A Drop of Claret


A Drop of Claret

I realise that I have scribbled a lot of posts here recently with the express intention of ripping the piss out of new rugby equipment. I fully appreciate that you may be a trifle fed up with this and there comes a time when it has to stop,
This isn’t that time!
A new boot (pictured above) has just been launched and the ludicrous claims for how it can change your game are up there with Eric Pickles advice on healthy eating.
Apparently –
‘3D control pads maximize the area where the ball comes into contact with the shoe, giving you an edge when it comes to passing and receiving.’
Am I missing something here? Has the game changed so much since I played? (well, it has actually, but that’s beside the point).
Since when did the things on your feet help you with shipping it on? – or indeed catching the bastard? It’s a pity these beauties weren’t around when I was – I could have used some help trying to catch the slippery leather thing with a lace hanging out that weighed several kilos more than a medicine ball. Although we had no idea what a kilo was back then to be fair.
But I’m being a bit churlish – there is one innovation on this boot that can trace its heritage back to the time of Lord Nelson.
The decks on HMS Victory were painted red so that the blood from any sailor mutilated by those horrid Spanish cannonballs didn’t show up and it helped discourage the other bods from diving overboard.
Voila (or whatever that is in Spanish) – a boot with red studs and sole.
Ideal, for a front row forward who hates cleaning the gore off his boots after a bit of hard shoe shuffling in the ruck. Just perfect for a lock who feels obliged to stamp his authority on a game and goes a bit pale at the sign of spilled claret.
Also there will be no trace of evidence that a ref can use to identify the culprit – apart from the stupid colour it’s a win win situation.
The description does not credit Christian Louboutin with the idea and it may seem a little unlikely he was involved in the design – but if Land Rover can use Posh to design a fucking off roader – is it so far-fetched?
Hands up who’d like to see a see- through Tigers shirt designed by Jean Pierre Gautier or the Sharks in flared shorts by Issey Miyake?
No – I thought not!


Storm in a T Cup

 Sir Clive Woodward had a mantra called T Cup when he was driving England towards their World Cup win back in 2003.

If you read his book ‘Winning!’ you’ll find out that it means ‘Thinking Correctly Under Pressure’ – well you don’t have to bother now as I’ve just told you – although it is a good read anyway.

It really doesn’t matter as I simply used the above to work rugby into what I wanted to tell you about today.

There’s a storm brewing in Texas regarding the use of the word ‘Haboob’ – which sounds a bit Frankie Howard but is actually the Arabic word for wind. American meteorologists have been using the term to describe sandstorms for about 60 years but suddenly a lot of people in Texas are taking exception to its use and are on Facebook and other social media to complain that they don’t want a Muslim word used in their State and to underline this with a load of stupid racist remarks.

Some of the more printable ones are –

, “Its a freakin’ dust storm people!! Its not a Haboob!! This is America….be proud!!!”

“Since when do we need to apply a Muslim vocabulary to a good ole AMERICAN dirt storm?? …I take great offense to such terminology! GO BACK TO CALLING THEM DIRT STORMS!!”

“It’s called a dust storm..Texas is not a rag head country.”

 “John Robinson [the station’s meteorologist] wants to call it a Haboob, let him MOVE to where a SAND STORM is called that!!!!!!!!!!” 

 So Xenophobia rules in Texas – although blokes who still think it is smart to go to dinner parties in ten gallon hats & cowboy boots might be a tad concerned to learn that we actually use quite a lot of words that are of Arabic origin – like – hazard, algebra, ghoul and alcohol.

For anyone from Hackberry TX – algebra is all those squiggly lines and little italic letters that you never quite got the hang of at school – and I assume I don’t need to explain the booze word, although no doubt you will now abstain by switching to Dr Pepper so as not to offend your obviously keen sense of being a patriotic twat.

Luckily in the UK we are far more enlightened and have already accepted some aspects of Islamic culture into our everyday lives – from now on our weather people will refer to tomorrow’s forecast as being either ‘Sunni’ or Shiite’

Head Case


Head Case

Last week at Askeans a bunch of us rugby old blokes were decrying some of the more stupid things that you see now on the pitch – these included rainbow boots, haircuts that make mullets and perms look half way smart and technology that is as believable as a pledge from Nick Clegg.
Well yesterday I got an e-mail with yet another piece of advanced equipment for rugby – a whizzo new type of scrum cap.
There’s a danger that these hats will soon be seen at Ascot and are going to go the way of boots with ever more different designs and colours – there is even one that is in the stars and stripes of the American flag. One can only hope that the association with the BNP and football ‘firms’ will prevent the future introduction of one ever featuring an England red cross. Having said that, it is sometimes a bit difficult to take these things too seriously when even Grimsby Town have a football firm – ‘The Cleethorpes Beach Patrol’ (no – really!).
Of course these titfers are still some way off reflecting boot colours (which are indeed now often reflective) – as Ben Foden’s day-glo number showed yesterday against the Tigers (what the fuck were you thinking Ben?).
Don’t get me wrong – scrum caps are a good idea for protection – I mean, imagine how upset a prop would be if his barnet got really messed up!
The one illustrated here has some brilliant innovations – ‘3D fit with virtuo matrix pattern to fit all head shapes and a superior ultra lightweight closed cell foam which provides flexibility’
Blimey – it’s in 3D! As opposed to what? A one dimensional flat bit of cloth that you wrap round like a turban? I’m all for a bit of spin but even Alistair Campbell would be embarrassed at that bit of nonsensensical verbal tosh. Truth is – it’s just advertising bollocks – I should know, I wrote enough of it myself in my ad agency days.
However, it gets even better – the ‘Strategic ear section ensures players can communicate easily.’
What a fantastic idea – apparently they have made holes where your ears are so that you can hear stuff – like the ref giving you a yellow card for stamping on someone’s head or your opposite number winding you up by telling you he’s shagged your mum.
I suppose if you wanted to avoid that sort of sledging you could always bung the holes up with some toilet roll – but then you’d miss out on useful stuff like maybe the lineout calls or the crowd disputing the marital status of your parents.
I still can’t wait for techno gloves that superglue your hands to the ball so you don’t drop the bloody thing – although these might well make passing a bit tricky.
Thank fuck Microsoft don’t make rugby stuff – let’s hope Bill never sees this blog – might give him some seriously stupid new ideas.

Thank You Sybil

I woke up early this morning and instantly grabbed my i-phone (and no – that is not a euphemism) – I just wanted to check out how the blog is doing.

I fired it up – being a techno master of the universe I have my own digital language – anyway when that didn’t work I fiddled about a bit and accidently pressed the round thingy at the bottom which seems to turn it on.

I pressed other things until I found the blog and eventually managed to stumble across the stats. Imagine my delight when I discovered that another couple of countries have tuned in to ‘rugbyoldbloke’, although I’m not sure that Jersey and Hong Kong are actually countries. Still – the list of territories has now gone well past 30.

Better still the number of visitors is hurtling towards 11,000 – and yes I agree – wtf?

Never mind, I passed on this good news to my charming wife who asked whether I was certain that the impressive increase in numbers didn’t have more to do with unsavoury characters searching for the bloke with a similar online name – “you know” she commented “the bi-curious chap with the big todger”.

I was slightly deflated (sic) at this response and I’m sort of hoping that she remembered my reference to him being particularly well endowed – rather than from her own online search!

I was quite offended by this especially when she hooted with laughter as I emerged from the shower a little later.

Mind you I don’t care – 34 countries and pushing towards 11,000 will do me – even if a number of them are bi-curious – and blimey aren’t they going to be disappointed when they come across (stop sniggering at the back) pictures of me and I’m not posing naked on a tandem.

For anyone here who is into a spot of uphill gardening you can find details of this upstart doppelganger in recent posts entitled ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ & ‘Pink Panniers’ – just look via the search box above this entry.

Have a great weekend guys!


Boot (very) Camp


Boot (very) Camp

It’s quite possible that you might have noticed in the past that I’m a trifle sceptical about some of the ‘innovations’ in rugby.
These include the self- lacing boots, mouthguard hydration sensors, intelligent rugby balls and a computer that predicts the percentage of lineout successes you need to win a match (as opposed to the old fashioned method of scoring more points). In case you’re wondering I’m not taking the piss – well not yet anyway. All of the above really exist and if you look at my recent post about ‘Tomorrow’s Mad World’ there’s a link that will take you to where you can buy them (or at least provide you with a right good laugh).
I’ve come across two more that I thought might also give you a bit of a giggle.
The first one is in the picture here – it’s a new boot from Adidas. Apparently it is essential for “players who want to quicken their footwork and accelerate with the ball”.
Excuse me for being a tad pedantic, but I’m guessing that just about covers everyone on the park – from front rows who want to get a few more stamps in per second to a wing who prefers to fuck off away from anyone who wants to thump him.
How this works according to the bumph is the “ultralite sockliner is designed not to add bulk” – personally I found that not eating four Mars bars before a game also helped not to add bulk, but what do I know.
But this is not the full extent of this wonder invention as it “Comes with second pair of comfort sockliners. Inner micoach Speed_Cell (sold separately) fits inside the insole to track your stats and make this the smartest boot on the planet.”
Blimey, I have to tell you that it’s got me sold (although not quite as easily as the many dummies I bought on the field) – all that’s missing is an auto side-step button. The first smart boot eh? – If it’s so fucking clever get it to send me an e-mail with tonight’s winning lottery numbers!
On top of all this in built ‘Harry Potter’ wizardry it comes in a particularly stupid colour – now where’s my credit card – $220 is a right bargain.
Luckily however, before I could bash in my pin number, I spotted a rival for this ‘Stephen Hawking’ number.
Tah dah – meet the ‘Nike Hypervenom Phantom FG’ (I think the FG stands for Fucking Great).
Unbelievably this little beaut goes even further than the ‘Adizero’ as it promises that it “brings new innovation to the attacking player. The Hyper Venom is engineered to find the ball and finish the play.” And is “engineered to amplify agility”.
A boot that not only finds the ball but actually scores for you – bloody hell even I could have been better than mediocre with a pair of Phantoms on my plates.
And what a great name – I was so impressed I looked up the definition – Phantom –
1. a. Something apparently seen, heard, or sensed, but having no physical reality; b. Something elusive or delusive.
2. An image that appears only in the mind; an illusion.
Oops – maybe the ad boys at Nike might want to re-think what they call it before someone (apart from me) starts taking the piss. Still at only 5 bucks more expensive than the ‘Adizero’ maybe it’s worth a punt (which I assume is another thing it can do brilliantly without any help from the wearer).
If you decide to get them it’s really a toss-up (as you are) as to which one to go with.
My bitcoin (which is virtual for worth fuck all) is on the ‘Adizero’ – you save $5 (but only virtually) however. you get another even more stupid colour thrown in with the bright orange sole.
What next? Some con artist selling women on buying shoes with bright red soles? Surely not – nobody would be dopey enough to fall for paying loads extra for the bit that you can’t see. That would be like putting ‘La Boot In’

This Time Next Week Rodney….

Just before I left for the lunch at Askeans last week I received this e-mail from a chap who wrote to me with what turns out to be some very exciting news.

Oddly it turned up in my spam box and I didn’t spot it until I got home.

I think you’ll agree it was jolly lucky that I didn’t delete it without reading carefully.

—–Original Message—–
From: mralimemon51@gmail.com [mailto:mralimemon51@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Mr Nye Gogo
Sent: 22 March 2014 06:40
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Strictly confidential,

Dear friend,

I know that this message will come to you as a surprise. I am Nyejiowanka Gogo from Burkina Faso the Accounting and Auditing Manager bank of Africa (B.O.A), Ouagadougou

I hoped that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you for the mutual benefit of our families. I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of

(usd$25m) million to your account within 10 to 14 banking days. This money has been dormant for years in our bank without claim. I want the bank to release the money to you as the nearest person to our deceased customer (the owner of the account) died along with his supposed next of kin in an air crash since July, 2000.

I don’t want the money to go into our bank treasurer account as an abandoned fund. So this is the reason why I contacted you so that the bank can release the money to you as the next of kin to the deceased customer. Please I would like you to keep this proposal as a top secret and delete it if you are not upon receipt of your reply, I will give you full details on how the business will be executed and also note that you will have 40% of the above mentioned sum if you agree to handle this business with me? And 10% will be set aside for any expenses that warrant on the process before the fund get into your bank account such as telephone calls bills (etc).

Finally send your photo or your international passports for more identification.

(1)Your Full Name

(2)You Age

(3) Sex

(4)You Country

(5)You Telephone Number

(6)Your Occupation


Best Regards,

Mr. Nyejiowanka Gogo

I have to be totally honest with you – I only vaguely remember meeting Mr Gogo, I seem to recall that we might have bumped into each other some years ago when we did some work for Nigerian Breweries in Lagos. I’d probably had too many bottles of ‘Legend’ – the beer we launched for them in Africa – it was rather disgusting but when in Burkina Faso and all that. Fortunately he remembered me and I guess I must have given him my e-mail address – bit of luck eh?

Anyway, I obviously made quite an impression on my mate Nyejiowanka – and come to think of it I expect we shortened his mouthful of a name to simply ‘Wanka’ – although I think he preferred Nye for some reason.

My point is I seem to be the beneficiary of quite a sizable sum and I’m keen to share this unexpected good fortune with you – the loyal readers of my blog.

I plan to sell shares in my legacy and am making you a one –off, chance of a lifetime, opportunity to cash in.

If you’re interested (and why wouldn’t you be) please send me £1000 for every share that you want to purchase.

I don’t need your bank account details or credit card number – this isn’t a con people – simply send the cash in a brown envelope to my new address in the district of Fangshan – just outside the non- extradition region of Beijing.

The PO Box number is Scam 69 and please mark for the attention of Mr  Ponzi (my business partner not a pseudonym – honest!) c/o Chunky Raffles, China (I forget the post code but am sure the People’s Republic mail service will find me – although hopefully no one else will).

Obviously I will be donating much of this windfall to Askeans so that we can get new shirts, a team barber and a sponsor who only makes black boots.

This time next week guys…….



Holy Smoke


Holy Smoke

Dave reminded me about this press cutting at the lunch on Saturday (well he would wouldn’t he, bearing in mind the headline).
I managed to find it in the news stuff that I kept when I was helping out Nic with keeping club records. I have a few still – mostly those where I got a mention (although not the ones for being a twat, obviously).
I also finally remembered the story that Evie told me on Saturday (in addition to his going on about this headline). He was playing in a Princes game and the opposition scored – as they lined up under the posts, Billy Tyrell – never a one to miss a chance for a breather – pulled a roll up out of his shorts and lit up.
Billy was a top Askean and his foresight that day in also bringing matches is to be much admired.
Personally I feel that rugby would be a lot more fun if today’s players adopted the laisse faire attitude he showed when he played. Billy was also a forerunner of the unexpected off-load. Whilst you could always keep up with him (probably because of the fags) you had to be on your guard all the time as to when he would do a ‘Sonny Bill(y)’ out the back of his hand.
Some of us were on fire (certainly Billy was!)