On Lekkas, grooming and Fletch

I turned Angelo Lekkas today. I am not sure when my mates and I started referring to our age by the number of our favourite, or in some cases obscure players, but I reckon it may have been when I was Smokin’ Joe Misiti during the great year that was 2000.

It seems like only a few weeks ago I was mocking a mate of mine for turning Sean Denham whilst I was still firmly Peter Bradbury. But today, Lekkas arrived.

Birthdays don’t normally worry me, but I read a quote in some rag the other day that made this one a bit trickier. Ted Danson isn’t someone I normally take heed of, much less quote, except for maybe the odd line from Cheers. Even then it is only with him as the setup man for Cliffy Clavin or Norm to deliver the truly memorable line. But Danson uttered a few words that were a bit close to home: ’37 is the age, for a man, when you realise you are no longer 25’ he said.

So it was that Ted Danson occupied my thoughts as I sat in the barber’s chair getting a trim last week. I was pondering whether I was still in the shape I was when I was Scotty Lucas. Or even when I was Timmy Watson for that matter. With such important issues filling my head, it was little wonder I was caught off-guard when the barber suddenly tilted my head back and stuck a little pair of scissors up my nose. The ferocity with which he attacked the left nostril, and then quickly switched play to the right was remarkable. I lay paralysed in the chair wondering how long I had been embarrassing myself publicly with what was clearly a major grooming issue requiring serious attention. Hardly the metrosexual, I hadn’t noticed that a forest had taken root; the good wife hadn’t commented on it. But I should have been more alert; the new preponderance of nasal hair was the second sign that I was on the inevitable march towards Benny Howlett.

The first sign that the march had commenced was a sunburnt head a couple of weeks earlier. Hiking in an English spring, not that hot, not that sunny, painful head in shower that night. Even in winter I presume KB, Mil Hanna and other follicly-challenged players applied sunscreen to their heads before matches and regularly re-applied during the game. A season of painful after-match showers wouldn’t have been fun; rehab would have consisted of bucket-loads of moisturiser. My receding hairline was more obvious than the lengthening nasal hair and therefore the sunburn was less confronting than a pair of scissors up the nose. But it was still a shock to realise that my pre-departure checklist required an addition – keys, wallet, phone… and hat.

I was still thinking about age as I left the pub at 1.30pm on Friday afternoon – being self-employed in London has its advantages – hat firmly on head. But in a much more positive light. Basking not only in the glow of a memorable Essendon victory over the old enemy, but also the fact that Dustin Fletcher was once again among the best players. Even at Seany Denham, Fletch continues to prowl the backline, marshaling the troops and providing much-needed guidance to the youngsters down there. Thankfully, he obviously hasn’t read anything by Ted Danson. I don’t know if Fletch thinks he is still Scotty Lucas; he is playing like he is Billy Duckworth. The man never ages. Was he really Daicos when he memorably chased down Jeff Garlett a few years back?

I hope Fletch has got a few more years in him. For as long as he continues to pull on the red and black jumper, I can continue to delude myself that I could still get a game – nasal hair, receding hairline and all.

About Glenn Cummings

Part time sports expert, all varieties of course but mainly Australian Football, baseball, basketball and cricket. Occassional writer, but prepared to offer up opinions on all things sport, community and politics related more regularly to anyone within earshot. Full time worker, which unfortunately limits my time to research other more interesting subjects.

Leave a Comment