I don’t say that I expect a knighthood or enoblement (although Lord Ned of Poneke has a certain ring to it, methinks), but my service to humanity this year has a certain Everest-ness to it: to provide MrsDavy with the information, context and interest to give a damn about the Rugby World Cup 2015.
You might think that there is a certain degree of self-interestedness in this social service, and I could not entirely disagree. Life at Casa del Davy will proceed in a somewhat smoother fashion if MrsDavy is amenable to the early starts and long sofa days that will be required in September and October, not to mention a degree of relaxation around the housekeeping rules in relation to culinary standards and dishes piling up in the sink.
But I am sure you agree that, if I can achieve the summitry of MrsDavy expressing an informed opinion about, for example, the existential significance of Scotland versus the United States (at Leeds, kick-off at 2.30am Monday 28 September New Zealand time), I will have achieved something noble against considerable odds. It will be a mark of the enduring possibility of human endeavor, a renewal of the combined spirits of the Ages of Enlightenment and Exploration. Long seasons of human kindness and ingenuity will surely lie before us.
We only have 67 days to kick-off (at London, England versus Fiji, 8.00am Saturday 19 September New Zealand time), and a fair amount of ground to cover. There is, for example, the structure of the tournament, the pools, the teams, the players and coaches, the venues, the vexed issue of the referees panel. We need to consider the role of history, certain elements of superstition, and the impact of the Evil Overlords (formerly known as the International Rugby Board, now re-branded as World Rugby, but don’t let that fool you.)
If you know of other benighted individuals who have yet to discover the sublimity of rugby, who as yet do not appreciate the moral imperative of an All Blacks victory, who do not understand the proper application of the collapsed scrum law, please share the news that relief is at hand: MrsDavy’s Guide to the Rugby World Cup 2015 starts tomorrow.