Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kids Do Say The Darndest Things

Kids usually tell it like they see it…
…and whether New Zealand wants to hear it or not, thousands of children believe the All Blacks will blow the *yawn* Rugby World Cup final!
NZHerald reports a nationwide online survey CensusAtSchool (May-June, 24,000 students 8-17yrs) predicting the ABs will be waiting another four years for the Webb Ellis Cup. 83% expect them to make the final, but only 41% think they’ll actually win.
Compare this to their more optimistic parents - a Herald/DigiPoll survey (Jan.) found 70% thought the ABs would triumph. In April, a UMR poll found 77% of adults sure of it. I guess they'd have to be: if they've shelled out $1278 for a finals seat at  Eden Park, they would not wanna be sitting there watching Namibia vs Georgia!
So does this indicate:
+ a drop of support for rugby at the school grassroots level?
+ burn-out, after over a year of incessant RWC promotion and advertising?
+ or are the kids just more realistic?
Of the 83% of kids who thought the ABs would make the final, 35% picked South Africa to be there too, ahead of 30% who chose Australia. Of those kids predicting an ABs final win, 25% picked a margin of less than five points.
Veteran rugby commentator Keith Quinn says the results show children's awareness that the ABs have a World Cup reputation of falling at the final hurdle. He thinks South Africa should be favoured if they reach the final.
Former ABs great Stu Wilson isn’t happy: "I don't care what the league and netball or cricket people say, rugby is still our No.1 sport. The survey surprises me and disappoints me, to be honest."
Oh dear, sorry to correct you, Stu, but rugby is NOT our No.1 sport – has not been for years! It ranks 21st. on SPARC's 2007/2008 'Sport Participation Levels' survey, embarrassingly far below netball, fishing, swimming and even gardening! And I suspect in terms of tv viewing, it'll be surpassed by cooking shows and American Idol!
So if the kids are right and the All Blacks do choke in the final, will NZ finally accept there’s more to life than an oval ball?

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