Croesus pushing his barrow (of money)

“All Blacks: Time for the greats to stand up and be counted in Cape Town” by Peter Bills.

“Smith was asked about the pressures of trying to build a new-look All Blacks side and keep winning every Test match during that process. Images of Croesus trying gamely to push his stone up a hill came flooding to mind as Smith outlined the philosophy behind the task.”

Sports journalism: home of the cloche, the mashed metaphor and paronomania. I think he means Sisyphus, does he not? (See Odyssey 11.593—and

[Sisifo, by Titian (1548-49)]

In his archaic rugby primitivism about greats and great emotion, Bills summons up the shade of Camus’s Sisyphus, condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a rock up a mountain, only to see it roll down again—in the spirit of its concluding clou: “The struggle itself . . . is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

[Croesus Receiving Tribute from a Lydian Peasant, by Claude Vignon (1629) ]

Croesus is more apposite to modern mechanised rugby—renowned for his wealth and for receiving tribute from doting colonials (see


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