The story of a forty-mumble fat man turning his life around so that the All Blacks will win the Rugby World Cup 2011. More
In 1987, when we first and last held the Webb Ellis Trophy aloft, I was young and healthy and full of dreams. My hair was lush and reached all the way to my forehead and I knew exactly how I was going to be rich, famous and happy.
By 2007 I was forty-mumble, fat and fatigued. My hair had slipped backwards, my eyesight had decayed, and in any case I couldn’t see over my belly. I had the wife and the kids and the mortgage – and I wasn’t doing much good for any of them. I was working like billy-o, coming home late, going out early, eating crap and puffing going up the stairs.
My life was a metaphor for twenty years of All Blacks rugby. All the effort, all the trappings of success, but ultimately missing out on the things that really matter.
But here’s the thing – what if it was the other way around?
What if I am the metaphor for the All Blacks? What if their successes and failures were mirroring mine?
It was me.
It was my fault.
I am to blame.
Let the distance from Eden Park in 1987 to Cardiff in 2007 mark the furthest extent of our Fall from Grace. From Champion to Choker; from Grand Final winner to Quarter Final loser; from the omnipotentiality of youth to the grey drear of middle-age.
The return journey, from Cardiff to Eden Park, is the Road to Redemption.