Piece by Kwazi Dlamini – FabMags Intern
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A POSITIVE SUPPORTER?
It takes courage. It takes belief. It takes having a positivity. It takes having a never-say-die attitude even when your team is losing – rally behind them. I started thinking about this after one of my friends posted a very observant picture on Facebook, after our national rugby team’s surprising defeat to underdogs, Japan – in their opening match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. In the picture, legendary former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar holds SA’s 1995 Ellis Webber cup, with former President Nelson Mandela. On the image, the words “If you can’t support us when we lose, you don’t deserve to be there when we win” are emblazoned.
Social media went crazy after our boys lost 34-32 in the dying seconds of the match, in what was probably the greatest upset in Rugby World Cup history. Media outlets were dishing it out to the Boks, some even calling for Coach Heyneke Meyer’s head for losing to the team ranked 13th in the world. But isn’t that part of the game -winning and losing?
Our boys have won the World Cup twice, once in their first participation in 1995 and again 2007; they are tied with Australia as the two countries with most world cups wins – two each. After their win in 2007, the ‘Boks were ranked number one and were named IRB International Team of the Year the same year. Before the defeat, they were ranked third in the world (they are now sixth).
Every team faces some hurdles every now and then…but it’s the support that gets them back on their feet. This was their opening match and, yes…while we were disappointed, the one thing we should not do is abandon them. We need to support them and make sure they perform better in their next game against Samoa on Saturday.
The ‘Boks are the only South African national team to have brought home a World Cup home not once, but twice. This is a team simply cannot give up on. Just because of one blunder, we forget their capabilities? We forget who our boys are? Everyone was shocked after the loss, but if you call yourself a true fan then get your head up, get behind the boys and show them your love.
One would remember that Samoa, the ‘Boks’ next opposition, ranked 12th in the world defeating the number one ranked Wallabies in 2011. But the Australian rugby is still one of the best rugby national teams…still on top in the IRB world rankings.
There is an old saying in sports that goes like this: “It is not how you start that matters, but how you finish”.
The ‘Boks need us, South Africa. Let’s be proud of them; stand with them and push them to victory.