Why we support the All Blacks

SinghDude

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#1
http://www.iol.co.za/sport/rugby/why-we-support-the-all-blacks-1.1120374


THE rapturous welcome the All Blacks received at Port Elizabeth airport has reopened the controversy that surrounded the similar support enjoyed by the Crusaders when the Christchurch-based team twice visited Cape Town earlier this year.

The pictures of Port Elizabethans figuratively slitting their throats haka-style in exhibitions of raw passion as their overwhelmed heroes struggled through the arrivals hall to their team bus have prompted questions, mainly from white South Africans, as to why their coloured compatriots, two decades into democracy, still do not support the Springboks.

Old habits die hard is the reflex refrain, but having chatted to locals here and informed colleagues in Cape Town, the answer is more complex and in some ways not as sinister or controversial as many people think. And it includes the community feeling let down by the present-day South African Rugby Union, as well as the bare fact that the All Blacks play great rugby.

Of course there is the political aspect to it, dating back to the horrors initiated by Hendrik Verwoerd in the 60s. Naturally, the disenfranchised would support anyone but the sporting standard-bearers of apartheid, the Springboks, who better than anything reflected the white “elite”.

And blacks would certainly support the one team that gave the then world-beating Boks a hard time on the field, the All Blacks.

Nobody else could come near to rivalling the Boks in the amateur era (pre 1995).

And the young South Africans who hated the Boks in those days are now grandfathers, and the passion they had for the Kiwis has been passed on through generations and, if anything, has grown stronger.

Cory Jane, the All Blacks winger, described the airport reception thus: “It was crazy, but very cool. The channel that we were walking through got tighter and tighter as we got closer to the bus and people were trying to reach out and touch you.

“It was very special. It was very humbling to see what the black jersey means to them, and the way they were chanting ‘All Blacks, All Blacks’ was goose-bump stuff.”

But the political history is only part of it. The chairman of the Eastern Cape All Blacks supporters club, which has 3 000 registered members and plenty more unofficial members, is one Danville Felkers, and he sheds some interesting light.

“I was born into supporting the All Blacks. My father, grandfather and uncles are very passionate supporters, and it is very easy for new generations to continue this tradition because the All Blacks are a brilliant rugby team.

“They are the Manchester United of rugby. They win consistently and they win in style. People love winners.”

And older members of the Port Elizabeth community are in no hurry to convert their children to the green and gold because they feel that they have been left stranded by empty promises from the game’s governing body.

“Rugby has died in the schools of the (poor) northern suburbs,” Felkers says.

“And we have played rugby in this region forever. But we have no facilities. There has been no investment from Saru, no upliftment, and we feel let down.”

Once more, in a brand new era, resentment of Saru has been channelled into supporting the Springboks’ opposition.

“We have kids who want to play rugby but their parents cannot afford to send them to (white) schools such as Grey High. Those who stick it out have to come to our clubs,” he says.

“In our suburbs we are crying out for sport to give our teenagers something to do to keep them away from drugs and crime. Rugby can do that, but it hasn’t because the system has let us down.”

Saru’s flagship investment in the Eastern Cape is, of course, the Southern Kings, and bully to them for resurrecting top-flight rugby in the region, but for the less affluent rugby man on the ground this means diddly squat.

It is a (potential) success story at the pinnacle of the rugby pyramid, but what about at the broad base?

“Nothing has changed at grass roots,” says Felkers. “We don’t feel that Saru is engaging us. We don’t feel any affinity to Saru. We remain forgotten.”

And all the while the All Blacks play exciting, invigorating rugby, and their fan base in South African grows by the day.
Only in SA.:whistling:
 

Ronjay

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#4
LOL. I suppose the All Blacks have been doing a lot more for rugby in P.E./Cape Town then SARU, oh no wait.........
 
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#6
Each to his / her own. They are just missing out on the "country-wide-awesome-feeling-close-to-and-in-WC-times" feeling :p
 

Voicy

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#7
“I was born into supporting the All Blacks. My father, grandfather and uncles are very passionate supporters, and it is very easy for new generations to continue this tradition because the All Blacks are a brilliant rugby team.

They are the Manchester United of rugby. They win consistently and they win in style. People love winners.”
I don't see the issue with this article if the support is based on the underlined rather than the anti-imperialists. (Which would be funny seeing as the queen is still the ruler of New Zealand :rolleyes:)

We love to hate the All Blacks for the very reason that they have always been tough competition. France has a brilliant team at times, but they're not consistently good enough for us to despise them. We hate Australia's cricket team because they're always going to give us a run for our money and we hate the silver ferns because they are always going to be 'the team to beat' in any RWC.

Love them or hate them, you have to respect them. They've been at a consistently superior level to earn respect than the springboks have since '95.

EDIT: I'm not a fan of team sports (except if it's Germany in a SWC :eek:)
 

MightyQuin

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#8
Where in that article were there anything racist. The peace basically said it is because their parents and grand parents supported the All Blacks and the fact that they are playing good rugby just makes it easier.
You keep telling that to yourself...
 

phoneJunky

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#9
You keep telling that to yourself...
I have white and coloured friends that support the All Blacks and I get along with all of them pretty well and I support the boks as do the majority of people in my circle. I have white friends that support England and Australia in cricket and Indian friends that support Sri Lanka and India. It doesn't make them racist, they just have their preference. It is really easy to support teams like the All Blacks as they are so good, just as easy as it is to support Brazil in soccer, or the Netherlands which was the two teams that I supported in the soccer world cup. Most people I ask why they support the All Blacks say that they like the way they play and to me that is a fair enough reason to support them.
 

Ronjay

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#10
I don't see the issue with this article if the support is based on the underlined rather than the anti-imperialists. (Which would be funny seeing as the queen is still the ruler of New Zealand :rolleyes:)

We love to hate the All Blacks for the very reason that they have always been tough competition. France has a brilliant team at times, but they're not consistently good enough for us to despise them. We hate Australia's cricket team because they're always going to give us a run for our money and we hate the silver ferns because they are always going to be 'the team to beat' in any RWC.

Love them or hate them, you have to respect them. They've been at a consistently superior level to earn respect than the springboks have since '95.

EDIT: I'm not a fan of team sports (except if it's Germany in a SWC :eek:)
Yeah, but they suck at WC's.

Anyway, if people really want transformation in sport, you'd think they'd be willing to undergo the process themselves? For millions of SA'ns Springbok Rugby has been such a catalyst for transformation and the bringing together of the nation. Some people just love to hate though. Their loss.
 

Ronjay

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#11
I have white and coloured friends that support the All Blacks and I get along with all of them pretty well and I support the boks as do the majority of people in my circle. I have white friends that support England and Australia in cricket and Indian friends that support Sri Lanka and India. It doesn't make them racist, they just have their preference. It is really easy to support teams like the All Blacks as they are so good, just as easy as it is to support Brazil in soccer, or the Netherlands which was the two teams that I supported in the soccer world cup. Most people I ask why they support the All Blacks say that they like the way they play and to me that is a fair enough reason to support them.
Support shouldn't be about winning. I also like the way NZ play. They play a very clinical but open and expansive game, (although they do like to play in an offside position a lot, and love putting hands in ruck's, not to mention all the off the ball incidences that refs are blind too) but for me it's about more then that. It's about pride in our country, ultimately, despite all the BS from politics, etc.
 

blaaislaai

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#16
I don't like traitors.. especially people born and living in SA supporting another country's rugby team! or any other sport
 
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