The Dropkicks know there's nothing quite like a major sporting event to make you realise how much you'd love to have been a sporting star, is there?
Let's face it, as soon as the Summer Olympics roll round you're dusting off your running shoes and sprinting between lamp-posts like a sad old bastard with one lung full of emphysema and knees skinnier than a kid with rickets. Then you stop and cough a bit, stand up, walk a little to distract attention from the disgraceful show of weakness, and head to the pub to watch the 100m finals. I mean hell, you're from New Zealand, it's been a long time since we produced a credible sprinter.
By comparison The Rugby World Cup holds especial a place in the heart of former players. Those glory days of running out on a sodden pitch down the back of Hapakauraka College, having just laid a wicked pash on Sharyn next to your Torana.
No? Then maybe you just played social Sevens somewhere. Whatever. The fact is though, if you find yourself bunching your shoulders and sizing up someone walking down the hallway towards you at the office, you're probably in the grip of "The Cup."
This type of behaviour is all good though, because, you know, we're social animals. It's normal to be looking sideways at the guy in the kitchen and thinking "I could fend you, sidestep Kevin over there as he returns from the photocopier, and easily put this file down on Cath's desk... Win-na."
And let us face facts, you have to have these type of [slightly weird] fantasies during The Cup. Why? Because the England v. Samoa game screens at 2am on a work night, and you know if you miss it you will be:
A) mortified and
B) seriously annoyed when you're half awake at 6.30am and the radio tells you the score.
Damn it I hate that.
But, the Dropkicks are here to help. If you're a regular working Joe/Joanna, stuck at a desk with no hope of escape to catch the 3pm afternoon rugby replays, then we feel your pain. If you're slumped over a keyboard half asleep because you stayed up late to watch that all-important Ireland v. Argentina match while your less committed workmates got to bed with warm hot chocolate and a hot water bottle, then you need some handy workplace tips.
First you’ll need to Rugby-World-Cupify your office. Flags, memorabilia, bobbleheads, whatever. Just make it good, quality, not cheap Warehouse-knock-off rugby stuff. You’ll need it on, above or beside your desk. Let people know who you support and whatever slightly tenuous national link you have invented to distinguish you from the hordes of All Black supporters. This will at least alert your understanding boss to the reason for the baggy eyes and the nodding off in team meetings.
Second you’ll need to be able to see some of that brilliant web-based rugby content on your computer. Not an easy thing if you’re stuck behind the fire wall of some evil, sport-hating dictator in the IT department. But you've obviously found your way either here or to the Dropkicks podcast, so you're halfway there. We can't condone anything else. Like going to Lifehacker and finding ways around that issue.
All that websurfing will help you fill your head with facts for trumping people in rugby-related discussions around the water cooler. But if you can’t remember all those difficult numbers, and let's face it, who could after sitting up till 3.30am watching Australia get bruised by Tonga in the first qualifier (you heard it here first), here are a few lines that will undoubtedly see you crowned king or queen of rugby knowledge.
- “Actually only eight All Blacks were born overseas and all but Sivivatu went through the school system.”
- “Despite his size Carl Hayman is nearly always one of the first three to the breakdown”
- “There is actually some controversy about whether William Webb Ellis invented rugby or whether he copied a similar Irish game”
- “You know I heard on the Dropkicks the other day…” (pause for quiet awe)
And finally, for those long, long days away from your TV when you can't escape the office for the afternoon replays, we recommend stashing Red Bull somewhere at your workplace. These geniuses went one step further and hid their own beer fridge! Once you’ve got a frosty beverage you can lean way back, throw on a game cast, and it’s like you’re there. Almost.