Welcome to the magic mushroom World Cup


Welcome to the magic mushroom World Cup

‘Drugs in sport' are invariably stimulants. But memories of playing rugby while stoned led LOUIS DE VILLIERS to speculate about boxing on Ecstasy, curling on cocaine and wrestling for drunks.


WHEN he woke up on June 12, 1970, Dock Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team thought it was Thursday and liberally helped himself to a friend's LSD. Then he learnt it was actually Friday and he had to pitch against the San Diego Padres in a few hours.

Whaddaya know, he threw the perfect game for the first and only time in his professional career while tripping from his titties. Afterwards, he would have you know that he was bitterly sorry, because only small splashes of memory remained of the greatest moment of his life.

At one stage he imagined that Richard Nixon was a referee and Jimi Hendrix was playing his guitar. The whole strange story is worth your while.


Yours truly was once in the back of a kombi on his way to play rugby when one of his chums rolled a roach and enthusiastically started smoking.

They didn't have to play that night and drew my attention to the fact that for me kickoff would be seven or eight hours later and I could therefore take a few deep pulls. “By that time you'll be stone-bloody sober." 

Said and done, rubber arm, blah blah blah.

But when we stopped at the coalmine's sports complex, we were asked “Where were you all?" and informed that the floodlights had just blown up, so we had to play immediately.

Talk about harshing your mellow.

Among the forwards you might still be able to find a rhythm and somehow keep it up, but if you have ADD anyway, are unfit and now doped up on top of that, you'd better not be on the wing and daydreaming and/or daggadreaming.

The first time my direct opponent, a tiny yet nimble miner, came running and saw how red my eyes were, I almost imagined him laughing as he sidestepped to the left, and by the time I got to him he'd already passed on the right.

That's how it went all afternoon, apart from the fact that he got to laugh openly at me and sometimes also sidestepped to the right and passed on the left.

On the field I could smell the spectators had been smoking themselves into phantoms too; the more the boy sidestepped me, the louder they bellowed.

Thirty-eight years later, I still blush at the mere memory, but take some comfort in at least having helped a thousand or two stoned miners enjoy an unexpectedly fun Tuesday afternoon.

Lees hierdie artikel in Afrikaans:

I suspect that you might be able to play darts better if you've taken a few draws of a skyf — calmer hands and so on — but beyond that there definitely is no sport in which marijuana can improve your performance.

With the exception of Dock Ellis, there is no sport in which LSD would not be fatal to your performance.

Talk about drugs in sport is mostly about stimulants, and a few such stories are in the news at any given time.

Over the past few weeks, we have read how Romanian tennis player Simona Halep got irked when Caroline Wozniacki reasonably grumbled about a convicted dope user so hastily and randomly turning into a promoter's choice at the Miami Open.

And how Elton Jantjies, suspended for four years after testing positive for clenbuterol, may be able to make a return to professional rugby. This is because the South African government once again was unable to implement mere formalistic legislation in time, with the result that the world drugs watchdog, Wada, suspended its Bloemfontein branch's accreditation, meaning its findings have no international legal value.

But while our lot rule rottenly, their Russian buddies are competent and unscrupulous — the figure skater Kamila Valieva (now 17) was suspended in January for the same length of time as Jantjies after testing positive for trimetazidine before the 2022 Winter Olympics.

She was apparently fed no fewer than 56 types of medication and food supplements from her 13th to 15th years.

While Halep and Jantjies are — at least legally — adults, Valieva is a pure child; that grown-ups would handle a young teenager in this way for the phantom of patriotic glory is beyond comprehension.


Speaking of displeasure with patriotic glory, I am probably a little hypocritical.

I enjoyed the first episode of Chasing The Sun 2, perhaps being someone who sprinkles the f-bomb into conversation with even more gusto than the Springbok team management.

When you say “fuck" it doesn't mean you don't know seven-syllable (*drops mic) words, you just add a little pepper to it.


Anyway, Theter Pi ... sorry, PEter THiel, founder of PayPal and far-right “tech bro", is planning an “enhanced games" with a few Silicon Valley cronies. Here you will be able to drug to your heart's content.

So all the latest steroids will be at your disposal.

You will be stronger, throw further, run faster and be able to get the relative jumping abilities of a flea with a few injections, but then you will have to put up with your nuts slowly dissolving.

Not even Dr Faustus or Robert Johnson would say yes to that, but then again many professional athletes do not have Faustus's mind or Johnson's guitar fingers and seem to think that wider shoulders in exchange for smaller balls is an acceptable price to pay for the rostrum.


So, back to my initial story: rather than “enhanced" games, I would opt for “decreased" or “debased" games. For example, sitting in the stands  at Kilbarchan Colliery that day, I almost laughed myself to death at my own performance. And after all, no one was on their way to a premature heart attack.

Steven Seagal could easily wallop Charlie Chaplin, but whose films are better?

Rather than seeing a bunch of hairless, roaring steroid muscle tigers lifting weights, you'd rather stuff contestants full of drugs that you want to warn the kids at home about.

Imagine the scene — boxers who are fed Ecstasy about two hours before the fight and, when the bell finally rings, are more inclined to exchange sweaty hugs with their opponents than punch them on the nose.

The 100m for heavily doped participants; wrestling for drunks; curling on cocaine will simply add a lot of egotism and bite to this traditionally friendly sport; the marathon with obligatory beer stops; magic mushroom football; darts after six espressos, and so on.


It's been about a century since surrealism emerged as an art movement and Monday is April Fool's Day.

But doesn't it feel like crazy day to you and almost always slightly surreal?

I am much more exemplary these days, but everything just feels weirder now.

Have a nice long weekend, one and all! The spirit of one of psychedelia's greatest minds hardly disagrees:

On the contrary, J J, she's lying profusely, but it's an epic tune:

The Airplane has been warning for a long time:

♦ VWB ♦

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