This game is going to affect you. You may not give a shit about rugby but if you live inNew Zealand then this game has significance. Someone you know will have anemotional investment in the outcome.Youwill have an emotional investment in this game.
As I drove north from Wellington, the signs were all there. Literally. Hand-written signs in fields. Flags hanging from trees and fences and balconies. Words carved into hillsides. All spurring on our national rugby team, despite the fact that the players themselves will never see it.
Approaching Auckland a bright yellow ferrari screams past me heading south, with an All Black flag attached to the window. Going in the other direction is a motorcycle with a large Welsh flag trailing out behind it. On the motorway a van has been painted with the orange, white and green of Ireland complete with scores of the games written on the back window (and a message that read "save your horn for your wife").
It's the night of the semi-final between France and Wales. My friends walk me up throughKingsland along the fan trail, where the number of daffodil heads out number the chicken heads. The mood is, as it has been for all the games, light and joyful. Everyone in good spirits and laughing. Only those fans in black look a little pensive.
Along the trail are buskers and bands and hawkers and fire. It is an amazing sight. Andof course, you saw or heard about the game.
There is also the possibility that the outcome of this match could alter the political landscape. If the All Blacks lose, we could see a change of government as the rose-tinted glasses are lifted and a fog of undirected angst falls on the population.
And now, here I am jotting down awful unfinished thoughts, as the anthems start ... And I am so fucking tense! So please excuse grammar and spelling, but go for it in the comments.