June 16, 2014 by dixwah
“What the fuck are you blokes so happy about? It’s a draw. It’s like kissing your sister.”
It was one of the great dressing downs in schoolboy rugby history.
As huge underdogs, we’d just gone 10-all with a school (college, hmmm) of a far higher pedigree.
We’d played well, performed above our weight and were proud of what we’d achieved.
Our coach gave us a reality check that has stuck with me. Pride and performance don’t measure success. Results do.
I expect Mr McColl would be in a similar lather over the hysteria following Australia’s 3-1 loss to Chile in our World Cup opener.
Stealing his words, what’s everyone so happy about?
Yes, Australia has a young side. Our performance was spirited. But when did we become such also-rans as a footballing nation that a 3-1 loss on the biggest stage wasn’t just accepted, but celebrated?
With the 2010 finalists in our pool, Australia needed at least a point at Arena Pantanal to dream of pushing further. We failed.
I know we’re not a powerhouse, but we’re not bloody Algeria.
I’m realistic. I’m proud. And with that, I’m disappointed.
I’m not disrespecting the efforts or attitudes of the players. I couldn’t. They performed admirably against class opposition.
What I’m struggling with is the exaggeration of the public at the end result.
We don’t celebrate 5th in the swimming at the Olympics. We’ve never heard of the guys who bomb out in the heats.
Claims of ‘maturity’ as a football nation and ‘coming of age’ are just plain wrong.
Australia, we’ve gone off early, and unnecessarily.
What did I miss?