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New Year’s Message 2012


G’day everyone and welcome to my first ever new years message.  It is a new tradition which I want to start doing every year and posting on New Years Eve.  It’s more a message from me to me and at the end of each year, I will look back on it and see if it made any sense.  See if I lived up to it.  See if I was true to its word.

For those of you watching this message, I have obviously pre written it and am reading it from the screen, but the message is from the heart so please bear with me.

For those of you watching it or reading it, I hope that you get something out of it too, which is why I am publishing it.

My aim is to be able to record one of these messages each year.  How good will it be to look back at my 2012 New Years message in the year 2050!  We live in the digital age and we have the ability to do such things.  I hope my kids, when they are adults, can look back at this and remember their dad as I was when they were kids.  I hope they remember the good times and that I love them with all of my being.  They are the reason I exist.  I would do anything for them.

So 2011 was a big year.  Not the best year but a year of change and one that was needed.  That’s enough said about 2011.  It’s in the past and I can’t do anything about it.  The future is here and the future is 2012.  For those of you who know me well, you will know that I have the attitude that anything is possible.  Anything!  If you believe in it enough, then it will happen.  No I’m not talking about flying without the aid of a plane, or that you will win lotto or you can time travel, but real stuff, measurable stuff.  Anything is possible.

That is the attitude I want my kids to have as well.  The best way for me to teach them that is to lead by example.  I believe anything is possible.  I need to be better.  As citizens of humanity, if we don’t grow and be better each year then that year is wasted.  We all want to live in a better place. In a better world.  How do we do that?  It really is a very simple philosophy.  Treat others as you wish to be treated.

Smile at people.  Thank people.  Be nice to each other.  Give a stranger a random compliment.  Pick up litter if you see it.  Ask the person serving you how their day is and thank them for their service.

Keep left on the road when driving.  Allow others to overtake you.  Don’t tail gate.  Be ready to go as soon as the light turns green.  Leave room for people to turn left at T intersections when you are trying to turn right. Slow down in school zones.  Don’t drink and drive.

Be aware of your surroundings when walking in shopping centres.  Allow room for people to walk past you especially when you are walking 4 wide.  Don’t cut them off with your trolley filled with half price Christmas bargains.

Have the courage to stand up and say no to bullies if you can. Don’t put yourself in danger though but if you see an opportunity to stop a crime or stand up and protect someone then take that opportunity.  If more people in the world said no to this anti social behaviour then I believe that would we live in a better place.

In 2012 I hope to see the Brisbane Lions resurrect from almost a decade of on and off field disasters.  We have a young list but a list with some genuine talent led by the experience of Jonno Brown and Simon Black.  We were competitive in 2011 without winning.  The pressure is on to make the finals in 2012 which I believe we can and will.  The Gabbatoir will once again be the stadium of pain for visiting teams and I aim to go to more games in 2012 than the zero I went to in 2011.  Though I did do a special road trip to the SCG in Round 24 to see the final game of the year for the Lions against Sydney.  I will be a better member in 2012.

In a couple of months from now, the Broncos start life without inspirational skipper, Darren Lockyer.  It will be an interesting year for the guys at Red Hill.  I honestly have no idea how we will go in 2012 so therefore I have no expectations.  That being said, with big Petero returning and with a group of talented youngsters, will Peter Wallace becoming the playmaker we all believe he can be without Locky outside him?  Will we make the finals again?  Will we be competitive?  Will Suncorp Stadium be the cauldron of misery for all visiting teams?  Time will tell.  I can’t wait.

Last year I lost over 20kg.  I am going to replicate that again in 2012.

You all know I am a big movie buff and I saw 35 films at the cinema in 2011.  I wonder if I will see more in 2012.  Definitely on the list will be the conclusion to the Christopher Nolan Batman films and I look forward to seeing The Dark Knight Rises in July.  I also can’t wait to see Tom Cruise in Rock of Ages and at the end of the year on Boxing Day, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and with an eye on Valentines Day, 2013 will be the new Die Hard movie, It’s A Good Day To Die Hard.  Ok so that doesn’t qualify for 2012 it does start shooting in Russia in January so it makes the list.

2012.  The year the world ends as predicted by the Mayans.  It is also the year I turn 40.  So what better way to kick off the final year of life as we know it than to have a couple of parties.  In August for my 40th we’ll be celebrating with the theme of Favourite Movie Characters.  In December I will be hosting the “End of the World Party” where my guests will come dressed in the theme of Sci-Fi, aliens, mad scientists or even dressed as an ancient Mayan.

In 2012 there’s gonna be less of this (iPhone) and more of this (books). I need to read more.  I love reading and I have at least ten novels I need to start.

I’m also going to finish writing my book.  It may not be a very good book but I am going to finish it damn it! Then I can start on my movie script. Without giving away too many clues, it is a movie musical.  I will need a lyricist so if you know of one, let me know.  It promises to be a tear jerker as my niece, Misti, who knows the plot, has said.

Yep, 2012 is gonna be big.  It’s gonna be better.  It’s gonna be a year of hope.  A year of change.  A year of finding total happiness.  A year of giving my girls a life that is well deserved.

Happy new year to all.  Be inspired. Be the best you can be.


The Fev

Wayward Brisbane Lions full forward, Brendan Fevola has been sacked by the Brisbane Lions after a courtship of just over a year.

I want to look at this from two angles.  The first being from a humanitarian point of view and the second from a football only point of view.

First off we have to remember that Brendan Fevola is a human being and like most of us, he has his failings and flaws. The problem is that his are right in the eye of the public with the media eager to pounce onto any indiscretions.  That makes it hard to begin with.

When I make a mistake, mostly I make the mistake in anonymity to the public and only answer to my friends and family.  Professional sports people answer to the public, media, sponsors etc.  You could argue that if it wasn’t for the media broadcasting these stories that hardly anyone would know about them.  Other than a select few who saw Fev arrested would know so perhaps the media sometimes make a story somewhat bigger than it actually is.

Fev is in this trouble due to football.  I don’t think there is any doubt about that. Of course we don’t know if he wouldn’t have had similar issues if instead of being a professional footballer he was a chippy or a real estate agent or a doctor.  Football pays and pays well.  This contributed to his gambling issues. Plus the drinking and the Lara Bingle issue where an everyday Joe who looks like Fev, would have no chance of picking up someone like her.  Ok, that’s a stretch but you get where I am coming from.

So if football caused these issues, then isn’t up to football to also fix these issues?  It starts back at Fev’s first club at Carlton.  They had a very loose leash on him and more often than not, he got away with so much.  They finally had enough and orchestrated a trade to Brisbane.  Brisbane knowing the troubles Fev has had, still signed him to a 3 year deal with no behaviour clauses in his contract.  That means Brisbane either thought that Fev would behave or they would work with him when he didn’t.

As history now shows us, he didn’t behave though it could be argued that a lot of his issues in Brisbane were not his fault or were sins from the past.  Lara Bingle happened years ago but the photo in question appeared last season.  The gambling addiction began in Melbourne.  The lewd charge was dismissed due to a lack of evidence, and I doubt he did it anyway. His passport and other documents were found in a park and the kind guy who found them also thought it best if he called Channel 9 and have them broadcast him returning it.  It was the lead story that day!  He was drunk on New Year’s Eve, made a dick of himself and got arrested.  Probably along with 100 other drunken fools that night anyway, but due to his high profile his arrest ends up as the top news story for the day, again!

So Fev goes into rehab for seven weeks and within days of coming out, the Lions sack him.  If football caused all of these issues, then the Lions should have kept him close to the club.  Given him a goal to return to footy after round 8 or something but placed very strict conditions on him doing so.  They should have continued his counselling and given him the tools to overcome his addictions and troubles.  They should have done a lot of things but instead they chose to sack him, but with the promise they will continue to support him.  What rubbish!  They have washed their hands of him and will be glad to see him board a flight to Melbourne and never come back.

Football caused the issue and it appears as though football won’t solve the issue.

Now from a Brisbane Lions football point of view I have some issues.

I am a long time Lions fan and have supported them since day one.  I am a Lions tragic and when Fev was being offered up for trade and Brisbane threw their hat in the ring, I was pissed.  Really pissed off because I didn’t want him to come here.  We already had a good forward line with Brown and Bradshaw and I thought that his off field dramas would cause issues, which of course now has proven to be right.  The trade which brought him to Brisbane initially involved a Lions legend in Bradshaw and quality mid fielder, Michael Rischitelli being used as trade bait.  The deal never happened with both Bradshaw and Rischa refusing to go to Carlton but it left a dirty taste in both their mouths and Bradshaw quit the club immediately and went to Sydney while Rischa played out his final year and couldn’t get to the new Gold Coast team quick enough.  We also lost the up and coming forward Lachie Henderson and an early round draft pick for Fev.  We paid a HIGH price for Fev and we got 17 games and 40 odd goals from him in one season.

The issue with sacking him is that the Lions will still need to pay out his contract, believed to be about $1.5 million over the next 2 years of Fev’s contract.  The 2011 list is complete and therefore we will be without a quality forward for the entire year. So essentially $750,000 for season 2011 of Fev’s salary is gone. Poof.  Up in smoke.  We get zero return on investment for it.

Sure we can trade again after the end of this season and pick up another forward if that is where the list manager wants to go, but we will still have $750,000 less to spend next year paying out the third year of Fev’s contract.  So chances are we won’t be targeting a high profile forward for 2012 either.

It gets worse.  Due to the high value placed on Fev’s contract it is likely we will not be able to afford to keep some off contract (2011) players such as Daniel Rich and Mitch Clark.  Both were in the media during the last trade period about leaving Brisbane due to not getting the money they are probably entitled to, so due to having $1.5 million dollars already accounted for in the salary cap, we will most likely lose these two quality players as well.

It is likely this decision to sack Fev and indeed recruit him in the first place, will have team and results ramifications for a few more years yet.  It might be 5 years before we can recover from it.

Brisbane should have stuck with Fev.  They should have put him out on the paddock and trained his arse off.  They should have given him all types of conditions, which I understand Fev asked for on Sunday anyway.  If he screwed up again, then sack him.  Get him into the 2nds for 6 weeks to get him some match fitness and then around round 8, bring him into the team and let him do what he does best.  Kick goals!

He would have too I reckon.

Seven weeks in rehab is a long time to do a lot of thinking.  He had never done that before and I reckon he would have weighed it all up and worked out that he loved footy.  I reckon he would have pulled his shit together and finished his career on top.  Now unfortunately his AFL career is over and he will always be remembered for the negatives, not for the freakish ability he had as a footy player.  He deserved better and I expected better from my footy club as well.

Queensland has shown this year how it responds to natural disasters but when it became to hard to deal with Fev, none of that Queensland spirit was on display.  He was punted and abandoned and we will never know if Fev was ever worth the price we paid to get him.

I’ll always love the Brisbane Lions but my pride in them has been dented in the last two seasons.  Firstly by how they handled the whole trade period at the end of the 2009 season which got Fevola to the Lions in the first place, but also by how they have kicked a mate while he is down.  There is no Queensland spirit in this decision and that makes me sad.

I wish Fev the best of luck and hope he sorts out his issues soon.  His young family needs him to.  Fev needs to for himself as well.

Please rate this post out of 5 stars and leave a comment if you feel compelled. Thanks for reading!

Is it time for Halloween in Australia?

You can listen to this post as a podcast. Click here to listen.

Is it time?  Are Australian’s ready to commit to this annual activity?  Can it be supported in the majority of homes throughout our wide, brown land?

Pumpkin Display at Woolworths

Well if the retailers in Australia have any say in it then it will happen.  This year I have seen more commercialisation of Halloween than at any other time in my life.  Woolworths Supermarkets have been selling whole pumpkins in a dedicated Halloween display for $20.  At the same supermarket I got fake spider webbing stuck on my head – I’m 6’2” – as the confectionary aisle was dressed up in a Halloween theme.  The local newsagent had a Halloween theme and so did most of the retailers at the shopping centre today with a lot of staff members all dressed up as witches and warlocks, vampires and zombies.

I remember when I was 16, way back in 1988, a group of friends and I got dressed up as ninja’s on Halloween and we went out trick or treating.  I don’t remember a lot of details about that night, other than scaring a young mum home alone with her kids and causing an old man’s pacemaker to kick in, there wasn’t a lot of success in the gathering of treats other than a packet of 2 minute noodles and a stale pack of milk arrowroot biscuits.  All our effort to walk around the streets of Toowong and get dressed up was pretty much for naught but we had fun none the less.

An American friend asked me a couple of days ago what my plans for Halloween were.  I explained that it isn’t really followed in Australia and she asked me what days we had for fun Down Under were.  I had to think about it for a minute and I responded with Australia Day.  Anzac Day popped into my mind but that day is about respecting our diggers who have fought in wars so Anzac Day doesn’t qualify.  Then I thought about the Melbourne Cup.  Sure that is a fun day…..for adults so that doesn’t count.  Cross out the worldwide usual suspects like Christmas and New Year and Easter and there isn’t another national day that we could call ‘fun’.

So why not Halloween?  It appears as though we are heading that way anyway.  I can totally see myself attending a Halloween dress up party.  My kids and I love the movie, Hocus Pocus, and there is an awesome Halloween dress up party in that.  The original Karate Kid has a Halloween dress up party as well.  It looks like a lot of fun.  I would love to get dressed up like Herman Munster or Frankenstein or perhaps Shrek!

So this year, my kids got invited to go trick or treating with some friends – albeit with only 2 hours notice – and they got dressed up the best they could in such a short time and off they went and had a ball, and brought home a ton of sweets.  On the drive there we saw some other neighbourhood kids all dressed up and walking around with their Jack O’Lantern baskets and I remember last year I saw quite a lot of kids roaming the streets in search of sweetly goodness!


My kids – Michaela far left and Lara as Snow White

I even bought some chocolates ready for the some knocks on the door but no one came by – so I’ll knock on my own door and do some trick or treating of my own!  Yummy.

The retailers are throwing their weight behind Halloween.

The kids are throwing their tooth cavities behind Halloween.

Let’s have some fun.  In 2011, we’re going the whole hog.  Who’s with me?

Did you do anything to celebrate Halloween this year?  Did you go trick or treating?

A new years poem

Well here we are, it’s the end of 2009
It couldn’t have come quicker, it’s about bloody time.
Enjoy 2010 and all that can be,
Be safe and of course be extremely happy.

Thanks for being a friend and for being a mate
With the right attitude 2010 will be great.
So get out there and make the world a better place,
Don’t do it from behind, get out there and lead, set the pace.

Stand up against crime, it’s our right to be free.
Take the time to say g’day, mate what do you need.
Grab those you love and give them a cuddle,
For this is the year you won’t need to struggle.

Awake each day, with a smile on your face.
If you do this, that day you will not waste.
Hit the ground running, take it all in your stride.
Happy new year to you, from me, my bride and my prides.

Ok, so I’ll never be a poet but who cares!  Happy new year!