Crio’s Question: Who have you put a line through?

By Chris Riordan

A strong thread of opinion this summer has surrounded the merits or otherwise of Shane Watson.

“Promoted on promise”, “selectors’ lovechild”, “insecure pratt”, “nancy boy” … the vitriol has poured thick and fast even while Watto has established himself as  Australia’s premier opener and the all-rounder for which barflies have searched  since Beefy broke our hearts at Headingley.

His “send-off” of Chris Gayle seemed to outweigh his barrage of runs and the steadiness of his bowling. Watson remained, for many, the most unloveable member of an unloveable Australian team.

What more can Watto do to turn the tide?

As sports fans, we love to take a stance and we’re loath to reassess. I’ve done it with horses and jockeys, footballers and coaches, even music and movies.

Sunline’s early wins, I deduced, were mainly due to a lack of pace or pressure in the race. I never backed her!

K. Pietersen, I noted early, had a faulty technique to go with a bad hairdo and a shocking accent. No future!

I have a cupboardful of comments along the lines of, “Greg Williams is too slow and will never make it.”

Who or what have you put a black line through and been unable/unwilling to reassess in spite of the evidence before you?


  1. Glenn McGrath – one trick bowler. Will get found out.
    Joshua Ross – couldn’t possibly win the Stawell Gift off scratch.
    Andrew Fithall – too old to attend rock concerts and pub gigs.

  2. Stephen Cooke says

    I met a guy once who said McGrath was a poor bowler who was lucky to have good bowlers at the other end – and this was after McGrath had taken 300 wickets!

    For me it’s Nick Maxwell. Collingwood will forever be the team that picked a captain not guaranteed to get a game on ability. That All Australian gong doesn’t convince me either.

  3. pauldaffey says

    I was very stubborn on Garry O’Donnell for 10 years. “Plays like his haircut,” I said, referring to the black do that was safe and sound and screaming for a good muss-up.

    I held my ground until finally, after 200 games, I conceded he might be a decent player, and he might even be a leading reason behind Essendon’s winning fortunes.

    Last year I met O’Donnell at Windy Hill (where he’s an assistant coach). His hair was still very neat but I was more struck by his friendly, unpretentious manner. He’s one of the Good Blokes of Football.

  4. Stephen Cooke says

    You should be ashamed of yourself Daff

  5. Daff – that was a bit hard on Garry O’Donnell, after all the 1990s were very tidy in a lot of ways: straight cut jeans, white sneakers, shirt tucked in, and most blokes had real names like Garry or Michael or Matthew.

  6. John Butler says

    Never really thought Nathan Buckley quite justified the hype. Still don’t. Fine player yes, but not the god-like messiah figure many portrayed. How many finals did he ever decide?

    Mind you, as a Carlton devotee I’m genetically engineered to resist Magpie propaganda.

    And Matty Hayden was a flat track bully.

  7. A few years ago, I was adamant we should delist Kelvin Moore. Now he’s turned into a solid defender for the Tiges.

  8. pauldaffey says


    I wondered whether Jacko was good enough. Now he’s my favourite player.

  9. pauldaffey says


    Yes, it was too harsh on O’Donnell. There were others, of course, but that’s the one I remember.

    Your hair needs a good muss-up.

  10. pauldaffey says

    Actually, Dips, speaking about athletics, I’m harsh on Craig Mottram. I don’t think he has “championship temperament”.

    I’ll be happy to be proved wrong.

  11. Daff – agree on Mottram. I was very much in his camp until the last few years where some of his performances have shown a severe lack of intestinal fortitude. Typical amateur; he can name every sore muscle in his legs by their clinical name but he can’t race.

    Same as the “great” Ron Clarke and even John Landy – magnificent against the clock, ordinary in a race.

  12. Peter Flynn says

    Nice question Crio and interesting comments above.

    I have always struggled to recognise I. Lendl.

    A robotic top-spin baseliner (only a sliced backhand early doors) who didn’t possess a natural volley. The sawdust in the pocket used to annoy me and he was devoid of any on-court charisma or shot-making artistry.

    He choked against JS Connors in consecutive US Open finals. In fact, he lost about 11 Grand Slam tournament finals.

    He broke through against my man in the ’84 French Open final. Lendl was 2 sets down. That night still haunts me.

    Despite the above bagging, Lendl ended up bagging 8 Grand Slam tournaments.

  13. Warren Tredrea

    and I am a mad Port supporter!!

  14. Dips,

    Nice to see a bit of the old pros v ammos feeling resurface.

    Aren’t they supposed to work together now?

  15. Never really rated James Hird, i don’t know why. And i always thought he was soft, but i stand corrected after a few of his games in 2007.

  16. Richard E. Jones says

    NEVER thought much of Timmy McGrath but then I remembered he sort of took Tom Harley under his wing and taught him HB line play in the 90s.

    I know she won the US Open after having a child and all that, but I never rated Kim Clijsters.

    And then she went out in the Oz Open in Rd. 1.

    Felt vindicated. (That Brisbane tournament win in the lead-up meant nothing, really.)

  17. Andrew Fithall says

    Michael Christian and Craig Starcevic – thought neither could take a contested mark. Proven wrong by TD actions in GF.

    Michael Clarke in T20

    Sav Rocca – ran under the ball instead of marking it too many times. Now it doesn’t matter

    Brett Lee – was found out once McGrath retired and he became the number one strike bowler. Did not fill the breach. Could not understand the expectation that he would come back into the test team once he had recovered from injury. Had to admire his publicity machine.

    Former world number 8 – The Poo

    Steven Bradbury – I reckon everyone would have to fall over for him to have any chance

    Matt Shirvington – over-rated

    Damian O’Donnell – Obvious really. I think it was a bad case of the rye grass staggers.

  18. Richard E. Jones says

    NICE free-swinging action coming around the bend in the 200m (220 yds in the old) had Shirvo.

    And I don’t mean the arms.

    What was the name of that other Oz sprinter — Johnson ?? — who was great against the clock but ordinary in the race. Bit like distance runners Jack Landy and current Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke as another Knacker has eloquently pointed out.

  19. Took me til her 3rd Cup win to admit that Makybe Diva might be a champion but still get miffed when they try to compare her with Phar Lap, Peter Pan, etc.

    Couldn’t believe it when I heard that Hawks had elected Clarkson as coach. He appears to have vindicated that particular decision!

    Never really rated Merv Hughes but his figures still stack up pretty well.

  20. intersting topic.
    eventhough i have decided to give him a clean slate this season to prove himself to me i would have to say:
    Alan Toovey

  21. I had a soft spot for Tom Hawkins until last Saturdays practice match at Princess Park, I officially put a line through him on my way home.

    7 days later I’m thinking of giving him one more chance.

  22. Both clothed and..well urmm not clothed N.Riewoldt lol

  23. Dean Jones seemed to get runs when they were least needed.
    He was completely shown up by Sir Dick Hadlee….imagine being a knighted Dick’s bunny.

    R Ponting is a turd as a Captain.

    Shane Watson reminds me of the unloved son, no matter what he does it never seems to be good enough to please the cricketing public.
    He is a much better player than any other in the Australian team.

  24. Dave Nadel says

    I must have missed this thread when it first came out.

    #17. Unlike his brother, or indeed most of the successful big full forwards, Sav Rocca never seemed to understand that part of the full forward’s job was to use his bulk to create opportunities for the small forwards. He is now in the perfect position for a man of his temperament. A punter in the NFL needs to show great kicking skills and no aggression whatsoever, which is a perfect description of Sav’s footy career, at least while he was at Collingwood.

  25. I always thought of Rocca, S., only being effective before half-time. Would love to see his goals scored per quarter breakdown.

    I wrote off Mark Occhilupo(sp?) and his comeback to the Pro Surfing Tour and then he became the oldest ever World Champ, (until recently).

    Lady Gaga; more style than substance (you heard it hear first folks…) Won’t match the Madonna career.

  26. Adam Muyt says

    My big black line for 2011 is the Brisbane Lions. Six wins at best. Voss sacked at the end of the year, Roos or Malthouse to take over.

  27. India leading up to the Test Series against Australia in 2001. The series that brought me back to test cricket. Listening to it on the radio!


  28. Anyone else see Watto’s knock tonight?

  29. He learned that in Tasmania. The Boon Ponting school of great knocks.

  30. Phantom, it’s not all traceable to “Flat Jack” Simmons…a bit of the cane toad’s Slammin’ Sam Trimble about his opening!

  31. Mick Jeffrey says

    Matthew Pavlich – Goes missing in the big games I always said, almost changed mind but admittedly we see the Purples about once a month up here on FTA TV

    Damien Martyn – Dud who would go a long time without making a run, then always seemed to make a ton whenever I said that too

    Daniel Giansiracusa – Always in on reputation and does nothing in big games. Thought he should have been cut last year and may stick to that.

    And to post 18: Patrick Johnson was the sprinter, a real one hit wonder.

  32. There was a good comment regarding Corey Enright on the live telecast of the Geelong / Power game on Sunday.

    While discussing his consistent capacity to rise in the big occasions he was described as ‘one of the biggest under achievers when it didn’t matter’

Leave a Comment