Pointing the finger at Big Dave Taylor
Queensland player David Taylor. AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Following Wednesday night’s Origin match a certain picture began to swirl through cyber space. The picture was of the Queensland bench and included dumped Maroons forward Dave Taylor, celebrating as the full-time siren blew.
But hold on, something was amiss.
Staring at the picture closely, trying to see the 3D Sailing boat within, all of a sudden its mystery leapt out and smacked me fair in the face like a Brent Tate fist.
Dave Taylor was wearing a suit!
Oh, and he was flipping the bird.
Not of a particular avian or Maitland Pumpkin Picker variety mind you, but the universal greeting of surly teens and people who drive faster than you everywhere.
Cue scenes of internet panic that thankfully failed to even reach the lowly level of ‘Attractive athlete takes picture of themselves’ on the scandal scale
Yes this was one little bird that was never going to fly, all for one very simple reason.
Everyone loves Dave Taylor.
It’s true. A large, strangely shaped, scruffily bearded and erratic playing forward is the most loved man(child) in rugby league.
Take commentator Phil Gould for example , a man who could grumble the tats off Todd Carney’s calf muscles. Let him call the match when Big Dave is going around and suddenly the Moanatronic 4000 turns into a 10-year-old girl at a slumber party watching ‘Funny Kitty Lolz’ on Youtube.
The fans are no better. Each Taylor tackle or line break is met with hoots that belong at a Mad Monday nude run, while each dropped ball and fluffed opportunity is brushed aside with a wry smile and a “That’s Big Dave for you!” punch line.
Even Souths fans, who would not baulk at placing a fatwa on the head of an occasional NRL bench player if he dares stay on the train past Redfern, have been lining up to shake Dave’s hand and chip in to buy the bloke a new pair of Speedos to wear on the GC.
It’s a marketer’s dream, the knockabout country kid with the giant buttocks playing backyard footy on the game’s biggest stage.
The wonderful thing is though there’s absolutely zero marketing hyperbole to the whole Dave Taylor package. No social media spin, no C0ALTRA1N number plates and no spray tanned soapie starlets hanging off his burly biceps at the opening night of expensive inner city eateries.
We can look at Taylor as a window to our game’s past, a bloke who thirty years ago would have been trundling along in the front row, breaking wind noisily on the team bus and lazily working at the leagues club as a cellar man during the week.
Sure giving the up-ours to, well, no one’s really quite sure yet, was a childish and immature act that didn’t show a whole lot of grace in victory. And yes and he probably should have thought a bit more about his actions, but hey, if I wanted to watch robots belt each other I’d go rent ‘Transformers.’
Nup, there’s nothing I’d change about our living football fossil.
Well, except maybe one thing…for God’s sake ditch the suit and give the big man a spray jacket and pair of trakkies, please!
Follow Chris on Twitter: Vic_Arious@twitter.com
Chris Chard is a sports humour writer commenting on the often absurd nature of professional sport. A rugby league fan boy with a good blend of youth and experience taking things one week at a time, Chris has written for The Roar, Rugby League Player Magazine, US Sports Downunder, the QRL and People. Tweet him @Vic_Arious
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