Call me a traitor, call me unpatriotic, but I confess I just do not care if the All Blacks lose their slippery grip on the Holy blinking Grail they're going into battle for. Then with luck they'll be demoted from sainthood and we unbelievers will get a break from seeing or hearing about the tortures they suffer on our behalf.
Yes, it's for us, the people of NZ, not for any personal glory, they go through this sweaty agony, so that we can stand tall in the world, confident that our young (and not so young) men are the toughest guys in the playground. It's for us they're risking lifelong joint problems and MCI (mild cognitive impairment).
Yes, it's for Key and country they selflessly court disability. Our sacrifice is viewing their tortured bodies on screen and page ad nauseam. Key obviously appreciates their efforts, hopes to share any glory. Pathetic, eh.
But how about the rest of us? Do we truly find it inspiring watching grown-ups charging each other, battering each other, rolling around in heaps on the ground grabbing for a muddy ball? Well.....no. It's kind of embarrassing. Or if a player or coach speaks publicly, in the weirdly unexpressive monotone they favour that suggests the brain's already taken a hammering, does it have a boyish charm?
No. It sounds like a robot talking.
It's not a useful sport; unlike running, swimming or biking, it's no use in everyday life except maybe in a fisticuffs situation or to counter a bull attack. It's not intelligent adult behaviour, though interesting perhaps if you're an ethologist (animal behaviourist).
Thanks for that, Pru. Can you tell us how you feel about women's rugby?