Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's not about the Cup.

RWC is over, and if you dont love Rugby there is probably something that gets you fizzing… Netball? Rodeo? Gymnastics? Chess? Debating? Philosophy? Theology?

Now I know that a large number of you will jerk your heads up at my putting the latter two in the same list as sports, but I have my reasons.
Philosophy and theology allow one or two things similar to debates and sports. You pick a side and you stand there, fighting for territory. I was watching university students debate philosophy and realised that the back and forth felt like a game. Internet arguments can evolve into downright blood sport when you add a couple of gods in there.

I love rugby.
Not because it is the best sport in the world or a sport which appeals especially to me.
I love Rugby because of a long line of my family have loved it.
I love rugby because the smell of home brew and the sound of a whistle bring back fond memories of curling up between my grandparents and being jolted awake by them shouting at the ref.
I love rugby because my entire country loves it, the media follows it closely, and the people who impact my life choose to talk about the game at work.
I love rugby because it is a socially acceptable reason to scream and yell and cry and rejoice with my friends and family.
I hung off the side of a balcony last night and let loose with what can only be described as a primal scream when we won the world cup. With that scream I released frustration at needing medication for my depression. I grieved that this will be the last world cup my Nan will see. I howled at the unfairness of my previous job.
And I screamed with joy that I was surrounded by people I loved; all celebrating a win that helped us to all feel the same thing at the same time.

Last night we could hear what felt like the entire city going bat-shit at the same time we were. We gloried in the fact that while we were anxious, so was everyone else.
I felt content knowing that I wasn’t alone, and win or lose, tomorrow I would be happy or disappointed together with others.

So to all those who dislike rugby and the culture it brings with it, I understand.
But you need to understand that it isn’t about the Prize, the cup, or even the game...

It’s about someone else understanding how I feel. About hugging strangers, and being part of something. Superficially it is about the fight/conflict. On a far deeper level it is about being a part of something bigger than ourselves.
And after the year NZ has had, we could use a little unity.

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