Making a point on sad Monday
Loss and commiseration can be a fraught Mad Monday mix, but praise is due to the Spotswood football club for this week proving that the annual end-of-season get together can display the better angels and true character of a sporting club. Sunday Age snapper Jason South recorded some wonderful images of the Spotswood senior team as the local superheroes shuffled through their suburban journey in the wake of a second consecutive year of grand final heartbreak. In 2012 Spotswood lost to Altona by one measly point in the Western Region Football League decider and last week it suffered at the hands of Deer Park by the same agonising margin – this time going down 14.15 (99) to 15.10 (100). Despite this latest insult from the football gods, Spiderman and his motley crew were able to drown their sorrows in Melbourne's inner west without insulting or assaulting anyone. The publican at The Mona Castle hotel, Gary Clough, said the players were well behaved and knew their limits. "They were in good order," he said, adding: "The cabs started rolling up about 8.30pm." Given every superhero has an arch-rival with evil intent, it's always better to be safely tucked up in bed before he appears.
Rushing back to Melbourne?
One sport where superheroes abound is formula one and there'll be plenty of red-carpet carry-on at Crown tonight when actor Daniel Bruhl helps promote his star turn as Niki Lauda in Rush, a film about the 1976 F1 season. Directed by Ron Howard, it tells the story of Lauda's rivalry with the late Briton James Hunt – a man famous for not knowing when it was time to go home. Bruhl arrived in Melbourne on Saturday and is expected to take a slow lap of the Albert Park circuit in a formula one two-seater on Sunday afternoon, while the Australian Grand Prix Corporation is also planning to invite the 35-year-old actor back to town for the 2014 race. Lauda, who famously returned to racing a little more than a month after his fiery crash in 1976, is one man who rarely misses a Melbourne grand prix and now has a management role with the Mercedes formula one team. Always a straight-shooter, the Austrian told John Hiscock from London's Telegraph newspaper last week that he was pleased with Bruhl's portrayal. "I think he did an incredible job because when I first saw the movie, I said, 'Shit! That's really me'," Lauda said. "I had to ask my wife who Daniel Bruhl was, to be honest . . . then I met him and I liked the guy right from the beginning. He said it was very difficult to play me because I was still alive and people knew me from television and knew my body language. I spent a lot of time in Vienna with him and then I flew him to the Brazilian Grand Prix to show him formula one racing because he had very little knowledge of it." Pssst saw the film on Friday and Bruhl gets all the good lines as he nails his portrayal of the intense formula one legend. And while Rush is at times a little too geared towards explaining the action to bring an American audience into the cinema, there's no doubt Howard has captured the respect between the main protagonists. As Lauda told the Telegraph: “We respected each other very much because in the old days, to drive 300 kilometres an hour side by side towards a corner, if someone makes a mistake, one or both are killed. Hunt was someone you could rely on to be really precise."
0 lovey-dovey tweets between Shane Warne and Liz Hurley being retweeted into your timeline – perhaps the most welcome number of the week.
1 new scarf required. A bloke called Pete Barrett posted an image to facebook saying when things looked grim at the MCG for the Hawks he saw one fan drop his scarf into the urinal and relieve himself. Let's hope there's no grand final tickets for this yobbo.
It's the footy week where all the frocks are worn and medals awarded, but the sartorially challenged sports fan must sometimes wonder why sport has become an excuse for fashionistas to thrust their name before the selectors? What else to make of a sultry equine publicity shot sent out by Caulfield Racecourse promoting Saturday's "Fashion Stakes" and the revelation that at the races was a "style ambassador", a "fashion and social ambassador" and another person with the job description of "socialite". Can't we all just get a thong?
WHAT THEY SHOULD DO ...
... is reduce the top eight to the top six. Do teams who win only 50 per cent or nominally more of their home and away games really deserve to be playing finals football? Of course, this will fall on AFL ears deafened by the ka-ching of cash registers in September! - DAMIAN GUNN, Essendon