Saturday. Springboks v All Blacks. Soccer City (or whatever they call it now), Soweto. Historic event. The first time the Boks play a Test in the most famous “township” on the planet.
It also happens to be Springbok captain John Smit’s 100th test for his country. Our beloved country. Barney Smit, widely considered the best rugby skipper in the world. And you all saw the pictures of him standing alone in the centre of that phenomenal calabash of a stadium, holding his son and daughter. Ninety thousand fans waving The Flag. The captain was almost blubbing, wasn’t he? Quite acceptable.
If ever a stage was set for the under-performing Bokke to find their redemption, this was it.
But you all know, or should know, what happened next. Sickening. Especially for our Captain Fantastic. Even All Black captain Richie McCaw graciously said that “rugby can be a cruel game”.
But we move on. A year away from the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand. There could be no sweeter redemption than to retain our World Cup in the backyard of the mighty All Blacks.
But let’s have a slightly unusual look at Saturday’s Tri-Nations heartbreaker. I’ve been playing with the 360 deg imagery that the Vodacom Player 23 Fan Cam put out after the match and, despite not having a clue how this technology works, captured three freeze-frames for your delectation.
Hold on to your Bok beanies, babies…
Worm's view of The Calabash on Saturday. Stunning, hey? But let's pan down a tad to see what's happening on the ground...
Ja, look, sorry about that bar thing above the players' heads... but I know diddly about Photoshop and couldn't shift it. Anyway, you'll see the All Blacks doing that haka thing they like to amuse us with before rugby matches... let's zoom in on that, shall we?
What's this?! The All Blacks doing their quaint little pre-match warm-up, sure... but who is that Bok player lurking behind them? What is he doing there?
And could somebody please tell the nation why, when presented with a green-and-golden opportunity like that, our Bok didn’t sneak up behind one of those Kiwi blokes at the back and give him a moerse skop (good kick) up his fat jacksie?
That would have given us a lekker start to the game, hey?
There are some countries in the world where, in order to survive, you really have to develop a sense of humour.
Not among them, for reasons which are patently obvious, are the United States of America and The Republic of Cape Town.
On the list of “laugh or die” nations are Britain (formerly known as Great Britain, where the weather requires you to look on the sunny side or sink into manic depression), Kazakhstan (because they begat Borat), Australia (because it consists almost entirely of red sand, sportsmen are taken more seriously than politicians and because they have seriously weird animals like kangaroos and koala bears) and South Africa, not including Cape Town because Cape Town doesn’t wish to be included (where we have such a terrible history that the only way to forget it is to find things about it to laugh at).
A bunch of people who do it better than most (except perhaps Archbishop Desmond Tutu, bless his cotton frock, comic genius Pieter-Dirk Uys and those who hang around Julius Malema and have to listen to what he spews out) are the clever people behind ZANews (the Mail & Guardian’s TV news programme.
As I mentioned to you before, ZANews has the utter brilliance of satirical cartoonist Zapiro behind it and provides South Africans with a Spitting Images-like pisstake of our piss-poor politicans and the other imbeciles who have managed to clamber over the hapless electorate to reach liberation’s Holy Grail… living in a zoosh mansion, driving a fleet of fancy cars, wearing the trendiest labels and getting increasingly fatter while doing absolutely nothing at all.
So, if you’ve all made yourselves comfy on your fave milk crate in your unelectrified and dingy hut, I’ll flick the switch on the old projector and we can watch ZANews’ latest offering…
Hilariousness. I nearly wet my broeks. How are yours? Best you check, hey? I particularly loved the bit where Jacob Za-za-Zuma and Bok coach Pieter de Snor were asked by Tim to comment on the peccadillo of former Springbok scrummie Joost van der Westhuizen who “cheated” on his wife by practising his diving pass technique on top of a floozy while tripping on cocaine.
You just have to love Pieter de Villiers, hey? Nobody (well, the old school rugby fans, namely the Souff Effrikan honkies) gave him a charcoal’s chance in hell of coaching the Springboks to victory against Namibia. Die Snor not only coached South Africa to Tri-Nations victory and a series win against the British and Irish Lions, but has regularly drop-kicked us gems of thigh-slappingly hilarious humour of the “local is lekker” variety. The man’s a legend. An exceedingly little legend. But still a legend.
And so is Joost. Yes. He still is. Not only was he the world’s best scrum-half of his era but he has shown us he is also human (rare among rugby players). To err is to be human. Joost, er, erred. What’s the big deal? Oh, he didn’t own up to his missus? Please. Most men don’t. That’s how they’re wired. Thing is, we’re not wired to be monogamous either. Nor are some women. There. I said it. OK? Deal with it. Just don’t give this moral high ground bollocks which has fed the media frenzy around “sex cheat” Joost and the “poor” Amor Vittone.
Life is about choices. How did this post become so serious? I chose it. Joost chose to cock up and is regretting it. It’s his life. It’s his journey in life. What I find far more abhorrent are the outpourings of moral outrage from people who only feel better about themselves when other people, especially people falsely placed on a social pedestal, get caught doing the naughty stuff they only fantasise about doing. It’s called hypocrisy. And political and religious institutions are particularly good at it.
When we can be absolutely certain that all priests and politicians have stopped fondling little boys and are actually practising what they preach, then and only then might it become acceptable to pass judgment on other ordinary human beings.
Good gollyness! I don’t know where that sermon came from. So much for having a laugh! OK. I’m totally lightening up for my next post… part two of “You just have to laugh… at Capetonians!” Stand by your “SA-positive” blog, Hatpeople!
Australian rugger players, when they’re not getting beaten up by Bok fans outside our bars and clubs, fancy themselves as being quite tough. Well, Aussies generally just fancy themselves, full stop.
So, for those of them who can read, here’s a little something to digest before lights out tonight. Er, that’s light’s out at 9pm at their team hotel, not lights out outside Karma or Jade or the Bang Bang Club at 3am.
With a grateful nod to my new friend and Cape Town funnyman Seth Rotherham of 2oceansvibe fame, I republish this gem about why our Afrikaners are just so blerry big and strong and hard. First printed in, I pork you not, the Wall Street Journal of all media organs.
Yussy, I enjoyed that. Especially the bit where former Bok Tiaan Strauss describes how he used to catch wildebeest to keep himself in shape for international matches: “Sometimes you tackle them, but mainly you sort of catch them by the horn and wrestle them to the ground.”
I like that. Did you like it, Stirling Mortlock? Good. Because apparently Bakkies Botha has been doing a little gentle sparring with kangaroos ahead of tomorrow’s game against YOU and a few of your mates at Newlands. Latest score? Bakkies 36 Kangaroos 0.
Which wouldn’t be a bad prediction to go with for tomorrow.
Despite the existence of Pieter “Die Snor” de Villiers and the resolute resistance of all South African rugby fans to coming up with something better to sing at the stadium than a chant usually associated with Spaniards at a bullfight, the Springboks are undeniably the best rugby team in the world. By far.
It's Mils Muiliana's turn to be smashed. But which Bok is doing the smashing? Your answers in my Comments feed, please! Pic courtesy of SARugby
John Smit’s current Boks are the most complete rugby outfit to have played the “hooligans game played by gentlemen” for some time. You can debate among yourselves as to when last any team played better. Perhaps the Maritzburg College 1st XV of 1974, as created, coached and inspired by Skonk Nicholson? No, I didn’t play in that team. I took the pieces of oranges out at half-time.
So here we are in 2009, out-All-Blacking the All Blacks. Showing them how to play the style of game they invented quite a few years ago. Fronting up, each player putting his body on the line for the badge and for the nation, wrecking the opposition’s gameplan, bossing the scrums and the mauls (I won’t even mention the Matfield-owned lineouts) and generally playing to the very edge of the laws to gain the advantage. McCaw must be muttering “Bloody Boks” into his cornflakes every morning in abject admiration.
OK, so Morne Steyn kicked his kicks. We should be shocked if he didn’t. That’s what he is paid to do. It’s about the whole team. Every one of the 22. And, yes, Player 23 too. They could have made “Man of the Match” out of any one of our heroes who took the field on Saturday. Spies, Fourie, Beast, Smith, Habana, De Villiers, Brussouw, Botha, Smit, Du Preez (perhaps in that order) were simply enormous. I wasn’t going to mention names but my passion simply overwhelmed me.
Anyway, here’s a joyous celebration of our world champions and Tri-Nations-kings-to-be by Shaun Custers of Rugby Rants. Right here. Click!
Unfortunate that Fourie du Preez should be described as “the world’s best SCUM-half” but, hey, “Bok-positive” bloggers push their words out at the speed of Habana. And Shaun does insist that he didn’t “attend any fancy-pants high school”. Nor did I, Shaun, but Pelham Primary did teach me how to spell.
Ole, ole, oh-lay, oy-vey! (Please guys, let’s bring back Shosholoza. For singing out aloud!)