Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ex Springbok Supporter

I remember when I was a kid, I never missed a single Springbok rugby match. I was a proud supporter, but those days there weren't all these green and gold supporter wear that you find today. You looked for newspaper clippings and pictures of your heroes and stuck them up against your wall. Then things changed. People realized that there is money to be made out of something most people did many years ago for the fun of it. Sports. That was more or less the time that my support for the Springboks started dwindling...and for good reason.

I am at Oliver Tambo International Airport at the moment, and just walked out from one of the so-called "duty free" shops. My 4-year old son is looking for a Springbok soft toy, like the one in the picture above. I thought that I would get it cheaper at the duty free, although I've known for many years that "duty free" is another marketing strategy where you fool  people into believing that they are paying less for something that you would normally find cheaper in any other shop if you had gone through the effort of not leaving your last minute shopping until...well... the last minute. The friggen toy which is the  hardly bigger than the size off my gall bladder, costs R195. Oh sorry, at duty free is it something like R184. When I looked at the same toy in Cape Town it was R175, VAT included. OK, so I was right about the duty free bullshit, but let me rather get to the other shameless robbery you have to face if you want to support your local team.

I've been looking around Cape Town for a Springbok shirt to wear. I mean, I am a still a Springbok supporter in my heart, but if I have to pay R680 for a friggen shirt just because it has a Springbok emblem on it, then I rather support the local school's netball team. Everyone is shouting not to buy pirate goods from the street corners, but do you have any choice if you want to support your national rugby team in something that closely resembles a Springbok jersey? 

I also remember the days when the Springsboks were winning each and every game, we just watched to see what the final score was going to be. Today we are rather surprized when they beat any country, but they expect their supporters to fork out half of their monthly wages to support them while the Springbok players earn salaries which make the average South African looks like a charity case. Besides, how many South Africans can really afford to pay R680 for a friggen shirt?

Common guys, I want my son to be proud of The Springboks, I want him to wear his Springbok shirt to school and to show off his little Sprinbok soft toy to his friends even if I know they are going to kick it around in class. But I am NOT going to let him kick around a R185 toy for a team who flies Business Class around the world but cannot win two games in a row....

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