GEOFF POULTER takes a tour back through history to choose a champion team of lefties. There are some familiar names but they won’t figure in the sporting records:
SUNDAY officially was international left-handers’ day. Bravo the lefties, south-paws, molly-dookers, cack-handers! Technical term is sinistral.
About 10 per cent of the world is left-handed. More men than women. All kangaroos apparently – marsupial not the Arden Street variety. The first two men on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, were lefties.
Eccentric Sir Geoffrey has devised a team of lefties. No, not a political, left-of-centre line of Trotsky, Mao and Jim Cairns. This team are genuine molly-dookers.
It’s amazing the quality and depth of our side when considering 90 per cent of the planet is right-handed. And that the world is built for right-handers, so to speak. You can say they punch well above their weight, and not just those in the pugilistic art.
Here’s the historic, world line-up. Then, by way of explanation, attempt to justify the placements.
Backs: W Churchill, H Ford, J Edgar Hoover.
H-Backs: W A Mozart, L Da Vinci, L V Beethoven
Centres: C Chaplin, J Caesar, F Astaire,
H-Forwards: N Bonaparte, J F Kennedy, A Einstein.
Forwards: Michelangelo, W. Clinton, M Twain.
Ruck: C Grant, Aristotle, W C Fields.
I-change: R. Reagan, B Obama, R De Niro, P McCartney.
Emergencies: H S Truman, S McQueen, C Porter, R Dylan, H Hoover, W Gates, G Campbell, R Starr.
Cheer squad: M Monroe, M Curie, J O Arc.
COACH: H G Wells.
Churchill, Ford and the FBI’s Hoover wouldn’t let much through at the back. Half-back line is one of note and artistry. Caesar controls the centre as he once controlled the world with dapper, dancing Astaire and Chaplin on the wings alongside.
The charismatic JFK is a natural key forward and Clinton at full-forward was generally that. Napoleon and Einstein provide contrasting styles at half-forward. One imagines Twain and Michelangelo conjuring up freakish goal chances like a Daicos or today’s Toby Greene.
Cary Grant is your tall dashing ruckman with Aristotle expounding his philosophies at the centre bounce and W C Fields not taking things quite so seriously as rover. Reagan, Obama, De Niro and McCartney is a talented bench. The emergencies demonstrate huge depth.
H G Wells is coach. Imagine the imagination of this imaginer! His clash with Jules Verne could be stored for prosperity in The Time Machine or Fox Footy’s vault.
That is strictly a non-sporting line-up. We recall our tennis stars Rod Laver, Neale Fraser and Tony Roche and Test cricketers led by Neil Harvey. The Americas boast lefties like Pele, Maradona, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Mark Spitz, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bill Russell, Wayne Gretzky.
Perhaps not strangely but the bulk of top left-footers in past AFL footy have been forwards or ruckmen. Not so many defenders.
Polly Farmer, the Madden brothers and forward pocket follower Bob Johnson head the rucks. Then there’s class rovers Bob Skilton, Barry Cable, Stuart Spencer, John Birt and key forwards Royce Hart and Lance Franklin.
Ian Stewart was regarded as the game’s greatest centre and you add the likes of Wayne Johnston, Maurice Rioli, Scott West, Paul Couch, John Sharrock, Tony Shaw, David Clarke, George Young, Wayne Schwass, Anthony Stevens. Contending for defence spots are Mark Thompson, John Goold, Ken Hunter, David O’Halloran, Robert McGhie, Fraser Gehrig, Mark Browning.
And those groups don’t involve any current players.
But would they stand a chance against History’s all-stars? Coach H G Wells wouldn’t worry about the loose man. His coup de grace would, of course, be The Invisible Man.
Author: Geoff Poulter
GEOFF POULTER, 69, has spent 51 years in sports media. He was the last Melbourne Herald chief football writer. CV: Sports oracle, author, historian, impersonator, raconteur, poet, quiz whiz, philosopher, song-writer, intellectual scholar – and still employable!