Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Lindsay Perigo: Team Of Champions

It was the best & worst of New Zealand on Saturday night. The best - the Crusaders' thrilling victory over the Australian Brumbies in the Super 12 rugby final. A more seamless, relentless, clever & at times dazzling performance we haven't seen in a while, including from our national team, the All Blacks. Fifteen brilliant players formed an invincible chain, with not a single weak link.

All the more incongruous, then, that the beer commercials played on television before & after the game & at half time referred to the Crusaders as "a champion TEAM, not a team of CHAMPIONS." Only in New Zealand (well, maybe not!) could a feat of individualism be poisoned by this sort of collectivist spin. The sponsors - a private, voluntary brewery who should know better - went out of their way to blur the strengths & identities of the individual players & harangue us that the team is the thing. THIS - of a team consisting of Andrew Mehrtens, Reuben Thorne, Richie McCaw & all the rest of these godlike heroes?! What a vile insult!

The Crusaders are a champion team BECAUSE they are a team of champions. Yes, of course team work is important in a team sport. Yes, each must fulfill his role to the hilt. The better each player, the stronger the team as a whole. But why on earth should that simple fact be used as an excuse to play down individual merit? For all that they have their allocated functions, players are NOT simply mindless cogs in a machine, & must be ready & able not just to play their part but to seize an unpredictable moment & go it alone on occasion. Who can forget, from last night's match, Caleb Ralph's cheeky little intercept in the last moments of the game, which saw him - solitary, smiling & unstoppable - streaking down a full third of the field to score a hilarious, outrageous & completely unnecessary try? Are the sponsors going to condemn that as individualistic arrogance?

Now you might say, "It was only a game, only a beer commercial - get a life!" Problem is, in the game of life, this emphasis on the "team" becomes an enforced subordination of the individual to "society." Right on cue, to add injury to insult, who should pop up on tonight's TV news to pontificate about the Crusaders' win but the Prime Minister? What on earth did she have to do with it? The only contribution politicians make to talent is to put coercive obstacles in its way - in the name of the greater good of society. All this "not a team of champions" stuff only encourages them.

***

Feel free to forward this editorial, in its entirety, to everyone you've ever met. If you received this editorial as a forward, you may sign up to receive a new one every day at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/perigo

MORE PERIGO! For information on subscribing to the Free Radical, edited by Lindsay Perigo, the world's best and only magazine about “politics, economics, & life as if freedom mattered”, go to: http://freeradical.co.nz/subscribe.html

Sense of Life Objectivists: “Passionate Reason, Rational Passion” http://ww.solohq.com

SOLO Forum: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/solo_forum


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 



Gordon Campbell: On The Lancet’s Stance Against The Olympic Games, And On The US Culture Battles Over Abortion

Yesterday - barely a month before the opening ceremony - the Lancet medical journal has called for a global conversation on whether the Olympics should go ahead. But who is able to take part in that conversation? Not the hosts, evidently. In poll after poll, a huge majority of the Japanese people have made it clear they do not want to host the Games... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Vague Alternatives And G7 Summitry: The Build Back Better World Initiative

Summits often feature grand statements and needless fripperies. In Cornwall, the leaders of the G7 countries were trying to position and promote their relevance as the vanguard of democratic good sense and values... More>>


Suicidal Games: Tokyo’s Coronavirus Olympics

A pandemic crisis. A state of emergency. Overwhelming public opinion bristling with alarm. Notwithstanding these factors, Tokyo is still on track to host the Olympics that was cancelled last year in response to the global pandemic. The first sports team – Australia’s softball crew – has touched down. Is all this folly, bravery or self-interest?.. More>>


How It All Went Wrong: The Global Response To COVID-19

The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response was never likely to hand down a rosy report with gobbets of praise. Organised by the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last May, the panel’s gloomy assessment was grim: the COVID-19 pandemic could have been avoided... More>>



The Conversation: Is Natural Gas Really Cheaper Than Renewable Electricity?

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change... More>>

Keith Rankin: The New Zealand Government’s 'Public Finance Rabbithole'

Last week, out of left field, the government placed a three-year embargo on normal public sector wage bargaining, essentially a salary freeze. While there has been a certain amount of backtracking since, it is clear that the government has been ... More>>