The All Whites are being lauded up and down the land, and politicians – most, but not necessarily all – are keen to bask in their reflected glory at the World Cup.
Political leaders kicked off the day in Parliament yesterday by paying tribute to a team that quite rightly is being lionised not for winning, but simply for drawing its matches with teams of the calibre of Italy, the world champions.
Alf does not rate this quite the same as Sir Ed’s conquest of Everest, nor does he regard it as our greatest sporting moment. That’s rush-of-blood-to-the-head stuff.
But he does reckon it’s a bloody great performance and he is chuffed.
He is inclined to support Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast, who is gurgling about a ticker-tape street parade to welcome the team home.
The parade could be capped off with Ricki Herbert receiving the keys to the city in recognition of his impressive coaching record with the All Whites and Wellington Phoenix.
Wellington City Council would also help in any efforts to bring an All Whites game to Westpac Stadium in the coming months.
Ms Prendergast said Wellington deserved to host a big parade because it was “the capital of football in New Zealand”.
But Maori Party MP Hone Harawira – Alf suspects – might prefer not to pay tribute to a sports team that is not a Maori-only outfit.
This would be consistent with Hone’s enthusiasm for “separatist” arrangements, which, of course, means race-based arrangements that would treat Maori differently from the rest of us because their boats got here first.
The basis for these observations about Hone and his ethnocentricity is his latest column in the Northland Age.
Hone salutes the Maori All Blacks (and Alf does not begrudge them his plaudits):
Big ups to Bronson Murray and the rest of the Maori All Blacks! An awesome free-running game in Whangarei and a last minute win over an equally free-running Barbarians side. And another close win on Friday – this one a three tries to one win over Ireland down in Rotorua. Roll on England and KIA KAHA MAORI!!
The All Whites?
Nah. Not a mention.
Mind you, Hone is his mother’s son and probably is hard-wired to ignore all praise-worthy deeds by whites, and especially All Whites.