Sunday, 15 May 2011

It's Paul Gallen, bitch!

So. Roosters v Sharks. Obviously, my focus here was the return of my favourite prodigal problem child Todd Carney.

I can't wait for him to find fierce form again. In the meantime, I have Paul Gallen. We all do. More on him later though.

In the event, Carney played ok, although I am yet to order my thoughts enough to work out how I feel about him being rushed back into the side right now. Shouldn't he be taking time off for a period of mental readjustment? Is it even possible for footballers to mentally readjust? So many questions. And if there's any club that's going to withold answers to urgent questions it's the Roosters.

Mental Readjustment 101
 It's times like these when I really miss Willie Mason's presence in the game. Remember when he came out and called Nick Politis a big fat bastard or whatever it was and totally got under his skin with it? Good times.

Or when he said by way of a retrospective interview re. the Bulldogs that "we won the competition on No Doze"? No one does candid like Big Willie. Or, as my brother refers to him, "that refrigerator with eyes".

By the by, rumours suggest Mason may soon make a shock return from the UK, and that the newly depleted Sharks may make a play for him. Fantastic. Make it happen. We need more lippy types in league. We also need more pictures like these:

Even though the Roosters are my number 2 team, I like the Sharks. You gotta like the Sharks. I like the idea of the Shire having their own team in the same way that I like Newcastle having the Knights. Teams like these are bred for hostility, which I approve of.

Anyway, the game gets going and I really don't notice anything much in terms of play or even Carney because I'm too busy wondering for what feels like the millionth fucking time why the predominant colour on nearly every team's jersey is WHITE nowadays, and working myself into a steaming lather as a result.

Really, of the many thousands of things I have never been able to understand, this in particular stands out. Case in point: the Tigers.

Now, I have as loose a grasp on the intricacies of the home and away jersey combinations as anybody else, ie. I don't understand it in the slightest. I do know this though: under no circumstances should the Tigers wear white jerseys. Ever. Lately, I squint my eyes up like Andrew Ryan's and I STILL can barely see a trace of black or orange anywhere on there. Same with the Broncos. In what world do the Broncos not wear maroon with yellow? I don't know who thieir head designer is but if I could I would gut them like a fish. I mean, honestly.

Anyway, the Roosters jerseys are a massive fail. There's a band of blue around the bottom that looks for all the world like some kind of Danoz waist cincher for women, a block of red around the throat that does nothing for the whole 'not enough neck' situation afflicting footballers, and then a vast swath of skin-tight white. Terrible, terrible stuff, from which I do not recover readily. If at all.

Quelle horreur
 I really only get drawn into the game when Gus grabs my attention by commenting of Carney that

                                                  "this man's got to see some ball".

Later in the piece Mitchell Pearce starts *ahem* giving him some ball and they get to throwing it around a bit and this pleases me because together they play like a poem and, also, I always appreciate hearing Rabs roar things like

                                                 "and Pearce goes to Carney"
in that rich, lusty way of his.

"balls, two"

Other than observing that Carney looks a little on the thin side, and concluding that he looks retro as a result, nothing much about the Roosters other than their god-awful jerseys manages to keep my attention.

Pretty much all of that goes to the Sharks. It's all them.

They're playing at Shark Park, they're ahead for the whole time and they spend the second half of the game bathed in that late afternoon sun so specific to autumn. It's buttery and soft and mellow and it makes everything look beautiful. Even the most derelict Sharks supporters look civilised and approachable in this light. Kade Snowden looks house-broken! Similar results can be acheived at home by rubbing Vaseline over a camera lens.

The only person the beautiful light does nothing for is Paul Gallen, which in itself is testament to the man's towering might and power. What does he need with atmospheric mood lighting anyway? It's Paul Gallen, bitch!

How awesome is Gal? Sure, he looks as vast and unbecoming as a brick apartment block, but goddamn if he isn't the fiercest player in the game right now. Watching him throw himself and the entire opposing team around with such brutal and violent intensity never fails to put me in a positive and upbeat frame of mind. Full credit to Gal here, as this takes some doing.

Also, although he is cruelly unsympathetic on field, off it he is by all accounts as soft as a mouse's belly.

Exhibit A:

He admitted a few weeks ago that in the lead up to the birth of his second baby he was wrung out with anxiety because he was unable to imagine loving another child as much as his first daughter Charly:

"I have been saying to my missus that I am worried that I won't love this one as much. But people say you love them all equally".

If you don't love this statement and sentiment, well, frankly, you're fucked.

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