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RWC ’07 Kicks off September 7, 2007

Posted by grimmeister in Uncategorized.

The SouthernTip is rugby land. The SouthernTip is also about to be rugby mad, for today is the start of the Rugby World Cup in France. South Africa seems to me to have a great chance of doing well. Some folk think that anything other than a victory in the finals represents failure. Sure, not winning it will be disappointing, but the level of competition is such that 1 of 4 sides is quite capable of scooping it and we Saffas should try not to become too glum if the trophy does not come this way.

So, I thought about a (very subjective) wailing-and-gnashing-of-teeth-ometer metric (WAGOTOM) that could be applied to the various nations – basically, how deep will the depression be in each country should their chosen warriors fail to deliver a golden pot at the end of October.

Each nation to be rated on a scale of 1 to 10 on the following:

  1. Supporter Expectations
  2. Quality of Team
  3. Belief of Nation in Divine Right to Win RWC
  4. The Draw

Categories of WAGATOM (hey, this actually touches on some serious issues):

  1. National Disintegration and Moral Decay {35-40} – Economic reverberations felt, increased domestic violence, increased substance abuse, threats to the health of RWC participants even after vitriolic sackings have taken place, absenteeism, inability to do anything else other than morbidly dissect what could have been, front page of newspaper stuff for a good few weeks
  2. Woe is Us {26-34} – Enhanced levels of moping for a period longer than a week, absenteesim, minor turning to substances for a period of about a week, lengthy periods of dissecting the results – with much blaming of the referees, front-page news for a couple of days, sackings of RWC participants with associated blame attached
  3. Sporting Disappointment{15-25} – Two or three days of moping, substance induced hangovers, sports-pages headlines after initial front page burst, retirements and movements of RWC participants make the news, no economic effects other than lengthy and dreary discussions around the coffee pot
  4. Minor Sporting Interest {7-14} – Characterised by comments such as ‘I heard we lost the big rugby game – too bad, I am sure they tried hard’, featured on sports pages (possibly as a lead story, possibly not). Strangely, this WAGATOM can possibly still be felt in nations where the general feeling is one of Woe or Disintegration, but is restricted in the most part to womenfolk
  5. What is Rugby? {0-6} – zilch interest, national warriors might just as well have been having dentistry done, perhaps a small entry somewhere in the sports pages.

So, the maximum value of the WAGATOM for any country is 40, minimum is 4. Where do you think the nations fall and why? Lets try two extremes:

  • Portugal {4}
    1. Supporters? Are there any? {1}
    2. Name me one of the team members, I dare you… {1}
    3. What exactly is rugby? Must be some sort of wierd game played in the English colonies {1}
    4. Will lose (messily) to all of New Zealand, Italy, Scotland and will have a tussle with the Romanians only to succumb to the big chaps from the Carpathians. {1}
  • New Zealand {37}
    1. Nothing less than clear victory, obtained with style, power and verve, in a dramatic final against one of the old foes like SA, Aussie or England. All NZ fans know that NZ always beats France, but it would nevertheless be satisfactory form to beat France heavily in front of their home crowds {10}
    2. You could populate a World’s Best XV with at least half the All Black starting lineup – these guys are big names and are expected to perform (including suitably gushing pre-game, on-the-field micturation)! {9}
    3. Our team is the best team, we have been robbed for the last 20 years, the Cup is coming come this year, to where it belongs, and no ugly Saffa, stinking French or cheating Aussie team should even try to stand in the way of this Chosen Path {10}
    4. Will club Portugal, Italy, Scotland and Romania in the pool games. There will be hundreds of points scored and multitudes of tries. The Quarter-finals should see a resounding win against a weakened and demoralised England. Then, a semi-final face off with their RWC nemesis, Australia, followed by a date with SA or France in the final, where the big occasion could see any of these two raise their games to stratospheric heights. In a nutshell, the draw gets pretty tough for them after an easy start! {8}




1. grimmeister - September 11, 2007

Should have listed France in my examples! Who would have thought that the hosts would play so badly – must be the weight of expectations lying heavily on their shoulders…

Then I saw a documentary on NZ and the All Blacks that confirmed my suspicions – these poor blighters actually feel not joy, but relief when they win, because they can then walk through the streets without being accosted.

So, a suggestion has been made to include Press Hate Factor to the WAGOTOM matrix. The scale could be: 10 – Every editorial, headline, letter to the editor or call to a show used as a platform to villify, mock, personally insult, call for prison sentences and so forth; 1 – More interesting events happening elsewhere to focus on, like the National Sheep Poo Spitting Competition

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