(Please excuse the purple prose. I’ve been listening to too many television sports commentators and I’m too tired to use original language.)
The America’s Cup is funded by bored billionaires. Team New Zealand wasn’t the official team of New Zealand. It represented the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and was sponsored by a bunch of large corporations, most of which have foreign owners.
It’s not about patriotism. Loving New Zealand does not mean having to support all New Zealand sports teams. Patriotism takes in the wider picture. I think it’s about having faith and trust in your country and being proud of it no matter what sporting achievements have – or haven’t – occurred.
Victory parties and parades are nice, easy feel-good events that generate shitloads of goodwill. It’s a lot harder to lose. It doesn’t have to be graceful – being angry and throwing stuff is ok – but the way to lose is to admit defeat. To not try and blame, to just realise that a loss has taken place.
(I sound like a therapist)
The Cup is going. It’s going to be relocated on the other side of the world, far away from the ocean. What an enormous, liberating thing for New Zealand this will be.