Busy though I am right now, I am still occasionally finding time to catch up with the stuff that I would normally catch up with. Regular readers will know that this includes Brian Micklethwait’s blog, and I rather enjoyed his recent take on the Rugby World Cup, replete as it was with this sort of observation:
…freed from the torture of hope, I find I am settling down to enjoy the rugby
Because yes, for the neutral, this has already been a great tournament. But the fact is that there aren’t many neutrals out there. Or rather, there weren’t. However, with England out, the pressure (for the English people, at least) is off and we can get down to the business of just enjoying the games for the sheer joy of it. Not that egg-chasing fills me with sheer joy, if I’m completely honest. I’ve only watched two games: Canada v Romania on the plane on the way over here (live TV on an aeroplane – what a time to be alive) and – as briefly documented on here – England’s dead rubber against the might of Uruguay.
But even though England are out, I might watch some more over the next three weeks because it will be good to watch – as Brian tells us:
We may be crap at playing these games, but we invented them all, and we have lots of great stadiums.
We know how to organise a game, even if we can no longer play it.
To be fair, I’m a little iffy on that last bit. One of the Tier 1 nations was going out of Pool A, and would Australia or Wales have been quite so ridiculed and vilified had it been them? Probably not.
When the Quarter Finals happen, and Tier 1 team A lose to Tier 1 Team B, will we all laugh at them too?
I doubt it.