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The All Blacks should give up

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, June 24th, 2018 - 49 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, sport - Tags: ,

The All Blacks keep winning everything and it is incredibly bad for the game.
Compare it to Fiji with the Sevens, in which a tiny and grossly underfunded side like Fiji just pulls everyones pants down and runs
away with all the cups and all the gold medals. They are heroes of the game. Sure they train hard like all the rest, but there’s so much less
patriotic freight attached, so little mythos.
Fiji have signaled to the world that this game of Sevens Rugby is for the whole world – and they are conquering hearts and minds as they go.
Fiji are inspiring to all the little tinpot and poor countries that they can real take on the world and be proud and the world will be proud right back at them.
The All Blacks are part of the world Rugby problem. They are held back being our national team. They hold New Zealand back because they
provide us with the false belief that we are famous and world-conquering in something meaningful. We are not.
The game is growing globally – that’s to be supported. But let’s be honest that growth is surprisingly slow. You can see what it could be
with the Football World Cup on right now – a true display of meritocracy between nations involving no guns and very little
diplomacy. Football is the world’s most celebrated art form.
Rugby has had a century to grow and compete against Football. instead, Rugby in its full-game form is the smaller, poorer, more injury-prone
form of Gridiron, or if you prefer, the slower and more turgid form of League.
The All Blacks have made the idea of Rugby boring.
Here’s a test: today Ireland is celebrating in the streets after a great series win agains the Wallabies. Pop out your New Zealand front
door this morning and see how many gave a damn about a clean swap against France. It’s National Meh Day.
The All Blacks have also not been harnessed by the state to be the powerful diplomats that they could be. Sure, they sign a few shirts
and do a few speeches. But if they were going to do real and powerful good for the country they would either have listed on the share market
by now, or they would have been pulled into being a major department of MFAT. They are neither.
They are instead simply a plaything of broadcasting companies.
The All Blacks need to be released from New Zealand. They should become the Harlem Globetrotters of Rugby, rather than being tied to us
here. Go out and show the world the magic of their style, unrestrained.
For the good of the game, and the good of New Zealand, the All Blacks should give up being New Zealanders. They should be hired full time by
world Rugby to be ambassadors to the greatness and growth of the game.
Set the All Blacks free.

49 comments on “The All Blacks should give up”

  1. Bewildered 1

    Maybe the other teams should just get better rather than bleating against excellence Who cares if rugby is not global like football, why does that matter

    • David Mac 1.1

      Nearly every nation in the world would like to send a team to the Football World Cup. There is 4 years between events for these 190? nations to play off with each other so that we get down to the best 32? countries in the world.

      It’s 4 years of nations that can often have unsavory relations in their pasts to come together and play. Christmas Day 1914, some German and Allied forces laid down their weapons and faced off in No Man’s Land, they played soccer.

      Sport bonds us and we live in a world that could do with more bonding.

      • Carolyn_Nth 1.1.1

        You mean like this kind of bonding?

        These media depictions of women fans as simultaneously sexy and serious about sport also serve a valuable function for global sport organisations like FIFA, which are increasingly seeking ways to boost the global market share of their events by courting women as fans and players.

        In a somewhat ironic twist, these images become a form of proof that the football fraternity, known for its poor record of gender equality, is welcoming and inclusive of all types of women – even those who might not look like “typical” sport fans.

        They are also used as part of the global sport spectacle to enhance the profile of the countries these women support, and to reinforce ideas of national rivalry and competition.

        So, in the end, it’s just sport serving capitalist interests. The bonding is largely male-dominated and masculine defined, and within countries.

        • David Mac 1.1.1.1

          I serve capitalist interests every time I go to Countdown. Yeah, it’s big business alright, but only for such a tiny percentage of participants. Women’s soccer is on the rise. It’s probably sexist of me but I think women are better built for soccer over rugby. A good women’s soccer team will shut down a mediocre men’s team, brawn dependent rugby teams not so much.

          Her call but I’m pleased my daughter chose soccer over rugby.

          Ha…I sense I’m waffling. ‘If we’re after gender equality in team sport, I think Soccer is a superior platform’.

          • Carolyn_Nth 1.1.1.1.1

            I think you’re bending over backwards to prove soccer better than rugby, while also claiming it’s not about the sport when soccer violence is highlighted.

            It’s probably sexist of me but I think women are better built for soccer over rugby.

            Well you said it. It’s not like there’s a standard woman’s body – any more than there’s a standard man’s body. But marketers like to present a very rigid, unequal, and narrow gender binary. Some sports do suit certain kinds of bodies. Valerie Adams would probably not be a great soccer player. Nor would some of the top women’s rugby forwards.

            Yes, let people at grass roots level choose the sport they prefer. I played backyard rugby and soccer growing up. Was never fast enough to be a good soccer player, but was good with ball skills. And tended to be a bit stronger than many other girls at the time – so may have been good in a scrum.

            I do watch a bit of elite rugby on Prime. But I don’t go out of my way to watch it. I was brought up within rugby culture, and am very aware of the problems with it.

            Also, during many years living in England, I saw first hand the problems with masculine soccer culture. In fact, sport in the UK was way more male-dominated in the late twentieth century than in NZ.

            Currently, for me, elite sports are just a diversion, and not representative of the kind of culture I want to live in – too capitalist, too much focused on tribalism, nationalism and competition – and embrace male dominance way too much.

            • Grey Area 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Was never fast enough to be a good soccer player, but was good with ball skills. And tended to be a bit stronger than many other girls at the time – so may have been good in a scrum.

              My guess is that women’s rugby would not have been option when you grew up but you could have made a good centre-back or holding midfielder in the “beautiful game”.

              • Carolyn_Nth

                Neither rugby nor soccer were an option for me at school or local club. I played hockey – was not that great at it, but was never fast enough for that girlie game, netball. In fact, I wasn’t fast enough for most sports.

                These days I prefer non-competitive physical activities e.g. walking.

                But, the point is, it’s not one size fits all in some unrealistic gender binary.

          • Richard McGrath 1.1.1.1.2

            “A good women’s soccer team will shut down a mediocre men’s team.”

            Anyone remember the Newcastle under-15 boys beating the Australian national women’s soccer team 7-0?

  2. bwaghorn 2

    Jesus you would be hung drawn and quartered if this post makes it into the mainstream .
    What I saw last night was a French team that has tried and nearly succeeded in coming up to the all blacks level of skill speed and precision . If the refs hadn’t cocked up in the first to tests the French would have rolled a rusty all black team .
    And another thing
    If the rest of the would wants to wet it’s knickers over a game where rolling round on the ground trying to con a ref into making a poor decision during a 90 minute boor fest or watch padded up wallies for 3 hours to see 12 minutes running time well I feel sorry for them oh and bloody league don’t get me started

    • David Mac 2.1

      Soccer theatrics, yeah. It amuses me.

      I wondered if they have ‘Pretending to be kicked on the shin’ lessons at training, I guess they do, get film fight stunt men in to run the tutorial.

      All games have there ‘frustrating bits. Rugby annoys me when it’s a run of 15 seconds of play between a series of whistle blows.

      I am really enjoying the Soccer World Cup on at the moment, I love how international it is.

    • dukeofurl 2.2

      The French sent a ‘second string squad’ and they were well beaten – nothing to do with refs

      “The first part of the French squad leave for New Zealand next week, but players involved in the Top 14 final won’t depart until the week of the first test on June 9.
      Those players will play no part in the series-opener in Auckland.”

  3. David Mac 3

    The game is in decline in NZ. The greatest vacuum is around the school leaver age. The provinces struggle to field an U19 side and the step from Schoolboy to Senior rugby is long.

    In 2000 more than 30,000 players, in 2016, 27,000. This is in spite of immigration and the fledgling popularity of the female game.

    We do appear to be struggling to field strong teams of young men. I thought our U20 team that have recently played in the U20 World Cup in France looked ordinary. Soccer is on the rise…I think it has much to with Mums and Dads greeting their kids for a weekend lunch to discover they’re carrying game wounds, black eyes etc. Keeping them fit, healthy and competitive sports, great. Sending them off each weekend to have their faces sprig scagged by 14 stone 14 year olds, not so good.

    Older people, we still dig rugby but we’ve seen the All Blacks play 100’s of times, the lustre wears off. The new blood signs are not good.

    There’s lots to be said for Soccer, played in every corner of the world by people right across the social strata. More cardiac fitness required rather than bulking up and the kids aren’t getting game bashed.

    • Grey Area 3.1

      On an overseas trip about a decade ago we saw football played in all sorts of places on grass, sand, scoria, limesand, gravel, dirt … whatever. It’ s not called the world game (or the beautiful game) for nothing.

  4. adam 4

    Ad, look on the bright side, with an All Blacks win, think of all the women who didn’t get beaten.

    The All Blacks, keeping domestic violence in check, kinda, sorta, maybe, not really, in my dreams, con, need to do better.

    • Carolyn_Nth 4.1

      And domestic violence is just as prevalent in relation to Soccer/Football as it is to rugby in NZ.

      Research into the link between domestic abuse and the football has shown that reports of domestic abuse increase when the England team win or lose a football match and that the instances increase with every World Cup tournament.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 4.1.1

        I know soccer players who have been convicted, and one who has been imprisoned for domestic violence – it’s just that no one cares that they play soccer so it’s not mentioned.

        Rugby doesn’t even come close to shooting referees or burning down players houses or street fights amongst fans.

      • adam 4.1.2

        I’m always dumb founded with this connection, of sport to domestic violence.

        It’s like men unable to deal with their worries and concerns, do some sort of mystical transfer to a sports side. Then their world comes crashing down when that side loses, or worse somehow they hold onto their worries, concerns and fears whilst their side is winning, penting it up more and more.

      • David Mac 4.1.3

        I don’t think a particular sport is at core of the problem. The guy that gets drunk and thumps someone when his team loses is more than capable of swapping codes.

  5. David Mac 5

    I guess others have experienced this when travelling too: After discovering I was from NZ people in Belgium, Germany or Sweden, often their initial expressed knowledge of NZ was “Oh you’ve got that team of guys that do that tribal war dance.” That or “You guys have got the Kiwis.” They weren’t referring to the league team, the bird, bacon, polish nor you or I. In most of Europe a ‘Kiwi’ is a small fuzzy brown fruit.

  6. dukeofurl 6

    Fiji 7s just win and win ?

    Commonwealth games, all gold medals have been won by NZ 5x and South Africa 1x

    Olympic games Fiji 1x

    World Cup 7s England , Wales 1x , Fiji 2x NZ 2x

    Rugby 7s series NZ 12x South Africa 3x ( last 2 series) Fiji 2x ( 2014,2015) Samoa 1x

    Where did you get the idea that Fiji just wins and wins ( so its a good thing then !)

    A great example of confirmation bias.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rugby_sevens

  7. One Two 7

    Agree with the core premise, Ad…

    Rugby is not a competitor with football, nor will it ever be..

    It is American Football, not gridiron…

    Gridiron is not a sport, it is the field on which American Football.is played…

  8. Blazer 8

    Quite a rambling incoherent post that relies on a very poor knowledge of Rugby or any other sport by the reading of it.
    Criticising Rugby because it is not the most popular sport in the world is kinda,stupid.

    As for this patent nonsense ‘ Football is the world’s most celebrated art form.’.
    and ‘

    The All Blacks keep winning everything and it is incredibly bad for the game.’

    Write about something you really know about.

    Sport became the opiate of the masses long ago.

    • marty mars 8.1

      Have to agree but ad’s effort is tongue in cheek anyway so just ride it out.

      • bwaghorn 8.1.1

        It’s one of those post could just put the real world aside for a moment and have a bit of light entertainment hassling each other (which is all sport is ) but sadly some can’t switch off the serious ,ever

        • marty mars 8.1.1.1

          Yep – sometimes it’s good to drop the intensity a few notches and have some fun, day dreaming of alien worlds, familiar yet strange.

  9. Tomorrow 9

    ‘Rugby is in decline’ and a very good thing – it is a thuggish, uncivilised game
    contributing to over 24,000 cases of young men with head injuries each year, many of these are high risk for early dementia. The skills involved which are endlessly explored by pundits, are nothing much to be proud of, running, catching, throwing, kicking and bashing hard into other people.
    The whole ethos of this vile game contributes to the violence and insensitivity of a section of the NZ male population. It is the modern day equivalent of the Roman Gladiatorial Circus NZ would be a better country without it.
    (And that there are women stupid enough to want to join the gang defies belief).

  10. Descendant Of Sssmith 10

    Never really understood the continuous anti-rugby posts that appear here.

    Sometimes I just wonder if someone is bored.

    Having played both soccer (and nah I don’t care if others call it football) and rugby for many years of each I found soccer gave me some good skills such as kicking with both feet and stamina but rugby was the more skilled and enjoyable game that required the use of my whole body and gave opportunity for a wider variety of body types and sizes.

    Thugs and idiots in both sports and it was actually the continual abuse of players and referees in soccer that stopped me playing it – the final straw was the cacophony of abuse directed at a referee from the point he simply walked on the field at Cooks Gardens in Whanganui. My daughter has played soccer post school and has been the victim of quite a few henious acts of thuggery on the feild one of which means she will never walk properly again – I’d have preferred she played rugby any day.

    The game is in decline in the regions as the economy has declined in the regions – but that is true for all sports in those areas – when you consider small towns such as Ohura, or Toko all had cricket and rugby teams and now they hardly have people.

    Professionalism has to some extent exacerbated that with good players quickly being spotted and moved to urban areas rather than developing their skills and playing in local competitions. I grew up playing club rugby against current and past All Blacks as a matter of course – you don’t see that now.

    To some extent too rugby strength is only in decline if you ignore the exporting of our players overseas. The volume of players heading that way is voluminous and continuous. This again has been exacerbated by professionalism – at least in the amateur days if you played well you knew any player could be dropped at any point e.g. Buck Shelford. These days they are contracted and it’s not as easy to just stop playing them. This gives less opportunity if you don’t get a local contract so getting paid overseas is quite attractive. (We should have transfer fees like soccer methinks).

    Soccer in NZ hasn’t really capitalised on the World Cups they’ve been in because let’s face it, just like our basketball team and other minority sports in NZ every now and then there is some serendipitous appearance of talented players at the same time that allows a brief period of success before normal transmission resumes. We all enjoy the brief moments of joy but it’s not sustainable despite the momentary optimism and hope.

    Soccer like cricket too struggles to attract Maori and Pacific Island players – to a large extent I also found both those sports in NZ quite racist as well although both have improved in the last 30 years. With a growing young Maori population I can’t see any sense in thinking they might overtake rugby or even compete in popularity.

    The flight by white kids to soccer at school age seems to more mirror the white flight that is apparent in schools. It gives the appearance of popularity hint – Catholic schools aren’t really any more popular despite their active embracing of fearful white parents putting their children in them, but to a large extent it’s just a racist sham.

    There is some validity to the size differential issue in rugby at lower age groups and there’s no easy solution to that – age vs weight and size has always been problematic.

    Anyway the continual attacks on rugby here do seem somewhat weird. I’m cool if you don’t like rugby, I don’t like golf or motor racing – I don’t feel the need to attack them however – other people enjoy them.

    In the sevens world it’s never been Fiji that’s inspired me it’s always been Kenya.

    • simbit 10.1

      Re: racism in cricket. I recall talkback radio 20 years ago when a caller said cricket needed to look to Maori and Pasifika kids to boost its numbers and wider capability as an international sport (this was after a poor showing in a series). The host (a cricket commentator still in the biz as far as I know) replied: ‘We don’t want to see any handouts.’

      So yes, racist at all levels and it’s undermined any strategy they’ve had at growing the game, making more money, and performing better.

      My boys are playing now on the North American prairies where the skill level is lower and we struggle against hickey and their football. Also I suspect all countries will struggle to recruit in youth sports because it’s become so easy – and so addictive – to engage with the world through pixels. I do it myself…

      • Gosman 10.1.1

        Why does there need to be a particular ethnic mic in any sport? Noone is stating the All Blacks should be 10 to 15 % Asian are they?

        • Descendant Of Sssmith 10.1.1.1

          Can’t see anyone saying there has to be a particular proportional ethnic mix apart from yourself.

          The two points made were that I found cricket to be racist at times and that with an increasing percentage of the population being Maori both soccer and cricket will need to find ways to attract Maori players in order to grow its local base.

          Young people represent NZ in the main at the highest levels of sport and given the young population is ever increasingly Maori then it makes sense to not ignore that group.

          The same could be said for Asian as well – I just happened to be commenting on Maori in particular.

          Quite a few employers are having to think about this in terms of their future workforce – sport will have exactly the same issue – as will many of those predominantly aging mainly white organisations such as Rotary and Lions.

          It’s a clearly defined trend – not a political statement.

  11. Kat 11

    Leave the All Blacks alone, enough grizzling about rugby and sailing. What next, skiing!!

  12. Alan 12

    A new record in fuckwittery advantage

  13. james 13

    This is probably one of the more stupid post I have read on here.

  14. CHCOff 14

    Last proper All Blacks’ game may have been against Georgia in the world cup and they were bloody awful.

    It is separating us from world rugby, when the All Blacks have always prior been a diplomatic ace for New Zealand around the world even when we lost, like the South African world cup, we were rightly the most admired team and rugby culture in the world – now we may be the most disliked as the supposed standard bearer for the sport. Compare this fiasco situation to the soccer world cup carnival in terms of class.

    Neo-lib values driving NZ into the ditch whatever they touch. Elites only good for being elites and nothing else!!

    • simbit 14.1

      Like West Indies cricket, Queensland rugby league, Australian cricket?

      And why has no one said the ultimate rejoinder: Rugby. Played in heaven…

    • Gosman 14.2

      Eh???

      How is supposed Neo-liberal values impacting on the way the All Blacks play the game of Rugby Union?

      • ropata 14.2.1

        Professionalism has had a massive impact on the game, not all of it for the best. The traditional rugby club (as the social hub of a community) is history. The ABs wear the logos of giant global corporations and the humble kiwi bloke is long gone, commercialism demands that these guys are marketed like superheroes. Money has sucked a lot of the fun out of the game.

        The low point was the Springbok tour in 81, rugby will never be as revered as it once was

        Having said that I still love the game and think overall it’s beneficial to young men and to society.

        • Gosman 14.2.1.1

          Ummm…. Rugby Union went professional in 1995. The Springbok tour was in 1981(as you point out). The low point of the sport was therefore 14 years before it became professional. Additionally it was also before the policies described as Neo-Liberalism took hold in NZ. The AB’s were being marketed as super-heroes years before they went openly professional.

    • Gabby 14.3

      The world cup is in a whole other class of corruption, for sure.

  15. harry kane 15

    great post

  16. Chris T 16

    The ABs have been number1 in the IRB rankings since they were invented apart from one 1 or 2 year spell over a decade ago

    AB dominance is hardly a new thing and a lot harder than some people appear to think

  17. Gosman 17

    This is satirical right?

  18. AB 18

    Would I enjoy Kane Williamson’s beautifully pure technique if he made 150 just about every time he batted?
    Nope. It would be as unwatchable as the All Blacks.

    For it not to be unwatchable, I would have to be infected by some weirdly vicarious form of national pride.

    • Gosman 18.1

      Are you stating that Don Bradman averaging almost a hundred means you would not have appreciated his play as much as if he averaged only 60?

      • AB 18.1.1

        Interesting question – it’s only a guess, but I suspect that if the Don made 300 I would enjoy the first 120 then skip the remaining 180 because it was a bit of a bore.
        It’s like the way one eventually grows out of love with Beethoven symphonies – all that flawless surface perfection becomes empty noise.

      • Tricledrown 18.1.2

        Goose man look at what’s happened to the aussie cricket team the pressure for these cricketers to win all the time.
        They have to resort to cheating.
        The All backs falling out of the line-out.
        National can relate to cheating as they have to win at all costs.
        Entitled attitudes purvey NZ.

  19. ropata 19

    Last Saturday I watched Rippa Rugby (J7) at Glenfield RFC, then went down to Ardmore Marist for an old boys reunion, watched Reserve grade and Premiers vs Karaka. Got a few photos with legends of the club and Counties union.

    Came back up to the Shore for dinner and then off to the Northcote Tavern to watch the ABs with Dad. Massive game, amazing skills, but I enjoyed watching my 6 year old nephew run in 2 tries and set up a couple more at rippa rugby far more

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