And one more thing.
You kids, get off my lawn!
Political football claims another victim
My friend, the SMH’s State Political Editor, Alexandra Smith, wrote a piece on Thursday about the John Barilaro saga, focusing on how very odd it was that our former Deputy Premier should have secured an annual $500K for a position he created. (He has since, mercifully, withdrawn.) The headline was “The Barilaro saga is an own goal for the Perrottet government” to which I lightly mused on twitter, “’Own goal’? Or “hit wicket”? I am sure there is a better sporting metaphor, I am just not sure what it is. . . ”
The answers came flooding in:
“Since it is a Nat involved, is it not shooting oneself in the foot?”
“Can’t bowl, can’t bat”?
“Salary cap scandal for team caught in systemic drug cheating program.”
“Own goal? It’s a straight up professional foul. This is red card stuff for the voters.”
“Could it be ‘Bowled a Maiden Over’. Goodbye [public servant who appointed him]Amy Brown!”
“A shank out of bounds followed by a duck hook, 4 putts and a pick up. . . ”
“Perrottet’s underarm bowling moment”?
“More akin to Bodyline. Barilaro is Douglas Jardine & Perrottet is Larwood. We’re all The Don. ‘It’s just not cricket’ feels appropriate.”
“Impaled himself on his stumps.”
“‘Richie, you really couldn’t make a bigger balls up of this thing if you tried, could you?’ ‘That’s fair, Bill. It’s a total cock up. Barilaro has run his captain out for naught, and Perrotet isn’t happy. There will be some strong words in the clubhouse when this innings is over’.”
And the winner?
@Tedd111 came good with the perfect, pithy rejoinder: “Fine Cotton”.
Kyrgios needs to unleash the good guy within
I wouldn’t say there is method in his madness, but there is certainly a pattern forming. As discussed in this very spot when Nick Kyrgios had a meltdown over an umpire’s decision at the Miami Open in April, the Canberran said: “When everyone in that crowd is booing an umpire, and he’s becoming the center of attention, that’s not his job . Because no one in that entire stadium bought a ticket to see him talk or play or do what he does.”
On Tuesday, Kyrgios had a similar meltdown over the call of a lineswoman in the course of his first-round victory at Wimbledon, saying to umpire Marija Cicak: “Has one person today come here to see her speak? Not one person. I know you’ve got fans but she’s got none.”
Last time, I noted the similarity of the sentiment to the famous one expressed in 1880 by the iconic English batsman, WG Grace, to an umpire who was uppity enough to give him out LBW: “They came to see me bat, not you umpire .”
This time, it is less amusing.
Without engaging in pscyho-babble, the good glimpses we get of Kyrgios’s character show that deep inside there is a good, humble bloke trying to get out from under all the ranting. And that quote – essentially saying the lineswoman is a nobody whose opinion simply doesn’t count – is not worthy of the bloke inside we keep glimpsing and liking. And nor is spitting at Wimbledon towards fans.
As ever, Nick, we all get you are a work in progress and there really is a good man in there trying to get out.
Welcome to commonsense
Yonks back a bloke called Phil Gould sang the national anthem before a Bledisloe Test. Well, not that Phil Gould, the other one – the professional singer. I remember it because he gave it such a beat, such a tempo and resonance that he was able to make even that dreadful dirge Advance Australia Fair sound good. I was reminded of it when watching last Sunday night’s State of Origin and saw the Welcome to Country.
Wow. Just wow.
The words! The warmth! The sense of an Australian original engaging in an original concept. It was perfect, a credit to rugby league and to Australia.
Who is that guy? It was by Noongar/Yamatji musician Richard Walley and it turns out he more or less invented the contemporary concept of Welcome to Country nearly 50 years ago with Ernie Dingo. Yes, of course it has been done in these parts for tens of thousands of years, but Dingo and Walley were part of the Middar Aboriginal theatre, at Perth fringe festival and as noted by a piece in The Guardianit was Dingo and Walley who were given the blessing by community elders to take the inter-Indigenous concept and welcome the non-Indigenous.
And it has grown from there, most particularly since 2008 “when the official opening of Australia’s federal parliament began, for the first time, with a traditional welcome to the country, becoming a standard feature thereafter. The following day the then prime minister, Kevin Rudd, gave an historic formal apology to Australia’s Indigenous people.”
What They Said
Serena Williams on her first-round loss to Harmony Tan at Wimbledon: “Today I gave all I could do, you know, today. Maybe tomorrow I could have given more. Maybe a week ago I could have given more. But today was what I could do. At some point, you have to be able to be OK with that.” And so this is how it ends. Not with a bang, nor even a walloping. Just a first-round loss at Wimbledon to an unknown.
Harmony Tan on the win: “I don’t know because I don’t believe now. I don’t believe. It’s a dream because, you know, I saw Serena on the TV when I was young… she’s a legend. I mean, she won 23 Grand Slams. When you play her, I was scared. I mean, I was scared when I was on the court but really happy to be there.”
Nick Kyrgios upset with fans in his first round match: “Have you ever gone to a supermarket and just started berating someone scanning the groceries? Well So why do they do it when I’m at Wimbledon? Why is that? I just think it’s a whole generation of people on social media feeling like they have a right to comment on every single thing with negativity. It just carries on to real life.”
Headline in London’s Daily Mailabove a photo of Nick Kyrgios: “Why is this most cretinous player at Wimbledon?” The article went on to call him “rambling and often incoherent” while criticizing his “relentless, poisonous tirades,” and accusing him of “nursing a sense of victimhood.” Andes then it started to rip into him!
Who else but Kyrgios after his blistering 2nd round win at Wimbledon: “Today, enjoy it, watch it back, I hope you all watch my highlights and write about that. I’m one of the most important people in the sport, you want to investigate that? Nothing to investigate there, it’s just factual.”
Ahead of Origin II, former Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett on Matt Burton: “I’m really proud of Burto; he’s an exceptional player and an exceptional person, and he deserves this.” Surely we can do better than “Burto”!
Australian basketballer Josh Green on waking up and seeing his bronze medal from Tokyo: “Words can’t even describe; the medal is sitting right next to my bed. I wake up every morning, look at it, it’s a good start to the day. It’s also so much more than just a medal, being around the great group of guys, it’s like a family you know what I mean? I make sure that I keep in contact with all of them.”
Green on missing Australian food: “I get red frogs sent to my house every month. It’s basically a subscription at this point.”
Paul Vautin on the sin-binning during Origin II: “No one knows what they’re for. No one here knows. No one at home knows. We don’t know. We’re so-called experts. So called.”
Phil Gould on it: “The fact that these six-agains were not penalty kicks for goal meant they were just given away like smarties. You don’t need that – it’s Origin football.”
Usman Khawaja on things the BBL has to do to improve: “If we’re not careful we’re going to be left behind, and you don’t want to do that because the BBL is a great product.” Referring to it as a “product” has to be part of the problem. Whatever the reality, I, for one, want to feel like a sports fan rather than the consumer of a product, put out by an industry.
England rugby coach Eddie Jones on the lack of lip from Wallaby coach Dave Rennie in the lead-up to the first Test: “In 2016 we had [Michael] Cheika here and there was a bit of a niggle – it was good, good Australian sport. This time it feels like. . . I don’t know what it feels like. I prefer it like that, but you can’t spar against anything. I like a bit of fun. When you’re sparring in a corner by yourself it’s not much fun.”
Team of the Week
Eddie Jones. Back to Australia with the England men’s rugby side. The first Test is Saturday night in Perth.
West Coast Fever and Melbourne Vixens. Contesting Sunday’s Super Netball Grand Final after Vixens had an amazing comeback against GWS Giants.
Jonny Bairstow. In his first three innings in the three-Test series against New Zealand, the English batter scored 25 runs in 35 balls for an average of 8.3. In his last three innings he scored 369 runs in 293 balls for an average of 184.5 at a strike rate of 126.
Mollie O’Callaghan. The fast-rising Australian swimmer won three golds and three silvers at the World Championships.
Penrith Museum of Printing. The repository of Australia’s print heritage has not received a cent of government aid, while one of the richest clubs in the southern hemisphere, that pokie palace called the Penrith Panthers received funding that was used for a car park. Does that seem right to you?
TFF. You’re welcome, Brad Fittler. TFF unequivocally tipped Queensland in Origin II, which brought into play my Kiss of Death, and now forces the decider. NSW will have to beat history to claim the series after winning just five of 20 Origin series deciders. Nine deciders have been played at Lang Park and NSW have only won two, the last being 2005.
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