The Manly Empire Is Crumbling

There are a few truths in life: gravity, puppies are cute, Justin Bieber is a dickhead, a few other unimportant things, and everybody who doesn’t support the Manly Sea Eagles hates them. And I mean really hate. Cersei Lannister hate. Maggie Simpson/baby with the monobrow hate.

Yet the wider Rugby League community (and yes I’m including myself in that), has been surprisingly reserved in their assessment of the goings on at Manly. There has been much chitter-chatter, but very little merrymaking.

Well I am going to step up on behalf on The Public Apology, and I imagine quite a few others, and scream from the top of the hill, “Fuck yeah!!! Fuck them!”

I am taking great joy in watching them implode. Great joy! I know it is usually considered poor form to revel in another’s misfortune, but Manly and their supporters have been anything but good winners during their years of success. They love the fact they are hated, encourage it even, and continually talk down to everybody and anything around them. I once saw a drunk Manly fan gloating to a cat, true story.*

They are actually very much like the Lannisters in Game of Thrones, when you think about it, and like the Lannisters, sadly, they win more often than not. Fuck me, Geoff Toovey even looks a bit like Joffrey! But (SPOILER ALERT!!!) the king is dead motherfucker!!! And karma is a bitch!**

A bit of a twat
Joffrey: a bit of a twat

I want to make it abundantly clear, mainly for any Manly supporters who might read this, this is not a Tall Poppy thing. I do not begrudge success. I usually admire it. This is a fuck you, you arrogant shits, welcome to reality and learn some common decency, thing.

One of my favourite sporting memories is the 1997 Grand Final. Most will remember it well, Newcastle Knights fan or not (yes, I’m a Knights fan, thus good-hearted, salt-of-the-earth and possessing an unerring ability to make both man, woman and beast climax with a single look). A wounded Joey Johns scooted down the blindside, like a real-life Hans Solo, and set up a young Darren Albert, AKA Luke Skywalker, and took down the empire. There was joy in the streets! Evil had been defeated! The good guy had won!

I can’t think of any other Star Wars references, but Toovey is obviously Darren Albert’s father (paternity test unnecessary, AKA Darth Vader) and Robbie O’Davis, R2D2, in this analogy.

Resourceful, cheeky and a menace around the ruck.
Resourceful, cheeky and a menace around the ruck.

The reason I mention this, is to not bask in former fanboy glory, although that was fun, but to highlight the … ok, it was just a fanboy thing, but Manly losing in the final minute made it extra special.

Now it seems Manly even hate themselves, which is wonderful. They’ve lost their two halves – arguably the best halves pairing in the comp and most likeable blokes in their team – most of their top line forwards and are coming off a shellacking from the team who have ironically benefited most from their demise.

Sure they signed Willie Mason, the most charismatic motherfucker to ever grace a football field, but that’s not enough, even Big Willie can’t fill that gaping hole.

A sizeable task, even for  someone of William's stature
A sizeable task, even for someone of William’s talent

If they offload Dale Cherry-Evans early, the man with this silliest name in the NRL, to the Titans, you can almost guarantee them the wooden spoon.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful? The north shore of Sydney overrun with the spoons of citizenry who actually do send wooden spoons in the post and don’t just talk about it. Hundreds of confused people shuffling through their second drawer completely unaware that the implement they are looking for is being used to violently strike Geoff Toovey upon the buttocks.

“Last, Geoffrey!? LAST!?”

“It was the referees, Bob! It’s a conspiracy!”

“Repent, boy! REPENT!”

Oh the sweet unending joy of it! I want pictures of a naked Geoff Toovey, curled up in the foetal position, in a bathtub full of a wooden spoons at the end of this season. That is art motherfucker.

That is sweet cosmic shit. That is justice. And I will not rest until it has been done.

I also blame Des Hasler for everything, because I am starting to hate the Bulldogs. Anyone else?

By Al McClintock

* This is a lie.

** Also a stripper who owes me six bucks.

This is Why I Don’t Owe Glenn Maxwell A Public Apology

Glenn Maxwell is hitting runs. Good for him. It’s about time he put all that talent to good use.

Funnily enough, a number of people have written to The Public Apology overnight, wondering whether we will be apologising for our recent article that highlighted Glenn Maxwell’s arrogance and complete obliviousness to test match values.

To refresh your memory, the article in question referred to a series of quotes that Maxwell made after the second test against Pakistan in the UAE.

“[The selectors] back me to play that reverse sweep no matter what the situation of the game. They understand for me that it’s no different from a cover drive for any other batter. They have instilled confidence in me to play that shot and they have seen it come off time and again. They accept the fact that for me it’s a normal shot, it’s no different from someone else getting beaten in defence. My best form of defence is attack anyway, so they would much rather me go out playing my natural game than defending and getting caught at bat pad,” Maxwell said.

However, I must clarify something that is already quite obvious: the piece I wrote regarding Maxwell had nothing to do with his talent. It also had nothing to do with his prowess in the short forms of the game. He can hit balls hard and far. And that’s good.

Hitting the ball: a good thing for any young cricketer.
Hitting the ball: a good tip for any aspiring cricketer.

It had everything to do with his selection in test match cricket (at number 3), and his complete disregard for “batting time”.

As such, The Public Apology will not be issuing a public apology to Glenn Maxwell just because he’s now struck a bit of form.

Nothing frustrates viewers more than wasted talent. Maxwell has all the shots – and he clearly wants you to know that – but there are still valid question marks over his application, mental strength and technique.

Australia obviously loves a Big Show. Whether it’s the Sydney Olympics, the Vivid Festival or Future Music, we are easily seduced by the big, the brash and the bold. The World Cup is a Big Show. T20 Cricket is a Big Show. And therefore Maxwell’s brand of explosive cricket is on-brand in these scenarios.

Vivid Sydney: A great, big show for the whole family.
Vivid Sydney: A great, big show for the whole family.

But test cricket is not a Big Show. Test cricket is pure and wholesome. Test cricket is a nine-month exhibition at the Melbourne Museum celebrating Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs.

So here’s the deal: TPA will offer a sincere public apology to Glenn Maxwell once he has scored a test match century in a situation where it is needed.

We might even extend this olive branch to a situation in this World Cup, where he is forced to display conventional test match-esque values (patience, defence, application, strategy) in digging Australia out of a hole. A gritty 47 off 65 in a difficult run chase against South Africa, perhaps.

But until then, there will be no apology.

By Dave Edwards

NRL Refs To Finally Command Respect in Non-Pink Jerseys

The NRL has announced that its referees will no longer be wearing pink this season. The reason? Well, it is believed that pink jerseys made it harder for officials to be taken seriously. As such, the TPA brains trust have weighed in to the debate…

*  *  *  *  *

Alasdair McClintock: What do we make of the NRL changing the referees’ uniform because pink doesn’t “command respect”? I feel like this issue is screaming for our voice!

Ben Shine: Deck chairs on the Titanic. It’s not the colour of the shirt guys, it’s what’s in the shirt (the human).

Dave Edwards: What commands “respect?” Do referees need to look like CEOs in dark, slim-fit $3,000 Hugo Boss suits? 

BS: According to a Roy Morgan poll, the most highly regarded / respected progressions are:

1. Nurses
2. Pharmacists
3. Doctors
So obviously they should wear sexy nurse outfits. Or have stethoscopes instead of whistles.
Give Gavin Badger one of these
Give Gavin Badger one of these

AM: That logic seems sound to me. Although, do people respect sexy nurses or just ‘nurses’? I acknowledge that fishnet stockings can command respect, but usually they have to be accompanied by intimidating boots and/or a cat o’ nine tails.

DE: Let’s not fix the root of the problem (i.e. that refs are bad), let’s just make them wear a different colour jersey. Classic RL bandaid solution; so on-brand.

BS: Further, why do refs need respect from other people? Basing your confidence around external validation is a recipe for disaster.  Before asking for the respect of others, they first need to respect themselves.

DE: The NRL’s head of HR needs to sit down all players and officials and outline the need for mutual respect. “If this organisation is going to succeed, we all need to be on the same page” etc etc.

Let's all calmly and rationally 'talk this out'
Let’s all calmly and rationally ‘talk this out’

AM: thought deep self-hatred was a prerequisite to becoming a referee? They couldn’t play the game, so they decided they must control it. Sort of like misogynists who couldn’t get girls in high school. Ultimately they just hate themselves.

Sam Perry: And what about the inference that particular colours command different levels of respect? What is a more respectful colour? Do I guess that it’s one that fits the masculine construct? We probably need a colour power rankings to get to the root of this.

AM: The irony is that pink is undoubtedly the most acknowledged ‘feminine’ colour and they are saying that their players don’t respect it. So basically the NRL are finally acknowledging that their players don’t respect women.