In Defence Of Jamie Heaslip: By Jay-Z

So, word among the canine-based rugby community is that there are people out there, calling themselves rugby fans, who don’t have a very high opinion of Jamie Heaslip. I mean, I’m sure you all know what you’re talking about, and the whole two-time-Lion, nominated for 2013 ERC player of the year thing is just because the rest of the rugby world lacks your special insights, right?

You are so smart, you win a prize!

You are so smart, you win a prize!

Apparently, some people think that Jamie is crap now because he’s not making mad metres like he did back in 2009. If I were a particularly bold bulldog, I might even suggest that a few of these people might be letting pre-determined ideas about his personality and interests cloud  their judgement. Since these poor benighted folks lack my heightened sense of intuition (by which I mean smell), I think there are a couple of issues they may be missing.

First of all, there are some context problems when we try to compare 2009 Jamie with the 2013 version. Ireland as a whole were good in 2009; even Tomás O’Leary looked good that year. So what is Jamie up to these days? It may be instructive to look at figures from 2012, a year we can all agree was not a vintage one for Irish rugby.

As an aside, I’m sure you know, there is literally no way that I could misuse statistics or take them out of context to make a pre-determined, ultimately subjective point.

Ireland played 10 test matches in 2012. Of the 9 that Jamie played in (he wasn’t there for the drubbing in Hamilton… coincidence???):

-Jamie ran the most metres of any forward in 3 of them, drew with Ferris in a fourth, and came second-highest for metres run by forwards in a further two.

-He made the highest number of tackles in the team as a whole in 1 match – the one where Ireland nearly beat the All Blacks – and in 2 others drew with other forwards for highest number of tackles.

-In 7/9 games he caught at least one lineout ball.

The idea that he has ‘no purpose’ is therefore, I submit, utter bulldogshit, and this is even leaving aside the fact that the stats don’t cover things like rucking.

However, it is clear from my quick perusal of the figures that his running game has indeed been impacted by the rise of Sean O’Brien; it’s no shock that 2 of the 3 matches in which Jamie ran furthest in 2012 did not feature that feckin’ cow farmer, and if you want to see more evidence of what happens when Seanie’s not around just watch footage of Jamie running rings around Biarritz last weekend.

It is also evident that the roles of each individual member of the Irish backrow fluctuate considerably during this period, with all three backrowers sharing running and tackling duties as well as the non-stat-friendly work. If I were to engage in crazy speculation I might perhaps suggest that this is not so much the fault of the individual players, as it is a reflection of the fact that Deccieball makes literally no fucking sense.

OK, so there was the 2013 captaincy thing. Even I, Jamie’s best and most loyal friend, will admit that did not go very well. He seemed under-confident and his decision-making was crap. But you try being the guy that deposed Brian ‘Ireland’s Greatest Human of All Time’ O’Driscoll, while Drico himself is still on the team, and see how confident you feel about it – especially whilst trying to manage the worst injury crisis in a decade and a coach whose ‘tactics’ reek of desperation.

You think Jamie looks like a knob? How soon we forget.

You think Jamie looks like a knob? How soon we forget.

Now, I’m not saying Jamie’s perfect. First of all, he named me Jay-Z, which is pretty fucking stupid. What is that? Is it in homage to the actual Jay-Z? If so, why? As if one of the world’s most important rappers and producers is meant to be like, oh wow Jamie, you named your pet after me, let’s be best friends? Seriously, dude, I am comfortable enough in my sense of self to assert that you shouldn’t use the name of the man who married Beyoncé in reference to a member of the world’s most flatulent dog breed.

Then there was the whole restaurant business. People think this is all about having a ‘media brand’, as if that’s a bad thing, but I don’t see anything wrong with a bit of entrepreneurship, especially if it’s meat-based. Jamie’s not going to be able to play rugby forever, and he’s got to keep me in the Dolce & Gabbana diamond-studded collars to which I have become accustomed. But did he really have to pose like this?

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as reimagined by a moron.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as re-imagined by a moron.

Not only is he just asking for those crunchy PETA losers to throw paint all over his Abercrombie hoodie, but he also looks a fucking prat. I really did try to warn him, I told him he looked stupid, but all he did was give me a belly rub and ask if I was hungry. I was hungry, as it happens, but did he think to give that juicy steak to his precious bulldog after he was done posing with it like an utter knobjockey? No, he did not.

Actually, never mind. Maybe he is useless after all.

As told to Rachel during the latest meeting of the D4 Bulldogs Society, dedicated to the maintenance of the exclusive character of D4’s finest dog parks. Northside terriers and Munster mongrels emphatically not welcome.

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About sagmog

Just the facts, man.
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796 Responses to In Defence Of Jamie Heaslip: By Jay-Z

  1. Underdog says:

    We’re picking Lions from a country other than our own, surely? Much more in the spirit of things.

  2. ElSuavo says:

    Oh you day-shift boys (and girls, of course) and your japes!

    As an antipodean who is eagerly anticipating the French touring these all black isles, I will forego the current trend for choosing a Lion. I will continue with my present incarnation, striking fear into all Welsh rugby supporters over the age of about 55. So no-one here should be too offended, right?

    I haven’t been back to the old place (Graunsville) in a couple of months and am disinclined to ever return. All the rugby news (from the UK) I need is here with nice personal twists and RedHector never shows. You people are great and I salute you, one and all!

  3. avsfan says:

    Evening from the grey, rainy antipodes one and all. Looking forward to the sojourn to Eden Park this coming Saturday, my anticipation of a Blues win heightened by the news that George Smith will not be lining up for the Brumbies, although tempered somewhat by the opportunity missed to see one of the finest ever to lace up a pair of boots.

    Great job on setting the record straight Rachel.

    Trust Mrs Dermott is doing OK.

  4. avsfan says:

    Back to regular time wasting next week.

  5. tichtheid says:

    We’re picking Lions from a country other than our own, surely? Much more in the spirit of things.

    Agreed, much more in the spirit.

    I see Crash got modded for waving the blazing olive branch at Tov. I didn’t think it was that bad, tbh.

    El Suavo, please don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m hoping France turn NZ over, although it would take a mighty turnaround in fortunes to do it. It would be good for them, obviously, but also for NH rugby in general.

  6. avsfan says:

    Well Ticht, it’ll be interesting to see how the ABs go. No McTalisman, several stars either aging noticeably or out of form. Pleased to see Trihn-Duc is not in the side to tour, for our sakes.

  7. tichtheid says:

    avs -Dog help us all if France ever start selecting their best players and letting them run with it to find some form.

  8. ElSuavo says:

    Jeez, Ticht, just when I thought we were starting to get along…
    But anything could happen. We don’t seem to be in the best position vis a vis players coming through and players reluctant to leave the stage. I never want the ABs to lose but a couple of close-run matches against France might focus minds on the need to bring new talent through and maybe re-jig the selections.
    TBH I haven’t got a firm idea of young-uns coming through in most of the positions where we have old guys whose day is effectively done, so it should be a very interesting season in that regard.
    The France tour might be a useful counterpoint for the local netizens where, in contrast to the intense partisanship with which you will all watch the Lions in Oz, you can take a more neutral view (not you, Flair) of proceedings.

  9. coddfish says:

    @avs, hope you are enjoying your visit to the land of the long white cloud and that Eden Park brings good fortune for your team. I thought the Blues were a little unlucky last week but glad to see the Saders start to put a run

  10. meadesian says:

    El Suavo, I too will be egging on the French, not from any antipathy towards your lot, but simply because I’ve got a soft spot for the men in blue. How much do you know about the history of the French in NZ? From memory they seem to head down to play you more frequently than any other northern hemisphere side, and have had one or two notable results over the years, including a series win?

    Not picking at this to wind you up, honest!

  11. ElSuavo says:

    No worries, Ian. (and ‘Good morning!’)
    The French are the ABs’ bete noire (hahahahaha that works on plenty of levels) and they generally do well down here. Without looking at the stats they probably win 1 out of every 3 – 4 tests here (in our patch) in recent years and they are regarded locally as a much better guage of where we are than any other nation. They are 1 of the few nations who can play as expansive a game as the ABs so they are never taken lightly here. Squeaky bum time!

  12. meadesian says:

    Shameful punning Suavo.

    That’s interesting. Perhaps if Flair picks this up he might know why they seem to be more frequent tourists – in any other nation it might be seen as gluttony for punishment. Not convinced the squad that’s heading down to you this summer is going to offer that much of a threat though. How are your boys shaping up? Any major injury concerns/bolters?

  13. meadesian says:

    Also, I think setting fire to the olive branch will become part of the btl lexicon, good work Crash.

  14. sagmog says:

    I see Yawanie’s had a knee op.
    She’s a doubt for the first test now.

  15. tichtheid says:

    Mr Meades – you are egging on the French?

    ElSauvo missed a trick, he should have said “an oeuf’s an oeuf”.

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