This is an age of disappointment. Most of us want our sport to reflect what is good in humanity. We want it to lift us from the mundane and the everyday. We want it to provide us with an understanding of the human condition.
I want all this. I also want sport to provide visuals such as this, and plenty of them:
Here is a closer look at the human condition, NRL-style.
Anyway, who could blame Hayne for not wanting to watch his stinking team play? I have no emotional investment in the Eels whatsoever and watching Chris Sandow ‘play’ makes me writhe in discomfort, I can only imagine Hayne’s reluctance to do the same. In public. At Brookvale. Trying to hide your private despair from public scrutiny is THE WORST.
“I’m just barracking for Braith tonight. He has a new haircut” – text to my brother, re. the Roosters Rabbits game.
Personal hair care is clearly a very high priority for Braith. I would find this offensive in, say, a Rabbitoh, but it’s Braith, so it’s charming. Last week, in that Sharks game, Braith had “an infected face” and did not play. This was bad news for me. For Braith too, I imagine.
Braith’s complicated face is one of my five favourites in the NRL. I searched it this week for lesions and when I actually saw one I experienced photo-sensitive-epilepsy type flashes of Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, which was an occurrence I found unsettling.
To steady the nerves I reminded myself of that time Braith hollered ‘AW YOU’RE OFF YER HEAD!!” at some hapless ref. This was an occurrence I found awesome. Poor Braith. It must blow being the captain of the most penalised club in the competition. Not to mention being coached by that croaky halfwit Brian Smith. He is a shrunken straw-man. Under no circumstances should he be coaching. He should be tonging sausages outside Bunnings of a weekend.
The Roosters are still persisting with that inane practice of slapping each other’s backs and hands after an error. Of which there are many. I can’t help feeling that this weird charade is symptomatic of some of the deeper problems at the Roosters. Of which there are many. Like Brian Smith being a total shonk. As tactics go I prefer Mitchell Pearce’s last week against the Sharks when the Roosters were packing a scrum with nine seconds on the clock. He screamed “NO FUCKIN PENALTIES!!!” and it appeared to work because they didn’t concede any penalties, and god knows they are partial to a penalty or twelve. In the event, the game went into golden point the three dozen or so attempts at field goal addled my mind and dazzled my eye so much that I can’t remember who eventually even won the goddamn game. *Oh, right. It was a draw.
I think Mitchell Pearce is experiencing some hiccups in employee relations at the Roosters. I believe this is true in the same way I believe that that creepy father totally felt up his cretinous daughter during that limo ride home from the airport on The Shire last week. Some things you just know.
I’ve spent this whole season squinting at Adam Reynolds, trying to work out where I’ve seen him before. Now I know that every time I’ve caught a train to or from Bomaderry HE’S BEEN ON IT. He’s the guy nipping off at Minamurra and Thirroul to suck down a few sneaky durry drags on the platform. He’s also the guy wearing athletic snap-pants. Because nothing better signifies a disdain for societal norms than athletic snap-pants. Last time I rode this train there was a guy, to avoid confusion let’s just call him ‘Adam Reynolds’, talking explosively to someone whose acquaintance he had just made, telling them about his neighbours in Sanctuary Point. “Cunts on one side, cunts on the other.”
Incidentally, this blog has been receiving a substantial amount of traffic off of the key search words ‘how to get rid of meth trash’.
Luke Lewis. He is perfect for Cronulla. Cronulla is perfect for him. You know he would say “my dog barks at Asian people”. He was spotted last week buying a pie in Cronulla. This was early evidence of his plans to sign with the Sharks, certainly, but it was also confirmation that footballers can perform ordinary individual acts, completely unsupervised, such as basic pie consumption.
I was hoping dimly that he would come to Canberra. You wouldn’t though, would you? Not if you’re in form, not if you’re in possession of your wits. Lewis has sharp bleached blue eyes suffused with a strange Bunsen burner flame like vitality. He’d also most likely be one to bite his beer bottles open. He is basically a VB ad come to life. He knows what’s up.
Anyway, it’s heartening to know that he chose Cronulla because he wants to see out his career being captained by Gal. It’s like when Josh Dugan said he wanted to stay at Canberra to play alongside Terry Campese. Except that Campese ended up out injured for the season for a second year running, damnation. The only upside of this, by the by, is that Terry’s long stretches off the field give him plenty of time to impregnate his wife and expand the Campese dynasty. I want the whole Queanbeyan and Jerromberah area crawling with Campese babies in the next five years. See to it, Terry.
I’m also happy for Gallan. Greg Bird’s inglorious departure tore their ‘Bruise Brothers’ alliance asunder. Having Lewis alongside him to pummel bodies into barely identifiable hunks of meat will be good for him.
“Hi, I’m Sonny Bill. You may remember me from four years ago, when I committed the greatest act of treachery in the game’s history.”
Sonny Bill’s departure from the NRL was spectacular. I understand that his re-entry in 2013 will cause something of a sensation too. Sonny Bill is ridiculous. The Roosters are ridiculous. This situation where they’re letting him carouse all off-season and then piloting him in twenty minutes before kick off in round one is ridiculous. Where is the time for team bonding – running up sand hills and roofy-ing and getting shit tattoos - during the summer months? It tells everybody everything they need to know about the Roosters ethos, in case anyone missed it over the last hundred odd years. There is no fairness in it. There is no fairness in life. Sad.
Something else that is sad: Nathan Hindmarsh having to wrap up his career surrounded by dysfunction and incompetence. Did everyone see him go back and pick up the last esky for the groundskeepers after everyone else had left last weekend? His shorts were loose and sagging and his Eels had just beaten the Storm from last position and he’d scored his first try of 2012 and he was rolling this enormous esky off the field, WHAT A GUY. Age shall not weary him.
Elvis was so clapped out by the end of his career that he couldn’t have shifted an esky if he’d tried.
This Steve Price guy, who the fuck is he? Whoever he is, he is not cut out for this coaching gig he’s found himself in. No man with such an alarmingly sloping chin should be in an authoritative and public position. He is limp and surly and petulant and evasive, which is exactly what the world expects of a weak-chinned man. Fittingly, he defended that dirty little hamster Jamie Soward when he marched off at Bruce without shaking hands with a single Raider. I think he even encouraged people to forget it, get over it. Not on my watch Soward. Lest we forget.
Speaking of dirty little hamsters, the fact that Chris Sandow gets to be coached by Ricky Stuart next year resonates with me in a very painful fashion. It sticks in my craw. All the speculation and conjecture about him signing on to coach Canberra, all that fucking ‘strong mail’ that sports writers like to reference to bolster their hopelessly ill-informed stories, all of it has ended in disillusion.
((Minutes after writing this I find myself grinning inadvertently at an inane Suzuki ad featuring Slater Smith and Ryles - a terrible transgression, on all of our parts.))