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Discussion in 'Forum Sevens Matches' started by The Front Row, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. The Front Row

    The Front Row Administrator Staff Member

    Oct 13, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Forum 7s - GRAND FINAL - 2008
    [​IMG] -v- [​IMG]

    Game Thread:
    * Please note - This is a game thread only, therefore only game posts can be made here (Teams, Articles).
    * Any other posts may result in loss of points and is at the discretion of the referee
    * Only original articles, not used in previous games, will be marked by referees.
    Naming Teams:
    * 5v5 (+ 2 reserves for each team)
    * No 'TBA' or changing players named
    * Captains must stick with original teams named
    ALL THE RULES & REGULATIONS: http://f7s.leagueunlimited.com/rules.php

    FULL TIME: Wedneday 8 October 2008 at 9pm (Syd time)

    REFEREE: The Colonel
    Venue: The Front Row Stadium

    **The Referee Blows Game On!**
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2008
  2. Titanic

    Titanic First Grade

    Feb 20, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Ranked 12-1 outsiders at the start of this, their debut season, weakened by chronic sand-crack abrasions and writers cramp, yet with slingshots loaded as their Goliath awaits and ready to rrrruuummmble, here come...


    The Run-on Team
    1 Amadean
    6 tits&tans
    7 Titan Uranus
    8 bgdc
    11 Titanic

    The Bench
    9 Robster
    12 Coaster

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
  3. Willow

    Willow Administrator

    May 19, 2003
    Likes Received:
    The Bluebags bus makes it way towards The Front Row driveway. The team stops the bus, disembark and decide to walk the rest of the way into the stadium. The baggers do a quick warm up lap before the huge crowd, then go up the tunnel to check out the pre-match drink rider in the sheds.

    Its game on!


    Black Kitty
    Dave Q
    Everlovin' Antichrist

    Willow (c)
    gorilla (vc)

    Good luck everyone :thumn
  4. Drew-Sta

    Drew-Sta Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Drew runs out to the field before tripping over his feet with the excitement of being in a Grand Final.

    Reporting on the reporters

    It’s my opinion that the battered and bruised nature of Rugby League, coupled with player dissatisfaction at the fish bowl life they lead, is predominantly caused by one specific media outlet that holds the power of News Limited behind it – The Daily Telegraph. The continual hammerings dealt out to players coupled with a ‘judge, jury, executioner’ attitude it holds to their private lives has reached a critical state where it is both unwarranted and in some specific cases hypocritical.

    Most people will no doubt immediately think of Rebecca Wilson and her ruthless reporting on player DUIs and off field behaviour; A position that reeks of double standards when it was learnt that she herself has three charges of DUI and driving without a license.

    Nevertheless, my story revolves around information I learnt a few weeks ago surrounding the Sonny Bill Williams fiasco last year with Candice Falzon. Whilst the news itself is old hat, I’ve always been interested in who wrote the story considering no-one put their name to it.

    About three weeks ago I found out the author was a journalist whom I see on a sporadic basis. Ironically, the knowledge of this came out whilst we were on a bender and had just been thrown out of Scruffy Murphy’s for being drunk and disorderly.

    Whilst we were both trying to hail a cab, he mentioned that this was very much like a Sonny Bill Williams incident he reported on. I asked which one, and he confessed that he wrote the Confidential article* about the ex Bulldog’s evening at the Clovelly Hotel when he and the iron woman were 'exposed' having ‘relations’ in the bathroom.

    When I scoffed over the quality of the article and the fact it deserved to be run in a Woman’s Day gossip column rather than a newspaper, his flippant comment back to me was 'Mate, it's stories like these that keep people interested.'

    I must have missed that memo, because I actually thought it was the game of Rugby League that kept people interested, not the players personal lives. My frustration began when I made the point that there is a difference between news on a sport and gossip on sporting profiles. He responded by saying ‘It’s only idiots like Sonny Bill that do this type of thing.'

    To expose the hypocrisy of what he was saying, a wild buck's night I was involved in several years ago was also attended by this same journalist. As the night wore in, the progressive drinking saw us float from pub to pub in Wollongong before we ended up at The Harp. After meeting with a group of girls who were keen to spice up their evening, conversations led to dancing and it wasn't long before the single entities in both parties paired off. I also noticed that the journalist, who was engaged at the time and has since married, was dancing with a cute blonde who had no doubt been wooed by his charismatic nature.

    Whilst dancing is fairly harmless and is really not a cause for concern, what did shock me was when the two began to passionately make out on the dance floor, before leaving and getting into a cab.

    Although his actions certainly weren’t ones that I personally consider the right thing to do, there was no more fuss made about it when he turned up to breakfast the next morning than the amusement the group got out of retelling how I had thrown up on the windscreen of the taxi we caught home when the previous night's revelries were finished.

    And this is what my point is – How is it fair for journalists and other media identities to pass judgment on our players when they themselves are guilty of the same crime? Who are we to criticise these players for making the same mistakes that 90% of us have probably committed multiple times? In the instance of this journalist, writing a story on the infidelity of Sonny Bill Williams is a case in point of the pot calling the kettle black.

    It’s time that journalists and the media start to live up to the standards they set for out players and become accountable for their own actions before reporting on the private lives of rugby league players. The abuse of their position in order to create news that isn’t there is to the detriment of the game.

    * http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,21534576-5001021,00.html

    Word Count 741
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  5. Rexxy

    Rexxy VideoAdmin

    Jan 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Rex for the Bags[​IMG]

    Jim and Ray with the old Sheridan Stand in background. Is the mobile phone the new TV?

    Brave New World

    I had this dream. I was at an empty Suncorp Stadium. I looked around the stands; enormous imposing spaces. Slowly the place starts to fill with a deafening chant. It builds to the point where you can barely hear yourself think. But above the noise is the hypnotic, staccato voice of the late commentator Frank Hyde. Just as the game reaches the critical point and the crowd raises its voice as one, it’s as if there are two teams on the field doing battle - but all I can see is an empty card table on the sideline, with Frank’s microphone eerily perched on top.

    Since its uncertain foundation, Rugby League has needed the media to attract bums-on-seats. With its ability to capture color and movement, radio was the ideal early partner.

    Originally authorities were fearful live radio calls would mean the crowds wouldn’t bother turning up. In kitchens, lounge rooms, back sheds and public bars, men like Tiger Black, Col Pearce and Frank Hyde would bring distant action to life. Rather than drive the fans away, radio had an excitement that captured the imagination and made people want to see it.

    Of course, it wasn’t a Sydney-centric experience. In the NSW town of Young, an even younger Ray Warren got his start calling local games. There were Queensland greats too like George Lovejoy and Billy J Smith.

    Radio and league seemed the perfect fit. But before radio there was Movietone.

    In the old days, most people only ever saw a game at the local cinema, where they may see a short highlights package as a curtain raiser to the latest Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis offering.

    While that sounds exciting, in a buttery and popcorny sort of way, the coverage was limited to one camera, accompanied in a clipped almost English news style commentary, that was already several months out of date.

    TV started to become the dominant medium in the late 60s with the new Ten Network showing games called by Jim Sheppard and Ray Stehr.

    As broadcast equipment becoming cheaper, more games could be covered. Instead of just Test matches and grand finals being filmed, regular club games could be televised on the ABC’s match of the day.

    Further technological innovation such as multiple angles and instant replays meant for the first time there was a real choice of going to the game or getting a meaningful experience from the comfort of the lounge.

    League also broke out of its imposed format with panel shows where experts could sit around pontificating on the game. If you ever saw Controversy Corner you’d remember Rex Mossop, Ferris Ashton, Noel Kelly and Allan Clarkson talking about the issues, large and small, punctuated with pass the ball competitions and live ads for Viking Saunas and Orange juice. The shenanigans of Controversy Corner were clearly an early version of the Footy Show.

    Then there is the made for TV spectacle that is State of Origin.

    The use of high-end graphics, multiple cameras, and other special effects to enhance the coverage of Origin have come from the drive to make the event “special”.

    Cameron Smith shortened his name to Cam just to fit in with his long lost brothers – Sky Cam and Try Cam.

    With TV ratings exceeding the 2 million mark, it's pretty clear to see which medium has the ascendancy in the battle for the hearts and minds of Joe Pubic. But as the late Chippy Frilingos would say, “turn it up”. There may still be some surprises in this game before the ref blows full time.

    Games are ready to be broadcast live to your mobile phone. Or on your computer via the internet.

    Could we be moving towards a future where TV is becoming the new Movietone news and will have to be happy as one only one of many ways we will continue to get our fix of gossip, player news, club talk, analysis and commentary?

    Maybe it's a future where our players have their likenesses rendered into a machine and instead of risking their bodies, their virtual selves play in virtual teams inside a virtual comp.

    These part machine-part men would allow the season to extend all year round. And if we don’t like the result we can always keep playing - until we get the win we deserve.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  6. Everlovin' Antichrist

    Everlovin' Antichrist Immortal

    Sep 24, 2003
    Likes Received:
    EA for Da 'Bags.


    Why God, why?

    Dear God,

    For the best part of 40 years I have followed Rugby League and from the moment my interest in the game hatched, my hatred of the Manly club hatched with it. The moment my eyes awoke to the “Greatest Game of All”, my soul awoke to hatred of the Manly Warringah Rugby League Club.

    Everyone hated Manly where I grew up, everyone; and I was no exception. I spent my formative years in Green Valley, where following a Rugby League club was mandatory and hating Manly was just as mandatory. Heck, the instructions on how to hate Manly were printed on Westie-only Corn Flakes packets. Following Manly was out of the question and wearing a Manly jersey, even for a bet, was enough to get you strapped to the nearest monkey bars on cracker night and used for target practice.

    Hate is such a strong word, but I really do hate Manly. I hate Manly for stealing Brown, Dorahy and Boyd 30 years ago and destroying a potential Magpies premiership winning side. I hate Manly for taking John Hopoate on after his despicable acts that brought Rugby League worldwide attention sullying the name of the great game and brought my doctor to tell me after my first ever prostate examination that I’d just been “Hopoate’d”. I hate Manly for that smugness they’ve shown after every Grand Final win, including the 1976 Grand Final handed to them on a platter by an inept Parramatta centre and an even more inept Parramatta winger. I hate Manly for Peter Peters and every Manly-associated administrator before him who has put club before the game. I hate them all and I have hated them for nearly 40 years.

    Then along came the Melbourne Storm in 1998, I assume they were your little joke at my expense. Yes, I am self-infatuated enough to believe that God himself would make a Rugby League team just to piss me off ten years later. If it’s true, my sense of humour may need a tweak because that just isn’t funny!

    Bastard child of the Super League adversaries, surrogate-mothered by the second cousin of the devil himself, John Ribot, to appease News Limited’s desire to cover the whole eastern seaboard television audience at the expense of real Rugby League heartlands. Coached by a man who has dragged “The Greatest Game of All” through the mud with his insistence on turning the ruck into a wrestling match and CEO’d by a man who believes that a player banned from the Grand Final for trying to tear a player in half shouldn’t be booed by an opposition crowd and that his club should be above the laws of the game.

    The Melbourne Storm make me dry retch and that's without taking the city of Melbourne itself into account. A city so bereft of anything resembling a personality that the only code of Football followed by it is as close to anti-Football as is possible, where prerequisite skills such as ball security and accuracy are about as relevant as pool cues and rifles. I hate the city, the people, the way they drive, their ugly upside-down river and their chip-on-the-shoulder attitude to Sydney. Is the city of Melbourne more attempted deity humour, at my expense?

    I hate Melbourne and the Storm for what they are, what they represent and what they don’t add to our game but most of all I hate them for making me cheer for Manly.

    And that’s where the problem lies, I do hate Melbourne, but I should hate Manly more. Hating Manly is ingrained in my psyche, it is part of the very fabric of my existence but on Sunday afternoon, October the 5th 2008, I cheered for Manly. I cheered hard for Manly, I cheered each and every Manly try and I cheered each and every big hit by a Manly player. I even jumped out of my chair and punched the air with delight when Steve “Beaver” Menzies scored.

    Lord, it would be like Jesus cheering for Satan in a Satan v Judas grudge match.

    I feel so dirty. I feel dirtier than I could feel if I had lined up for Manly in their second row on Sunday whilst carrying autographed pictures of Bobby Fulton and Rex Mossop in my pocket.

    Are these a sick jokes God? If so, please tell me why you felt the need to play these dastardly japes on this unworthy plebian?



    749 words, including title.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  7. Dave Q

    Dave Q Coach

    Aug 9, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Dave for the bags limps gingerly out for his debut grand final:-


    Death Becomes Us.

    It's a beautiful July day in Panther territory. It's about 11.00am and the room I am in is full of natural sunlight with breathtaking views of the frosty mountains to the west. But despite this beautiful panorama, and smiling staff, this is not a place where anyone wants to be.

    For I am in the hospice at Nepean Hospital. People around me are dying in their beds, heads bald (chemo) like jews in those wicked camps, morphine IVs, everything is sterile, neat and tidy. Even death is clean these days. It reflects the human condition.... and why some people on board the Titanic were dressing up to go down with the ship. Irrational, inexplicable, absolute folly... but very human.

    Blank pale faces stare right through me, right through the walls, even past the mountains. Eyes that seek but will never find, I suppose the reward is in the seeking.

    Nothing matters now. No mortgage to worry about, no car to fix, no itchy foot to scratch. No argument worth having, no love worth giving or receiving. The sun is setting on these patient's worlds. Hope herself has got up and left, but the living and the dying, like the descendants of abandoned family pets at Chernobyl, we are still here.

    Then on a bedside table near inmate number one (only 30ish) I noticed a woolly beanie with the colours and logo of that mighty club, the Wests Tigers.

    It sounds strange, but as a league fan, I took some macabre comfort at this sight. It gave us a link, however tenuous. The dying and I met without communicating. Of course it's not as if I can ask "How are you going?" The customs of polite society grip these white walls in fear.

    So close to heaven or hell, slouching alone in a room of spirits and space, the bedside beanie suggests to us that at least one thing our friend wanted to take with him when he departs for the next life is his love for rugby league. That's a man's last wish, it's important and it really matters not whether it's right or wrong.

    I dont see posters of players, I am reasonably sure that Tim Sheens didn't visit. Our guy is reaching out on his own to belong to his club and to the wider game.

    In his life, did he govern anyone? Was he the head of a giant multinational? Did he invent the internet? Was he the first person to develop the bionic eye? Probably not.

    But he was a Rugby League fan. He was me and he was you. We were dying too.

    He was someone whom in other circumstances we could have chatted about Sheens, Roycey, Tuiaki, Lawrence, Payton and 2005. We could have talked grapple, chicken wings, wrestling, judiciaries, Greg Bird, forward passes, double pumping, malcolms, send-offs, SBW, Kane Cleal, Morris, Skando, video refs, Gus Gould and maybe, LU.

    So we have these stories that bind us, one thread finishes, another starts and at the end of day, we are all somehow connected*.

    If he was well enough, this week he might even have said something like:

    "Yeah, I know the world capitalist system is in an absolute state of collapse, yeah that's important and everything like that, but what's the go with Benji's operation?"

    And as fans, in the absence of malice and judgment, we could appreciate this question. It makes total sense.

    Rugby league is a deeply personal thing, an escape to us, but yet it's also a place where we can come together and belong.

    Why do we support this game with all of its pain and suffering, its evident wrongs and evilness?

    The answer might be centred around the fact that, a guy is going to his death, but he wont be going alone. For we are all in the same grass under different skies.**

    This spirituality of rugby league, us fans know that it transcends all the garbage the game continues to throw at us. And a lot of garbage beyond the game, such as politics and economics, we wantonly and ruthlessly discard.

    But in a world without meaning, somehow, Rugby League stays with us to the bitter end.

    May our friend sit next to Laurie Nichols for ever after. He'd best save us a seat close by as none of us are too far behind.

    Death itself presents no impediment to our love of the game.

    741 words above.


    * Vladimir Illich Lenin once said words to the effect of "Everything is related." Lenin created the Soviet Union.

    **Mangled from the motto of Sydney Uni: "Same thoughts under different stars." This links the university to those in England circa 1850 when it was built.

    *** The writer was visiting the hospice for work that day. After they tell you theres nothing more they can do, they refer you to alternate therapies as the end of the line. No one seemed in pain.....all drugged up for the journey.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  8. Black Kitty

    Black Kitty Juniors

    Jun 17, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Black Kitty runs on for the Bluebags in her first grand final ever, seeing all the people and flashing of cameras she stops to strike a pose, completely missing the Dave Q’s pass.


    Bronco’s, Stallions or Asses?

    I heard a joke the other day that in all good taste I can not repeat here. It was a joke about the now infamous antics and disgraces of three of what were assumed to be some of the NRL’s finest. I’m sure you know them, they’ve been in the news a plenty. Three Broncos players were accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a Brisbane night club. Similar stories have been surfacing since Noah was a boy. Being a Coffs Harbour resident, it is still often debated over a cold one whether or not the Bulldogs players were guilty of inappropriate actions some years ago. There are countless stories from people who claimed to have been there and ‘saw the whole thing‘. Some who claim to know those involved and construe to use what is known to come up with their own scenario of how things would have taken place.

    Contrary to what some may have thought when I first started on this diatribe, my aim is not to berate and vilify these men. For once I think someone needs to have a little look at things from the flip side of the coin. Now don’t get me wrong, I am probably the last person in the world that would want to stand up for any man that did wrong toward a woman. But sometimes, just sometimes, there is more to a story than just the black and white and finger pointing of those that are claiming to have been done wrong by.

    Humour me, if you will, by trying to see it from the boys point of view. These are young men who are well known sporting celebrities, there are very few people in Australia who would not recognise them, and they are out celebrating something that is very important to them. Admittedly they were probably celebrating a little too much, but what other young men in our great pub loving land would not have been doing the same? So here we have our celebrities, recognizable at a thousand paces, entering a nightclub full of flirty young ladies. Would any guy out there honestly say they would turn down advances from a beautiful young lady who is making it obvious that she wants some attention?

    Flip the coin again and be that hormonally charged young lady. She’s on a night out with the girls, she’s looking to pick up (yes, girls do that too, well some of them do), and in walks these towering musclebound sporting stars. So, she can have a go for Mr Everyday Joe at the end of the bar or she can flutter your eyelashes like crazy at the Mr Famous Stallion that just staggered in. What will it be?

    Now she’s had way too many cocktails and before she knows it she’s in way over her head and she’s somewhere she really didn’t intend to be. They don’t realize that this is not what she intended all along, after all, they are just as drunk and are run purely on hormones too by now. Damn, until just now, she had no idea this isn’t what she intended! Before she can stop the catastrophe about to unfold there is one huge snowball effect happening. Soon to be splattered all over the front page of the newspapers. This is not at all the way anyone meant it to happen.

    But then, just to play devil’s advocate, what if they did just take advantage of a clueless and drunk young woman? The public opinion is calling her all kinds of names and implying all number of innuendoes. In flirting with the big name sporting celebrities she has drowned too much dutch courage and has lost all control of the situation. Right up until the point where she sobered up enough to again grasp what was happening. Realising all too late the reality of what was happening. Then what is supposed to happen? They are famous, does she speak out or just hide?

    The truth is that no one will ever really know. And this is a situation that will keep on happening as long as there as hormones and alcohol, even without the celebrity status there is really no chance of ever stopping misinterpreted situations like this. No one will ever know the truth, not even those involved, because there are always three sides to every story. His, hers and the statically intoxicated truth that lies somewhere between the two.

    **748 words according to the official word counter including title**
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  9. Titanic

    Titanic First Grade

    Feb 20, 2007
    Likes Received:

    Titanic for the Titans (750 OWC)
    In the spirit of the great contests of yore, where teams such as St.George, Easts, Canterbury, Parramatta, Canberra, Brisbane and most recently Manly featured as "underdog entertainers" against their more favoured opponents, we rise to meet the challenge.

    Good luck and a good game to all.

    A Rugby League Tragedy

    League, like life, isn’t always fair. I was born with a third nipple on my chest. This may be too much information for some people, but it is what it is. Having a third nipple does not infer that I am some kind of freak, but you could draw that conclusion from the magazines under my bed. I have, I am unashamed to admit, buried amongst those magazines every issue of RLW ever printed. Yes, I am a three-nippled RL tragic.

    My extra nipple is fully formed, and is located two inches below my normal, but somewhat hairy left nipple. In some ancient cultures this type of extra protrusion was believed to be auspicious, however, in the ritualistic catacombs of the RL community such deviations from the norm are looked down upon. I believe the Bible says that hairless nipples are an abomination. Don't quote me on that. I have enough problems without making God angry. However, this certainly prevented me from choosing Past Brothers as my junior club, so off to Wests I scampered. There, I was very quickly indoctrinated into the world where one mindset fits all.

    “There you go son, number 4 for you.”
    “But sir, I like number 2.”
    “Sorry lad, number 4 is all that’s left.” And my undistinguished career as a centre had begun.

    My thripple has no hair, and in cold weather can be easily noticed through my shirt. Thankfully, the combination of growing up in Queensland and pre-polyester woollen jerseys prevented my handicap becoming an impediment to playing. Thripple makes it sound like it should come in a variety of flavours and my early assaults on the great game were indeed three pronged. I was big, I was quick and I was lazy - the perfect kid for the bench.

    Worried that I may be singled out as different, my mum would regularly interrogate me in a round-a-bout fashion, “Did you get hurt today, Alan?”
    “No, mum, and we won,” I would dutifully reply. We had a good team but in those days of no interchanges, benched meant grounded.

    At 42 years of age, I have grown fond of my physical mini-deformity, but as a child it was embarrassing. During training when they divided us into shirts and skins, you can probably guess which team I ended up on. One time I tried to cover my extra nipple with peanut butter, but it didn't hold up well. Children can be cruel, and my team mates mocked me unmercifully. They left me alone after I punched Brownie in the face, and shattered his eye socket. Sometimes violence is the answer. When eyes pop out they are larger than you would think. Just like my brother's penis.

    The medical term for my itty-bitty titty is supernumerary nipple or polythelia. Why do all medical terms sound like a venereal disease? League has it right. “Nurse! Bring me the replay of that mongrel’s busted claw. It’ll be bloody hard yakka setting it straight. Call in some other quacks and we’ll toss it around for a while before we kick off.” Apparently extra nipples are a fairly common occurrence, and one in every eighteen people have them. I find this hard to believe. I have never met a ‘brother in nipples’ although I once had a few beers with Tommy ‘One Nut’ Raudonikis and spent some furtive minutes in the changing room trying to find out why Richard Hair was named ‘Pubes’, until the penny dropped.

    The Medical Journal claims that most of the time extra nipples are not recognized for what they are, because they are very small and not well formed. So are my wife's breasts, but I damn sure know what they are. Third nipples are often mistaken for moles. My triple nipple is exceptionally well formed, and you could recognize it from a block away. Inevitably, years later, it happened. I’d let my guard down after scoring the winning try from a short pass, two fends and sixty yard dash to the line that looked like igniting my A Grade career. As the players huddled around after showering and I deftly applied some roll-on deodorant, my unbuttoned shirt fell open… the pre-laughter silence was deafening.

    All RL folks with three nipples should band together for some sort of meeting. Polythelia People in League Unite! Better yet, we could start an anonymous support group.

    "Hi, my name is Alan, and I am a League nut with an accessory nipple."
    "Hi, Alan."
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  10. Amadean

    Amadean Juniors

    Jan 10, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Amadean runs on for the Titans, shaking with fear and thrilling with pride. Examining the opposition line-up, he wets himself profusely as a defense mechanism. 750 between the bars.



    Of Dreams and Deities


    “And I am nothing of a builder,
    But here I dreamt I was an architect”*

    Whenever I can, I stand on my balcony with a glass of scotch and a cigarette and watch the world stand. Manufactured dreams compensate for spoiled realities.

    Shanghai is an almost unrivalled destination for building-watchers. There’s the Pearl Tower, ink globes supported by sandstone spires. There’s the JW Marriot building, where Rubik’s cubes meld seamlessly with Year 9 geometry. There are buildings ugly and purposeful, then elegant and careful. To stare at them is to question belief in one’s own achievements, and worse, capacity.

    And I am nothing of a sous-chef,
    But here I dreamt I was an artist

    Whenever I can, I sit in shrouded light and experience meals I am unable to afford. Mouthfuls of life-long dedication compensate for the ubiquity of experience.

    Food shouldn’t be merely fuel. Feeding time is one of the only points in our so-human lives when image, taste, scent and texture combine. They combine sometimes with passion, other times with heart-song meaning, still other times with the tearful emotion of every treasured memory recalled perfectly through an erratic conflux of sense.

    It is the “I am nothing” part that stings most deeply. I am nothing of a singer, an ecologist, an engineer... yet just by standing by a stereo playing The Pearl Fishers or walking through Kakadu or wondering at the elegance of an alternator...

    Then, everything I think begins with “I wish”. I wish I could live here, or I wish I could’ve had the perfect genius to imagine this thing of craft, skill and beauty.

    This is where it goes pear-shaped. As soon as anyone mentions ‘dreams’, ‘inspiration’ or (worst of all) ‘fulfilling your potential’ my eyes go blank as a bladder’s-worth of bile rushes to headwards. We’ve been so over-exposed to all this motivational rubbish through supportive teachers and patronising television that such phrases no longer really have meaning. I meant what I said about buildings, engineers and truffles, but cannot take myself seriously for saying it.

    This goes double for discussing footy. My describing a player as a ‘hero’ or ‘idol’ leaves three potential perceptions: 1) I am under the age of 8, 2) I am attempting post-modern pseudo-irony [note to self, use less hyphens -- ] 3) I am a marketroid working in PR. None of these are particularly attractive propositions. And yet, and yet, I still mean it.

    I grew up playing footy and was never particularly good. Not even a bit. I am truly nothing of an athlete, but at Origin I dreamt I was Lockyer. I could nearly imagine ghosting through lines (show ‘em the ball, show ‘em the ball, say goodbye) to hand over a try-scoring pass an instant before hitting the fullback. The physical senses imagine jarring impacts, smoothly moving joints, the heat of human struggle and the tsunami roar of adrenaline. The emotions imagine the joy, the complete swell of undoubted purpose and the soul-laughter of a victorious siren.

    Is the one who inspires such dreams worthy of ‘hero’ or ‘idol’? Inspiration is literally ‘breathed upon’, from the Greek, as are ‘hero’ and ‘idol’.

    “The character of the individual was everything to the Greeks... his physical and moral qualities were alike necessary”#. Yet this was the same culture whose deities Arachne fairly identified in a “weaving [depicting] the gods of Olympus at their shepherd-raping, interspecies-fscking worst”†

    It seems there is room for movement when it comes to the nature of gods, heroes and idols. Heracles and Erecththeus, two of the greatest Greek heroes, were monumental forces for good, inspiring cities and temples in their names. Erechtheus offered his three daughters for sacrifice; Heracles murdered his children in a fit of rage.

    I doubt Darren Lockyer capable of such heinous crimes and doubtless much of the recent Broncos’ shadow that lies over him fell unfairly. Regardless of religion, I feel inspired by Lockyer’s play. I don’t wish to feel like a pundit or pre-pubescent for calling him a hero. When dreams are inspired by astounding deeds; when the beauty of physical grace or ingenuity creates a warm wish of envy; when the true nature of the man (although I’m sure Darren Lockyer is a salutary person) matters not at all; then hero worship is not shameful, but welcome. It drives us to re-examine ourselves by the light of our dreams.

    To worship the man is meaningless; to adore the deeds is divine.


    *The Decemberists
    song "Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect"
    Go give them a listen, they're really quite good.

    #Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, April 1817: On the Sculpture of the Greeks
    Obscure, yet unexpectedly interesting.

    †Neal Stephenson: Cryptonomicon
    A brilliantly crafted work of science and humour. Worth every cent.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  11. Titan Uranus

    Titan Uranus Juniors

    Mar 18, 2008
    Likes Received:
    "Titans vs Bluebags? In the Grand Final? What the hell are you talking about?"

    It seems that the SMH weren't overly interested in covering this glorious match.

    Oh well never mind, TU struts out onto the field (for the Titans) for the biggest game of his life armed only with 749 words including the title.



    The Off-Season Fan

    I’m sat at my desk, supposedly working. I’m not, I’m about to go on various league websites (www.leagueunlimited.com is first obviously). Oh, the joys of a having a computer that faces a window and not the rest of the office.

    Right, time to go on-line… hold on a minute, what does she want? Does she need to speak to me? Oh no, she’s walking this way. What’s that paper in her hand? Is it for me? A few more steps and I’m going to have to close everything. 3…2…oh thank God for that. She’s stopped two desks down. Right where was I …


    Aggggghhhhh! She needs to speak to me after all. It’s so frustrating, just as I was about to get going. Does she really need to ask me? Can’t she just do it herself?

    “Yes” I reply in an enthusiastic manner as I can muster, “how can I help?”

    “Can you do this for me?”

    “Can’t someone else do it for once?”

    “It won’t take long, please?”

    “Oh, all right give it here.”

    An agonising 8½ minutes later I’m done and on-line.

    Yet something’s not quite right, something’s missing.

    It’s the off-season.

    There’s no point checking the fixtures. There’s nothing for months, besides I’ve already studied the fixture list for the forthcoming season and know it inside out.

    Similarly, there are no previews to read, no tips to be made, no fantasy teams that need tinkering with.

    Likewise there are no match reports or comments to read or respond to. There are those desperately trying to cling on to the season with endless eulogies of a long dead Grand Final. I’ve no time for that.

    It’s not like I spend a lot of time on the internet, it’s just best that I get it all out of my system rather than being distracted from work by wondering if I’ve missed something.

    So with no games going I don’t need to be on the internet as much, right?


    During the season everything’s scheduled you largely know what’s going to happen when, it’s all neatly laid out. The same is not true of the off-season. You never know when something might happen. Those 8½ minutes I spend helping a colleague might be the exact time some bombshell of a transfer is announced and I won’t be the first to hear about it. That galls me. It’ll be even worse still if not only do I not hear about it first but I get the news broken to me by a friend.

    So while I’m working on something or other, Big Dave may be getting the breaking news about some player being a little more than naughty. Such events can happen at any time. This is why I need to be on-line.

    So, I get on-line, check the sites … nothing new.

    I click refresh … nothing.

    It took a while to reload that time, maybe something happened in that time that didn't get put up on to the site for that reload. Don’t question this line of thought, it is perfectly reasonable. Still nothing.

    What if I try refreshing by hitting the hot key. Which one is it again, F4 or F5, I’ll try F4. Well, that did nothing, F5 it is then. Hmmm, that also did nothing. I mean the page went away and game back again, supposedly reloaded but nothing changed. I’ll go back to clicking.

    <Click> … nothing.

    Right, I’ll get back to work, but I’ll reload every few minutes. Clicking on refresh doesn’t take a second does it? I can give up one second every few minutes, that won’t affect my work, will it?

    And so it goes on, the life of the off-season fan. As crazy as it seems I wouldn’t change it for the world. It is part of a large cycle of things. The season and the off-season are the yin and the yang of the sporting year. It is impossible to have just the one.

    This year though is special as the necessary but monotonous off-season period is to be delayed. We get to have a whole new different kind of season, one that is conveniently condensed into a month or so. For the first time in eight years my October and November refresh clicks will not prove so fruitless. The World Cup is a great change to the off-season life and I can’t wait for it to start. Now, is anyone coming to my desk…
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  12. bgdc

    bgdc Juniors

    Jun 1, 2008
    Likes Received:
    bgdc for the Titans
    I have looked forward to a rant all year and here it is, Grand Final or no Grand Final. (748 OWC + 2 in the pic)

    Fulltime is blown

    Right you lot of layabouts. Don’t expect to get another serve of sexist claptrap from that piddling little bozo, my soon-to-be-ex husband. If you want that crap then go and join him in the Manfully Casualty Ward where he is having our extra-heavy-based Harvey Norman frying pan surgically removed from his noggin. Why did I put the little twit into ‘next week’ on the eve of his precious F7’s grand final?

    After a seeming lifetime of putting up with his vicious temper, sooky tantrums, endless match replays and drongo mates, I stumbled across the grub’s next contribution to this entirely outrageous competition. To say I am offended by his flaccid posturing is an understatement. Mr. Pistol, Titanic and all your mates, you should be totally ashamed of yourselves. Imagine encouraging such a diatribe of bigoted vitriol!

    But I digress. Why I am so… so… so livid? Read his latest outpouring and draw your own conclusion:
    Dear Bobby,
    I play on the wing and am an executive member of the International Wingers Club. At our recent AGM a question was raised: why are we callously rejected by many girls who state they “want a real man”? We'll look forward to your response.
    [email protected]&five.com

    Dear Flukie,
    When I first heard women say "I want a real man" I didn’t get it, possibly because I never played on the wing or scored without foreplay. My dearly departed friend and wingman extraordinaire, the late Kenneth ‘Mango’ Grapevine, once explained to me that when a woman says one thing, she actually means something different from what a guy would mean if he used the same words.

    If a guy says "I'm going to relax at home", he probably means that he's going to stay home, watch Rugby League, drink beer, look at pictures of women on the internet, and order a pizza. Whereas, if a woman says that she's going to stay home and relax, she's probably not going to watch RL, drink beer, look at pictures of women on the internet, and order a pizza.

    IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you are reading this and are a woman who watches RL, drinks beer, looks at pictures of women on the internet, and orders pizza to relax, then email me immediately and attach pictures.
    I rest my case.

    Women will only take so much. Rugby League - a game of physical challenge in which two opposing teams, hurl themselves at each other, pretending that the fate of civilization hinges upon the control of an inflated pigskin projectile. You’re kidding, surely? Like fingernails on a blackboard, just the terminology of RL is enough to make us cringe.

    “It’s ‘my team’,” he cries. Unless your partner has just returned from a corporate training event, ‘my team’ refers to a RL club that he either played for or wishes that he played for. (Note: a precursor to “Fantasy Football”). Get real! What about the so-called sanctuary of ‘halftime’? That sports-altered time frame in which all meals must be served even if this means sitting down for dinner at 4:00 p.m., or perhaps you prefer: the quantitative measurement used to compare the pace of meal consumption during the season to otherwise normal eating habits.

    Our spirits soar to the rebel yell, ‘we won’. During the season ‘we’ can mean ‘yes,’ sort of like it does in French. When your partner says, “We won!” you can pretty much interpret this to mean ‘yes’ to anything you want for the rest of that day. An important exception is the forlorn cry of “We lost” which carries the opposite meaning of ‘yes.’ In fact, this phrase heralds a number of erratic performance issues for men. ‘Game Day’ is the best day of the week to shop, especially when he shouts “We won!”

    Oh, I nearly forgot girls, how about the long, drawn-out flirtatious ‘hel...lo’? The expression that indicates your guy is sharing a virtual moment with the woman of his dreams. As in, he’s pretending that if he could meet the half-nude cheer-girl on the screen she might actually make eye contact with him. This presents the ideal time to mention that bald spot on the back of your fellow’s head. Don’t worry, he won’t get violent because you already lost him at ‘hel...lo.’

    Please don’t send commiserations or bother to reply because after I turn off his computer, burn his old Manfully jersey, throw out his empty bottles and pizza boxes, I’m heading off to find another 'real man'.
  13. tits&tans

    tits&tans Juniors

    Dec 13, 2007
    Likes Received:
    tits&tans for the Titans storms on to the pitch for his first Grand Final ever ...

    736 words (OWC)


    Out of the Chaos, came forth Order

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
    All the Kings Horses and all the Kings men,
    Sat down and ate a good plate of scrambled eggs together.

    Wood will rot and steel will rust. Buildings will crumble and turn to dust. Plants will shrivel and animals will die, our sun will sizzle and our planet will expire. Competitions will finish and seasons will end. Australia will win the World Cup again.

    Out of the chaos does indeed come order.

    Although not entirely (mathematically) inevitable events, statistically speaking they are highly likely. It&#8217;s all about the movements of vast numbers of molecules from less to more probable arrangements (and back again) or, more accurately, the entropy of an isolated, nopn-equilibrium system tends to increase over time. In layman&#8217;s terms: order becomes disorder.

    In fact, Mother Goose expressed it perfectly succinctly in her egg-related children&#8217;s nursery rhyme.

    So, our season cycle has gone through a clearly defined transition; from the organized beginning of the starting lineup and season schedule through the chaotic rounds, has become mired in the even more confusing and unpredictable finals and then like the phoenix, has risen from those depths to the restored order of the end of season results.

    During the pandemonium of the rounds, there have been many highs and a few lows, but always an underlying sense of teetering on the edge of the abyss. Nowhere was this better demonstrated than throughout the finals stage (particularly, I&#8217;m sure, in each clubhouse during the few hours leading up to crunch matches).

    Perhaps this chaos is not the classically and traditionally defined chaos that we encounter when staring at a Mandelbrot fractal set, but chaos is, by its very definition, unpredictable. This chaos has manifested itself in numerous ways:

    • Bravely fielding minimal sides even when facing the prospect of a crushing defeat.
    • The sentiment poured into tributes to former members of our League world.
    • The sportsmanlike thinking and behaviour throughout all matches.
    • The national and regional pride on display during rep games.
    • The hilarity, insanity and zaniness of many, many articles.
    After the zenith of all this chaos, also known as the F7s Grand Final, and after the congratulations and commiserations have died done, we will soon see the graceful emergence of a serene and orderly final results table.

    If you have managed to stick with me so far on this whimsical adventure through the realms of thermodynamics and League, then you are perfectly placed to attempt the Grand Final of all puzzles. It has the additional advantage of providing some pre-World Cup and pre-season 2009 intellectual training.

    So, roll up your sleeves, lick those pencil stubs and have a crack at finding your way out of this logical, lexicographical labyrinth.


    After a recent international Rugby League writing competition, the piece of paper with the final standings has been lost. Various referees, reporters and spectators have selflessly come together to spend time comparing notes to establish who finished where.

    From the clues below, can you reconstruct the final result?

    For bonus points, can you identify the true identity of any of the teams?

    Clue 1
    The Shintaros slashed the Hares into wok-sized pieces and then stir-fried the Pumas with a sizzle.

    Clue 2
    The Greeks of Yesteryear buried the Pumas, the Hares and Redboxes.

    Clue 3
    The Chinese Gooseberries lost to the Greeks of Yesteryear, but defeated the Slippery Dips.

    Clue 4
    The Black Kittens clawed their way back to victory against the Hares, but were no match for the fluidity of the Dips or the brute strength of the Greeks.

    Clue 5
    vs Lizards win Awesome!
    vs Pumas lose Damn!
    vs Redboxes lose &#%$!
    - a disappointed Hares spectator

    Clue 6
    &#8220;Right, the Redboxes, yeah, what they did was, right, was to totally smash the &#8216;Berries and the Long Good Bye and then they took it to them Pussies.&#8221;
    - Dave in the stands

    Clue 7
    The Long Good Bye lost to the Black Kittens, Shintaros and the Lizards of Legend.

    Clue 8
    China defeats Japan.
    Shintaros boxed by the Reds.
    - East Asian Herald reporter

    Clue 9
    Wooooooohooooooooo! We won! We won! We stuffed those Hares and them Lizards and sent the Shintaros packing.
    - A delighted Dips fan

    Clue 10
    The Pumas destroyed the Kittens with a dazzling display and their demolition of the Lizards made my blood run cold.

    (Solutions available by PM and will be posted post-results)
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  14. gorilla

    gorilla First Grade

    Jul 13, 2003
    Likes Received:
    2 minutes to go and 5V5

    Well done everyone - go you 'Bags, best wishes Titans.
  15. The Front Row

    The Front Row Administrator Staff Member

    Oct 13, 2003
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  16. Titanic

    Titanic First Grade

    Feb 20, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Those of you who don't know about China and the internet will never know how close that was. Great hustle Titans under very trying circumstances.

    Good luck 'Bags and over to you The Colonel.
  17. Willow

    Willow Administrator

    May 19, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Tremendous grand final, best in living memory.

    Good luck titans, good luck 'bags, over to you ref. :thumn
  18. Jesbass

    Jesbass First Grade

    Nov 6, 2005
    Likes Received:
    A fantastic match! Well done to both teams on not only a fantastic match, but a fantastic season. :clap:

    Good luck to the referee, and hopefully the World Cup will live up to similar standards. :thumn
  19. Black Kitty

    Black Kitty Juniors

    Jun 17, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Good luck one and all, I've never enjoyed a finals match more.
    Probably because I got to be in this one! :D
    Now we wait with fingers crossed for the ref to work his magic...
  20. Pistol

    Pistol Coach

    Aug 21, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Well done to all and sundry. A great GF. Great articles. We await the results. Congratulations to all for such a top quality game.

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