The 2019 Ennui Cup – Pre Season

Greetings Tipsters


Enjoy a fun summer? I hope you did. So did I, for the most part. Too often found myself sore and tired beyond the usual but large quantities of garlic and peppers dealt with that. Ringo and I maintained a running txt msg commentary/discussion on cricket tests.


Watched the Superbowl in Adelaide. There’s been some great defensive Superbowls but this wasn’t one of them. Dour match, dire show, I fell asleep on a wide flat couch, woke up to a replay of the touchdown, went back to bed.


It was nice to do four days in a city where the air doesn’t stick to your skin. I walked half a mile to the shops and back and barely cracked a sweat. It was 37°.


‘It was a clean, well-lighted ground.’


Had an idea that I might write each column in the style of a different author. Tolkienish one week, Maileresque the next. Then realised, Holy Frig, I’d have to read Mailer in order to parody him. Ran the idea past Ringo, he suggested an Ayn Rand take on Hawthorn, a great idea but – I’d have to read Fountainhead.


Begging the question, what weird bastards are we? Who the hell knows or cares about Ayn and Norman these days?


‘And thus borne aloft, he did seize the sacred globe of power.’


So I figured I might do genres.


It is but form, for the function I first did take to mind, seated in the library with an ancient tome on the table before me, was greasy fiction, just crap my way through it, and to hell with logical continuities.


Say it’s a review of Round 6, St Kilda are undefeated with a percentage of 180, Brisbane are second. By Round 7 both might be winless. Benazir Bhutto and Alice B Toklas coach Richmond and Port. Bob Pratt is a mid-season recruit for the Gold Coast Sharknets. John Donne kicks six for the Freo Flies.


Everyone’s a winner, baby, that’s no lie. At least once, your team will be atop the ladder (will I have to write eighteen Grand Final columns?), your star forward will kick a dozen, your grunty midfielder will be a lock for the Brownlow.


I went to check out this DAFL, broads playing football. It was pretty neat. I’d been busy with a couple of dangerous cases, it’d snuck up on me. Velma typed up the invoices and I did some reading. Hey, a lotta big scores there. Gotta tell ya, I was halfway glad they’d made a schmuck out of me, on account of some opinions I’d voiced about the comp expansion a while back.


I was feeling halfway happy when I saw another item in the sports pages. ZAFL. It was kinda like the old cross-country basketball but on an oblong. My guts clenched, I squeezed my fists white. Velma was there, with a tumbler of bourbon.


“Holy damn, thanks doll.”


I forced myself to read that and it wasn’t pretty. Insta Super, they said. Good for the kids. Blow it all to hell, kids kicked in the backyard and the local oval and pretended to be Keith Greig once.


Ranger Jack hit the throttles on his Space Fighter X-15, feinted left at 15° climb then propped, flicked, only to see Ranger Phil swoop in and nail the target.


“Tis one of them there Berber corsairs, sir” said the old bo’sun.


“By the gods, will the Med never be free of their depredations?”


He stood tall and bloody, brandishing the mighty sword of vengeance and swore bitter revenge on those who had stolen his birthright.


I slumped back in the front seat of the Falcon for another long night of surveillance and thought, ‘What the hell have I let myself in for?”


Cheers Tipsters


P&C, A Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, A Division of Trans-Dementia Inc.




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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. george smith says

    Not going to tip anything, but will ask Santa for an opponent in the Grand Final, should the Magpies be lucky enough to get there. Hopefully one with more emotional baggage than our mob, if that’s possible…

    Hawthorn/Galacticos – surely you jest!
    Richmond – one finals win against this mob since 1937, so odds not good
    Weagles – I remember the last time we turned up against an interstate mob second year running, did not end well, so no…
    Moggies – had our measure in recent times, so only if they win through from 8th…
    Essendon – excellent choice, hasn’t won a final since 2002, has a habit of losing its way in finals, particularly after a long time out.
    Melbourne -iffy, has a habit of not getting the double chance then bowing out in the PF. However has an excellent record against the Magpies, so our mob would have to win against the odds for the third time.
    Adelaide – never beaten us in a final, has more baggage than Spencer Street, has a habit of going missing against the big boys – a worthy opponent!
    GWS – never made a grand final, would find it hard going on the crowd factor alone. Any team would welcome them on the big day, except the Swans!

  2. “When you are a Bear of Very Little brain, and you Think Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.” —Winnie-the-Pooh. (In the style of AA Milne)
    Good to have you back Earl.

  3. Earl O'Neill says

    Sharp take, Winnie. No matter how many times I preview and edit, it always reads different when published.

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