Bad win­ners and even worse losers

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

Some New Zealand sports fol­low­ers let them­selves down af­ter the Hal­berg Awards.

Foot­ball fans should have been de­lighted that their sport won the team, coach and mo­ment awards, and the big one, the Hal­berg Award.

Amaz­ingly, there were still com­plaints be­cause Ryan Nelsen didn’t win the sports­man cat­e­gory, which went to in­spi- ra­tio­nal All Black cap­tain Richie McCaw.

Wyn­ton Rufer, New Zealand’s great­est foot­baller, said foot­ball had never got a fair go from the vot­ing academy. He cited 1992 when ap­par­ently he was bril­liant in Europe but the Hal­berg went to skier An­nelise Coberger.

Rufer said Coberger never won any­thing. She was sec­ond in the slalom at the win­ter Olympics (the first south­ern hemi­sphere ath­lete to win a win­ter Olympics medal).

The irony of foot­ball vir­tu­ally clean­ing up this year de­spite the All Whites hav­ing won one of their nine matches in 2010 and be­ing elim­i­nated in the first round of the World Cup eluded Rufer.

Dick Tayler quit the vot­ing academy, dis­gusted that foot­ball had car­ried off the big prize in­stead of the All Blacks.

Farah Palmer, women’s rugby le­gend, ap­palled the New Zealand women’s rugby team, which won its World Cup, wasn’t recog­nised, de­cided it was be­cause there weren’t enough women on the vot­ing panel.

Rugby Union boss Steve Tew was great. He was de­lighted McCaw had been hon­oured and saluted the fan­tas­tic ef­forts of the foot­ballers at the World Cup.

I sat on the Hal­berg panel for 15 years and was out­voted many times. In 1991, I voted for Martin Crowe to win the big one, af­ter he’d set the New Zealand test record of 299 against Sir Lanka. He lost out to world cham­pion light­weight rower Philippa Baker.

I lob­bied for Jonah Lomu to win af­ter his sub­lime play in the World Cup in South Africa, but Amer­ica’s Cup win­ners Team New Zealand gar­nered nearly all the votes.

I voted for Blyth Tait and Bar­bara Kendall in the late 1990s. They lost out to rower Rob Wad­dell.

With awards, you can’t win ’ em all. When you do, cel­e­brate the mo­ment. When you don’t, shrug your shoul­ders, con­grat­u­late the win­ners and carry on.

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