Stuart Dye’s column which uses perfectly sound* logic to reach the conclusion that the All Whites are the world’s fifth-equal-best football team,** is a bit of fun. The only problem is that while reading it I kept getting flashbacks to the flimsiest rationalisations of the left’s 2008 election campaign. By careful selection and weighting of the criteria by which to judge the political field it was possible to argue — at times convincingly — that Labour and the Greens had it in the bag, and that’s what many people did instead of taking a long hard look at their team’s performance.
Ironically enough, I’m pretty sure those picking the criteria and making the rationalisations weren’t surprised in the slightest when their outcomes failed to eventuate.
Delusional partisan jingoism in a sport where we have a snowball’s chance: harmless. In politics: not so harmless.
* For unusual values of “perfectly” and “sound”.
** Above us are Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands and Argentina — and by now Mexico and
Nigeria Greece, which I suppose makes us seventh equal.