Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Four Years Ago

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  • BenWilson,

    I received an award at work in Australia in 1999 for being so confident in the All Blacks that I didn't even know they'd been knocked out until I was informed by jeering colleagues as they arrived to find me hard at work, cheerfully oblivious. My actual excuse is I don't take rugby seriously. It's a bit of a laugh, nice to see the ABs win, but mostly about social get-togethers.

    The huge sense of national gloom that washes over NZ has never made sense to me - having been a dedicated sportsman myself in my youth, I learned that luck is a big factor. Also from both victories and losses, that the feeling of them fades quite rapidly, and the only really lasting thing is the camaraderie. It was quite strange to beat Wellington in the National Provincial grand final, by one goal, having saved 2 penalties, the culmination of a hard year's training, to find that the glow of the win had faded by nightfall, and I was back to thinking about paying the rent, and what changes I needed to make to some software at work. It might matter a lot more to a professional sportsman, but to an amateur? Nah. To a spectator - why should it matter at all? Time to congratulate the winners, get some drinks, have a chat and a laugh and crack on to some hot chicks, that's all finals ever meant to me. That's what sport is like from the inside - why is it so damned tribal on the outside? When you've got quite literally nothing invested at all other than a teensy bit of national pride, to feel dark depression at the All Blacks losing, rather than just joy that the better team won, and at now being in a party with diverse and interesting company, is a mystery to me. It's like the less truly involved people are, the more they care.

    I actually wept with joy when South Africa beat NZ in South Africa. It was a little bit of disappointment, but it was also seeing something far more important happening, that the black president who had no so long ago been imprisoned, was joyously celebrating the win, and the white South Africans could finally feel what it was like to win international tournaments again, now that they had changed their stupid, evil ways. If there was ever any real point in sports, that was it, how could I possibly feel any lasting bitterness?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Danielle,

    I think when your first sporting love is the New Zealand cricket team, you can't ever be confident in life. :)

    Harsh, but soooooo true. Keeping the faith becomes an almost religious experience.

    But most people expect the ABs to win all the time. I think it will come down to who handles the mental pressure best this time. Including the coaches. Who would you back in that respect?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Bloody hell Ben, that's a bit philosophical (and correct).

    The greatest reason for me wanting the ABs to win is because I'm sick and tired of the effect losing every 4 years in the damn thing has on the rest of our rugby (provincial, Super 15 and test side). I still want us to win though for the pure, unadulterated, orgasmic joy as well of course :)

    I'd like us to enjoy our domestic rugby and national team games week to week, not with having this RWC hanging over everything, from affecting who we pick in our nat side with an eye on something years away, to affecting who is and isn't allowed to play in our domestic teams and when.

    Winning it won't fix all that but it'll bloody well help because we'd be a bit more relaxed about the next one if we point the shot gun backwards and blow the monkey away.

    Anyways prediction for tonight: ABs 44 Tonga 13

    Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver, in reply to Danielle,

    Webweaver, is there any room behind your cushion? I’m nervous.

    Sure! There's room for everyone! I'll just get a bigger cushion....

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 329 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    This just arrived in my email

    Our players who art in black,
    hallowed by thy game.
    When full time comes,
    thy will be done in 2011 as it was in '87.
    Give us each game our daily victory
    and forgive us our previous shortcomings as we forgive those who coached in '07.
    And lead us NOT to knock out round failure, but deliver us from World Cup drought.
    In the name of McCaw, Carter and the holy Webb Ellis,

    Amen.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2193 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to BenWilson,

    The huge sense of national gloom that washes over NZ has never made sense to me – having been a dedicated sportsman myself in my youth, I learned that luck is a big factor.

    I’m suspecting cultural cringe plays a big part in such national gloom.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4133 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    The queue to get into Queen's wharf stretchs almost to Vector Arena at the moment..

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Drove past Swanson Railway Station at 3:30 and there were cars parked way down the road. They had the right idea though getting to one of the furthest stations guarantees a seat. Unlike at say Ellerslie where I read hundreds have been watching full train after full train go by.

    Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    TV news just told me that trains were stopping.....people pushing the emergency stop button.

    What can I say oh north of Bombayites. It IS very Jafa like. Public transport by rail is a novelty. Nothing like a bit of....fun.

    Turkeys.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1491 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Paul Williams,

    Love it!

    Been in and out of downtown. Saw procession and mass haka. Dobbyn on big screens. Crowd, incredible. Huge. Ridiculous. Wonderful. Real buzz.

    Took bus in. Luck of Irish ancestry meant 1 min wait, bus full to brim so became express. Walked down albert st had snack. From there it was shoulder to shoulder for the next 3 hours.

    Nowhere downtown to eat or drink. Getting cold, met friends. Opted to head back

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    ....(blogging from phone hence bad style). Took 2 min to find taxi to friends. Now in warm luxury settling back with drinks food and company. Go ABs! Over and out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Long live Robbie Deans.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That was quite a day. I'm so glad I headed out on my bike.

    Did Eden Park then along the fan walk to K Road, which was jumping with Tongan mamas. Wonderful.

    The funniest thing I saw on the way down on Queen Street was the usual Friday Hare Krishna crew with a much bigger and much more enthusiastic entourage than usual.

    Got to Quay Street at 3pm and immediately started seeing families and thinking "your young children shouldn't really be here".

    I saw the waka arrive from the balcony of the Viaduct Events Centre at Wynyard Quarter, then head back to the Chev.

    I barbecued -- chicken and hazelnut sausages and a great slab of scotch fillet -- and we watched coverage until it was time to jump in the car and head north of Meola to see the fire works. We had a perfect spot looking over the reef from a street near Coyle Park. Standing with about 50 locals while we all applauded the marvel we'd just seen was really wonderful.

    Then back to watch the game. We'd missed the cranes and John Key.

    And the All Blacks' start? It'll do.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18654 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Sounds like a good time. Some of what I saw of the opening ceremony looked spectacular.

    We’d missed the cranes and John Key.

    Looked like he might have too, but nothing wrong with a drink to calm the nerves, aye. The only thing that seemed a little off was the mood of those three blokes in our coaching box, I got chills every time they flashed up. Isitolo Maka was laughing in the other corner and his team lost by 30 points. I hope S.H.H. can get some enjoyment out of this. It’s not that I want them to act. I just worry they may not be entirely reconciled with that element of fun required to push group activities from good to great. Appearances can be deceiving though.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Ross Mason,

    TV news just told me that trains were stopping…..people pushing the emergency stop button.

    Yup, and of course the Herald headline is: Trains fail city's day of celebration. I know the Herald has some fixed idea that there's magic unicorns that shit out train sets and busses, but really... (And yes, I do have a bias because my partner works for Veolia but damn it. It would be nice if some facts got in the room when they decide to shit on public transport.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11852 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    It would be nice if some facts got in the room when they decide to shit on public transport.)

    Try here. A broken down train for over an hour with no response or information to the passengers who then arrived late to the game, having paid x-hundred+$$ for a ticket? Yeah, them facts sort of speak for themselves, but YMMV.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to recordari,

    My mileage does vary because I’ve heard that one assertion you’ve made is flat out untrue, and FFS perhaps the safety of passengers was a slightly higher priority than getting them to the game. But I guess you can’t ever win when The Herald is on their never-ending anti-public transport jihad.

    ETA: And, yeah, I do like AKT Blog a lot but really… But would it save a lot of time and effort if we just assume that there are people for whom Joyce is going to be blamed for everything?

    The most fucking idiotic comment I've ever seen outside a Herald Your Views sewer?

    Cant they disable the emergency buttons? Obviously they know its not for an emergency.

    Oy...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11852 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’ve heard that one assertion you’ve made is flat out untrue

    The guy talking on Campbell live sounded pretty convincing, but he might have been in a house for all I know.

    As for disabling the emergency button, I entirely agree.

    There were reports of people being let off trains after the emergency button was pushed and walking along the tracks. Was that untrue also?

    Anyway, you have more horses in this race, so I'll leave it to the experts.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to recordari,

    Anyway, you have more horses in this race, so I’ll leave it to the experts.

    Excuse me? If by that you mean I do actually listen when my partner talks about the industry he’s worked in for over forty five years, yes I do. If you’re insinuating I’m being some kind of political hack – be a darling and shove off. I don't think anyone is pretending everything went off like fine Swiss clockwork, but it would be rather helpful if everyone took a deep breath and didn't fucking shit on the train operators for following basic safety protocols. When some frakwit hits an emergency button there are knock on effects throughout the network. And responding is just a little more complicated than taking the hand brake off on your car. Really.

    There were reports of people being let off trains after the emergency button was pushed and walking along the tracks. Was that untrue also?

    If they are accurate, and any train staffer allowed passengers to compromise their own safety and the integrity of the network then the people concerned should have their employment terminated with extreme prejudice. That said, I don’t know how you can physically restrain a large number of people determined to be idiots without creating more problems than you solve.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11852 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Got to Quay Street at 3pm and immediately started seeing families and thinking "your young children shouldn't really be here".

    Yep, we were one of those many, many families. Auckland City might want to tone down the *family friendly* component of their promotions I think.

    We had a plan B so we got out of Dodge around 5:30 but there were still families with young ones pouring in. We (Auckland) may have just dodged a bullet last night I feel, it could have gone terribly wrong.

    The funniest/saddest thing I saw was the big screen on Quay St that wasn't working and you could see the windows of the computer where the operator was moving the mouse around trying furiously to get it working with thousands of people looking on. Not sure if they got it working in the end or not.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Glad it was a good party up your way and not too many hurt.
    The tremenous failure of transport and public space might just prove to be a blessing for Aucklands future.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1144 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    SNAFU all round. Whether you blame the outsize crowds, the underprepared management, or the weak transport system on which this rested, it certainly was a mess, and entirely newsworthy (especially after a rather boring game. I turned it off and went to sleep 20 minutes before the end). The people I won't blame are the operational staff, who I hear did an excellent job under the conditions.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2127 posts Report Reply

  • bmk,

    The irony is (according to twitter) everyone who drove had no problems are just suggesting that people just drive in future. How they expect tourists who don't have cars to do this - I don't know.

    Since Jun 2010 • 295 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to Russell Brown,

    We'd missed the cranes and John Key.

    Figures. I couldn't contain myself.

    Now, memory...going.....where did we see the Dancing Diggers???? Oh yeah. All over.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1491 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Just read the Herald report. Scary. But if 1.5 million think that one line (with a couple of pseudo loops into the city from each direction will satisfy the public transport needs of the city then which planet are they on? If I am correct people had to catch a train INTO Britomart and then OUT to Eden Park??? And all this at the same time as millions were arriving at the waterfront for the big show???

    Jeez Wayne.

    Wellington got it right. The Cake Tin is at the END of the line. So maybe The Mallard Duck's idea of one on the waterfront was not such a bad idea. He may have been thinking along the same lines.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1491 posts Report Reply

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