Giving thanks

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content on 26 Nov 2015 at 07:58
Tagged with : ,

One of the better American traditions is that of Thanksgiving – a day with roots that go back as far as the 17th century. The idea is simple; taking some time out of every day life to reflect on the blessings that you have and to be thankful for them. I’ve decided to do the same today (with a particular Sharksworld slant, of course).

I’m thankful for Sharksworld – for the wonderful opportunity to write about the sport and the team that I love, to be able to do so every day and to have such a wide variety of supporters and fans who are just as passionate as I am. I’m thankful for those who have been here from the start, who have stuck by me and the site and can always be counted on for their honesty and friendship. I’m thankful for the new friends I’ve made along the way – too many to mention – and for the few of those that have turned into enduring “real life” relationships, all because of Sharksworld. I’m thankful for all those who fill our comments section with their insights – and I’m also thankful for the others who faithfully read the site every day, even if they don’t make comments.

I’m thankful for the posters who agree with me, who give me credit when I’ve written something they like and think is sensible. I’m also thankful for those who don’t agree, for those who challenge me and force me to look at my views and my writing from a critical perspective – they help to open my mind and teach me new things. I’m thankful for our older posters, who remember the “old days” of Natal rugby and keep us grounded with those recollections. I’m thankful for our younger ones too, with their unique outlook on the game and their focus on the “here and now”.

I’m thankful for those who’ve been able to donate their time and efforts to helping this site grow, to those brave souls who’ve taken up the challenge of writing articles, or proof reading others’ work. I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve been able to give to other fans to find their voice here and I’m incredibly thankful (and more than a little proud) to see how their writing has developed and how some are now finding writing work for other publications too. It goes without saying, of course, that I’m incredibly thankful for those who have been able to make small financial contributions to help keep the site running!

I’m thankful for the Sharks. For all those players, coaches and administrators who work tirelessly to entertain us and to give us something to talk about. I’m thankful for their support of what we do here. I’m thankful for those who are brave enough to trust me with their stories and their news and I’m thankful that I’ve (mostly) found ways to keep that trust intact, while not shying away from the stories that need to be told. I’m also thankful for the times when I’ve got things wrong, because those times have provided opportunities for me to be humble, to apologise and to do better next time. I’m thankful for those who have accepted my apologies and explanations when necessary, but I’m also thankful for those who haven’t – once again, learning is important in this game!

This team can cause us untold heartache at times, but also sheer unbridled joy. While we are often quick to criticise, I think it’s important to be thankful too for the good things we have. I’m thankful that the Sharks do so many things right even in bad times. I’m thankful for passionate rugby men like John Smit and Gary Gold, who are committed to the success of the team we love. I’m thankful for the rugby brains we have in our setup, both the veterans of the scene as well as the new blood we’ve managed to attract to our coaching team. I’m thankful for the wonderful players we have – thankful for their commitment and dedication to the jersey we love, thankful for their talent and the opportunity to express that talent. For those that we have now, both new to the scene as well as the loyal veterans, but also those who have gone before and given so much to the game and the jersey. I’m thankful for young talent, eager to make an impact, but also thankful for wiser, older heads to guide them and help them grow.

I’d like to thank you – and and all – for playing your part in making Sharksworld what it is today. I treasure every step of this journey and look forward to many more happy years together. Happy Thanksgiving, Sharksworld – you’re the best!


  • Very nice article. Thank you for all the effort you put in Rob.

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.11.15 11:22:52 by Seth101 Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Author
  • There is always much to be thankful for, if we just spend some time applying our minds to it.

    I would like to support Seth in thanking you Rob for all your effort in bringing us the news and updates, much appreciated.

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.11.15 11:32:12 by stevovo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @robdylan: thanks for the site!appreciate all the effort you put in.

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.11.15 11:37:38 by 50shadesofshark Reply

  • Good stuff Rob. Just perhaps one thing you forgot…im very thank that French refs dont ref super rugby 🙂

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.11.15 11:40:54 by SheldonK Reply

  • Nice article. Even though I am no Sharks fan, I enjoy the quality of articles and the informed comments. Rugby is the true winner here and for that I am grateful.

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.11.15 11:42:34 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • Rob, I think you’ve done the tradition of Thanksgiving proud. Very nice read and actually puts things into perspective quite a bit. So much to be thankful for, don’t we? Thanks for all your effort. This site feels like home to me.

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.11.15 11:43:36 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Nice read. I would like to add my thanks to those above. Rob, Sharksworld is an almost daily part of my life (“almost” only because life just sometimes gets so darn busy). Thanks for your huge effort. You’re a star…

  • Comment 7, posted at 26.11.15 12:11:12 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @SheldonK (Comment 4) : :mrgreen: Definitely that…

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.11.15 12:11:34 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 5) : I’m also thankful for the non-Sharks supporters….

  • Comment 9, posted at 26.11.15 12:14:30 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Great article!

    I’m thankful for having had the chance to play rugby and for the friends I’ve made along the way.

  • Comment 10, posted at 26.11.15 12:41:22 by ChrisS Reply
  • Thanks Rob for an amazing site and for all the interesting people on it. This is my first stop for rugby news every day.

    I’d like to thank you especially for giving me the chance to write for Sharksworld and for everyone’s comments on my articles.

  • Comment 11, posted at 26.11.15 12:50:56 by StevieS Reply
  • Just a “hear-hear!’ from me regarding everything mentioned in the article and special thanks to Rob for maintaining what is undoubtedly the best rugby fan site I’ve come across. If there’s one consolation for poor Sharks seasons, it’s that we still get bragging rights for having the best fan site (for years now).

  • Comment 12, posted at 26.11.15 13:27:26 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 5) : I’m not sure if I should be thankful for readers like Blue Centurion and Fyndraai, who force me to reevaluate my opinion of Blue Bulls fans…. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 26.11.15 13:33:37 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • I am thankful that Western Province gave us Ruan Botha.

  • Comment 14, posted at 26.11.15 14:25:12 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 14) : you win the internet today

  • Comment 15, posted at 26.11.15 14:32:06 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • When I first moved to the US, the only way I could keep up with Natal and SA Rugby was through letters from friends with included newspaper articles, or to travel all over the US to see a very rare match played by the Boks in North America. Then came email and newslist servers and I was able to keep up almost live, but only with text description. Then, finally came graphical websites we see today, where I could keep up live and even see pictures and videos online, which of course brought about SharksWorld, and the amount of insight and “inside information” is amazing, and far more than I would have found out in the past living in Durban. Now with that and live streaming of most rugby matches, it is like it is happening in my backyard. The technical evolution has been amazing since I left SA in 1977.

    So thank you to Rob, my friend, and all those who contribute to SharksWorld, you have no idea how much this brings to someone thousands of miles (KMs) away. I don’t post with the frequency I used to, but I assure you I read the articles and comments if not every day, almost every day. Thank you all and keep up the great work, thank you Rob, my friend, for all you do. As a Jew I take time to give thanks to G-d at least three times a day, so Thanksgiving is also a reminder to thank my fellow people for all they do to enhance my life.

    Rob, there is a Hebrew term used to congratulate someone, the transliteration is yishar koach and the direct translation is you should continue to have righteous strength (might or power), well done my friend.

  • Comment 16, posted at 26.11.15 14:36:47 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 16) : Thanks for those awesome words. I still remember the time we met in Virgina as one of my favourite “things that could never have happened were it not for Sharksworld”.

  • Comment 17, posted at 26.11.15 15:18:29 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • WOW what a truly beautiful article.
    This is the best Sharks rugby site I have ever come across.
    The official Sharks site was great when Plumtree was there but since he left it has been found wanting in a big way. It is VERY short of news!
    I’m not sure how I stumbled upon Sharksworld but, boy, I’m so THANKFUL that I did. Thanks, Rob!

    I also do not have time to comment every day but hardly a day goes by without me reading all the articles and the comments.

  • Comment 18, posted at 26.11.15 15:31:59 by Den Reply

  • @Den (Comment 18) : I actually found my way here years ago via Keo proving that even evil can be used to bring forth good.

  • Comment 19, posted at 26.11.15 15:58:02 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I am thankful for everyone being thankful lol. Jokes aside thanks Brudda Rob for all efforts much appreciated ????????

  • Comment 20, posted at 26.11.15 16:37:23 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Well I’m not going to try and win any prizes as there are those much more worthy than I. But suffice it to say I am thankfull for an unbiased site and for some really quality pieces that make me think and rethink. And for a great country with all its flaws with a great spirit. And most of all I am grateful for a great union that has been my only choice since I was old enough to understand and enjoy this sport. I will hoist one to my sharkies in any year no matter what troubles or accomplishments, black and white. ..nothing else matters. Cheers y ‘ all.

  • Comment 21, posted at 26.11.15 20:27:54 by coolfusion Reply

  • Oh and lastly I think I would like to thank the inimitable Mr. Rick Astley who made our Rob the man he is today. And his life changing 1987 genre defining album “whenever you need somebody” send me an adress so I can courier you a new copy Rob. Since your cd must be worn to complete transparency by now……

  • Comment 22, posted at 26.11.15 20:38:03 by coolfusion Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 19) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 23, posted at 26.11.15 21:09:39 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • I’m thankfully for my wonderful family, as in some way all of you seems to be part of the Sharks family (yes even the Cheethas and Bulls fans that’s on Sharksworld).
    Special thanx needs to go to Rob and his little elves for this wonderful site!! Hope yo all had a lekker Thanksgiving!!!

  • Comment 24, posted at 26.11.15 23:36:36 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @vanmartin (Comment 19)

    I’ve been here for about 3 years, I think. Maybe four. I’ve really enjoyed it.!

  • Comment 25, posted at 27.11.15 02:50:34 by Den Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 19) : ja boet if he can do some good then everyone can. 😈

  • Comment 26, posted at 27.11.15 07:38:01 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Thanks for all the articles and the time and effort you put into it to keep us informed. I might now comment very regularly but I read all the articles and most of the comments.

  • Comment 27, posted at 27.11.15 11:37:32 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • @vanmartin (Comment 19) : I also used to be a regular on keo back in the day, when the banter was good and the it was a bit of fun. How quickly that changed.

  • Comment 28, posted at 27.11.15 11:39:58 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • Great article and very well put

  • Comment 29, posted at 27.11.15 17:51:58 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld

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