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r-l-w-c: all wrapped up in a big black and white bow

November 25th, 2008


Pic: Steve Christo

The Rugby League World Cup is officially over. The final’s been decided.  The boys are all back home either being lauded by the public or eating Easy Mac n Cheese to ease their disappointment.  You can decide for yourselves who is doing what.

They’ve given out the trophy and all the participation certificates for the players’ mums to put on the fridge.  Almost time to put on your Peter Wynn’s Rugby League pyjamas and go into footy hibernation for the summer.  But first, one more r-l-w-c wrap-up.  I warn you in advance that this one is going to be weird.  I feel weird already.  It’s not even the usual feeling funny in my pants, which is pretty much my default state and I’ve kinda gotten used to it.

For one thing: Australia Didn’t Win.  The almost-unbackable favourites, the World Cup juggernauts, the team you love to hate … lost.

zomg I know! I can’t believe it either, eh!

Believe me kittens, I was as shocked as you were.  Shocked and overjoyed. Just like Benji Marshall. I said last week I didn’t know who to cheer for, but after seeing the victorious Kiwis leap around like overjoyed schoolchildren I realise I was totally TEAM KIWI the whole time.


Pic: Steve Christo

My head said it didn’t know, but my heart was painted black and white for this game.  What can I say?  I think some part of me just loves seeing an underdog succeed.

I also love that the Kiwis celebrate by drinking beer shirtless. THAT’S HOW I CELEBRATE TOO! It’s why they won’t let me have my birthday in public venues anymore.

Is it possible that I also just enjoy seeing Queenslanders look disappointed?  WELL MAYBE.  AND IS THAT SO WRONG? It probably is, but whatever.

Clearly it’s not completely abnormal to take pleasure from other people’s misery.  If it was, the Germans wouldn’t have bothered to make up a word for it, would they?  Hmmmmm?

And in case the whole 34-20 New Zealand win wasn’t surprising enough for you, I actually have stuff to say about FOOTBALL today.  For serious.  Not just about their hair (well maybe a little bit), or their uniforms, but stuff about what the boys do with the ball (heh, ball).   Let’s get started before I sober up and change my mind.

FREE BILLY!

So I think we all know I’m not Billy Slater’s biggest cheerleader.  I have said less than flattering things about him in the past for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:

a) Accusing Flossy Nightingale of headbutting him;

b) Playing for the Storm (booo, hisssss);

and,

c) Being a dirty Queenslander.

Also, sometimes I just irrationally dislike public sporting figures.  Obviously Billy, like Roger Federer and Karmichael Hunt, has never done anything to me personally. Everyone tells me he is the Loveliest Man Ever and they are probably right. Nonetheless, I Decided to dislike him for no particular reason. It’s my way.

But Billy is getting a bitch of a rap in the media at the moment, and I WILL NOT STAND FOR IT.  Clearly my love of truth outweighs any silly Slater vendetta.  I’m pretty much Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men.

Except, you know, without the stuff that came afterwards, like the booster shoes and the Scientology and the child-bride.

You see, according to the Herald, a “Billy Slater moment of madness” cost Australia the World Cup.

They mean, of course, that Slater threw a blind pass in from the sideline trying to run the ball back upfield, and it fell into the loving arms of Benji Marshall for a try.  Benji’d been loitering around to Billy’s left instead of jumping back to defend against the oncoming Aussies … and I don’t know whether that makes Benji Marshall an excellent reader of the play, or just a bit out of shape and too tired to get back in defence, but either way it all ended badly.

And yes, it was a really stupid pass.  If I had more energy I would have been frustrated to the point of heartbreak watching it, like I was when Jarryd ‘Baby’ Hayne did the same thing in Origin.  NOOO BABY HAYNE, NOOOOO!

I totally just had a flashback then and bumped my head on the desk. That game was horrifying.

But you know what?  That’s just Billy Slater doin what Billy Slater does, isn’t it?


…oh, he’s just bein’ Billy.*
Pic: Steve Christo

My theory is that if you want a safety-times conservatively-programmed early-days Darren Lockyer kinda fullback, you don’t pick Billy Slater.

Bitch is … a risk-taker.  Some people might say ‘a showpony’, but that’s not really it. More like some fullbacks do predictable things … and Billy Slater doesn’t. He sets up ridiculous and amazing plays out of pretty much nothing. He likes it. And it seems like he likes dramatical individual plays more than anything.

Yes, he does things that might turn into massive fuck-ups, but most of the time they work.  (This, of course, is also part of the reason I can’t stand him. Damn you Queenslanders for being so good!)

So basically most of the time the people (cept the Oh Errol kids) love him. For every other game in the tournament, it has been a full-on Billy Slater soggy sao love-in.  BILLY THE KID! FASTEST GUN IN THE WEST! BEST FULLBACK IN THE WORLD!

Bitches couldn’t get enough of him.  Maybe that imagery was a little bit crude.  But whatever.  You know what I mean.  Everyone was all over Billy Slater and It was really fucking annoying.

But now as soon as he gives away a try he’s reckless Billy the Kid who can’t defend and doesn’t deserve to be in the team.  I might believe y’all about that if he hadn’t just received the player of the tournament award.  Clearly no one thought he was doing so badly in all the other games the Aussies played.

He also got unfairly labelled Billy the Choker who can’t step up in big games (cf the Storm losing the Grand Final). And I would believe y’all about this if he didn’t set up two tries in the first half. It takes a whole team to win/lose a gf, right?

Basically – I CALL BULLSHIT.  Yeah he made one mistake, but bitch didn’t single-handedly lose the game. You can’t be all over him then change your mind all of a sudden. It’s only cute when I am irrational and change my mind and go from loving to hating a footy player in a matter of hours.  Like the way I’m now defending Billy Slater. DON’T YOU MESS WITH HIM, OK? I GOTS HIS BACK.

And that’s all I have to say about that.  I feel all queasy.  I CAN’T BELIEVE I STUCK UP FOR BILLY SLATER.  Someone get the Dettol bath ready cause I need one … stat.

THERE’S NO ‘BLAME THE RANGA’ IN ‘TEAM’

Since I’m already busting Billy Slater out of media jail today, I’ve decided I’m takin’ Joel Mongahan with me.  WHY DO PEOPLE ALWAYS BLAME THE RANGA?


Pic: Steve Christo

Ok, um, what exactly did Monas do wrong?  He got a bad bounce, decided to go the professional foul, and the Kiwis got a penalty try.  As opposed to … Hohaia just scoring the try? Which, incidentally, it totally looks like he would have, at least if you ask me and the video ref.

Call me crazy but I don’t see the difference. Maybe he moved the conversion to the center for an easier shot at the extra 2 points but two points weren’t gonna save the Kangaroos.  In the end I think it comes down to lackluster defence. Lackluster defence from the Australian team, who seemed that way from the start of the game.  Just kind of … surprised by how the NZ team played and on the whole pretty unfocussed.  And every try the Kiwis scored chipped away at that a bit more, not just the ones that Monaghan or Slater were ‘responsible’ for.

It also seems vaguely arrogant when people try and pin the loss on one individual Aussie, as though the Kiwi’s couldn’t have won it, the Aussies had to lose.  The Kiwis  had so much passion, those kids deserved it.

And didn’t those bitches have hustle?  Right up the middle of the field where the Aussies weren’t expecting it.  I like to think they foxed the first snorefest of a game against Australia just so they could build up to this.  I believe Wayne Bennett would be that crafty.

But whatevs. I think I’ve ranted enough.  Let’s just say for both sides there’s a reason they call it a team sport.  Also, the New Zealanders gave 110%, and took it one play at a time, and the best side won on the day.  Or something.

Let’s also say to Ricky Stuart and his conspiracy theories just no.  Really, honey, no.  Let it go.  There is a chapter in my etiquette book about losing World Cup finals and it specifically recommends against suggesting that there was a conspiracy against you.  For reals.

And to Billy and Joel: if you’re feelin down, call me.  Let’s go to the pub and you two can drown your sorrows and get blind and wave your fruity cocktails in the air for emphasis as you slur ‘THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW ME. THOSHE BITCHES DON’T KNOWWW ME.’

… AND NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT HAIR

It’ll be quick. I promise. All I really have to say is that Dave Williams is taking this ‘Wolfman’ image really, really seriously. Like woah. As in, I suspect someone has been watching X-Men and grooming their mutton chops to look like Hugh Jackman’s.  And all that volume in the back of the hair … so Wolvy.  Get it?  WOLVERINE?  You know it’s true.


Camera one … are you getting this?

Don’t worry Dave. Secretly, sometimes, we all pretend we’re movie stars.


What, so I’m not on mark? A little to the right you say?

Like sometimes I prance around the house when no one’s home imagining I’m Dolly Parton in the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  True story.

And with that completely random confession, it’s goodbye World Cup.  See ya in four years, bitches.

* Just by the way, if you were a Miley Cyrus fan you would find that HILARIOUS.

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the weekly manlove: benji and scotty edition

July 23rd, 2008

After the overwhelming success* of my footy observations last week, I’ve decided Errol needs more posts about love. And with all the pissing on people and scandal this week, we need it more than ever, right? So every week, if I remember, you’ll get another heartwarming exploration of what it is for a man to love another man. Yes, that loveliest and most fragile of all emotions, manlove.

This week is dedicated to Benji Marshall and Scott Prince. The finding of love, the testing of love, and the tyranny of distance.

* by ‘overwhelming success’ I mean ‘I found it funny’. Also Intern Brownie loved it. He said he had something in his eye, but you know he was totally having a cry. That big softie.

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Footy Observations of the Week (by proxy)

June 18th, 2008

Since our usual footy observer, Kiki, has been the victim of a vicious Friday Night attack by the roads of Sydney and is having trouble with typing due to full-arm castage, this week you get me. Don’t complain or I’ll cut you good.

And in honour of our little drunken invalid, I will also write my observations in point form. Let’s pretend each star point is one of the stars that circled her head as she lay face down in the street.

* So Benji Marshall got in a fight at the Sapphire Suite on Sunday night, and some enterprising Kings Cross winner sold the pictures to the Daily Telegraph.

Benji claims he was provoked by a drunk fan, claims the photo was a ‘sting’, claims that going out with his mates is the only thing that MAKES HIM FEEL LIKE A NORMAL BOY AND NOW HE CAN’T EVEN DO THAT. THE BURDENS OF STARDOM!

My first reaction is that the ‘fight’ looks a lot like the head-grabbing thing they do in the dressing room before games. You know the one I mean? So maybe the whole thing really is just some innocent NRL skylarking.

My second reaction is … sigh, not again.

I’ve studied law, so I’m fairly certain that it will never be legal to just lock up league players between games like laboratory monkeys, although you have to admit it would solve a lot of problems. Apparently they have to be allowed ‘time to socialise’ and ‘liberty’. Whatever.

And as far as socialising goes, having disco danced with Gordon Tallis at Randwick Racecourse, I’ll say drunk league players are completely hilarious and I don’t really want to rob the world of that either.

What I want to know is why, in the name of the sweet baby Jesus, no one can stop them going to the Sapphire Suite. Remember the Sapphire Suite? In Kellett Street, where Baby Hayne and miscellaneous other Eels were shot at?

And if the threat of gunfire isn’t enough to keep idiots like Benji Marshall away from there, how about the fact that it’s a complete and utter shithole? I’m a drunken Sydney floozy and even I don’t go there. I don’t know one human being who isn’t a league player or a league groupie who goes there. I say somebody find the kids a new Peach Pit with a less offensive clientele and let’s be done with it. Or maybe just a big room of squishy balls, like they have at Ikea.

It did, however, make my day that Charlie Saleh, owner of the Sapphire Suite – I mean Sapphire Lounge (don’t wanna disrespect the rebranding) – said that out of the NRL “the only ones who don’t come any more are the Roosters, because they’ve been banned from going out in Kings Cross.”

That’s my team! They’re already banned! They just get drunk in their hotels like good boys. Love you babies!

And – I’m sure you’re all surprised – Big Willie Mason has something to say about it. Oh, Willie. Always the centre of attention, never the diplomat. That’s why we love you.

According to big Willie, Benji’s “a good bloke and he means well” … but he’s “a fiery little dude”. A FIERY LITTLE DUDE. God lova ya, Willie. That’s so the kind of thing you can only say about rugby league players when you’re the size of Willie Mason.

But what I love most is that it’s implying that Benji’s a loose cannon who gets himself into trouble and needs to learn some self-control. When Big Willie is suggesting that your temper is an issue, you’ve really hit rock bottom.

* And that brings me to Big Willie Origin news. Willie’s taken a battering this week for having so much to say about Origin, but then “going missing” when it comes to the game …. and Willie, love, you have to admit it’s true. Much as I love your rantings, I’d much rather see you actually perform on the field. Maybe smash Brent Tate to a pulp or something. There was not nearly enough of any of that in Origin II.

But then Willie comes out with this and shocks me all over again:


It’s the lowest thing you can do.

It was such an empty feeling after Origin II; it was embarrassing not to even score a try. I’m burning to get out there and redeem myself, as are all the boys.You’re hurting enough as it is. You don’t need a former great who is held in such high regard bagging the team and individuals.

It doesn’t help to have ex-players come out and bag you.

YOU’RE HURTING ENOUGH AS IT IS. This is almost as amazing as the moment when Sonny Bill Williams asked us to remember that he has feelings too.

Since when are there so many feelings in football? Have Mason and Sonny Bill Feelings been having spa-days together and discussing their emotions? Taking group therapy? I don’t understand how they’re suddenly all so emotionally expressive and self-aware. I kinda love it … but it’s unnerving.

Don’t you just wish you could bake a cake made of rainbows and smiles, so they’d all eat it and be happy? Or in Willie’s case, so he could go back to expressing his feelings by smashing Queensland on the football field. Cause that would be great.

* That reminds me, Sonny’s upset again this week. I think the Bulldogs put out a media release without him signing off on it. Or maybe he lost a sock. Or watched a documentary about endangered puffins. Or his girlfriend hung up the phone without saying ‘I love you’ first. The usual.

* And finally, I think I should also announce that we have a new contender in 2008 for Fattest Man in League. Congratulations, Danny Wicks! Look out for an official winner at the end of the season.