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Opinion: I am an All Black®, and I am Sacred™

By an All Black

By an All Black

I am an All Black, and I am sacred.

He tangata. He tangata. Wu tang-ata.

I come from a sacred tradition. Of honour. Of fealty. Of Sanitarium Up&Go.

Through my blood runs the memory of the greats: Meads. Fitzpatrick. The little man off the Mastercard ads. Through my blood also runs the isotonic edge of Powerade, electrolytes singing in perfect harmony with my indomitable cells, gifting me the fuel to power my kingly deeds. No 500ml bottles for me; I choose only the 750ml, for I am an All Black, and I am insatiable.

Haeri mai. Everything is ka pai.

On the great Air New Zealand sky carriage I glide, towards the city in which The Divine Game shall be contested, ritually imbibing the sacred waters of the traditional Steinlager. My resplendent Barkers suit cocoons my body snugly with its comforting Super120s merino embrace. My Bulgari wristwatch ticks away the minutes my presence graces the world. I appear luminous, for I am an All Black, and I am significant.

After making communion with the land once more, my noble body is borne forwards, towards the stadium, within the vast cathedral of the 2013 Ford Explorer cabin. Seated in the back, I play with myself: my animated likeness running around on the Playstation 3 screen in All Blacks Rugby Challenge. The likeness does well, but not as well as the real thing, for I am an All Black, and I am incomparable.

Tēnā koutou, tamariki ma.

On my Telecom mobile, I receive good luck calls from my agent, my sponsorship manager, my lawyer, my publicist, my masseuse, my dog’s psychotherapist, my feng shui advisor, and finally, my mum. The last one goes to Telecom voicemail, for I am an All Black, and I am very busy.

As I pull on my sacred Adidas jersey, emblazoned with the hallowed letters AIG – long cornerstones of New Zealand tradition – I take a moment to breathe in the mana of the changing altar, accented with the piquant tang of Unilever’s Rexona (it will never let me down). My muscles are primed with anticipation and Voltaren Emugel. I am myth personified, for I am an All Black, and I am historic.

Poi E.

I stand in the midst of the field, a hero to all those who behold me. Thrusting down on the consecrated turf of Westpac Stadium, I squat for the conclusion of the haka, forever immortalised on that tea towel I saw at the airport gift shop. It is at that moment, surrounded by thousands of excited faces bobbing behind a perimeter of Coke Zero hoardings, that I know I am truly the culmination of all for which New Zealand has ever stood. Doing it all for nothing but the glory of the game, the glory of serving one’s country, and the glory of the $750,000 salary (plus personal endorsements and appearance fees).

I am an All Black, and I can do five Weetbix in one sitting.

Kia kaha. Kia toa. Kia Sorento