In fact the purpose of this rant is to praise the work done by Meadow Fresh - the Official Supplier of Dairy Products to the Crusaders, and the Highlanders (Tararua is the equivalent provider in the North Island).
For the last couple of months Meadow Fresh have covered their 2 Litre Blue Tops with stickers. Not too unusual, except these stickers have the nicknames of Super 12 Players printed upon them. (See picture.)
Not only this, but there is a competition involved as well. Every entry received a poster and went into the draw for a chance to have members of your local Super 12 team visit your school!
I imagine that many a 8-12 year old got real excited about the whole thing!
And why not, it's important to build the fan base! In just a few years time this age group will stop just reading Rugbyheads for the sage advice, and learn that they too can use the discussion boards to hold forth on many topics with wit and intelligence - or just bullshit!
We here at Rugbyheads care deeply for our readers. We know that many of you "adults" would have too much pride to collect bottle tops, let alone send them away to get the posters. So we have done it for you!
Yes - thanks to my work-place's daily consumption of 4 litres of blue milk, I have been able to collect 15 nicknames. I will list them in a little while.
For I have slightly more exciting news for you. I took 4 caps, and I enclosed them in an envelope with my name, address and age on the back.
And in just a few weeks time I received a fair haul of valuable Super 12 merchandise. There was literally something for everyone! (I can think of two meanings for that phrase - I thought the intention was for it to be unambiguous - doesn't that make it a complete waste of time! That's English for you!)
So anyway there is lots of things, so if we decide to "give them away as prizes" say, then there are heaps of prizes. And also there is stuff not only for South Island teams, but also North Island teams.
The haul included:
Poster 1 - showing action photos of various stars, their nicknames and "signed" by them. Appropriately enough Toddy is the enlarged person in the middle of our poster! (I begin to suspect that somebody else is centre stage in other posters for North Island customers.)
Poster 2 - showing various skills of Rugby, each demonstrated by a Rugby Star - how to jump in a line-out, how to drop-kick, that sort of thing.
Stickers - each showing a North Island Super 12 star having a hearty drink of Tararua Milk, so that they can grow up to be big, strong All Blacks - or maybe just get into a Super 12 semi-final!
Trading cards - a pack of cards listing the vital statistics of various players. Actually I wouldn't get your hopes up about winning these, I think they are going to go "missing"!
Of course we haven't figured out what sort of competition to run to give away these amazing prizes. Give us a yell with a suggestion - or just send us an e-mail.
In summary I would have to say that this little collection come competition is brilliant. It is essentially free, and pays back big time the effort of preventing 4 milk bottle tops from reaching the rubbish!
Well done to Meadow Fresh, I hope that the company has benefited from this great offer!
Finally, I don't suppose that I have got all the tops that exist. And I guess that there are Nickname Tops for North Island teams. Here are the names that I have collected:
Crusaders: Razor/Scott Robinson, Gibbo/Daryl Gibson, Maxi/Norm Maxwell, Toddy/Todd Blackadder, Mehrts/Andrew Mehrtens, Normy/Norm Berryman, Hammer/Mark Hammett, L.J./Justin Marshall.
Highlanders: Downtown/Tony Brown, Krusher/Josh Kronfeld, Wazza/Byron Kelleher, Ala/Pita Alatini, Bad News/Kees Meeuws, Goldie/Jeff Wilson, Bulldog/Carl Hoeft.
We would really appreciate it if you had a spare copy of another nickname top that I don't have, if you could send it to us.
Anyway if you want to, send nickname Tops to:
c/- PO Box 6025