Patty Mills and friends frogging. Photo: Supplied
First it was the art of towel waving. Now Canberra basketball star Patty Mills is a major part of another unique cult trend – frogging. With his towel waving days at the end of the San Antonio bench behind him, Mills has teamed up with a few of his Spurs teammates, including Boris Diaw, to take photos in a frog pose in every city that they play. Frogging has taken off on social media, with Spurs cheerleaders and fans mimicking the unusual look. "We can never take normal photos," Mills told Fox Sports in the US. "We've always got to make some sort of face." Mills even posted an "Aussie-style" frogging pose on his Twitter page, with him photoshopped on top of the Sydney Opera House and the Aboriginal flag. Mills and the Spurs will be back in action early on Sunday morning when they take on the Dallas Mavericks in their NBA playoff series.
BRUMBIES' ANZAC DAY
The ACT Brumbies' Anzac celebrations went off without a hitch, with a beautifully sombre mood created by the Last Post and Ode before the game. All four surviving Victoria Cross recipients were at the game and the Brumbies were able to snaffle their signatures, along with that of Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, on a jersey, which they'll auction at their annual State of the Union lunch on May 30. If you miss out on the jersey, the Royal Australian Mint has released a coin with the names of all 100 VC recipients on it. Its worth as a two-up coin was thoroughly tested on Friday night and all reports came back positive.
Patty Mills frogging. Photo: Supplies
DAYNE'S DAY AS A MASCOT
Being a mascot is no laughing matter. That's what comedian Dayne Rathbone, brother to ACT Brumbies winger Clyde, found out the hard way during Friday's game against the Waikato Chiefs. Rathbone decided to find out what a mascot's life is like during the Anzac Day clash at Canberra Stadium and obviously didn't fare too well. Anyone who's seen a mascot pull off the costume can imagine how hard they work – that's if the smell walking past doesn't give it away. While we might have given away who Brumby Jack was on Friday night, we're still no closer to discovering what he eats, because the picture is so grainy. Carrots maybe?
ODE TO PATTY
Brumby Jack throws up during Chiefs game. Photo: Supplied
Melbourne Radio station SEN did its bit to wish good luck to San Antonio star and Canberra product Patty Mills ahead of the Spurs' NBA playoff tilt. The station ran a competition called Ode to Patty, where listeners were asked to submit their finest jingle in homage to the point guard. It was fitting the ditty of Simon Valenzuela, an officer in the Australian Army, was judged the winner on Anzac Day eve. Here it is: "In an Aussie tradition, Spurs 3s he is swishin'. First Gaze and then Heal. Patty's our next big deal. Do great, number 8. Go Patty."
JOEL AND GLEN AT IT AGAIN
Their pot shots against each other were the stuff of legend when they were flatmates and Canberra Raiders teammates. And now St George Illawarra forward Joel Thompson couldn't resist having another dig at Glen Buttriss before the Raiders hooker's 100th NRL game against Manly on Sunday. Buttriss was interviewed for the Set of Six segment on the Raiders website this week, where a player is asked questions from fans posted on their Facebook page. Thompson revels in bagging Buttriss about his, well, generously sized nose, and didn't let the opportunity slip. "Hey Glen, is it true you once had a try disallowed because your nose touched the dead-ball line?" Thompson asked. Buttriss replied with a profanity, before saying: "No that's not true, he got me."
ACT Brumbies jersey with signatures of all four Victoria Cross winners, plus Peter Cosgrove, to be auctioned. Photo: David Polkinghorne
GEORGE ON EASY STREET
Australian rugby great George Smith reckons he has let himself go as he enjoys his first break from rugby in almost four years. The champion flanker was back in Canberra on Friday to sign Brumbies posters celebrating his 142-game Super Rugby career. He will move to France in June to start a two-year stint with Lyon, which is about to get promoted to the Top 14 competition. "I'm not itching to touch a ball ... it's been refreshing. I've let myself go a bit," Smith said with a laugh. "I've been doing the daddy-daycare duties and I've enjoyed it." The jersey Smith wore in the match where he broke George Gregan's Brumbies' games record has been cut up into 400 pieces and framed with photos of his Super Rugby and 111 Test career. Apparently it's the first time the ARU has agreed to allow photos of Super Rugby and Wallabies games together on memorabilia. Smith, 33, played one Test for the Wallabies last year but the World Cup looms next year. While he is reluctant to put an end date on his career, Smith isn't plotting another Test comeback. "I'm done," he said. "I've enjoyed my time in the Wallabies jersey and I know it's time for me to step aside and allow the players to come through. I'd be too fat and too slow for the way they play these days." The Smith commemorative poster will go on sale on Monday.
EVAN OUT ON TOP
It was training partner against training partner for the first time when Paralympic superstar Evan O'Hanlon took on Australia's fastest woman of all time, Melissa Breen, at the Stawell Gift on Easer Monday. The Canberra runners are both part of Matt Beckenham's squad, but have never raced against one another in a serious competition. Running in the benchmarkers handicap over 120 metres, which featured the quickest runners of the meet, O'Hanlon powered home from his eight-metre handicap to pip Breen, with a 13.5-metre handicap, at the post for a Canberra one-two. "It was really good. I knew when I saw the marks and he was off eight metres, I didn't think that was enough to hold him off," Breen said. "Despite [the fact that] he hasn't been training as much as he usually does, he's still Evan and he's an amazing athlete. If anyone's going to win it apart from me, I'm happy it was Evan." O'Hanlon has a personal best of 10.79 seconds for the 100 metres and is a five-time Paralympic Games gold medallist. He raced in the heats of the Gift for the first time and is aiming to race able-bodied athletes at the national championships next year.
VAUGHAN'S ON A ROLL
Raiders forward Paul Vaughan is in danger of getting kicked out of the front-rowers' club if he keeps racking up the meat pies the way he has this season. Vaughan's match-winner in last weekend's 24-22 thriller against the Melbourne Storm was his third from seven games. In contrast, he scored just one four-pointer in 18 games in his debut season in 2013. Vaughan's tally this year is also more than that of superstar fullback Anthony Milford, who has crossed for two. Don't be shocked if Vaughan gets a call-up to the Country team when it is named on Sunday night after the Raiders' match against Manly. For the record, Vaughan is two behind Jarrod Croker and Reece Robinson as the Raiders' leading try-scorer this season, with five.
BRENTON'S BACK TO HIS ROOTS
Rated as one of the game's best young props, Manly's Brenton Lawrence took time out this week to reminisce about how far he has come since his stint in Canberra bush football. Lawrence spent two years as player-coach of Woden Valley Rams in the Canberra Raiders Cup before breaking into the NRL with Gold Coast Titans. But it's Brookvale during the past two years where he's made a name for himself, and was considered unlucky not to earn Australia World Cup selection. However, he took to Twitter this week to prove he hasn't forgotten his Canberra roots, including a stint in the Raiders lower grades. "Manly v Raiders this week! It takes me back to my days in Canberra with the Woden Valley Rams", he tweeted and posted this pic. Woden Valley centre Tim Crome said Lawrence had instilled professionalism and a winning culture in their dressing sheds before hitting the big time. "Even when he was here with us he was always waiting for someone to tap him on the shoulder and give him a go," Crome said. "The level of professionalism – he just reiterated that working hard for your mates was a big thing for him. He turned us into a more professional unit, concentrating more on the process rather than just turning up every weekend and playing footy I couldn't have thought of a better fit than Manly for him and his qualities; they epitomise mateship and I'd be really surprised if he doesn't have some rep footy in front of him."