I found this article written by Ben Karpinski from www.thebounce.co.za , and thought I would post it ad verbatim. I post it not because I want to continue the daft pink debate, but rather to end it. Thank you Ben, good article
The big talking point of the beginning of this year’s SupeRugby tournament was that the Bulls’ second strip would be pink. The jokes and photo shopped images rolled out thick and fast, no doubt to the joy of kit sponsor Puma who had created a huge talking point amongst SA rugby fans. But we all had to wait until week 6 to actually see them in it. And oh boy was it so much pinker than any of us could have imagined…
I thought nothing wrong of the pink jersey with ‘jacaranda’ zig zags on the front. But to add electric pink shorts and socks to the outfit was just so much to take in as they ran out of the Newlands tunnel this past Saturday.
The Newlands Faithful, always up for a bit of a vocal welcome for their old foes, found it hard to not add a bit of laughter to the usual boos just before the kick off of SA rugby’s biggest derby. The Sharks dabbled with a bit of pink in their jerseys for charity recently, but it was a weak effort and just looked like one of Ross Skeate’s red g-strings had run into the white of the jerseys in the team wash. The Bulls however, well when Puma said they were going to make them pink they were telling no pork pies. They looked like giant Vanish bottles! Twitter was abuzz with a throng of jokes on the subject, at one stage ‘binnepoespink’ was even trending in SA! I myself couldn’t help but let a few one liners fly during what was certainly a landmark moment in SA Rugby.
Now I have always admired the Bulls. As a staunch WP/Stormers supporter, they are without doubt the pinnacle in SA opposition for me, but more than that I admire their success, their rugby culture and most of all how they can properly ‘klap’ an opponent. I have mentioned before that people are smoking their socks when they say they play boring rugby. Remember in 2007 when they had to beat the Reds by 80 something in the last game of the season to make the semis? Ya, they proceeded to win 92-3 and went onto win the trophy. In the 2009 final they thrashed the Chiefs 61-17 and in 2010 they started their season off by scoring 199 points in their first four games!
They get a lot of stick and are the butt of many a joke, but seldom do they actually get the credit that they really deserve. As my team’s no.1 enemy, I shall always pull the piss and bad mouth them, that’s called rivalry and being a sports fan, but at any given stage I will gladly call a spade a spade and admit my admiration for them.
There are many stereotypes around the Bulls. Boring, one dimensional, supported by a bunch of ‘boneheads’… The list can go on forever and in parts it’s perhaps true, but this pink outfit thing is just further evidence that they are probably our most progressive team and one that deserves credit for it.
Remember when Emperor Sepp took away their stadium in 2010? They then took their own kind of awesome to Soweto and painted South Africa’s most well known township blue with success and fanfare that had never been seen there before. I went to Orlando Stadium when they bent the Crusaders over their knee in the 2010 Super 14 semi – it was a bloody brilliant experience. Okay, they haven’t been back there and they really should (especially in pink), but let’s not go off topic for now.
You want to knock them for the Steve Hofmeyer songs and playing of ‘Simply the Best’ on occasions? That’s called catering for your target market – would you knock the playing of ‘Make the Circle bigger’ at the Athlone Stadium during a PSL game? You want to knock the supporters in their Bulls hard hats with actual animal horns protruding? Well bulls have horns and a fair amount of their supporters hang out on farms with firearms and wildlife, so ya, the head gear may just be a little more realistic than you like.
How about braai’ing and drinking copious amounts of brandy and coke prior to the match? No really, coastal people mock that vibe – my answer to that it is you simply haven’t lived until you have clogged your arteries and rendered yourself absolutely useless to operate heavy machinery before a big game of rugby. Nod your head – you know this.But back to the pink kit, can you imagine the meetings that took place to make this happen. Things like this need to be passed by the board. Puma didn’t just sneak that kit into the changerooms, it was approved and supported, that’s progressive. Sure the jokes will continue to fly, and in the case of Pierre Spies I think the effeminate colour of the jersey really reflects his contribution as a forward. But at the end of the day appreciate the fact that the Bulls are far from boring, far from set in their ways and symbols of a bygone era. They are in many ways the changing face of SA rugby, and though not perfect (doos who threw the bottle at Mealamu etc etc) they are an icon of SA rugby that should be celebrated.You don’t have to agree with me, nor am I suggesting we should all love each others teams. But something that I love about SA rugby is that there are always positives out there that we often fail to appreciate. The Bulls being one of them.I wish the Bulls nothing but the best for the rest of the season, but now it’s over to you.