Two teams: the Warriors, who offend no one and endear themselves to many, and Manly. Manly are a team only a mother could love. Granted, there are plenty of Manly mothers, but still. Their very presence in the final soured my festive spirit and I'm not even talking about Brett Stewart specifically. Not yet, anyway. That bitch will get his later. I mean, Tony Abbott supports Manly. Hugh Jackman too, and I bet Baz Luhman does as well and I hate all three of these men and thus rest my case. Manly blow, in a word. Need I say more? No. But I will anyway.
'Sup Steve Matai! Outstanding. His bloodied head, leaking profusely and later wrapped in bandages was a stirring sight and the standout image of the afternoon. Matai is a simple man. He is programed for violence and he delivers the goods. He plays with authority. I like this. He also plays like a creature accustomed to hunting down its meals. I love this.
Jamie Lyon also delivers the goods. He hunts pigs, did you know? In his down-time? He also has a face like a dropped pie. On grand final day it looked like a dropped pie all squirted with sauce because he too got all dinged up. I feel like I should find him really distasteful but find it impossible to do so. He may be about as interesting as a coffee table but I cannot hate a man who drives to training in a late 1980s Holden Rodeo ute with a rusted out tray. Impossible. Rough edges and extracurricular activities of the redneck variety are GO. Also, it amuses me to know that Manly has a redneck captain. The biggest redneck I can think of off the top of my head is Phil Anselmo from Pantera, so Lyon has a ways to go, but, still...
Oh yeah. Matai stuck two fingers up behind Joe Galuvao's head during the national anthem - you know, the bunny ears? Oh my god. This is proof that if you look like a bison you can get away with anything. A striking set of cornrows don't hurt the cause either. Unless of course you've been in Bali, in which case you're tragic and quite clearly fucked.
Now. After applying that creamy layer of approval to proceedings thus far it is with a heavy heart (this is bullshit, I clearly love it) that I turn my jaundiced eye to:
- cue crashing cymbals and jeers and the hurling of soft food stuffs - because this is the part where I get to thunder BAD TIMING, BRETT and pretend through those three words that this is a real newspaper headline and not a two-bit blog. Maybe one day. In the meantime, MY GOD was that bad timing! My god! Fancy winning a grand final and only minutes later being unable or just dead-set unwilling to muster up the basic good manners to be gracious to David Gallop on a podium on a national stage. My god! Anyone else would have happily worn Gallop as a hat at that moment. Not Brett Stewart though, no. This makes the fact that he is a total fuckwit official.
I say fuckwit but I think if I were limited to having only one word to describe Stewart in light of this latest episode it would be 'dick'. It's monosyballic nature endows it with a certain blunt irrefutability, and it's suitably broad while still being closely affiliated with generalised arrogance and stupidity and both pedestrian and specialised idiocy. Okay good. Now that I've settled that, let's review the situation.
Manly win the grand final. Mass celebration and flagrant emoting ensues. Confetti rains like Agent Orange. The world is a place of golden splendour, ANZ Stadium it's enormous racing heart. As the hysteria is taking hold, and moments before he gets a giant bucket of Gatorade dumped over his head coach Des Hasler, referring to Stewart's tumultuous few years, says happily "I think he's finally got some closure". Moments later again and there's Stewart up on the dais responding to the congratulations he receives by asking David Gallop if he had a daughter. Or words to that effect. Maybe. In any case, whatever was said may never be publically known because the NRL moved swiftly to have those who were within earshot banned from talking to the media. Call me cynical, but, smoke, fire, all that shit?
Apparently this much is clear. Stewart, in part, is said to have exclaimed "David, you owe me an apology" and Gallop, god love him, remained gloriously stony faced and responded "Well done". Gallop, goddamn! Later he said 'I'm being really careful with all this", which seems a classy and tactful way of saying "I think Brett Stewart's mind is malfunctioning and that he is on a fast track to becoming a drained, deluded and hollow husk of a man so let's all sit back and watch him unravel shall we, AND PASS THE PIZZA-SHAPES".
Suffice to say that if his intention all this time has been to recruit others to his version of rality then he is in need of urgent and intensive psychological attention. Or a series of beatings.
Such is my distaste for all things Stewart that his brother Glenn's theatrics left me cold. I mean, I suppose an audacious grubber from inside his own 20 that was scooped up by Michael Robinson to set up Daly Cherry-Evans' quickstepping series of dummies and sensational try in the next play only moments before halftime was something to behold, if you like that sort of thing. I don't. The piece of play that resulted in Cherry-Evans' pants being pulled down? Much more to my taste, as was the admiring accompanying commentary from either Gus or Rabbits: "They pants him AND THEY KEEP HIM DOWN!" It was probably Rabbits, now that I think of it. He has that lovely way of switching seamlessly from soft, tender admiration to overwrought bellowing and back again just as suddenly in a way that creates a lovely, edgy tension for the listener.
Now. Manu Vatuvei. He came, he bulldozed, he scored a try - we can ask nothing more of the Beast. He manages to be one of the most formidable bitches out there and at the same time always looks like he's getting great joy out of proceedings too. He has a 'Life of the party' vibe about him; none of this 'I'm only here for the free food and drinks' attitude that some players appear to have *cough - John Sutton - cough*...
Anyway, I managed to lay my hands on a copy of Manu's daily schedule. Here it is.
David Williams, who seems to have carved a successful career out of being as charming and welcoming as a pie cooling on a windowsill dismissed talk of his disappointment at not being able to play due to that horrendous neck injury by saying he was just relieved not to be the one having to shape up against Manu. He seems a very sweet-tempered and glass-half-full type, doesn't he? As opposed to the egotistical and morally muddy type? Also, he's a bandit for a photo shoot. Let's review the evidence to take us out.