Is Stephen Jones The Oddest Man In Rugby?

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.

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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!

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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, then, to learn that he’s an obnoxious, bullying oaf!  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.

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27 Comments

  1. Simon O'Keeffe

     /  December 18, 2012

    Is Stephen Jones twitter account a parody like the Thornley one I fell for?

    • The thought did occur to us, most definitely. But it appears not. Most of the time he seems relatively sensible (in so much as his opinions chime with his usual style) and he is followed by David Walsh among others. The Sunday Times re-tweeted him earlier in the week. It appears to check out.

  2. @Completebore

     /  December 18, 2012

    I haven’t been able to stand Jones for years – he’s a decent writer and knows the sport, but he’s that type of old-school print journalist who believes that his opinions are facts and that because of his position he should not be questioned or argued with (and if he thought that you were a blogger I’m sure he would have been even ruder). This also backs up my belief that for a lot of people (especially, but not limited to, those of a certain age) twitter reveals personality triats that they have no self-awareness of. Ian McGarry’s dismissal of a young journalist because he hadn’t spent the previous night ‘broadcasting to 1.2 million people with Michael Owen and Robbie Savage’.

  3. Lol, whut? Jonsey FTW! ROTFLMAO, LOL, etc etc etc.

    While an infinite number of monkeys may one day produce the works of Shakespeare, it would seem a single emphysemic hamster works the controls of Jones’ twitter account.

  4. ruckinhell

     /  December 18, 2012

    Don’t feed the troll.

    Jones has been doing this for years- he’s a bit of a professional WUM with the Kiwis and the Irish his two favourite targets. In fairness, it’s a strategy that pays off for him, just look at the Letters to the Sports Editor every Sunday and there’ll be at least one irate Kiwi or Irish writer giving out about the latest Jones’ missive. Ignoring him is the only way to go, you can’t reason with a guy who has a very clear agenda when posting and engaging him only allows him more oxygen for mischief/opportunities to outrage.

    In truth, his endless manlove for Danny Cipriani, his plastic English act and his loathing of all things Kiwi do make him out to be a pantomine figure- it’s hard to take anything he says anymore with an ounce of credulity.

    • Indeed Ruckinhell – we always knew their was some wind-uppery in his writings, but an estblished journo doling out personal abuse to all-comers was something we never thought we’d experience!

  5. TJ Hooker

     /  December 18, 2012

    I often wondered if Jones was being intentionally provocative with his one-eyed Sunday Times drivel and that beneath the mask there lurked a rational mind just spicing things up a little. Now it turns out there was no mask – the parody is real!

  6. ORiordan

     /  December 18, 2012

    Now that Jones is behind Murdoch’s paywall he can no longer generate attention through his previous tactics – articles with gratuitous digs at kiwis or Irish who were guaranteed to take offence – so he has probably seized on twitter. Life must have been a bit quiet for him within the paywall.

    Not having read his stuff for years, is he still doing vaguely homo-erotic articles extolling the virtues of the latest splendid stout English yeoman-type player?

    Sarries annoying PA is nothing new – they did the same thing at the game against Leinster a couple of years ago when they cranked up the volume to try and drown out the sizable Leinster crowd. At that game, Sarries home crowd consisted mainly of schoolchildren there to see Tinie Tempah who was the half time entertainment.

    At least Munster didn’t have that inflicted on them.

    • Can confirm the Sarries behaviour at the Wembley match a couple of years ago. Truely pathetic and indeed Tinie Tempah was the draw. Saracens are like something from a Cormac McCarthy novel, wandering the road endlessly heading south for no other reason than they can.

  7. All I am going to say is that last night while reading his tweets I thought there could only be two possible explanations, 1. He was drunk out of his mind, (the incomprehensible tweets back that up) or 2. One of his kids commandeered his phone (the childish name calling back that up)
    Glug glug Jonesy!

  8. A more offensive version of George Hook. I unsubscribed from his Times bile years ago. He used to have it in for BOD but I think BOD’s magnificence on the last Lions’ tour shut him up on that one.

    Twitter was always going to be explosive with this character. I’m surprised it took this long as he had been reasonably moderate until now.

  9. Jones blocked me because I tried to argue that Tommy Bowe was better then James Simspon Daniel who Jones placed in his lions squad…am I insane? (I’m not bald just to clarify)

  10. Xyz

     /  December 18, 2012

    Amusingly I’ve sent some gentle abuse his way while drunk a few times and never been blocked. You must all be truly horrible people to have earned that!

    Seriously though, as others have said above he’s the King Troll and loves to prey on the inferiority complex so common with micks and kiwis. Don’t feed the Troll is still the only advice that works.

  11. Leinster68

     /  December 18, 2012

    Reading Jones on a Sunday morning used to be something you resisted but couldn’t stop yourself, you never quite knew what he was going to say but the chances were that he’d slate your team regardless of result or performance….I often wondered had he even watched the matches that he commented on. His long list of favorites was embarrassing…for him (did Gav’s stint on ice do anything to stop SJ talking him up???). Personally I was relieved when Murdoch erected his pay firewall a few years back so I couldn’t be tempted to read him…..if only the Indo would do the same now I’d be sorted!

  12. Jim Glennon gave us all 7/10

     /  December 18, 2012

    He’s a hoot. Remember the Times round table discussion pre the last Lions tour when he named his test team without BOD in it? I think Will Greenwood accused him of being on drugs at that point.

  13. Gerald Williamson

     /  December 18, 2012

    I guess Stephen Jones is self opinonated and very sensitive. He can’t take it on the chin like a man.

  14. zdm

     /  December 18, 2012

    That’s disappointing, I assumed that the ex-Scarlet’s fly-half was responsible for the Times Articles.

  15. LPO

     /  December 18, 2012

    Very unfair to suggest that all Munster fans are bald. What kind of unfair stereotype is that to foist upon our southern brethren? They all might munch turnips like they’re apples, but bald? If anything they have the opposite problem- lots and lots of hair! An abundance, if you like! Granted, it often emanates from unusual places (e.g. palms of their hands, the eyebrows on their cheeks etc.). But bald, Jones? Only on the tops of their heads, so get your facts straight!

  16. Stephen Jones has ‘protected’ his twitter account. So if you want to follow him, you have to send him a ‘follow request’, which he can approve or not. It does suggest some remorse for last night’s over-exuberance… dare we suggest it lends some credibility to BOOM!’s glug-glug theory?!

    • Fakedel

       /  December 18, 2012

      Oh there was definite glug glug, he was still tweeting abuse at 340am. He was hardly up at that hour waiting on a delayed taxi. But he was back at the coal face this morning, issuing imprecations till midday.

      He’s a hoot!

      Yours,
      One of the baldy victims

  17. “He dismisses those who don’t agree with him out of hand, often belittling their low followership”
    Hang on – so if I’ve more followers than he does on Twitter, does that mean my rugby ramblings are worth more than his? Sweet!

  18. taz

     /  December 18, 2012

    I was one of those blocked last night when standing up for the bald lads. It was odd to say the least…

  19. Lest it be in doubt, I’ve confirmed from three separate sources (including one at the Times) that this is 100% definitely a genuine account.

    In the interests of full disclosure, I was blocked by Stephen Jones myself in a similarly abusive manner back in October after asking him about an offhand comment he made during (coincidentally) a Saracens match report. My tweets are still there to see. The tweets of Mr. Jones, however, are of course not visible any more as his a/c is now private.

    All in all it’s extremely odd and disappointing behaviour from somebody in such a high profile position within the rugby community.

  20. Alan Grace

     /  December 19, 2012

    Short for any news, are “we”? Who cares what Stephen Jones tweets? Why not cover rugby instead? I can’t find any coverage of club rugby in this blog apart from ill-informed little complaint comets that fizzle out.
    There is a wealth of rugby all over this little island of ours to cover. Why waste time on an arrogant Sunday Times hack poking you for a follow on twitter?

  21. Any chance the campaign for everyone to shave their heads in support will gain any momentum?

  22. Rich

     /  December 20, 2012

    Yeah – I follow him also, but purely to see the broad range of opinion. His twitter account is a car crash. As some have noted, I suspect he has a few ales and throws out some nonsense. He is like the old guy in the stands shouting “kick the corners” and “heave” during every scrum. The game has changed and he has nt changed with it. But he kisses the English Rose as much as he can so he ll be around for a while!!!

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