Cast your mind back to the early noughties. The world had let out a collective sigh of relief at having survived Y2K, and people across the globe celebrated the dawn of a new century by downloading more porn and sharing cat gifs.
It was a time of new beginnings, when shows like ‘My Two Dads‘ were considered to be pushing at the boundaries. When rock bands could have names like ‘Hootie and the Blowfish‘…and still be taken seriously.
It was around this time that Butch James arrived on the rugby playing scene.
It’s gonna be a bumpy landing folks.
Granted, there was not much subtlety about a player like Butch. He did exactly what it said on the tin….butch things, man things.
But whatever agility and grace BJ lacked as player, he made up for in spades with his uncompromising and (often) illegal style of play, including his trademark ‘clothesline’ tackling style. When it came to tackling, BJ didn’t just throw caution to the wind….he threw a swinging arm too, and made that wind his bitch.
BJ was a player that the South African rugby-watching public loved to hate. You knew it was just a matter of time before he poleaxed someone…anyone, and got sent off the pitch, with the look of a sulky child. Like a car accident waiting to happen, you just couldn’t take your eyes off him.
So where is our Butch now?
Some say he accidentally clotheslined himself to death in his sleep. Whereas others maintain that he launched (with just a hint of irony) his own fashion brand and line of clothes – called ‘BJs – for real men‘.
I say, who cares. I want to remember Butch for the man he was. The man I will never be.
“Look ma…no hands!”
Oh Cabous, Cabous, where art thou Cabous?! How could we forget (even if we wanted to) the flowing mane and Impala-like stride of the former Natal Sharks and Springbok speedster? Cabous played the game back in a time when it was still okay to ruck a man’s face and shake his hand after the match, a time when the word ‘flamboyant’ in SA rugby was defined by having all your own teeth or ordering a salad with the rack ‘o’ ribs at the local streak-ranch.
Cabous certainly stood out from the rest of the pack, even if that did mean looking like a Thundercat. No disrespect intended – the man could play rugby and the stats back that up. He holds the record as being the most capped player for the Sharks in his stint there between 1992 and 1998, as well as scoring the most tries in one season. Go you good thing!
So where the hell is he now? A recent survey revealed that 60% of people believe that he went on to establish a successful hair salon and brand of ‘wet look’ hair products. The remaining 40% think he is soon to be making an appearance on the big screen in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean movie – as a rum smuggler with an eye for the ladies.
Nick Slaughter from Tropical Heat
It turns out Cabous has in fact relocated to the tropical isle of Mauritius, where, in addition to perfecting his all-over tan, he has opened and runs a popular beach bar. Oh yes, you read that right my friend – and I know what you’re thinking…..why does this sound so familiar? Maybe because we knew all along he would eventually become Nick Slaughter from Tropical Heat.
Cabous with 'lady friend'