Tony McKeever

Springbok Tests turned into a cheapskate sideshow

Being at Loftus on Saturday afternoon, one realised that the Springbok Team and Peter de Villiers’ management are being turned into some gaudy Vaudeville act, and it will lead to the demise of the performance of the Springboks.

The emphasis on creating hype and a corny ‘big game build up’ is amateurishly reduced to loud blaring music, an announcer best suited to Don King Promotions in Harlem in a futile endeavour to whip the crowd into a frenzy, with rent a crowd girls and boys somersaulting and pirouetting on the park, is fast stripping away the dignity of the Springbok Team as a revered elite rugby playing unit.

Compare this to the dignity and decorum of the Euro Cup, and presentation of the two teams to the capacity crowds. It is elegant and world class without relying on faux choreographed acts.

This whole hooha is a distraction to the team and its players and does nothing to build the brand for the team or its sponsor Vodacom.

Last year when the World Cup Springbok Team was announced in a shopping mall with laser lights and ballet dancers, underwritten by the national team sponsor SASOL, one had to question why our revered rugby players were treated like some dress up dolls, in total contrast to the tradition of rugby.

These rugby players of ours are modern day sports gladiators and need total and complete focus and precision on what is required of them on the day: A victory for the nation.

This was brought sharply into focus by the All Blacks’ haka earlier in the day. Powerful, passionate and clinical. We might not have the haka, but we do have our dignity.

Let’s keep it intact and allow Peter de Villiers and his captain, John Smi, to deliver their best without any distractions or cheap sideshow tricks. They are a pedigreed authentic breed. Keep it that way.

10 Responses to “Springbok Tests turned into a cheapskate sideshow”

  1. Durban Poison #

    A ‘pedigreed authentic breed’ – reminds me of Vernon Koekemoer! Hell, the test match alone certainly doesn’t warrant the R400 match ticket; having Vernon around to spice things (especially at tests up-country) would be a stroke of genius from the organisers!

    June 15, 2008 at 12:10 pm
  2. Dawid #

    Why do we as South Africans have to Americanize everything. Even a Zulu dancer dancing to Johnny Clegg’s Impi is so American.

    June 15, 2008 at 2:01 pm
  3. Dawn #

    I wish all the ridiculous hoopla would be stopped. All the these grand opening and closing ceremonies use up a lot of resources and simply add to the cost.
    I enjoy T20 cricket but could do without the dancers, dunking and “roving reporters” collecting inane comments from the crowd. No doubt a rugby match is the same.

    June 15, 2008 at 3:31 pm
  4. max #

    Tony McK, you have hit the proverbial ‘nail’ on the head! Peter de Villiers at the helm … ? Of course, he is trying his best but oh no, definitely not at this level! A case of “a small fish in a big pond” His attempts to emulate other great/successful coaches with familiar grand sounding words and statements are no more than a facade, but then, THIS IS AFRICA.

    June 15, 2008 at 4:41 pm
  5. Max

    Don’t be so GLOOMY!
    South African rugby fans cannot get enough of rugby and draw every last drop of info out especially from the coach – and sometimes he says stuff when the best would be to just shut up and get on with the job of preparation.
    Still I reckon you are going to be pleasantly surprised next Saturday and Peter will make you a proud man the Saturday after.

    June 15, 2008 at 6:14 pm
  6. Tony, thanks for a short, but very balanced article. And also thanks for your response to Max. I wish people will cut Peter de Villiers some slack – let the man do what he is being paid to do. COACH. It is always easy to build on the failures of predecessors, and very difficult if the man before you left a remarkable record. Still, Jake did not get to the top (of winning the world cup) without his share of set-backs and/or losses. Will Peter be judged the same?

    June 15, 2008 at 7:40 pm
  7. Kevin #

    I totally agree. Lets leave the hoopla and get on with the bloody game. What purpose do those inane dancing girls serve? Are we trying to strecth every bit of marketing possible out of the “show”? Its all about TV and how many ad slots they can sell – but please stop the diversions. Notice that the stands were not full for either of the tests – R400 a pop will make anyone choke on their biltong, so the belly dancers are not crowd-pulling magnets. What then are they doing there?

    June 15, 2008 at 8:53 pm
  8. Hennie #

    I agree wholeheartedly with Tony. Let’s stop turning our test matches into cheap sleazy dancing acts which I believe should be OK for a strip club. Those dancers do nothing other than to annoy me.

    I will also certainly not cough up R400 per ticket and when I get mad enough to do it, I don’t expect to be blasted off the park with their sound systems.

    Let’s get back to real values and stop these sideshows and noisy announcers with their “gross” and over the top loud music.

    Carry on like the present and you will see further dwindling of the spectator numbers.

    June 15, 2008 at 10:23 pm
  9. Nick Williams #

    John Smi – Related to Captain Hooks “Right Hand Man ?” – All Pirates anyway. Wales should have won.- Nick Williams – Cardiff

    June 16, 2008 at 9:38 am
  10. Craig #

    Yeah but they didn’t Nick ;)

    June 16, 2008 at 4:43 pm

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