The Roar
The Roar

Ben Pobjie

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Joined August 2011

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Ben Pobjie is a writer and comedian whose promising rugby career was tragically cut short the day he stopped playing rugby and had a pizza instead. The most he has ever cried was the day Balmain lost the 1989 grand final. Today he enjoys the frolics of Wallabies, Swans, baggy greens, and Storm.

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Stop laughing, this is football

Is there anything more disgusting than a sportsperson being friends with their opponent? This eternal question came to mind this week after seeing Bernie Vince, after his Melbourne Demons went down in a close one to Geelong, chatting amiably with Cats star Patrick Dangerfield.

Why would we need a gavel, when Lillee can simply call for order by kicking a batsman in the shins.

Ten indisputably true things about the ball-tampering scandal

Point taken, but to me they are nowhere near each other at all. Cheating to gain an advantage is an inevitable consequence of competitive games existing. We expect sportspeople to strive as hard as they can to win, and though it’s unacceptable for them to break the rules to do so, it’s also understandable and something that speaks of trying too hard: it’s very relatable.

Match-fixing is not an inevitable consequence of competitive games, except inasmuch it is an inevitable consequence of gambling, which one might say was an inevitable consequence of competitive games. It is taking money to handicap your own chances of winning: the exact opposite of trying too hard to win. It does not simply betray our trust in sportspeople to follow the rules: it betrays our trust in sportspeople to even be trying to succeed.

Also it’s illegal, so there’s that.

Ten indisputably true things about the ball-tampering scandal

Afridi, I am guessing, didn’t conspire the way Smith and co did. Wouldn’t be surprised if there was some forethought in it though, give it was Afridi and he was no rookie to the ball tampering game.

Ten indisputably true things about the ball-tampering scandal

It’s not always trying to lose, but it’s never trying to win. Nobody bribes players to try their hardest and make decisions in the best interests of the team. Nobody ever pays $10,000 to a bowler with the words, “So on the 3rd ball of the eighth over, try to take a wicket”.

Ten indisputably true things about the ball-tampering scandal

Gavaskar wasn’t a habitual tortoise though, he had plenty of shots. I think in 75 he was just deeply offended by the idea of having to score such a ludicrous rate as 5 and a half an over, so he blocked it out as protest!

The out of time XI: History's greats taking on T20

I came VERY close to including O’Reilly. His wrong ‘un would’ve been devastating.

The out of time XI: History's greats taking on T20

Giffen would’ve been a good T20 bowler, but I believe his batting was more of the attritional kind.

The out of time XI: History's greats taking on T20

Sportacus!

Crawling out from under The Rock: Tales of an accidental Twitter feud

Which just confirms my theory that all modern problems stem from the Dogs 88 premiership team.

The depressing reality of the NRL's meat market

You can’t actually make statistics say whatever you want them to say. I want statistics to say Glenn Maxwell averages 80 with the bat and 15 with the ball in first class cricket, but no matter how hard I try, they simply won’t.

Picking Nathan Lyon in India would be a mistake

We might find out more about Smith’s willingness to bowl his all-rounders when he gets one in his team. Hilton Cartwright is no all-rounder.

Picking Nathan Lyon in India would be a mistake

Love it. I was going to write about Kyrgios but I need not because this piece is pretty much exactly what I would’ve written.

Nick Kyrgios doesn't owe you anything

Sadly, Kersi, it is. You can catch me weekly in the Green Guide and on Fairfax sites – but the daily column is gone I regret to say.

Stay strong, Sam Newman

I believe there was one occasion where Queensland didn’t select Lote Tuqiri because he was to be suspended, let him serve his suspension on the weekend, then brought him in as a last-minute replacement for the SOO game. Clever, really.

An even-handed look at Wade Graham

There is such a thing as cruel and unusual punishment.

An even-handed look at Wade Graham

I don’t have a brother. You have me confused with someone else.

Proof positive: Rugby league is the best

I had no idea you’d seen me play offsider!

Proof positive: Rugby league is the best

No results. You’re definitely making them up.

Proof positive: Rugby league is the best

I have played a lot of sport. Which I guess means I never wrote this nonsense. I wonder who did?

Proof positive: Rugby league is the best

No, I was trying to hurt everyone. I am a wrecker.

Proof positive: Rugby league is the best

I have never heard of these writers you mention. I believe you are making them up.

Proof positive: Rugby league is the best

Your advice is always valued, Mike.

The official NRL player misdemeanour rate card

Are…are you accusing me of being a policewoman?

The official NRL player misdemeanour rate card

I have pictures of the Roar editors. Sick stuff.

The official NRL player misdemeanour rate card

Maybe we could introduce lineouts.

When is a rule not a rule?