“It’s a disgrace.” “Oh, I don’t know,” I said. “I kinda miss Naked News, and I was thrilled to discover the late-night Bikini Babes on etv. It’s not good old-fashioned porn, but at least it’s something for the eye.”
“I’m not talking about late night shows,” he said. “I’m talking about the Sports Channel. Yesterday, they had an explicit gay scene in prime time, about six in the afternoon!” It took me a while before I realized that he was referring to the Springboks’ game against the Samoans. Of course!
The incident euphemistically referred to by a prominent English newspaper in Cape Town as ‘ball-tampering”, when the Samoan heelagter – that’s a position in a rugby team, not a sexual style – accidentally or purposefully groped Adriaan Strauss from behind. For all the world to see.
If there had been any doubt about what really went down in those few seconds while, in the replay, the Samoan’s exact wrist action was obscured by another player’s calve muscle, Adriaan Strauss’s reaction left little to the imagination.
After being groped by the Samoan, he stormed from the ruck in the wrong direction, uttering wild war cries of anger or ecstasy, waving his arms at all the Samoan players at once, as if he was shouting: “Okay, who’s next?” Let’s get one thing straight here.
Touch crotch, engage
What we saw on that field last Saturday wasn’t rugby. If this was how rugby was supposed to be played, they’d have to change all the rules. Instead of saying “Touch, crouch, engage”, the ref would have to stipulate: “Touch crotch, engage”.
And, while that would make the game appealing to a whole new market, it will no longer be the noble game of old. In fact, Danie Craven would turn in his grave if that happened. Grabbing somebody, anybody, between the legs in a public place, in full view of TV cameras, is not on.
The fact that, in this case, the grabbee was a hooker, does not excuse the grabber. That Samoan was a bad man, no doubt. He should have received a red card and forced to undergo counselling. Perhaps it was something in his psychological makeup that caused him to do such a terrible thing.
Perhaps he had been reading too many books like Fifty Shades of Grey (translated into Samoan?), I don’t know. All I know that, if this kind of thing becomes part of rugby, we’ll soon see books in the sports sections of bookstores with titles like Fifty Shades of Green and Gold or Fifty Shades of All Black.
Look, I know this is the golden age of sexual enlightenment, and people are supposed to be free act out their fantasies, but preferably in private, and preferably between consenting adults.
If this sort of thing becomes the norm in rugby we’ll just have no choice but to bring back Bakkies Botha. He certainly won’t stand such nonsense.
What if it extends to other types of sport, like cricket or tennis? Phrases like “been-voor-paaltjie” and “six love” would acquire whole new meanings! Think of the terrible effect this would have on us as a deeply moral South African nation, not to mention the effect on our innocent little children, who would be sending live videos of rucks, mauls and all sorts of ghastly stuff to another on their cell phones!
No way! I see, if there is to be nudity and stuff like that on TV, well, let’s keep it restricted to the early hours of Saturday morning, when most rugby lovers and their families are safely tucked in bed, sleeping off their beer-and-cholesterol hangovers.