Sunday, June 24, 2012

I am All Black

It takes a lot to get me excited to watch any sort of sport. I spent my high school years going to basically every football game…and not because I had a crush on one of the players or because I enjoyed watching the game. I was one of those band geeks, so I didn’t have a choice on whether or not I went to the game, it was mandatory. After so many years of watching live sport, I became apathetic when it came to watching any sport on the television.

While here in New Zealand I have seen a lot of rugby on the telly. Notice I’ve said “seen” and not “watched”. I just happen to be in the same room as when these matches are playing and have picked up how the game is played. Knowledge of the game still doesn’t make me want to sit down and follow every play.

My lack of interest in watching the game in no way hindered my interest in actually going to a match, and when I heard the All Blacks, New Zealand’s national team, would be playing in a town near me I actually got excited to see to see them.

Ok, so I was actually excited to see big, fit men do the Haka. But what hot blooded female wouldn’t?

We didn't have seats, but our view wasn't half bad.
Turns out, I missed the opening festivities, including the Haka, but surprisingly this didn’t dampen my excitement at seeing a live match. We were “seated” in the Green Zone, which meant we were standing. I tried to follow the game, but jumping and standing on my tip toes to see anything that was going on down on the pitch meant I missed a lot of what was happening.

And still this didn’t dampen the experience. There I was in the middle of the excitement, the crowd going wild with every point the All Blacks scored, cheering on their home team to a killer victory over Ireland, 60 to nil! Being from Irish heritage, I was conflicted over who I should root for, earlier in the night I saw all the Ireland fans dressed in their green, white, and orange regalia and wished I had my own, they looked like they were having typical Irish fun. But standing in the middle of the Green I figured it would be best for my own protection I kept my those thoughts to myself.

The energy flowing through the stadium as the teams battled on the pitch was electric and infectious and I wasn’t immune to it. When the wave came around, I threw my hands up; when the All Blacks scored, I jumped up and down and waved my flag; when half time came around I pushed my way down closer to the pitch to get a better view. And when Ireland was absolutely creamed at the end of 80 minutes of play, I yelled in joy with the best of them.

This in no way means I will now sit down and watch every match that plays on the TV. In fact, I don’t see myself ever enjoying watching a game unless I am physically in the stadium (I watch the Super Bowl for the commercials). What this does mean is I can’t wait to go to my next rugby match!

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