This ANZAC Day we're honoured to share this 2015 piece by Andrew Ferguson.
Honouring Stan Carpenter...
3 hours ago
Gee...it's amazing how each week, more and more people are stepping up to lay their claims for the lead roles in the yet-to-be-released third and final movie that will complete the trilogy which began with Dumb & Dumber and was followed up by the sequel, Dumb & Dumberer. ABC radio commentator David Morrow and Manly official Peter Peters, looked lay down miseres for the positions after recent ill-judged statements, Morrow in claiming that Mark O'Meley was second only to Steve Price as the best prop in the game, and Zorba in declaring Matt Orford and Jamie Lyon as a better halves' combination than Michael Monaghan and Travis Burns. For reasons only known to himself, Morrow overlooked the likes of Petero Civoneceva, Roy Asotasi, Luke Bailey, Brent Kite, Todd Payten, Ben Cross, Willie Mason, Nathan Cayless and several other stronger candidates to plump for Shrek at number two. I'd doubt if Morrow would get any support over such an outlandish claim. Hand on his heart, O'Meley himself wouldn't give himself such a lofty rating. Former Bulldog prop Peter Tunks reckoned based on his form this year, O'Meley would struggle to make City Seconds. And such a team doesn't exist! In the case of Monaghan and Burns, I honestly think Zorba and other Manly officials after realising they've botched things up in losing the classy pair, that they're now in state of denial. For the umpteenth time this year, Monaghan played a major hand in his team's victory, whilst Lyon was back to his medicore best with yet another lame effort.
The New South Wales' selectors were either too stupid or too proud to pick Monaghan at halfback for this year's origin series despite him being clearly the best choice. His selection could have easily secured the Blues the series. But we'll never know. Yet they stuck with Lyon who was an abject failure. Burns, if he stays healthy and continues his rate of progress, will play many games for Queensland at number six. I'd be delighted to see him outside his soon-to-be teammate Jonathan Thurston. On the subject of Thurston, it brings to the fore the undeniable claims of Greg "Hollywood" Hartley for one of the starring roles. Work this one out. Zorba's sidekick not only questioned Thurston's rating by his peers as the best player in the game, but boasted that he could name ten players more worthy of the title as the game's top player. He came up with Cameron Smith, who whilst a creditable alternative, was obviously not the choice of many of his peers and wouldn't be the choice of most people. You'd probably find even Storm diehards ranking Thurston above their star hooker. Hartley must have been doing tractor work at his Mudgee farm as Thurston was turning in man-of-the-match performances for the Cowboys, Queensland and Australia with montonous regularity. Another bonehead statement by "Holly" has probably sewn up one of the roles for the former flambouyant referee. He recently declared Darren Lockyer as the best player he's ever seen. I mean really, that's just plain ridiculous. He must have had his eyes closed every time Wally Lewis, Alfie Langer and Andrew Johns played.
Lockyer is a great talent, but he is not in the same class as the other trio, particularly Lewis and Johns. The King would have ran over Lockyer in attack and smashed him defence, whilst Johns invariably outpointed the Bronco captain whenever they clashed. Several years ago a radio station ran a competition where you had to name the best Queensland side ever. If memory serves me correctly, Lockyer didn't even make it onto the bench. Others in the running for what is now probably just the one spot, include Richard Freedman who on his morning radio program wondered if Wigan would lose points for a salray cap breach from this year's competition or last year's. Gee that'd be a deterrent, being stripped of points from the previous year. Not! What about Ben Ikin's clanger during the recent Broncos-Cowboys match. "They've (the Cowboys) come out in this second half looking to win!" As opposed to what Benny boy, aim for a credtitable loss. Fair dinkum! Then you had Ricky Stuart who in his column in last week's Sunday Telegraph, which carries the byline "The Game's Best Thinker", announcing the Dragons as a premiership threat with the imminent return of Mark Gasnier and the form of their new halves' combination Jamie Soward and Chase Stanley. The Dragons were duly pumped hours after by the Warriors, and it's Rangi Chase at five-eighth not young Mr Stanley. The game's best thinker!!! Mmmmmmmmmm....perhaps not quite. Finally the Rooster official responsible for by-passing Asotasi and subsequently signing O'Meley for similar money twelve months later, reveal yourself and you're a certainty to get one of the lead roles. Talk about a blunder of titanic proportions. Now for a name for this movie....how about "Downright Idiotic"!