Tuesday, 7 February 2012

wait... you're quitting?!

i am a scotland rugby fan, in good times or bad (which, to be fair, there are far more of the latter). 

we played the auld enemy on saturday in the six nations tournament.  we should have won.  instead, we gave the game away.  it was quite sad to watch.  moments of sheer brilliance followed by moments of utter incompetence.  england didn't win;  we lost.  simple as. 

the biggest blow, sure, was probably the try scored thanks to a botched clearing kick (i'm not naming any names here...).  that was five points, gifted away (not to mention the following conversion).  honestly, yes.  that was bad. 

but that was not, by a long shot, the only problem with our game.  we couldn't hold on to the ball.  we gave away silly penalties.  we simply did not capitalise on our (very good) opportunities.  in the end, i wasn't even all that bothered by the loss (not like in the world cup) because we did it to ourselves. 

it wasn't just the fault of one person, no matter how rough a game he had. 

you wouldn't know that from the reaction of fans, who reportedly were so bad that said player had to have a police escort in order to safely leave murrayfield.  and on social media right across the board, so-called fans have been calling for his head-- for him to resign, be fired, or (in some extreme cases) be executed. 

i mean, really, people.  what good is it to blame one person who had a spectacularly bad day, to be sure, when there were another fourteen people on the pitch who did not do much to contribute to a win, to be fair?  it is a team sport, and the team let the nation down-- not just that one man.  but we have to have a scapegoat, don't we?  we always have to look for someone to blame.  yes, it was a devastating loss considering we had every reason to expect to win... but you can't blame one man.  not for the entire thing, anyway. especially when he has also done a lot of good for our side, bringing us points (and occasionally even winning points) and winning man of the match more times than any other current player.  hold him accountable for his mistakes of saturday, of course-- but don't lay the entire fault on him.  it wasn't all him. 

i've been bothered by the responses of *fans* to this.  i have not heard such horrible things said about one man in my time of following scottish rugby (which, granted, has only been a few years now).  i've been really disappointed by that, to be honest.  bad form, scottish nation! 

and today, what is the first thing i see when i get online?  headlines all over my homepage, that said player has announced his retirement from international rugby, effective immediately.  in other words, he quit. 

quit?!  really?!?

unbelievable.  yes, you had a bad game.  yes, the fans are very vocal in their (let's call it what it is) fury and hatred.  but this does not sound like a reasoned and well-thought out response.  this sounds like a gut-reaction from a coward.  i do not think you are a coward;  why are you acting like one?  to quit after the first game in a six-game tournament, because you had a (really, really) bad match?  to leave your team like that?  sure, maybe you shouldn't start the next week.  and no one would blame you if you retired at the end of the six nations.  but... to just up and desert like this? 

no.  i'm even more unhappy about this than i was about the result on saturday.  this is just not on, sir.  bad form! 

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