The Bali Journals (Part Five)

Al McClintock’s re-telling of one rugby league fan’s descent into madness while searching for Braith Anasta’s wedding continues. Read on for Part Five of this epic series…

PART FIVE

Failure! Oh, the pain of it…

I acquired some faster wireless this morning only to be greeted by the sickening news that Braith and Jodi’s wedding was held yesterday – just around the corner in Ulawatu. We were so close!

I almost hurled my iPad at the wall in anger and despair, but was once again forced to control my wild temperament in front of witnesses (and out of the realisation I probably wouldn’t be able to afford to buy a new one).

What hope is there for us now? To get involved in the honeymoon? Well that may just be pushing it.

I broke the news to Mad Dog and quite frankly he did not seem that perturbed. He just shrugged his shoulders and said “what are you gonna do?” What am I gonna do? I’m gonna rip your fucking head off, Mad Dog! That’s what I’m gonna fucking do! He sure does know how to press my buttons that bloke.

The nuptials… sadly missed

Eventually sensing my grief and anger he offered to take me to Jimbaran Bay to indulge my sorrows with a seafood banquet and a Balinese sunset. I must admit it does sound good. Perhaps there is hope for the holiday after all, but it troubles me that he doesn’t seem nearly as aggrieved about the news as I am. In fact, if anything, he appears bubblier, as if some great weight has been lifted from his shoulders. Did he not want to go to the wedding? Did he not want to party like a madman with Braith and Jodi and all their wonderful guests? Snorting crack off a bridesmaid’s chest and punching out one of the smug pricks from Home and Away? There is something going on with him, and I don’t like it.

He is suggesting we travel to Gili Islands tomorrow given our mission has failed. I won’t fight him. I am numb from my loss and happy to do anything to get me away from this place – a place I will now always associate with pain and disappointment. I have heard the Gili’s are a good place for getting loose, at least.

A smug prick from Home and Away

Later:

We returned to the delightful beach café, Maria’s, for lunch and then traveled to Jimbaren for sunset and dinner. It was a delectable feast of oysters, prawns and deliciously coconut-husked fish, but when the waiter made a joke about the two of us enjoying a romantic dinner, I bristled. Nothing wrong with people of that inclination of course, but the very idea of me bedding down with Mad Dog is both offensive to me (I could do much better) and physically repulsive. Thoughts of his hairy chest pressing against my face ruined my final Pina Colada and I was happy to get out of their before the intrusive mariachi band made it to our table.

I am looking forward to getting to the Gili’s. I need to unwind… I need a woman…

By Al McClintock

The Bali Journals (Part One)

The Bali Journals (Part Two)

The Bali Journals (Part Three)

The Bali Journals (Part Four)

TPA vs The Sporting Regard: Battle of the Intellectual Lightweights

On behalf of The Public Apology, I am pleased to announce that this website will be partaking in a series of lighthearted (yet critically important) sporting debates with sister publication The Sporting Regard.

The Regard is headed up by chief editor and founder, Sam Perry. Perry, like this author, is a keen proponent of “old school” sporting culture. I have had the pleasure of co-hosting a radio show with him in a past life (the cult-classic sports/comedy, The Watchdogs, later unnecessarily re-branded as Grassroots and Footyboots) and have witnessed many of his on-field achievements during his days as a grade cricketer of some distinction. Fellow TSR scribe, Ben Shine, is also an excellent sporting analyst and wordsmith… and the debate invitation extends to Shine along with Perry, should he choose to accept it.

While the list of topics is yet to be established, both websites will aim to create a labored dichotomy in regards to each issue. That is, each writer will take a diametrically opposed viewpoint to his counterpart and run hard with it – like Campo off a Michael Lynagh Mark Ella cut-out. The content will be likely be cerebral and tangential, so be prepared for that. It will also likely involve myriad references to obscure 1990s rugby league players and fringe Socceroos (during the Terry Venables era).

I don’t want to downplay how vitally important this debate series will be to Australia’s general sporting discourse. If you have any interest in the future of sport in this country,  you should keep a keen eye on both the TPA and TSR homepages for further updates.

Yours in sport,

Dave Edwards, The Public Apology chief editor and founder

 * Ed: This debate never happened. However, TPA has since acquired TSR in deal funded wholly by BitCoin currency.

 

 

It’s time for Shane Warne to gracefully fade away

Why is Shane Warne hell-bent on positioning himself as the biggest douchebag in Australian sport?

Some players go through their entire careers without a single hiccup. Like honest coal miners, they clock on and give it their all each day, with a minimum of fuss, histrionics and hair product – much like Derek Zoolander’s father did. Michael Hussey is a prime example of how you can forge out a splendid playing career – and, it seems, possibly a post-career stint in the media – just by performing on the field and being a decent guy off it.

And while players like Hussey are not headline grabbers, they certainly have a place in the sporting landscape – just as the Shane Warnes of this world do, obviously.

But this latest outburst against Cricket Australia – calling Pat Howard a “muppet” – is a step too far. Warne is clearly frustrated that he has been relegated to the background of Australian cricket. No one is asking him to come out of retirement anymore; he therefore feels unworthy, irrelevant. This is a man whose ego has been on permanent inflation mode for the past 20 years – and he is now struggling to adjust to the role of supporting actor.

Mr Zoolander, carving out an honest living

There is no doubt that S.K. Warne was the greatest leg-spinner to play the game – and arguably the greatest cricketer to have ever lived. He controlled the flow of a match like a wizard; his bag of tricks was deep and varied, and could cause the classiest of batsmen to appear sub-standard. But while he possessed the utmost finesse with ball in hand, he has always lacked polish off the field.

His list of controversies is long and distinguished. During his playing career, he accepted money from a bookie to provide information on pitch and weather conditions and took a banned diuretic (which he artfully blamed on his mother), the latter of which earned him a one-year ban from international cricket. He was once involved in an altercation with some teenagers who took a photo of him smoking during a time in which he had accepted sponsorship of a nicotine patch firm in return for quitting smoking. He sent a string of lewd texts to a British nurse that eventually cost him his test vice-captaincy.

But Warne’s foibles were what endeared him to us; they were what made him human. So what if he got busted on tape begging for sex, holding a giant inflatable penis while wearing a Playboy bunny g-string? That could happen to anyone. Who cares if he was caught on the stump mic saying that Scott Muller “cant’ bowl, can’t throw”? It was a factual statement. As long as he was performing on the field, we could forgive Shane’s behaviour because he was winning games for Australia. And fucking hell, don’t we all love a winner?

Classic Warney...

But Shane isn’t playing for Australia anymore. In fact, he’s barely playing at all, save for trundling a few overs – and partaking in an ugly confrontation with Marlon Samuels – in the clusterfuck of a competition that is the KFC T20 Big Bash. So without the context of his match-winning heroics, he just comes off as a bit of a wanker. Say what you will about Anthony ‘Choc’ Mundine, but at least he’s still backing up his comments to some degree (racial epithets aside).

It is fair to say that Twitter has kept Warne relevant. He is good for one or two quotes a week; indeed, journalists take delight in reporting on his poorly worded, verging-on-illiterate diatribes, making liberal use of the (sic) function as they quote his tweets verbatim. But by using Twitter to vent his spleen, Warne is gradually eroding his massive fan base – and fast losing favour with the cricketing authorities.

Obviously Warne feels he needs to stay relevant and young. Indeed, his facial reconstruction/physical transformation speaks of a man desperately clinging onto his youth (and his model fiancee). A man desperately trying to control the news cycle; to insert himself into the story, even when there is no story to tell.

From chubby leggie to wax figurine

But, at the risk of sounding like an overly indulgent scholar, Australian cricket is in a state of flux right now. There is certainly a place for constructive criticism – and there always will be, if Australia is to return to its circa 1999-2004-ish domination of world cricket – but there is no place for reckless insults, particularly feckless ones sent via Twitter. Warne should spent less time abusing people on Twitter and instead refer to his own Twitter profile, which reads as such:

Found balance and calm in my life – father to my 3 wonderful children – excited by what the future holds. cant change the past but can put the future right !!

So in closing, just shut the fuck up, Warney. You were the greatest leg-spinner of our time and you inspired a generation of cricketers, this author included. But it’s time for you to just exit the scene with some semblance of humility and grace, rather than burn every bridge you’ve got left in the game that gave you so much.

By Dave Edwards