“We wuz robbed. Collingwood couldn’t buy a goal in the last quarter, so that bloody maggot gives Beams a charity 20 metres out. And that home ground free kick bias is ruining the game.”
Sorry, I’m just channeling my inner Bluebagger. That sense of entitlement that makes them so obnoxious. I actually couldn’t get that worked up about yesterday’s loss (disappointed at the result, yes). But much as it pains me to say it, Collingwood are a tough competitor and a better rounded side under Buckley. The Pies got 2 more frees than us (the same ‘bias’ as we enjoyed against the Blues), and the umps put the whistle away to let the contest flow. Well done MIGs.
So I’ll have to reserve my spray for those Silvertails and squibs from Royal Parade. I thought they got off lightly last week. Litza’s humor is endearing, so we laugh with him more than at him. JB got a Christ-like reception for his resurrection, and we don’t like to mock the Hero of 1911. The National Broadband Network hasn’t reached Canberra yet, so all digital communication with TRobb has obviously been disconnected for the past month.
Still the correspondent that most raised my ire was a Mr Snowman who wrote:
“Having lived in Perth for the best part of thirty years and witnessed the booing of James Hird,Nathan Buckley et al and now Chris Judd i have come to the conclusion that the eagle suporters are a absolute disgrace. They would boo the anzac day parade as well as phar lap,and you may as well throw in black caviar, i repeat a disgrace.”
Grammar and punctuation not withstanding, my response to Mr Snowman is “too right we would”. As would any decent, red blooded Australian. The honorable boo of the dishonorable is part of our fine larrikin tradition.
Political correctness has gone too far and is ruining this country. A disrespectful “wake up to yourself” boo is what this country was built on. Think of the “up yours” response in adversity to Gallipoli, Bodyline and the Eureka Stockade. No “well played chaps” doffing of the lid to our “elders and betters” in those days. The response was ‘on to future success’ built on enmity and determination.
As for the examples cited:
- James Hird – fine player. Sheeds taught him everything he knows about how to be the best front man in footy. As long as you can find the brains to run the show (hello Bomber and Choco) there is no end to the number of high paying media spots you can command. Anyway we were booing his hairstyle.
- Nathan Buckley – The humbling from countless losing Grand Finals has made him a better person. Having to sit silent and stone faced while Mick squandered last year’s premiership on his own ego, has made FIGJAM a better coach. A little Perth booing was just rounding out his personal development.
- The Anzac Day Parade – We only booed when the Generals’ staff cars drove by. I rest my case.
- Black Caviar – We like red blooded champions that test themselves against the best on the biggest stages. Like Takeover Target, Manikato, Kingston Town and Super Impose that tested themselves against the best – time and again over different distances to find the limits of their endurance. We love the horse not the hype. She is a media creation who scared off more good horses than she raced against.
- Phar Lap – Bloody champ, but we were booing the trainer Harry Telford. Trained him on arsenic tonic to stimulate the appetite, and then broke young Tommy Woodcock’s heart by getting him to do more of the same when they got to the US. When too much of a good thing poisoned the poor bugger, he had the gall to blame it on the Yanks and gangsters. At least kind old Tommy got Reckless in the end to compensate for a lifetime’s anguish. Racehorse trainers get sanctified when they get a good one, but it’s a heartless and ruthless game on the whole. Have I mentioned trainers cutting the nerves in the legs of speedy 2YO’s so they didn’t feel the ground when they went ‘shinny’? They mostly deserve a good booing.
And while we’re about it:
- Bradman – Was a miserly Mason who never gave a fair go to the Micks in his side. He was a main chancer, who probably shafted the boss so he could inherit the business. Never bought a round of drinks in his life. Could bat a bit, but.
Which brings me back to case in point – CJudd. Personally I didn’t boo him, but I could understand the case for the prosecution. Sitting in the stands it sounded more Showground Alley pantomime booing than venal hatred. He took the girl and the money and ran off while he still had some acceleration in the legs. Reasonable people would have understood if he had said “I am sick of the Eagle’s poor culture and indulgence of the wide boys, and I want to join a progressive club.” Instead he said “I want to be closer to Mum so I’ll join Brendan Fevola at Carlton and cop the bung under the table from Richard Pratt in post career earnings.”
We applaud CJudd the footballer. We boo the hypocrisy and the hubris. A well developed social conscience shaped by Radio National and the quality broadsheets is all very well, but an army of creative lawyers to disguise your interests? Worth a couple of hoots I would have thought.
Watching the hobbled champ at Subiaco last week reminded me of 2007 when the fabled Judd groin was more watched and commented on than Lady Gaga’s. Like Carlton’s in 2011, our season was stuttering in the face of a mounting injury list. And the skipper seemed far from fit. The club wanted him to rest up for a tilt at September but the great man would have none of it. He battled on and the result was a gallant but still straight sets exit.
Where is the boundary between courage and foolhardiness? Ego and humility? The Ancient Greeks (g’day Ian and LB) called it hubris, and in the end the Footy Gods have served CJudd the same fate that befell Icarus when he flew too close to the sun.
We weren’t booing Chris, just counseling “it’s getting warm up there mate, better come down while the wax and feathers hold.”
The appropriate response to the chorus of boos, is not the whinge and complaint of the born to rule Silvertail. It is to heed the example of one of our greatest leaders, now beloved by many who once booed him.
There is a story about Gough Whitlam when he was Prime Minister and the ALP was sinking in the polls in Queensland in 1974. The general consensus was that Whitlam was perceived as arrogant by the ordinary voter. So Senator Ron McAullife (who was also President of the Queensland Rugby League) invited him up to Lang Park to present the trophies for the 1974 Rugby League Grand Final.
The cheers for the winning team were broken by the angry chorus of booing as Whitlam and McAullife entered the arena. Pausing only as the winning coach and captain came forward to accept the spoils.
Then as the two politicians marched off, and the furious booing reached new heights, Whitlam turned to the embarrassed McAullife:
“Ron, now I understand why you invited me up here to help you. I had no idea you were so unpopular.”