Je m’en fous

Greetings Tipsters


The idea that dull, low-scoring matches is a deliberate ploy to frustrate the AFL is an appealing one and the best spin I can put on the appalling standard of ‘AFL’ games lately. Sure, there’s the occasional good twenty minutes here and there but I’ve switched off a lot of football this season cos it’s so darned awful.


I thought sixteen teams was stretching the talent pool a bit too shallow, so eighteen… Tempting, to think of Squire McLachlan sitting in the eyrie of his ancestral manse, humming “Eighteen, I just don’t know what I want.”


Fortunately, we have NITV. They run a great Sunday arvo. Nathalia kicked Rumbalara’s collective arse the other week, yeah, go Grandad’s home town! There’s highlights from Women’s Gaelic Football with Gaelic commentary, I feel like my Celtic blood can almost understand it. Westralian Rugby League and odds and ends of local football from everywhere, I love it. Tho it does clash with Speedweek on SBS, which is okay if they’re showing drag racing but not if it’s motorcycles or jet boats.


At least we have the Ashes. An old mate of mine lives in England now and has shifted his allegiance from his nation of birth to his nation of residence. I wrote him an email yesterday, bragging up our chances.


Dad was a man of his time, working hard to support his wife and four children. So we didn’t spend much time together until I was 28 and we started going to the Sydney Test. Prior to the last ball of the day, maybe ’99, Shane wandered down the pitch to chat with Ian.


“They’re probably talking about their bets on the races” said Dad, who used to work for an SP bookie. “But he’ll take this wicket.” And so he did.


And so I don’t have Dad to talk to about the Ashes this year. Ringo and David have been mates for decades and I can swap emails and txt msgs with them. That’s cool.


I aint writ football since Bolton was sacked – – and I wonder how he’s keeping. Can’t be easy for him, hearing about the young Blues winning and winning week after week, maybe thinking at 2AM in the dark night of the soul “Why couldn’t I get wins?”


I don’t think that about Brad Scott. North had the right bloke right there, as do, I suspect, St Kilda. Whether Carlton stick w Teague, maybe get a mentor, which is tantamount to saying “We don’t trust you”, remains to be seen. Being Carlton, they’ll sign Voss and Teague will coach Melbourne to a flag in 2021, beating the Blues by four goals in the Prelim.


What’s happening in Adelaide? Are the collective brains trusts of Port and Crows enjoying mary-jane tea for breakfast every morning? Perhaps with extra-strong Irish coffee on Thursday before they get out the dartboard for team selections. Port are engaged in a weird self-immolation, Crows players are checking the rental listings in Brisbane.


In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
a stately pleasure dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to
Down to a sunless sea


Yeah, Xi has been in touch w Trans-Dementia Inc about the Chinese soccer team becoming a world power. He aint keen on the Abyssinian maid, tho.


Driving around, as I do, I see more 60s Mustangs than Valiants of any type, let alone Toranas. Remember when cars had colours?


Cheers Tipsters


P&C A Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Inc
Brought to you with the assistance of Olivia Newton-John’s perfect pipes.


More from Earl O’Neill HERE


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About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. This afternoon, on a shortish bike ride, I saw a Moke Californian, VW beach buggy and an R Series Valiant. No Mustangs, all in Adelaide!

  2. E.regnans says

    M Flanagan, October 2016.
    “In the 19th century, Karl Marx famously declared that religion was the opiate of the people. In the 21st century, it seems fair to ask – is sport the opiate of the people? Is sport the Great Distraction?”

  3. Thought of you with the passing of Damien Lovelock. Loved his work with Les Murray on SBS – knowledgeable, chilled and seriously funny is an unbeatable combination. Reckon you were a big Celibate Rifles fan Earl. Any chance of a tribute to Damo with only the sort of behind the scenes you can offer?

  4. Earl O'Neill says
  5. Great piece Earl. Explains a bit of Damien’s background and attitude. Look forward to your tribute. Saw Del Shannon at Disneyland (wtf) in 1988. As schoolkids we all tried to mimic his falsetto – “run, run, run, run runaway”. He was pretty fat and out of it by then. Sad.

  6. Earl O'Neill says

    Del Shannon was ahead of his time. ‘Keep Searchin’ is a brilliantly layered tale of paranoia, great guitar, great production, would’ve been a hit in ’68. Released in ’64.

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