Save our cauliflowers! Brian Dick gets all grizzly over the sacred gristle...
Is there nothing sacred? The last decade of professional rugby has changed the sport irrevocably but do they really have to strip us of every last cherished vestige of a happier era?
Where we once stood shoulder to hip and enjoyed a pint with those players honoured enough to represent our club's first team, we now look up to the sponsors' boxes to see younger, more athletic men pressing corporate flesh.
Where the annual visit to Twickenham felt like embarking on a pilgrimage to the finest cathedral on God's earth, the debenture-inspired day trip assumes a much harder-edged commercial commitment. Money has corrupted that which we hold dear in all aspects of rugby union.
And I, part unwittingly, part intrigued, have stood by and allowed this bastardisation to go unchecked. But now I say no more. It's time to stop. Leave us alone. Hands off our ears.
If rumours emanating from north of the border are to be believed we are being told that those hard-earned scars of battle no longer have a place in the modern game. In short our beautifully formed cauliflower ears are past their sell-by date.
According to The Scotsman newspaper two enterprising doctors have come up with a new treatment that brings an end to the whole phenomenon.
Until now treatment for the condition, which is caused by blood building up between skin and cartilage as a result of the repeated battering, has been limited to attempts to drain the blood from the ear or cosmetic surgery.
But two Glasgow-based ear, nose and throat specialists have come up with a moulded silicone splint that supports the ear thereby making obsolete the only other known preventative measure, electrical insulation tape with a game-life of ten minutes.
The old method, we are told, supports only one side of the ear and for Dr Nick Calder, of the Gartnavel Hospital, and Dr Duncan Macdonald, of Glasgow's Western Infirmary, that's not good enough.
"We spoke to a colleague who makes hearing aids who made a mould of both sides of the ear after it had been drained and then made splints from silicone to provide the support," Dr Calder told The Scotsman.
"The best thing about this is it allows sportsmen to keep on playing and training. They don't have to go into hospital for surgery.
" Unfortunately for sportsmen who already have well-developed cauliflower ears, this treatment won't help. It only prevents the condition from developing."
Dr Macdonald said the remedy, revealed in the latest edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, could also improve sportsmen's health.
"Cauliflower ears aren't just unsightly - they can cause problems in later life, particularly if people have to wear hearing aids," he said.
I can't boast a particularly fine example myself but the small knot that sits proudly atop the aural organ on the right side of my head is well-earned and highly valued.
It is proof to sceptical rugby players that there was a time when I knew my rucks from my mauls and I wouldn't be without it.
Imagine Graham Rowntree without those trademark satellite dishes of gnarled gristle. He would look as intimidating as my uncle Eddy. What next? A perm or highlights? No, maybe you fancy your crown dyed blond Gareth, that'd look nice.
Admittedly Rowntree isn't inundated with advertising gigs but that's as much to do with the short sightedness of the British Council for Brassica Promotion as his own deformed appendages.
Apparently the housewives prefer a cleaner-cut image to adorn their cereal packets but surely some upwardthrusting ad executive out there can see benefits of congealed stew flanking the skull of an otherwise handsome England international.
But Dr Calder and Macdonald don't see it that way. Who do they turn to for endorsement? Ex Scotland winger Kenny Logan - a man who has made his life staying away from the big boys and whose face is frankly beautiful.
"Despite the macho attitude in the dressing-room, I think more and more players think cauliflower ears are a little bit unsightly and not something you really want to be stuck with," Logan said.
The sport's fans may not agree Mr Logan, perhaps you should try one for size.