Shhh! Just between you and me, Ned’s on a secret mission to the northern hemisphere. I’m not saying that Shag is involved, but let’s just say that it involves secret caches of Maketu Pies behind enemy lines. To cover my undercover moments, I’ve selected a few choice moments from the Road To Redemption.
Originally published 9 September 2011
It’s unreal that it’s finally here. I’m so excited by the possibility. And so nervous about the possibility.
In 1987, I was single, at university in Auckland. I loved that final.
In 1991, I was married, at university in Australia. I hated that semi-final. Hated being surrounded by Aussies who had the better team. Suck it up.
In 1995, I was a dad. The consolations of that final were Nelson Mandela and LittleDavyOne.
In 1999, I was a dad again. Double the joy there, but no consolations in that semi-final. Suck it up harder.
In 2003, I was a mature family man in a job I loved, working harder and getting bigger and slower. That semi-final was a slow-motion crash: the wild-eyed passion of Phil Waugh during the anthems giving the clue to what was to come. Four more years, as Gregan reminded us. Back to work.
In 2007, TheDavys were on our Great Trip. Disneyland was the happiest place on earth, Rome was eternal, Paris and Edinburgh glorious. Only the quarter-final in Cardiff was death, all death. Suck. It. Up.
In 2011, I am doing the thing I love and fear the most, writing for my life. The LittleDavys have sprouted, MrsDavy is blossoming. But in this thing I am tired, so tired, of sucking it up. I want exaltation. After 24 years, surely I deserve some exultation.
Tonight it starts, this journey up the mountain, again. We know the pitfalls and pratfalls, or at least we know the ones we have stumbled into before. Even if we avoid those, there will be other hazards we haven’t yet discovered, new ways of losing.
Yes, it is a strange thing, to pass custody of my happiness to men I have never met. Henry and Smith and Hanson and McCaw and Carter may not know me, but they know of me. They know of this great mass of All Black supporters who stand behind them.
I do not want to add to the weight of their baggage on this climb. Rather, I would be a sherpa, lightening their load so that they go further and faster than ever before.
Do not worry about me, boys! Go! Go ahead! I will bring up the train of expectations, while you must travel light, your eyes fixed only on the dangerous steps ahead.
Go you good things.