Yeah, everyone needs a whipping boy. Me and my big mouth. Why did it have to be me?
Well I’m sad to report that I won’t be taking up Rugby Australia’s offer to save the rich boys game by changing the sport’s name to Gladiator, replacing scrums and line outs with set-piece flying mauls off a run-up into a 10 metre defensive line, introducing a range of innovative new betting options including number of defenders knocked out, concussed or spilling claret, and implementing 90 second time-outs while the attacking flying maul gets set so that punters can get set too.
My plans to revive the deader than the dodo sport for dodo’s (sorry Dr Geoff and Ealesy, you’re my mates, but your code’s gay) was all set and ready to go, but a bunch of limp-wristed, do-gooder activists of the ilk of Peter Fitzsimons and Alan Joyce used their media influence and their sponsorship dough to put the kybosh on the whole thing.
More fool them.
We know Fitzy played in the front-row and is a bit fuzzy these days, but can someone remind me what position Alan Joyce played again? Oh that’s right, the wingman cum flanker switched to number 8 so he could lock the rear-end of the scrum. How could I forget?
Anyway, ra ra’s loss is the greatest game of all’s gain, for the decision of the Rugby Australia Board (who’s on it this week?) to reject my brilliant new ideas to tap into the fast-growing off-season MMA market means that not only will I not be knocking Rugby League off it’s perch, but also that I will be spared the personal anguish of giving my old mate the Golden Greek the sort of fend that Racing Victoria have been dreaming of giving him for years,
I buggered if I now the Golden got wind of the whole rugby thing, but when he called last week in distress about my rumoured code hop and I hosed down his concerns, I heard a massive sight of relief on the other end of the phone and Pete seemed pretty bloody chuffed.
Of course it only lasted about two seconds, then PVL reverted to type and started putting Edgar Britt on me by by claiming that I was travelling so well that even the bums who appointed Raelene ‘the Wrecker’ Castle to ruin the show wouldn’t have me, a barb that h I loudly protested was a cheap shot at a rejected, broken-hearted man, although just between you, me and gatepost I actually thought it was pretty decent shot.
Desperate for a retort and not having much in the locker, I shouted down the phone “Yeah, yeah Golden! You keep chuckling Wollongong boy. You’ll be laughing on the other side of your face when there’s no-one to ref your fist game back you bludger!”.
Then I immediately hung up on him before he had time to fire back.
Maggie – who’d heard me screaming down house when Thunder Mania won, and figuring that I might have won a few bucks or more was lurking around waiting for me to get off the phone from the Greek so she could channel a shark and put on the bite – started laughing at me as I hung up.
“What are you on about you fool?” I asked her.
Maggie laughed again, and then she laughed some more.
“Do you really reckon Peter would be talking tough to the press if he didn’t have the whole ref situation in hand?” she mocked, between giggles. “You bloody idiot. What’s your Neds password?”
It floored me, and I was that shell-shocked by the sudden realisation that I’d just handed V’Landys a free hit that without thinking, I gave it to her too.
Some dishes are best served cold they reckon, and Greeks are bloody good cooks, so the soon to be NRL Hall of Famer sat like a stone for a few days, just to make it hurt more.
Then yesterday, the email the top arrived.
V’landys one, Butterfly nil.
While I was on the floor crying Maggie tool all my punting money too.
It’s a long season though Pete, and I’ve got your number son.
I wonder if the Golden Greek’s good for a snip?