SELECTION CRITERIA: Pick an Australian rules football team based on ‘well-known individuals’ from each State, with the only exception being players from the VFL/AFL/WAFL/SANFL/NEAFL/Whatever Tasmania plays.
Well it’s the long-awaited conclusion to the State of Origin All-Stars, and by far the hardest team to pick was Victoria, the state that brought Australian rules football to everywhere in the world except New South Wales, and naturally you could make a seconds, thirds, fourths and fifths team of all the Victorians that were unlucky to miss out on this team, such is the depth they’ve got, and that’s even before they pull the bullshit the VFL used to do in the 20th century and pick players that weren’t even born in Victoria, they just happened to be in Victoria at the time.
So without any further ado, here’s a full shot of the Victorian team before we begin the breakdown, and naturally it’s by far the biggest team of any state in this entire series, rivalling the team of athletes Australia took to Tokyo:
Oh there’s a prison in the bottom corner, don’t mind that, those two won’t be getting out anytime soon.
Now, as I said off the top, you could make a seconds, thirds, fourths and fifths team of all the Victorians that were unlucky to miss out on this team, such is the depth they’ve got, so among the millions of hard luck stories, I’ll pick out a few that scream off the page:
Cadel Evans may have a Tour de France title and a road race named in his honour, but does he have an Olympic Gold Medal?
Rachel Griffiths was always up against it trying to get a spot, given she had to out-perform Dame Edna Everage, and quite frankly that’s a task that not even ladies magnet Sir Tom Jones could overcome:
Political leaders like Jeff Kennett, John Cain, Malcolm Fraser, Alfred Deakin and Daniel Andrews all missed out because of the presence of ‘Pig Iron Bob’ Menzies, while Harold Holt was going to be guaranteed a spot in the starting lineup, but the last time I checked, Harold was trying to gain a place on the Australian All-Star Swimming Team.
Bill Ponsford, Dean Jones and Keith Miller missed out as there were already too many cult hero cricketers in the team.
Danii Minogue missed out because one Minogue is more than enough, while Jason Donovan couldn’t quite make it a Neighbours reunion with Kylie, who was the only former Ramsay Street resident to get in.
Kate Cebrano has the same problem – Kylie is Kylie.
Graham Kennedy may be ‘The King’ of Australian television, but his old partner Bert Newton’s 2014 King of Moomba title got him into the midfield, even as Newton overcomes a minor leg injury, and to be honest, you could’ve made an entire team out of the Victorian comedians & actors that missed out, from Steve Vizard to Mick Molloy, Jane Kennedy, Rob Sitch, Hamish & Andy, Marg Downey, Bill Hunter and Bud Tingwell, but at the end of a day we’re trying to pick a fake football team here…
So we went for Kath & Kim.
Picking a resident jockey for the team’s Melbourne Cup horse was also tough, as Roy Higgins and Michelle Payne were quite literally jockeying for an interchange position, but when it came down to the selection table at the Payne household, Michelle wound up being pipped by Stevie Payne, with Patrick Payne’s Cox Plate win on Northerly not enough to pip Stevie.
Now, on to the lucky bastards that actually made the club:
The backroom staff
Starting with the all-important head coaching role, and getting the nod over luminaries like George Hanlon, Darren Weir, Trevor Gleeson, the Oarsome Foursome’s coach Noel Donaldson, was the one and only Lindsay Gaze, the godfather of Australian basketball, coach of the Melbourne Tigers for 35 years with 2 NBL titles to show for it, coach of Australia at four Olympic Games, and the first Australian to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame back in 2015, placing him alongside everyone from Red Auerbach to Pat Riley, Phil Jackson and Larry Brown:
Moving on to the behind the scenes crew, and first up we have the team’s shady financier John Wren….
Oh I’m sorry, did I say John Wren?
I meant to say John West, the character from Power Without Glory who was absolutely not solely based on John Wren.
Next up is the Team President, and filling the role with great distinction is former national Liberal Party President, and highly respected former president of the Carlton Football Club, John ‘Pig’s Arse!’ Elliott, who famously played himself in Rubbery Figures:
In a major financial boost for the Big V, former Victorian and noted Demons supporter Rupert Murdoch has agreed to help out his old state and will buy the broadcast rights, with Peta Credlin already signing on to serve as an analyst, while the team’s transport will be provided by Sir Reginald Ansett, who ironically lost control of Ansett to Murdoch’s News Corporation back in the 1970s, and I’m sure Reg will be keen to fly a couple of Douglas DC-4s from 6 feet beneath the earth, as we appropriately near the 20th anniversary of Ansett Australia going arse-up on September 13, 2001.
Geez, what a great week that was for global aviation.
The all important team doctor will be the good doctor Geoff Edelsten, the team’s overpriced clothes will come from Myer, who of course were founded by a simple immigrant from Russia who made it big selling clothes in Bendigo, and if the team needs any furniture, there’s only person to turn to…..
In Brunswick and Foot-is-scray!
Completing the backroom team, in the role of Eddie McGuire it’s Eddie McGuire, who just wanted to get his face on TV so he could keep being Eddie Everywhere, and lucky last, this Victorian team needs a commentator to bring it to life, and we had plenty of choices, from Drew Morphett to Peter Landy, Sandy Roberts, Clinton Grybas and Greg Miles, but they’ll need someone good in a tight finish, and that’s ‘The Accurate One’ himself, Bill Collins.
Funnily enough, here’s Bill appearing in an ad for Ansett alongside Darren Gauci, and just look at Bill’s charisma:
On to the all-important forward line, and we’ll start off with the one and only Shane Keith Warne, who was actually a full forward in his days with St Kilda’s Under 19s before he took up an uneventful cricketing career, and it should be noted that Warnie was one of three guaranteed picks for the Victorian team, despite what he’s done to his head:
For Warnie’s safety, Sharon Strzelecki not told about this team.
Right next to Warnie in a forward pocket, it’s the pop princess herself Kylie Minogue, who successfully stopped Kylie Jenner from dragging the ‘Kylie’ trademark all the way down to the 8th layer of hell, and while Kylie is Spinning Around and doing the Locomotion among many things, she’s also got a song to describe how she feels about getting a place in the team:
The King of Spin and a Pop Princess, representing a state named after a British monarch.
In the other pocket, it’s the pride of Warragul, Gunditjmara man Lionel Rose, the first Indigenous Australian boxer to win a world title when he took down Fighting Harada in 1968, and Rose was also the first Indigenous Australian to receive an MBE, and the first Indigenous Australian to be named Australian of The Year, and we should also remember that Lionel also had a No.1 single with I Thank You in 1970, now immortalised as the national anthem by Roy & HG:
Going on to the half forward line, and at Centre Half Forward it’s the second of the three guaranteed selections, thundering in from the Southern Stand End with Bay 13 stretching behind him, SWERVIN’ MERVYN HUGHES:
Merv, Merv, get him up here, I wanna boof him!
Damien Fleming can consider himself unlucky, but there was only room for 2 players with a Test cricket hat-trick.
Finishing off the forward line, and at Left Half Forward it’s Barry Humphries, who should link up very well with Dame Edna, while the final half forward spot was harder to pick than a broken nose, because it tied in directly to the debate about which which well-known criminal should make the team, mainly because the selection committee was fearing for their lives throughout the entire process.
It was a contest between the Alphonse Gangitano + the Morans, the Williams family, Neville Bartos, Ned Kelly, Squizzy Taylor, Tony Mokbel and Mark ‘Chopper’ Read, but thanks to information provided by Lawyer X to the selection committee about several of those names, and with a bit of mediation from Mick Gatto, it was decided that Chopper would serve as the team’s standover man, and he was also given the captaincy after showing up at the selection meeting with a rifle and a stick of gelignite in his mouth.
He’s a crack shot with a gun, let’s hope he’s a crack shot at goal.
Also, before you ask why Eric Bana isn’t in this team despite being a born & bred Victorian, can I point out that he’s actually in that news report, in character as Chopper.
The midfield selections were leaked to this website only last week, and it appears coach Gaze has only made one change, and that’s Liam Hemsworth being dropped in favour of brother Chris Hemsworth, who will play for Victoria on the basis that he’s allowed to wear his Thor costume underneath the Big V.
Remember when Chris Hemsworth was on Home & Away?
When you see it again you can’t unsee it, kind of like when Rebel Wilson played Toula in Pizza.
Of course, Chris will be getting silver service from Andrew Gaze, who was the obvious choice for the ruck position, given he has the required basketball background, plus he’s more than performed well in front of 100,000+ fans when he carried the Australian flag during the Sydney 2000 opening ceremony.
Then it’s Bert Newton as the rover alongside, and the selection of Bert was up in the air after he was left with barely a leg to stand on a few months back, but in typical Bert fashion he’ll be back with a bang, and he’ll be bringing plenty of ideas to the team, like when he learned how to cook a bull’s penis on Good Morning Australia:
Completing the engine room, it’s the stylish housewife from Moonee Ponds, Dame Edna Everage, one of the few people who has ever gone on Parkinson and completely controlled Sir Michael, while turning Dame Judi Dench into the second-best Dame on the panel at the same time, so she should have no problems stopping opposing midfielders:
Completing the midfield it’s Gold Medalists galore on the wings – 1988 400m Hurdles Gold Medalist Debbie Flintoff-King on the left, and on the right it’s our first Olympian Edwin Flack, who went over to Athens for a visit to the inaugural modern Summer Olympics in 1896, and wound up winning Gold in the 800m and 1500m, plus he took a Bronze in the Doubles tennis, but nobody cares about that.
What a superb midfield – 11 legs between the six of them, 2 Olympic Gold Medalists in Athletics on the wings, a former Home & Away cast member alongside Dame Edna and the guy that hosted Bert’s Family Feud, all getting silver service from the guy that carried the Australian flag in the Opening Ceremony for the Sydney Olympics.
If you ask me, if the Victorian Government had this Back Six defending the Victorian border from COVID infected furniture removalists travelling in from New South Wales, then Victoria would be living freely right now.
Starting at the half-back line, it’s the third and final guaranteed selection – The ever excitable pigeon fancier and very nosey former Australian cricket captain Bill Lawry, who was described as being a very defensive player when he was at the crease, to the point that English journalist Ian Wooldridge described Bill as “A corpse with pads on.”
Thankfully, Bill didn’t transfer it to his commentary career.
On the other half back flank, it’s a last-minute left field selection – Peter Thomson, 5-time Open Championship winner, the most successful Australian golfer in history, and the only golfer in modern history to win the same major in three consecutive years – The 1954-55-56 Open Championships, and after winning again in ’58, he came back and won a fifth Claret Jug in 1965 against Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
With a nickname like The Melbourne Tiger, it was tough to hold him out, and to be honest the Vics do need someone who can drive a ball a few hundred yards at a time.
Central to the Victorian backline is the only politician to make the team out of a pool of hundreds, and they decided that Malcolm Fraser was the second-best Carlton supporting Prime Minister, because the Centre Half Back position went to the longest-serving Prime Minister in Australian history, Robert ‘Pig Iron Bob’ Menzies, who will bring a number of anti-Communist strategies to scare Victorians into supporting the team, and on the subject of footy, who can forget the iconic image of a diehard Carlton supporter in Menzies rocking up at Princes Park in his Bentley, with a ramp specially built for him to watch the Blues from the comfort of his car.
It’s a good thing Pig Iron Bob never went to Victoria Park, because that car would’ve been on bricks in seconds.
Completing the on-field 18 for Victoria, in the left back pcoket it’s the host of Hey Hey It’s Saturday and three-time Gold Logie winner Daryl Somers, who absolutely doesn’t look like a would-be serial killer when he supports Geelong:
It was a toss-up between Daryl and Plucka Duck for that back pocket rocket position, but Plucka’s lack of communication with his teammates was a real sticking point.
At full-back it’s the Vice Captain of the team, the meticulous planner & organiser General Sir John Monash, commander of the Australian forces on the Western Front during World War I, although he’s better known in contemporary Victoria as “That guy on the $100 note”, the “Guy they named Monash University after”, the “Guy they named the City of Monash after”, and the “Guy they named the Monash Freeway after.”
The other positive for Monash is that he won’t have Charles Bean around to try and have him removed for having Jewish ancestry.
And in the right back pocket, it’s the voice of The Seekers, Judith Durham, because this team was not complete without Judith Durham, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Interchange & Emergencies
Starting with the extended interchange bench, and first up we’ve got the marathon master Robert de Castella to provide a bit more leg speed if Edwin Flack runs out of legs attempting to run the marathon, just as he did in Athens back in 1896, and it was a tough contest between Deeks and Steve Moneghetti, but Deeks was a World Champion, and he’s got a moustache as well.
After Deeks it’s the King of the Mountain Peter Brock, who brings with him backing from Mobil, and an Energy Polarizer to place in every Victorian guernsey, which should go much better than it did in 1987, when it merely destroyed Holden Dealer Team Special Vehicles and ended Brock’s relationship with Holden:
Next it’s all of Men At Work, which I think is now just Colin Hay on his own, who had to overcome some stiff competition from Skyhooks, Nick Cave (Minus the Bad Seeds), Pseudo Echo, The Living End, The Temper Trap and Killing Heidi to get a spot in the team, but the two US No.1s to their collective zero got Men At Work the nod.
Going back to something I mentioned in the unlucky section, picking a resident jockey for the team’s Melbourne Cup horse was also tough, as Roy Higgins and Michelle Payne were quite literally jockeying for a spot, but when it came down to the selection table at the Payne household, Michelle wound up being pipped by Stevie Payne, who narrowly missed out on selection behind The Professor, one of only four jockeys in Australian history to win 100 Group 1 races.
Of course, Higgins once told Bart Cummings that if it wasn’t for himself, Bart would only have 10 Melbourne Cups, given Roy booted home Light Fingers in 1965 and Red Handed in 1967.
Not to be outdone, Bart replied that if wasn’t for him, Roy wouldn’t have any.
Then comes three great entertainers, Dame Nellie Melba, the fabled soprano who now finds fame as the other side of the $100 note, Barry Crocker, who looks suspiciously like Australian expat Barry McKenzie, and in the event of a poor performance, the Victorian players can quite literally say they’ve had a Barry Crocker, plus Gunditjmara man and singer/songwriter Archie Roach, the 2020 Victorian of the Year, who gave a voice to the Stolen Generation through his own experiences with “Took The Children Away”, a song so powerful that only is it now preserved in the National Film & Sound Archive, but Roach received a Human Rights Award for songwriting:
And the last interchange spot is the unbeaten Black Flash herself, Black Caviar, although I don’t think she’ll be any good having to run more than 1400 metres.
And now the emergencies in no uncertain order because they won’t be getting a game:
Mark ‘The Poo’ Philippoussis, host of The Age Of Love, Olivia Newton-John, best remembered for representing the UK in Eurovision in the same year that ABBA won it with Waterloo (1974), 6-time Paralympic Gold Medalist Ellie Cole, who can push for a starting position if she can nab a medal in Tokyo this fortnight, Nick Cave can get in if he agrees to do another duet with Kylie Minogue, one of Australia’s leading humanitarians in Moira Kelly, legal guardian of the brothers Emmanuel and Ahmed Kelly (Swimming for Australia at the Paralmypics), and the one-time conjoined twins Trishna and Krishna, and Moira must get sick of being mistaken for the actress Moria Kelly, who voiced Nala in the original Lion King.
Then it’s the formerly mentioned Plucka Duck, star of the re-runs of Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Tina Arena, whose name was the original choice for Rod Laver Arena, the recently departed Helen Reddy, who is definitely woman, as she’s been telling us since 1972….
AND LAST OF ALL, YOU CAN’T HAVE A VICTORIAN SQUAD WITHOUT THE FOXY MORONS FROM FOUNTAIN LAKES, KATH & KIM
And the super special emergency is Jana Wendt, who will be rushed in to play Queensland, given her extremely successful record against Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen
No, you are wrong, you are wrong!