Very Lost In Transmission – Pt 5



This is the last of the stuff I hadn’t already collected from a series of columns I wrote about media coverage of sport in The Age newspaper from 2008-2010, entitled Lost in Transmission.

(You can find the other compilations scattered around this very Blodge.)

Once again, for me it brings back a lot of memories of sporting events, commentators, and moments of surpassing idiocy linking the two, which would have otherwise have been lost to posterity owing to that most gentle yet efficient combination of natural memory cleansing agents, time, age and beer.  

In case you’re wondering, the point of the exercise from your perspective is that I thought some of this stuff was still funny and that you might get a laugh or two out of it.

Which means that if you were still wondering, then there can’t have been any point.

For whatever reason, the six months or so’s worth of material here seemed to require more copy editing, minor rewriting and, in a few cases, major renovations, than the original columns did in any of the four previous Lost in Transmission collections. 

This could be because the columns got crappier towards the end of the run (your take) or because the material in the later pieces was better integrated and thus harder to extract in piecemeal form (my take, which even to me, sounds like industrial-grade bullshit.)

That’s about it, other than to intone the traditional ancient Hebrew blessing uttered at the conclusion of any collection of previously published material (except on the Sabbath, high holy days and Synagogue bin night):

Date provided after each excerpt was the publication date of that column. Amen.


Fox Sports 3 provided a late Saturday night entry that proved an unexpected comedy highlight – a boxing match, commentated in a threadbare facsimile of English by a Frenchman with a profound Inspector Clouseau accent, for what he described repeatedly as the “World Fezzerweight Tartel”.


Deeply moved by the referee’s expertise, he noted, “Look at ’eem – never far from ze action.” Quite frankly, with those ropes there, there’s only so far you can get from ze action.







Some sport commentary over the weekend flirted with the deeply redundant. As Andrew Maher commented of the Western Bulldogs, “The midfield was busy and industrious and hard-working.” Maybe he should have mentioned something about their work-rate as well. Hard to figure exactly what he was trying to get at there.







Prior to Saturday night’s FA Cup Final, the SBS studio panel enthusiastically joined in RedundancyFest 2010.


Craig Foster announced, re Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s mission to manager Carlo Ancelotti: “He asked him to win either the Premiership or the Champions League, and/or both.” Well, that ought to cover most of the possibilities.


Or as fellow panellist David Zdrilic responded to one of Les Murray’s probing questions, this time re. Portsmouth, “I don’t know if it’s an advantage, but I think it’s going to help them a lot.”


In general terms, over 99% of things that help you a lot are considered to be an advantage.



However, at the ground, Martin Tyler’s co-commentator Stewart Robson was not to be denied, and scored both of the weekend’s clear winners.


“There has been history before,” Robson intoned gravely. Yep, that’s certainly where history generally comes, i.e. before.


“Not the player one can run past, Ashley Cole,” Robson commented, before adding thoughtfully, “Unless with great pace.”






The FA Cup’s most poignant moment saw Portsmouth penalty-misser, Kevin-Prince Boateng, sitting disconsolately on the bench, vainly attempting to cover his face with an unoccupied length of tracksuit leg. It slipped off. Once again, he’d missed.






A thoroughly peculiar but nonetheless pleasant chat on 3AW prior to Saturday’s football centred on Matthew Richardson’s unusual interest in Essendon player David Hille’s winter wardrobe.


(Off-field, that is – one gathers Hille will continue appearing in conventional attire for matches, rather than taking to the field in smoking jacket, spats and cummerbund.)


When questioned about this fascination, Richo explained that Hille was noted for his fashion sense, and added that were his colleagues Brian Taylor and Dennis Cometti to follow Hille’s example, it would “get them a long way”.


One wonders exactly where he thinks they’re going. For television commitments, they need to clamber into a suit. (Well, one each.) For radio purposes, it would seemingly matter very little if they turned up wearing wetsuits, snorkels and flippers.


But if either Brian Taylor or Dennis Cometti is making a late-breaking shift into the field of male modelling as a career, it’s certainly something the public would appreciate hearing more about.






Remarkable powers were ascribed to clothing in the Port Adelaide-Richmond water-polo exhibition later on Saturday afternoon. As play recommenced in the deep end of the AAMI Sports and Aquatic Stadium after half time, Fox Sport’s Rohan Smith noted,

“The Tigers have changed their shorts and put new jumpers on, so they’re all fit and healthy.”


So those would be magical team uniforms then. There’s obviously going to be a bit of a panic among the other fifteen teams until they can establish from which sporting goods manufacturer or sorcerer they can purchase the Shorts of Instant Healing.






One of the main points of interest in the French Open women’s final was a job lot of flimsy white hats with colourful bands, which the committee-folk at Roland Garros had possibly purchased and distributed for the comfort of the spectators.


It wasn’t one of the main points of interest for many viewers here, mind you.


However, the famously eccentric, if not antic, camera-work of the French host broadcaster has become an acknowledged annual highlight of the sporting TV calendar, and if there’s one thing they apparently like taking shots of in between the games, it’s the crowd in their cheap hats.


We got shots in the stands, elevated shots of the stands, overhead shots of the hats, overhead shots of the court, one arty diagonal shot mostly of the back of someone’s head, and all the action from all angles in terms of hats.


There were also many images of people who may well have been dignitaries of some variety, only it was hard to tell.


“Quite a few dignitaries in there that we don’t know,” commentator “Fiery” Fred Stolle finally admitted, well into the first set, “I’ll identify the ones I do know.”


There seemed the germ of a plan in that idea, but it turned out Fred didn’t know most of them either.


He did know one elderly gentleman who had won the tournament in the 1950s, so he identified him twice. Later he identified Jan Kodes, one of the few Wimbledon winners from the last 40 years or so who actually would require identification.






“Anything can happen in a grand slam final,” observed Fred Stolle, apparently expecting dolphins to burst up through the court surface, or all the assembled sun hats to suddenly explode.


And as a scene-setter for a major tennis final, there are perhaps words more galvanising than the introduction by “Fiery”:

“Everyone’s had a nice lunch. The corporate are in. It’s a very warm day.”


Perhaps he should have added something about the hats.






“A study in concentration,” David Basheer summarised of a South African player heading the ball, unfortunately at the exact moment the slow-motion replay revealed the man closing his eyes ahead of impact. Well, perhaps that helps him concentrate.


After a scoreless first half, Basheer saw remarkable changes potentially afoot.


“We’ll see if [Mexico coach Javier] Aguirre changes his shape.”


Seemed unlikely, but it would certainly cause consternation among the opposition team if he was suddenly revealed to be one of the Transformers.


Kevin Muscat also did his part, at one point memorably adding an extra ‘la’ to the name of South Africa’s goal-scorer Tshabalala, thus transforming his name into a viable chorus for a Carpenters song.






The opening night’s second game, Uruguay v France, promised rather more in terms of football skills, and delivered a bit of a snoozer.


However commentator Gary Bloom came to the rescue, announcing in ringing, ebullient tones:

“Tea has arrived at the commentary position! It really is a night for hot tea as well.”


Now there’s a guy who’s EARNING his British passport.


“Plenty of options for Raymond Domenech,” he added soon afterwards. Well, presumably they offered the French coach the option of hot coffee.






During the SBS pre-match analysis of the Ghana v Australia game, studio host Paul Dempsey crossed to the boys in South Africa (also in a studio) to get their latest “on-site” views.
“We don’t know as much about the outcome as you don’t know back in Australia,” noted the doyen, Les Murray, proving he stills holds the franchise on cunningly hilarious variations on conventional English usage.






“All you’ve got to do is believe in the boys and they’ll reward you,” smiled a noticeably relieved Craig Foster, apparently having mistaken the Socceroos for the character of Tinkerbell in the Disney animated production, Peter Pan.


Well, many fans had indeed believed in “the boys” prior to the opening game against Germany, and yet the Foster Equation had failed to hold true on that occasion. In fact, Tinkerbell had died, to the tune of 4-0.


“Extraordinary heart, extraordinary bravery,” summarised Foster, shortly before adding, “What they did tonight was extraordinary.”


One gathered vaguely that the prevailing theme there was “extraordinary”.






“The time has come for death or glory,” commented SBS World Cup News host Thai Neave on Sunday morning, having apparently mistaken the World Cup’s round of 16 for gladiator elimination day at the Roman Colosseum.


Glory and disappointment there may well be, but death for departing teams is not a FIFA-mandated condition of tournament entry just yet. No-one from the French team was guillotined on their return home, for example. Not even coach Raymond Domenech.






“More Americans have bought tickets for the World Cup than any other country, except Africa,” reported commentator John Helm during the Ghana-USA match, thus inadvertently wiping out all national borders on the African continent.






It seemed appropriate that, with almost half of the usual German line-up suddenly stricken by a mystifying plague of debilitating diseases and injuries on third place play-off day, that the powerfully built, and named, Bastian Schweinsteiger was installed as German captain for the occasion.


For the second World Cup running, his was surely THE name of the tournament, notwithstanding the considerable projectile saliva also engendered by the handles of Germany’s Mertesacker and Switzerland’s Lichtsteiner.


Honourable mention must surely be extended to the US player, who, regardless of his efforts on any particular occasion, must invariably labour under the description, “DeMerit”.






At half-time of Ten’s delayed coverage of Saturday’s Collingwood v St Kilda match, viewers were treated to an extended montage of extremely dramatic, and, by and large, extremely familiar moments from football matches of recent years.


On its eventual conclusion, the redoubtable Stephen Quartermain explained that these were football’s “moments of the decade”, as chosen by the Channel Ten commentary team. He then added that “THE moment” would be announced on Brownlow Medal night, adding, “Your guess is as good as ours as to which it will be.”


Actually, it could be argued that their guess might be better, as they might be a little more interested. Come Brownlow night, one could make a reasonably ironclad case that those tuning in will mostly be curious as to who is going to win the Brownlow, give or take some interest as to which wife/girlfriend/partner/tax dependant will appear most likely to fall out of her dress on national television.


What prize would the appropriate player or club win for securing Ten’s version of “THE moment of the decade” anyway?


A package of ten years’ worth of old copies of the Footy Record? A priceless collection of the decade’s most hilariously wayward “change” guernseys? A bowling trophy with the word “Bowling” crossed out and “The Moment of the Decade” scribbled above it?


Tune in on Brownlow Medal night, when apparently your guess will still be roughly as good as theirs.






On 3AW, Brian Taylor described a football manoeuvre as “pirouetting fresh air”, a development which many of the world’s leading ballet companies have yet to successfully emulate.






“Has he tripped the light fandango there on the boundary line?!” inquired Fox Sports’ Jason Dunstall, rhetorically, regarding a physics-defying run by Brent Harvey during Saturday night’s North v Essendon match.


It’s just as well it was a rhetorical question, considering very few practical answers come readily to mind, short of “I guess,” or “Darn those fandangos!”


It’s relatively infrequently that the lyric from A Whiter Shade of Pale gets quoted in sporting commentary. Or even misquoted, as in this case.


In the song, it’s “skipped”, not “tripped”. Probably just as well Dunstall didn’t have a crack at the line about the “sixteen vestal virgins” as well, or Foxtel might have ended up with its first-ever X-rated football telecast.






Dwayne Russell staked his claim for Footy JargonFest 2010, with his vivid description, “Spear pass, inboard.”


Some of us may be a little stymied by a couple of terms in there. Unless it involves the transfer of a javelin thrower’s luggage, “spear pass” might be one of them.


Lord knows where “inboard” is on a football field, exactly. Presumably it’s located somewhere in between the gangplank and the poop-deck.






Saturday night’s telecast of the Geelong v Collingwood match included an uncharacteristically cantankerous, if energetic moment from Channel Ten commentator Stephen Quartermain.


A Geelong goal was mystifyingly ruled a behind, owing to what appeared to be a Grade-A goal umpiring brain-fade. As the slow motion replays obligingly confirmed the error again and again, the normally unflappable commentator did a tremendously convincing impression of losing the plot, if not the script, the film, the director, and the studio commissary as well. Among many other related war cries, he memorably howled:

“He should never umpire again!”


This was both considerably entertaining and somewhat disconcerting. Rather like, in high school days of old, a stuffy, dull but dignified high school English teacher had suddenly cracked, and emitted a stream of medium-level swear-words at the class troublemaker, accompanied by projectile saliva, chalk throwing, and his face turning purple. Maybe someone is due a curriculum day.






As Matthew Campbell pointed out during Fox Sports’ coverage of North v Fremantle:

“It’s a cruel game at times, AFL.”


Yes, perhaps, but never more so than when someone misplaces the sport’s name, and it has to wear the administrative body’s acronym instead. But, then I guess a lot of us enjoyed all those great games of FIFA we saw at the recent World Cup.


But for football plain-speaking of yore, you can’t go past Kevin Bartlett on SEN. In KB’s eyes, there’s always someone who “can’t kick it over a jam-tin at the moment”, and any number of “tough nuts” in evidence. Frankly, if they fed the man prior to the broadcasts, maybe he could get his mind off food.






It was Decision Time 2010 – the day of the Federal Election. It was also early in the in the final quarter of Saturday night’s match between Collingwood and Adelaide, and unlike the greater Australian electorate, Tim Lane seemed to have actually come to a decision, namely that Adelaide seemed likely to win.


Acting in the role of senior political analyst (football portfolio), Robert Walls sagely advised that it might be too early to make a call on the outcome. For his part, Jolimont bureau chief Stephen Quartermain opined: “Good teams find a way of winning. We’ll find out how good Collingwood is in the final quarter.”


Rather like an increasing number of political experts on other channels as the evening lengthened, he’d fallen somewhat short of an actual prediction, but it was certainly an elegantly phrased example of not making one.


However, if there’s one thing we learn from our brand of football, and particularly the way it’s covered these days, it’s that statistics cut through all rhetoric and ambiguity, to bring us the unadorned truth.


Hence, a quick round of channel-surfing at 10pm provided the following inarguable statistical information:


ABC – ALP 69, Coalition 70;

Seven – ALP 70, Coalition 67;

Nine – ALP 68, Coalition 67;

SBS – ALP 70, Coalition 68;

Ten – Collingwood 52, Adelaide 51.


Of the five networks, it seems obvious that:

(a) four of them had clearly missed the main point of the evening;

(b) Ten definitely seemed to occupy the least shaky ground.


Unfortunately it wasn’t long after that when the ground shifted a little. Dale Thomas marked for Collingwood quite near goal, inspiring senior analyst Walls to intone, “Cometh the moment, cometh the man.”


Thomas wasted no time in kicking a point. Evidently football has something in common with waiting for the plumber, i.e. sometimes the man doesn’t cometh.






Alistair Lynch, during Foxtel’s telecast of Brisbane v Sydney, referred to the latter having “too much leg-speed”. There is a good deal spoken about foot-speed and leg-speed in footy, and the listener may tend to wonder just what other kind of speed might be all that relevant on the football field.


Most people wouldn’t automatically assume that “speed” references were to speed of metabolism, and neck-speed or nose-speed wouldn’t make much sense.


In the same match coverage, Tony Shaw was referring ostensibly to matters of technique when he offered, “Look at someone like Phil Krakouer, who had a horrible ball-drop, but a great kick.” It was shocking to hear about Phil’s infirmity, but nice to know he’d overcome it. Puberty can be a tough time for everyone.






When talk of surrealism in football surfaces, Malcolm Blight can never be far away. As he remarked to Luke Darcy late in the third quarter of Fremantle v Hawthorn:

“You never win unless you’re the best ever side. But to win when you’re not the best side, that takes doing something different.”


One was reminded of Uncle Fester’s telling line to Gomez Addams in an old “Addams Family” episode: “I agree with you, I just don’t know what you mean.”


There’s clearly a belief within certain football circles that Malcolm Blight is some sort of genius. One characteristic he definitely shares with other people of genius is that the average person often has no idea what they’re talking about.






It seems long overdue to brutally ditch the “Game Notes” portion of the graphics during Channel Ten footy telecasts, which are generally about as useful as mudflaps on a cheese wedge.


Three-quarter time: Fremantle – “Answered the challenge”; Hawthorn – “Nightmare at Subi”; Viewer – “Brick through television.”





For reasons that aren’t entirely apparent, Seven’s Tom Harley chooses to communicate largely via business seminar bullet points in fluent middle-management balderdash.


One hears a great deal about players’ “intent”, if not “great intent”. Geelong having much more use of the football was characterised as “the disposal differential”, and we were informed this was “on trend” with what had happened all year.


At half-time, amid a welter of suit-speak motivational jargon, Harley essentially said that both teams needed to play well in the second half. Well, sure. Teams every week need to play well in the second half. All game, in fact. They presumably don’t turn up just for the fresh air and exercise.






There was a certain amount of rather blood-curdling melodrama in the air on Friday night, at least in the minds of the commentators. On 3AW, Tim Lane felt Collingwood were “murdering them early”. Interesting notion, that. You’d think when it comes to murder, by definition you could only do it once, rather than in stages. Of course, there was that case of the player Rasputin in Russian footy circles many decades ago.


Also on AW, David King opined that Geelong was “mentally scarred”, and then staged his own dramatic marketing seminar, in declaring, “They’ve lost their brand. They’ve lost their identity.” Not sure about Geelong, but some of us were probably mentally scarred by hearing the flyblown expression “brand” used in the context of football match analysis.


More impressively, SEN’s Anthony Hudson gamely had a crack at mind-reading, announcing his intention to keep the glasses on Gary Ablett after the match to see whether there was any “emotional indication” as to his footballing future. Party-pooper Ablett inconveniently kept his thoughts inside his head on this occasion.


It was something of a relief, if anything, when AW’s reliably phlegmatic Robert Walls returned match analysis to first principles:

“Ling’s got a problem – he’s got one boot on and one boot off.”


Clearly a watershed moment in what one ABC commentator on the night termed, “the evolvement of the game.”






Of Dale Thomas’s strange-looking but successful kick for goal early in the match, Bruce McAvaney announced, “There’s only one word for that. That’s a mongrel punt, isn’t it?”


Well, “a mongrel punt” is three words. Luckily Tom Harley had his own one word for it – “Six points.” That was one word closer to being one word, anyway.


Adding to the alphanumerical complexity, Bruce declared during the final quarter:

“A picture paints a thousand words.”

Sounds like a mighty dull picture. Or graffiti, really. That expression usually runs that a picture is worth a thousand words. Presumably art lovers would be hoping those thousand words weren’t taken directly from this telecast.


Given that McAvaney’s phrasing presumably derived from the opening line of the song “If”, by the antique musical ensemble, Bread, he’s probably got the award for “Most Unlikely Song Lyric Cited In Sport Commentary 2010” all stitched up.


Well, unless someone successfully incorporates the words “Jeremiah was a bullfrog” into the grand final replay commentary.







Leigh Matthews had his grand final moment as well, sagely noting at half-time:

“Hauling back a 29 point margin – that’s going to be a massive ask.”


Inconveniently, the scores were 41 to 14 at the time – a difference of 27 points. This offered handy rebuttal material for parents and/or educators beset by children complaining that maths isn’t worth learning because they’ll never need to use it in everyday life.


But it was the ever-reliable Tom Harley who came through for the big occasion, racking up the Pearler of the Day.


Concerning Jason Gram’s first-quarter marking attempt and subsequent jarring collision with the turf, he noted:


“You’d assume he will come back on, but you’d doubt whether he’d be at the same mental alertness that he would have been if he wasn’t concussed.”


This seemed an extraordinarily safe assumption. Mind you, at least Gram had an excuse.







An inordinate amount of blather throughout Nine’s unendurably clubby Caulfield Cup coverage seemed to centre on the vital nature of winning listed races in order for the plucky horse owners to recoup their costs. One’s heart fairly bled at their plight. Perhaps someone should run a telethon.


Quite the social occasion though. For example, earlier in the day Nine’s Emma Freedman caught up with her spiffing pal Megan Gale. Poor old Megs had apparently been right under the pump, work-wise, presuming the pump was located in Los Angeles, where the pressure of promoting swimwear, or underwear, or some kind of wear, had unkindly whisked her, apparently.


A sympathetic Emsy lightened the load by assuring Megs that she had personally purchased an item of her swimwear. Megs was deeply impressed by this act of fabric-related solidarity. She also spared the viewers any further anxiety or tears on her behalf by vouchsafing that she was hoping to take some time off at the end of the year. No doubt this came as a considerable relief to the greater community.






Channel Nine’s Cox Plate day coverage was noticeably more energised than the mildly soporific, gentlefolk gymkhana approach of the previous week’s Caulfield Cup telecast.


Emma Freedman’s sparky nature and enthusiasm were again welcome, not to mention brave, considering her hat seemed to have exploded, apparently deranging parts of her dress. Following the Cox Plate, she remarked of So You Think, “His limits are boundless”, but at least you knew what she meant.


And then there’s Simon O’Donnell. Asked to forecast the feature race, Simon came up with, “Anything could happen.” Memories of the footy special comments heyday of Stephen Silvagni came crashing back to mind, unbidden.


Following the big race, Bob Scarborough of Moonee Valley Racing Club made educational reference to the winning jockey: “Simon Arnold with the gifted hands and the patience of Job.” Who knew about Job’s gifted hands, much less his riding career, which is shamefully glossed over in the Bible.


However it was winning owner Dato Tan Chin Nam who once again proved a picture to be worth a thousand words, as he triumphantly raised the Cox Plate to the crowd, with the engraved logo clearly upside down.


Nine’s most profoundly inexplicable race-day highlight featured a cross to Giaan Rooney, interviewing some chap in a suit who – if the somewhat garbled description was correctly apprehended – represented an internet firm which had for some reason diversified into making “a special spray-tan offer”. (Who knows?)


Apparently prepared for any eventuality, Giaan was swathed in what looked like a vivid orange fire-curtain, and sporting something strongly resembling a satellite dish on her head.


After the chap had rattled on for minutes in a pea soup-thick Scottish accent, Giaan thoughtfully informed us that he was Scottish. These spring racing carnival telecasts are nothing if not relentlessly educational.






Well before feature race time on Seven’s Derby day telecast, the indefatigable Bruce McAvaney was already on song, noting, “The derby horses have arrived, as you’d expect they would.” Just as well, really. No show without Punch, as they say.


Meanwhile back in the marquees, Johanna Griggs had cornered royalty. “I’m joined by Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum,” she intoned with machine gun-like precision, before adding, “Who, among other things, is the ruler of Dubai.” That was funny.


Imagine the following introduction: “I’m here with Queen Elizabeth II, who, apart from being a dab hand at cross-stitch and breeding corgis, is also ruler of the UK.”






Earlier, Bruce McAvaney took seemingly the boldest punt in the afternoon when he suggested: “I think we can go to Sandy Roberts for the pre-race entertainment.”


As bizarrely appealing as the notion of “Showbiz Sandy” may be – perhaps knocking out a bit of a soft-shoe shuffle in between favouring us with a couple of Sinatra numbers – on this occasion the unambiguously cheap-looking entertainment spectacular consisted of Guy Sebastian warbling cheerily away, somewhere in the middle of an unceasing curtain of precipitation.


If nothing else, Sebastian became possibly the first entertainer who had to hold his own umbrella during a nominally major production since Gene Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain”.






“Mount Wellington and a couple of transmission towers,” summarised Michael Slater poetically, of one of Nine’s trademark scene-setting images during cricket coverage. “Great sights everywhere you look in Hobart.” Yeah, particularly if your tastes run towards transmission towers.


The occasion was day four of the Australia A v England match at Bellerive Oval in scenery-crammed Hobart, and understandably, those on microphone duties were predominantly looking ahead to the test series. However, following their drift sometimes represented a challenge.


Commented Ian Healy, “Draws don’t sound all that exciting, but those can be the ones that stop a nation.”


Interesting contention. If a significant proportion of viewers falling asleep in their armchairs still clutching a beer constitutes “stopping a nation”, he may have a point there.


Responded Slater, perhaps even more dubiously, “Sometimes a draw is just like a win.”

Well, sometimes green is probably just like blue, if you’re blue-green colour-blind. However, it’s generally accepted that a win is a lot more like a win than a draw is.


Bless his heart, Bill Lawry wasn’t having any of this namby-pamby talk about draws. He charged right in and said that whoever got the win in Brisbane may be landing a knockout blow in the series.


Michael Slater then responded, “That’s right”, thus agreeing with Bill, and apparently disagreeing with himself. Maybe they pay him a double-rate.


For his part, Mark Nicholas went that extra mile as usual, announcing to a no-doubt spellbound viewing audience that those at Nine were very proud of their “new look” for this Ashes series, this apparently consisting of what Nicholas termed “graphics and innovations”. Yep, that ought to send the viewing figures through the roof. Nothing gets the average cricket fan more excited than new colours on the bowling figures.






Heading towards tea on the third day at the ’Gabba, and Tony Greig and Richie Benaud were struggling to come to terms with an aspect of modern technology, namely some type of magical wristband favoured by certain players.


“They call them power bands,” indicated Greig, in a tone suggesting he considered this development to fall somewhere in the area of pentagrams and divination via chicken entrails. “They’ve become a bit of a fad.”


“Power bands,” mused Richie, in a tone strongly suggesting he’d detected yet another rich vein of raw material for exploitation via extremely dry humour. “What sort of ‘power’?”


“Some form of energy,” responded Tony airily, not exactly drenching the entire affair in clarity.


Greig explained that the power bands were made from silicon, embedded with holograms. This inspired considerable suspicion that he had received this information from a “higher power”, presumably located in or about the vicinity of his headphones.


“They’re meant to align all your body energy,” declared Professor Michael Slater, definitively. Yeah, sure. Then you fly out your window and go and subdue Lex Luthor.






Fox Sports A-League commentator Simon Hill seemed to refer to Central Coast coach Graham Arnold in the plural on at least three occasions, as in, “Graham Arnolds apologised to his supporters last week.”


Perhaps in the singular that would read, “Graham Arnold apologised to his supporter last week.” It was difficult to ascertain exactly how many Graham Arnolds and/or supporters were involved.


In half-time analysis, the irrepressible Robbie Slater noted, of Sydney FC’s disappointing game in general and benched player Stuart Musiliak specifically, “He wasn’t Robinson Caruso.” (sic) Given that the player was neither a castaway nor an opera singer, let alone both at the same time, Robbie seemed on particularly safe ground there.






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