Friday, March 28, 2014

NRL 2014 Round 4: McWarning

Round three saw a handful of upsets and a couple of statements of “are you fucking serious?” about the rest of the scorelines.  The Bunnies were brought down to earth by the Tigers, the Raiders made sure they didn’t get too carried away by their round two victory by losing their game against the Titans, and Manly beat motherfucking Parramatta after the motherfucking siren.  Four seconds previously, the Eels were winning.  THINK ABOUT THAT.  There are teenagers alive today who have never known the Eels to be ahead in any sense of the word.

The big news of the week was the story of Knights player Alex McKinnon, who was taken in an awkward tackle by Melbourne player Jordan McLean, and subsequently placed in an induced coma following the revelation that he’s broken his neck.  There’s no joke in this paragraph, I’m just recapping the week’s main story.  I think we can safely assume that McKinnon’s career has come to an abrupt halt, and I’m going out on a limb to say that McLean may not want to come back to play again either; it’s not every day that you break a man’s neck in a tackle.  Especially one that two other boofy blokes were involved in, and while it wasn’t the world’s best tackle, it certainly wasn’t the worst I’ve seen either, and probably didn’t deserve to end two careers.  Bad week for people with a Mc in their surname, huh?  My Scottish cousin Mishter Evil McBreakfasht is in some shit though.

Enough of that though, let’s tip some games.

Round 4

Honestly, after three rounds you’d expect to have some kind of idea about what’s going on this season, wouldn’t you?  Not this year, fuck no.  The teams that are rubbish are beating the teams that are good, the teams that are good aren’t actually good, the shit ones are, and the others are undecided, except for a few who are shit, have been shit and will always be shit.  And then there’s fucking Manly.  It’s all fucked, and it’s starting to hurt my brain.

Roosters v Manly is a dead-set nut scratcher, and you have to work out why God would allow such a thing to happen.  A team with Mitchell Pearce in it should never win, especially when he links up with Shaun Kenny-Dowell and Sonny Bill Williams.  But when they play the Sea Eagles, there’s really nothing else you can do but curl up in a ball and rock yourself to sleep.

Somehow the Dragons have managed to scrape three wins together so far this year, with the Broncs dropping just one game, despite being the team that has officially raised my eyebrows the most this season.  I can’t argue with my eyebrow surprise, so they’re getting my pick to disrupt the Dragons’ run.  Also, Josh Dugan is threatening to return this weekend, so that will force a reshuffle for the Saints’ backline when he leaves the field with an injury after fifteen minutes.

Battle of the Fuck Knows? goes to the battle between the Tigers and the Warriors this week.  Actually, that will be the Battle of the Fucks Knows and Fuck Cares.  Not me.  But the Tigers, simply because I have to tip someone.

Despite the Eels’ performance last weekend (they still didn’t win), I don’t think they have it in them to knock off the Penny Panthers, who I reckon will be dark horses (not literally, you dickheads) to sneak into the top four.

The Doggies are hosting the Storm in Perth, which which will suit the Storm, as they’re used to playing in half-empty stadiums where the spectators don’t understand the game they’re watching.  If Cooper Cronk can get his mind off the news that Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow have split up, and what this means for Coldplay and Gwynny’s blog, they should go a long way to winning this one.

The Knights vs the Sharks game is threatening to be pretty exciting as well, as these two teams of extraordinary athletes go head to head in what will surely be a highlight reel extravaganza of… I can’t do it.  This game will be fucked, and is an unofficial challenge to work out just who is the shittest team in the NRL right now.  I’m going for the Sharkies, even though the Knights team will be “doing it for Alex.”  Sometimes just because you really want to win, it doesn’t mean that you will.  Otherwise I would have won Lotto heaps and Natalie Portman and Emma Stone would be popping over for a coffee in the morning.

Finally, we’ve got the Titans and the Cowboys; one of whom scored an upset victory, and the other was upset last week.  I was also upset – not only did both of these dickhead teams ruin my tips, but I also ripped a hole in the bottom off my shoe, and then my foot got wet and I had to spend the whole day with a cold, wet sock.  It was fucked, man. 

Roosters vs. Sea Eagles
Dragons vs. Broncos
Warriors vs. Tigers
Eels vs. Panthers
Bulldogs vs. Storm
Knights vs. Sharks
Titans vs. Cowboys

Game of the Round

Rabbitohs vs. Raiders

Both of these teams lost last week to teams that they would normally have on a crumpet, but they got done because they’re dickheads.  They also managed to injure a few key players, just for good measure.  The Bunnies did manage to get George Burgess off a shitty tackle charge (somehow – I’m not suggesting anything, but I have it on good advice that Mrs Burgess may have performed some sexual acts on several members of the judiciary), so they’ve got that going for them. 

Fuck it, the entire Rabbitohs team could be ruled out, and Russell Crowe had to play each position, and the Raiders still wouldn’t fucking win.  But I still love them.  Why is it always the pretty ones?

Friday, March 21, 2014

NRL 2014 Round 3: My head hurts

Breaking news from the NRL this week came in the form of a new rule that if a player is concussed, they need to harden up take a break for a week and have some diagnostic tests done by the marketing manager a doctor before playing again.  This comes after players such as Ian “Have I Mentioned Lately That I’m Gay?  Well, I’m Gay” Roberts and Mario “what?” Fenech came out with the shocking revelations that they have forms of brain damage due to having constantly damaged their brains while playing footy.

I am not a football player (they won’t let me due to my extreme awesomeness, plus my hatred for Todd Carney), but I have been knocked out a few times - more if you include the times when alcohol was involved – and I’ve found that the whole ‘falling over when you’re standing still’ effect of a concussion should probably be enough of a sign that you shouldn’t be in a huge rush to get back on the field so you can run headlong into a 110kg bloke who’s running headlong into you at the same time. 

But that’s just me.  Honestly, I’m just not sure how this is even an issue in 2014 where coaches, managers and trainers haven’t been given a swift arse-kicking for plonking some bloke back in the game after he copped a face-full of some other dickhead’s head, just in case he’s able to fall over the try-line because the crowd, the sponsors and the management would prefer that Favourite Player #1 gets the points over Replacement Player #3.  Because, let’s be Francine with each other here, if that malarkey keeps going, Favourite Player #1 might not be around as long as he could be. 

Am I getting too serious here, or is it just me?  It’s Friday, it’s been a long week.  Piss off. 

Round 3

For most of the games this week, it appears fairly cut’n’dry with who to tip, with the exception of the Broncs vs the Rooters and the Penny Panthers vs the Doggies.  And I’ll throw in Sharkies and the Dragons too, just because they Sharks are playing shit and the Dragons are playing well, but that situation is about ready to switch itself around.

West Tigers vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Brisbane Broncos vs Sydney Roosters
Penrith Panthers vs Canterbury Bulldogs...
Cronulla Sharks vs St George Illawarra
Nth Queensland Cowboys vs New Zealand Warriors
Manly Sea Eagles vs Parramatta Eels
Melbourne Storm vs Newcastle Knights

Game of the Round

Canberra Raiders vs Gold Coast Titans

Round Three sees the Raiders at home for the first time in 2014, and the unveiling of the new GIO Stadium (sign).  The Titans have been traditionally rubbish so far this year, while the Green Machine have been in pretty decent form against two top-eight teams from last year.  As long as no one gets complacent (although I wouldn’t put complacency about making the grand final past the Raiders after a close loss and a close win), the mighty lads from our nation’s capital should notch up a tidy victory.  Pop a $5 on Edrick Lee to cross for a couple.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

NRL Round 2: How to Make the NRL Better

ERMAGHERD Round 1 was bloody brilliant – it had it all: big hits, controversy, Geoff Toovey having a sook, upsets, big wins, debuts, comebacks and resurgences.  It’s just a pity that no one was around to witness any of it.  Crowds were waaaaay down, and the games weren’t even that shit.  Not that I really watched much, I was too busy fighting crime, pirating the seven seas and making raucous love to beautiful women. MEB, you were home alone, dressing your cat up in a tutu.  Well there was that as well.  The main point is that I was drunk.

Here are a few things you can blame the current lack of interest in rugby league on:

1.  The Footy Show
The year’s first episode was a fucking dismal disaster in all senses of the word.  I was on the internet expressing my displeasure in it immediately.  The show seems to be aimed at 15-year old kids, with its rap video parodies and constantly out-dated pop culture references.  I understand that the Footy Show was on prior to any football actually being played, so we must beg the question:  Why was it even on in the first place?  If Channel 9 were so adamant that Australia (and England, Ireland, NZ and PNG) needed a dose of Fatty Vautin being cut off by Michael Slater, while Erin Molan speaks over the top of them to have a private-yet-entirely-filmed conversation with Beau Ryan, and Darryl Brohmann wondering why he’s even there, they should have made it an hour-long preview of 2014, looking at the pre-season games, the signings, the leavings and the prospects of each team.  With the right people, a dose of professionalism and less masturbation jokes, it could be funny, entertaining, informative and actually about rugby league.

2.  Scrums
I have always been a fan of the rugby league scrum.  It gets the forwards out of the way and allows the outside backs to show their skills and speed.  Unfortunately, the forwards aren’t allowed to contest a scrum anymore, and the half-back doesn’t even need to bother putting the ball in – something to do with a bunch of lesbians complaining that it hurts their backs if people push in a scrum, AKA you’re doing it wrong. 

Scrums now are made up of six random blokes who just happened to be in the vicinity.  I think I saw a trainer and the touch judge pack in for the Roosters last year.  So we have a case of a winger fitting in at lock, with a centre and a hooker in the second row, with the half-back at hooker, between a five-eighth and one prop up front.  This means there’s a second-rower standing at first receiver, which means that they’re just going to run into the defensive line.  BORING.  If you aren’t going to scrum down, do a fucking line-out or something that will require a bit of practice, add a new element to the game and get rid of the dead weight that are a blight on the game.

3.  Stop the clock
Too much faffing about takes place when the ball is out of play and the clock keeps ticking.  Simple rule here, dickheads – if the ball isn’t dead, the clock isn’t either.  If the average punter coughing up about $30 to get into the ground, he shouldn’t have to pay to watch some fuckwit line up a penalty kick.  If he wanted to watch teams standing around looking at a kicker, he would have gone to the union.  Then he would have died of boredom.

4.  Too many dickheads
It’s an ongoing saga, this one.  Too many fuckwits in the game being fuckwits and fuckwitting it up for those who aren’t fuckwits.  Let’s just stop the fuckwits before they get into the game.  Let’s not pay them millions of dollars to be fuckwits.  Let’s not elevate them above the rest of the non-fuckwit society.  Let’s have a salary cap on fuckwit tattoos.  Let’s just stop the fuckwits.  Tony Abbott needs to get onto that.

5.  Contracts
Andrew Fafita began Round 1 as a Shark and finished it as a Bulldog.  How can this shit happen?  It’s fine for a team to get players when they have finished their contract, but maybe they should just keep it under wraps that in 2015, they’ll have a brand new prop forward.  We’re trying to build some kind of non-fuckwitted supporter base here; we’re trying to pretend that people in the team like each other and get on well professionally.  As a fan, it’s just a bit shit to be supporting a player who announces IN ROUND ONE that he’s leaving the club.  Unless it’s Todd Carney, then everyone is happy. 

Round 2

The Broncos surprised everyone last week by playing well, something that hasn’t happened since 1989, so I’m banking on them doing it again this week.  Especially since I don’t really like the Cowboys.  Am I alone in that?  I don’t even know why.  Probably because of Jonathan Thurston.  Actually, definitely because of that.

I’m tipping Souths, because they’re against Manly.  Dur. 

St George are at HUGE odds against the Warriors, for some ungodly reason.  The Warriors are rubbish, and even more rubbish against the Saints, which makes them super rubbish, because the Saints are rubbish themselves.  Still, I’m tipping them. 

The only game to really scratch my balls about this week is the Dogs vs the Sharks.  In the end, I decided that I didn’t care, and just tipped the lads from the Shire.  Sometimes when your head says “fuck that, let’s go to the pub” and your heart tells you “my shout”, you just have to listen to reason.

Manly Sea Eagles vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Brisbane Broncos vs Nth Queensland Cowboys
New Zealand Warriors vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Melbourne Storm vs Penrith Panthers
Sydney Roosters vs Parramatta Eels
Gold Coast Titans vs Wests Tigers
Canterbury Bulldogs vs Cronulla Sharks

Game of the Round

Newcastle Knights vs Canberra Raiders

This game kept me up all night.  No it didn’t.  You stayed up playing Candy Crush.  AND FLAPPY BIRD!

I want Canberra to win this game (I’d like them to win every game, let’s be honest), but for some reason the Knights always manage to ruin that dream.  Actually, most teams the Raiders play ruin that dream, but losing to the Knights always seems to hurt more, because they’re the sort of team that you really should beat.  Maybe that’s how every other team feels when they lose to the Raiders?  This shit has just gone meta.  Anyway, as much as I was impressed by the ol’ Canberra spark last week, I just can’t find it within my cold, dead heart to back them this week.  Sorry lads.  Prove me wrong.  You’re wrong.  Fuck off, internal voice. No.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

NRL Round 1 2014: The cricket season is over

The cricket season came to a crashing end last night/this morning (depending on your commitment to following a slow, yet intriguing day of test match cricket from South Africa), and what better way to celebrate an historic 2-1 series victory for the Aussies (thank fuck that Dale Steyn was injured for the last game, amirite eh eh eh?) than to get into a bit of rugby fucking league?

Let’s be honest here – it will be the same major players this year as it has been for the last few.  Roosters, Souths, Melbourne and possibly Canterbury and North Queensland, depending on how much cheating and drugs the Doggies can get away with, and the kind of form that Thurston is in for the Cowbs following his Origin kick.  Everyone else can probably just put their season away now and say, “Well, we tried our best,” even if that's a big, fat lie.  

For once, the NRL season launch went off without complaint, arrest and ongoing investigations.  One reason this happened was the NRL’s choice of “Face of the Game” which was Anthony Minichello, a player who most people think retired about four years ago.  Congrats, Mini.  You’re still alive.

Mister Evil Breakfast’s 2014 Predictions

Traditionally, I’ve been like a John Edwards/Dynamo hybrid with just how spot-on my thoughts on the upcoming season will be.  Let’s rub the crystal ball again and see what the future will bring:

  • Souths will win the comp, even though they probably had a better year last year.  They’ll beat Manly in the grand final, and everyone will be happy.  The Burgess boys will all get into shit this year, and follow Sam into rugby. 
  •  Isaac Luke will annoy too many people and will cop a big ban for doing some stupid tackles that end some poor bastard’s career.
  • Soward and Wallace won’t gel in the Penrith half line, and Sowie will probably retire halfway through the season, citing, “I’m not playing with that fuckwit anymore.” 
  • Chris Sandow will claim that his off-field issues are affecting his on-field performance which will be news to most of the punters, who reckon he’s having “a pretty good year.”
  • Josh Papalli will get into some trouble with drinking, drugs and violence, and may also have some drama off-field.  Calls to reinstate Dave Furner as Raiders’ head coach will begin after Round 4.
  • Ben Barba will be injured for most of the year, but will be pretty happy to pick up his weekly pay packet, having seen how well it works for Josh Dugan and Shane Watson. 
  • The Dogs will perform as averagely as they have for a while, but it’s kind of what we’ve come to expect.  Who do they even have on their team?  Terry Lamb?  Hasim el Masri?  One of the Mortimers?  Fuck it, I don’t know.
  • Josh Dugan will most likely fuck up due to drugs and alcohol, and will enter into a rehabilitation centre for 20 minutes and become reborn.  Again.  At the rate of Duges’ rebirths lately, he is on track to be the next Dalai Lama. 
  •  The Cowboys will do alright again, even though JT really only tries to play well during Origin season. 
  •  Steve Matai will retire and be a major player in a badly-thought-out Australian WWE contest.  He will then move onto the third incarnation of Gladiators.  Then he’ll come out of retirement and play league again, but will finish his career at the Titans. 
  •  Hopefully Greg Bird gets suspended for being a dick, or contracts scurvy or something.  I just don’t like him and think he’d fit in quite well playing rugby union so I don’t have to watch him.
  •  The Warriors will go quite strongly during the middle part of the year while everyone else is interested in Origin, and will sneak into contention for the top eight, just like they do every year.  But then they’ll suck and won’t make it.
  •  The Sharkies will find strength from their previous kerfuffles with drugs and dodgy coaches and horse tranquilizers and Asian midget prostitutes and stick together for another dose of “fuck it” football.  When the entire team is playing individually so they can catch the eye of another club, it makes everyone perform better.
  •  Slater will succumb to an injury that he describes as being like “a crowbar hit across the back of the head” and spend a few months on the sideline having VB cans lobbed at him by me.


Here’s Round 1 in a nutshell.

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Sydney Roosters
Canterbury Bulldogs vs Brisbane Broncos
Penrith Panthers vs Newcastle Knights
Manly Sea Eagles vs Melbourne Storm
St George Illawarra Dragons vs Wests Tigers
Parramatta Eels vs New Zealand Warriors
Cronulla Sharks vs Gold Coast Titans

Game of the Round

Nth Queensland Cowboys vs Canberra Raiders

While a few games in this round are a bit “maybe Team A, maybe Team B,” this match is pretty simple.  Hopefully the Raiders turn up warm and ready to go, because come kick-off, they’ll need to be flexible enough to bend over and grab their ankles for a full 80-minutes. 

The warm weather of North Queensland will only add to the debauchery that will ensue.  Poor Raiders.