None of them understand.
It can’t have been “concussion” or anything to do with a “head knock”! (Though to be clear, the medical fraternity does not recognise a distinction between the two. If you are complaining of the effects of a “head knock”, having suffered some level of concussion goes with it.)
For don’t you remember the league’s protocol on this? It is very clear:“A player who has suffered a concussion or potential concussion or exhibits the symptoms of concussion should not return to play in the same game (or on the same day), even if they appear to have recovered.”
And Cordner took the field again, after medical assessment, remember?
So with that clear protocol, it shows how little you or I, or even Cordner know. Nearly all of us – and all three of the serious concussion experts I consulted – were convinced he was concussed.
But that CANNOT have been the case! Because if he had suffered a concussion, or even a potential concussion they could not possibly have put him back on the field, as that would have been a clear and flagrant breach of the league’s own protocol.
And so I repeat the question, I have put out ad nauseum on this issue. And I bloody well want an answer, as a matter of public import.
What was it, if not concussion?
You league medical authorities have allowed Cordner to go back into one of the toughest and most concussion prone sporting cauldrons there is – now ruled by a strict concussion protocol – and for your position to be consistent it can only be because he was not only not concussed, he was not even potentially concussed!
So give us the answer. If not concussion, or even potential concussion, WTF was it?
Grounds for concern
Jesus wept. You can’t make this up!
I think we have been here before, yes? I think I mentioned something about the absurdity of #StadiumSplurge and the NSW Government putting billions of our dollars towards knocking down perfectly good stadiums so the NRL, which pays no taxes, can have state of the art infrastructure for their business, at our expense. When last we visited it, we had Deputy Premier John Barilaro pushing the view that even after doing that, he wanted the government to get behind the NRL getting another four or five suburban boutique stadiums for another nigh-on-billion dollars or so!
“The government has an appetite for the ground renewal program that the NRL has put forward,” he told Herald reporter Chris Barrett three months ago. “I think we’re going back to basics, back to the past where that tribalism is actually what the competition needs in a way. We’re seeing upgrades at Brookvale, you’ve got [the new] Parramatta stadium. If we’ve got an opportunity to do three or four or five more Bankwests, well that’s got to be great for the game long term, great for the community and great for that competition.”
Mr Barilaro saying that was one thing.
But now, serious people in the government backing it? This week we even had Treasurer Dominic Perrotet putting his weight behind the idea right to the point of reportedly including “planning funding” in the upcoming budget for a new $200 million boutique stadium at “Kogarah stadium, with an expectation funding will be increased in the following financial year, alongside a vision for the full suite of suburban stadiums.”
I was gobsmacked, but there he was on 2GB on Monday morning confirming it.
“We’ll work through this on a case-by-case basis,” the Treasurer said, “but we do want to move away from the big stadiums and try and ensure local communities over time have great facilities.”
Sorry, WHAT, Treasurer?
You “want to move away from the big stadiums”? You mean after spending a lazy billion dollars and the rest of our money, on … building big stadiums? Parramatta’s Bankwest? The new stadium being built right now to replace the 30-year-old Sydney Football Stadium?
Wasn’t it a choice? Big stadiums or boutique stadiums? Despite public outrage, your mob picked big stadiums, and now you want to have boutique stadiums too? And even then, as the mayor of Inner West Council noted on Twitter: “Compare the pair: Since 2013 Brookvale Oval has received $42 mill in funding from the Federal & State Coalition Govt’s, Leichhardt Oval has received $0. Bizarrely, the Berejiklian Govt has announced today that Leichhardt will be excluded from their new suburban grounds fund. Why?”
That is a good question. Nearly as good a question as to why any public money goes to non-tax-paying sport businesses in the first place – when even the government recognises there is no return on investment – let alone billions of dollars of taxpayer funds.
You might remember that item earlier in the year when John Singleton made a very generous donation of a lazy million dollars to The Chappell Foundation – established by Test cricket legend Greg Chappell with the full support of his brothers Ian and Trevor – which is aimed at tackling homelessness. This week, I learned that the foundation allocated $250,000 to Taldumande Youth Services, which allowed them to reach the goal amount needed to purchase a much-needed property – to become known as John Singleton House – within the Parramatta region, which will become a new crisis refuge for homeless 12- to 18-year-olds. Bravo, John, the Chappells, Taldumande and Darshak Mehta who helped put the whole thing together. It is a great breakthrough. Although Taldumande Youth Services has looked after 703 young people and their families in the past year it sadly has had to turn away 226 in the same period.
Todd Greenberg, you say? What’s he up to these days, anyway? Funny you should ask. TFF had lunch with him mid-week and the short answer is, he’s hugely enjoying his sabbatical. Having stood down from the position of NRL CEO earlier in the year, he has been busy doing not much in particular. Mostly he has been getting fit with so much exercise he has dropped seven kilograms, dropped several strokes from his golf handicap, and reconnecting with lots of old friends – particularly those he played first grade cricket with at Randwick, back in the day. The most pleasant thing in this latest chapter of his life, I gather, is having the phone ring sometime after 8pm and not fearing some major NRL story has just broken that he must get on top of. As to the next move from here, he is not yet sure, and only pleased that there are lots of knocks on his door, and plenty of options. He will continue to go well.
Cup half empty?
Is it me, or has the Melbourne Cup seriously lost its mojo? Where were you last Tuesday arvo? I was chatting to my eldest son on the porch and it was only two hours later I realised it had been on. And such seems to have been the experience of much of the nation as, while COVID-19 crushed some of it, there was just no buzz at all and ratings were well down. Far from “the race that stops a nation”, there is a real possibility that in a few years the nation will stop the race. You heard me. You cannot run a successful event where, just about every year, one of the key contenders gets shot in the head – or injected with a lethal drug. Seven horses have now been put down, after breaking down, in the last seven Melbourne Cup. How long can any event survive, even one so steeped in tradition as the Melbourne Cup, with that level of carnage and beastly brutality?
What they said
English journalist and TV presenter Mark Austin: “Never again can Americans mock cricket because it goes on for four days with no clear winner. #USElection2020″
The Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk sent this one word to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at full-time of Origin I: “QUEENSLANDER.” Premier Berejiklian did not sound particularly amused.
Wayne Bennett, asked what he said at half-time when the Queensland team were down 10-0, that so turned them around to go on to victory, responded: “I’m at that stage in my life where I don’t remember.”
Nick Percat, a previous winner of the Adelaide 500 – and don’t you forget it! – on it being cancelled this year because of the Plague: “The reason I wanted to be a supercar driver was because of the Adelaide 500. F U to the idiot who made this decision.”
Soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic doesn’t want people being cavalier with Corona even though he beat it: “The virus challenged me and I defeated it. But you are not Zlatan. Do not challenge the virus.”
Cowboys player Shaun Valentine – who retired two decades ago at the age of 26 after fewer concussions than Boyd Cordner, and still suffers terrible headaches – on he Blues captain playing on in Origin I:“I fear for Boyd – I don’t want him ending up like me. You don’t realise the damage these head knocks do until years down the track.”
Blues coach Brad Fittler on the controversy caused by the anthem: “I feel it’s all a bit distracting, it’s got nothing to do with us. We’re there to do a job as players and obviously I’m coaching. To be fair I don’t really care.” Brad? It’s not about you. The most sensitive issue concerns Indigenous Australians, and neither you nor I make the cut to either understand their experience or to speak for them, let alone make a blanket rule on their behalf.
Fittler: “First and foremost they are rugby league players, without being a rugby league player they don’t get to make the statement for their beliefs.” Nup. First and foremost they are Australians, and in some cases Indigenous Australians, and in terms of having the right to use their platform to advance their cause, they’re holding four aces.
Daniel Ricciardo after third place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix: “Holy mac and cheeseballs, that’s another f—ing podium.”
Prosecutor David Scully in the Jack de Belin case, alleging that this is what the St George Illawarra footballer said to the woman who accuses him of rape, immediately after they had sex: “Here is $50 for the Uber and to keep your mouth shut.”
Shane Watson on retiring: “It all started out as a dream, as a young kid, saying to my mum as I watched a Test match as a five-year-old, ‘I wanna play cricket for Australia …’ I feel crazily lucky to have lived out my dream, and then some.”
Peter V’landys never misses an opportunity to kick a Vic: “If I was Racing Victoria, I would be much more concerned about the black eye that [deaths in the Melbourne Cup] is giving the racing industry nationally [than the whip rule]. They should be looking at the big issues. Horse wastage – they should ban horses going to knackeries and abattoirs – and they should look at why there are so many tragedies in the Melbourne Cup.”
Team of the Week
Queensland. Against all odds – or at least it seemed to me – nailed a great win in Origin I, even though they were down 10-0 at half-time.
John Millman. The Australian journeyman won the Astana Open – no less than his maiden ATP title on his 89th try. Well done, that man.
Shane Watson. Announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, after a long and fruitful career as one of the great all-rounders.
All Blacks. Another year, the Bledisloe drought continues.
Gordon. Highlanders broke their 22-year drought with victory in the Shute Shield.
Will Pucovski and Marcus Harris. Combined to break the all-time record for the highest partnership in the Sheffield Shield. 486 runs, breaking the Waugh twins’ record of 464, which had stood since 1990.
Sir Bobby Charlton. One of the most revered sportspeople in England, captain of the victorious 1966 World Cup soccer team, has been diagnosed with dementia – placing him on a par with at least half of that team, similarly afflicted. One likely culprit appears to be heading heavy balls.
Anthony Van Dyck. The seventh horse since 2013 to be – let’s call it what it is – sacrificed on the altar of gambling, put down after breaking down in the Melbourne Cup.
RIP Don Talbot. The legendary swimming coach passed away this week.
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Peter FitzSimons is a journalist and columnist with The Sydney Morning Herald.