Listen, I can’t think of anything specific, but I have been with the Herald for pushing 30 years now, and I am sure that in that time I have done a few things on a Saturday night that my employers would view dimly. In what field, particularly? None of your damn business, and none of the SMH's damn business. Now, if someone had outrageously breached my privacy to record me doing it, and putting it in the public domain – and what I was doing was not against the law, and not endangering anyone but myself – who would the true culprit be?
It is the very point raised by American basket-balling great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the wake of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s shockingly racist remarks. After detailing many other racists things Sterling has done in the public domain, Abdul-Jabbar said – as I noted in TFF at the time – "So, if we’re all going to be outraged ... let’s be outraged that private conversations between people in an intimate relationship are recorded and publicly played."
I hold no brief for Todd Carney at all, and should I ever find myself as the chief selector for Australia when they hold the World Idiot Olympics – I am guessing American "psychic" John Edward will preside at the opening ceremony, and the crowd will be filled by people who pay money to see him talk to dead people – then my first pick will be Carney.
"Todd," I will say, "get your boots back on, and win gold for Australia."
But the pissing in his mouth thing? I wish he wouldn't do that. You wish he wouldn't do that. But ultimately if it really is none of our damn business. More troubling is that while this victimless activity gets instant dismissal from the NRL, rugby league players who bash women can expect a quick suspension and then forgiveness. By all means rugby league must rid itself of those who just don't get it, but can it start with women-bashers, assaulters, drug cheats, match-fixers and then get to feral idiocy?
NATE MYLES PERFORMANCE A WINNER
Bravo, the NRL for putting together this video about male depression, featuring Nate Myles and Paul Gallen at www.nrlstateofmind.com.au. I am not joking, have a good look at how Myles performs. Is it me or is Myles a good enough actor to make Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton swoon? I mean, he's playing himself, granted, but I reckon he does it brilliantly. (And, for once, I am not being a smart-arse. I was stunned.)
WORLD CUP THRILL HAS GONE
And I don’t want to be unkind, but has this soccer World Cup been going since the Dead Sea was only sick? Fairly interesting in the early rounds, yes, when Australia was involved, but a little tedious lately for those of us who didn’t take soccer with our mother’s milk – in which case it is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GAME ON EARTH AND NEANDERTHALS LIKE ME SHOULD GO AND GET STUFFED!
RAFAEL NADAL THE MODEL FOR NICK KYRGIOS
The last time a player outside the top 100 beat the no.1 tennis player in the world, it was the Russian player Andrei Olhovskiy, ranked no.193, who defeated Jim Courier at Wimbledon in 1992. What happened to the Russian then? A very good question! If you find out, can you tell me? What is clear, at least, is that Olhovisky is not the role model Nick Kyrgios should pursue. Find out what Olhovskiy did and then don’t do that. Who he should try to emulate, for my money, is Rafael Nadal himself. There is no harder trainer in the game, and no greater gentleman. The way he congratulated the teenager after the match, despite being gutted himself, the way he waited for him, so they could leave the court together, the warm words he spoke in the press conference. Nadal is class on a stick.
THE MIGHTY MASCORD
If you only read one article today (apart from this one, of course), read Steve Mascord's piece on rugby league's brand. I don't agree with every word but, typically, it is exquisite writing.
EXCELLENT CALL ON DANTE EXUM
On the subject of Dante Exum, did I tell you, or did I tell you? I freaking TOLD you! Back in August, I wrote: "Dante Exum. The son of Cecil Exum who came to Australia as a USA import to play in our NBL in the 1980s, and stayed on, is going to the Next Big Thing in Australian basketball, and will be a top-10 NBA draft within two years." Last week Exum was drafted in the top five players, on a contract reputed to be worth $9 million over two years. "FitzSimons! He feints, he fades, he shimmies, he shakes, he shoots ... NOTHING BUT NET!"
YOUNG ATHLETES' FAREWELL LACKING
On Thursday the Australian junior athletics team was at Sydney Airport – 50 strong – on its way to the Youth Games in Seattle, bursting with pride. They would soon represent their country in international competition! Wearing the green and gold! And yet as far as my spy – the grandfather of one of the young’uns – could see there was nary an official from Athletics Australia to be seen. No handshakes, no official farewell, no congratulations, no reminders that they are ambassadors for their country abroad. Just someone handing over boarding passes. My spy was more than a little underwhelmed.
What They Said
TFF reader Sean Woodland on Twitter. "All I can say about Todd Carney is we're lucky he didn't get shitfaced."
Jamie @jmad01 on Ttwitter: "@Peter_Fitz when I asked Todd to explain what a parabola is, I never thought it would cause so much trouble."
Todd Carney’s agent David Riolo told Fairfax Media's radio station 2UE: "It's a set-up, like when people stand in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa." Twitter quickly dubbed this the "leaning tower of pisser defence".
Nick Kyrgios before playing the world no.1 tennis player: "Rafael Nadal and I have won 14 Grand Slams between us, so it's going to be a good match." Kyrgios nailed him in four sets!
Tweeter @kel_watt: "I I don't have a man-crush but I may be bi-Kyrgios #Wimbledon2014." I wish I had tweeted that, Oscar.
Mrs Kyrgios asked by the ABC to give her son some advice: "Just drop the hammer!"
Kyrgios: "Australia’s history of tennis goes a long way back, but Pat Cash mentoring you and and Lleyton [Hewitt] giving advice, it's always good having those tennis legends helping you." Though Australian tennis has laboured long, it might at last have given us someone we can love easily.
John McEnroe on Nick Kyrgios: "I think we have found the next guy in the men's game ... The last guy that I saw like that was Boris Becker, a teenager who just believed that he would beat everything that was put in his way."
Magistrate Mark Buscombe on Bulldogs player Rene Maitua: "He was significantly intoxicated. So intoxicated that he believed an EFTPOS machine was a telephone."
Luis Suarez defence: "I lost my balance and ended up falling on my opponent. At that moment, my face hit the player leaving a small bruise and sharp pain in the teeth." I am NOT making that up!
American columnist and nutter Anne Coulter: "NFL players have died of heat stroke. The only risk of death in a soccer game is when some Third World peasant goes on a murderous rampage after a bad call."
An obviously delighted Alex McKinnon, in his wheelchair: "I'm getting a little movement back into my thumb and forefinger, which is important, if that is as far as it is going to go."
After a horror 2010 World Cup French defender Patrice Evra submits a very rare DOUBLE Michael Clarke nomination: "I love myself all the time. It's a little arrogant, but even in difficult moments and moments of joy I don't like to criticise myself. There are things I could maybe have done differently, but the 'Pat' of 2010 and the 'Pat' of 2014 – I love them both." No doubt.
ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley: "Many of the Iranian players show their Christian name on their shirts." Unlikely, I would have thought.
Commentator Tony Pulis on Radio 5 Live: “I really hope Spain don't go out on a damp squid." I would have thought it would have been spectacular!
American commentator during a UFC bout in Auckland on Wednesday night: "Here tonight in attendance, Jonah Lomu of the All Blacks, one of the greatest Australian Rules Football players of all time."
Alysia Montano, 34 weeks pregnant when she ran the 800 metres this week in the US track and field championships, 35 seconds slower than her personal best: "I've been running throughout my pregnancy and I felt really, really good during the whole process."
New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent, acknowledges his part in match-fixing eight years ago: "I am a cheat. I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of occasions by choosing to accept money through fixing." Stand by, sports fans. When the canary sings, the vultures tremble.
Team of the Week
Nick Kyrgios. Ranked 166 in the world a fortnight ago, this week the 19-year-old Canberran beat world No.1 Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 at Wimbledon. He is on his way. And his parents seem like normal, lovely people!
Todd Carney. Back in the day, TFF said that Carney liked nothing more than "drink, ink and a stink". A reader suggests these days it appears to be more "ink, drink, stink, kink and a drink".
"Senator Glenn Lazarus." Doesn't quite roll off the tongue, does it? A phrase I never thought I'd say or write, the one-time Kangaroo rugby league prop, immortalised by Roy and H.G. as the "Brick With Eyes" was sworn into the Senate this week as one of the Palmer United Ferals.
Sydney Convicts. Will play against Macquarie Uni on Sunday at the SFS, before the Tahs vs Highlanders match – the first time a gay rugby team has played a curtain-raiser for any professional sporting tournament in Australia, and apparently only the second time in the world.
Cameron Bairstow. Not just about Dante Exum – the 23-year-old Queenslander was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 49th pick.
Sydney Swans. Ten on the trot is their Sydney's longest streak in 79 years. Sydney now have their sights on their all-time record of 12 straight, which they achieved three times, in 1918, 1933 and most recently in 1935. Much of it led by Buddy Franklin ... (Thank you, thank you all!)
James O’Connor. The Reds would make it three Super franchises that have employed him. It was said to Chrissie Evert she needed only to marry a Frenchman to complete the grand slam. O’Connor only needs to play for Waratahs and Brumbies to make it four of a kind.
Waratahs. Great win against the Brumbies, to be on top of the ladder. Next up the Highlanders on Sunday.
Nathan Walker. The 20-year-old Sydneysider has become the first Australian drafted to play in the National Hockey League. But you already knew that was going to happen, didn't you? Because this what I wrote in February last year. "Nathan Walker. The 18-year-old Sydneysider is set to be the first Australian drafted to North America's National Hockey League." Nothing but net!
Australian Basketball. The quiet revolution of Australian Basketball is upon us with NBA and US College scouts making their way to Penrith on the 11th of July for the South Sudanese Australian Basketball Tournament. Please help support these young men and women host this event. See the video here!