Monday, October 22, 2007

Welcome Home

England Rugby
It's finally all over. The England team returned from Paris today to a chorus of approval from all quarters, without anyone going over the top.

My England shirt is sitting in a kitchen sink full of dilute bleach, in the vain hope of getting some of the Guinness and red wine stains to fade. I normally never wear it on match days, preferring for reasons of practically and tradition to stick to one of the shirts I actually played in, but this was a World Cup final so it had to be the white on Saturday. I can give good news to anyone in the same position in that it appears that the intentionally red bits seem sufficiently resistant to bleach to resort to these measures.

The only thing that spoilt Sunday was a lack of Internet, hence this post coming today, and the revolting Roy Hattersley, who always strikes me as some kind of Brown Mark I, on Andrew Marr's show on Sunday morning, with his ridiculous comment on the supposedly excessive media coverage of a 'minority' sport. He didn't actually say anything about class, but you knew what he meant. I would suggest that Spluttersley takes a tour to the rugby clubs of South Wales, the South West or some of the Rugby Union pockets in the north. He might receive a painful lesson about just how ridiculous his views are, and after all, even if you accept the very dubious premise of that the type of hard class distinctions that aging socialists cling on to try to divide the country whenever it might come together, does it really matter?

As for 'minority' sports - frankly Roy, that doesn't matter either. I've seen people crowd round the pub TV for finals of rowing, hockey, even curling and a dozen other 'minority' sports of much smaller reach than the Rugby Union, and its World Cup which draws TV audiences behind only the soccer equivalent and the summer Olympics. These events draw people of every background together and break down barriers, and I suspect that's why, unless it is soccer, they are so distrusted by these relics of socialism. Old style socialism is driven by creating artificial barriers between us all and the engendering an envy and hatred between those they place in different camps that they claim to be the only ones capable of putting right.

But enough of that. For the last time this time around, once again, well done to the Bokke on a well earned victory and great respect to the England boys for a job done better than many of us dared to hope.

Oh, and for the record...I must dissent from the views of Jackart and Donal Blaney on the try that might have been, though I have a lot of doubts about the final penalty that the Springboks scored from. Even Planet Rugby in their 'stats from the final' story refused to classify it as the 'crossing' offense that Rolland awarded it for, and merely put it down as 'unknown'. I'm also in agreement with Jackart's other rugby themed post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I commend you on the de Toqueville comment.Unfortunately, in U.S. his original words have to be interpreted as you interpreted.Most people don't understand "largesse."You substituted "bribery".I guess it all comes down to spiritual--that pesky Bible's talk about man's sinful nature.Without Christian conversion,voluntary self-control(read "bribe deniial")is almost unheard of.So said Solzhenitzyn at Harvard some decades back--for which he was roundly booed by the wonderfully dignified American students.Anyway, good point.