The 2017 Nick Riewoldt Cup

Greetings Tipsters


When Nick debuted I was about as old then as he is now and I thought that he was the new age footballer, the first of a generation that came into the game as a fulltime professional.  Made a neat comparo with the recently retired Tony Lockett. He’ll retire with a stature that goes beyond his brilliant career, an era-defining player like Royce Hart and Wayne Carey. When he was a youngster, I wrote…


2002, Round 08 Review

You have to feel for Nick Riewoldt.  He could be playing for Brisbane and tearing the opposition to pieces.  Instead he plays for St Kilda in a lemon-yellow strip, keeping his head when all about are losing theirs. He’ll probably be club captain in a few years time (after GT has gone and taken his scissors/rock/paper captaincy selection process with him), play 250 games, win a Brownlow, become another beloved clubman and finish his career with the same mental scarring, nagging sense of unfulfilment and bittersweet memories of all-too-few finals matches shared by Danny Frawley (and Paul Kelly and Robbie Flower and you get the picture).


2003 Round 01 Preview

North are like a kid that wants a car, works three jobs to save the money, buys a ’73 Falcon, works on the engine and the brakes until late at night, keeps it spit and polished clean, treasures it, because the kid’s heart has been poured into it. In this analogy, St Kilda’s dad buys him a BMW, and because the kid has no value for it – it didn’t cost him anything – it’s never cleaned, the badges fall off, the leather seats are grubby. Not that the likes of Handsome Nick Riewoldt aren’t talented players, but too many of them (and, herein, Nick is an exception) don’t know how to put in the hard yards.


2003 Round 11 Review

Danny Frawley ought to find out, if he hasn’t already. Richmond’s promising early season form, built on a solid defence, has collapsed like Gaspar’s knee and they’ve slid from the top four to the bottom eight. Friday night’s loss was the sort of thing that could send the whole club, insanity and all, tumbling into a deep funk of bitterness and paranoid disappointment. Can Honest Dan hold it together? Does he look longingly at Nick Riewoldt and think “I wish I was on his team”?


2004 Round 03 Preview

Mad Sheeds claimed that Nick Riewoldt was the umpires’ pet. Nick has never been reported (not that we can remember, at least) but has been to the tribunal more often than Dermott Brereton. He’s young and brilliant and, consequently, is going to come in for a helluva lot of attention from opposition teams. He better stock up on pinup shots to sell to the teenybopper girls of the Eastern Suburbs now, before he loses his looks to a series of elbows, knees and bootstuds.


2004 Round 06 Preview

Rumour has it that a player revolt led to Stan Alves’ dismissal, and look where that got them. Well, it got them Nick Riewoldt actually, but they had to collapse in a heap to do it.


2004 Round 07 Review

Nick Riewoldt, on the other hand, displayed all the heedless nature of youth and its blithe disregard for consequences, as well as an astute, analytical grasp of the bigger picture – remarkable for a footballer – and a wicked sense of humour to boot.


“I don’t think the AFL should have the right to do that because it’s a total invasion of privacy. I think the AFL are doing it for the wrong reasons. The reason we get drug-tested is so you don’t have an unfair advantage with performance-enhancing drugs. If the AFL are doing this off-season and testing for ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana, it’s not performance-enhancing because it’s not in-season, so the AFL is just doing it to get on the moral high horse and take the high ground here. If they want to do that with the players, why don’t they do that with themselves and test all the staff that make all the big decisions, if they’re doing it for a moral reason?”


2004 Round 08 Preview


There I was, hanging out in a grimy pub with cute Elena, beautiful Samantha and gorgeous Beth, grooving to an 18 piece swing band and generally feeling damned good. I rocked up to the bar for another round of drinks and, while I’m hanging there watching the barmaid put ‘em together (she was pretty, too), this overweight businessman type shuffles in beside me and mutters “You write some kinda online footy column, doncha?”


I looked around, and blow me down if it ain’t Zeus himself!


“What the hell are you doing in a dive like this?” I said. “Don’t you have a footy comp to run, or a club to fine or something?”


“Joke all you want. What in god’s name would you know about moral fibre? Football isn’t all accounting procedures and management strategies, it’s uptight, uh, I mean, upright behaviour, setting a good example for the kiddies, being seen to do the right thing!”


“Like what Doug Nicholls said about preaching a sermon by the way he played the game?”


“Who?! Another of your deviant mates, eh?  Just let me write that down.” Zeus whipped a mink-clad notebook out of his inside pocket and frowned deeply while scribbling away with a platinum fountain pen that kept smudging.


“You shouldn’t press so hard with a good pen like that,” I offered, but he bit back like an angry pitbull.


“I don’t need your advice!” he screamed. “It’s all just a bloody joke to you, isn’t it? Just a bunch of blokes running around on a cricket pitch, chasing a blinkin’ ball! Is that all you think it is? Oh, you don’t know how wrong you are! That’s why I’m here.”


Zeus paused to draw breath and let the shaking in his jowls subside. Reflexively, he elbowed a middle-aged lady (the pianist’s wife, as it happened) in the jaw, and grabbed her lemon squash out of her hand before she hit the floor, without spilling a drop, and drained it in one long swallow.


“Nice work,” I commented.


“Shut up, scum. I’m just practicing for you. You could’ve been like that guy, that, whatsisname that writes up all the crap on our website, that guy with the specs. You could’ve done the right thing by us, but, no, you’re worse than those bitches and bastards at the Age. Kiddies can get on the Net, y’know! Next thing you know, they’re drinking Schweppes, reading up on nude anarchy, queuing up for goddamn Riewoldt’s autograph. Ha, well he won’t be doing any of that for awhile, stupid little blonde prick…”


The pretty barmaid placed a tray full of drinks on the bar. I gave her some money and a smile, she gave me change and a cute wink.


“You need a drink?” I asked Zeus. “What about some valium, or pharmaceutical morphine? There’s a guy here who…”


He ground his glass into the palm of his hand and glared at me while he wiped the blood across his face.


“Your time is done, smartarse. I spit on your freedom of speech! We’re not gonna stand for your type, bringing the great game into disrepute with your jokes and your libertarian attitudes! The moral fibre of Western civilisation is at stake here and you believe there’s an alternative to violent, draconian righteousness? Ado’s outside cutting the brakelines on your Harley right now!”


“I ride a ’68 Triumph Daytona, Zeus, the Harley belongs to that angry 300 pound Samoan attorney. In the corner near the window, wired on hot speed.”


That might have very nearly been it for Zeus, if Beth hadn’t sashayed up to the bar to grab her double rum and lemon. I love women that drink more than me, especially when they can charm the leg off an iron table. Beth draped her little finger along his sagging jowl, told him he should do something about his diet, get his face waxed, and when he opened his mouth to tell her off for being a shameless hussy, ruining the moral fibre of the nation’s footballing youth, she popped a little something down the back of his throat and tickled his neck until he swallowed it.


I took the rest of the drinks back to the table. Elena slid her arm around my waist and Samantha squeezed my thigh, real tight. Late the next morning, while the three of us were having coffee and cigarettes in the backyard, Zeus wandered past, naked save for dayglo bodypaint, muttering something about how a Camry didn’t befit a Master of the Universe.


“Beth’s pretty hard to resist,” said Samantha. “Geez, that guy’s got one hell of a fat arse! What was she thinking?”


The pianist in the swing band is now my accountant. Nick still has a full head of platinum blonde hair.


Cheers Tipsters


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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. awesome miscellania of this freak. says so much about the Brownlow that a consistently elite and dominant performer, in a team that won heaps of games some year, couldn’t snag one.

    he’d be real handy standing next to his cuzz for the next 8 weeks…

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