-   Nieuws

When the battle scars have faded
and the truth becomes a lie
and the weekend smell of liniment
could almost make you cry.
When the last rucks well behind you
and the man that ran now walks,
it doesn’t matter who you are,
the mirror sometimes talks.
Have a good hard look old son!
The melons not that great,
the snoz that takes a sharp turn sideways,
used to be dead straight.
You’re an advert for arthritis,
you’re a thoroughbred gone lame,
then you ask yourself the question:
why the hell you played the game?

Was there logic in the head knocks?
In the corks and in the cuts?
Did common sense get pushed aside?
By manliness and guts?
Do you sometimes sit and wonder
why your time would often pass
in a tangled mess of bodies,
with your head up someone’s……?
With a thumb hooked up your nostril
scratching gently on your brain
and an overgrown Neanderthal
rejoicing in your pain!
Mate – you must recall the jersey –
that was shredded into rags,
then the soothing sting of Dettol,
on a back engraved with tags!
It’s almost worth admitting,
though with some degree of shame,
that your wife was right in asking:
why the hell you played the game?

Why you’d always rock home legless
like a cow on roller skates,
after drinking at the clubhouse
with your low down drunken mates.
Then you’d wake up – check your wallet –
not a solitary coin,
drink Berocca by the bucket,
throw an ice pack on your groin,
copping Sunday morning sermons,
about boozers being losers,
while you limped like Quasimodo,
with a half a thousand bruises!
Yes – an urge to hug the porcelain
and curse Sambuca’s name –
would always pose the question:
why the hell you played the game!

And yet with every wound re-opened,
as you grimly reminisce it,
comes the most compelling feeling yet:
men, you bloody miss it!
From the first time that you laced a boot
and tightened every stud,
that virus known as rugby
has been living in your blood.
When you dreamt it, when you played it,
all the rest took second fiddle.
Now you’re standing on the side-line,
but your hearts still in the middle.
And no matter where you travel,
you can take it as expected,
there will always be a breed of people
hopelessly infected.
If there’s a teammate, then you’ll find him,
like a gravitating force,
with a common understanding,
and a beer or three, of course.
And as you stand there telling lies,
like it was yesterday old friend,
you’ll know that if you had the chance,
you’d do it all again.
You see, that’s the thing with rugby,-
it will always be the same.
And that, I guarantee,
is why the hell you played the game!

Met deze van Rupert McCall geleende woorden (credits Sutton & Epsom Bs) wenst de Redactie/CoCo een ieder een hele fijne vakantie – opdat jullie veel gelijkgestemden mogen ontmoeten – ook wij gaan er even tussen uit en de Op de Proppen verschijnt dus ook een paar weken niet. Tot begin volgend seizoen!

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