Mike's Minute: The All Blacks deserve our loyalty

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 19 Nov 2020, 11:26AM

Mike's Minute: The All Blacks deserve our loyalty

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 19 Nov 2020, 11:26AM

Tell you what, what an unimpressive week it's been for the All Blacks, the fans, and the whole All Blacks experience.

This is a country with a nasty underbelly.

It is true that fans of most sports globally are fairly short on loyalty and calling for sackings is a sport in and of itself, and it's true to say that what the All Blacks have been up to these past two weeks has been less than fantastic.

But faith is for the long haul. Loyalty is about the good days, as well as the bad. And what we have seen this week is pretty low rent.

Sam Cane had a crack at some of the critics. Personally, I wouldn't have, but I don’t blame him. Having spent my career in the public eye you are, of course, open to an ever-increasing series of experts offering you their wisdom and help.

Most of them are dickheads who have aspired to little, achieved even less, so the trick is to see them for what they are, and let it slide.

Maybe that’s where Sam Cane came a bit unstuck? He's new to the captaincy and let it get to him. The older heads in the organisation should have got to him and advised differently, but it is what it is.

The All Blacks are public property and want support, so there is a relationship to balance. Part of that is a required, or expected, dose of success. And when it doesn’t come, the heat will follow.

But like so much these days, nuance, subtlety and perspective are of a bygone era.

So out came the clickbait headlines this week. "It's time for Foster to go" screamed one particularly superficial example. Are you serious? He only arrived last week, as did this year's All Blacks.

Man, we are short sighted. We long for international rugby all year, we pray for the break that will allow them to travel, to compete, to play in front of a crowd, and the first thing we do is start calling for sackings.

Can we hear ourselves? What the hell has happened to us? God forbid we judge ourselves by the same standards we judge others.

Yes, the All Blacks need to pull their finger out and get their act together. But here's the good news, they will.

And while they're doing it a bit, of patriotism and loyalty might not go amiss.