SCOT PALMER serves up another action-packed, provocative PUNCHLINES package packed with powerful prose:
SAM KEKOVICH continues to live high on the … well, not the hog but the lamb. But not quite as high as he has become accustomed to for last decade or so. The former North Melbourne (and briefly Collingwood) star has signed a new two-year deal with the Meat and Livestock organisation to continue to promote our home-grown lamb and popularise the Aussie BBQ. But, for a change, they won’t send him on an international campaign. “They must have heard about my penchant for good red wine and my liking for New York’s Waldorf Hotel,” said Slammin’ Sam, laughing. His controversial monologues have raised many eyebrows, and even got him into Trump Towers a while back, where he managed to get a one-on-one with the future President of the free world, and exchange mobile phone numbers. Sam still insists he can get through to the world’s most powerful man at the press of a few buttons. The big – now very big – bloke is a very successful, self-made marketeer and entrepreneur. He is hard to ignore when he stares into the camera or your face and insists, “You know it makes sense, I’m Sam Kekovich.” He believes some people feel un-Australian if they don’t get in for their chop on Australia day.
SPORTS radio station SEN got an unpleasant reality check the other day when the latest ratings showed that it’s much-hyped, million-dollar breakfast show, hosted by Garry Lyon, Tim Watson and Hamish McLachlan, was going backwards. So, here’s a suggestion that might help get more of the average footy fans listening: drop one of the big three and replace him with newly-retired Magpie Dane Swan. The tattooed Brownlow medallist has a remarkable following on Twitter – 156,000 – which he is building on every week, and he has proven with his appearances on The Footy Show that he is comfortable behind a microphone. What’s wrong with Lyon, Watson and McLachlan? Nothing really, it’s just that there is a sameness about them. Swan would change that. His latest tweet is from the Greek holiday island of Santorini: “It really is true what they say, you haven’t been to Santorini unless you take a picture and put it on Instagram. And Mondays aren’t these days. Detox before the retox.” Translated, that seems to mean you detox on Sundays and retox on Mondays. Yep, that sounds like the Swanny we all know – you’ve gotta love him.
OUR superstars of yesteryear don’t mind bragging about their knowledge of the great game, especially when it can be used to turn a buck. The mighty Magpie Des Tuddenham is certainly no exception. At lunch at Carlton legend Percy Jones’s North Fitzroy Arms pub, where he was doing an extremely well received speaking gig, reported elsewhere in Sportshounds, Tuddy made it known that he was unfazed by the Sydney Swans — a club he coached for a year in 1978, when it was South Melbourne – losing its first five games. Last year’s Grand Finalists simply couldn’t be that bad, he reasoned. He doesn’t mind a wager, Tuddy, so when he saw the Swans were a tasty $15 – not to win the flag, simply to finish in the top four – he couldn’t resist, and plonked a grand on it. Fast forward to the business end of the season and the Swans, with big Buddy firing, are now in the eight, just a game out of the four and heading for bigger things. As is Tuddy’s wallet. His always sizeable chest has puffed up a bit now.
THE Bulldog is biting back. That’s what they always used to call Kevin Murray, one of the best (nine club championships), longest-serving (333 games) and most popular players ever to pull on the guernsey of the old Fitzroy Lions. Murray’s absence from the recent AFL Hall of fame function was well-noted because he always enjoys these sort of nights, where he can reminisce with his many mates from the good old days. Few know, however, that the gallant Member of the British Empire had been having a few problems, which might not be all that surprising given he turned 79 last month. He has had a stroke, a few heart ailments linger on, and he was dealing with the aftermath of a bad fall, in which he simply toppled over and performed what has become known as a face-plant. His cheek, jaw and nose all took a battering. He lay stunned but managed to call his neighbour in the country town of Acacia, Barry Crimmins, for help. He’s a tough one, alright. In his playing heyday he also worked as a scaffolder high up on building sites, so a mere fall was never going to unnerve him. He revelled in his many battles with the biggest stars of the day, none more so than the late, great E. J. Whitten, one old clip of them wrestling in the mud becoming a nostalgia staple on Channel 7 for years. It looked serious enough until Teddy put his arm around his bemused opponent and said: “Go on, give us a kiss, Muzza!” Brownlow night is coming up and the old Bulldog, who won the medal in 1969, won’t be missing this time, and will be wearing the precious ornament – as he often does when he goes out anywhere.
MURRAY’S stamping ground for much of his long career was the old Brunswick St oval in the heart of Fitzroy. It was the first of the old suburban VFL home grounds to be abandoned by the big league, resulting in the Lions becoming the nomads of the game until their eventual merger with the expansion team in Brisbane, which is now the Lions rather than the Bears, as they started life. Happily, Fitzroy has proved to be the team that will never lie down and die. By the same name, Fitzroy Football Club, they continue to play in the B Grade Amateurs and get many of their former stars along to lunch and to watch the team in action. The ladies will sell you a Lions scarf or beanie and they even joined with the Australian Catholic University to form a women’s side. The club has more than 500 paid-up members who get a laugh when some sides from the other side of town have trouble even getting to the historic arena because Brunswick is a busy and trendy thoroughfare these days. A few drop-kicks away, another equally historic venue is still hosting games – that would-be Collingwood’s old fortress, Victoria Park, where the Reserves team now plays. It used to be one of the many venues Fitzroy called “home” in the final years of the futile struggle for survival, and now the modern-day Lions sometimes play there. Some things never change – well, not completely.
Author: Scot Palmer
VERY few personalities are as well known in the world of sport as SCOT PALMER. He was a fine sportswriter on The Sun News-Pictorial and a news-breaking Sports Editor on the Sunday Press, Sunday Sun and Sunday Herald Sun. But he was best known for his famous column, Palmer’s Punchlines, which ran for a record 25 years or more (he’s lost count!).