CAN I BE FRANK?

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It seems I am not the only one who wants to be Frank. He is possibly the most emulated man on the planet, this Frank. Even women want to be Frank and frankly, Frank is a terrible name for a member of the fairer gender.

I’m often surrounded by rugby fans who want to be Frank too.

“Let me be frank,” they’ll say, “this bloody Sharks team was useless today, useless!”

At which point a group of his friends who have all been Frank and his good friend Honest at some point during the evening, will nod and say, “ja, useless, no bloody commitment from the boys, they looked like they didn’t want to be here! They didn’t want it enough!”

As a season ticket holder I hear it in the stands as well.

“Jislaaik that bloody Fred Zeilinga! How does he even make the team!” Frank will say in between sips of luke-warm beer and profanities hurled at the referee about his parentage and eyesight.

Another Honest impersonator, Frank’s best and probably only friend, will then shout more profanities and accuse the players of being slap-gat and devoid of talent.

Frank’s latest impersonator will agree, and then spill his luke-warm beer on the seven year old sitting in front of him at his first rugby match, a treat his father has been planning for months, while the child’s father desperately tries to ignore the profanity and even more desperately tries to avoid punching Frank and Honest in the face in front of his child thus setting a bad example.

So now it’s my turn to be Frank and Honest, please see the points below –

It’s okay to question a player or team’s form, teamwork, coaching, potential and even their skills.

It is not okay to question a player or team’s commitment. They go out there every week and do the best they can with the tools they have. Sometimes things will go against them, refereeing decisions, form, selection, injury, personal problems but rest assured that when they go out there, they do “want it more” and they are trying their best.

It is okay to swear in a bar full of adults after drinking too much beer. That is what bars are for.

It is not okay, under any circumstances to get fall-down drunk in the stands at rugby match and call the referee a c**t in front of a seven year old kid, even if it is your own kid. If you do that you’re a c**t and should be banned from the stadium after being flogged by a succession of parents who have to now explain to their child why they shouldn’t use that word when they’re angry.

It is okay to disagree, it really is.

It is not okay to force your point of view on the person you disagree with by any means necessary. No amount of swearing and shouting is going to get me to agree that a rugby stadium is a suitable environment in which to act like a drunken lout. If you can’t handle your alcohol, stay at home. Your “passion” for the team does not make it okay to use foul language in front of other peoples’ children.

So let me be frank and honest. If you’re that guy please do us all a favour and watch the game in a pub or at home and for heaven’s sake, stop swearing in front of your kids.

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