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.