Field Theory by Hadyn Green

123

65 bottles of beer on the wall...

It's only 65 days to the opening game of the Rugby World Cup, so let's try a little experiment. When was the last time you heard anything positive about the Cup? Anything that made you think: "Yes, I am actually excited about this!"

It seems that it's almost certain that any news item that includes the Cup will be something bad. The Cup is killing local business; it's shutting down schools; it's forcing children to learn rugby; it's the reason for all these road works; no one is coming; too many people are coming; costs are soaring; no one can sell anything; the tickets are too expensive; there aren't enough tickets; the country will lose millions; Richie is hurt; Dan is hurt; everyone is hurt; Nonu is cut; Hore is cut; no players are staying; we have a forwards/midfield/backs crisis*; Christchurch.

Is there no one who is actually excited by the fact that we'll be hosting a major sporting event this year?

The news is filled with doom, gloom and scaremongering. The Cup and the IRB are an evil force coming here and forcing us into slavery to corporate masters during the event. These cute children will be forced to starve because the IRB says they can't sell things. Or maybe not, it's never clear if the aggrieved business, school, or orphanage has approached the IRB, NZRU or any other official source to see if this would be the case.

Yes, there are issues with holding a big event (the largest sporting event of the year I am told, where the Tour de France sits in these kinds of calculations I never know). But I really doubt each one is the wreck and ruin of the country as they have been portrayed.

I'm also getting quite sick of the rugby haters. Boo-hoo, you're living in a place that is holding a festival for something you don't like. Just like those Christians living in Sydney during Mardi Gras. That's right; I just compared you to homophobes.

Rugby fans going to be loud and stuff. They are also going to be nice old English couples; they are going to be hot Irish guys; they are going to be Japanese businessmen; and just New Zealanders from other parts of the country. And they have all come to have fun, when did we become party-poopers?

Actually, if you wanna bitch about the team and the coach and our general lack of preparedness /too much focus on the cup, go right ahead. You are a sports fan; it's your job to lay awake at night sweating about the performance of your on-field avatars.

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