What Kind Of Cove Are You?

Undercover Coves – What Kind Of Cove Are You?

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What Kind Of Cove Are You?


You often hear some variation of the phrase “nice / terrible guy, good / awful cricketer” muttered on the cricket field many times during the course of a season. It always seems that the opposition are – to the last man – a bunch of right twits not worth spitting on, while your mates are good as gold, true-blue battlers who can do no wrong. Lane Cove pride themselves on being a reasonably decent bunch of blokes who can play a bit. Is this even remotely close to the truth or some fatuous wide-spread delusion contributing to the malaise at the heart of the club?
Sebastian McCabe reports…


In Shires cricket, it is common practice to tar clubs or areas with a wide brush. No one likes Burwood because they win things; no one likes Macquarie Uni because they have a pretty website; no one likes North West Sydney because they’re all out on day release; andno one likes South Sydney. When it comes right down to it, does anyone actually get on with anyone else? I delved deep to find out.


During last weekend’s local derby – Lane Cove against Lindfield – I surveyed the crowd to find out exactly how the two combatant clubs felt about each other. Would there be healthy rivalry and respect? Camaraderie and mateship? Fierce pride and competitiveness? The results were decidedly conclusive: they’re utter wankers. “It gets worse and worse,” groaned Lane Cove’s 2nd Grade captain Stuart Myers, “and, to be fair, we’re getting bigger beatings from even bigger bastards as the season goes on.” Likewise, a Lindfield-affiliated spectator claimed “I hate Lane Cove, although if they get rolled over as easily and often as this, they might become more bearable. I used to be their secretary you know, and I can straight up tell you they’re the worst bunch of blokes I’ve ever met.”


It was a similar story at 1st Grade. “I don’t give a damn about what the other sides think about us,” sneered Covie skipper Damian Naughton, “they can all kiss my finely sculptured, perfectly-toned ass… preferably during our celebratory team bonding shower.” “Yes, I’d love to see that!” tittered opener Phillip Brett, before grabbing a wet towel and chasing a giggling Matt Mackenzie around the dressing sheds. Lindfield’s captain was beyond distraught, “No one likes losing, but getting beaten by those tossers is the absolute pits. I’m not sure how we’ll recover from this.”


What about in the lower grades – would mutual lack of talent foster good relations? “I WANT TO WIN! I WANT TO WIN SOOOoOooOO MUCH SO I CAN LAUGH IN THESE F***ING C**TS’ FACES AND SEND THEM PACKING HOME TO THEIR F***ING MOTHERS!!!” screamed the Cove’s 3rd Grade scorer Paul Langtry, “I WOULD REALLY F***ING LOVE IT!!” It was as much as I could take. Quite clearly these people hated each other with a passion that confounds understanding. Yet Lane Cove, a club seemingly full of unhinged lunatics and bitter recalcitrants, narrowly finished second in last season’s Spirit of Cricket rankings. Despite all evidence to the contrary, it would seem that Lane Cove are one of the more genial teams in the competition! It defies belief.


In order to better understand this peculiar phenomenon, I enlisted the help of former Cove Mike Warren. Mike left the club in difficult circumstances after discovering he’d boldly gone where Gerard Boyle, Brett Richardson and Steven Price had all gone before – and not Minsky’s or the Crows Nest Hotel. With such an axe to grind, its no surprise that Mike was keen to strike back at his former team mates. “I could go through every individual at the club and tell you a hundred awful things about each and every one of them,” he cried, “but being an accountant, I quite like graphs and colours and such, so here’s one I prepared earlier.”

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covie plot

“As you can see, the plot measures how good a person is at cricket and how good a person is at being a good person,” explained the irate Warren, “Clearly, as cricketers, they’re generally average to poor. As people however, most Coves lie well below the average standard of likeablenessity. Dodds, Hunter, Myers, Richardson and Holt go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to bastardry. On the field, they’re mouthy, disrespectful and uncouth; real brigands, which is actually a vast improvement on their behaviour off the pitch. Just thinking about some of their off-field misdemeanours gives me stomach ulcers. QED, Lane Cove is a club for bastards. To even mention the few decent human beings at the club would detract too much from the overwhelming bastardiousness, which is what I’d like to focus on.”


Leaving Mike to his ritualistic tooth gnashing, I considered the problem on my own. Would it be possible to clean up and right a club as destitute and devoid of sanity as Lane Cove? If this behaviour is as widespread as indicated, is there any hope for Shires cricket at all? Would it not be feasible to remove the offenders and send them elsewhere? But where could they go? Where could you hide such blights on humanity and the game? And then it occurred to me. What is Shires cricket if not a repository for the sociopathic dross from park and grade cricket? Surely players as talented as Matt Mackenzie, Damian Naughton and Tom Holt could find themselves a spot at a grade club? Why haven’t the likes of Sean Dunn, John Lloyd and Paul Langtry been broomed into the forgiving arms of some park cricket competition?


Because they’re not wanted.


And why is it that Shires clubs like Lane Cove always attract the drunkest, foulest, basest denomination of player?


Because they’ve nowhere else to go.


So, Shires cricketer, next time you feel the urge to abuse or debase an opponent, stop for a moment and think. Your opponent can’t help being a pointless sack of flesh and organs anymore than you can, so cut him some slack and keep your mouth shut and your pants on. You might be able to have a beer after the match, string a few words together without profanity, and possibly make a passably decent impression. Lo and behold, a game of cricket on the weekend may even become a pleasure to be savoured instead of a test of patience and temper to be endured.


I’d like to believe this, I truly would, but then I recall the post-match scenes in those dressing sheds, and shudder. There is no future for this competition, and no hope for these people. I’m getting out of Lane Cove, I suggest you do the same…

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