ANZAC DAY. A day we remember those who fell in wartime and honour those who served and survived. Plenty of eligible men didn’t serve, of course, one of whom was Australia’s longest-serving prime minister, Sir Robert Menzies. When, on the eve of World War II he was attacked for that fact – with the leader of the Country Party, Earle Page, saying in Parliament that Menzies was unfit to lead Australia on those grounds – a very dignified Menzies refused to be drawn on why he had not served in WWI, even though fit. He said only, quietly, that the reasons related "to a man’s intimate, personal and family affairs", and for which no answer could "be made on the public platform". And fair enough, too. All of which leads me, oddly enough, to the Roosters. I repeat: while today is a day when we honour those who served, that does not mean those who didn’t serve were dishonourable. But I just don’t get why the Roosters today don the blue jersey worn by their "1945 wartime premiership heroes", as reported by the Tele . Surely, that team was made up predominantly of men who didn’t go to war, for their own reasons, so what is their connection to Anzac Day? (And, yes, I know that some, like Roosters fullback Dick Dunn, who kicked five goals in the grand final, was given two days’ leave from his Army duties to play the game.) I know I am missing something, and expect blistering emails – which I will duly report – but at the moment I dinkum don’t get it. Walker still kickin’
How old is Andrew Walker? So old, that TFF once played with him. As a matter of fact, funny you mention it, it was 17 years ago today that I played my last game with him – for NSW against someone or other, from memory – for that night he and Scott Gourley signed to go over to rugby league. And yet, Walker is still out there, still going strong. I received a lovely letter this week detailing how, playing for Easts in the Brisbane rugby union comp against GPS last weekend, Walker was given the potential match-winning kick from the sidelines, right in front of the GPS crowd. As Andrew stood over the ball to begin his steps back there was a fairly respectful silence when out came the comment, "Old Man, you’re an old man," from one of the lads, and heard right down the sideline by a fairly sizeable crowd, who all had small laugh. Andrew slowly raised his head and looked towards the marquee from where the comment came. A slow, lazy, teeth-baring grin came across his face. He again addressed the ball, raised his head again then had a good chuckle to everyone’s delight. What happened next? He calmly took the required steps back, ran in and slotted a perfect conversion from the sideline. Running back for the kick-off, he gave a big grin and a wave back to the marquee, and the whole sideline, in appreciation of the moment, clapped him all the way back. A great moment . . . One out of the box
Love this – from David Lord this week: "The first testicular guard was used in cricket in 1874, and the first helmet was used in 1974. It took 100 years for men to realise that the brain is also important c" Small things amuse c
With thanks to New Zealand’s Martin Devlin: "HA HA HA HA-de-HA HA HA HA HA. Wanna hear a really, really good joke? One that’ll have you laughing over and over again, guffawing each and every time it’s ever brought up? OK then, try this: Australia dropped to third in the world one-day rankings, their lowest spot EVER! Now tell me why that’s not on the Comedy Channel every night from now ’til it changes huh?" Stop it, Martin, you’re killing us! This week’s quiz question
What is the one sport where often neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends? (Answer at the end) Most annoying sounds II
And now, back by popular demand, the Most Annoying Sounds in Sport II, as voted in by readers.
– Announcers and commentators referring to the Qantas Wallabies, after they were previously the bloody Vodafone Wallabies . Are they representing Australia, or a corporation? And we all know the New Zealanders would never have the adidas All Blacks , because they are way too proud for that. The question is, why aren’t we?
– The moron who yells "Get in the hole!" every time a stroke is played.
*Answer: Boxing Team of the week
Brett Kirk. The likeable midfielder – a credit to his parents, if one can say that of a 32-year-old – plays his 200th game for the Swans today.
The Brumbies. Scored an inspirational one-point win over the Bulls and have installed themselves as Australia’s best chance to make the Super 14 finals.
Western Force. Had their first win over NSW and completed the Australian grand slam – defeating all three Australian sides.
Mark Webber. That strangely blue moon you saw this week? It was in honour of Webber’s completing the Chinese Grand Prix and finishing second to boot!!
Scott Strange. Journeyman Australian golfer, right, won the China Open last weekend.
The Manly Savers Rugby Club. Celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The Savers now play in the Meldrum Cup.
Essendon/Collingwood. Play in the traditional Anzac Day blockbuster today. I’ll be doing the Channel Ten broadcast from 12-2pm – don’t miss it!
Alstonville High School water polo team. Its third successive victory last week in the NSW CHS water polo championships – this one was in the open, after previous wins in the under-15 division – is an extraordinary effort for lads from a small country high school.
The Stampeders. A good bunch of Australian blokes, and an even better Canadian woman, make up as good a team as any to sponsor in the coming Oxfam walk. You can back them by going to www.stockland stampede南京夜网 or sponsor any other team on www.oxfam南京夜网.au . What they said
Chanell Seven AFL commentator Dennis Cometti during the Melbourne v Richmond match: "Richo criticising his forwards is like Michael accusing the rest of the Jackson 5 of being erratic."
Cometti, again, as the camera panned onto the embattled Richmond coach in his box, morosely surveying the carnage: "Terry Wallace is looking through the window of a P76 …" Brilliant. (Younger readers, ask your parents for an explanation.)
Stan Dajka on the funeral of his son Jobie: "Yes, I am bitter, my son. My heart will never forgive them for taking your life’s dreams away from you. They tore out your heart, put you in a heap and closed the door. I hope the guilt torments them forever, as it has done to us. You never fulfilled your lifelong dream of going to the Olympics."
Carlton coach Brett Ratten on their inability to win at the SCG since 1993: "The posts looked similar, the grass looked similar and the ball’s pretty similar, and I know the players brought their boots up."
Arthur Beetson not happy with the powers that be: "What they’re doing to our game is a joke. If they think the game’s healthy, they’re deluding themselves." Does anyone know precisely what the great man is so narky about?
Parramatta star Feleti Mateo on the "commitment" of the Eels players: "I know when I look around I see 16 or 17 other players there that are willing to die for the jersey." Geez, you’d hate to know what the scoreline would be if they weren’t ready to die for it.
Adam MacDougall gets the last laugh on Wendell Sailor: "I saw him sitting on the bench, I thought he might have gone to the kiosk to get a pie. His big backside apparently got some cramps. He’s a great footballer but I’m serious, they should change the colour of his jersey, it’s not doing his backside any favours." I mean it, dinkum. Stop the presses. A footballer with a real personality and creative quotes!
Sailor on MacDougall: "I did go looking for him once or twice just to let him know that the fat boy scored."
Just another day in the life of the Fremantle Dockers – development coach Steve Malaxos said some Fremantle players dressed up as Klan members and raided each other’s houses as a "prank": "There’s a reasonable amount of pranks going on all the time. Sometimes they raid each other’s houses in, sort of, Ku Klux Klan outfits. That’s one of the other pranks." Why are so many footballers such embarrassing juveniles? Discuss.
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan responds to a female journalist, who asked why his side had just lost: "Explaining it to you is impossible. It would be like you explaining childbirth to me." Exactly! And why wasn’t that female journo back in the kitchen, anyway?