The Rugby Blanket

When a sports fan claims he has knocked his country out of the World Cup, it’s easy to dismiss the claim and focus on the team he follows. But once the years have been reviewed and details recounted the coincidences are startling. This man, with reckless action, has consistently knocked the World’s most famous Rugby team out of the World Cup to an entire nation’s distress. He does this with a simple inanimate object – A Blanket.

A product of two radical protestors that stopped a Rugby match in 1981, Kerry Muir was never likely to become a diehard rugby fan. In a household where Rugby was both revered and reviled depending on which parent he was talking to, he grows to love the sport.

Armed only with a tartan picnic blanket bought in Auckland’s red light district by his grandmother, Kerry realises after a ‘forced inheritance’ that the blanket seems to affect the results of the team directly. He struggles to believe that such an object really works. Each time he doubts the object, the All Blacks suffer.

While this recollection focuses on superstition and sport, like the blanket, this memoir has many threads. The journey of Kerry and the blanket is a constant but the reader is also treated to a concise history of the Rugby World Cup and important moments in NZ history including the Anti-Apartheid movement and the Christchurch Earthquakes. The four yearly intervals of a World Cup see the writer grow: From boy to paperboy, a student flat to a European sojourn and from fiancée to father. As each Cup passes Kerry must grow up and move forward but the blanket is an ever present reminder that sometimes it’s ok to hold onto to the past – if it wins you the Cup.

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