I read Clothhead Fitzsimon’s article in the Clever Chronicle this week with interest. It went beyond his normal fare of good journalism, reheated jokes and sideswipes. A solid writer, amusing after chicken dinner speaker, who slopes in the coffee shops of Mossman crafting columns moated by his laptop and a sling of surl. This weeks spray was a very effective, well-considered iron fist in glove piece on the very scrubbed and increasingly pinker Alan ‘Bloat’ Jones. It appears that Bloat has been smacking his thick pursed lips at the thought of being a very important part of the new Wallies. Like an autograph hunter who is buoyed by the chase of just another signature, Jones still believes he is of the time rather than out of it.
Some credit Jones as being the mastermind behind the Grand Slam win in the early eighties. I don’t. He simply had the horse power. Any bozo with a vocabulary of twenty words and a lettuce whip could have shoved this talented bunch of boofs across the line. What Bloat is very good at is taking the gold and leaving the tailings. He is great at the black board of history where he arduously scrubs out any other contributors as he underscores and bolds his “struggle street’ credentials.
Of course, Bloat is loved by those inside the tent, however as many have learned if you don’t toady to the Bloat then your stay in the tent is terminated. Of course this is an extension of the ‘pick and stick’ philosophy that has spawned a rotating bunch of men who come under the spell of a very, very clever man. Of course the price you pay for being part of this hubris hurdy-gurdy is that you apparently get the flick if you don’t stick.
FitzSimons article mentions Bloat’s criticisms of John Eales. In a spurn on Triple M, Bloat allegedly called Eales an “overrated player” and admonished him for having both a media commentator role with Schlock Sports and being an ARU director. Why so Mr Bloat? Why the need? Well it is interesting that John Eales was called to give evidence to support John Coates in a defamation case against Bloat some years ago. I’m not sure whether this may or may not have had any influence on Bloat’s attack on Eales. However given his ‘p&s’ philosophy one suspects that it could have influenced his words just a wee bit. The ABC reported back then:
A court hearing has begun in Sydney to hear defence arguments and decide damages in a defamation action brought by Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates against radio broadcaster Alan Jones.
Mr Jones commented on an incident in the women’s eight rowing finals at the Athens Olympics, in which one of the crew, Sally Robbins, stopped competing.
The jury found Mr Jones implied that Mr Coates had ordered a cover-up and bullied Robbins’s crew into saying what he wanted them to and that he was incompetent in the way he handled the matter.
A Supreme Court jury has previously found Mr Jones defamed Mr Coates during three broadcasts on 2GB radio in December 2004.
Mr Coates’ lawyer has told the Supreme Court that Mr Jones repeated the allegations, despite being told by former Wallabies captain and women’s rowing team mentor John Eales that they were not true.
FitzSimons also writes in the ‘Clever’ about Jones’s possible ambition, “one of your former charges called me on Wednesday and said it seemed as if you were going to get the Wallabies manager’s role.” Oh dear, how could that be true – you have so, so much on your plate Mr Bloat? It is interesting to read the wonderful Mark Ella’s comments on the Tour Manager in 1984, Charles ‘Chilla’ Wilson. Of this former Wallaby captain, Ella said:
“I couldn’t think of a better manager. I played for Australia for six years. Thank God I had Chilla Wilson for three of them. With Jonesy up there dominating everything, Chilla was the perfect foil. He was quiet, unobtrusive and didn’t make a lot of noise.”
So should Jones, the highly successful media man be brought back? Oh don’t, please don’t bring him back or I’ll be forced onto the Drambuie Drip ..again. We don’t need this dated windfarmer’s view of Wally World anymore. We need more ‘chilla’ rather than killer and we need to be fairer and firmer with errant players. Mr Bloat seems incapable of either.