Bledisloe BlowsThe old expression goes that rugby union is “the game they play in heaven”. This is apt, be- cause the game is very nearly dead to me. It currently remains on life support, waiting for me to have a quick glance at the Last Will and Testament before I lean over and pull the plug, whispering gently, “You did this to yourself.”
It went into cardiac arrest in Sydney on June 23, in the 80th minute of the Australia versus Ireland match. When, instead of the crowd being able to spontaneously celebrate a great victory by a fantastic Irish team against a brave Wallabies outfit, 50,000 people – and the six people who watched it at home – had to sit through several minutes of a painful video review before they ultimately made the wrong decision and called the game over.
To that point the series had been exactly what rugby needed in this country, but like your perennially single mate, they got to the third date and did something so profoundly stupid that you begin to question if they really do want to ever get laid again. Maybe they don’t. Maybe they’re asexual. Which is fine if they are, but they can’t expect me to go out and buy their asexual pornography, can they? I’m just not interested.
Which brings us to the Bledisloe Cup. Those wretched bastards from across the ditch, raiding
us once again to pilfer (from an offside position) one of the only two trophies Australian rugby fans have ever cared about.
Normally I would be excited, but it’s hard to feel anything after repeated referrals to a TMO, who takes so long to make a question- able decision I can only conclude they have turned the official replay room into a hot-box.
I will watch the game, but I know I shouldn’t. It’s like the ex you keep going back to even though you know they are a prick, but they did this thing with their tongue one time and it’s haunted you ever since. You’re willing to put up with a couple of terrible hours on the off chance you’ll experience it once again. In reality, all that will happen is you’ll go home, out of pocket and painfully frustrated, wondering if you completely imagined those fleeting moments of surreal pleasure.
It’s not the Wallabies losing that bothers me, either. I don’t mind it, if the game is good. Rugby, at its fin- est, is a beautiful thing to behold. It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it. It’s why I haven’t pulled the plug and administered the pillow (just to be completely sure the job is done) yet. I long for it to bound free from its invalid state and fill my heart with the kind of joy that a dog feels when it sees its owner. If any side can do this, it’s those genetically gifted cultist freaks from New Zealand.
Only time will tell, but the strange thing is I think I will be happy either way.