What's eating rugby writer Stephen Jones, Munster fans?

The well-known sports journalist has been rubbing Irish rugby fans up the wrong way this week, it seems.

Reproduced with permission from Whiff of Cordite

IT STARTED WITH Stephen Jones supporting Saracens’ decision to play their music over the tannoy to drown out vocal Munster fans this weekend.

And it ended, hilariously, with Sunday Times journalist Stephen Jones calling perfectly decent rugby fans ‘slap heads’ and blocking any number of people who disagreed with him.  Yes, this was truly one bizarre twitter episode.

Michael Corcoran started the whole episode, with a tweet directing Jones to the Saracens’ forum, where a number of their own fans expressed dismay over the ridiculous tannoy constantly blaring out Stand up for Saracens.  He was told to ‘forget about fandom’ and ‘accept [Munster] lost’, despite the fact that Michael Corcoran had in no way attributed Munster’s defeat to the tannoy or indeed, made any such excuses.  In fact he’d been entirely gracious.

When Corcoran had the temerity to suggest to Jones that folk were entitled to their opinions, he should accept them and move on, we re-tweeted and added a ‘well said MC’.  We received a tweet from Jonesy calling us ‘Pompous’ and found ourselves to be blocked shortly after.  We were also involved in a number of other conversations, but not with Jonesy, the general theme of which was that we considered his behaviour on Twitter to be very rude and unnecessary.  Then it all went weird and the bald business kicked off.  At one point he appeared to imply that all Munster fans were bald.  ROFLMAO!

Frankly, reading Stephen Jones’ twitter account is like entering a bizarro-world.  He dismisses those who don’t agree with him out of hand, often belittling their low followership, and just as often with an offhand ‘who asked your opinion?’ or similar.  He told another tweeter that he was the UK Sports journalist of the year.  It appears that he believes a high public profile is essential to have any sort of opinion, and just can’t handle that some people will disagree with him.  It’s a pretty odd way for an established journalist to behave.  It’s all a bit Alan Partridge.

As the evening wore on, things got weirder and weirder, with Jones managing to insult one person after another, with childish name-calling the order of the day.  At times we were creased over laughing.  The screen-grabs above are from Trevor Murphy, who wasn’t the only one whose baldness became the focal point for Jones.  Unfortuntely, we were blocked by the time it occured to us to start taking screen-shots.

For the record, while we don’t usually agree with Jones’ opinions, we’ve always respected him and what he’s achieved in rugby journalism.  He ploughed a lonely furrow for a long time before the popularity of the game took off, and for that he deserves credit.  He obviously cares deeply about the game, and also coaches an age grade team in England, and frequently tweets his experiences of it.  What a shame this is then; follow him here to get a glimpse of the comedy (unless you’ve already been blocked, like us).  Bald men need not apply, obviously.

And thanks to Trevor Murphy for letting us use his screen-grabs above.  Give him a follow here and hopefully he will get enough followers for Stephen Jones to grant him an opinion.  Not sure we can do anything about the baldness thing though.

Read more at Whiff of Cordite

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