Friday, July 29, 2011

NRL 2011 Round 21: The beginning of the end

Happy 21st to the 2011 NRL comp WOOOOO. I bought you a funky photo frame and a hip flask that everyone chipped in $5 for. Now I’m going to get drunk on your free beer and try and hook up with your sister.

The top eight is still being shaped, with all but two teams (suck shit Roosters and Titans, you dickheads! NERRRR) still being mathematical chances to participate in the finals series. Seriously.

MEB's highlight predictions for the round:
Paul Gallen will be playing so shit-hot that he will quite literally burst into flames. While it will make him almost impossible to tackle, it will also kill him.

Scientists will discover that Todd Carney doesn’t actually squint; he just doesn’t have any eyes.

Mat Rogers will celebrate his 78th birthday with another Titans loss. He’ll thank the same people four times and tell them about the time he was room-mates with Phil Waugh, who he will keep calling “Steve.”

Jarryd Hayne will headbutt Billy Slater. Again. After the game, everyone will tell him that he’s a massive tool. Hayne won't care and will take new shirtless photos of himself for his Facebook page.

Round Vingt-et-un
Brisbane Broncos
vs Cronulla Sharks
Manly Sea Eagles vs Wests Tigers
Sydney Roosters vs Canterbury Bulldogs
North Queensland Cowboys vs Penrith Panthers
Newcastle Knights vs Gold Coast Titans
St George-Illawarra Dragons vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Parramatta Eels vs Melbourne Storm

Game de round:
New Zealand Warriors vs Canberra Raiders

I am a staunch Canberra fan (just because I don’t tip them and call them big nancy blouse-wearing girls doesn’t mean I don’t like them), but when they can beat a team like the Dragons and yet lose miserably to the Storm and the Tigers by massive margins, it makes it a difficult task to remain faithful.


This week, they’re in like Flynn. Their season is hanging by a very thin, very frail ginger pube (everyone knows it’s Tonguey’s, but he’s denying it), which is when the mighty Green Machine plays their best footy. Plus, the Warriors have won their last three games and are probably due to suck. It’s kind of what they do. Inconsistency is a key part of their game plan.

Worst. Limbo. Ever.

MEB cumulative score: 86

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Australian Test Squad for Sri Lanka

I couldn't be fucked thinking of a clever title.

Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson (vice-captain), Michael Beer, Trent Copeland, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Phillip Hughes, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle.

This week, Cricket Australia announced the Australian Test squad to tour Sri Lanka. The team basically symbolises the current CA mentality – one droopy eye looking at the past, one glazed pupil looking to the future and one finger slowly fishing around inside its left nostril.

The inclusion of Trent "Nickname Pending" Copeland and Jimmy "Robert" Pattinson is a good thing – nothing will prepare young fast bowlers for Test Match Cricket better than the flat dust-bowls of Lanka, and this will really test their mettle. They will also have the experience of Peter “Remember my hat-trick?” Siddle, Ryan “I’m injured!” Harris and Mitchell "I play cricket!" Johnson to rely on if the young kids start copping some stick from the wristy Sri Lankan batsmen. They're pretty used to being flogged, so they'll be able to remind the new guys that they still get paid, regardless of how shit they are.

For the slow bowling options, CA have opted to stick with their theory of “pick the bloke with the same name as the other bloke we didn’t like,” and have stamped Nathan "Paddle Pop" Lyon’s passport and ceremoniously given him Nathan Hauritz’s baggy white shirt. I have never heard of Lyon before now, but I’ll forgive myself for that (thank you, MEB), as he has only played four first-class games prior to this tour. Here’s hoping that Lyonsie is ready to go for plenty of runs and bowl sporadic spells that will stretch to a maximum of two over stints, as is Michael Clarke’s captaincy plan. Pup Clarke – determined to end bowlers’ careers 6 balls at a time. I'm not entirely convinced that Lyon is the right man for the job, or that continually picking people who have no experience is the way to go, but what would I know? It means that I might get the call up soon.

And then there’s Michael Beer, who some (not everyone) will remember as the bloke who was plucked from obscurity last year to play against the Poms in the final Ashes test. He took 1 wicket and went for plenty of runs, which meant that he fit in quite nicely with the rest of the team. As a result of this average showing (he is an average player who will probably be the first to admit that [second after I announce it, though]), he did not receive a contract from Cricket Australia to perform national duties this year, so everyone naturally assumed they’d seen the last of the left-arm “spin” bowler. But no. He’s back in the team and on tour.

Cricket Australia is treating the Australian team as if it was a reality TV show that was successful and popular when it first came out, until some fucktard genius at the network decided to “spice things up” a bit to boost ratings, and introduced mind-numbing weekly challenges, celebrity appearances, shithouse new rules, planned controversy and events that would “change the game… forever.”

When the Australian team was announced and the headline read “Uncontracted player called up for Sri Lanka tour,” Simon Katich must have pissed his pants in anticipation, dusted off his baggy green and walked sideways to the fridge for a celebratory ale. After reading the full story, he just went back to sitting in a darkened room, hating the shit out of Cricket Australia.

Oooh scary.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


People always say: If these walls could talk, imagine what they’d say?
I think the most common thing would be "I wish I wasn’t a wall.”

Thursday, July 21, 2011

NRL Round 20: The week that wasn’t

It’s 3pm on a Thursday, and David Gallop is sitting at his desk, sweating profusely as he slowly moves his mouse over the “refresh” button on his email.

“I can’t do it!” he cries. “Not again! Not again!” He reaches into the top drawer of his desk and lets his fingers trace the two objects contained inside. One is a bottle of Johnny Walker green label, and the other is a large handgun.

“Let’s see which fuckers have fucked me over one time too many,” he says manically to his waiting computer. He forcefully shuts his eyes and pulls the gun out of the drawer, holding it to his temple in a movement that is too slick to be anything except practiced. With his other hand, he clicks the left mouse button, finally refreshing a week of undelivered emails onto his screen. He imagines what is waiting for him on the other side of his clenched eyelids – police inquiries, rape allegations, drug abuse, Matt Orford’s contract being renewed, Todd Carney punching a midget stripper – and his grip on the gun tightens within his sweaty grasp. He slowly opens his left eye, allowing it to focus on the computer monitor in front of him.


Just two emails – one from Olomjuno Magutu from Nigeria, and the other telling him that Fatty Vautin had commented on his Facebook post about Sam Thaiday’s gut.
Gallop opens his right eye, and releases some pressure on the gun. Again, he clicks refresh. No new emails arrived.

“Well fuck me,” he says, replacing the gun in the drawer and pulling out the bottle of Johnny Walker and eagerly twisting off the cap. “You dipshits are all right.”Round Twenty:
Bulldogs v Parramatta Eels
Melbourne Storm
v Brisbane Broncos
Gold Coast Titans v North Queensland Cowboys
Wests Tigers
v Sydney Roosters
Sharks v Newcastle Knights
South Sydney Rabbitohs
v New Zealand Warriors
Penrith Panthers v Manly Sea Eagles

There are some genuine testicle-scratchers in there this week, and a few top-of-the-table clashes that will definitely get the punters punting about who to punt in the finals. While a few eyes will be watching the Melbourne vs Brisbane encounter, I think that most interest will be on the really shit teams who are all struggling to keep in touch with the top eight, despite the fact that all they’re really doing is delaying their Mad Monday celebrations and a trip to Bali with the boys to bond, celebrate and get herpes.

Canberra Raiders v St George-Illawarra Dragons

The Raiders were just pipped at the post last week in the form of a 26-0 heartbreaker to the Storm, who snuck home on the back of five unanswered tries.

It really has been a shit season for the Raiders, who are still trying to kid themselves that they are still somehow mathematical premiership contenders. I don’t know who’s doing the maths over there at Raiders HQ, but I’m probably not going to ask them to do my tax return. The game this weekend should put the final nail into the camel’s back that is the Raiders’ 2011 season, who are hiding behind an impressive record against the Dragons at Bruce Stadium. As the old saying goes, records are meant to be broken. Except for my Alvin and the Chipmunks record from 1982; that thing is awesome.

There's a reason why St George are coming third, and the Raiders are on the bottom of the ladder, and Canberra will discover that reason (again) on Monday night.

Reason why I don't play rugby league #2: It looks like it hurts

MEB cumulative score: 80

No Gary No!

Gary lost his hands in a farming accident and everyone felt horrible for him. On the positive side he had tried everything – patches, gum, hypnosis - but nothing got him to quit like those rotary blades.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

awkward moment

I bet there were heaps of cowboys left red-faced after they realised that their town was in fact more than big enough for the two of them.

Friday, July 15, 2011

NRL Round 19: It's Quitting Time

Big news broke yesterday that Mark “Gaz Gazzo Gazaroo” Gasnier is going to retire at the end of 2011. Bulldogs coach Kevin “Bloody” Moore said, “Fuck that, no big-chinned prick is going to steal my thunder!” so he quit immediately.

Gasnier, you’ve been served. Stop trying to steal headlines, you over-rated fuck.

Moore quitting the Dogs really shouldn’t surprise too many people; they’re having a fairly ordinary season and he was probably a week away from being sacked anyway. The team’s lack of talent probably has fuck all to do with the way he coaches, and more to do with the fact that Ben “Don’t-kick-it-to-me-don’t-kick-it-to-me FUCK” Barba can’t catch.

Stepping into Kevin Moore’s grave is Jim “Oh Yeah I Remember That Guy” Dymock, a bloke who played about a million years ago with varying degrees of success. He spent his first day at Doggies training playing Get to Know You games, including “Heads down, thumbs up” and “Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar?” It turns out Jamaal Idris did.

Round nineteen presents:
Warriors vs Bulldogs
Broncos vs Titans
Rabbitohs vs Roosters
Cowboys vs Tigers
Panthers vs Eels
Knights vs Sea Eagles
vs Sharks

There’s some fairly interesting match-ups in there – Rabbits v Roosters is always a ball-tearer, and it seems like the rivalry between those clubs is building up again nicely, so there should be a good amount of blood shed there. I’ll be surprised if everyone makes it out alive, to be perfectly francis.

Actually, that’ll probably be the only decent game. Everyone else is fairly ordinary. Including:

Raiders vs Storm

This is going to be fucking carnage. This is not a David and Goliath story, this is going to get messy, and there won’t be any underdog come-from-nowhere-to-win-against-the-odds kind of Hollywood bullshit magic from the Mighty Ducks on display at Canberra Stadium this weekend. There’s going to be torture and pain.

Canberra were all kinds of horrible last week against the Sharkies, a crap team in the middle of some good form. Melbourne are a great team in the middle of some great form, which doesn’t bode too well for our heroes in green (no, not the ninja turtles).

The only thing that can save the mighty Green Machine this week is if the Storm go into the game expecting to win, and win comfortably. I don’t see that happening this week though. I’m afraid they’re going to roll over the Raiders like an army made up entirely of tanks, if those tanks were driven by Batman and had flames painted on the sides and pop-up headlights.

Why I don't play rugby league #1: It looks like it takes a lot of effort

MEB cumulative score: 73

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Words that aren't on my Nokia #1

People who know me personally know that I have what is colloquially called “a really old phone.” I don’t even know what model it is, although I’m pretty sure it’s a “Nokia 1.” It cannot connect to the internet, it doesn’t readily accept picture messages, it can’t play music and it doesn’t take good photos. It runs out of battery power after about eight minutes and has a small SMS memory capacity. The screen is cracked and the battery falls out regularly, usually into a glass of beer.

Unfortunately, the default SMS dictionary is as limited as the rest of my phone, and many everyday words have been overlooked.

Words that aren't on my Nokia (hence the clever title of this post):

(and no, I can't explain why most of these words are animal names)

I don't need a new phone; this one does pretty much everything an iPhone does, except work.

Friday, July 08, 2011

NRL Round 18: This really is a long season, isn't it?

To the victors go the spoils – congratulations to the Queensland State of Origin team for another dominant display of rugby league. It was an interesting match to say the least.

For me, the game was lost within the first set of six by the Blues, when they kicked on the third tackle of the match. They might as well have taken off their pants, bent over a barrel and asked the Queenslanders to “go nuts.” An early kick isn’t always a bad option, but normally it’s used to gain considerable ground, find the sideline, or have a bloke running after it like a crazy fucking greyhound. The kick found Billy “Thanks, Don’t Mind If I Do” Slater on the full, and he was able to run back about twenty metres without being bothered by anything even remotely resembling a NSW chase.

And that, my dear readers, highlights NSW’s biggest problem during Origin III; their kicking game. For a team with three recognised pigskin-booters, they were unable to find any open space on the field at all. Each kick either fucked off into the fifteenth row of the stadium or went straight down the Maroon’s backline’s throat.

Slater, Dim Sim and Boyd (not the guy who used to be on Neighbours) had their feet superglued to the turf (I should know, I did the glueing), but every kick went straight to them. It was like the Blues were trying to injure Slater by making the ball hit him on the chest time after time after time. The Queenslanders, on the other six-fingered hand, had the ball on a string and tormented the NSW back three with accurate and deliberate kicks. Mitch “Best Halfback in the World - Just Ask Ricky Stuart” Pearce looked like he was a kid in the playground saying, “Look dad look how far I can kick the ball look dad dad dad are you looking look you weren’t looking!” while Thurston and Lockyer were more akin to the other kids who punt footballs at girls and hit them in the back of the head.

It was good to see that the two shittest players in the world had the two shittest games of all time, too. Well done Kurt Gidley and Whateveryourfuckingnameis Minichiello.

Round 18 looks like this:
v Titans
Eels v Tigers
Bulldogs v Storm
Roosters v Panthers
Sea Eagles
v Rabbitohs
Knights v Cowboys

There’s a couple of noodle-scratchers in there, with the Eels and Tigers game promising to be as exciting as watching a real eel and a tiger play football, and an interesting match-up between the Knights (hopefully Gidley won’t play) and the Cowboys, who will be missing Jonathan “Not As Injured As First Thought gimmemymagicwhistlenomnomnom” Thurston. I do enjoy watching the Cowbs play without Thurston – it’s like watching Braveheart if you edit Mel Gibson out of every scene. It just turns into a bunch of idiots wearing dresses running around and yelling in Scottish.

Sharks v Raiders

I can’t believe the Raiders have another game of the round. It’s almost as if I pick them deliberately every week.

The Sharkies and the Raiders are both resembling teams who have found a bit of form and still have “finals contender” tattooed across their brain. Both are coming off big wins over their respective opponents last week and are riding high on the kind of confidence that you get from punching someone in the back of the head. Someone smaller than you. Who’s asleep. And tied up.

As a team, the Raiders are FINALLY clicking, and Josh “Drop Kick of the Year” McCrone is playing out of his skin. Seriously, he’s like two people out there; a skeleton and a pile of flesh. It’s quite a sight to see. If the mighty Green Machine can knock over a determined Cronulla side who are enjoying some rare wins and even rarer support from their home base, the only thing that will stop them from carrying this momentum through to the grand final is all the other teams in the comp.

My tip: Raiders by eight and at least one more player to suffer a season-ending injury. Hopefully it will be Matt Orford falling down some stairs and landing on a cactus.

Surprise face sex makes a comeback

MEB Cumulative Score: 70

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

State of Origin III: It all comes down to this

Whenever a State of Origin series stands at one game all, the cynic in me always thinks, “Well that was a bit fucking predictable.” The money-grabbing cash-cow in me thinks, “Well that’s a good way to get a capacity crowd for (at least) $70 a ticket.” The pirate in me thinks, “Aaar, that’s a scurvy land-lubber if ever I seen one.”

In any case, it does make for a more interesting match, and as much as I have enjoyed the sight of watching NSW try and avoid 3-0 whitewashes in the past, there’s always that point during the game where you see their heads drop when they realise that they’re a bit shit, and the contest itself kind of dies.

This year is different.

No one (aka me) expected the Blues to win the second Origin game; but they did, and got there fairly convincingly on a strong performance by their forward pack. It’s not often that a bloke who plays for the Sharks dominates a game of anything except for the occasional Window Licking Championship, but Paul “Just Call Me God” Gallen put his arse-kicking boots on, pulled his socks up and did the job against the more highly-fancied Queensland boppers. I’m not saying that league players are idiots (because if anyone reads this to them, they might come looking for me and beat me up), but they seemed at a loss as to how to stop the rampaging Gallen, who was playing in an unfamiliar position. The fact that there was a different bloke running towards them somehow impeded their ability to tackle him; I was under the assumption that they had tackled other players before, but they couldn’t work out the body:body ratio required to halt his progress. For Queensland’s sake, I hope that Mal has given them some instructions on how to use their arms against unexpected ball runners.

Justin “Rep Footy or Nothing” Hodges is back for the Toads, making his annual appearance in the centres after the injury to Tonga in Game 2. Hodges’ hamstrings are made out of pixie dust and dreams, are held together with a half-sucked Chupa Chup, and have the consistency of jelly. He is unlikely to make it through the national anthem without limping to the change room for a massage. If he crosses the tryline at any stage of the game, he will be crossing the sideline for a leg replacement soon after.

And no half-arsed Origin write-up would be complete without some kind of tribute to Darren “Muttley” Lockyer, who will be wearing the maroon jersey for the last time (at least until he joins Maroon 5). The Queenslanders will be keen to see him off as a winner – personally, I’d like to see them all sit around and cry because they let him, themselves, their state and their parole officers down by not chairing him off the field in victory.

MEB’s Origin Decider Prediction

I’m going to stick with my head on this one and say that Queensland will prevail. The emotion of sending Lockyer off with a win won’t get to the experienced heads of those around him, and Thurston will improve a thousand per cent on his Game 2 form. NSW have too many “you’ll do” players who are appearing only because of injury for my liking, and waltzing onto the hallowed ground of Suncorp Stadium in front of a packed house of Queensland supporters will blow their simple, fragile little minds. Apparently Origin does that to a person. Hell, it’d scare me too – all those fucking Queenslanders. So few teeth. So much back hair. So few chromosomes. So much shared DNA.

Cameron Smith's blatant beard-rash attack on Robbie Farah's hand went unnoticed by match officials.

Friday, July 01, 2011

NRL Round 17: Third time’s a charm

Origin Three is dominating headlines again this week in the world of rugby league, as the decider draws ever closer. I may be alone here (hence the fact that I am not wearing pants), but I really can’t wait for this series to be over so we can get back to normal teams playing each other without having to worry about Darren “Strepsils” Lockyer or Paul “Garbage Truck” Gallen being gods on earth.

Or maybe it’s just that there really aren’t any players in Origin (either team) that I want to dry-hump that’s shaking my enthusiasm for the game. I remember back in the mid-90s when State of Origin was like seeing the Raiders vs Brisbane and everyone (me) went home happy, knowing that they’d just seen Big Mal smash Laurie Daley as Steve Walters and Brad Clyde punched the shit out of each other.

Another short round (“You call him Doctor Jones, lady!”) with teams made up of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed youngsters with a spring in their step and lollipop dreams instead of battle-hardened creatures carved from stone and beaten with rusty chains until they fart lightning and feel no pain. And it’s a tough round to pick because of this – some interesting match-ups with the Baby Broncos taking on the Shithouse Eels and a few underperforming walruses in the form of the Sharks and the Rabbitohs locking horns for a stoush that honestly, literally, metaphorically and figuratively could go both ways.

Eels vs Broncos
vs Bulldogs
Sharks vs Rabbitohs
Dragons vs Knights

Roosters vs Raiders

This game is shaping up to be another epic battle between two teams who really should be going a lot better than they currently are. It’s always a great contest between these two clubs as Canberra tries to unleash hell on their long-lost brother Todd “Fucko McFuckwit” Carney, who must be suffering from the bends with the pace at which he peaks and troughs.

The Raiders continue to astound statisticians and journalists the world over by somehow being a bee’s dick away from making the top eight, despite the only thing they’ve won this year was a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey at Matt Orford’s 40th birthday party. It’s this kind of logic that will carry them to victory in this game.

Also, the Roosters are shit and I hate them.

The crowd (both of them) loves the awesome choreography and synchronisation of the Raiderettes.

MEB cumulative score: 67