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24 November, 2003

So England won the rugby World Cup. And?

From the online Guardian:

Their dramatic extra-time victory over Australia in Sydney on Saturday prompted nationwide celebrations that will continue until Christmas with a series of events to mark the success.
The team, which yesterday received the congratulations of Tony Blair and the Queen, is likely to be rewarded with a Downing Street reception and a "victory tour" of the capital in an open-top bus.
Okay; fair enough.

The team will also play a celebration match against the New Zealand Barbarians at Twickenham on December 20, and yesterday Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, hinted at the possibility of a public holiday in the players' honour.
A public holiday? That's a bit extreme.
The team are certain to dominate the New Year's honours list, with the coach, Clive Woodward, expected to receive a knighthood and the captain, Martin Johnson an OBE. Jonny Wilkinson, who is in line for an OBE after his drop-goal sealed victory for England with 20 seconds remaining in extra time, ....
What? A knighthood for rugby coaching!? An OBE for kicking an odd-shaped ball? It's a ****ing game! Doesn't this somewhat devalue the achievements of people who really earned knighthoods and OBEs through years, even decades of dedication to improving peoples' live in far more real ways? I genuinely feel this over-reaction, a self-serving gesture on the part of a government desperate to be populist, will backfire, and be seen as laughable overseas.

Yes, there is reason for fans of the England rugby team to celebrate, and I congratulate their achievement, but let's keep it in perspective, eh?

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