A prop’s hand on the ground

touch-judges, unlike those who have been on blinkered Super 15 duty in recent weeks, there could be all sorts of crucial decisions.

A prop’s hand on the ground at a scrum, Bailey Button Ugg Boots a defender with half his foot in front of the offside line, someone (as Richie McCaw discovered against the Reds) pinged for a breakdown infraction he did not understand – are all scenarios which could decide quarters, semis or the final.Sanzar referees manager Lyndon Bray has publicly admitted a drop in refereeing standards, so you can bet in private he was even more scathing.

New York for his book tour. One of them is Asheville.

“As everyone knows, it’s just a cool town,” Ugg Bailey Button Boots says Goulian. “A man in a skirt: You need a cross-dresser-friendly community.” (He’ll be going to West Hollywood and San Francisco as well. At his Malaprop’s reading event, “the first five guys through the door in a skirt get a free copy” of the book.) But Asheville is special to Goulian because it’s where his sister-in-law grew up, where his brother (who now lives in Raleigh) got married in 1995 and where Goulian’s friend, singer/songwriter Gary Jules, lives.

Jules (who covered Tears for Fears’ “Mad World” for Donnie Darko) grew up the seaside resort town of La Jolla, Calif. So did Robin Wright Penn, Gregory Peck, Raquel Welch, Gore Verbinski … and Goulian, whose adolescent claim to fame was, according to his book: “It is early June 1986. Prom night. I am wearing white tights, black pumps, a black skirt, a red bow tie and red lipstick. And a Viking hat, which I bought for 10 bucks at a costume shop.”

In fact, Goulian’s personal style — skirts, high heels, makeup and body art, began to evolve when, at the age of 16, he abruptly gave up soccer and scholastic striving and became what he calls “a sexually neutered androgyne.”

Skirt (the title a nod to the 1955 Sloan Wilson novel, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit) is Goulian’s account of his journey thus far, from his fairly typical youth (sports, good grades, over-achieving older brothers and a doting family with high expectations) to a seemingly directionless adulthood underscored by a laundry list of phobias. Death and decay, being robbed by cabbies, attacked by junkies, struck by falling stonework or contracting lung cancer from secondhand smoke number among the perspective perils that plague Goulian.

Even from the safety of the stands – and certainly when you view games on television – passes thrown backwards seem to be in the minority. An awful lot are called flat; so was the world a while back.

There seems to be a leniency for lineout throws depending on where the hooker stands, and every now and then a ref calls a halfback for an incorrect scrum feed and lets the rest go. Breakdowns are deteriorating into advertisements for sides in possession ramping Ugg Classic Tall Boots and sealing off the ball, players are often in front of teammates who have punted the ball downfield.

At the rate Super 15 is being refereed, the World Cup will be decided by someone slipping a bind and being penalised for having a steadying hand on the ground. At worst, that offence should be a freekick, but this year it is a penalty and an avenue to win the World Cup.
Par adons le samedi 20 août 2011


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