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Peripherals, Cape Town drivers and the case for Manie Libbok

I got stuck behind a stationary Coca-Cola truck today. Once I realized he was double parked and I needed to get into the right lane to get past him, I was pretty miffed when the driver behind me still forced himself into the gap, not allowing me to ease out.

I notice this a lot. Instead of the courteous thing, other drivers will intentionally block you off just so they can eke out a few metres gain in the great game of minimizing gridlock pain. I experience this almost every day on the tricky exit from our neighbourhood into the highway, where multitudes of harried and late commuters will also not let you in unless you force your way into traffic.

Caroline reminds me to see the other person’s perspective. That person has also been stuck in bumper-to-bumper since the suburbs and is in no mood to be charitable to my city-living self so close to his target destination.

But I wish all drivers paid more attention. Not just on what’s in front of them, but a developed sense of the cars around them, and taking into account what’s going on for those drivers. Years ago, I got my head around the business case behaviour of taxi drivers (more loops = more money) to understand their actions, and it made me less angry at what I perceived to be inconsiderate driving.

Now why am I talking about this? Right now, Cape Town is heading to an unexpected financial and emotional windfall: Our local rugby team, the Stormers, is heading to a home final and should be favourites to win the United Rugby Championship for the second year running. Why, you ask?

Well, the favourites Leinster were unexpectedly beaten by Munster. Munster is a good team for sure, and they beat us a few weeks ago – but now they will come to our fortress to a team with more momentum and growing in confidence. If we were the ones flying to play top-ranked Leinster in their home base, the odds would have been against us. Now, we have a more than even chance.

A lot of that has got to do with the run of form of our flyhalf Manie Libbok. In a world of muscular and physically dominant players, Libbok appears on the slighter side. But he has that thing that gives him the x-factor: The peripherals. The vision. When his game is on song, he can read the game, make the right decisions, launch the plays.

Libbok, like Bobby Skinstad, a hero from yesteryear, has great 360 vision. He can read the field, and make the appropriate calls. It’s a rare gift, in a world where most of us have the blinkers on… in traffic, and in sport.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all make an effort to cultivate such a skill?


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