There's something of a theory in play around the traps that the secret of comedy resides in the timing. If this is so, there appears to be a one-sport Australian comedy boom developing. In the immediate wake of highly and publicly successful Australian football and rugby league grand finals, FFA chief executive David Gallop picked a particularly dandy moment to pontificate – perhaps with thumbs tucked in to imaginary braces – that soccer would become "the largest and most popular sport in this country". Moving in apparent telekinetic lockstep, now ex-Socceroonie coach Holger Osieck – just ahead of the match against France – decided to throw a little bit of a tantie concerning his more vocal critics in the wake of the zip-6 loss to Brazil. That subsequent result from Paris: France 6, Australia 0. You know, one thing TV viewers always hate is repeats. On the upside, the Aussies' current structure is generating more goals than ever before. David Gallop must be stoked.
Speaking of Gallop, even now, any mention of marquees and millinery is a cast-iron guarantee of quality afternoon nap-time.
The yak attack
The Board of Control for Cricket in India, perhaps having banged its head on a kitchen cupboard door at a recent juncture, finally did what many sporting bodies have probably wanted to do for years, but managed to stop short of – i.e. instructing commentators what little details to leave out, such as any discussion of the decision review system, Indian team selection or BCCI administrative matters. Cue Ian Chappell to give them clear, GPS-like directions on how they can fold it and where they can stick it. "I can't do my job properly under those circumstances," noted Chappelli. Dead right. Re commentators who do sign on under those restrictions, arguably cricket fans might reflect on the famous old dirty joke punch-line: "Now we're not arguing about what you are any more, we're just haggling over the price."
How far the cherry?
Not to harp on or anything, but in retrospect, those words of Luke Wilkshire ahead of the France v Australia game, re Osieck inspire a certain amount of wonder: "Everyone is 100 per cent behind him." One imagines any resultant mental image of the former coach standing in a tall building facing an open window with a number of people running at him is entirely unworthy and unintended. More prophetic were the words of goalkeeper Mitch Langerak, insisting that the Australians were determined to "get a result" against France. This is one thing they can't be faulted on. Boy, did they ever. And how.
Bozo of the week
The context: a newspaper's "On This Day" historical listing for October 11. The text: "1890. John Owens becomes the first man to run a recorded 100-yard-dash in under 10 seconds. Owens did it in 9.8 seconds." The photo: Absolutely, unmistakably, the legendary athlete Jesse Owens, presumably a few decades this side of 1890, given that his most famous meet was the Berlin Olympics in 1936. The newspaper: Hey, come on – that's the kind of thing that might happen to any great metropolitan newspaper, no matter how convenient their offices might be to the Artist Formerly Known as Spencer Street Station. Ahem.
“I understood that the AFL was considering action on the massive pay offer from the Swans to Lance Franklin. So they should. This outrageous extravagance would take him to almost half of Andrew Demetriou's salary.” - John Lombard, email
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