Are the All Blacks Fated to be the Buffalo Bills of the Rugby Universe?

Short answer: No. Unlike the Bills, the All Blacks already have a world championship.

(*Ba, Dum, Crash!* Wokka Wokka)

New Zealand is undoubtedly on top of the world – getting ready to host the World Cup, a sweep in the 2010 Tri Nations Tournament, the All Blacks are ranked #1 in the world by near record ranking levels, the Black Ferns have just won their 19th straight World Cup (or something close to that), and the New Zealand Sevens team is showcasing last year’s Super 14 Rookie of the Year.

Things can’t be better, can they?

But I’m starting to feel the fear, it started around Sept. 9 of this year.  Oddly enough that marked one year until the kick off of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.  Questions started popping into my mind, and if you’re a member of All Black Nation, then you know what I’m talking about – whether you want to admit it or not.

  • Are the All Blacks peaking too soon?
  • Are they going to maintain this level of play for the next 13 months?
  • What will happen on their Northern Hemisphere tour this year?
  • Is there another “ill fated” pot of coffee in their future? (see 1995 Rugby World Cup championship conspiracies)
  • Is another team going to step up and be able to beat the All Blacks on their home turf?

New Zealand has always been notoriously hard to beat anywhere, but in the Land of the Long White Cloud they are damn near invincible.  Much like the Bills in Super Bowl XXV (sorry Giants fans, but you know it’s true) it turns out you don’t have to be the best team in the tournament to win the championship.

The All Blacks have been among the best teams in rugby for, well seemingly ever. But Fate (or a reasonable facsimile) always seems to jump up and bite them in ass. Their one World Cup championship came back in 1987. To end this by putting that in perspective, I was just starting high school in ’87 – and I’m approaching ancient status. 

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