From a distance I can see none of that. There are many things that ail the Broncos, but the key one is lack of leadership with no-one holding them to account, least of all the players themselves. Wipe away your tears. Stop your laughter. Try fury.
Getting paid what you are, with the talent you boast, and playing like busted arses who just don’t care, letting down your fans, your jersey, your heritage, yourselves? That is OUTRAGEOUS. Feel it. Work with it.
The defence rests, your honour
#StadiumSplurge. Oh do stop it , you mongrels!
For I am not the broken record here. It is the bloody NSW government and the chieftains of the various football fiefdoms, that keep setting new records for chutzpah, who are doing the damage! I refer, of course, to the situation with the Olympic Stadium at Homebush. You will recall how just two years ago both the gummint and the chieftains were saying how, despite it being good enough just 20 years ago, to host the best Olympics ever, it was now over the hill!
Yup. The way they told it, the stadium was practically a danger to shipping. It was so inadequate, soooooo appalling, it was a matter of the highest urgency that the 20-year old stadium be torn down and replaced at a cost of well over a billion dollars? But now?
Well, just a fortnight ago, as it turns out, one of the two most powerful sporting organisations in the world, FIFA, announced that after taking everything into consideration, our Olympic stadium was actually good enough to host the Women’s World Cup Final.
And this week? Well, this week politicians and chieftains are falling over themselves to spruik the stadium’s charms as a great potential venue to host the AFL grand final, if the plague does not abate down south!
Let’s go with you, Tony Shepherd, former chairman of the SCG Trust, for your views on its virtues:
“It’s got 70,000-plus capacity, it’s an oval, the site of the world’s best modern Olympic games …” Shepherd told the Herald, “it’s a very deeply emotional stadium for Australians. I think it’s the most sensible place to do it in.”
I do, too.
But seriously, folks. NOW, do you think those of us who said knocking down a 20-year-old state-of-the-art stadium might have been a tad over the top? If it is good enough for those two mega events, surely it is … good enough not to knock over.
Fire at will. In my trailer, etc.
The ball could be in our court
As to the AFL grand final actually coming to Sydney, it sort of feels a bit improper to even discuss it, yes? Isn’t it a bit like your mate say “I feel really crook,” and you saying, “Look mate, I hope you get better, but if you don’t, can I have your bike?” The Vics are going through a seriously hard time at the moment through no fault of their own, and will hopefully right themselves ’ere six weeks are up. Given how hard they are hitting it at the moment we can have reasonable expectation they will do exactly that.
But … what if they don’t?
Well, if that sadly transpires, it firstly seems unlikely to me that we in NSW will be spared, the closed border notwithstanding. But as the former Australian tennis player Sam Groth pointed out this week if the Vics can’t sort it, it will make holding the Australian Open in Melbourne in January nigh on impossible.
In sum, IF the Vics are still badly troubled by the plague, and IF we somehow remain substantially free of it, and IF the tennis tour is indeed back up and running by that time, the question is this: Should we put our hands up and say we will run it for you for just a year while you are otherwise engaged? If all those conditions are met, the key thing would be for the international tennis players to build a two-week lockdown into their calendar so we could be assured that they, too, are free of it.
What They Said
Pete Helliar on The Project, after Usain Bolt announced his baby daughter’s name is to be Olympia Lightning Bolt: “His second baby will be called Failed Soccer Career …” Genius.
Sea Eagle Addin Fonua-Blake unhappy with referee Grant Atkins: “He pushed him the f***ing back, you f***ing r****d. F***ing hell mate, f*** off.” I think he sounds sincere? He later claimed he didn’t know the meaning of the words “spastic” and “retard.” Please.
Fonua-Blake denying his second slur, in the tunnel –“Are your eyes f***ing painted on you bunch of spastics?” was directed at the referees: “I remember walking back into the sheds and I forget who was in there already, I was speaking a bit loudly and wasn’t aware the refs were in the tunnels.” Seriously? Shoot me!
West Indies cricket great Michael Holding: “History is written by the conqueror, not by those that are conquered. History’s written by the people who do the harm, not by the people who are harmed. We need to go back and teach both sides of history and until we do that and educate the entire human race, this thing will not stop.”
The Australian Medical Association: “Before rushing back to the pub, the footy crowds, or the big weddings and parties, Australia should pause and play it safe until the Melbourne hotspots are back under control.”
Peter V’landys: “I think the AFL is very, very fortunate to have someone like Eddie McGuire. He’s a personality. He has the sport in the headlines at all times. I love the way he tries to get under our skin, and I wish we had someone of a similar stature in rugby league.”
Cowboys prop Josh McGuire, blunt after last week’s loss: “It was pretty shithouse from us, to be honest.” Josh? So was Thursday night’s effort against the Roosters.
Laurie Lawrence, not a fan of former Aussie head swimming coach Jacco Verhaeren: “Jacco’s a w*nker, and you can quote me on that.” Don’t mind if we do.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary blowing a kiss to the Tigers’ fans after his side beat his former team: “I’m not used to fans. I was probably a bit emotional. I’m glad I didn’t do what I felt like.”
Broncos great Gorden Tallis: “This is a man’s game. Rugby league is a different game to any other. They ask you to go to places that have never been asked. I don’t think too many sports ask you to go to the place that you need to go to play rugby league at the highest level.”
Justin Langer on Sports Sunday: “Having David Warner in the team is like having Floyd Mayweather in the team. I love him. He talks it up, he is a great player by any calculations and he’s been fantastic in the team over the last two years. I don’t think he’ll be a captain of Australia again because of where we’re at, but I love having him in the team. He’s an absolute ripper.”
Nick Kyrgios returns serve on Twitter to Dominic Thiem, who had said that Kyrgios had “made a lot of mistakes” and should not criticise others: “What are you talking about @ThiemDomi? Mistakes like smashing rackets? Swearing? Tanking a few matches here or there? Which everyone does? None of you have the intellectual level to even understand where I’m coming from. I’m trying to hold them accountable.”
Six minutes later, Kyrgios turned his attention to Djokovic and Zverev. “This just shows what a joke @ThiemDomi, @AlexZverev & @DjokerNole think this is. Two of them partying like potato’s during a global pandemic. People losing lives, loved ones and friends, and then Thiem standing up for the ‘mistake’. These guys are the ‘top’ of our sport.”
Team of the Week
Brisbane Broncos. If they lose to the Bulldogs today, heads will roll.
Adelaide Crows. The only other team going as well as the Broncos.
Queensland Reds. First win against the Waratahs since 2013.
Olympia Lightning Bolt. Name of Usain Bolt’s new daughter.
Kyah Simon. Matilda signs with Dutch powerhouse PSV Eindhoven.
Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback signed a 10-year deal worth US $503 million.
Leeds United. Look to be finally going back to the Premier League for the first time since 2004. Be still, my beating heart.
RIP Alex “Chumpy” Pullin. Australian Winter Olympian, the flag-bearer at the Sochi Olympics, passed away this week aged 32 after a diving accident.
Peter FitzSimons is a journalist and columnist with The Sydney Morning Herald.