Rugby Union 3 years ago

Unpopular Opinion: Sick of the long goodbye

  • Unpopular Opinion: Sick of the long goodbye

Okay, I get it. It is the last time either Dan Carter or Richie McCaw or the both of them will play somewhere. Christchurch, Australia, in a particular pair of undies. Whatever.

This is what happens when you retire. Retirement is what happens to everyone, even people who are not rugby players, unless you die before you get a chance to retire. And at the end of this year (barring freak tragedies) Carter and McCaw are going to retire from  rugby.

Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth.

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Most players won't know when something is the last time because they don't get the chance to pick their retirement date. Injury or poor form, they go from regular name on the team-sheet to playing for a European club somewhere. They don't get this "last time" fever, which goes on for a season and we desperately need to get over.

Yes, McCaw and Carter have been brilliant. On-field and off, the two players are great ambassadors for the game and are the epitome of what it is to be an All Black in the professional era. There's cases to be made for them being the greatest ever. I'm not casting aspersions on their records.

But this year of column filling by journalists and commentators bringing it up over and over again is getting really old, really quickly. We're so busy looking backwards at the players Carter and McCaw have been that we're missing out on how they're playing now, this season. Plus we're missing out on hyping up the players of the future. 

I get that everyone is going through the stages of grief right now. But I didn't know "keep bringing it up when you have nothing left to talk about and five minutes of airtime to fill" was one of those stages.

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