The Devito Code

My story starts with a good old fashioned abandoned warehouse. My mate and I were mucking around with a footy at an adjoining park. Heading off to retrieve a stray ball, I wandered over to the warehouse and heard some voices and movement within. Assuming a comfortable spying position, I peeked through a rusted out hole. What I saw that day will stay with me forever.

I had to fight hard to stop myself bursting out with laughter, as the first visual I copped was of Quentin Tarantino. He was on a gym mat, decked out in a complete set of footy gear, grappling with a Russell Crowe trying desperately to hold onto a footy. Even with my limited view, I could see that there were a number of other movie star personalities practicing some tackling around them as well. I started motioning like crazy for my buddy to come over and join me.

As Quentin?s face started turning a deep shade of red (and he was the one practicing the tackle mind you) a whistle pierced the air. ?Alright, alright. Let?s take a break fellas.? I couldn?t believe it. Danny DeVito waddled into view as my mate finally made it over to see what all the commotion was about.

?Damn Cinderella Man, you?re built like a brick sh*thouse!? Tarantino told his latest training partner.

?Yeah.? replied Crowe, ?Cheers, aye.?

I shot my mate a ?WTF?-Can-you-f***ing-believe-this?? glance as DeVito kicked off a discussion about the latest round of NRL matches. A smirk slowly appeared across my mate?s face. ?Eh?? I asked him, ?Something I?m missing here??

?You know eloquent? my mate responded, ?I?ve heard about it, but I thought it was just a myth. The DeVito Code. Rumour has it that after starring with Arnie in ?Twins?, someone showed DeVito a photo baring a remarkable resemblance to the movie?s cover shot. It was the famous Provan-Summons photo. From that moment, DeVito was inspired to spread the league gospel. He got to work immediately, forming a secret underground society that would help him subliminally inspire a league following, through film.?

?What are you on about? You?re full of it.? As much as I wanted to, I just couldn?t swallow a conspiracy theory like that.

?Think about it dude? my mate pressed on, growing in conviction having now seen it with his own eyes, ?what?s one of the most important parts of a footy team??

I thought about it for a while, thinking about the Hair Bears? success for Penrith in 2003 and Manly?s rise to success this year on the backs of Watmough, Kennedy and Menzies. I mumbled out something about the back row.

?Exactly!? my mate continued, almost frothing at the mouth by this stage, ?The back row is the most hotly contested spot in footy teams these days. Now, do you know who that guy is?? I was quizzed, as my mate pointed at some nuffy. I shook my head and was promptly informed that it was Guy Ritchie. The name sounded vaguely familiar, but I still must have had a blank look on my face.

?He directed ?Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels?.?

Now he was speaking my language, one of my all time favourite movies, but what did it have to do with footy or this so-called ?DeVito Code??

?Come on dumbass. Think!? my mate teased, ??Lock? isn?t even in code. Surely you can see that the ?Two Smoking Barrels? are gun second rowers and??

?? the ?Stock? is the bench players and depth in those positions!!!? The penny finally dropped. I was starting to understand the DeVito code and went searching my memory banks for other evidence.

Left to my thoughts, I pondered the following: ? Has Grothe been using ?White Men Can?t Jump? for inspiration? ? Was ?Charlie?s Angels? behind the Manly Angels and other female supporter clubs? ? Is every horror movie ever made representative of the losing team in a grand final? And every head-kicking action movie the exploration of the winning team?s emotions?

The silence was broken by laughter as Danny himself slapped a ten dollar note into Quentin?s palm and declared ?You win Nostradamus. It?s taken a while but Canterbury has finally had to call on their Reservoir Dogs and they?ve stood up pretty well. I still reckon you?re off with your other prediction though. If they were going to Kill Bill, surely they would?ve done it when he was still reffing, but you never know.?

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