Monday, February 27, 2006

Dockers HAMMER West Coast

The headline says it all really, 'Dockers Hammer Eagles'... not 'Dockers Get Over the Line Against Gallant Eagles' or 'Dockers Snatch Unlikely Victory', they HAMMERED the Wet Toast!

Quite frankly, it was all over in the first term and with Elvis scoring a lazy half dozen and Jlo picking off three, it bodes well for the season ahead.

Jimmy Walker was running around like a 16 year old school boy, Medders has traded in the tree trunk thighs for an explosive set of pins, Sandy was monstering everything that came within 20 feet of him and the last I heard, young Peake is still running.

The defining moment: Judd grabs the ball in the centre, heads off for a trademark run, bounces the ball - bang! caught! - quick turnover, Dockers goal...

See you all next week at Subi where we'll teach Eddie's mob a football lesson.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Drugs in AFL - the quick fix

With the AFL pre-season comp already underway, I thought some of you might enjoy the following article that I wrote when working on The Footy Show Magazine in 1999. It's a three part series about the use of local anaesthetics in AFL to keep players 'on the track' - a ticking legal time bomb that could go off at any time.

I'll kick off with an interview I conducted with Peter Daicos...

The Quick Fix
The Footy Show Magazine, October 1999

Peter Daicos, the 'Macedonian Marvel', performed feats of sheer magic on the footy field during a 250-game career with the Magpies. No argument, he was a dead-set legend. But he pays a huge price - every single day of his life. JOHN COOKE listens.

In 1990, the year before he retired, Peter Daicos kicked 97 goals and went on to play in the Collingwood Premiership side. Indeed, 'Daics' was prepared to put his body on the line for his beloved black and whites. But as each year passes, the cost of that committment continues to mount.

Daicos was introduced to painkillers early in his career and they soon became a part of his playing life. In his second season with Collingwood, the start of the 1980 season, he broke the fourth finger on his left hand and needed painkilling injections to play.

"I ended up playing 13 or 14 games with the finger busted and just kept getting injections. In turn, I snapped a tendon because there was no feeling in the finger," Daicos recounts. "At the end of 1980 they did a tendon graft. Because I had no feeling in the finger, I ended up wrecking it... I've got a scar from the top of my finger right down to the wrist and I've got more scars where they took the tendon out of my forearm to graft into my finger and palm," he explains.

Moving down the body, Daics "did his groins" in a state game in 1981, but went on to play the second half of the season and all of 1982 with the help of painkilling injections. "Not all the time, but whenever it was inflamed..."

"At the start of '83 I had my groins operated on, I had an inductor repaired and a couple of hernias - I played a year and a bit with that. But the worst injury I've ever sustained - and I've had 11 knee ops, my nose pushed all over my face and my teeth knocked out - were the stress fractures in my feet," Daicos recalled.

Those fractures flared in 1987 and the Macedonian Marvel was put on the retired list for the first 13 rounds of the season because he "couldn't walk". "By about round 13, they (the club) said 'we want you to come back and just have a kick-to-kick on Thursday nights' - which I sometimes had to have an injection to get through.

"In the end I played the last nine games of 1987 having injections in both feet before the game and sometimes at half time. That was some of the worst pain I've been through. After the game, when all the painkillers wore off, my feet were just in agony," he says.

"These days, Daicos concedes that if he's on his feet for more than an hour, he's "gone". In fact, he describes the feeling as " being hit over the bottom of the feet with a baseball bat."

Despite the pain, Daicos is keen to defend his former club and the doctors who injected him. While the 37-year-old can't remember what was in every syringe that came his way, he is adamant that players knew exactly what they were getting on the day. He also contests that painkillers would never have been used to numb pain at the risk of a more serious, long-term injury developing - despite the recurrent pain in his feet.

"After I got the first injections in my finger I thought it's still be pretty bad, but it went all dead and I could play football again. Then I thought, 'yeah, no worries, this is pretty easy'. I think your love of the game overshadows thoughts of the future," Daicos reflects.

In fact, he concedes that he rarely thought about how much more damage he might be doing to an injury by playing on it. "All you kept thinking was, 'I'll keep getting through with injections and at the end of the season I've got six months off and I can have a bit of an op and I'll be alright'."

Didn't anyone say anything? Was there not concern?

"People used to ask me, 'how do you think you'll feel when you're 40?' and to be honest, I feel pretty bad - I can't really squat on my knees or bend down much, my fingers are pretty bad, my shoulder's sore where I dislocated it late in my career, my legs do feel pretty bad and I find it hard to be on my feet all the time.

"Even Dad used to say, 'what are you going to be like at 40? - have a rest, stop having the injections'. But all you want to do is play. And I think you feel that if you don't play, then the club will hold it against you in a sense. They'd probably say you're not mentally tough enough.

"The problem was, I always wanted to play. You know, I'd be the one in the end saying 'let's just put a shot in it'."

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Just a pretty flower

It seems that I've upset a lot of West Coast supporters with my unkind words about Ben Cousins. Even worse, they hate my blog and tell me I'm a bad writer - a "failed journalist" to boot. One bloke reckons he'd rather have a tetanus injection than read my posts.

Fair dinkum people, it's sapped me of the will to put finger to keyboard... so, instead of the usual rave, I've decided just to post a picture of a pretty flower (or three) from my backyard. It's not a good picture and it's even a bit out of focus, but at least it won't offend the delicate sensibilities of my good friends at

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

More Booze Bus Benny pics...

I just couldn't help myself - here's a couple more Ben Cousins creations to help tickle your fancy on this hot and humid Perth afternoon...

Monday, February 20, 2006

West Coast Il-eagles

Now I finally get the West Coast song!

"We're Il-eagles, West Coast Il-eagles,
and Benny's here, to flout his crimes.
Run from coppers, they'll never stop us,
we're Il-eagles,
we're FLYING HIGH...
cut me a line
that beer's mine..."

Friday, February 17, 2006

Booze Bus Benny...hic!

What a day for the Wet Toast - first the Leapin' Leo Masks and now we find out that Benny Cousins has done a runner from his car to escape a Booze Bus! By crikey, he's always on the go that lad!

Young Cuz even left his passengers siting in the back seat of his Merc and blocked one lane of traffic, so desperate was he to avoid our friendly men and women in blue. It seems that his front seat passenger also legged it, although as far as I'm aware, passengers are generally allowed to be intoxicated... unless of course there was more than booze involved here.

What gets me is that Benny's lawyer is talking it up that he doen't think anything further is likely to be made of the issue - as Big Jack once said in a lusty tone, 'pig's arse!' If this doesn't go further, there's something really rotten in the state of excitement.

Leapin' Leo Barry back for the Derby

It's game on folks - Shane at could well find himself up on charges of inciting blue & gold race riots...
Mark my words, next Sunday's NAB Cup Fremantle v West Coast Eagles Duurby has now become a whole lot more interesting thanks to the 'Leapin' Leo Barry Mask' that you can download from the website by clicking on the link below.

Always eager to bait a Weagle when the opportunity presents itself, Shane has devised the mask to remind our Chardy supping bretheren about an unfortunate incident that took place on the last Saturday in September 2005 - notably, THEY LOST THE GRAND FINAL TO THE SYDNEY SWANS!

I urge one and all to break out the Clag and the popsicle sticks and get to work on creating your very own Leo mask to kick start season 2006 in grand style. And if you ruffle a few feathers on the way, so be it.

Let's do a virtual Dale Kickett and send the Toasters home in their Claremont Taxis with their tails firmly between their legs! Any less would simply be un-Australian...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Wheat, lies and videotape...

It's a funny old world, init? Over in the US old Dickie Cheney is popping his own side in the chest with pellet guns - must be a West Coast supporter trying to steal his parking space - and over here little Johnny is playing silly buggers with our national grain - the almighty wheat kernel.

Word is that Johnny is meeting with the Australian Wheat Board (AWB), which is up to its neck in the Saddam Hussein 'money for grain' scandal, to ask if it's okay for other wheat suppliers to start selling to Iraq.

My take on what the conversation will be is something like this:

JH: "Ahhh, now, ahhhh do youse blokes reckon we could take a bit of pressure off us blokes by letting someone else take a slice of the highly lucrative wheat pie that you've monopolised and lined your own pockets with for years?"

AWB: "Ahhh, no I don't think so Johnny and just remember, a few of youse blokes have had your own thumbs stuck squarely in this pie and you wouldn't want that getting out now, ayyy?"

JH: "Ahhhh, oor, ahhhh, no you're dead right there mate - old Vailey's sweating bullets already. Look, the general public don't give a rat's about this whole thing anyway, so I'll just chuck something overboard to divert their attention and rev up the old 'Beazley's got no ticker' line - they love that one, hurgh, hurgh (Johnny chuckling)."

In the meantime, Saddam Hussein is on trial in a pair of dirty long johns... funny old world, init?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Matilda Bay moonlight magic

Image: courtesy Brian D. Jones 2004

Last night we watched the full moon rise over the Swan River from the shore line at Matilda Bay. It had been a typically hot Perth summers day and the yellow glow of the moon seemed to suck the heat from the air just as the first licks of sea breeze started drifting in.

Just to complete the scene in an oh-that's-so-Perth way, a dolphin bobbed up in the reflected moonlight, carving long, graceful swathes across the surface.

All this took place to the soundtrack of tennis ball on willow, the 'plock' of champagne corks being popped and the sizzle of meat cooking on the communal 'barbies'. The whole subculture of communal barbecue codes of behaviour is worth a post on its own - stay tuned.

Despite the number one son copping a tennis ball in the eye during a fiery game of totem tennis with Uncle Jason, it was one of those lovely days that reinforces the decision to move back to Perth.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Not the bloody Western Force!

Well, time to head off home, load the double barrel shotty and take guard on the front porch.

Tonight is the first game for Perth's very own Super-14s rugby team, the Western Force, and I'm expecting parking mayhem to erupt as rum-fuelled, no-neck rugger types seek out prime spots to park their people movers.

It's great to see another team in WA, it's just a shame that it has to be a rugby team... seriously, this game is about as entertaining as a train crash.

Big blokes running into each other, lobbing the ball backwards and then gathering in tight circles to peer up each other's sweaty shorts - what's the WOW factor in that.

No wonder the local bottle shop runs out of Bundy pre-match - everyone's gets pissed up to the eyeballs in order to enjoy themselves. And what's with the Bundy??? Are there really 43,000 ex-pat Queenslanders now living in WA?

They call it God's game, but I reckon God is more likely to be decked out in purple, red, green and white and rooting for the fabulous Fremantle Dockers. AFL, now there's a game of real skill and excitement for you - none of this bloody scrum scullduggery.

I don't mind if they play their rugby up at Joondalup Stadium, or better still, Darwin, but Subiaco should be preserved for the real game.

Bring on Freo's first hit out against the Wet Toast next Sunday and should any of you yellow and blue scumbags try and park the Rangie on my front lawn, expect a few pelletts in the jacksey!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A really silly photo

Proof that a few glasses of bubbly will make simple things seem so much more amazing than they actually are.

For example, I thought that taking a photo of myself as reflected in the surface of a stainless steel teapot would make for an amazing image - it certainly kept me amused for a good half hour!

The result of course was a blurry, rather silly attempt at capturing something that wouldn't even keep a six-year-old amused for more than a fleeting second. But of course, I just had to share it with you lot.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Gangland eradication scheme on track for Games

Well, it looks like the Gangland Figure Eradication Scheme put in place to tidy up Melbourne's streets in time for the Commonwealth Games is working well, with 'Braaaaten's' shiftiest resident, Mario Condello, biting the big one yesterday.

During the time I lived in Melbourne there were so many gangland killings that you had to be careful not to trip over a body as you sauntered down Lygon Street in search of a coffee fix.

Now, killing is a bad thing and I'm not making light of this situation - well, possibly I am - but these blokes really are like a bad episode of The Sopranos - a show that I'm told is a fave in Aussie gangster circles. Indeed, these guys are like an episode of The Sopranos directed by Ron Howard back when he was still playing second fiddle to The Fonz.

Good job we don't have any real gangsters here in Perth, but let's hope the wanna-be villains don't try and cash in on the act. Beware of black suits weilding pony tails!!!

Scaredy cat image: The Duality of Cats, courtesy of Melbourne artist Daniel Truscott.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Shark spotting

Those pesky little sharkies continue to bob up all over the place - this time in the middle of a long distance swimming race in Sidernee.

Reports from the Daily Dorsal newspaper indicate that the shark was heard to mutter, "By Christ, this is better than a Miss Maud's smorgasboard," as he launched into the fray.

Big marketing opportunity here for our buddies with the lacerated elbows to flog a few shark pods (see previous post).

Perth at night

Drving back home from my mum's place last night along the South Perth foreshore, it struck me just how picture perfect the Perth skyline is at night... a little bereft of buildings, but impressive in its own small scale way nonetheless.

It was one of those typical Perth summer evenings, spent eating snapper and chips in the back garden and swinging back and forth in the 'love seat', an eternal glass of bubbly in hand. Ahhh, the smell of hot chips intermingling with the heady scent of Aeroguard roll-on and citronella candles - you just can't beat it.

Here's a photo, courtesy of

Friday, February 03, 2006

God drops a disco bickie...

Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, Bazza McKenzie Rides Again and now... God Drops a Disco Bickie and Goes Madchester!

Thanks to my mate Harf for bringing the following hot news to my attention - the sort of hot news that only us late-30s, still wanna be hip but no longer go further than dropping a few Quick-Eze, types could find exciting.

What I'd like to see is a bit of The Pixies 'Wave of Mutilation' tied in, or better still, Monkey Gone to Heaven:

'...and if the devil is six, then God is seven...' Ahhhh, bless. Heaven knows I'm showing my age now.

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
By Jonathan Petre (Filed: 27/01/2006)

Forget J S Bach: the BBC has come up with an alternative Passion this Easter in which pop performers will dramatise the last hours of the life of Christ with the misery-laden lyrics of bands from Oasis to The Smiths.
The corporation is to stage an hour-long "contemporary retelling" of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus on Good Friday, with the streets of Manchester standing in for Jerusalem. It will be broadcast live on BBC 3.
But it will risk incurring the wrath of traditionalists, who already believe that the BBC has dumbed down its religious output, by mingling pop culture with words from the New Testament story.
The event will be accompanied by an orchestral score incorporating songs by a number of bands produced by the city over the past 30 years, some of whose members are better known for their excessive lifestyles than religious devotion.
Among the songs are Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now by The Smiths, and the hit Wonderwall by the band Oasis.
The BBC is recruiting pop performers from groups such as the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays to play Jesus, the disciples, the Virgin Mary and Pontius Pilate.
Bez, a former tamborine-bashing member of the Happy Mondays and a winner of Celebrity Big Brother, is expected to be one of the disciples, but the BBC said that it was too early to announce other names.
The drama, called the Manchester Passion, will begin with the performers playing Jesus and the disciples, dressed in contemporary clothes, at the Last Supper, sitting on a wall in a Manchester street.
Much of the action is expected to take place near Manchester's gay and red light area close to Canal Street as the group "process" towards Albert Square in the city centre.
During the Last Supper, the character playing Jesus will sing Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart.
Meanwhile, the Judas figure, knowing he is about to betray Jesus, sings the downbeat anthem by The Smiths, Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now.
In the Garden of Gesthemene, which will take place in a Manchester park, Jesus sings Sit Down by James as he prays alone, and then duets with Judas - Blue Monday by New Order - as he is arrested by performers dressed as police officers.
As the group converges on Albert Square in the centre of the city, a separate crowd of people carrying a 25ft-long, white cross will arrive from the other side of the city.
The trial of Jesus by Pontius Pilate will be accompanied by the singing of Wonderwall by Oasis, the chorus of which goes:
"I said maybe You're gonna be the one who saves me? And after all You're my wonderwall."
The Virgin Mary will express her emotions at the foot of the cross in the song Search For the Hero by M People, which featured in a recent car advertisement.
At the climax of the programme, the resurrected Christ will appear on the roof of Manchester town hall and, if the draft script is followed, will belt out a reprise of Wonderwall.
The event may dismay some Christians, but it has gained the broad support of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church in the area.
Canon Robin Gamble, the Canon Evangelist at Manchester cathedral, said that people who were easily offended were trying to "wrap God in cotton wool".
The canon said: "God is a big boy. He can take care of himself.
"This is contemporary, it's urban, it's relevant, it's on the street. I support it 100 per cent."
Gillian Oliver, a spokesman for the Manchester diocese, said that the Church would be encouraging Christians to participate.
"We are working with the BBC on this and are very pleased to be taking the good news of the gospel on to the streets of Manchester,'' she said.
''If anything, something like this can translate the old story into new terms."
The score for the Manchester Passion, which has been produced by the corporation's classical music television department, has been composed by Philip Sheppard, the professor of cello at the Royal Academy of Music, who has collaborated with the likes of the pop stars Oasis and David Bowie.
Mr Sheppard sad that it was in the tradition of the York Mystery Plays, where popular culture was incorporated into the Biblical drama.
"Bach, Mozart and Stravinsky all worked what could be called the popular music of the day into their compositions," he said.
"I have, however, stripped out the guitars and drums. It will be played by a strong orchestra."

The Yarraville Four

Well, this is certainly no prize winning photo, but at least it affords some element of anonimity to the subjects herein and I couldn't make a whistle-stop tour of Melbourne without posting something on the blog!

This pic featuring (L-R) Ben (a young Kevin Bacon), Edgar (blinding us with his high Kochie forehead), Martina and Jacqui, was taken after a rollicking good night at The Blarney Stone in Yarraville.

The suburb has changed somewhat since I made the move to the South African side of the Nullabor, most notably there are at least a dozen pairs of shoes strung over the wires across the main street - from high heels to sneakers. We think it's got something to do with the Yarraville Festival this weekend - they're an arty bunch that mob. Disappointed that I won't be there for the big fiesta, chowing down on my usual 200 Greek doughnuts. If anyone knows where I can get my hands on some of these tasty little morsels in Perth, let me know, I'll pay handsomely!

LK, Shelley and Jacinta - thanks for breakfast and good luck with those textiles. Sorry I couldn't help with ideas, but it was 5.00 am Perth time and I only had one latte under my belt by that stage...