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ImperatorFish: If Political Journalists Wrote Sports News

Written By: - Date published: 2:27 pm, February 13th, 2012 - 8 comments
Categories: humour, Media - Tags: ,

Scott at Imperator Fish has kindly given us permission to syndicate posts from his blog – the original of this post is here

Rumours are swirling of an imminent leadership challenge within the All Blacks camp.

Speculation began that Richie McCaw may face a challenge to his captaincy of the All Blacks, after the team’s near-loss in the Rugby World Cup final.

While the All Blacks won the final, the victory was narrow, and concern is growing that the team may be in need of fresh leadership and a new direction.

The near-loss in the October final has already claimed a number of victims, including the head coach Sir Graham Henry. Sir Graham resigned shortly after the game, although he denied reports he was being forced out by unhappy players and NZRU officials.

Sir Graham admitted shortly after the final whistle that the team had not played as well as it could have on the day. However, the full All Blacks spin machine was quickly into damage control, as both he and McCaw later claimed to be delighted with the result.

Rumours of a challenge have been fanned by observations that McCaw has been largely absent from the game since late last year.

McCaw has barely been seen on the rugby field since the final, prompting speculation that NZRU strategists are well aware of the public’s declining support for McCaw. Officials have all but admitted publicly that McCaw’s ongoing absence from the rugby field in recent months is a result of fatigue and weariness, and the need to freshen him up before the new season begins.

McCaw has appeared in a number of television commercials recently, but one insider said this was a sign McCaw was looking beyond a life in rugby and was attempting to obtain some financial security for himself in the event of a leadership challenge.

It is also understood that McCaw’s teammates have become sick of his ongoing criticisms of the team and his generous praise towards opponents of the All Blacks.

In a number of after-match speeches last season McCaw admitted that his team had not performed as well as it could have. In one notable speech McCaw acknowledged that his team had lacked composure and discipline at crucial times and had thrown away too many chances to win the game.

McCaw also praised the spirit of opposition teams on a number of occasions, observing that a good deal of credit was due to them for the way they played.

It is unclear whether these speeches demonstrate a move by McCaw away from the core values that once made him such a winning force for the All Blacks. There has been concern in some quarters that McCaw may be trying to drag the All Blacks in a different direction and force them to play more like their opponents.

Long-time All Black activists are unlikely to tolerate any such attempt. Since international rugby went professional in the 1990s numerous die-hard supporters of the team have bemoaned the direction the game is going in. Their grievances include the absence of rucking, the proliferation of muscle-bound giants on the playing field, and the fact that someone with the build of Terry Wright might as well nowadays just play soccer.

A move to replace McCaw may come as soon as this week. It is understood that a number of players were infuriated at McCaw’s Sportsman of the Year award at last week’s Halberg Awards.

It is unclear whether a challenger would have the numbers to roll McCaw, but a number of All Black players have strong support from their teammates and from the general public. They include Piri Weepu, Dan Carter and Conrad Smith.

Even if McCaw survives a leadership bid, his difficulties may not be over.

Polls had the All Blacks as overwhelming favourites to win the final game of the Rugby World Cup, but their stumble almost cost them victory. If McCaw survives this challenge, it is unlikely that team players and management will tolerate such a poor performance from McCaw again.

8 comments on “ImperatorFish: If Political Journalists Wrote Sports News ”

  1. Adolf Fiinkensein 1

    Well done. Very good indeed!

  2. wetfootmammal 2

    Is this supposed to be funny?

    [lprent: Yes, and so is this. Your last 5 comments out of a total of 8 have been one liners of mindless drivelling just like this one. Added to auto-spam because you don’t appear to have anything more interesting to say. Rolling your comments out of the system except for those that got replies or were long enough to contain actual information. ]

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    By coincidence here is exactly the same style of story on the sports pages, cricket not rugby


    But new South Africa captain AB de Villiers called this is a brand new Proteas outfit, free from any existing mental scars.
    “We’re a new unit with fresh faces,” he said. “We play a different kind of cricket than we have in the last few years. But, mentally, we will have to be tested in the future to see how strong we are. I believe we are very strong but we’ll have to wait and see.”

    That World Cup cap defeat still smarts for the South Africans. Chasing a very attainable 221 to progress to the semifinals, South Africa lost their last five wickets for 25 runs to fall well short. Making it more painful for the Proteas, Dan Vettori and Kyle Mills dished out a verbal spraying after de Villiers was run out to spark the collapse, an incident which saw the two Kiwis censured and fined by the ICC.
    But de Villiers denied that unsavoury episode would add fuel to the fire in this potentially combustible match-up between two great sporting rivals.

  4. David C 4

    The Standard may have been allowed to publish this piece but really why the fuck did you bother?

    [lprent: An author felt like it – how else does anything get published here. But yes, I suspect the wit in it is far too subtle for youR current maturity level. Try again next decade, you may have matured a bit more by then. In the meantime just don’t read them if you don’t like thm. Oh and and read the policy. You are perilously close to a Darwin.]

    • David C 4.1

      Well the piece was kinda funny in a way, taking a sportsman (who leads the most suscessful profesional team in the history of the world, who won the World Cup in a tourny of unprecidented popularity in NZ) of vast popularity and huge personal mana and using stilted lame satire to try and imply something negitive about a PM that that just been thru an election where the voters gave Labour the lowest score in what 60 or 70 years?

      Funny as really 🙂

  5. it’s a bit laboured..(get it..?..get it..?..)

    ..but the analogy is both clear and warranted..

    ..[email look alike deleted].

  6. wetfootmammal 6

    Mod, I found the article to be a shitty attempt at satire. Do you really need to me to go into great detail as to why I found it so painful to read? Probably not, seeing as you’re quick to fly off the handle at anyone who dares to criticise it. Perhaps I’m just not ‘mature’ enough to grasp this mug’s ‘wit.’ I tell you what I do find quite funny though, is how elitist you’re sounding.

    [lprent: I am not a moderator nor even moderate, the moderators are generally nice. I am not. I am a irritable old programmer who has been around the nets for 30 years. I have a very limited tolerance for idiots reinventing techniques that were old when I was young. I am also the sites sysop who tends to regard having to intervene as being a waste of my precious time. When I do, I look for reasons to strain my draconian tendencies.

    But when I looked back over your comments it was clear that you considered yourself a wit. However it read to me like nasty point scoring from a wannabe troll who wasn’t contributing to the site.

    You attacked a author personally. I need authors far more than I need a commentator whose contribution to date on site consists entirely of smart arse comments and no information content. Particularly when the comments aren’t funny and are outright boringly predictable.

    The probability of you learning from anything less than getting to boot was too low for me to be bothered with. There are a lot of blogs out there. Find one that operates at your level. Come back when you learn how to participate rather than simply acting like a fool (and getting a Darwin award) ]

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