Home » Time for an Australian sporting superstar to be roasted

Time for an Australian sporting superstar to be roasted

Yes, the most obvious candidate would be Shane Warne if he was still with us. For a posthumous roast you’d have to invoke Loophole 5 in the “Never speak ill of the dead” edict: unless it’s funny, and his heirs are onboard with the production, but that would too likely end in maudlin disaster, so, who else?

Sam Newman, if he wasn’t barking mad? Dennis Lillee, if those under 50 weren’t so foggy about his greatness? Campo, if rugby wasn’t now so niche? Wally Lewis, if jokes on dementia ain’t funny? Buddy Franklin?

The woman who you can think of that I can’t, for whom this format would fit?

I repeat, our lines are open, and suggestions are welcome.

Money well spent

Told yers. The Matildas changed everything. Though there was little fanfare and even fewer fair fans, this week the NSW Gummint announced a new $30 million program purely to support women’s sport. There’s lots of marketing blah-blah with it, but the guts of it is, loosening the purse strings specifically to help those who do and will carry purses – putting out no fewer than 26 grants of between $200,000 and $2 million to upgrade sporting facilities.

The Matildas effect.Credit: John Shakespeare

It is, frankly, precisely what this columnist has long advocated in the realms of government expenditure on sport. Instead of billions of dollars disappearing into stadiums, give mini-grants across the board, into the grassroots and let a thousand flowers bloom.

It’s a funny game, AFL

Which brings me to Andrew Webster’s column …

Oh, stop it! His Friday piece had a very funny par, which I repeat verbatim.

“If you’re not following the GWS Giants social media account, you’re missing out on some fun times. The Giants misspelt their banner for the derby against the Swans last Saturday: “Our club was born with a big mouth. Your club was born in Melborne’s [sic] south.” To which the club’s own Instagram account said: “Would be funnier if we spelt Melbourne correctly … To be fair, we’re only 13-year-olds.”

Warner not worthy

As discussed, if they were holding the men’s T20 World Cup in my backyard, I’d pull the curtains. I just don’t care.

But some of you do, so can I ask you? Why have the Australian selectors picked the 37-year-old David Warner, right at the end of his career and incapable of even being picked for his IPL team instead of the 22-year-old Jake Fraser-McGurk, who has single-handedly turned the whole IPL on its head, breaking records with his every time at bat. I simply don’t get it.

Cathy Weiszman’s sculpture of Paul Roos with the 2005 AFL premiership trophy

Cathy Weiszman’s sculpture of Paul Roos with the 2005 AFL premiership trophy

Dig deep for Roos replica

TFF is looking forward to the Chappell Foundation dinner at the SCG next Wednesday evening, with Adam Gilchrist as guest speaker.

One of the auction items is of particular interest. Cathy Weiszmann is the talented sculptor who created many of the wonderful sports statues you see around the SCG – including the one of former Swans coach Paul Roos lifting the AFL premiership trophy in 2005 for the first Swans victory in 72 years.

To help the Chappell Foundation’s cause of helping the homeless, Ms Weiszmann has kindly donated the bronze model she created the larger one from. Bravo!

What They Said

According to one of the commenters on one of my articles, re the Eels vs Dolphins game played last month in Darwin: “The Channel 9 commentary team was chatting about the oppressive heat and the effect on the players, especially in slowing them down to a stage of exhaustion. To illustrate the point further, one commentator then made this memorable statement: ‘Last time I was in Darwin, I saw a dog chasing a cat…and both of them were walking’.

Isaah Yeo on playing Souths at the Olympic Stadium in front of a paltry crowd: “They said there was 8000 there tonight but there was probably half that. It wasn’t great for the start, [having] no atmosphere, we started a little bit flat. It was definitely different with the lack of people there.” So, who’s telling porky-pies about the size of the crowd?

Wayne Bennett on the lure of the Rabbitohs: “I like their brand, I like them. I’ve worked with them, I can relate with everybody there, it’s an iconic club and I just like the vibe there.”

Ricky Stuart after the win against the Sea Eagles following their loss to the Sharks: “How we performed last week wasn’t us. We had a choice this week to show what our real DNA is and that was one hell of a win.”

West Tigers coach Benji Marshall after the loss to the Bulldogs: “Eight points down and we are still a chance in that game, and to lose two players and play with 11 for the last seven or eight minutes, that’s not us.”

Wests Tigers coach Benji Marshall.

Wests Tigers coach Benji Marshall.Credit: Getty

Ross Lyon, late last month, after his St Kilda team badly lost to the Bulldogs: “I’d like to think that’s not us.”

Almost a year later, 16- year-old Sydney FC’s Indiana Dos Santos on the impact of the Women’s World Cup: “You can see how much it’s grown from the people that are constantly talking about the Matildas and everyone knows what the Matildas are now. They [school peers] always say, ‘Oh, you play with Cortnee [Vine], that’s so cool’ and I’m like ‘yeah’.”

Waratahs coach Darren Coleman: “The beauty of the comp is we have four games to go. We win those four and we’re in the play-offs. Although I am hurting at the moment – and the team is as well – we will dust ourselves off and give it a shake on the way home.” Nup. The failure of the comp is you can have only won two games this far into the season, and are STILL a chance of making the finals.

Corey Parker, who played 347 NRL games: “The side effects and symptoms of CTE – I absolutely display. I’d be naive to think after 20 years of high collisions at the highest level that there wasn’t some sort of side effects. When I text myself to remind myself to do things, that’s probably not normal for most people.” He’s 41.

Moses Suli, who was concussed after the Anzac Day kick-off: “It’s a contact sport, it’s probably the hardest game in the world. It could’ve happened to anyone. What can you do? I came out second best. That’s footy, it’s tough. I’ve just got to cop it on the chin . . .”

Former ARL Commission chairman John Grant on their challenges: “If you talk about challenges, the AFL continues to be a significant threat to rugby league. The AFL has a lot of money. They don’t have the fractured relationship with their clubs that occurs in rugby league. Their clubs toe the line.”

French president Emmanuel Macron after the Olympic torch arrived in France, after 12 days on a boat from Greece: “The Games arrive in the life of the French people. The flame is here. We can be proud.” Positions, everyone. The opening ceremony is on July 26.

Former Australian NFL player Colin Scotts, off his own long run, lines up Phil Gould’s for his views on not changing the long kick-off: “Shut up, Gus . . . Gus, is he qualified and educated on this? Or does he get his misinformation from the internet? Has he read all the medical papers like I have? I talk to the Concussion Legacy Foundation at Boston University in America every two weeks, and the Brain Bank in Australia weekly. I have to call it out. I know where this is going. We need to stand up to people like Gus.”

The Ukrainian Olympic Committee’s tribute to former Olympic weightlifter Oleksandr Pielieshenko, who after representing Ukraine at the Rio Olympics, joined Ukraine’s army just after the Russian invasion, only to die last week on the front lines: “Heroes do not die.”

Pacers guard TJ McConnell on the loss to the Knicks: “The ball didn’t bounce our way.” On a point of order, Your Honour, I don’t think this cliché works in b’ball?

Team of the Week

Melbourne and Cronulla. The top two teams meet on Saturday night in Melbourne. I’m tipping Cronulla to win, which some may consider an upset.

Kris Kim. The 16-year-old Englishman – “Englishboy”? – became the youngest player to make the cut on the PGA Tour in 11 years. Rah!

Sydney FC. Won fifth A-League Women’s championship.

Sydney FC celebrate with A-League Women grand final win.

Sydney FC celebrate with A-League Women grand final win.Credit: Getty

Port Macquarie Pirates. The current Mid North Coast Rugby Northern Division premiers will celebrate their 50th anniversary with a dinner on – if we can bring it back to ME, for a moment – TFF’s birthday, Saturday, June 29, at Sails by Rydges, Port Macquarie. Google and go-go.

Central Coast Mariners. Just the second A-League men’s outfit to win an Asian club competition after beating Lebanese team Al-Ahed 1-0 in the AFC Cup final. For some reason, the mob just doesn’t care.