Today the Geelong Advertiser printed a lovely little yarn about a bride-to-be who is set to play in a D Grade netball grand final less than three hours before she ties the knot.
This story, on Page 3 no less, drew the attention of The Public Apology’s Dave J. Edwards and Ben Shine. While the original headline (see below) wasn’t bad, Shine and Edwards came up with a few alternatives of their own. Read on for more.
DAVE J. EDWARDS: BREAKING: Woman Does Two Things In One Day
BEN SHINE: Haha, you should tweet that…
Got any other ideas for alternative headlines? Let’s brainstorm.
DE: Woman Marries Pitbull After Netball Grand Final
BS: Alex Perry Saves Woman From Flying Netball
DE: Woman Marries Closeted Sydney Fashion Designer
BS: Alex Perry: “I told you I wasn’t gay. Here’s a woman and sport to prove it.”
BS: Man Interrupts Netball Game, Suplexes Goal Attack
DE: Man Inexplicably Wears Suit While Spooning Woman From Standing Position
Is this an article? Are we writing an article here?
BS: Innovative First Nuptial Dance Incorporates Use of Netball
BS: Goal Defence Forgets Netball Uniform, Plays Aggressively and in a Suit
DE: Beach Backdrop Adds Further Incongruity to Already Baffling Photo Shoot
BS: Perhaps we are writing an article. Haha, why are they at the beach?
DE: Woman’s Catching Technique a Concern in Lead-up to Final
BS: Goal Defence Takes Coaches’ Instruction To ‘Get Up Opponent’s Ass’ Literally
DE: I think we are writing an article…
BS: Giant Couple Saves Woman From Falling Netball
That escalated quickly…
DE: Man Set To Employ Bogan-esque ‘Sunglasses on Head with Suit’ Combo at Weekend Nupitals
BS: Bride Reveals Horror at Maroon Wedding Dress
What do I title this proposed post?
BS: TPA Editorial Team Riff on Page 3 Colour Yarn?
While the elbow patch crowd continues to rejoice in Saturday night’s last minute win over the Springboks, we at The Public Apology are not so impressed.
What’s wrong with the Wallabies, you ask? Didn’t they just beat the Springboks, one of world rugby’s greatest teams?
Sure, we won a game. But as usual, the victory was iced by a slick backline move – as opposed to good solid fundamentals. And that’s a concern.
* * * * * *
There is evidence to suggest that increased materialism and individualism – the defining qualities of many Western cultures, including Australia – is presenting many challenges to the general health of society. And this feckless individualism correlates directly to sport in 21st Century Australia.
A scrum, a line out, or a rolling maul for that matter, is nonetheless a cohesive entity. It requires a collective spirit; a socialist workmanlike approach, each player sacrificing for the greater good.
This is anathema to this individualist, capitalist hellhole which we now live in.
There simply isn’t a “forward culture” in Australia. No kid grows up wanting to be a tight-head prop, longing to anchor a scrum with technical precision. But I bet they do in South Africa. It’s a similar mindset in New Zealand, where every dad wants his child to play flanker (pronounced flenker) for the All Blacks.
But in Australia, we are all about slick backline moves and selfies. Our flyhalf must be a creative, explosive, excitement machine. He must have a cool haircut and an excellent rig. It also helps if he has an interesting name, like Quade or Kurtley.
It’s all part of the “me, me: now, now!” culture that we live in. As a friend said to me on the weekend, here in Australia, hard work and unity is being “eschewed for instant gratification and superficial material bullshit.”
The same can be said for the fucking Wallabies.
* * * * * *
Argentina, for example, may not possess the slick, headline-grabbing backline prowess of the Wallabies. But they will never be embarrassed in the forwards against the All Blacks and South Africa, despite their disadvantages.
While Argentina was seen as something of an emerging land of prosperity in the pre-war era, several revolutions took place during the mid-20th Century, which rocked the country’s development.
The constant back and forth from military coup-to-democracy-to-military coup certainly thwarted Argentina’s hope of advancing into an economic powerhouse; however, perhaps it imbued within the Argentinian man a sense of survival, a certain dignity, that we, happy-go-lucky, materialist, arrogant, Aussies, lack?
Argentina and Australia obviously have vastly different political and economic histories. But what about New Zealand? Why are they so dominant?
Our closest neighbour is, undeniably, the leading world power when it comes to rugby. On face value, there shouldn’t be such a great chasm between Australia and New Zealand, in regards to the way we play rugby.
Our cultures are somewhat similar; our economies are both doing quite well in the post-GFC era. New Zealanders also use social media and take selfies – and the dickhead-to-good bloke ratio is probably pretty similar to Australia’s. You’d think we’d play rugby in a similar manner – but, alas, we don’t.
The All Blacks are crisp and clinical with ball in hand. But it’s without the ball in hand where they truly excel.
The Wallabies need to understand that rugby is not all about possession. It’s about disrupting those in possession – and then cashing in on the chances when you do have the ball. As I just said, the All Blacks are fucking clinical. They take their chances. They’ll force a turnover through hard work and, before you know it, they’re over in the corner, while you’re still sulking over the shitty pass that Kurtley Beale chucked at your shoelaces.
But the Wallabies aren’t interested in hard work; in building sustained pressure and then seizing on a brief window of opportunity.
Australian rugby is more interested in one-night stands and Tinder; in busting a slick move on the DF and going home with the cute blonde, who he will never call back.
“Rugby league players get into more trouble because they are dumb and/or uneducated”.
It’s a justification that is tossed around every time a rugby league player is caught for assault, drink driving or pissing in his own mouth.
But it’s not just pub talk. Public figures such as Peter Fitzsimons’ have long espoused a similar view, although his particular version is laced with slightly more boorish class warfare overtones (never mind the fact that people with degrees from a sandstone universities also embarrass themselves while on the piss).
Indeed, the view that rugby league players are over-represented when it comes to off-field indiscretions and brushes with the law is widely held simply because there aren’t many people arguing against it.
But thankfully Karmichael Hunt – a man who has more insight than most when it comes to the football codes – has offered an alternative view.
Karmichael told a radio station recently:
“The demands of AFL footy mean you need to be in peak condition. For most of the year you need to be able to knock out 12km or 13km on the weekend. In terms of the culture of going out and enjoying yourself after every game, that does not happen whereas in rugby league, because the physical demands are a lot lighter compared to AFL, you could find boys out enjoying themselves. I certainly did when I was younger because I knew that the next week it would not affect me.”
So according to Mr Hunt, it’s not that rugby league players aren’t smart enough to avoid getting into trouble. It’s the fact they have enough energy left over after a game to go out on the town for a drink, a fight and a glassing.
And therein lies the solution to cleaning up rugby league: make the players run more. If they’re too tired, they won’t get up to mischief.
Thanks to Karmichael’s insight, we now have a blueprint on how to fix up the code. Below are three subtle rule changes that will clear things up quickly.
1. Add bumper bowling bars to the sides of the field.
By putting walls around the edges of the field, the ball will never go out of play. This will reduce timely stoppages and make it harder for players to catch their breath. It will also make collisions between the wingers and the wall interesting/dangerous (the two are not mutually exclusive).
2. Take away two players from each team. It’s now 11 a side.
Get rid of the two second-rowers. All they do is clog up the field and slow down the game by making tackles and stopping people running. I don’t think they will be missed.
3. Play on a cricket oval.
Rugby league’s glory days took place on the SCG. This is the perfect opportunity to return league to it’s rightful place, but this time the push the field up to the boundary. This will bring the fans closer to the action, and make the players run more (thus getting more tired).
By making these simple alterations to the game of rugby league, we can clean up the code’s image. It’s not about introducing mandatory behaviour codes, fining players and sacking them for making mistakes, the solution is making players expend more energy on the field, so they will have less energy to commit felonies or bring disgrace on themselves and the code.
Thanks Karmichael. Who would of thought that the very man who abandoned the game would one day save it?