Thursday, 6 May 2010

Ma’a Nonu’s indiscriminate, injudicious and incredibly stupid use of the F word on no fewer than seven occasions following the Hurricanes win over the Chiefs, got me thinking about the appropriateness of the second-most most offensive word in the Queens language.

It’s amazing to think it was little more than 50 years ago that Peter Jones shocked the nation with his “absolutely buggered” comment on national radio following the epic fourth test against the 1956 Springboks.

Now I don’t wish to be either pious or preacher, because I can drop the F bomb with the best of them, as some of my former farm dogs and current duck-shooting mates could attest. But there’s a time and a place. And the public will generally forgive a one-off slip up along the lines of the Ricki Herbert gaff, sometimes even finding it amusing.

It reminds me of when my radio career was in its infancy and the Farming Show was running a promotion to give away a farm bike.

The rules were simple. Buy a farm bike and if we phoned you live at lunchtime and you immediately answered “Ewan Allan Honda – No 1 for sales and service” you went into the draw to win a farm bike.

Naturally it created a situation where a lot of farmers were answering their phones at lunchtime with “Ewan Allan Honda – No 1 for sales and service”. But some didn’t, including one rugged southern man who answered with a rhetorical “Are ya there?”

So I immediately swung into action with my best radio jock’s voice “Hi I’m Jamie Mackay from the Farming Show, do you know why we we’re calling you”?

The penny dropped. The farmer realized he’d lost his opportunity to win a $5000 farm bike and in the spur of the moment, in his anguish, he let rip with the F Bomb. We got the giggles, not unlike Wellington rugby commentator Graeme Moody last weekend, and then proceeded to try to dig the embarrassed farmer out of a very big hole.

I tell you this story because we never received a single complaint about the farmer’s foul up. The punters understood it was a one-off, delivered in the heat of the moment and that the perpetrator was duly contrite.

We’ve long known Ma’a Nonu is not likely to split the atom at any given moment. His job is to split opposition defenses. But Saturday’s seven-pronged profanity confirmed that while he’s world class on the paddock, he has somewhat less class of it.

*In doing some MC research for tonight’s ILT Southland Sports Awards, which surely promises to be a benefit evening for the Stags, I found two pieces of interesting Southland rugby trivia.

Amazingly Bert Winders was pulled from the crowd to play against the 1956 Springboks and, perhaps more remarkably, the lineout count against the 1966 Lions was 54-41 in Southland’s favour. And some of us call the modern game boring!


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