|Issue No 22||16 July 1999|
Neill Jones Squeezes the Magic Sponge
A huge week in sport:Blighty has signaled his intention to throw in the coaching towel, Peter Carey is about to pull on the maggot's uniform for the 300th time and we'll be seeing whether the Socceroo No-Names can get one back from the best club team in the world.
The coming week might also see the NRL finally bag a Tiger on their Murdoch financed safari. They have the rabbit in their sights as well which should concern us all. Ah the League! My memories of league are distant and fading. Disgusted at the dismissal of the Bluebags from the NSWRL way back when, I embraced the Swans and find myself watching a couple of games of league a year. I can't give up the Bluebags - they still run around in the Metropolitan Cup and the mention of their name is enough for me to recall the day when Tommy scored in front of 57,000 people at the SCG and I dreamt the impossible.
The Magic Sponge is a concept, it's a website but most importantly it's a radio show on FBi 96.9 FM. FBi is one of several aspirant community radio stations looking for a rails run in the lead up to straight in the Australian Broadcasting Authority Plate. The ABA has yet to name a venue or time for the running of the plate. It's a Group 1 event - the prize being a full-time licence to broadcast. Since 1995 we've done 10 test transmissions - we're currently on air until the end of August broadcasting out of the Armfield Room at the University of Sydney.
The show is The Magic Sponge, the station is FBi, and the frequency is 96.9FM. We're on a small kickback from the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation. We have no ethics, but it's OK, we're entertainers not journalists and if you've got a problem with that you're obviously a no-talent weazel.
This week we'll be asking the big questions and we'll be yelling our favourite stuff like "stick to novels Carey you maggot". It's a constant source of amazement that Carey finds time to umpire in between churning out the likes of Oscar and Lucinda, the Tax Inspector and Jack Maggs. Few literary critics have picked up on the fact that Bliss is based on the life and times of Bruce Doull. Carey is a master of the publicity moment, which is why he took the mark last week in the lead up to his 300th game. My friends and I are left pondering why he didn't sweep the ball downfield to umpire Cameron. Imagine the McAveny commentary.
Carey takes a STRONG MARK , and sends a BOOMING kick down to umpire Leon Cameron who takes a strong grab in front of the pack he plays on, flicks off a blind handball to the running Scroop he's just on the fifty and lets loooooose. It's a BIG ONE. It's going, it's going it's GONE. It's a GOAL. Gee that was SPECIAL wasn't it. Put that goal down to the umpires. Gee that was GOOD! The umpires hit the LEAD!
Now cut to the ad break, or if you are at the ground go and join the beer queue and wait for the double flash of the lights which signifies both the end of a commercial break and the fragile balance between life and death. As Beckett might have written, we are born astride the grave. Beckett of course is the only Nobel Prizewinner to make it into Wisden. Pozzo and Lucky were actually loosely based around those great Bodyline bowlers Larwood and Voce. Witness the existential tragedy of Waiting for Godot and the fact that Larwood never got to pull on the creams for England following the 1932 Australian tour. Let's just hope that your team doesn't end up hanging from the NRL rope, if it's any consolation we'll be doing readings from the book of Tufnell this week on the Magic Sponge from 10:30 am Saturday morning on FBi 96.9 FM.
Neill Jones is a Board member of FBi, a member of the loose collective known as The Magic Sponge. And a mediocre football tipper.
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