Things you didn’t know about Nick Mallett: Purple Rain

In honour of Nick Mallett’s glorious performances as a studio guest for Supersport this test season, we’ve decided to run a few articles letting our readers know some obscure things about South Africa’s golden manchild.  We begin with his under appreciated role in shaping American pop music.

In 1983 Nick was languishing in obscurity after a less than stellar season as a loose-forward with Western Province.  Having taken a break from rugby, he was working on a concept album that he described to friends at the time as “a new kind of sound – the sound of electric postmodern lightning”.   Most studios were not ready for Mallett’s revolutionary sound and he did not find a willing audience or lucrative record deal.  A trip to the United States in late 1983 changed all that.

Maybe I’m just too demanding? Why do we scream at each other?

After finding himself watching a game of street basketball in Minnesota and as is customary whenever Nick Mallett is in the vicinity of a sports contest, he was unable to stop himself from screaming obscenities at the participants. Nick accused the basketball of lacking heart and not trying hard enough.  Unknown to him, he had interrupted a game involving musicians from the Revolution, Prince’s support group at the time.  Few would know it at the time but this chance encounter between Nick Mallett and the Revolution would change American musical history.  They were able to resolve their differences when Nick Mallett showed the Revolution the correct way to pump fake and alley-oop and all involved soon formed a bond that would lead to musical partnership.

Within days Prince had joined the team and together with Nick Mallett they collaborated on early recordings of what would later become Prince’s seminal album Purple Rain.

For those collectors lucky enough to have the original vinyl 1984 print, Nick Mallett has partial writing credits for a number of songs including “Let’s Go Crazy“.  Arguably his most famous contribution to the Purple Rain album is his line:

“This is what feels like when doves cry”.

When Nick isn’t found at primary schools yelling at under 10 age group rugby kids playing rugby who happen to be unrelated to him, he can be found in Supersport adding insight, pathos and tragedy to South African rugby broadcasts.

Dean Greyling: please wee off

Dean Greyling, let me count the ways you hurt me.

  • 4 penalties in less than 20 minutes including one that robbed us of a bonus point
  • knocked the ball on with the try line in site
  • missed tackles
  • thuggish and cowardly flying forearm hit earning yourself a yellow card and the Boks the bad reputation of being sore and dirty losers.

Please.  I never asked for you to be picked for the Boks ever.  I despise your silly facial hair and your attempt to look tough.  You made me explore moral nihilism in my darkest moments today.   You should be locked in a room with only Nick Mallett and a blunt spoon.  You should also never, never play for the Springboks ever again .

Also according to Wikipedia your first name is MacGuyver and you were born in 1986.  So… please wee off.

Mallett demands Rob Andrew’s head on a plate…with a side order of Lady Gaga

Nick Mallett has confirmed that he may still be in the running as the new England coach, but only on the condition that Rob Andrew ‘eats twenty strawberry flavoured energy bars in the space of five minutes’. 

In addition to this he has also demanded that the Director of Elite Rugby at the RFU simultaneously perform a rendition of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance in a ‘coherent fashion that is perceptibly akin to the spirit of the original recording’. 

Mallett’s somewhat bizarre requests have reportedly been taken into consideration by the RFU board, though it is still not known what Andrew’s thoughts are and whether he is even a Gaga fan or just considers himself to be a casual listener. 

Mallett is currently the strongest candidate for the job, but the former Italy and Boks coach has made his thoughts on the Director of Elite Rugby role very clear in the past, having referred to it as ‘a load of crusty old bollocks’ in a press statement earlier this week.

Time to start working on that Gaga reflex Rob!

Rob Andrew and Martin Johnson watch as their careers float away.

Julius Malema – a contender for Bok coach?

With the news that Nick Mallet’s contract to coach Italy will not be renewed after the World Cup, it is only natural to begin the piñata bashing festival known as the debate over and selection process of picking the new Bok coach.

So here are some early thoughts on names that are sure to be thrown into the hat for speculation:

Heyneke Meyer

Heyneke is certainly due his turn. After starting with a Bulls team that began as the laughing stock of the Super rugby tournament (they went winless for an entire season) he turned the franchise’s fortunes around to the point of becoming the first Saffer coach to lift the Super Rugby trophy. In 2007 under his guidance the Bulls played a brand of rugby more akin to the kind of force of nature you see in movies about Mayan apocalypses. His reward? In true SA rugby style the man with buckets of coaching talent got shafted and left for colder shores up north. Despite his credentials I fear if he does get picked we may see a return of Liefling and a strategy built on two principles – eff em up front and non-stop drop kicks.

Allister Coetzee

Certainly the cuddliest coaching option out there. I can see a whole range of stuffed toys made in Coetzee’s likeness selling like hot-cakes at the local Engen. A solid candidate but until his WP/Stormers team actually lift silverware questions around delivery in big games will remain. Unfortunately winning a world cup as an assistant coach doesn’t get you over the finish line.

John Mitchell

With possibly the angriest looking face he is certainly physically qualified to be a test rugby coach. Although he started off well with coaching the Lions, the Ellis Park shambles that has been the Lions 2011 Super 15 season so far must have seriously dented his chances. SA Rugby’s love affair with anything Ozzie or Kiwi since Eddie Jones’ stint with the Boks might count in his favour.

Jake White

Impressive coaching record (who among us can wear a World Cup winner’s medal out on a first date?), but famously burned some bridges with top brass at SA Rugby. Taking up a position at the Brumbies most likely puts him out of the running. Those Aussie dollars have strengthened mightily since the financial crisis began.

Nick Mallett

Given that Nick will be out of a job post-World Cup he could be in theory be in the running. I suspect neither party will be keen on renewing the tortured marriage given that he has given the middle finger to South African rugby administrators not once, but twice – first as a player during the bad old days than as a coach by criticizing the ticketing prices for games.

Julius Malema

With South African politicians penchant for turning the bok team into a way of dividing rather than uniting the nation what better way for the clowns who call themselves administrators to upset the conservatives? Hell, they could really score some points here with a “political appointment”. After he succeeds in shutting down Twitter he can always move on to trying to shut down those pesky Aussie rugby blogs.