The Big

Roll up! Roll up! You will be amazed! You will be dumb-founded!

Come in folks and cast your eyes on the grotesque wonder that is the Bearded Lady! Witness the extraordinary feats of the Fire-Breather! Marvel at the death-defying, spectacular Trapeze Artistes! Come see for yourself the freak of nature that is the Four-Headed Halfback!!

Not since Adam said to Eve, ?Throw me that apple will you Love?, has a single man shown such poor judgement; made such a monumentally bad decision(s). But in Adam?s defence, we?re all aware of the quality of judgement of a man when there?s only a bit of foliage between he and the ?fruit of life?, yet the same cannot be said for Mr Ricky Stuart with only a bunch of sweaty, hairy men for distraction!

This week?s Rooster training proudly brought to you by Abbott and Costello?

Costello: Well then who's on first? Abbott: Yes. Costello: I mean the fellow's name. Abbott: Who. Costello: The guy on first. Abbott: Who. Costello: The first baseman. Abbott: Who. Costello: The guy playing... Abbott: Who is on first!

Who is halfback? Who are our halves? How many ball-players does one team need on the field at any one time? Where the hell is the guy selling the Magnum Ice-creams? These are but a few of the questions buzzing through my mind as I took my seat to watch the comedic stylings of the Roosters against the Broncos on Friday night.

At one point I saw Easts? own Oompa Loompa, Jamie Soward (all due respect as I think the guy has talent) locking the scrum while Ashley Harrison fed it. Now that would normally have astonished me, or at the very least given me pause to go, hmmm?and it would have but for the fact that I had been witnessing a game of musical positions, the likes of which would have made Brian Smith as proud as any parent towards his red-headed stepchild!

So what do you get when you put Braith Anasta, Craig Wing, Brett Finch (speaking of red-headed stepchildren!), and Jamie Soward on the field together at the same time? A bunch of guys scratching their arses and bumping into things, is what!

Correct me if I?m wrong (actually don?t - this is a rant and therefore holds no place for logic), I?m no coach, but isn?t it a fairly important ingredient of any successful football side to have a solid and cohesive Halves combination? After all, this was one of the problems with last year?s lacklustre season for the Chooks and while it was frustrating, it was understandable as we had lost our great champion and leader, Freddy, and were floundering in the aftermath. But we ?supposedly? solved this issue in the manner for which the Roosters are famous, by pulling out the trusty chequebook and signing a big name in Anasta.

And so there was but one question remaining, one piece of the puzzle to be fitted before the Roosters took to the field for 2006 and lit up the football world; who would partner Braith at Half? Would it be Finch, a guy who has played outside two of the greatest in Fittler and Daly and yet still shows the direction of a rudderless tinny on the field? What of Soward, a young guy of plentiful promise, but very little first-grade experience? Then there?s Wing, who is after all the guy who partnered Freddy to grab us our first premiership in twenty-seven years?

With so many tough questions and big decisions to make, is it any wonder that Ricky said, ?F--- it, we?ll play them all at the same time!? It seems that he adheres to the ?Pick Up Sticks? philosophy of football whereby you throw them all into the air and see in which position they land. Ah?truly the science of rugby league in the professional era is a marvel to behold!

And so we all wait with breath that is bated to see what new wonder Ricky will bestow upon us for Round Seven?I myself am tingling with anticipation (either that or it?s the pills kicking in!).

So gather ?round boys and girls, ?cause it?s a regular Jerkus Ole out there!

P.S. I would just like to apologise to all red-headed stepchildren out there. I by no means intended to cast dispersion upon you with my comments in regards to Finch ? I appreciate you may already have enough to contend with in life without that comparison!