An open letter to my fellow former Springbok rugby fans.
Let us not be sad. After all, as all South Africans know, dead Springbok means biltong.
Also, we still have lions, sharks, cheetahs, falcons and Western Provinces whales (if that is your particular cup of tea – certainly not mine).
Perhaps it is fitting for the era of Springbok rugby to come to its end on the same day as Fidel Castro. However, I really don’t know why.
To fight depression it is always important to make practical plans. What are we to do with the time formerly spent on watching Springbok rugby? Here are a few suggestions:
- Donate blood. If we can give away pints the way the Springboks have been giving away points, the national blood shortage will soon be as forgotten as Springboks victories.
- Have a get-together, braai or some sort of party at your house, the pub or wherever you would have watched the rugby. Eat and drink the same stuff you would’ve had during a rugby game and watch something on DSTV. The economy is already a disaster, we cannot allow the death of Springbok rugby to place it under any more strain.
- Think of all the people dying in accidents on their way to or from rugby games, every alcoholic whose problem started with a few drinks during the game, every long term rugby injury, even those who suffered heart attacks while watching the game … Then find a charity to assist. Almost any charity will do. (As long as it’s not one of those “Let’s Play” initiatives … we really aren’t playing anymore.)
Finally, let’s have a moment of silence for Adriaan Strauss.
The poor guy will go down in history as probably the worst Springbok captain there ever was, but that is far from the whole story.
He was given the captaincy – a position no honourable player would refuse – at a time when no one would have wanted it. The fact that he has announced his retirement some time ago shows that he knew the game was over and wasn’t willing to stay for the financial gain.
In the words of Leonard Cohen, I think Strauss knew the boat was leaking and didn’t want to be the captain who lied. But he also wasn’t going to be the captain who abandoned the ship … For that much, you might as well salute the guy.
Now, I hope this is my last ever post on the Springboks and – as an acquaintance once said – something as banal as rugby.