I’m not a wowser. I’m quite fond of a ‘love-tap’ and a ‘squirrel grip’ when done to a Queenslander. It springs from the time I injudiciously told an irreverent Bjelke-Petersen joke in that state and was subsequently knocked out. What I don’t like is the Fairfax rugby league writers that seem to think they can save their sinking, shrinking paper by becoming even more violently tabloid than the Terrorgraph.
In today’s SMH the Fairfax Team Blood’s Michael Carayannis, writes that Blues player, Trent Merrin has said “I’m not going to pull punches if provoked.” Dopey Merrin instigated a silly ineffective punchathon in Game II of the State of Origin series not because he was provoked but because he is obviously stupid and had no real impact on the game until that time. Just in case we didn’t understand what stupid violent men do in league, Team Blood put a large photo next to Carayannis’s story of NSW captain Paul ‘Pig-Dog’ Gallen thumping Nate ‘The Defecator’ Miles in the gob.
Read further into the paper and you find, Andrew Webster (Chief Sports Writer) getting quite moist about the Origin I barney, ‘Pig-Dog’ v ‘The Defecator’. Webster obviously has the scoop of what ‘The Defecator’ said to the ‘Pig-Dog’ – it’s along the lines of “Is that the best you’ve got? C’mon then. Let’s go.” Pure Shakespeare. But then Webster goes on to talk about other recent indiscretions including Billy “The Skidmark” Slater’s elbow on Mitchell Pearce‘s cheek in Origin II. The paper is riddled with this sort of nonsense and very little serious analysis but they should not be singled out.
When Warriors played the Brisbane Broncos recently the television coverage by a New Zealand television station and shown on Fox Sports did little to restore anyone’s faith that the media were taking the violence in league seriously. After a Warrior’s try they showed footage of a ‘fan’ in a Warriors mask dragging his thumb across his throat in a cutting motion. Later that night when the Newcastle Knights beat the Gold Coast Titans it was reported as the “Knights smashing the Titans”. It’s not that the administrators, the players and the fans haven’t given the media enough violent incidents to write about. It seems that a new wave of SMS hacks simply do not have a solid grounding in the sport they write about and therefore they write about easy stuff – the biff, the blood and the bull dust.
And now in Sydney on this rainy Tuesday night we may even see more violence for the Fairfax Team Blood to write about. Tonight the NSW Blues have been given the night off for a ‘bonding session’ by their extremely thoughtful and wise coach, Loz ‘Mad Eyes’ Daley. So if you see a member of Team Blood hanging around the Cross tonight looking for a Bungling Blue or two. Help him out. Go up to him and give him something to write about – give him the best you’ve got – give him a love-tap.