The All Stars match last night coincided with more than just a few column inches of organised crime, game fixing, drug-taking, dodgy boxing and just good old-fashioned cheating. You couldn’t have paid for a better build up.
When the stench of controversy blows downwind, you can tell it’s footy season. The big hits, facial massages, people saying the word ‘thousand’ in a strange dialect, and The War on English are all upon us. Ain’t it grand?
A lot of things impressed me about the game, though I do have a penchant for writing silly French-sounding words from time to time in a completely irrelevant soliloquy kind of way, and for being easily impressed.
I was impressed for example, with Ben Barba’s haircut. I was impressed with Ash Harrison’s red nose early in the game, a sight that has graced many a Leagues Club or RSL for many years. I was fascinated by the amount of ink added to the players’ arms, necks and torsos in the off season. I think I could just make out the complete Hungry Caterpillar on one of the player’s arms, though my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. I can still feel the palpable sense of embarrassment when a friend informed me that Meatloaf was not actually performing at the Super Bowl.
And I was just amazed by Cameron Smith’s workload. Not only can he organise a team like clockwork, but as captain-coach of the Storm, NRL CEO, player liaison officer, rapper and commentator, he’s burning the candle at both ends.
Oh I suppose I’d better say I was impressed with the footy so early in the season too. Not so much the commentary though, where the trial rules seemed a bridge too far for ole Rabbs (which could’ve been Billy Birmingham now that I think about it) and Sterlo (who was still banging on about bringing the ball back to the 30m line after going dead). But it’s early days …
But enough meandering drivel, because that’s not the point of this impromptu post. I can write about the game later.
Given the headlines mentioned above, I have compiled a team that I think can more than match the Indigenous All Stars following their victory. It’s almost a Warniefesto! Perhaps we can have a winner plays Dr NRL’s Global All Stars in much the same way we play the World Club Challenge? Now there’s an idea.
Dr NRL’s Global All Stars are an eclectic, mostly misunderstood group. They are a team with undoubted ambition, a group who don’t know the meaning of the term ‘glass ceiling’, but can probably recognise a glass table when they see one. They are grafters, sledgers, resourceful, and with a telephone book of contacts.
Indigenous All Stars – are you up to the challenge?
Dr NRL’s Global All Stars
Dr Jack Kervorkian – a man whose game plan the players are sure to follow
Ben Cousins – Needs to keep as far away from Warnie and Johnsy as possible so that he can concentrate on his game. Fullback is his best position and allows him the space to chime into the backline one minute, or sit back and chow down with the munchies the next. He can diffuse a bong bomb faster than he can outrun a SWAT team, and no one is in his class under the high ball.
Left Wing / Right Wing
Ben Johnson – Marion Jones – These elusive flyers have a wealth of talent and speed, though they are too modest to admit it. This pair could be a stronger weapon for the team, except Lance’s cut-out ball isn’t what it used to be, and getting anything out of the centre pairing is nigh on impossible.
Left Centre / Right Centre
Eddie Obeid / John Howard – This pair have just the right combination of sneakiness and nastiness to unsettle the opposition. They are faster with their mouth than on their feet, but are good defenders who will nonetheless scurry through any gap that opens up.
Five Eighth / Halfback
Mohammed Amir / Lance Armstrong – Amir’s no-ball problem, and his ability to take instruction without question makes him the perfect foil for Armstrong, who can organise and control any game like no other. He has superb ball skills, and kicks like a horse steroid, so I’m expecting plenty of 40/20s from him.
Shane Warne – Who else could mould this team into such a sleek, lean and mean playing machine. His poker face will have you guessing which side of the ruck he’s going to pop up on. Even though he has lost some of his muscle bulk from his playing days, his ability to bond with the team late at night and attract the right kind of cheer leading talent (not mutually exclusive events) is unparalleled.
Hansie Cronje / Robert Trimbole – This pair has an abundance of do-it-yourself knowhow, and offers the pack a rich mixture of height and bulk. If Hansie doesn’t fix you, then Robbie will.
RyanTandy / Hulk Hogan –This pair add bulk up front to go with the bulk in their hip pocket. They have had contrasting journeys to this team, even going to different acting schools. Yran lost his shirt to the bookies, but Hulk has never owned one.
Heid Fleiss – Picks herself with her vigorous workload around a ruck, and has a very deceptive dummy.
Johnsy was pipped at the post for half by Lance, and for night-time organiser by Warnie. Also seems to prefer the glass table to the bench. A conundrum to his other benchwarmers, made even more amusing because they think Conundrum is someone called Molly’s surname.
Brian has a high work rate on the field, but an even better one off the field, preferably in a side office. Never seems to worry about the score, because he has his own version of it.
Chinese Swim Team
CST like to spend their time on the sideline wisely and productively. They can sense the flow of the game intuitively, and have a pill for any occasion.
Roger doubles as a strike weapon on the fringes of society the ruck, as well assisting the coach deliver encouraging words to players who aren’t following the game plan.
Darren’s speed is often quite deceptive, and you’re never really sure how fast he’s running to retrieve the ball. Depending on which side you are on, you can wait anything from a nanosecond to half an hour to have the ball returned to you after a penalty kick.
To those who missed out, keep up the good work. There is always next year.