Losing is another thing I am not very good at. My first real argument with my husband Greg was on our honeymoon over a game of Monopoly, and I still maintain he cheated. But I especially HATE when the NZ All Blacks lose in rugby; World Cups in particular. Until last year, we had not won a Rugby World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1987. I can tell you where I was for each painful World Cup match we have lost since then (as can many kiwis I suspect).
· 1991: Lost to Australia in the semi finals. We were living in the USA so did not see any of it on television, thankfully. As it was only the second ever tournament, we just assumed it was a speed bump in our road to World Cup dominance, so while disappointing, was not so devastating as years to follow.
· 1995: Lost to South Africa in the final. We were living in Bangladesh and we watched at a NZ friend's house with a group of kiwis. I was trying to be happy for Nelson Mandela and the new South Africa, and brave for my 10 year old daughter Alana who was crying in the toilets, but really I just wanted to cry too! Greg was very quiet.
· 1999: Lost to France in the semi finals. We were living in Jordan and we watched it in an Irish pub which was full of neutrals and I was trying to be brave for my 12 year old son Jarred, (Alana was at a sleepover) who was trying not to cry. Greg was very quiet.
· 2003: Lost to Australia in the semi-finals. We were living in Tanzania and watched at our place with a group of kiwis and fellow supporters. Jarred was away on a school camp but Alana was there so for her sake tried to hold it together, rambling on about how we should still be proud and that we will do better next time, until I dropped her at school for some activity or other and then burst into tears as soon as she got out of the car. Greg was very quiet.
· 2007: Lost to France in the quarter finals. We were living in South Africa and we watched at a kiwi friend’s house along with too many neutral South Africans who were just there to party. Neither of our kids were living at home so I didn’t have to be brave and I wasn’t. Rushed out of the house and cried all the way home in the car and had to take a sleeping pill to help me sleep. Greg was very quiet (and took a sleeping pill too!)
He had to travel the next day so I was on my own and was contemplating leaping off the roof or putting my head in the oven. Then we had to watch as South Africa won the entire tournament and celebrated for weeks to follow. Even bridal shops had Springbok jerseys on top of bridal gowns in their window front dummies. It was just all too much for this very sad, very battered and bruised, All Black supporter.
So you can see the tension that was building within me before the 2011 tournament, which was held in NZ. We were (and still are) living in South Africa and I was feeling very homesick and terrified that I would have yet another loss to deal with. In desperation, I sent an email to friends and family back home which included the following:
If we lose then here are some things you can say to me, though I probably won’t feel any better
- We were robbed
- It was the referees fault
- We were poisoned
- Too many injuries
- We are still the best team in the world
- We almost won
- We won everywhere but on the scoreboard
- We will definitely do it next time
- Too much pressure
- Did you see that forward pass?
- I love you and you are the most wonderful woman on the planet
- I feel your pain
- I will pay for your therapy
- I will pay for you to go on a world cruise with Dan Carter to recover
|All Black Dan Carter|
Oooops, speaking of Dan Carter, not sure how that photo got here. That certainly wasn't part of my original email.
If we lose then here are a few things you should definitely NOT say to me:
- Don't blame the referee, we weren't good enough
- The team stuffed up and we just weren't good enough
- Stop whingeing, we just weren’t good enough
- We are chokers
- We were too confident
- We were not confident enough
- We are losers
- We peaked too soon
- Get over it, it is just a game
- Win or lose, it is a lovely day
- Aren’t you pleased for the team that won?
- You need therapy
- Rugby was the winner on the day
|All Black Dan Carter|
OOps here he is again. Not sure what is going on, obviously some glitch in the computer.
But in the end it didn't matter because guess what?
Of course, I NEVER had a doubt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!