Another blog from @rugbyoldbloke who is writing some good stuff on the #rugbyunited blog.... today, he writes a tongue-in-cheek look at flipping the coin at the start of the game!!
A Toss Up
In the past I’ve written a number of articles taking the mickey out of the way technology has been harnessed to ‘improve’ rugby. The advances have been extensive and cover just about every aspect of the game including the pitch, virtually every item of kit, training, recovery, using a TMO, monitoring and fitness of players and how many pints it takes for each player to get totally trollied. Okay, so I made the last one up – but you get the point.
The only area I can think of that hasn’t been ‘Apped’ by Bill Gates and his mates is the coin toss. This is not so surprising as even I haven’t been able to poke fun (or anything else for that matter) since it remains as terminally dull as the Queen’s speech (or the Graham Norton Show to give it it’s proper name).
You don’t even see it on the box anymore – the commentary just tells you who called correctly and consequently who will kick-off - often they don’t even bother with that.
At the top level no-one gives a toss (sic) of course – since they play on the equivalent of snooker tables – in terms of it being perfectly flat and manicured. Naturally the pitch is a bit bigger and there are flags instead of stringed pockets at the edges, but otherwise pretty much the same – oh yeah and except for the fact that there’s also more grass and fewer cues, obviously.
When I played for Askeans we didn’t always have that luxury- nearly every pitch had some sort of slope and when we went to Wales it could be a 1:5 with a bunch of nervous sheep at one end.
We did of course play on some decent pitches – all the army sides had impressive grounds as did the banks – of course we now know how the bastards afforded them.
On these grounds it was like playing at Twickenham except for the tendency for the crowd to be slightly fewer and less vocal. Mind you at least we didn’t have to listen to all those idiots singing that bloody slave song as if they just escaped from the cotton fields of Alabama.
Anyway the coin toss could be important as we always wanted to play up the slope (or up the side of the valley) in the first half, in order to take advantage of the benefit when everyone was shagged out after half time (or much earlier in my case).
It was literally a toss-up as there wasn’t any real way to influence the result when the ref chucked the ½ a crown (ask your old man) in the air. I imagine a two headed coin might have been handy – although I’ve never seen one and in any case you’d be totally stuffed if the opposition skipper immediately called “heads”.
All this is leading up to another piece of mindless research that has just been published – a bunch of scientists with nothing better to do have discovered that you can manipulate a win at rock, paper, scissors and it’s not simply a game of chance. Brilliant eh?
All you need to do now is make sure the ref doesn’t have a 10p bit with him – perhaps you could select a hooker who is also a competent pick pocket. You then explain it’s too far to go back to the changing room – which in all probability has already been looted by the said hooker anyway. Your skipper then suggests a game of rock, paper etc. to decide who chooses ends. Simples.
You can read more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27228416
Quite why the BBC thinks this tripe is newsworthy I have no idea – you’d think they might be a tad more concerned with the internal cover-ups and the recent Jeremy Clarkson affair wouldn’t you!
Jeremy: “I’m very sorry”
BBC: “Please try not to get caught again”
I realise this is all a bit far-fetched – not Jeremy being told he’s ‘a very naughty boy’ but the blokes in (appropriately) white coats spending time and dosh on stupid surveys.
Personally I think they are all tossers!