odd shaped balls losing and being cooler than the victor

August 23, 2009

I love rugby. Loved playing it as as schoolboy. Not very well. All the way up through school in the b teams. Not even in the c team which had some rebel-cool cred. And then up through the eighths, straight up to the fifths, the flying fifths and then, just into the thirds, ‘Cooking bru.’ And in final year, after trials, included in the first team squad on tour to cape town. ‘Oh yes baby. Not just the joker of the pack, pellie. But real talent evidenced by his selection.’ One or two games on the tour and then a couple of matches in the first team at home, before my act is uncovered. My performance. See, I could play AT ‘playing rugby’, but not actually PLAY rugby. Could play a rugby player, especially off the field… in fact ONLY off the field. But not actually really play the game. Always made a lot of noise at the breakdown and encouraged the pack of forwards, urging them on. ‘Come on guys; Fire! Fire!’ (one guy from an opposing schoolboy team laughed to his friends as the scrum broke up, ‘Water! Water!’ Pissed me off but even I wanted to laugh. Last time I ever shouted that.) But I could be very easily seen and heard to be fully committed and throwing myself with passion into the action of the game. And at the same time, do so without actually getting involved in the real, testing, muscle, tendon and will, one on one, ‘who wants the ball more?’ physically confrontational tustle. Not so much drawn to that because… why? I don’t know, nothing seemed worth the humiliation of inevitable defeat. Because the other guy, more often than not, showed more strength and will to get the ball and be the winner than me. It just seemed more important to him. I was quite happy to lose as long as I looked good. Not looks necessarily but of course that too. More ‘authentic’. Although I didn’t know that word at the time. I just wanted to look like the winner. Have everyone think I was the winner. And if not the winner then definitely the cooler. Cooler than the victor. ‘Yeah. No victim me, I might be the loser, but I’m way cooler than the victor.’ Worked for a while. Kind of got away with it. Of course coach and captain saw through the act two matches into the season and so Sergio (the magnificent) Falzoi, brother of (the Flawless) Fabio, (may he live long in our hearts and minds though killed in the stupid war of stupid Rhodesian stupidity), replaced me in the team as open-side loose-forward. Much to the relief of the rest of the team.

One Response to “odd shaped balls losing and being cooler than the victor”

  1. Dreamy Says:

    Hi, maybe not relevant. Did you do the the show “Between the teeth” at the Market Theatre probably 1988 or somewhere at that time? Left a lasting impression on me.

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