Wanna Bet on Another Shaw Thing?


by Merv Collins


When I stuck my head above the blankets to greet the two degree morning in Melbourne today, I’m sure I felt a shiver of sympathy for poor Heath Shaw doing it hard over there in sun-drenched southern America. I suspect his team-mates experienced some of the same emotions as they headed for a bit of refreshing, ice-breaker sea bath rehab at the crack of dawn too.

I know he did the wrong thing in putting a bet on. I realize that, like an over-confident Pommie rioter, he didn’t even have brains enough to pull his Heidelberg hoodie up over his unmistakable head, but that’s no reason to send him to Coventry in the middle of Arizona, if that’s geographically possible. Away from the slog of the last eight weeks of the season when every malign opposition player and supporter would want to take potshots at him; away from the evil, judgmental eye of Mick Malthouse; away from his peers, friends and fellow punters with only Anthony Rocca as company for God’s sake! Deprived of career and income – oh, no, scratch that last bit, Collingwood will still be paying him megabucks during his enforced holiday.


Let’s be honest, Shaw is laughing all over his face. Why shouldn’t he be? He’s missing the weekly grind at the fag-end of the football year; he’s no chance to get injured in the run up to the finals; he can slip down to the Phoenix TAB for a flutter (fat chance of an Australian footballer being recognised over there; most Americans wouldn’t even recognise Australia!) and under super-athlete Anthony’s demanding and watchful care, he’ll come back fit as a Texas bull and rarin’ to smother Nick Reiwoldt all over the goal square.


The Pies have taken list management to unimagined heights. I reckon the coach regrets Nick Maxwell didn’t commit a similarly punishable offence before breaking his thumb over the weekend. The captain, if he’d had Heath’s foresight, could have been out of harm’s way on a sand dune somewhere near the Grand Canyon too.


Ever-consistent Malthouse apparently told young Fasolo, on his promotion to the team, that the position was now his to lose. He should have added ‘unless the position is Heath Shaw’s, in which case, put your boots away as soon as the flight ex-LAX lands at Tulla.’


Shaw, irrespective of his long lay-off has already been publicly assured of his spot come finals time. Oh, what a dreadful punishment he’s endured. Even if he then plays poorly first up, unlike poor Neon Leon, for whom the lights would immediately go out, they’ll say ‘Well, he was short of matchplay and will be better for the run.’


And you know what? He probably will be. Eight weeks Rand R at the rough end of the season, feather-bedded back into the team, nursed through the early finals.


Best on Ground in the Granny? You betcha!



  1. At least they made him pay for his own ticket. :P

  2. Richard Naco says

    Out of his winnings?

  3. Can he still get the team whispers in Arizona?

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