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War, Plus The Shooting
"Sport is just war minus the shooting"
Last month Australia was treated to another dose of international football action when the Socceroos took on Iraq and Indonesia.
The international football body, FIFA,, rate Iraq higher than Australia, regardless of the west's efforts to send the country back to the Stone Age via a very large amount of explosive.
Despite, or maybe because of this, the Iraqis had the good grace to come to Sydney during Show Week and play at football against cheerful Frank Farina's XI.
The Australian international side is always a drawcard, despite the fact that the domestic game, outside of Perth, seems about as popular as rabies.
The problem is that with so many players spread so far and wide, Farina appears to be pushing the proverbial uphill in terms of welding together some sort of cohesive outfit.
It was on display again down at the showground last month, before the Mullet with a Heart, Ahmed Elrich, saved the day with his incisive contribution.
Then a plucky Indonesian outfit also caused some heart flutters in Perth before Elrich's injection again lifted the Socceroos performance.
Elrich is the future of football in Australia. He is the Mullet that Matters.
He is keen, talented, able, and, most importantly, quite probably mad.
The Socceroos will need Elrich, for they have a task ahead of them.
Elrich is in dispute with his Korean club and wants out. If Ahmed Elrich was around at my place and wanted out, I'd let him. I saw deep into his eyes during the post match interview on SBS, and it was quite apparent that we were dealing with something very special.
The eponymously named Football Australia will need Elrich, for they could be headed towards something they may not be quite prepared for, and in that sort of situation Elrich will be invaluable.
To make the World Cup the Socceroos have to play the nation that comes fifth in the South American qualifiers. While that may again be Uruguay, it could equally be Venezuela.
Venezuela recently imported 100,000 AK47s.
While this caused alarm amongst the brain dead neophytes at the Pentagon, they have nothing to fear.
The AK47's are obviously an insurance policy for a visit by the Socceroos.
Given the popularity of El Futbol in South America we shouldn't be surprised if 1000,000 Kalashnikov wielding Venezuelans meet a smiling Frank Farina at the airport, hell bent on ensuring there is no Australian presence at the World Cup.
Australia has hard luck on the road to the World Cup before, why should this be any different.
Luckily, we will have Elrich in the squad.
If anyone can deal with 100,000 crazed Kalashnikov wielding Venezuelan Futbol fans it's Ahmed Elrich.
Australian football is in safe hands.
What is of greater concern is the amount of Magpies in the NSW Rugby League Metho Cup.
The second tier League competitions boasts no fewer than THREE Magpie teams: Wentworthville, Asquith and Ourimbah.
I Think we're starting to get to the point where this moniker business is getting out of hand. There is no imagination.
Why doesn't the NSWRL promote those sides that have put a bit of thought into their nicknames?
The Forestville Ferretts, the Warilla Gorillas, The Maitland Pumpkin Pickers, the Parkes Spacemen - all real examples of what can be done when a bit of imagination is used in coming up with a moniker.
Anything, anything would be better than another Magpie.
That said, go 'pies.
Phil Doyle - Stretching before moving into the blocks for the 200 metre hurdle
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