Who is more patriotic: Australia or New Zealand?
The Kiwi team line up after losing the New Zealand Kiwis v Australian Kangaroos Centenary test. AAP Image/Hagen Hopkins/PHOTOSPORT
At one point over the weekend I was surrounded by New Zealanders, all with that stiff Kiwi accent that saturates my heart with nostalgia, so intense that in fact even recalling this moment in writing makes my big heart beat just that little bit harder.
Now I am all too aware that we are not the most likable characters over here (with our World Cups and all), and I do my best to remain unbiased on this site.
I posted a status on Facebook yesterday that simply read “New Zealanders are the best”, which led to a comment from an Aussie about rugby, which in turn led to various other rants, thus resulting in an aggressive stoush from friends on both sides of the Tasman, attacking one another’s sporting abilities (or lack thereof, i.e. the Wallabies recent efforts and Blackcaps bashing).
This has now got me pondering which country is the most patriotic when it comes to their athletes.
And before you mutter it out loud, no I will not go back to my country. I am immensely proud of my South Auckland roots, but Sydney for me is home and I am truly, deeply in love with this city. One day we may even get married…
In the meantime I would like to put my hand up for experiencing one of the best trans-Tasman rivalries, one which was actually with my own Australian ex-boyfriend.
Those final moments in that 2010 Four Nations final, where Jason Nightingale threw a pass (not forward at all), miraculously ending up in Nathan Fien’s hands for the win, resulted in me sleeping alone, being deleted off Facebook and not having my boyfriend talk to me or come home for two days. My own boyfriend!
I do, however, take responsibility for jumping up and down in his face saying, “Aussie suck” and in hindsight, yes this may have ruffled his green and gold feathers.
On a more sombre note, the Auckland Coalition for the Safety of Women once reported that there is a risk of domestic violence as a result of an All Blacks win or loss.
The report said a Kiwi victory “may increase levels of self-confidence, assertiveness or patriotism, all of which might lead to violence”. Better suited to the Once Were Warriors script than perhaps celebratory behaviour.
The biggest debacle of all was said to be after the All Blacks 2007 World Cup loss.
“We’ve heard from police there has been an increase in domestic violence and they’re our biggest source of referrals,” said Catherine Delore, spokeswoman for the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges.
(That loss still hurts, I wore black and pottered around Bondi with bloodshot eyes for days).
Not to be outdone, Aussie also sadly endure an increase in domestic violence on Melbourne Cup Day, but predominantly due to the fact most have suffered a heavy gambling loss or drunk themselves into oblivion, hardly an act of patriotism gone sour but terrible all the same.
This makes the beauty of the Olympic games that much more special. Australia reflected this when 100m hurdle gold medallist Sally Pearson ran her heat and it averaged 1.69 million viewers.
Regardless of who is indeed more passionate, celebrating your country’s win is a memory to be cherished and I personally can count many.
Which reminds me, how good is sport?