The real awards for sporting achievement in 2009
SEPTEMBER comes with certain guarantees – birdsong in the early dawn, the smell of jasmine on the warm breeze and the sight of Brendan Fevola wielding a giant dildo.
You’re snapped with one enormous sex toy and suddenly it’s news, eh? Damn vultures. The publican at Naughton’s in Carlton reckons the whole thing was a stitch-up anyway, that the offending phallus belonged to a fan who handed it to Fev just so he could take a photo on his phone and leak it straight to the tabloids.
People can be cruel. And on behalf of tabloids everywhere, I’d like to thank them for their excellent news sense.
But even with a late run for the title, the AFL won’t touch their skanky football cousins in the NRL for atrocities in the regular season.
This week’s Dally M awards, rugby league’s glittering night of fights, was a celebration of the positive aspects of season 2009. In the absence of a decent drink or even a meal, this meant the evening consisted of speech after mangled speech from the players, many of whom were “fully stoked, eh.”
I couldn’t attend this year, having many work commitments and a longstanding engagement with Packed To The Rafters.
But from a distance it seemed to me the Dallys have become too focused on what happens inside the 80 minutes of the game and not enough on the little things that make rugby league great. So here’s some awards that should have made the list in a season that truly had it all.
THE BROWNLOW – NATE MYLES
This award has been dormant since the great Julian O’Neill famously declared: “I just shat in Shlossy’s shoe.” Myles gave one family a long weekend to remember when he deposited a little gift in the hallway of the Crowne Plaza Terrigal. After finishing the business, Myles was surprised by the family’s reaction to finding a nude 100kg prop standing between them and the breakfast room. Bloody snobs. Myles still can’t see what the fuss was about and brushes off suggestions he has a problem with alcohol. Nothing an adult nappy can’t fix.
BEST DOMESTIC – GREG INGLIS
In a crowded field, the best centre in the game earned himself a late season break from footy after his former girlfriend came out of an argument with a black eye. The Inglis camp explained he was actually trying to help at the time and any suggestion to the contrary would be defamatory. However you spin it, chicks love this stuff and it’s a sure way to get mums and daughters coming through the gates.
BEST SEASON OPENER – BRETT STEWART
Before a ball had been kicked in 2009, Brett “Snake” Stewart got stuck into the free turps at Manly’s season launch and woke up with a sexual assault scandal all over the front page. The case is still before the courts but all’s forgiven on the northern beaches, where Snake’s plight has been transformed into a moving story about a young man’s determination to overcome adversity against the odds.
BEST STINK – BRETT WHITE
My favourite moment of 2009. Having lost the Origin series, NSW was looking to win something, so White decided to bung on a stink, knocking Steve Price out cold. We had the usual girly-men blithering on about mums being turned off the game, but anyone who couldn’t see this for what it was – rugby league at its best – should be playing soccer anyway. As my colleague Webby likes to say, go down to Bunnings, buy two bags of cement and harden the f..k up.
MOST CREATIVE USE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG TO GET BLIND - QUEENSLAND
And to think all these years we’ve been on the boring old VB. Who ever thought of mixing Stilnox with Red Bull? The Queensland Origin team apparently. We’re still not sure of the point of this, but it seems to have worked for the Maroons, who recorded four series wins on the trot. And they did it all without sleeping a wink.
MOST TROUBLE AT HOME – MATTY JOHNS
For having to explain to wife Trish what a “bun” was. And we’re not talking Baker’s Delight. Nothing more to add.
JOKE OF THE YEAR – KARMICHAEL HUNT
So let’s get this straight – he’s played like a dog all season, his career is on the downward slide and the AFL wants to make him their million-dollar man. Oh, and they’ve allowed him to play a season of rugby in Japan just to increase the likelihood of a career-ending knee injury. You gotta love those guys in Melbourne. They kill me.
MOST INFLUENTIAL COACH UNDER THE INFLUENCE - JASON TAYLOR
I thought Brad Fittler had this sewn up until Souths coach Jason Taylor showed up at the Forresters in Surry Hills on Mad Monday. The former halfback, who could go an entire season without making a tackle, thought it would be a good idea to punch David Fa’alogo in the guts. The problem with this is Fa’alogo’s arms are bigger than Taylor’s thighs, so the player responded by knocking out the coach. Every BMW in Sydney has a Bunnies bumper sticker and there’s a movie star in the front office, but they’ll always be the same old Rabbits.
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