The 2016 ‘Pearler’ Cup – Round Twenty

Greetings Tipsters


Your columnist isn’t real keen on the Olympics, watching running and swimming is about as exciting as watching ocean yacht racing. But I did catch some of the heats for the Women’s Rugby Sevens and enjoyed it, a very open, fast game.


The Pearls, who the hell came up with that?  There’s nothing particularly Australian about a name that lends itself to all manner of Beavis & Butthead tomfoolery. We’ve all sorts of deadly animals, the Taipans, f’rinstance. I dug Charlotte brilliant-natural-footballer Caslick’s yellow-ribboned plaits, reminded me of old B&W pix from the 1930s of girls who grew up to work in factories building bombers in WWII.


Congratulations ladies on winning the gold and, on behalf of every Australian married to a Kiwi, thank you.  I’ll buy you a beer and Perky Girl will have to buy you two.


In an attempt to be professional, I took notes over the weekend.  They’re around here somewhere…  Ah, here we go, underneath the census form. Why does the govt want to know the name of my business? What pearls of wisdom did I record?


Richo is slowly evolving a mohican. The side cuts are getting shorter, I reckon he’ll show up on Grand Final Day with the full shave, and good luck to him. Jack Riewoldt should be in charge, his chat w Richo was captain’s material. He’s a good operator.


My handwriting is often a triumph of form over function, especially after a beer and spliff. The next line is ‘Angry Granite’, a description of Nathan’s press conference. Then a string of words, one of which is Brisbane. I’m picking up the cryptography now, the next is “80% of first choice forward line isn’t available (take that Jesse, Trav, Mason.)”


Next day I sort of watched Sydney beat Port while wandering about the house doing things like changing the blades on the lawnmower. “Swans get a % boost but could’ve been more – from 5.2 to 9.10”


“Monaros, behind for all but two mins in third and last three”


“H list – let’s jump on that”


“Shooting, a v dull sport

Women squint along meccano guns

This makes yacht racing exciting”

I can’t make out the next line.

“Chicks rugby

Only a few hundred there”

More stylish but indecipherable scribble

“Carolina Ladag—-, a great try scored

G go for %”


G didn’t make much of their percentage chance, I must’ve writ that before the game started. Carolina’s full name is Carolina Ladagnous, she’s from Lons. Women’s shooting may be dull television but Catherine Skinner was beautifully gracious in victory, waiting until after her opponent had finished before claiming gold that was hers already and doing a great interview. Nice place, Mansfield, nice people too.


‘H list’ must have something to do with the loss to Melbourne. Conceding five in a row to close out the game is un-H’like. Maybe they’re running out of puff. Go North!


15 or 20 years ago Graeme ‘Polly’ Farmer was on Talkin’ Footy. Bruce put on his face of deep concern and asked Pol “What was the sledging like in the ’60s?”


“Well, if you were black, they called you a boong, if you were Italian they called you a wog. But we all felt sorry for the Aussies cos they got called poofters.”


Bruce’s jaw hung open, mouth agape. Times had changed, they continue to.


The Indigenous Round is a great idea, it’s our indigenous game, blackfellas are over-represented, testament to their innate skill. The Multicultural Round is less of a good idea, a worthy aim but I’m 50 and can’t remember a world without wogs of various stripes. I don’t care what colour your skin is. As long as you a true fella, as long as you a real fella.


This week is the Pride Game. Doubtless Bigfooty will be running hot with alleged humour about the competitors, Sydney and St Kilda.


30 years living within a 10 minute walk of Oxford, Cleveland or King Sts, I’ve known all sortsa folks, I’ve been to the footy with gay mates, if I bumped into Gaz tmro we’d pass an hour talking about rock and soul. I’ve gone motorbiking with lesbian mates and when I asked G why she batted for the opposition she laughed and said “Well, who do you think is better looking?”


When Michael Sam came out to his UM teammates most of them said “yeah, we figured”. He was a key player in a championship college team.


Ian Roberts is the only openly gay topline footballer in Australia. There’d be others, of course, and their teammates probably know about it and don’t care, as long as he’s a good footballer.


I don’t want the AFL waving a marketing-as-niceness rainbow flag over my head. Here’s a tip for old-money Gillo and Rhodes-scholar Mike, queers go to the football cos they enjoy the game, as do grandparents and alcoholics and quiet family types and blind people and teenagers and, oh gosh, all sorts of freaks.


Out in the cheap seats, we get on okay. Yeah, everyone’s got a bit of a bigot in them, but we manage, we all burp and fart, we do our bit. Years ago I was a gardener for a local council, dressed colourfully, painted my toenails green or blue, when the blokes in the depot saw me change my socks they laughed and said “You’re a weird bastard” and that was it. When I worked in the office and went to barefoot bowls, the middle-class engineers were most disturbed and kept staring at my blue-painted toenails but none of ‘em said a word. Weird, uptight bastards.


Just like the AFL and the media and the government. Quit hitting us over the head, leave us alone.


Cheers Tipsters


P&C, A Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Enterprises.

Brought to you with the assistance of MC5’s ‘Back In The USA’

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. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Maybe they think that they have to hit everyone over the head, in order to knock sense into those that need it. The rest of us just get the sore head.

  2. This post is already a weekly highlight Earl.

    I’m with you on the Olympics, handwriting, Hawthorn and themed rounds with dubious purpose.

    I’ll also bet that you’ve given the new Dinosaur Jr album a spin.


  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Earl, with you on themed rounds. Though some football themed rounds might work…

    Neat handwriting is one of my best skills. Sadly that skill is about as relevant as a cassette tape these days.

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Geez, now you tell me Luke. I got a box full of 80s tapes just waiting to be heard again.

  5. My folks are moving to a smaller home in the Barossa and I’m receiving their record collection.

    Ripper’77 is coming my way. No, it’s not a cassette, but it’s the Rosetta Stone of vinyl.

  6. Earl loved the lawnmower blades line,like you I am well and truly over all these themed rounds

  7. Earl O'Neill says

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