Fattest man in league has caused quite the controversy this year in the Errol office. There have been disputes, tantrums, a little a bit of name-calling, and at one point I think Jessica made Intern Brownie cry.
You see this is one of the foundation Oh Errol awards – it’s been around since the very beginning. It is to the Errols what the marathon is to the Olympics; what Farrah Fawcett is to Charlie’s Angels. It just doesn’t feel like the Errols without it.
But times have changed. Rule progression, limited interchanges and faster, stronger players have meant that the fat man is pretty much a thing of the past in Rugby League, and finding ‘fattest man in league’ candidates is a question of relatives. This year it came down (for most of the nominees) to just a kilo or two.
We might as well be trying to find the skinniest man in league, the sportiest man in league, or the guy who likes footy the most. Cause, well, they’re all professional football players, which makes the scope of these things fairly limited. Duh.
Intern Brownie argued that’s enough of a reason to scrap it, because we don’t want to run the risk of giving any players weight complexes. Men can have body dysmorphia too!
Kiki said it was all too hard then ate a cheeseburger and had a nap. Lozzy worries that it will hurt someone’s feelings. Me, I’m a traditionalist.
Jessica suggested it was an inappropriate reduction of a person’s qualities to nothing but their mere physical being. Then she remembered that she loves a big man and wouldn’t stop pestering me about when the pics would be up. John John says his nickname is Hotdog. That’s not helping, John John honey.
In the end we all got sufficiently drunk to decide the award stays, but it stays with a disclaimer:
None of you are objectively fat. You’re all lovely. But that extra kilo makes you extra awesome and extra huggable, and we think that’s worth an award.
Now let’s get to it.
Gregg Porteous / foxsports.com.au
One of the very few Bulldogs left standing in 2008, we wish we could give Jarrad-with-an-A an award just for still being upright. After all, the doggies probably need all the encouragement they can get.
We wonder if, perhaps, the fact that Jarrad-with-an-A is a robust man has made him able to recover from his rib injury and withstand the rigours of football better than his slighter teammates. We like to think it has. That’s why I’m making a saucepan of Easy Mac as we speak: IT’LL MAKE ME STRONG. Mmmm Easy Mac.
Adam was a difficult inclusion in this list, I’m not gonna lie. You’ll be shocked, I’m sure, to find out we don’t have the clout to force every man in the NRL onto the scales to work out the nominees – apparently you can’t even chase sportsmen with callipers now without being frowned upon - so we have to do the best we can with our eyeballs.
By our eyeballations, either Adam is a delightfully hearty and cuddlable man, or the rest of Manly are just as freakishly toned and fat-free as Personal Trainer and real-life GI Joe doll Matt Ballin. Either way, Cuthbertson’s in.
[note - I'm sorry to all the Manly fans who I'm sure think that George Rose has been unfairly excluded from this category, but sadly he didn't hit our minimum number of first grade games threshold. Next year, Georgie!]
Not just a ranga, but a cuddly one. WIN-WIN-WIN for you Steve. But can a man take out two awards? Stay tuned, babies.
Simone de Peak / leaguehq.com.au
Oh, Danny Wicks. In my whole life, it’s possible that there is nothing I have enjoyed more than watching a news story featuring footage of Danny Wicks and his hetero-life-mate and fellow Newcastle forward Chris Houston scooting home from footy practice to their share-house on Danny’s vespa.
(Occasional Errol-er Joker’s Wild enjoys referring to the Vespa in question as a metal g-string, but he’s a Newcastle supporter, so he can get away with that kind of thing. Won’t hear any cheap jokes like that from us).
As Trinny and Susannah would say, Wicksy is an apple, and no doubt the issue of body shapes versus actual body mass will be a hot topic in this year’s Errol judging room. DO YOU GET MORE POINTS IF YOUR EXTRA WEIGHT IS LOCALISED?
It’s a delicate science, I tell you, a delicate science.
MARK ‘PIGGY’ RIDELL
Grandstand / abc.net.au
I know what you’re thinking at this precise moment: HIS NICKNAME IS PIGGY, HOW CAN HE POSSIBLY LOSE? But just as on the field, there are some players with a Hindmarsh-esque consistency and reliability of play, and some with a Gasnier-eque propensity for flashes of brilliance and occasional uselessness, some of the stocky men in league are more reliable than others.
After an off-season where his conversion to Bourbon saw him shedding kilos apace, Piggy has lifted his game, and his calorie intake, to bounce back into contention for this award. I would try and explain to you exactly how much weight this involved but THEY STILL WON’T LET ME WEIGH ALL THE PLAYERS. Suffice to say he seems to enjoy a yo-yo diet. He is the Bridget Jones of league.
And with a month or two still to go before the footy season officially wraps up, this category remains an open race. Anything could happen, kittens!
[In other news, any relevant tips of Danny Wicks hitting up Henny Penny, Mark Riddell buying a slab of carb-filled beer, etc, that might help our decision-making process are more than welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org]