I have also become bored with Super rugby. After loyally buying three stadium tickets every year since the Westpac Stadium opened this year I gave it away - too much money for too little value. The games weren't fun to go to anymore; the crowds were pathetically small and disengaged from the game happening on the paddock and there were too many breaks in play which interupted the flow - maybe rugby has been taking a cue from American football or gridiron.
When I compare the Hurricanes or Lions crowd with a Phoemnix crowd - there's no comparison. The Phoenix crowd is engaged with the game and has the wonderful Fever to keep the emotions running throughout the game. Football flows - rugby fits and starts.
It's not really the ELVs though - its the mess around the scrum and the constant involvement of the referees.
But I think what's really at the core is that rugby has taken its eye off the ball. They are running the sport for the commercial interests, for tv, for the top players, for the administrators - and have stopped running it for the ordinary supporters.
Ticket prices are ridiculous; it's not family friendly - and then its not even fun to watch.
I don't know what the solution is but I sure know what the problem is and it won't get me back anytime soon.
It's like a favourite toy that we've grown out of - we remember its glories but its tired and the paint is worn so it no longer has that capacity to excite.
Great post - one of the best ever!
I too had to get out of the house after. Took my two dogs and the middle son for a stride out over the top of Tinakori Hill in a driving gale and flatline rain. Still struggling to come to terms with it today.
But, it was a great game and it showed us in its rawest form the reason why sport, any sport, grips us all - it's very unpredictability.
TYhere's no such thing as a dead cert or a sure bet and the guy who dropped $5mill must be the only one who's feeling nearly as bad as the ABs themselves and the RU who spent so much on the campaign.
The rugby ball is ovoid to increase the unpredictaibility of the core of the game.
Unpredictable things happen and - we lose - bugger.
But life goes on, and so do we.
It was a great game of rugby and we were priviledged to be part of it. The French were awesome in their passion and their heart.
Like you I don't want to get into recriminations. The best AB team was chosen. The best AB team played with great courage and heart - and were beaten.
That's not down to players or coaches or anyone else - that's down to the unpredictability of sport and an ovoid ball. That's what makes it wonderful.
Henry and his team did the right thing. His rotation policy and large squad makes sense if seen from the perspective of his (and our) desire to eliminate the predictable consequences of risk of injury in a contact sport. But there's a limit to the cover you can give yourself to manage risk.
What you can't eliminate is the consequences arising from the risk of the unpredictable; with both the first choice and the second choice first fives being injured, the bad refereeing and the enormous passion the French team and the forwards in particular brought to their defence.
Sport is wonderful because the underdog always has a show - Georgia, Argentina, Tonga, Fiji - and now France!
Allez les bleus!
That is one excellent piece of work - a must for my teenage boys to watch
I suspect, as a proud Wellingtonian watching you lot in Auckland, (I lived there too in the late 60's/early 70's) that the biggest threat to whether you/we host the final of the RWC is the petty parochial politics of Auckland.
You so badly need to develop some sense of unity and common interest.
You so badly need to have a positive vision of the future which is risk taking and adventurous - like every great city overseas and, dare I say it, Wellington.
For God's sake Auckland, get your act together and just build the best National Stadium you can - on the waterfront.
It will be your new iconic building.
You can build it on time too, if you stop whingeing and get behind it!