…more about insults.
Oh dear. Eric Janssen’s Southern View Rugby Blog at The Telegraph has really set the cat amongst the pigeons by “mocking an entire nation because of attendances at rugby”. But I actually found it pretty funny, if a little contrived at times.
Look back to the 2005 tour to New Zealand … grown men were crying in the pub because they did not have tickets to see one game – any game, not even a Test – featuring the men in red.
I’m told South Africans are blaming high ticket prices for the low attendances, but get over it. There are many ways to save a few rands to buy a ticket … don’t throw a whole damn kudu on your bbq next time; drink fewer disgusting brandy and cokes; give the escort agency a miss next week; save legal costs by not shooting someone soon.
Tickets were far from cheap in 2005, but that did not stop people – real rugby fans – from filling the stadiums.
Firstly, he’s right on the attendances. They have been shockingly poor. Embarrassingly so. Either that or the SA rugby fans have been cunningly disguised as plastic seats. And this is weird, because generally, the fair-weather South African rugby fans turn up in big numbers for big rugby games. And surely the much-anticipated British and Irish Lions’ tour is about as big as it gets?
But then, as Janssen states:
…provincial sides stripped of all their current Springboks are making the warm-up games virtually meaningless. It’s a disgrace.
Janssen’s view on SA are stereotypical and exaggerated – attempting to elicit a response, which they have. And he knows which buttons to press because he lived here in SA for a good few years. But I can’t believe that the locals are so up in arms about the whole issue. Take a joke. Because it’s funny.
And if you want to be all serious, then if rugby and pride in your country are so very important to South Africans, why are so many of the stadiums empty on this tour?
There were far fewer complaints when he described the (Gauteng) Lions as “a pathetic bunch of Skoda-driving, sandal-wearing, tree-hugging, lentil-eating, polyester-wearing, greased-hair weasels” and “a feeble collection of player-wannabees” last week.
Mind you, I think he understated that a bit.