Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rhinos Write Up 2008

Being one of the few literate members of the Adelaide University Hockey Club, I am often turned to by other club members in times of trouble and need. For most AUHC members, these troubling, needy times are mostly at the end of the year when each team has to collar someone to squeeze out the interminable annual team report.

You know the one: "We played well, we had fun, we didn't win a grand final, but we did drink beer and play hockey". It all gets printed out and put in a cute little booklet on the tables at the End of Year black tie event where we all get trophies and try our damnedest to get barred from another function venue.

And every year, just about a week before the event, a stern group email is sent to all coaches:
"Get your team reports in!"
which is then forwarded by those coaches to their teams:
"Please, does anyone want to stick their hand up for this? Please please please!"
Which then, inevitably finds its way to me:
"Uh, come on Franzy - you do a good one every year. Can I leave this with you?"
To which I reply:
"As long as I can write whatever I want and don't have to bother with minor details like "results" and "reportage"."
Of course, by that stage, no one is in any position to say "No, I think we'll have a sensible write-up with game-by-game results and a level-headed commentary on the overall season this year" and so, I come up with things like this. And, even after that effort I still get asked back, even though I neither played, attended nor paid much attention to the results of my old team. They still came a'knocking at my door.
Silly buggers:

2008 Rhinos Write-Up

How did the Rhinos do this year? It is … difficult to tell. You may as well point at Grand Final winning Hawthorne and ask whether they are sportsmen, or GODS.

No, on second thoughts – you shouldn’t do that. The answer is clear: Hawthorne are a feather-boa-wrapped flock of mincing dandies who are currently clearing a place among their teddies for the Guinness World Record Certificate for Most Consecutive Homers Pulled in an AFL Season. And that was in spite of the Prada bags and Blahnik heels the boiis in brown and custard insisted on playing in all year.

The Rhinos aren’t like that. Not even close. Any similarities between a Haw-Haw-Hawthorne player and a Rampaging Horned Impaler of the Nigerian Outback (R.H.I.N.O.) are utterly false, unverifiable and such claims will leave you open to a little impaling yourself (boys and girls, form an orderly queue).

‘But they both played in a grand final this year!’ I hear you squeak, desperate for recognition.

No. No they did not, sir. Hawthorne played in a grand final. The Rhinos didn’t.

‘They both play a sport?’ you try, once again attempting to subvert the dominant paradigm.

Nope. There’s that word again. Now, let me explain something to you, my friend:

Hawthorne plays.

Rhinos trample.

Other hockey teams play. Rhinos conquer. They demolish, destroy, debunk, decaffeinate and deflower. You play hockey. The Rhinos pillage.

Fun Fact: No Rhino has ever been a member of an orchestra or any kind of musical ensemble. The few times some foolish person ignored the old adage “A Rhino does not play, a Rhino wins”, always resulted in a lot of desiccated musical instruments and defeated saxophonists.

It might seem a little like overkill to link such claims of violence to the Rhinos’ hockey style in what is meant to be a non-contact sport. ‘Overkill’ is also an interesting and accurate choice of words. By the time the minor rounds had finished this year, no fewer than eleven episodes of Crime Stoppers had been dedicated entirely to Rhinos vs Whatever Cannon Fodder Dared To Show fixtures. Did anyone catch the True Crime Special on the Rhinos last week? How good was the bit where the guy’s head exploded after Fongy’s drag-flick?

So, you begin to understand how difficult it is to simply classify and explain the 2008 Rhinos Season in terms of ‘victory’ and ‘game play’ when the former is a given for any Rhino ever born and the latter is something Hawthorne players do in the change rooms between manicures.

In 2007 the Rhinos became heroes. Parades closed down the city. Stamps were franked. Commemorative plaques bloomed like Murray River algae. Special issue coins were pressed and there was a time where you couldn’t feed a parking meter without putting a Rhino into it.

‘How long shall we park for?’

‘Put in two Greenmans and a Pinhead,’ you’d say before trotting off to do some shopping down the now-more-aptly-titled Rhino Mall (unlike the Rhinos, John Rundle certainly wasn’t endowed with huge balls of polished steel and so it only made sense to change the name. A plan to replace the current scale models with life-sized replicas was on the cards, but the most of the steel required has since been appropriated by the state government to build a desalinisation plant).

In 2008 the heroes passed on into legend. Everything the Rhinos touched turned to gold and when they touched gold it turned into delicious BBQ chicken which, after eating, would be digested and shat out as diamonds. Whatever the temporary name for Burbridge Road was is now slated as Rhino Rumble. New congregations are springing up all over the city with hundreds, verging on thousands, flocking to hear the lilting tones of St Frenchie preaching from the horn-ed pulpit. Rhinology is being taught through the schools and universities of the country, ensuring that by 2010 our great land will be protected from the credit crisis, global warming and space alien laser attack.

Like all legends, this glory was built on the freshly hacked bones of their adversaries. Metro 3 Men, wicked and weak, all attempted to sully the name of Rhino with the hockey equivalent of your little sister’s first ballet recital (but with hockey sticks) and all payed the ultimate price. Their humiliation shall be magnified on into the pages of history as they are remembered, not as hockey ballerinas, but as the last, stumbling, faltering step which evolution took in that doomed direction before cutting short and winging off into the pure sunrise of Homo Rhinoceros.

GTH - Miles came out strongly, but faded early for failing to take the picture into account. He will receive an automatic point when he inserts a necessary apostrophe into his blog title. Arch-rival Shippy, therefore takes a point, as does old-time competitor, T-to-tha-double-O Sam for reminding me of the complexion gag (ha).


  1. I think we've all had the ol' question of who will write something half-worthy of a read and at times we've all wished for a Franzy provoked write up.

    GTH: One of the women speciments from AUHC trampled by the Rhino's on their rampent escapades.

    BTW: thanks for the bonus point, however please note the additional comment.

  2. Ah, now this, this is clever - as I'm sure you would know, Rhinos are endangered, and thus scientifically tagged for research and captive breeding purposes. As I'm sure you also know, a slang South African term for this tagging is "clicking", and since the rhinos are obviously given titles and names, it's a subtle plea to care for our poor creatures...

    And where the genius comes in - tagging (remember, slang for clicking) is also a sporting term, when a less gifted player shadows a talented player, a reference to not only your own feelings about your writing compared to theirs (you being tagged and hounded for a write up), a reference to the end of season trip where those given titles (usually on wacky T-shirts) "tag" an unfortunate girl...

    And the picture is a reference to a rhino that's just been tranquilised...either by drink or a big arrow...

  3. You know it sounds like the Rhinos might make a decent stab at the national sport of my relatives – Hurling.

    Actually, reading your write up, perhaps they already do.

  4. I think the highlight of the EoSB was watching the look on everyone's face as they read your report.

    "I'm reading words, but I don't know if it's saying anything about hockey"

    seemed to be the general consensus.

    So, in other words, it was perfect! Good job, old chap.

  5. Goal is goal.

    But sorry Miss Jackson, I must add to this post an allmighty MOOOOOOOO!

  6. Shippy - I think that's the feature of the ball: drunk enough to want this craziness for your team's mark in history.

    Miles - You might be on the right track, Livingston.

    Adam - Funny, I'm sure that every hockey player has done a bit of hurling at some point. Even at the end of season ball.

    Brocky - Ahhhh ... sweet recognition ...
    But mate, if that was the "highlight" - well sheesh.

    TooS - That comment made about as much sense as the entire post.

  7. Poor old Bert.

    Those are Bert Flugelmans Balls, and I'm sure he does not want them back, nor replaced by the rhinos.

    Think of poor Bert!

    GTH: Clearly a Rhino with an ice-cream addiction, and suffering the after effects. Note that the ice-cream bucket is dual-purpose: after consuming the tub if ice-cream it serves as a purpose-made chuck-bucket. Water bottle is the accessory-de-jour for all sporting minded types these days, so whilst a nice touch is not really relevant to anything much.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32