Friday, November 02, 2007

Jake White's dramatic exit-no talks

The dramatic exit of Jake White, triumphant coach of the RWC 2007 champs comes to me as no surprise. I might sound like one of the SARU officials, but scouts honor, I don't have any ties with them. I just love the game, passionately and speaks my mind, sometimes. It's therefor just that the cynical me, was waiting for something dramatic after the victory fires, to reminds us of where we are. It happened in 1995, when the Boks threatened to boycott further participation in games, unless they are paid more and now, again, basking in their victory, aware of their bargaining power, they push their luck for more. I expect some key players and former players to start pushing SARU for more perks and to revisit the Jake saga now. They will threaten that unless SARU reinstate him, they will leave SA's shores to apply their trade somewhere else. Of course the SA Rand cannot compete with the Euros or the Pounds. I stand to be proven wrong, I admit, but I am so deeply disappointed in the way our games, playful as it is suppose to be, embodying the values of fairness, communality, but also excellence and hard work, has under the pressure of global economics, bloated disproportionately, larger than life. The Carlos Alberto Perreira, Eddie Jones-case proves the point and may I add the names of Allan Donald, Kevin Petersen, Andrew Strauss, previous Bok coach Nick Mallet (and now Jake White ?) that whilst we naively hug each other in the streets as a proud 'winning nation' and wait in the rain, wrapped in a SA flag, from 3/4 o'clock in the morning to see our Bokke, coming home...they don't give hoot about national pride or patriotism. While we shed tears singing the anthem, what seems to matter more is the number of zeros of the highest bidder. Playing the game is for sale and going, going is being sold to the highest bidder-I am willing to sell my soul to the whoever is willing to pay. Irrespective of the accolades from all over, even from the prez to Nelson Mandela, why would Jake felt the need to publically disgrace the very people that afforded him the opportunity to be involved in the game ? It can only be because he knew that, in his back pocket, he holds the trump cards, financial offers from all over the world. Maybe I am old fashioned (and naive), but I so hoped that these guys in a small way could have said, now its my time to bring back home the skills and experience and invest and develop our youngsters, to help and make this a winning nation, or I've been so wonderfully privileged, if not blessed, to help make things to change in our nation, in Africa and from here, to the world.
Let me admit: for once I hope that I am totally off the mark, but from where I sit, with regards to Jake and some of 'our heroes', it will not be the case: it will be a matter of money talks... and it will come as no surprise.
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