Is a Three Match Ban Sufficient? (NB Snowflake Alert!)

Before I begin, just a couple of housekeeping points.

Firstly, well done to Bath on their fine victory at the Rec. Well deserved and no complaints from me. I know that I have a reputation for being one of the more humble posters on the forum, but it seems that Chiefs need me. I got a text from Bax asking if I would come back to the forum, so this is something of an appeal. (Oddly I didn’t get one from Eddie…)

Secondly, what a fabulous result for England. Full credit to Mr Jones and every member of the team and staff for a well prepared and beautifully crafted win. Excellent rugby. Commiserations too, to the ever classy JD Kiwi and Global fan, gracious as ever in defeat as were the All black team and coaches. And do spare a thought for Zack too. More on him later.

Also, please enjoy your gloating rights Coshie, Freddie, CMJS and all of the other Eddivangelists. I have nothing but respect for the achievement.

Thirdly, I gather that I am currently top of the DTRR Tom and Deany Flanagans Premiership Cup league. Just as well, since I’ve drunk the rum! Keep on playing and I’ll replace if I have to although it probably won’t be necessary.

Many of you won’t be remotely interested or care, but several will know that I fell out rather publicly with Zack on the forum a week or so ago. It was all a bit of a storm in a teacup, but sincere apologies to anyone who was offended, alarmed or morally outraged.

In simple terms, I took excessive offence at being called a paedophile. Just a word really, but as insults go, I find it mildly odious. As things escalated Zack suggested that I probably ought to put myself out of my misery and kill myself. I thought that it would probably be simpler to kill Zack instead and responded accordingly. It seemed reasonable enough at the time but in retrospect, I do recognise that it was stated fairly bluntly and rather too unequivocally, and therefore undoubtedly overstepped the mark.

Please accept my apologies.

I did realise more or less immediately that I had transgressed and as I’m not a great fan of other authorities, nor of tribunals, hearings or court sessions, I elected to walk and give myself a ban.

The question is, is three matches sufficient?

I understand that Zack has been perma banned, which seems harsh. I have no objection to him returning, but that is not my call. And in fairness, how much fun have you all missed out on today without him on the forum? Anyway, if you’re reading this Zack, no hard feelings. And whatever you do after today’s result, please don’t go and find a rope….

If three matches are sufficient, I missed the chiefs match last night (with appalling consequences) and missed the England match this morning. (Although it clearly didn’t miss me..) I was also planning on watching most people’s highlight of the weekend, Wasps v Glaws. However I am prepared to forego this if you will permit me to reenlist and support our celtic bretheren tomorrow.

I shall post tentatively and see what happens…

On a more serious note, I have had many messages of support and best wishes regarding my own wellbeing.

Thank you.

It is probably no secret now that I have been suffering a longer than average spell of ‘black dog’ which is tedious. It is something which I have suffered over the years, as I am certain have many others. Even a few years ago however, people didn’t discuss much, if at all, and it was seen as a sign of weakness to even mention it. I am slightly conflicted, because even now, I think that there is a large overlap between just going through a set of crap circumstances and having a medical condition. And one thing I am certain of is that many people are enduring problems and circumstances far, far worse than my own. But even so the glooms don’t necessarily go away.

It has become much more common, even fashionable to discuss these things, even, (or perhaps especially), in rugby circles. I have discussed this directly with Tom James, Tom Johnson and Greg Bateman in recent times, all of whom have campaigned and made public statements about mental health. Many, many other rugby greats have also been vocal on the subject including Jonny Wilkinson and John Kirwan. (Although according to Zack, John Kirwan didn’t whinge about it…)

Anyway, thank you to those who have expressed concern and support. I am fine (if ever so slightly mad) and dealing with it. And I’m not in danger of killing Zack or anyone else. For the record I was prescribed medication a few years ago and found it a nightmare to get off them. Should anyone reading this be in the same boat, do think twice before you take prescription anti-depressants. I am happy to discuss privately if anyone so chooses.

Since I am apparently now baring my soul, it is also no secret that I drink too much. To all those well intentioned people who have suggested that I cut the grog, I have drunk too much for the last 45 years during which time I have been happy, sad and happy again, married and divorced and happy again, successful and broke and successful again, played rugby well and badly, held down positions of both great responsibility and irresponsibility. (I was founder member and vice president of The Flying Pigs Cub and played bass guitar in Norman Neanderthal and the NugApes.) I remain unconvinced that the booze makes that much difference.

I enjoyed rugby and broke my neck playing. It didn’t stop me enjoying it and I would do it all over again. If I break my neck drinking, the same applies.

Anyway this all now a bit ‘snowflake’ and self-indulgent and if any of you have already turned over, I don’t blame you. But just fair warning that I will be back tomorrow and if Zack want to come back, that’s fine with me.

In the meantime, thanks for any concern. I’m fine and shall be raising a glass to the finest virtual rugby clubhouse on the planet. And also toasting Deany and Tom, who undoubtedly have enjoyed todays match. )

Good health to all!

Oh, and two belated postscripts.
1. Global, I would be delighted and honoured to share a couple of beers with you at any time!
2. I have some spare tickets for the hosted world cup final breakfast at sandy park next weekend which could go wasted. If anyone wants to come along please just let me know. (No cost)
3. Message for Witts, the UK’s best official Fish and Chip shop is not in Hirwaun, it is Krispies in Exmouth so there!