Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Women's sport is great sport

Women's sport doesn't get the money or attention of their male counterparts, and some fuckwits will always claim it's just because it's an inferioir product, but they couldn't be more wrong.

Nothing I've seen in any sport in the past decade has been as good as watching the Black Ferns play the last minute of the final of the Rugby World Cup last year, when an insanely improbable steal at the line-out snatched victory from the jaws of defeat over a truly awesome English side. (The only thing that comes close was seeing Ruby Tui lead Eden Park in Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi 20 minutes later...)

The matches in that tournament, just down the street from my house, were full of spectacular rugby with incredible results and remarkable skills on show. As an entertainment package it was stronger than anything the All Blacks have managed to muster in recent years. 

That enthusiasm and energy carried right on into the recent Fifa World Cup, which was also held at the same park just down the road, and got huge numbers of spectators, who weren't always the type of folk you saw lining up for a football game. In the US they're getting almost 100,000 people to a freakin' volleyball game.

And the best thing about it was that different crowd had a very different vibe. The games are still intense, but there's not that sharp aggression of an audience that is 99.9% bloke. It just feels more welcoming and accepting for all kinds of people, 

(And that's even with the disgraceful lengths transphobes go to when they start banging on about trans people in sport, pretending they actually give a shit about gender representation. Always remember, kids: sports is a great big metaphor for everything, but it's only ever a metaphor.)

On a personal level, the women's rugby world cup has helped rekindle an interest in the wider sport - rugby is my game but I go through phases of being intensely disillusioned by the whole thing, unable to get past the terrible officiating, and the way so many of the players are fuckin' thugs in real life

But I'll watch as much as I can of the men's Rugby World Cup coming up, especially after some of the crazy results in the warm up games. Because the thrill of sport, the fun and joy of it all, has been sparked again by all those wonderful women, and the inspiration they can give all of us.

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