We’re over a year away to the rugby world cup (in fact, 521 days according to the ruggerblogger rugby world cup countdown widget) and the New Zealand public has a terrible bout of NIMBYism. That is “Not In My Back Yard’ ism. Sure, we were reasonably happy initially to be granted hosting rights to the 2011 world cup, but as time ticks on, it becomes evident that we’re just a bunch of miserable ‘not on my tax payer dollar’ buggers (to rival any of the greatest nimbys out there).
We’re miserable about new stadia being built. We’re miserable about old stadia being renovated. We’re miserable about stadiums that aren’t going to be built at all. We’re miserable that the roads won’t be good enough, that the public transport system will be exposed for the squeaking operation it is, that Auckland doesn’t even have a public transport system.
We’re unhappy that hoteliers are threatening to charge people a thousand dollars a night – that’s not the kiwi way mate! (But in saying that, how can we get into the tourism industry for a piece of that pie come 2011?).
Speaking of pies – we’re still mad at Suzy from 1995 serving up a dodgy one to the All Blacks that night before that final. (One of the biggest miseries of 2009? That Hollywood has now made a film about said test match. The worst horror movie for any true New Zealand rugby fan has to be one committing one of our many world cup losses to celluloid).
When we’re not wailing and gnashing our teeth about Wayne Barnes and why he is still reffing, or the logistics of putting on a tournament that four billion people are going to tune in to, (really, this could potentially be the worst public relations exercise ever for New Zealand – I’m seeing pub brawls, streakers and possible muggings of UK Times reporters in darkened ally ways) we’re moaning about an ad for the rugby world cup. Not even an ad in fact. Just the song of the ad. ‘Right here, right now’ is a cover from the 1991 Jesus Jones UK hit. Yes – the song does belong back in the 90s at all those bogan rugby club functions of yesteryear. But do we really need to dedicate a half hour of news to it moaning about the lack of patriotism, Dave Dobbyn Verse the Feelers, music culture (or the lack of) in New Zealand?
When we’re not up in arms about songs and stadiums and Stephen Jones, we’re upset that the Springboks are bigger, hairier and burlier than us, have got a better rolling maul and are much better at doing those things that New Zealanders just can’t seem to get a grip on - drop goals from their own half for example. And let’s not even mention the potential ascent of the Wallabies as the Warratahs find themselves at the top of super 14 table midway through the tournament. I will not go there, I will not go there.
But speaking of super 14, we’re also mad at that! It’s long and boring, the games should be in the afternoon, not at night time, what about the fog? The Dew? The rule changes: bad = too many tries scored. Bad = not enough tries scored.
One glimmer of hope and consistency in this rugby nation where we are all united? Referees. We hate them all.
When it comes to rugby in this country, the tall poppy has mutated into an angry narcissistic beast. What was once our national sport has now become our national kicking boy. The NZRFU can’t win when the team is winning. So I’m not quite sure what needs to be done next. But if this is what it’s like with over a year out, the mind truly grows glum thinking of what’s to come.