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All Blacks の語源



1996年のポスター  ラグビーのニュージーランド代表チームは All Blacks と呼ばれていますが、この語源にはいろいろな説があります。素直に考えると、昔からジャージが黒いからだと思うんですが、そうではないという意見が提出されていました。それが有名な、「オール・バックス(All Backs)の書き間違え」説です。

 その説によれば、All Blacks の由来は次のように説明されます。
 Originals と呼ばれる1905年のチームがイングランドに遠征したときに、フォワードの動きがたいへんよかったそうです。まるでバックスのように華麗なパス回しをしたそうで、そのためチーム全員がバックスのように感じられたらしいです。
 このことを Daily Mail 紙が ALL BACKS という表現で表そうとしたんですが、誤植があって L が入ってしまった結果、ALL BLACKS になってしまったというわけです。
 つまり、植字工のミスが原因だったというものです。

 新聞ではなくて、掲示板(billboard)とする異説もあるようです。また、新聞では ALL BACKS であったが、次の遠征先でニュージーランド代表チームを歓迎するための看板を作るときに、この表現を使おうとして間違えてしまったという説もあります。

 ラグビー博物館(New Zealand Rugby Museumの1999年10月のニューズレターでは、これらの諸説が取り上げられているものの、結論は保留されています。
 ところが、同じニューズレターの2001年10月号では、スポーツライターの Ron Palenski 氏の著作 THE JERSEY における論考を再掲し、この問題にけりがついたと断じています。
 それがつまり、「ALL BLACKS の語源はジャージの色にあった」という結論です。

 その証拠として、主に次のような点が指摘されています。

  • 1890年から1900年代初頭にかけて、ジャージの色をチームのニックネームにする流行があった。
  • Wellington Rugby Football Union の1894年の年鑑の中に the Blacks という記述がある。
  • 1905年の遠征時にマネージャーがつけた日記の中で the Blacks という表現が使われているが、これは試合をする以前から用いられている。
  • Daily Mail 紙が報じた試合よりも前に行われた試合についての報道の中で、The Express and Echo 紙が The All Blacks という表現を使っている。

     どうやら、「All Blacks と呼ばれる理由はジャージが黒いから」と言ってよさそうです。

     以下に、参考のため、ラグビー博物館のニューズレター(2001年10月号)で引用されている Ron Palenski 氏の論考を孫引きします。


    ■■■ 引用ここから ■■■

    ALL BLACKS --- THE CHRISTENING
      The enduring myth about how New Zealand rugby team came to be known as the All Blacks was that it was a result of a printer's interference, that a reporter wrote "all backs" because of the way they played but that the printer inserted "l".
      There is no evidence to support this often-told story but plenty to suggest it's just a myth. As a celebrated Prussian military strategist Helmuth Von Moltke once wrote, it was a duty of piety and patriotism not to destroy certain traditional accounts if they could be used for an inspirational end.
      But myths are not facts and while a contemporary and less educated population may have walked with a lighter step with pride pumping in their chest because of the manufacture of myths, it's the duty of later recorders to cast a far more objective eye on the romantic fiction of the past.
      In other words, it's well past time to spoil a good story with a few facts.
      The story with which we grew up on our grandfathers' knees was recorded by one of the Originals, Billy Wallace, and perhaps because he lived longer than any of them and continued to repeat his story it became accepted as fact.   Where Wallace heard the story is not known --- though there was one theory that insertion of the "l" in "all backs" came not in a newspaper, but in a newspaper billboard before or after the game against Somerset, which was the 11th match of the tour. This came two games after the All Blacks' 63-0 win against the Hartlepool Clubs, a match which was also said to have prompted the printer's historic initiative.
      But the facts tell a different story. First, some background. It was evidently a trend in rugby in the 1890s and early in the 20th century to refer to a team by the colour of its jerseys. Otago were the Dark Blues, for example. The first official New Zealand team in 1893 played its first match against a team chosen from southern North Island unions --- an early version of the Hurricanes. The combined team wore a variety of jerseys but mostly red and a newspaper report wrote of a try by centre "Tabby" Wynyard: "Wynyard ... with a determined effort got through the Red backs." What's more, the Wellington Rugby Football Union Annual of 1894, referring to that first historic match, said, "The Blacks (i.e., the New Zealand representatives) won ..." The parentheses were Annual editor's.
      Later in the same report, the writer said, "The Blacks now played up with great determination..." When referring to the multi-hued opponents, he talked about "the Colours".
      The manager of the Originals, George Dixon, kept a diary throughout the tour and at times he referred to the players as "the Blacks", even while they were still on board ship and far from a keen printer's eye. They played their first game against Devon at Exeter and walloped the locals 55-4. The next day, a local paper, The Express and Echo, recorded: "The All Blacks, as they are styled by reason of their sable and unrelieved costume, were under the guidance of their captain (Mr. Gallaher) and their fine physiques favourably impressed the spectators." So much for the free hand of a typographer or even the wit of a reporter coming up with a catchy phrase. By his reference, it was clear the team was known as the All Blacks before he happened along.
      Now back to Hartlepool. The name "The All Blacks" seems not to have appeared in print again until the night of the win against Hartlepool when the Northern Daily Mail, Football Edition, got in on the act. This was one of those newspapers, like the old sports editions in New Zealand, which were rushed onto the streets for sale as soon as possible. Its report of the match traversed 13 paragraphs before this introduction to a listing of the players' vital statistics: "A glance at the undermentioned weights of the invincible 'all blacks' will convey some idea of the calibre of the team." The name didn't recur in the paper's coverage, which filled two pages. The next morning, the Northern Daily Mail's parent paper, the London-based Daily Mail, took up the name. Its report recorded the score in the second paragraph and continued: "This is a record in the tour, which is yet barely a month old, exceeding as it does by eight points the 55 points the 'All Blacks,' as the Colonials are dubbed, piled up against Devon."
      The Daily Mail was represented throughout the tour by J A Buttery and it is a reasonable assumption that he wrote the previous day's story in the Northern Daily Maul.
      The next paper to use the name was the Gloucester Citizen a week later and "All Blacks" first appeared in a heading in the Daily Mail on 19 October.
      The next national newspaper to use the name was the Daily Mirror, on 6 November 1905. After that, everyone was using it.
      The industrious Buttery included the name in his book of the tour, Why the All Blacks Triumphed, thus using it in a book title for the first time.
      Q.E.D.



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