In New Zealand classrooms, every morning we stand up, face the flag, put our hands on our hearts and say together: “New Zealand is the best country in the world, per capita.” Those two little words, per capita, are a crucial part of our national self-esteem and self-image, and saying “per capita” is as true-blue New Zealand as asking overseas visitors how much they like our country.
So I want to pay homage to the Tall Blacks, knocked out of the eight-finals stage of the FIBA World Championships for the second time in a row, in a torrid defeat to an equally determined and much bigger Russian side. I’ll do this in the traditional way, by citing population statistics and saying “didn’t we do well, per capita”.
Russia: 141 million.
New Zealand: 4 million
Didn’t we do well, per capita!
And congrats to unbeaten Lithuania (3 million), knocking out China (1.3 billion). Er.
In all seriousness, it’s been a fun World Champs to watch and thumbs up to the Tall Blacks for doing a great job. Next time I run into one of youse fullas in the street I’ll raise my eyebrows at you in hearty appreciation.
(Population count source: wikipedia)