our personal prejudice overshadow all logic where we all believe we might be serving the cause where the only thing we actually do is trying to quantify, or even qualify our own reasoning.

We use our personal prejudice not only to judge the ‘cause’ (Springbok Rugby), but also those trying to serve it.

The result of this can be seen in the last two weeks of Springbok rugby, where (I have no doubt) everyone wanted to serve it and do it justice by either kitting yourself out as supporters, pulling the jersey over your head for the 1st or 100th time as a player, or selecting players and team strategies as a coach, but mainly failed because our personal prejudice controlled our supposed (misplaced) pride.

A very wise man once told me that you can only serve something if you believe that something to be greater than yourself, only then will you stop concerning yourself with what that one thing may become, and appreciate it for what it already is today.


6 Comments

  • some players didn’t do justice to the jersey with their performances in the last two 3n tests.how often does a player get to play in a test match..?some players shouldve been like berserkers out there.(Okay,within the game plan ,but still, they should have been putting in the efforts of their rugby careers).

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.08.11 12:18:21 by bergshark Reply
    bergshark
     
  • “No-one is exempt from this, our misplaced pride as supporters often leads us into believing that one player is more deserved of wearing the Springbok jersey than another where this is based more on the colour of the jersey that individual wears at union representative level against the player ‘that does not deserve to be there’. What happens then is that our personal preference, or rather, prejudice, takes over. Prejudice controlling your sense of pride.”

    AMEN!!! 😈

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.08.11 12:34:46 by wpw Reply
    Author
    wpw
     
  • Morne, I must admit that I’m not too clear on what your overall message is here, as it relates to the Boks’ last 2 games?

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.08.11 12:52:55 by Big Fish Reply
    Author
    Big Fish
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 3) :

    The degeneration of Springbok Rugby is not something new, or something associated to the current situation (whether it be the last 4 years, or last 2 weeks).

    Springbok rugby has been on a slippery downward spiral since 1996 because our focus of defining success has changed from what it was before.

    We define success on different terms than what we did in the past, much of the above tries to address or identify the reasons why we do this, and whether it’s worth it.

    From here, we possible need to make ourselves more aware on what we define as success before we judge whether we are successful or not…

    As an example; It seems our administrators, coaches and even players judge success and the legacy of Bok rugby (they will leave behind) based more on RWC success than anything else. In a lot of cases, so do supporters. If this does not define success in our view, the ‘how to fix this’ should be found in ‘what we do now’. In a lot of ways, the above is (in my view of course) what we do now.

    Our attempt to serve and honour the cause which is Bok rugby, might actually just be destroying it.

    Hope that helps.

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.08.11 13:28:23 by Morné Reply
    Author
    Morné
     
  • @wpw (Comment 2) : Says the Pot….

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.08.11 13:42:44 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
     
  • @Just a Fan (Comment 5) :

    🙄

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.08.11 14:42:25 by wpw Reply
    Author
    wpw
     

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.