Tag: NRL

The Silly Season

Traditionally the “silly season” has been a term loosely applied to the period of time at the end of the year when contract deals are struck and players throw the good ol’ fashion concept of loyalty out the window as they shop and shill their wares to the highest bidder. The silly season extended well into the early weeks of this year with the Steve Turner saga dragging on until everyone was well and truly sick of it – and just when you thought the lowest depths had been plumbed, a story like this one emerges to remind you just how trivial sport can be. That’s right – South Sydney aren’t letting go of Mr Adam MacDougall until he returns a gift to owner Russell Crowe – did Rusty lend him a multimillion dollar condo? a car worth six figures? a poem? No – he gave him a small silver bunny worth $2000 – and he wants it back, or a player he basically sacked won’t be allowed to take the field for his new club.

Footy tipping tips for people who have no interest in the game

Some would say that speaking without thinking is fraught with danger – not so, says I. Footy tipping on instinct is a sure fire way to the top of the office tipping charts – but which instincts do we trust – and where do we turn a blind eye?

In my day to day conversations with people from all walks of life – be it the traditional office “water cooler” conversation, or random eavesdropping via discretely planted listening devices I’ve discovered a shared concern regarding footy tipping protocol and how to “back a winner” – While I have a proven track record as a failed tipper – more inclined to tip with heart than head, I am a trained observer and have kept records of a number of successful oddball methods guaranteed to spice up your weekly efforts.

The Inter-Mascot Blood Bath

Method One is the much maligned but highly successful strategy of imagining each match as a death match between mascots. This approach has anecdotal supporting evidence (some would say circumstantial) when it comes to the plight of the aptly inept South Sydney Rabbitohs. (A bunny of course is unlikely to experience success against anything but the most out of comfort opponent, unfortunately the Canberra Carrots missed out to the much more intimidating Raiders.

What must be considered at this point is the “home field” advantage – a Shark (Cronulla) does not enjoy the biological advantage over a tiger (West Tigers) on land that it would in an aquatic setting, while in reversed circumstances the tables turn somewhat – this is a vital consideration when entering your tips. The Storm obviously have a natural advantage over all but the Titans (who enjoy some godlike control over the elements) – however some storms are less serious and deadly than others and certain teams enjoy natural protection (the Eels, Sharks and potentially the Knights – provided their armour is stainless steel – a must for modern chivalry. The electrical conductivity of stainless steel is an issue which would require a more scientific mind). Under this methodology “human” teams (Knights, Raiders, Cowboys, Warriors, Titans) have an advantage over most other teams at home – however will probably struggle when it comes to those who can attack unseen in their home territory (Dragons, Eels, Sharks, Panthers, Bulldogs, Tigers… potentially the Broncos – although stampedes are rare and rodeo related casualties are rarities these days). The Sea Eagles can attack from the air with sharp talons and beady eyed eagerness, but even the humble Bulldog could cause them great pain in confined spaces. The Rabbitohs and Roosters will be lucky to win a game – but that’s probably a fair reflection of reality.

So for Round 1:

The Storm should blow the Tigers away

The Broncos will buck the Cowboys in a bruiser

The Warriors will harpoon the Eels

The Sharks will snap the Panthers

The Sea Eagles will peck the eyes out of the Raiders

The Knights will cut the Bulldogs to pieces

The Dragons will roast the Titans

The Roosters and Rabbitohs will haplessly wander around until either the bunny develops Monty Pythonesque properties or the Roosters get their talons in…

Until next time – happy tipping.

Chain mail

Television tabloid journalism sank to an all new low this week – if that’s possible – with Today Tonight chaining a granny to her retirement home cupboard for the sake of a dramatic story. It’s a new low in a series of lows stretching for as long as the ratings war between Nine’s A Current Affair and Seven’s Today Tonight. It’s a battle for the hearts and minds of Australia’s gullible majority who rely on the program to keep informed and educated.

Tabloid programs traditionally rotate about seven stories – the neighbour from hell dispute, dodgy brothers traders being hunted down, consumer protection, how to save money (bargain hunting), shameless network cross promotion, dieting tips, and the emotionally charged plight of a disadvantaged entity who needs “your” help. There’s a Venn like overlap between the categories – but that’s the way they like it.

My friend Benny hates these shows, which regularly compete for story fodder (ala the tit-for-tat Corby drama from the last few weeks), blaming them for all manner of societal malaise. It’s been a bad year for Today Tonight who have managed to sully their already scurilous reputation with a number of well publiscised mishaps on and off camera.

Naomi Robson was at the heart of a number of controversies prior to her decision to hand the hosting duties on to anti chequebook journalism crusader Anna Coren.

The first famous mishap came when Naomi was caught swearing at her producer – the clip made its way to commercial radio and was widely circulated online – causing this apology…

Her horror year is documented here.

This story seems to be an all new low for any “current affairs” programming and the journalist in question should get the boot for being reprehensibly stupid.

Programs like this should not be allowed to wield the influence they do on public debate. They rate through the roof so there’s no real chance of the pin ever being pulled which is a tragedy for the country’s intellectual standards.

Speaking of intellectual standards… English Football demonstrated its capacity to churn out boorish louts incapable of human interaction – Craig Bellamy and John Arne Riise look to have been to the same school of ettiquette as Penrith’s newly appointed co-captain Craig Gower. Apparently Bellamy took to Riise’s legs with a golf club following his refusal to take part in a training camp karaoke competition. It seems that’s just what the doctor ordered with both players on the score sheet in their upset away win over Barcelona. The coach was apparently ready to give Bellamy the flick if he’d put in a sub-par performance – boom-boom-tish.

I’ll bet…

The mighty Manly Warringah Sea Eagles are on a roll. I was so confident they’d beat the Panthers that I placed a bet with a friend of mine who happens to support them. Is this wrong? If I was sure the Sea Eagles were going to win isn’t that tantamount to stealing? If I was uncertain – is that poor stewardship of my money? Is gambling in and of itself wrong – or is it the associated greed? I don’t want the $5 that Pat is going to have to cough up because his team are unable to function effectively as a unit – I wasn’t motivated by greed. I just like to win. A game is infinitely more enjoyable if there’s actually something weighing on the outcome – by enjoyable I mean exciting – there’s more adrenalin involved if you actually might win or lose something depending on the outcome. But am I going to hell because of this bet? (well no, I’m not going to hell… at this point that was a little bit of rabbitical hyperbole… not that I’m claiming to be a Rabbi, or a rabbit…) Is gambling sinful? Should we be condoning or facilitating any form of greed. The Catholics have been running Bingo competitions as fundraisers for years so they obviously don’t have a problem with it. Neither does the Australian Chief Executive of Woolworths who is a professing Christian.

In that story above (by above I mean contained in the link above…) he made some pretty carefully considered statements about the decision his company has made to invest in a series of gaming establishments.

“I don’t think that’s a moral judgment, I think what is a moral judgment is that one needs to be careful and concerned about the environment in which they sell in the market facilities of that nature.”

While personally I don’t have a problem with gambling if you can remove the element of greed from the equation – if it’s budgeted entertainment with no addiction involved then go for it… who am I to say that using a pokie machine is any less fun than playing an arcade game. My problem is making a distinction like Mr Woolworths (not his real name) has made here. It reminds me of a scene from the Godfather where the Mafia Dons (head honchos) are gathered round a table discussing a move into the narcotics industry – one of them says ”

“I don’t want it near schools — I don’t want it sold to children! That’s an infamia. In my city, we would keep the traffic in the dark people — the colored. They’re animals anyway, so let them lose their souls… “

Somehow the logic in both those quotes seems strikingly similar to me – as long as we’re careful where we put the bad stuff people can go and do the bad stuff if they choose to. Gambling addiction is, without question, a destructive thing. Like the Whitlams I wish I could blow up the pokies… but then I’d lose out on cheap pub steaks designed to attract gamblers. So in conclusion I haven’t exactly figured out my position on gambling yet… but I thought that article was interesting… particularly the quote below, and the fact that Mr Woolworths said he’d be happy to sell bullets at supermarkets if it was legal and there was demand for them. Again, not a moral decision apparently. But where do we draw the line for Christians involved in business? Is it wrong to work at Maccas if they cause obesity? Is it wrong to be a lawyer? I think Mr Woolworths actually has it right in this case…

“I believe that I’ll be accountable one day for my life and so to that extent I’ll be accountable for my integrity,” he said.