Standin’ on the Outside lookin’ in


It’s been a big few weeks for your correspondent. I am sure many have you have been scouring the back pages for news of last Sunday junior pennant result. As predicted in my last missive, the result was 4-2, but not to the kids for Belco who succumbed to Goulburn in an epic. The final two matches were tied on the 18th but unfortunately both went down. Still it was a ”great leaving curve” whatever the hell that means. Well played boys and girl (Courtney, you legend).

I was not able to face the post final media grilling and headed straight out of town in a rental car, John Nicholls like, for a week of reflection and what ifs in the back blocks of NSW. I sought solace in Orange, which ironically grows a lot of apples. And grapes, many of which go in to marvelous bottles of Shiraz and Merlot.
So, in the shadows of Mt Canobolas, I drank and played golf in the company of seven other men whose average age was approximately 20 years senior to my own. The El Desperados have been playing together for 32 years, in some form or another, and I was invited to fill in a vacancy no doubt left by the a former member’s internment in a nursing home. Like an old married couple, these blokes know each other’s every nuance and quirk. The spark of early romance had been replaced by a sense of comfort and predictability, only with seven times more trips to the toilet at night as a result of collective prostrate dysfunction. These men were a testament to long held friendships, a love of golf and the divine intervention of pharmaceuticals.

They were also testament to a handicap system that has most of them playing 8 shots above their actual potential and bloody impossible to beat. Other than Gordon, who is genuinely shit at golf. (Gordan, remember the words of a famous golfing writer. There has never been a golf shot played that didn’t give someone some enjoyment). I can give the driver a bit of ride but when a lean 74 year old whacks one past you on the fly, it raises some suspicion as to what type of “steroid therapy” these old coggers were on. Still they were terrific company, unless of course you wanted a conversation after 8.30pm as all where in bed readying themselves for the next day’s play, duly up at sparrow fart in a ploy that left the uninitiated, me, “vulnerable”. (see previous comment re grapes). We played some fine courses, none better than Duntryleague, a track that had me a quivering idiot by the final day. Obviously you should never go on a golfing trip with seven over handicapped geriatrics unless you need some practice to play Snow White in an upcoming Pantomime. Yes, golf again was the winner. Orange 4 –T Robb 0. But a wonderful trip enjoyed with wonderful people. Yes, even you Gordon.

The Central West is not what you would call footie heartland. Good luck
Mr Demetriou getting Gnats steamers trailing from the utes out there. Still, through the wonders of digital technology and 7Mate, I managed to catch the scrappy season opener between the Mighty Blues (flag favourites on that performance) and the hapless water buffaloes that are the Richmond Tigers (don’t even dream about 9th Mr Hardwick). I say season opener as the previous week’s local derby at Homebush was obviously a practice match. How else can you explain the absence of Craig Willis doing the opening palaver and the presence of a rugby league player with less footie marbles than a toadstool. Dipper chimed in this week saying that Israel’s first game performance was better than Jonathan Brown’s first three games with Brisbane. I can only assume that Browny was in a coma or Dipper is required to make ludicrous pro-AFL comments as part of his punishment for the Gavin Wanganeen “faux pas”. Brian Taylor also held up his end of the Sheedy charade in what was the most condescending and patronising calls ever broadcast. The only “positive” that came out of the game was the $1.95 for 93 points start of the Gnats. The Swan’s couldn’t put together a cumulative winning margin 93 points for the season.

Anyway, the footie has started in earnest and Matthew Scarlett has answered the prayers of millions of football fans by belting a pint sized, loud mouth forward pocket player. Sadly, his name was Ballantyne, not Milne, but at least one of them copped one and hopefully Matt will be justly rewarded for his services to football in eradicating these blights on the game. The Hawks v Pies game was a ripper as it confirmed that the Collingwood cannot win the flag. The champagne corks would have been popping in the Malthouse home on Friday night. Not that Mick is bitter or anything. The other games have gone as predicted other than the Dees who were just plain shite in what would been an emotional week at the club. Still they were just plain shite.

What would Mike have written?

Plenty and most of it about Mick Malthouse and the simmering tension at the Leyland P76 Centre. Now Mike is an unabashed Collingwood man but if he continues to pour fuel onto Mick’s “uneasy departure” from Pie Land he is likely to have his honorary car park taken by the bootstudder. Mike will also likely to have Gary Pert on the blower if he doesn’t stop talking up that dunder arse Cloke’s value as the “pre-eminent forward” of the competition (Sorry Buddy, the Sheahan top 50 was a wicked ruse). Mike, he’s a Cloke, just as the Shaws are, well, Shaws (I think non Pies people will see my point). There is nothing pre-eminent about any of them other than their use of ink. Swan and Beams need their own clash strip for the tatts.

You’ve been Verballed by Mick

As I’ve been out of radio reception for RSN 927 the past week, I’ve not been able to avail myself of the mystery which is Mick McGuane’s use of the English language. Therefore, I’ll go out on a limb and say that he would have said 8-9 things that where:
A) Complete gibberish
B) Completely offensive
C) Completing pointless
D) So removed from reality that Ronald Dahl would have called the switch board to complain.

I may be completely wrong. Mick may have uttered something intelligent but I’m fairly confident, in the straight flush, Black Caviar kind of way that he didn’t.

Tip of the Week

When traveling through a region festooned with wineries it is prudent to avoid what are quaintly referred to as Cellar Doors. These seemingly harmless places are merely a façade for credit card scamming. Sure the 2010 Cab Merlot tastes okay but you become overwhelmed with guilt if you don’t’ buy a case after getting a few freebies in the tasting room. After the third visit to said tasting rooms, one’s ability to apply common sense is completely diminished leaving you at the mercy of some smooth sales person who talks in tongues about peppers and raspberries and acidity levels. Beware of these dens of temptation or suffer the consequences of having to explain the unwanted purchase of 4 cases of wine to an already exasperated bride. And a delightfully fragrant late summer Riesling.

Tony’s Weekly Dump

There is apparently some friction between the TV co-hosts in regard to the Channel 7 feed to Fox. The pay TV boys are shitty that the commentators remained silent after each goal leaving some horrible void for those viewing, while Channel 7 went to an ad. Could I suggest that such a move is a God sent and hope that Fox applies the same principle whenever Dermot Brereton gets hold of a mic. Dermie has quickly become the most irritating commentator since Whispering Ted Lowe. If fact, Fox has managed to bring together the greatest list of nongs in the history of television, working on the principle if they could play football, they will make great comments man. Have the execs at Fox not heard of Jason Akermanis. The prosecution rests.

See ya’ later

About Tony Robb

A life long Blues supporter of 49 years who has seen some light at the end of the tunnel that isn't Mick Malthouse driving a train.

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