Finding a reason to get up in the morning

Tin foil hat 2

It's not all doom and gloom. You might be able to find a positive ray of sunshine somewhere on the horizon. Image via Wikipedia

The first version of this post was simply one word that began with an F and ended with a K.  The second version of this post added the words Bryce Lawrence to it.  But I decided that complaining excessively about the ref is not a good place to be. It’s the kind of thing that ends up in you wearing a tin foil hat and reading David Icke.  Besides I’ve said everything I need to say about Bryce when became the first legally blind man to ref at a test match level. If you’re like me you need a better reason than that to drag yourself to work today.  Especially if you were one of those wearing a Bok shirt on Friday talking up a good game.

So here are some positives you can take out of the fact that the Boks crashed out of the World Cup:

  • your suspicions about Peter de Villiers being a crap coach were proven right, the only statistic that matters is the scoreboard in the knockouts and by that measure, PdV ends up in with Straueli, minus the public shame of having dragged the Bok name to new lows (people forget that however embarrassing it may have been to have had PdV as coach – it was nothing compared to Straueli)
  • You won’t have to listen to the “expert insights” of your coworkers as they explain to you why they think Bismarck du Plessis is a better hooker than Smittie for the 10th time.
  • PdV did the honorable thing and resigned before he was pushed. He’s no Syrian/Libyan/Egyptian/ANCYL/Zimbabwean despot.
  • Heinrich Brussouw is one step closer to getting the Bok captaincy
  • The squad that is left behind has a lot of promise. Francois Steyn, Gio Aplon, Andries Bekker, Bismarck du Plessis, Frankie Hougaard, Schalk Burger and the Lambo all look they will flourish under the right coaching setup
  • Even the good doctor Jannie looked solid at tight-head
  • No more Darren Scott at Supersport
  • New coaches always clean house after a poor World Cup showing. Pierre Spies, Bryan Habana and Fourie du Preez can now be honestly compared to their rivals.
  • You won’t have to listen to Bobby Skinstad justifying Habana’s place in the team by saying “he’ll peak at the World Cup”
  • SA Rugby management tends to go in cycles when they respond to a failure. An inspiriational/visionary type coach like Carel du Plessis or Peter de Villiers is likely to be followed by a technical coach.  Sure vision and passion and all of that fluffy stuff is important, but you also need to understand that if you kick the ball aimlessly upfield a good team will hurt you. SA rugby picked Mallet last time they were in this position. There are a lot of good coaches out there.

Well that’s about all I can muster. If that doesn’t quite get me back, I’ll be returning to position I found myself in for most of Sunday. In the fetal position, clutching a bottle of Johnnie Walker, crying incessantly, looking at old photos of my under 10 rugby team wondering where it all went wrong.

World Cup preview: The rarely seen double haka!

The World Cup is an opportunity to see that rare treasure in rugby union – the double haka.  Here’s a clip of Tonga facing off against New Zealand with both teams performing simultaneous hakas.  If this is a sneak peek of what we’re going to be able to witness tomorrow, then I’m officially ready for the World Cup!



Why Ricky Januarie needs to be picked for the World Cup

After a tough round of International Monetary Fund negotiations followed almost immediately by intense behind the scenes lobbying at the recent G-20 meeting in Geneva an agreement was hammered out by all of the G-20 finance ministers that South Africa should pick Ricky Januarie to go to the World Cup in New Zealand.

“Since the start of the economic crisis in the summer of 2008, all of our economies have taken severe shocks to our aggregate demand for not only food sector, but also all products and inputs related to the production of beer.  We believe that should Ricky January not be selected to go to the World Cup, the New Zealand agricultural sector will not be able to sustain the shock.

McDonalds and other fast food restaurants have already stocked up in anticipation of Ricky “Aggregate Food Demand” Januarie arriving on New Zealand shores.  Farmers began planting barley and wheat long ago, expecting the bump to our economy that would coincide with the arrival of the man known to his team mates as “4 Big Macs and a 2 pints” for his exploits at half time at Dunedin.  On behalf of all New Zealand food workers and bartenders we urge the South African government to send him to this World Cup.”

~ Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of IMF speaking from his apartment on Rikers Island.

Apparently Pete Seeger, the folk musician and champion of low-wage workers rights everywhere has also penned a single and is currently in post-production to ensure that the single is available for release around the time that PdV will be making his Bok squad announcement.  The song is heavily influenced by Woodie Guthrie’s early folk recordings and will be known under its current working title “Bartender Blues – Ricky Glassed Me with a Pint”.

Pete Seeger - in the possible devastation that may hit the NZ food and beverage industry should Ricky Januarie not make the world cup squad, Pete stands ready to champion the causes of blue collar workers.

Pete has threatened to release his single by August if the cries of food and beverage workers in New Zealand are not heard by the Bok selectors.

It’s all going 2003-style pear-shaped again

Oh dear.  This is starting to seem all too familiar.

The Bulls got themselves a “to nothing” ass-whooping in Christchurch. The Cheetahs turned up empty handed after a brave but outgunned performance in Kiwiland.  The Stormers looked inept and brainless throughout their match against the Reds. The only SA win of the weekend came from an SA vs SA encounter which nobody from this site could bear to watch.  The Lions and the Cheetahs are firmly dwelling in the basement of the combined Super Rugby log.  I can hear Maroon 5 playing in the background, wait a second… is this 2003?

Make it stop... I can't relive 2003. Please no. The horror... the horror...

Ladies and gents, it’s all going pear-shaped again. And when I say pear-shaped, I don’t mean the kind of “some forgot to record Curb Your Enthusiam” style pear-shaped.  I am talking Nickelback on the radio and Rudolph Straeuli in the Bok coaching blazer kind of pear-shaped.

According to Wikipedia, 2003 was South African rugby’s “lowest point in history”. I had to rely on Wikipedia for this fact, because after 2003’s rugby season I had a medical procedure done to have all my Springbok memories of 2003 erased.  Sh*t.

This is starting to feel very scary in a world cup year.  Maybe I am over-reacting.  But  the performances were dismal this weekend and not the kind of stuff that fills you with hope that having skottle braais at 4 am in the morning will be worth it come World Cup time.

Even the most optimistic Bulls fan would have planned a visit to the optometrist rather than face the music of watching his team play away at Christchurch.  Geez… it was still the 1990s when any Saffer fan last had the courage to watch his team playing away at Christchurch.  And yes, we all expect the Cheetahs to lose overseas (it’s a bit of a rite of passage, like watching the Cubs getting blown out of the post-season or having your matric dance end in tears after you discover Southern Comfort); but even Big Daddy Rugby didn’t expect the load of tripe dished up by the Stormers at Newlands.

Would somebody tell the Stormers that if you launch fifteen up and unders in a row on the Red’s back three and they punishing you each time that it’s probably time to stop kicking the ball away? On Saturday it seemed that Allister Coetzee had taken leave of absence and the top South African team was being coached by Field Marshall Hague from Blackadder Season 4.

Big Daddy is sounding the alarm bells.  We had better get this train wreck sorted out in a hurry. There is too much talent in South African rugby for us to have a repeat of 2003.