Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Weird NZ Anti RL Stories : Part Five

Some years ago when I lived in Auckland, I'd go along to watch the Warriors RL team. Friends were invited to join as well. While some weren't that into sport, others were but all seemed to enjoy the game. One particular guy that came along was quite keen on RL but was foremost a RU supporter.

A little while later the above mentioned guy started gloating to me whenever the Warriors lost. It was quite intense at times. I think I asked why he was going on like that and he called them a rubbish team etc. I put it down to his being frustrated when they lost but didn't understand why he directed that at me.

I moved to another part of the country and some years later we caught up at a mutual friend's place for an evening. The Warriors were in a good spell of form and he started going on how well they were doing. I reminded him that it wasn't that long a go he couldn't say a nice word about them. He then told me why.

Apparently he had asked me once about the All Blacks and I said I didn't follow them, nor the game of RU at all. He said nothing at the time but he took offence at this, because "every New Zealander should follow and support the All Blacks". He therefore decided to get back at me by ridiculing any loss by the Warriors.

I thought this peculiar because 1) I didn't realise why he was doing it so what was I supposed to learn by his behaviour? 2) I'm not going to start following a sport that has no interest to me just to please someone else. All it made me do was thing he wasn't a good sport.

So while he wasn't actually anti-RL, he made himself out to be because of my indifference to the national game of the country. One thing I am not is a sheep that follows the crowd. I like what I like and that isn't dependent on what others like.

It is a reminder that some can view a sport as part of the national culture and that attitude is what may be behind the anti RL sentiment that regularly surfaces in NZ. RL is viewed as competition to RU and RL has to be kept in its place, lest it challenge the national game.

The Warriors playing at home

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