I live in Victoria so I get my league news a day late. Via newspaper, I mean. You'd think I lived in another country, honestly. NRL is obscure and alien down here.
I watched my first AFL game last year, the first grand final, because I was house bound, basically. Put it this way, there wasn't a whole lot of choice involved. It was as foreign to me as, say, the Indian postal service, and just as challenging. Watching it, I felt like I had lost my grip on reality entirely. Daily life offers up enough opportunities for me to experience that sensation as it is, I don't need men leaping inexplicably into the air and unfamiliar scoring systems to drive home the point, I really don't.
Also, crucially, AFL has none of the absurdities that make league so appealing. There's little humour to be had in the AFL's off field action. It's all rape charges and bent cops leaking victim's details to clubs and after-dark indiscretions that take place inside and around Crown Casino. Not to mention Ricky Nixon. All very unsavoury. The NRL has a far more friendly and lighthearted tone overall, I feel.
Sure, we have Sam "take the two" Ayoub doing his bit to bring the entire player agent system into disrepute (and Corey Parker standing strong and refusing to have a manager and handling all his own affairs - although, to be honest, I can't imagine he has that many extra-curricular offers to field once his contract negotiations are taken care of, considering he's Corey Parker, ie. the Eternal Bridesmaid and all), but do we have Ayoub on record having an exchange like the following?
Girl: "What the hell, as if you do a line that big."
Man she claims to be Nixon: "I'm a big boy. You should know that."
Girl: *snorting sound*: "That was massive."
Man she claims to be Nixon: "You're only 17, I know it's pretty full-on. It's not great stuff."
We do not. Ayoub's merely at the centre of a match fixing and betting scandal. Is this more socially acceptable? I can't even tell anymore. He still has all his clients though, and he still seems tight with J.T. Nixon rolled off to rehab and hasn't really been seen or heard since, at least by me. Except, memorably, when Nick Reiwolt was quoted as saying that he'd
"Punch Ricky Nixon's lights out"
if the St Kilda Schoolgirl affair claims turned out to be true. (This quote ran in the form of a news banner along the bottom of the screen during morning TV, how awesome is that? I really, really love Australia.)
You don't have anyone of Preston Campbell's ilk in the AFL announcing in an interview:
"I quit smoking when I was eight"
either do you? No.
They just have Ben Cousins on the crack pipe. Which I guess could be seen as being amusing in it's own way, if you think about it...
I have to say that I see something of the Wild Colonial Boy Carney in Cousins. They both have a wild feral glint to the eye. It speaks of mayhem, and of mischief, and the unpredictable. Their mouths too.
Look, I know it seems something of a longshot to draw similarities between two notorious players from completely different codes, but they're there, trust.
I would never, for example, align Carney with Brendan Fevola, least of all because I think he's actually a little bit retarded. Like, legitimately retarded. If you've ever heard him speak you'll know what I mean. And if you haven't heard him speak, well, chances are you'll still know what I mean.
I read that Carney maybe missed out on the oppurtunity for teenage hijinks in Goulburn. Apparently his dad Daryl
"poured his life into Carney's development as a footballer. He even went as far as stopping the boy from owning a skateboard or going to weekend house parties as a teenager."
I read this and kinda thought something along the lines of THAT EXPLAINS IT THEN.
When I was growing up I wasn't allowed to have salt. There was no salt to be found anywhere in my childhood home. To this day I'm a fiend for it. I shake and grind it over all of my food with wild and frenzied abandon, so I can totes relate to Toddy. It's like this guy I know who sometimes keeps a pig or two and refuses to feed them any meat scraps because he doesn't want to give them a taste. A blood-lust. You know, in case he slips in their shit inside the pen and falls down and they start in on eating him. Wait, it's not really like that at all is it? I don't know. There's an analogy in there somewhere.
What was I going to do, mum, taste salt and start lapping up litres of sea water?
Anyway. What a lousy few weeks of football it's been.
Sweet jesus, it's been rough. I have revelled in every minute of it.
I loved seeing the Titans denied eight or nine tries against the Dogs. Not only was it a remarkable achievment in terms of , uh, 'being shit', it also meant that they bumped the Raiders off the bottom of the ladder. Fantastic. Consider it karmic retribution for that extra time bullshit back in round four at Bruce, you bastards.
I loved seeing the Tigers come apart at the seams entirely out at the foot of the mountains, too. What is DOING with those Tigers? Their shit is shambolic. Benji looks sloppy as hell out there. I know he can be a little flaky but this is BEYOND. It's really very enjoyable. I resent them enormously for being the Raiders' hoodoo team so their misfortune pleases me no end.
Speaking of flaky, sup Jarryd Hayne?!
Is he just a touch too laid back out there week to week? I get that he's kind of like a thoroughbred, in that he can't be bothered getting a sweat up week in week out and keeps himself in tip top shape for the real stride outs, but a little exertion wouldn't go astray here and there. He's a little lazy is what I'm saying. Mad skill, but lazy. Like a rug on valium.
The best thing the guy's done this year is save someone from drowning in the sea. Saving lives is all very nice but it doesn't get the Eels two points does it? Big Points from the man upstairs, though, and I suspect this is what it's all about for Hayne if those rosaries he rocks are anything to go by.
-John Lang was wearing a DrizaBone.
-It was a greasy, greasy game, and the ball kept squiting loose unexpectedly.
-I decided Dave Taylor looks like a boab tree.
-Warren Smith made a bitchy remark to Greg Alexander about Penrith's bottomed-out budget.
-Dion Apps, formerly of the Bega Roosters, debuted for the Bunnies and made me clap in delight and get nostalgic about my home town.
-Chris Sandow had a rough night, and, finally:
-The Bunnies lost.
Something there for everyone.