Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble

Who is the best sportswriter in Australia.  Harms, Haigh, Knox, Smith, Wilson?

Nah, Bill Shakespeare had it all sorted out 500 years ago.  Fate, destiny, hubris and tragedy – all mixed up in a poisonous brew.

The Tragedy of Macbeth – adapted for the modern age of professional sport.


  • The man who would be King, but does he have the stomach for the battles?
  • The evil power behind the throne who manipulates the King’s evil deeds.
  • Banquo’s ghost. Once an ally of the King, but after his murder he returns to haunt the young pretender.
  • The three witches whose poisonous brew mysteriously fortells the King’s tragic fate.

You know the players.

SCENE I. A cavern on a Windy Hill. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.

Thunder. Enter the three Witches

First Witch

Thrice the brinded Cats hath flagged.

Second Witch

Thrice the Lions ruled our land.

Third Witch

MacBomber cries ‘Tis time, ’tis time.


Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

First Witch

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of Dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and Eagle’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.


Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Second  Witch

Brisbane flagged on Lact Away,
Now southern clubs must have their day;
Foulest brew from bark of pine,
Price is more than best red wine;

Thrice hundred dollars for every litre,

Try Hill of Grace – ’tis often cheaper.


Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Third Witch

Add to brew the blood of calf,

To run all day in second half;

Colostorum from new born steer,

Sigh! – when ‘drugs’ meant smokes and beer.


Healing balm – deer antler spray,

Matters not if kid can play;

All he needs is more peptide

Bombers will be champion side.


You all know the bloody ending.  Macbeth will be King ’til Colling Wood to high Windy Hill doth come.


  1. Peter B – “Thrice the brinded Cats hath flagged”. Music to my ears.

    The Bombers might be regretting their “Whatever it takes” membership cry this season.

  2. Andrew Starkie says

    Stole my thunder, Pete. I was going to write a Shakespeare type piece on boxing. Might still do.

    Surely this ‘drug scandal’ is just another Herald Sun summer footy beat up. Nothing in it. But I do love seeing Essn in trouble. Only one thing could make it more perfect. It could be Carlton.

  3. When your sports science guy is
    a) not a registered sports scientist, and
    b) goes by the name ‘The Pharmacist’

    …you deserve any beat-up that’s coming your way.

  4. Very clever…great pick-me-up to get me through teh arvo.

  5. Just been looking at picture of the big muskals on the early nineties Eagles PB.

    Curious and curiouser.

  6. Phantom,
    Let he who has not had a sacked ‘sports scientist’ on the premiership payroll casteth the first stone.
    I counted the squeaky clean flags since 2000 and got 5/12. There is at least some guilt by association or ‘boundary pushing’ with 7 that I can think of.
    Like the Tour De France we may have to go a long way down the list to find a cleanskin in some years.

  7. Firstly, sorry to not comment on the clever piece Pete.

    Secondly, how is Whoosher’s pharmacy empire going these days?

  8. ”tis Glorious Ninth at Tigerland
    Where lines are drawn upon the sand.
    Where booster drugs ne’er come to hand
    And bold & true they make a stand.

    Now ‘twould it all appear to be
    For all with hearts who wish to see
    Those untainted wearers of The Sash
    Are destined yet to cut a dash.

    All others fall, harpooned by shame.
    ’tis time for those who share no blame
    To rise and wrench their worthy fame
    To raise a Flag in Bradbury’s name

    ’tis Glorious Ninth at Tigerland

    But seriously fellas – what are we going to write about for the rest of the season? I’m exhausted already from rolling about on the ground hugging my sides.

  9. You lost me at ‘Wilson’

  10. Hi Mr PB

    Very neat piece. Rhyming cheaper and litre was choice, a little bit Shakespeare and a little bit Dylan … It’s in the pronounciation! Love it.

    But even Shakespeare would be tested to find a better villain name than Dank for such a sad, sordid and sorry tale.


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