Standin’ on the Outside Lookin’ In: summer thoughts

Summer. It’s the time of the year when predictions are plentiful and hyperbole abounds. Headlines hail the arrival of Australian tennis great white hope who tend to have surnames indicating European rather than British origin. Not that that has ever been an issue anyway, with a sporting nation eager to embrace anyone that can lob one over the net or jump over a high bar. If you’re any good at marbles you’re alright with the oi oi oi mob. (If you were seeking asylum, the first thing you would be saying is that I have a permanently bent elbow and can tweak them a bit and the next thing you know, you have been provided with refuge wthl a lovely family in Jolimont). As is always nearly the case’ eternal hope leads to predictable failure after a first round “heroic” loss to a Lithuanian qualifier.

The Australian “summer of tennis”, is basically two weeks of made up events that lead up to the Open during which we will be subjected to the biggest show of blowing air up people’s bums on the planet. The hideous Craig Gabriel will return to big note himself to all and sundry and lots of fluff about Seven’s upcoming load of blockbuster will force many to want to jump off the bloody fiscal cliff before they are pushed. Still at least the spoilt grunter on centre court will be subjected to inane questioning by Sandy Roberts. SR: “So Helinka, tell us why Melbourne is your favourite city in the world? SG: Melbourne reminds me much of my home in Florida without beaches and not so many Cubans. SR: So have you had a chance to see the native wildlife in Australia? SG: I see Kangaroo on plane wing which was fun and I hold the bear a the zoo that did wees on me which was no fun”. No amount of prize money can compensate such torture.

The toing and froing that comes with cricket selection, the death of ODI’s and who will replace Mr Cricket continues to fill the papers in what becomes a day to day media variation of if my aunty had a dick, she’d be my uncle. Perhaps David Hussey could be come Mrs Cricket as a stop gap measure. In the print media’s defence, the ever increasing availability of electronic media makes it hard to maintain much relevance in the way of “breaking news”. By the time the papers hit the stands in the morning, everyone has reed the online updates 8 hours earlier rending the sub editors cry of “Aussies set to break Masters hoodoo” rather silly when you already know that the best score by an Australian was 76. A mere 12 shots off the lead. Still, if you stick your chin out, someone will give it a whack, particularly if the chin belongs to Robbo.

Summer always brings new hope to football clubs. With the boys training down houses and bonding closer than leaches, it’s understandable that the faithful will again fork out their hard earned on a membership that, for most, will be like a brick around your neck by June. The Canberra Raiders have done some cross code research as a means of claiming the cup come September. The mungos have been looking at the Swan’s club culture to emulate their winning formula. Given the Swans’ primary club rule is a no dickheads policy, I feel the Raiders may struggle to field a side let, alone win a game.

Summer also provides some familiarity notably though the dulcet tones of Jim Maxwell heading up the ABC cricket coverage. Jim knows his stuff sometimes to the point of being a tad laborious. However, thankfully he has not reached “doyen” status. Once you become a doyen, you have no other association with life other then the sport you cover, case in point being Gordon Bray whose anal commentary has pigeoned holed him so much that he has no other function in life other than to pronounce the national rugby unions team names with reverence and genuflection. No Argies or Itai’s for Gordon. Poooomas and Azoories if you don’t mind. Kerry O’Keefe has been a different type of revelation this summer. KO’K has toned down the gags a bit and developed a terrific rapport with the guest South African and Sri Lankan commentators. He has a great knowledge of the touring teams and plenty of self deprecation, which sadly still fails to make up for Geoff Lawson’s comments which are as pedestrian as his bowling .

One assumes that over at Nine, the other doyen, has been trying to provide some respectability to the cricket commentary. I can’t tell you for sure as I’ve not heard one minute of the telecasts for fear of receiving a verbal rogering from Slats and Heals. Even the visuals leave me wanting a root canal. Could you imagine the absolute horror of having your cricket career determined by the channel nine video referral One can only assume that Punter is being measured up for the blazer. Hopefully, he can provide some better insight than his co-commentators or, at least, some tips on the dish lickers.

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.


  1. Tony, You had me at “blowing air up people’s bums”. Bless.

  2. Peter Schumacher says

    “Like” !!!! In other words I really enjoyed this contribution and could certainly identify with the thoughts expressed.

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