You probably know by now that Richie McCaw is in favour of the proposed new Lockwood flag.
McCaw is an incredible guy. He may well go down in our history as the greatest All Black. The only rugby player to captain back to back winning Rugby World Cup teams, and an incredible record of victories.
So Richie knows a thing or two about rugby, and about winning, and probably about a bunch of other stuff, like how to thrive when the pressure is on. How to keep on going when your lungs and your muscles are demanding that you quit. How to respond with grace and dignity when some dorky politician is crowding your space for a photo-op, even though all your instincts are telling you to punch the guy in the nose.
Richie’s also a helicopter pilot, so flying’s another thing he’s fantastic at. And whatever he does next he’ll probably do incredibly well at.
So Richie McCaw’s opinions on the flag matter, even if not all of us share them.
I happen to think that the Lockwood design looks more like a corporate logo, and a pretty average one at that, but I’m going to have to reconsider my views on this matter. If Richie McCaw reckons the Lockwood flag’s a good one, then who am I to argue? I’m pretty sure I’d rather have Richie on my team than against me.
But if you think Richie McCaw’s many rugby successes don’t make him any more of an authority on the flag than you, here’s another reason why you should vote for the Lockwood design, even if it means having to spend the rest of your life grimacing each and every time you see that tatty tea-towel being raised up the flagpole. Even if the Lockwood design is, to use the correct design terminology, a bit shit, we should all vote for it, because this is Richie’s hour. He deserves this. He wants this. He’s won just about everything on and off the rugby field, and only last week was named New Zealander of the Year. He has achieved all of these things while staying humble and level-headed and not getting carried away with his own self-importance, when you would think all those achievements would entitle him to wield a Kanye West-sized ego. And you, who probably wouldn’t last five seconds in a high pressure environment like an All Blacks test (McCaw played 148 of them!), would deny him what he wants? After everything McCaw has done for you, you would take this one thing away from him? Doesn’t Richie McCaw deserve a flag he can call his own?
If winning two Rugby World Cups and becoming the most capped player of all time haven’t earned Richie McCaw the right to pick for us any bloody flag he wants, then what the hell would? What would he have to do? Would he have to fly to the Moon? Discover a cure for cancer? Rewrite the rugby breakdown law so it makes sense and is understandable?
The Lockwood flag may be an abomination, but this is not your call to make. Your captain has spoken, and he needs you to do your bit. We all need to push in this scrum, and please don’t force me to come up with any more terrible rugby analogies, because by God I will if I have to!
You have two choices in this referendum. You can vote for change, or you can spit in Richie McCaw’s face.