Writers block during the finals: I blame KISS

I hate writers block.  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does I’ll sit down for an hour and write eight words.  Only two will be in the right order.

Given the weekend was filled with sport, it is the worst time to get writers block, but I know the signs.

If I can’t find the right music to write with, I know I have writers block.  Selecting KISS only added to my frustration, because they made money out of writers block.

Google their lyrics (let’s put the X in sex; love’s like a muscle and you make me wanna flex) and you’ll understand.

It didn’t matter that Geelong struggled to defeat Port Adelaide, because that was only part of the story.  There was too much to write about.  To start with, Geelong won’t beat Hawthorn, and Paul Chapman was going to be suspended for his bump on Robbie Gray.

The Match Review Panel (MRP) wouldn’t care that a footballer who calls himself Robbie instead of Rob should be hit occasionally.

I imagined Chapman’s plea to the MRP, I wouldn’t have bumped him if his name was Rob, might make them laugh.

He could engage expert witnesses, perhaps a curator and meteorologist, who would explain how the deceptively flat MCG turf and a gust of wind led to Chapman’s feet leaving the ground at the moment of impact.

On Sunday morning I thought about writing about my knee surgery, but one of my mates recently asked me to stop writing about running.

‘I tried running once but spilt too much beer,’ he said.

On Saturday night it was too hard watching footy, drinking beer and trying to write a few lines so I did the sensible thing and turned the computer off.

The following morning, while listening to KISS (cause you’re good looking, the best I’ve had), I tried writing a lengthy explanation of why Ted Richards wouldn’t get suspended for his bump on Levi Casboult.

It didn’t matter that his bump was almost identical to Chapman’s bump, which was identical to Buddy Franklin’s bump.

The explanation was based on the observations of a podiatrist, who enlightened me about feet.  She played the incident in slow motion and pointed at Richards’s feet.

‘His feet are on the ground at the moment of impact so it doesn’t matter that his shoulder hit Casboult in the head,’ she said.  ‘Richards used his feet in the correct manner during the bump and he was in control of his action.’

We watched the vision of the incidents that led to Chapman and Franklin getting suspended.

‘Their feet left the ground at the moment of impact and therefore they are not in control of their bodies,’ she said.  ‘Richards used the upright stance, where he stands on both feet, and controlled his bump.’

I mentioned that Richards still hit Casboult in the head.

The podiatrist frowned and explained further.  ‘These bumps are all about feet.  Franklin and Chapman were off the ground at the moment of impact.  That’s why they are reckless.  Richards had his feet on the ground.  That’s why he was able to hit Casboult in the face without being reckless.’

I couldn’t argue with her logic.  I figured the MRP would have the same opinion.  It was all about feet, not shoulders colliding with faces.   So, to clarify things, it is legal to bump someone in the face as long as your feet are on the ground.

That realisation, and another KISS song, you can fight but tonight there’s nothing you can do, forced me to turn the computer off.  If the podiatrist cleared Richards based on feet biomechanics, a meteorologist and curator weren’t going to help Chapman.

KISS (she’ll adore you and she’ll floor you) weren’t going to cure writers block.

By Sunday afternoon, I was hoping the fight between Floyd Mayweather and someone called Saul Alvarez would cure me.

I love boxing.  It is a lot of fun to write about, and Mayweather is one of the best fighters I have ever seen.  His talent doesn’t have boundaries.

In 44 fights I’d only seen him take two powerful shots on the chin.  He is 36, young for a man but old for a boxer.

Alvarez is a 23-year-old Mexican with red hair and freckles.  He is one of those rare Mexicans who weighs more than 135 pounds and doesn’t have black hair.  He’s one of those rare Mexicans who looks Scottish.

Alvarez is one of those rare Mexicans who can’t fight.

Mayweather gave up 13-years in age, six kilograms in weight and dominated the fight.  He didn’t hurt Alvarez, but belted him at will and rarely got hit.  It resembled a chainsaw fighting a fridge.

Most of Alvarez’s punches hit Mayweather on the arms, back or gloves.  A lot didn’t get close.  Late in the fight Mayweather was giggling.

I didn’t bother scoring the fight and didn’t take one note.  Writers block was showing more fight than Alvarez.

When Jimmy Lennon read out the scorecards, I felt like Alvarez did; mildly concussed.  Somehow a judge called CJ Ross scored the fight even, which meant Mayweather won a majority decision instead of a unanimous decision.

I gave Alvarez a round for showing up to fight, and he did enough to earn the eighth round.  He landed half as many punches as Mayweather did, and Ross still scored the fight a draw.

It later emerged that Mayweather dislocated his left elbow in the seventh round.

CJ Ross has dislocated eyes.  They’re in the back of her head.  Ross said she stands by her scoring, which is hilarious.  It’ll be even funnier if she gets another high profile fight.

By Sunday night, in front of the computer, my fingers felt as stiff as Mayweather’s elbow.  I couldn’t find the right words to say that injury has stuffed Sydney’s finals campaign.

I switched to a piece about the Kennett Curse but that myth has been expanded upon too many times.  The only people who care about it are journalists, Geelong fans and Jeff Kennett.

To everyone else, the myth is simply a reminder that Kennett, who did a great job for a few years, is still cashing in on that success.

By Monday night I was still listening to KISS (you pulled the trigger of my love gun) and wondering why I asked my mate to borrow his CDs.  I still couldn’t write.

Still, nothing made sense.

Alvarez barely hit Mayweather’s face and was awarded a draw by a judge who should be hit in the face, so she realises what a punch is.

Chapman and Richards used their shoulders to bump opponents in the face and it was their feet that decided the outcome.

Then I read a poem called Winter written by my nine-year-old nephew.  I swore, because he writes better than I can.

Naturally, I blamed KISS (so if you please get on your knees, there are no bills, there are no fees) for the writers block.  It’s a shame, because KISS are fun to listen to.

Hopefully Billy will never listen to KISS…

Winter – by Billy Leighton

Winter grabs the tree

He pulls the leaves one by one

Winter trips over a branch BOOM!

It starts to rain while he cries

Winter floats through the air

While leaves fall on the ground

About Matt Watson

My name is Matt Watson, avid AFL, cricket and boxing fan. Since 2005 I’ve been employed as a journalist, but I’ve been writing about sport for more than a decade. In that time I’ve interviewed legends of sport and the unsung heroes who so often don’t command the headlines. The Ramble, as you will find among the pages of this website, is an exhaustive, unbiased, non-commercial analysis of sport and life. I believe there is always more to the story. If you love sport like I do, you will love the Ramble…


  1. Love the “chainsaw fighting a fridge” analogy. Hawks V Swans was like that in the second half. I wonder if Geelong’s fridge has wheels??? Chappy looks like a fridge – one of those compact bar fridges. He needs to keep his wheels on the floor. Could he plead faulty castors before the MRP. Tell them he borrowed them off a Woolies shopping trolley.
    There was a linebacker played for the Chicago Bears called the Refrigerator, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, from memory. He was so big he would have needed a Saturn booster rocket to get his castors off the ground.
    Where was I??? Think I have writer’s diarrhoea.
    Nice piece IM. Good thoughts. Better imagery. “I was made for loving you baby; I was made for…………….”
    Nice piece

  2. IM – while we are on matters profound. Does Jennifer Aniston like cricket?

  3. Matt

    I loved this piece mate. Your best yet. And That poem by Billy … I’m astonished. Please pass on my praise.

  4. Great stuff .May your mind remain blocked

  5. Kafka couldn’t have imagined something as weirdly bureaucratic as the MRP or KB’s rules committee.

  6. Or Joseph Heller the twisted logic of the appeals process…

    You can contest the MRP decision but risk a greater penalty. You can’t argue precedence, but the MRP can at its whim.

    Then, in defence of the system, Demetriou claims players and clubs agree with MRP decisions because they aren’t contesting them.

  7. Malcolm Ashwood says

    V Entertaining Article and I concur with Pauls Comments above lets not forget the
    Tribunal used to come up with some drinkers as well the system needs a overhaul less legal crap and more common sense but not abandoned completely
    Re The Judge in the Boxing wonder if in time something more sinnister may emerge ?

  8. Really enjoyed that Mr Ironmike.

    Don’t listen to KISS, just keep it simple.

  9. Enjoyed the read. Of the 3 bumps I thought that Richards was most likely to be given games, I mean Casboult didn’t even have the ball and none of the Carlton players had been running or tacking all night – it was totally unnecessary for Richards to shepherd at all!

    Loved the poem by your nephew.

  10. Great piece ironmike. Writers block. Just remember, they say they can break you again and again, if life is a radio, turn it up to ten…These are crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy nights …oh yeah…

  11. Hey Peter, I’m not sure if Jennifer follows cricket. it depends on her boyfriend.

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