Meet the toughest men on no legs
"Be kind, because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle," reckoned Plato back in the day. Erm, well, yes and no, old chap - half the world has gone a bit soft since you popped your sandals.
Many self-styled hard battlers of this world are simply hard whiners. It's easy to spot those moansome cowboys and cowgals: they've got four functional limbs, health, an income and a home.
If Plato made a comeback and wanted to interview some genuine hard battlers, he'd have to look no further than the Rolling Rockets of Accra, Ghana. These gentlemen are so tough they would kick Tendai Mtawarira and Richie McCaw's arses - if you were kind enough to lend them your feet.
Most of the Rockets were born with polio, which atrophied their legs into useless appendages. They survive on the streets, begging, hustling and dodging traffic. Lacking wheelchairs, they scoot around on tiny home-made skateboards.
But they don't just beg. Together with other polio survivors in Accra and other West African cities, they have invented skate soccer, their own strange and compelling cousin of football, played with the hands. It's a fast and rough contact sport, with prangs aplenty, but it gives the players strength, skills, hope and purpose.
"Even if I have nothing, if you drop the ball now, I can play," says Kabiru of the Rockets.
Johannesburg filmmaker Eddie Edwards came across the Rockets two years ago, and he has started to make a feature-length documentary about them, called Rollaball.
"Next year, the Rolling Rockets are planning a tournament with teams from all over West Africa, in the first Skate Soccer Africa Cup," says Edwards. "There is no skate soccer at the Paralympics, and there's no tournament for this team anywhere in the world. So they're doing it themselves - and we want to be there with our cameras to make their sporting dreams come true.
"With our film we hope to raise the profile of the game, so that perhaps they can be professional players in the future."
To shoot the Africa Cup and finish the movie, Edwards must raise $30000 and footie fans out there can help finance the project via the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.com. Donations can be as small as $10, but a bigger contribution could put your name in lights as an associate producer.
For more details, and to see footage of the team, check out the movie's website, rollaballmovie.com. It's inspiring.
Much less inspiring was the yobbery of some Mamelodi Sundowns fans at the weekend.
When will disciplinary action be taken against the lunatic fringe of the club's supporter base? These dunderheads are tarnishing Downs' reputation and delaying the very success that all the fans crave.
Johan Neeskens' recent results have been poor, but the season has barely begun. The hasty axing of good coaches during inevitable troughs of form, in response to the threats of bullies, is one of the most destructive customs of the PSL.
Pitso Mosimane and Ruud Krol are being touted as replacements for Neeskens. But both coaches enjoyed their prior successes (at Supersport United and Orlando Pirates) precisely because they were given three seasons in which to build deep solidarity and cohesion.
Instead of kow-towing to the hotheads, Patrice Motsepe should tell them to sit down. Alternatively, he should sponsor a programme of yoga, drama therapy and meditation classes at Chloorkop for all those Downs fans with anger-management issues.
It's time to decide whether he's running a football club or a very expensive mental health facility.