Oh do fuck off you tosspot

But then, after about five seconds, I realised what Sonny Bill Williams had actually done. He’s ruined competitive sport for ever. Nice work, Sonny Bill, you magnanimous berk.

You see, everything has a shadow. Every smile eventually fades and becomes a frown. Every kind act, somewhere down the line, has a victim. Thanks to his kindhearted efforts, the victims of Sonny Bill’s action are literally every single person who has ever won – or will ever win – anything. This isn’t an exaggeration.

Christ, it’s not that damn difficult to find a reasonable subject for a column you know. OK, Jessica Valenti and Charlotte Proudwomyn never quite manage it but the rest of us can usually find one without this sort of guff.

40 thoughts on “Oh do fuck off you tosspot”

  1. @BC It’s the Graun so could be entirely serious, it gets harder to tell every day.

    Also, it’s not the only title to run pointless contrarianism as clickbait.

    A little tear came to my eye when I first read the SBW story. It might have been the drink but it was a noble gesture (his not mine).

  2. The only person who might suffer from SBW’s actions is SBW, when in later life he wonders why the fuck he gave away one of his two original RWC winner’s medals.

    But yeah, the Guardian. It’s a good thing pixels are free.

  3. Well, he wouldn’t have had another if he hadn’t given the original one in the 1st instance.

    Maybe I’m wrong but to me he is classy guy, part of a classy team.

  4. I have to say I rather agree with the article.

    Firstly, SBW shouldn’t have been given another. He was given the medal he earned, if he chooses to give it away to some random person, he shouldn’t get another. He has won 2 World Cups, and should have been given 2 medals, which he was. If he wants a third, win another World Cup. Why shouldn’t every All Black now be able to give their medal away to someone and get another? Or indeed and Rugby World Cup winner?

    Secondly, it devalues the medal. The kid didn’t earn it. By giving it to someone who didn’t earn it, it devalues all the medals of his team mates. Its effectively saying ‘I value this medal so little, it cost me so little, I’ll give it away to this kid’

    Thirdly it tells the kid that rather than work hard and earn your medals, you just get handed them to you on a plate. Is that kid more or less likely to want to become a rugby player now he has a World Cup winners medal? More or less likely to have the burning desire to get one of his own?

  5. SBW likes chasing medals. And the medals seem to chase him.

    He left league to go to the ABs in 2011, won a RWC.

    Described playing for the ABs as like girls doing their hair compared to league, went back to the Australian comp, won a Premiership, then back to the ABs for another medal.

    Next year he’s just doing the 7s circuit – for the Olympics. Another gong on the way.

    You can’t say the lad lacks dreams.

  6. Like Rob, I don’t follow the fuss about this story.
    I’ve got my grandfather’s medals from his war service. The award was his, not mine. I wasn’t at Gallipoli. It’s the award counts, not the bit of metal on a ribbon, or we could all be VC’s.

  7. I had two thoughts when I watched that incident:

    1) Liam Messam gave the kid his trademark beanie before SBW gave him the medal, and nobody seems to have spotted that. I’d be chuffed to get Messam’s beanie.

    2) It put the security guard in a very difficult situation. He tackled the kid, and SBW later said if that was his kid brother he’s have decked the security guard. But hang on a minute: are the players permitted to allow anyone they like onto the field? Yes, it was cute, etc. and the kid was caught up in the moment, etc. but what’s the next security guard supposed to do when he sees somebody running onto the pitch? Take a punt that the players will be all right with it? If the kid turned out to be a disturbed youth with a knife, the ABs would be going apeshit. The security guard has a job to do, not an easy one either. Now you can expect such pitch invasions to become the norm as 1,000 other kids try their luck next time.

  8. Regarding the significance of the medal…I heard that years ago, few New Zealanders would wear an AB jersey, because they had to be rightfully earned.

    I also heard from two mates – one a para and the other a Royal Marine – that they were issued their berets some time before they’d actually earned the right to wear them. Neither put the thing on their head until they had actually earned the right to wear it. Anyone can buy a green lid, but to wear one it should first be earned.

  9. Adrian misses the “minor” point that SBW was NZ heavyweight champion and won the “WBA International Heavyweight title”, by beating Francois Botha (who has a record of failing three times out of three in trying to win different world championships, the other two guys to beat him being Lennox Lewis and Vladimir Klitchsko) so an individual national champion and “world champion”.
    I imagine he’s playing rugby for NZ not for the medal.

  10. It’s a waste. He could have auctioned off the medal and donated the proceeds to charity. If the auction took place right there and then, bidders caught up in the moment could have pushed the value sky-high.

  11. Tim N:

    I’m sure there’s a story about some drunk Paras who beat up a bloke when they saw his Para tattoo and realised he wasn’t actually a Para.

  12. This bit was interesting:

    Thanks to his performance in the 1936 Olympics, Jesse Owens helped destroy the notion of Aryan supremacy.

    Cos Hitler being furious about Jesse Owens and yadda yadda yadda is one of those things Everybody Knows, which turns out to be bollocks.

    First off, the Nazis already knew black guys could be good athletes.They were racists, but they weren’t stupid.

    Second off, the Aryan nazi ubermenchen utterly dominated the 1936 Olympics. Germany won 33 gold medals, 26 silver, and 30 bronze. America came second with 24, 20 and 12 respectively. It was a huge propaganda triumph for the krauts.

    Third off, Jesse Owens’ wife said she and her husband were treated with more respect and kindness by their nazi hosts than they were back home, where they weren’t allowed to stay at certain hotels or eat at whites-only lunch counters. Jesse Owens was cheered to the rafters by the mostly German crowd in Berlin.

    But the myth that Jesse Owens (or Joe Louis) dealt a terrible blow to evil nazi racism is too delicious to let boring reality intrude on it. In truth, of course, it was the evil Soviet racists who destroyed the thousand-year Reich.

  13. BC is right, the article itself is obviously tongue in cheek.

    Final para – just for his Guardian readers…

    “It’s time for Williams to do the right thing. He must hold his hands up, admit he was wrong and then forcibly rip that medal from the quivering hands of that crying little boy.”

  14. I’ll grant you the humour is heavy-handed, but I suppose we should welcome any humour in the Tox Dadger.

    And we should, of course, suggest that Tim W might have got the joke had he attended a certain other school in his youth.

  15. I’m sure there’s a story about some drunk Paras who beat up a bloke when they saw his Para tattoo and realised he wasn’t actually a Para.

    There are whole Facebook pages dedicated to naming and shaming “cumpers”, i.e. people who claim to have served when they haven’t. There is a secondary category who have actually served, but disingenuously claim to have been in one of the elite units, which is called “bloating one’s record”, hence they are called “bloaters”.

  16. Steve

    Excellent mythbusting – I remember a profile on Eurosport (I think) of the 1936 Long jump Silver medallist, Luz Long (who apparently gave him advice on avoiding no jumps which assisted him in winning the Gold) and it basically tore apart the standard Guardian mythology.

    – Though some Black athletes were booed, this was certainly not the standard reaction of the crowd, who cheered Owens (And others) wildly in most of the TRack and Field events.

    – As you mention, Owens’ widow mentioned they were treated with far more decency than they would have been in the Southern USA at that time

    It’s ironic that the Guardian’s standard narrative seems to draw lessons from the following philosophy:

    ‘If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.’

    I am assuming most here can identify the author of that statement….

  17. Tim N:

    Interesting. There are a lot of fantasists out there.

    I can understand the wee lie or exaggeration in order to get laid (nothing like a man in uniform) but the full on nutjobs who invent complete service histories: why don’t they just stick to playing Call of Duty?

  18. @Tim N: my personal rule on bloaters is that anyone who says they were Special Forces, was not.

    Because those who were, tend not to talk about it.

  19. My uncle gave his medals to a nephew, one of his sisters kids. I don’t believe he regretted the impulse, however in his later years – when his own children were born…

  20. @ Tim N
    Security guards should be trained to stop pitch invasions without hurting kids. If they cannot they are not fit for purpose.
    But I assume the SBW quote was made up by (or for) the media. His kid brother, if he had one, could take out a security guard one-handed.

  21. Getting back to original crock of Grauniad. Competitive sport is all about competing and succeeding or failing nobly – it is not about Guardianista couch potatoes watching you. Millions of us (hundreds of millions worldwide) compete in competitive sport. Last year I won two races (out of several) in a local veterans league with no prizes or medals and went home quite pleased about it on each occasion. What has SBW done to change that? – absolutely nothing.

  22. @Andrew Duffin
    I’d an uncle who piloted a Lanc for the Dam Busters squadron. A non topic of conversation.
    But another member of the family went across the beaches (Bas Normandie- not the Contentin) in Jan 45 & got a train to Toulon. Won the war, singlehanded he did. What with the regimental ties, car badges, ashtrays….

  23. Oh & Mum got bombed nightly from 40-43 & rocketed from 44 on. But they didn’t hand out medals for that, did they.

  24. “There are whole Facebook pages dedicated to naming and shaming “cumpers”, i.e. people who claim to have served when they haven’t. There is a secondary category who have actually served, but disingenuously claim to have been in one of the elite units, which is called “bloating one’s record”, hence they are called “bloaters”.”

    I was at Stalingrad.

  25. @ bis
    The only war stories that I got as a child were
    i) elder great-uncle getting an ear-bashing from his mother for volunteering as a private in 1914 instead of applying for a commission
    ii) same one being buried alive when a shell landed adjacent to his trench and his batman (he was an officer by then) insisting that they dug him out because “my officer always sat on the edge of the trench”
    iii) both great-uncles ending up in the same hospital at the same time
    iv) elder great-uncle telling his mother after coming out of hospital and volunteering for the RFC that it would be safer!!
    v) trying to join RAF in 1939 – interview went fine until someone asked him his age (50) and he replied “Thank you Gentlemen” and walked out
    All of these from women left at home
    Younger great-uncle who got a medal and two “mentioned in despatches” was a feature of my childhood and never said a single word about the War
    Never a single word from

  26. @john77
    Going through old family photos, I came across one of the grandfather at some sort of hospital at Hornchurch, Essex. Seems to be all military patients. Can’t say i ever noticed any holes in him. I’m wondering if he was gassed. He was with the ANZACS in Flanders, after Gallipoli.
    The other grandfather was in the merchant & managed to get himself torpedoed twice on the same trip. But that’s my gran talking, there.. She didn’t approve. Blamed him for it.

  27. Lots of ex-servicemen here in Cyprus. It is amazing how many of them were in ‘Special Forces’… I’ve yet to meet anyone that drove a tank or peeled spuds when he was in…

    One ‘Falklands hero’ died recently and the village had a collection to repatriate his body to the UK for burial at Hereford…

    The executor of his will sent the cash back as he had never been in the SAS – or to The Falklands for that matter where he had supposedly been injured. He was invalided out of the army after his Land Rover crashed in the UK…

  28. Bloke in Costa Rica

    My father was in the Signals and managed to get himself posted to parts of the world where there were not many people shooting at you. As a result, his WW2 stories (most of which were hilarious) mainly revolved around dismal officers, getting pissed, and studiously avoiding getting promoted to NCO (which would have entailed more responsibility than he wanted). Apparently he did apply for something a bit more interesting but got fobbed off by division. He’d tried to get into the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry but you had to be 19 and his sister, who was the Adjutant’s secretary, grassed him up and then his brother “claimed” him for the Signals. He was under no illusions that he’d made any appreciable difference to the war effort whatever. Thank god for my aunt squealing though; the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry were massacred in Normandy and I probably wouldn’t be here.

  29. Van_Patten – thanks mate. The thing about most Gruaniadites isn’t that they’re evil (though Seamus Milne is), or even that they’re stupid (though Polly is).

    It’s that they’re lazy. So they think almost exclusively in cliches and received wisdom.

    As a naturally lazy man myself, who has been forced by cruel circumstances to work for a living, I can sympathise. But really, in this age of the information super-dual-carriageway, there’s no excuse for urban legends to still get printed in the funny papers.

    I dunno why, but liberal arts grads seem to be the least intellectually curious of all literate people. It’s all virtue signalling and duckspeak with them.

    AndrewC – Richard Moebbels?

    Tax Macht Frei.

    GlenDorran – but the full on nutjobs who invent complete service histories: why don’t they just stick to playing Call of Duty?

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Walts, mainly due to my lifelong love of bullshit but also because I feel a bit sorry for them.

    They’re like grownup versions of that div kid in school (every school had one) who claimed to have fingered Linda Lusardi and whose dad drove a Lamborghini Countach.

  30. Steve

    A Lamborghini Countach! I once chased one of them back in the day (I was playing Chase HQ at an Arcade in Sandown)

    I agree – it’s the refusal to consider alternative opinion or any questioning of their certainties that really does grate. It’s little wonder that so many are at the forefront of campaigns to ban free speech or introduce bizarre concepts like ‘safe spaces’ – a plague on all their houses!

    AndrewC

    Was trying not to mention the dunce of Downham Market but there is little question he has swallowed the line from that particular prominent 1930s German statesman hook, line and sinker – especially the point that ‘truth is the greatest enemy of the Courageous state’ – hence the recourse to a comments policy, bans on free speech and so on – the truth has to be suppressed for the state’s ultimate benefit…..

  31. Interesting followup to the SBW story. Next day, there was an auction on the NZ TradeMe site for 1 x RWC 2015 Gold Medal. There were 16 recorded bids starting at the $1 reserve. The bids were from a W Genia, M Pocock, Israel Folau, M Giteau,,…etc etc.

    Was taken off the site after a brief period !

    Does anyone think that England would have stood a chance had they qualified for the quarters ?

  32. Security guards should be trained to stop pitch invasions without hurting kids. If they cannot they are not fit for purpose.

    This guy didn’t hurt the kid: he tried to tackle him, the kid slipped out, and the All Blacks said “nah, it’s okay, he can stay with us”. Did you watch the video?

  33. Because those who were, tend not to talk about it.

    I know a shed-load of guys in the UK’s special forces, and yeah, they don’t talk about it. It’s not so much that they make a conscious effort not to, I think it’s that past the mid-20s the gung-ho boasting spirit dies down and they don’t feel the need to talk about their life with strangers. Even the normal, non-SF guys don’t talk much about the military life with strangers, same as I don’t talk much about my O&G work with those outside the industry.

    If even half the people claiming to have been in the SAS were telling the truth, the barracks in Hereford would stretch to Aberystwyth.

  34. “Does anyone think that England would have stood a chance had they qualified for the quarters ?” Not an earthly. If Scotland had pipped Australia – and they came awfully close – they might conceivably have squeaked past Argentina. But then they would have been hammered by the ABs.

  35. @togf
    Not half! Practically everybody on here beside you and the first contributor is incapable of registering irony; has no sense of humour; does not pick up on other people’s verbal cues; is determined to change the subject to something (often technical) that obsesses them- in other words, displays all the characteristics of a high Autistic Quotient developed by the research team at Cambridge University mentioned earlier.
    The case of Sonny Bill’s medal marks the end of this discussion group as a serious proposition.It has become a support group for aspies who are hiding from the complexities of politics and economics, like some who hide from sensory overload in the wardrobe .Say over again: market forces will solve everything for us; all this noise will disappear.
    This is a special form of Austrian Autism or Austrism ( another coinage from the fertile mind of DBCR , who could probably do with a more concentrated/less frivolous Aspy approach).

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