Sunday, May 1, 2011

Historic Basketball

BRILLIANT, BREAKERS! The Breakers have been crowned Australian National Basketball League champions for the first time!
The kiwis demolished the Cairns Taipans 77-53 in Friday night's grand final. Who'd have thought it, eh? Well, if you read the news after the match yesterday morning, you'd NEVER have thought it!! I googled the news 8am Saturday, and these were the headline acts -
Top Stories: Royal wedding; Syria/40 dead; Don Brash
NZ Stories: Don Brash; Hawke's Bay flooding; Hone Harawira
Sport: Fiji-All Blacks Christchurch fundraiser; Blues beat Highlanders; and "Breakers' hard work pays off".
Ahhhh, THERE it is! "Breakers' hard work pays off".
But not "Breakers Triumphant" or "Taipans Slaughtered in Final" or "Go, You Beauty Breakers!". Nupe...just "hard work pays off". Even Australia's The Age doffed its cap with "Breakers Make NBL History". Oh, later on, a NZ Herald update did manage a caption "Our Champions"...
Why is NZ so reluctant to praise its achievers? That 'tall poppy' syndrome seems to have permeated every level of our society. If it's not the All Blacks, it seems to count for little...and even they face armchair surgical dissection after just one mistake.
The Breakers have ended a 15-year drought for NZ teams in Aussie sporting competition. This is Billy-Big-Time. You wouldn't know it. Hell, even women's netball gets more coverage than this historic win (though I suspect that's alot to do with the appeal to journalists of the Silver Ferns' short skirts and toned thighs)...
Where is our national pride? A bit of jingoistic fervour would not go amiss. What's WRONG with patting ourselves on the back? For years, there's been a slightly embarrassed "er-um-yeah-right" shuffle-of-feet when praise has been bestowed. We won something big...but, er, um, let's not get ahead of ourselves...
Every nation NEEDS to sing its own praises a bit. Why is it so damned hard for New Zealand?

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