I'm not usually a fan of rugby. Really, I didn't watch the Tri Nations, I can't name half the team (only the ones the media puts in front of my face, like Dan Cater, or Richie McCaw. Or the ones twitter tells me about, like Nonu). I don't really know the rules and all the nuances of the game go completely over my head. So, despite all that, despite me having no clue, I'm watching the first RWC game: All Blacks vs Tonga. Streaming it from my desk, while I'm meant to be working. And I'm super proud. I got all patriotic when The AB's did the Haka, and I admired Tonga's Sipi Tau. And then, when the All Blacks scored their first try? I cheered, at my desk, arms in the air in my open plan office. And then they scored another try. And I did the same. And after that? I gave up any pretence of working.
We're currently 50 minutes into the game, and there have been more tries. There has been more fighting with ITV and their fail streaming (or our fail connection). There has been more cheering, and the commentators keep telling me about how very fine the rugby skills I'm watching are. How very world class. And I'm proud. So stupidly proud to be a kiwi.
When you're so far from home, I think you tend to be a little bit more fond of what's happening back at there. Of things that remind you of home. You tend to be a bit more patriotic. I can't even imagine what my home town is like right now, the atmosphere must be phenomenal. So, while I can't be there, I can watch the games. I can spout All Black pride all over my facebook wall, bickering with an Australian + a Brit about who will come out victorious (The AB's, of course). I can tweet with the #rwc2011 hashtag. I can cheer on the AB's from the other side of the world. I can (and will) share my excitement as the games unfold.
This year is their year. Go the All Blacks!