Illustration: John ShakespeareCredit:
Bring it in tight, sports fans, and let’s see how quickly you can work this Who Am I quiz out?
I am an Australian sportsperson of international renown. A couple of weeks ago, to mark my birthday and to “give back to my fans”, I launched a public competition to find out “Who Is [My] Biggest Fan”. I encouraged fans to send in to my website a 1000 words essay on just why they love me so. Or (and your humble correspondent particularly loved this angle) you could make make a video and post to your social media page using a hash-tag with my name in it. “Remember to tag and follow [me] and your social media account setting must be set to public during contest period to be eligible.”
Got it? You have two seconds to work it ou ..
You’re right. I am Greg Norman!
And I, Peter Fitz, am not making any of this up. He did this. He really did this! Google #GregNormanBiggestFan and see. Look, I wish whoever wins it well, and good luck to them. But when it comes to sheer adoration of Greg Norman, can anyone get within a Greg Norman five-iron fairway drive of Greg Norman himself?
It is you, Greg. So take a bow. YOU are the worthy winner. Give yourself a lingering hug, ya big lug, as the cameras roll. Release some naked photos of yourself holding nothing but a golf club. Then tell us the story of how you once gave Joe Hockey the mobile number of the newly elected Donald Trump so that PM Malcolm Turnbull could call to congratulate him, making it sound as if you first chiselled the number onto a knife you placed between your pearly whites before storming the cliffs of Gallipoli, only to tear down the other side bare-back on a bucking bronco just a horse’s head ahead of the Man from Snowy River, who just couldn’t keep up with you, before finally jumping off to steam in from the Paddington end to deliver the first ball of the deciding Ashes Test – got him, YES, first ball, Greg! – before then, and only then, giving Joe the number to give to Malcolm.
Give yourself a lingering hug, ya big lug, as the cameras roll. Release some naked photos of yourself holding nothing but a golf club.
And then have your wife give you a life-sized statue of your bust and bare torso to put in your garden, have yourself photographed hugging it, and put that out on social media. After a golf game, talk about how “I was in awe of myself out there’’. As to your business enterprises, let’s not beat about the bush. Tell ’em, Greg: “I am the living brand.”
In those rare interviews when you’re not talking about big boats or your private jets, make it clear just how powerful your friendships are. Say things like, “Even when I see presidents of the United States getting hammered, I will pick up the phone, and just thank them for what they do to help keep the freedom of the world.”
And Greg? We’ve talked about this before. When in future a journo asks a simple question like what lessons golf has taught you, I want you to outdo yourself. I want you to take that simple question and sort of ricochet it from your ego to your narcissism, off your living brand, off the wing of your personal jet, onto the bow of your huge boat, and then shoot it so far back up your own arse to your sense of self-importance that it will sort of tickle your tonsils as it passes your gleaming white pearls of teeth and you manage, with nothing but net, to turn it back to US Presidents! GO for it, son. You can do it! Show them all! Hunt, dawgie, hunt!
Greg Norman … you can leave your hat on.
“In President Clinton’s first term,” you will tell the true story, “he was coming to Australia for the first time. I got a call from the White House saying President Clinton would love to play golf with me. Because he was a Democrat and I was a bit of a Republican, and a free market enterprise type of guy, I didn’t want to, so I didn’t initially give an answer. It was playing on me, so I called George Bush Sr and said ‘I’m in a bit of a pickle’. He told me, ‘Greg, you should always respect the office of the President of the United States of America. You should play’. I called the White House the next day and said: “Here is the situation. I am available.”
Those are the sort of things you must do, Greg. Yes, yes, yes, I know you have already done them all before, some of them several times. But do them AGAIN! Every time, you sheer take our breath away and just when we think that this time you must have reached the summit, you go higher still!
As to the person you announce tomorrow as #GregNormanBiggestFan, I don’t think I can be clearer on this. That person, in comparison to you Greg, is a mere two-year-old tapping a xylophone at the feet of Mozart as he plays his own sonata, obviously one-handed.
Bronzed Aussies get straight into it
A little over a week ago four Year 10 lads at Joeys – Archie Campbell, Finn Graham, Atticus Heaven and Harry Moxham – water polo players all, completed their course for a bronze medallion at the school pool to become qualified lifesavers.
Now, because they also play for Lindfield Junior Rugby Club, late last Sunday afternoon they’re all together on Newport Beach after doing a pre-season training session on the soft sands. Watch now as seven of the club’s nine-year-olds go in to the waters at the northern end … only to get caught in a rip!
Two of the fathers charge in, and are quickly caught themselves. Alarm. Shouts of distress. Calls to triple-0.
The cry goes up: do we have some lifesavers in the house?
Atticus is closest and charges in at the behest of one of the mothers, rescuing the first kid he can get to, before going back out. But he’s struggling, knowing he cannot possibly get them all. Never fear. Up on the dunes, the others hear the shouts and charge in themselves. While Harry and Finn help Atticus and go after the kids, Archie swims to the fathers. By the time the ambos arrive, every man-Jack of them has been safely pulled to the shore.
“It started to get really serious,” Atticus says afterwards, “and nothing felt better than when I saw all the boys coming in to help.”
Bravo, the lot of you. Gotta love this city.
Song sung blue … a little tweak might make the anthem more inclusive.Credit:Getty Images
One small step for an anthem …
Our national anthem, which the NRL decided would not be sung at last week’s All Stars game after discussions with the Indigenous players? As anthems go, it is more deadly dull dirge than anything else, with not a tenth of the emotional power that I Am Australian (we are one, but we are many etc) has. But don’t get me started.
The line in the current anthem that gives most offence is “for we are young and free”, as it entirely ignores the fact that the First Nations people have been here for 65,000 years.
A possible interim solution till we get ourselves sorted into a great new anthem was suggested to me by a reader Peter Vickery, who is involved with the Recognition In Anthem Project, (www.rap.org.au) which seeks to make the national anthem more inclusive and recognising the truth that our land boasts the oldest human civilisation, which is something to be proud of, not hide. The guts, thus, of what they suggest we do is change the words so that instead of singing for we are young and free, we sing for we are one and free.
Good idea, yes? At least until such times as we can make the anthem I am, you are …
WHAT THEY SAID
Maria Sharapova hangs up the racquet: “Tennis – I’m saying goodbye.”
Maria Sharapova has retired from tennis.Credit:AP
US President Donald Trump channels “And the winner is Syd-er-nay” as he tries to show he is au fait with the names of Indian cricket legends to a throbbing Indian crowd: “Where your people cheer on some of the world’s greatest cricketers, from Sue-Chin Tendool-kerr to Vir-ot Ko-Lee …”
England coach Eddie Jones crows that Ireland can eat crow after his side’s handy victory in the Six Nations: “If it was a cricket match, we would have declared at half-time. Declaring on 17 for the loss of no wicket …”
Nicky Winmar on Josh Addo-Carr paying tribute to him by raising his jumper and proudly pointing to his black skin in the All Stars match: “I had a bit of a tear in my eye. I thought it was fantastic that you can still be remembered for something you’ve done. Josh wasn’t born when I did that stand against Collingwood, it was 1993. He was born in 1995 in Blacktown, NSW.”
Josh Addo-Carr channels Nicky Winmar.Credit:AAP
Bulldogs CEO Lynne Anderson has ambitious goals for the club: “We are all 100 per cent committed to our goal of being the No.1 sporting brand in Australia.”
Michael Jordan at the Kobe Bryant memorial: “When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died.”
Sign seen in South Africa at the cricket, as Australia took the field again for the first time since you-know-what: “Sandpaper for sale. Pocket-sized for extra discreetness.”
Ashton Agar on taking a T20 hat-trick against South Africa: “I think that's always the biggest challenge for someone in international cricket, when you're in and out, just to keep putting yourself out there. You have to believe in yourself at the end of the day because you are the only person you have when you're performing out there. You have your teammates but only you can perform your true skill.”
Ashton Agar celebrates.Credit:AAP
Kazakh tennis player Alexander Bublik sounding like a certain someone we know well: “I hate tennis with all my heart. To be honest, I don’t see something positive in being a tennis player. I only play for money. If there was no money, I would stop playing tennis instantly. I haven’t earned enough money, in any other case I would have already retired.”
Former league hard man Ron Gibbs to Danny Weidler: “I think I was either concussed or knocked out in every second match I played … I’ve had a talk to my wife about my brain and while I have not signed up yet, I want to be able to help someone else … I hope I can help with the investigation into CTE. I would love to find a cure or help the next poor young bloke. I will go and see a doctor. I am worried.”
President of Japan Olympic Organising Committee Yoshirō Mori: “I pray to God every day that the coronavirus will just vanish.”
Nick Kyrgios at his post-match press conference during the Mexican Open following the crowd’s rowdy reaction to his withdrawal because of his injury, which they clearly didn’t think legitimate: “I couldn’t give a f—. I literally couldn’t give a f—. I’m not healthy. I tried to come here, I tried to play. They’re disrespectful, so I honestly couldn’t give a f—.”
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Maria Sharapova Turned pro in 2001 at age 14 and announced her retirement this week. She won Wimbledon in 2004, the US Open in 2006, the Australian Open in 2008 and the French Open in 2012 and 2014.
Scott McLaughlin Won the Superloop Adelaide 500, formerly known as the Clipsal 500, which rings an odd bell with me, strangely.
Steph Kyriacou Sydney teen amateur golfer won the Australian Ladies Classic. The victory earned her a two-year exemption onto the Ladies European Tour.
Soo-chin Tendool-kerr Star Indian cricketer, according to Donald Trump.
Croquet World Championships Went off very well, with Reg Bamford of South Africa winning the final over Matthew Essic from the USA. And, as if you didn’t know, the Cammeray Croquet Club is hosting the Dixon Advisory Croquet Classic later this week.
Graham “Polly” Farmer It was announced this week that the late great AFL champion suffered from CTE – the degenerative brain disease associated with suffering too many sub-concussive impacts for too many years.
RIP Don Furner (1932-2020) The famed foundation coach of the Canberra Raiders and overall Rugby League legend passed away this week.
Source: Read Full Article