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Surface tensions for edgy Hewitt (still not happy with AO surface)

nobama
01-15-2006, 12:41 PM
Surface tensions for edgy Hewitt (http://foxsports.news.com.au/story/0,8659,17831579-5002324,00.html)
By Chip Le Grand
January 16, 2006

FOR the second year running, Lleyton Hewitt will begin his Australian Open campaign at loggerheads with tournament organisers over the slowness of the Rebound Ace courts at Melbourne Park.

Hewitt said his management had held several discussions with tournament director Paul McNamee about the speed of the surface and he was disappointed to find the courts playing at much the same pace as they were 12 months ago.

In the first week of last year's tournament, the Hewitt camp referred to the hardcourt surface as "green clay" in derisive reference to its slow, high bounce, and lamented the opportunities it gave European and South American players at the expense of local hopes.

Yesterday, he echoed the perennial complaint that Rebound Ace was unforgiving on injuries.

"It is something very similar to last year," Hewitt said. "There is no doubt in my mind that it is not the greatest surface for injuries either. I think it causes a lot of friction on your body.

"Definitely after my hip injury last year in Sydney, it didn't get any better over the two weeks playing tough matches on this surface here in Melbourne.

"We've had a few chats and got nowhere," he said of the discussions with McNamee. "I feel like I've done a lot of right stuff for tennis in Australia and it is disappointing. But there is no point whingeing about it. I've got to go out there and compete. This is my national title."

Hewitt also declined to commit publicly to Australia's Davis Cup campaign starting in Switzerland next month. Hewitt has been a tireless Davis Cup performer throughout his career but refused to say whether he would play against the Swiss.

"I haven't even thought about the Davis Cup yet," he said in response to a question by a Swiss journalist. "Too much on my mind at the moment."

Hewitt's Davis Cup comments may well prove to be nothing more than a throwaway line or gamesmanship with Roger Federer, who is yet to commit to the Swiss cause. It is understood that Hewitt has made a private commitment to Australia captain John Fitzgerald and booked his flight to Geneva.

But his renewed attack on the Melbourne Park courts came as a surprise to McNamee, who had believed his surface squabbles with Australia's best player were a thing of the past.

To bring the speed of Rod Laver Arena in line with outside courts, the Australian Open has this season resurfaced its centre court one week earlier and kept the court exposed to the elements. The tournament has also changed its ball supplier, which is expected to speed up play.

"The balls are a bit quicker," McNamee said. "Everybody is saying that and obviously we tried to make sure, by getting the court resurfaced earlier, that everything possible was being done to get as much play as we could on it before the tournament.

"We did everything we could to make sure the conditions were going to be the same as the outside court. It is an imperfect science but we have tried everything to do that."

McNamee said the issue was not a personal one with Hewitt, who this week requested and received a Tuesday start for his first-round match against the Czech Republic's Robin Vik. He said the success of last year's men's competition, when the four top-seeded players contested the two semi-finals, had convinced the tournament organisers to retain the same court conditions.

McNamee dismissed Hewitt's concerns about injury rates on Rebound Ace.

"A Grand Slam has to pick a surface that it believes is in the best interests of the tournament," McNamee said.

"That means we don't want to replicate the conditions at another Grand Slam. Each of the Grand Slams is different, so if player A would prefer US Open speed or Miami speed exactly, then that is not in the best interests of the Australian Open.

"Hardcourts are a little tougher on the body, we know that. But it is the most favoured surface around the world.

"There are injuries, but the injuries at this tournament haven't been from people playing on Rebound Ace. They are people who are not here."

Horatio Caine
01-15-2006, 12:42 PM
Shouldn't he be less happy with his draw and his fitness? :tape:

stebs
01-15-2006, 01:10 PM
A tournament shouldn't change its surface because of one player. When Wimbledon was slowed down Henman siad it hurt hhis chances sure but he didnt go complaining about it. Why should it be fitted to Hewitts needs? just because he is homegrown from Australia doesnt mean he is the tournament.

nobama
01-15-2006, 01:18 PM
Well it appears they haven't. Although the did grant his request to start on Tuesday.

Lleytonisthebest
01-15-2006, 01:37 PM
he should be worried of his fitness and tennis not about the surface

Jimnik
01-15-2006, 01:45 PM
The Australian Open surface is perfect for providing the best and most entertaining tennis in the world. I hope they never change.

madmanfool
01-15-2006, 01:55 PM
Why does he want to start on tuesday?

amierin
01-15-2006, 02:07 PM
Why should he get to pick the day he starts? If that was the case everyone should be allowed to pick and choose what day they start. I've never heard of this before. Is this normal? I've never heard of this being done before.
And all the other whining he's doing? Excuses, excuses.

I guess he won't be happy until he gets a bye right to the Final. :rolleyes:

cartmancop
01-15-2006, 03:01 PM
Surely he doesn't expect them to change the surface b/c he is displeased. That's not the only thing keeping him from winning the AO :rolleyes: Does he think he will stand a chance against Federer at his best on a faster surface? I don't remember other top players demanding that their home slams' surfaces be tailored to their needs...

athie
01-15-2006, 03:06 PM
aww baby spit his dummy out huh? This guy will whine about anything given the chance :lol:

Deboogle!.
01-15-2006, 03:09 PM
Why should he get to pick the day he starts? If that was the case everyone should be allowed to pick and choose what day they start. I've never heard of this before. Is this normal? I've never heard of this being done before.
And all the other whining he's doing? Excuses, excuses.

I guess he won't be happy until he gets a bye right to the Final. :rolleyes:People accuse the US Open of doing it but I've never seen it so blatant as this. I know other players from their country's slams have said consistently that they are never consulted about the surface, I don't see why Lleyton feels he should get special treatment :shrug: Basically he's saying, I've done a lot for tennis in Australia, they should do this for me.... :retard:

I don't recall Pat Rafter ever whining, yet I'm sure he would've appreciated a faster surface too. Granted it's allegedly slower now than it was when he was at his peak, but still.

amierin
01-15-2006, 03:14 PM
People accuse the US Open of doing it but I've never seen it so blatant as this. I know other players from their country's slams have said consistently that they are never consulted about the surface, I don't see why Lleyton feels he should get special treatment :shrug: Basically he's saying, I've done a lot for tennis in Australia, they should do this for me.... :retard:

I don't recall Pat Rafter ever whining, yet I'm sure he would've appreciated a faster surface too. Granted it's allegedly slower now than it was when he was at his peak, but still.

Kim asked for the same consideration in changing her opening day. Not sure if she got it though.

And I agree. I don't remember Rafter or any of them whining like Hewie does.

gusman890
01-15-2006, 03:18 PM
see at least ivan lendl had the same ppl who worked on the us open courts, work on his own court, here in connecticut.

now if hewitt did that, he could practice on it alot and get used to it.

prima donna
01-15-2006, 03:49 PM
Shows how much Australia cares about it's players.

nobama
01-15-2006, 03:52 PM
So if he gets to pick the day, then does he get to pick the time too? I've heard that Lindsay Davenport requests to play first because she likes to know exactly what time she's starting. I see she's the first match out on day 1. I think it was that way at the US Open too.

Federerthebest
01-15-2006, 03:55 PM
The success and profits of the Australian Open are largely dependent on Hewitt's success given that he is the only Australian who has a fighting chance of winning it. The tournament directors should take this into account and give Hewitt's opinion priority when they are deciding the speed of the surface.

nobama
01-15-2006, 03:56 PM
Shows how much Australia cares about it's players.Surely you don't think they should adjust the surface just to suit one of their players. What's fair about that? I don't think it's the surface that is keeping Hewitt from winning AO.

Mistaflava
01-15-2006, 04:01 PM
Hewitt needs to shut it, just play and realize that everyone else in this tournament is on the same page as him. End of story.




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nobama
01-15-2006, 04:03 PM
The success and profits of the Australian Open are largely dependent on Hewitt's success given that he is the only Australian who has a fighting chance of winning it. The tournament directors should take this into account and give Hewitt's opinion priority when they are deciding the speed of the surface.That's ridiculous. And how is that fair to players that prefer a slower surface when two of the slams (Wimbledon and US Open) already favor those players that like a faster surface. What's wrong with a medium paced hard court that all players (for the most part) could do well on?

Deboogle!.
01-15-2006, 04:07 PM
The success and profits of the Australian Open are largely dependent on Hewitt's success given that he is the only Australian who has a fighting chance of winning it. The tournament directors should take this into account and give Hewitt's opinion priority when they are deciding the speed of the surface.What?!? If the US Open did this there would be uproar on this board to no end!!!! Tennis is an international sport and plenty of other players are famous down there and bring in money down there. No other slam, or any other tournament either for that matter, changes the surface for its star of the moment. You don't think Flip would like the surface faster? Of course he would, and so would Arthurs and so would Guccione for that matter. They're not all whining about it every single year, though. Henman compains about Wimby being slowed down, but never once have I seen him say he sat down with the director to try to convince him to speed it up for him after what he's done for tennis in England. It's just ludicrous.

That all said, i do think Hewitt has a valid point where injuries are concerned. There are problems with Rebound Ace in that respect.

Federerthebest
01-15-2006, 04:14 PM
What?!? If the US Open did this there would be uproar on this board to no end!!!! Tennis is an international sport and plenty of other players are famous down there and bring in money down there. No other slam, or any other tournament either for that matter, changes the surface for its star of the moment.

Rubbish. In 2000 there was a lot of controversy over the AO surface being sped up in order to suit Rafter, and there was also controversy when Cash reached the final. Similar accusations arose when Roddick reached the US Open 2003 final. You're kidding yourself if you think tournaments haven't in the past had their surfaces changed in order to meet the tastes of the country which host's the tournament's top players.

Federerthebest
01-15-2006, 04:19 PM
That's ridiculous. And how is that fair to players that prefer a slower surface when two of the slams (Wimbledon and US Open) already favor those players that like a faster surface.

Give me a break, the dirtballers already have enough advantage with the Masters Events being skewed in their favour and the year-round slow-clay events that they can play.
The slams are independent events and their tournament-directors should be able to choose the surface which is most conducive to the tournament's success without having to stick rigidly with some arbitrarily defined standard for the sake of 'balance'.

Deboogle!.
01-15-2006, 04:26 PM
Rubbish. In 2000 there was a lot of controversy over the AO surface being sped up in order to suit Rafter, and there was also controversy when Cash reached the final. Similar accusations arose when Roddick reached the US Open 2003 final. You're kidding yourself if you think tournaments haven't in the past had their surfaces changed in order to meet the tastes of the country which host's the tournament's top players.I said that. And anyway, I never said there wasn't controversy. I just said that I have never heard another player speak so selfishly and say that he actually met with the directors to convince them to change for him. Andy has said many times that the USTA has never spoken to him about the surface and that he doesn't much care. You can't use the 2003 USO as an example because people look for anything at all to discredit his win :lol: I don't know about the 2000 situation, but I cannot IMAGINE rafter coming out and saying the stuff Lleyton said in this article. Accusations/rumors and actual proof of a player trying to change things for himself are two wildly different things.

It's one thing if TA chose to speed it up in 2000 or whatever. It's different entirely if a player is actively trying to get them to change things for him.

rofe
01-15-2006, 04:32 PM
Hewitt should quit whining and just concentrate on his matches. He is of course doing his best to make it comfortable for him to win matches but the tournament committeee should do what they think best.

nobama
01-15-2006, 05:01 PM
Give me a break, the dirtballers already have enough advantage with the Masters Events being skewed in their favour and the year-round slow-clay events that they can play.
The slams are independent events and their tournament-directors should be able to choose the surface which is most conducive to the tournament's success without having to stick rigidly with some arbitrarily defined standard for the sake of 'balance'.How are the masters events skewed in the favor of clay court players? 6 of the 9 Master Series events are on faster surfaces. :scratch: And the success of AO does not revolve around how well Hewitt does there. Just like the success of the US Open doesn't revolve around Andy Roddick. Besides the past few years Hewitt's done quite well down there hasn't he? If he's trying to suggest the surface speed is keeping him from winning AO he's full of shit.

nobama
01-15-2006, 05:03 PM
I said that. And anyway, I never said there wasn't controversy. I just said that I have never heard another player speak so selfishly and say that he actually met with the directors to convince them to change for him. Andy has said many times that the USTA has never spoken to him about the surface and that he doesn't much care. You can't use the 2003 USO as an example because people look for anything at all to discredit his win :lol: I don't know about the 2000 situation, but I cannot IMAGINE rafter coming out and saying the stuff Lleyton said in this article. Accusations/rumors and actual proof of a player trying to change things for himself are two wildly different things.

It's one thing if TA chose to speed it up in 2000 or whatever. It's different entirely if a player is actively trying to get them to change things for him.I thought the controversy over 2003 USO was to do with scheduling, not the speed of the court. :shrug:

Deboogle!.
01-15-2006, 05:13 PM
I thought the controversy over 2003 USO was to do with scheduling, not the speed of the court. :shrug:They look for everything they can get;)

gusman890
01-15-2006, 05:39 PM
gotta love us americans :)

Raquel
01-15-2006, 05:41 PM
They look for everything they can get;)
When it comes to the scheduling of that event, people don't have to look too hard.

This seems to be an annual event for Lleyton to complain about the surface. He did well on it last year so it's not like it's totally ruining his chances. I just hope he can find some of the form and intensity he had at the Australian last year.

NyGeL
01-15-2006, 05:50 PM
next year he will ask to play with womans

mallorn
01-15-2006, 06:10 PM
How are the masters events skewed in the favor of clay court players? 6 of the 9 Master Series events are on faster surfaces. :scratch: And the success of AO does not revolve around how well Hewitt does there. Just like the success of the US Open doesn't revolve around Andy Roddick. Besides the past few years Hewitt's done quite well down there hasn't he? If he's trying to suggest the surface speed is keeping him from winning AO he's full of shit.
:yeah:

Deboogle!.
01-15-2006, 06:17 PM
When it comes to the scheduling of that event, people don't have to look too hard. But the whole AO schedule appears to have been planned around Hewitt's request for a Tuesday start. He seems to have an entitlement complex for special treatment down there. I don't think it's the same thing if the federation takes it upon itself to do something favoritist - it's still wrong but that's not the player's fault. Hewitt seems to think he can just ask TA do to whatever he wants and expects them to say how high.

World Beater
01-15-2006, 06:38 PM
But the whole AO schedule appears to have been planned around Hewitt's request for a Tuesday start. He seems to have an entitlement complex for special treatment down there. I don't think it's the same thing if the federation takes it upon itself to do something favoritist - it's still wrong but that's not the player's fault. Hewitt seems to think he can just ask TA do to whatever he wants and expects them to say how high.

i still dont see what is wrong about lleyton getting a second day start. Agassi and others have requested similar scheduling requests and they have been granted.

Also, you cannot compare the usopen with the ausopen. The usopen surface is already very fast combined with the wilson balls. Andre and andy dont really need to complain because its in their favor already.

Since when did grand slams care about being fair? They care about making the best tournament for the fans. This doesnt mean that everyone gets an equal shot at winning.

World Beater
01-15-2006, 06:49 PM
How are the masters events skewed in the favor of clay court players? 6 of the 9 Master Series events are on faster surfaces. :scratch: And the success of AO does not revolve around how well Hewitt does there. Just like the success of the US Open doesn't revolve around Andy Roddick. Besides the past few years Hewitt's done quite well down there hasn't he? If he's trying to suggest the surface speed is keeping him from winning AO he's full of shit.

Speed is relative my dear. Just because 6 of the 9 are on hardcourts, doesnt mean the surface is fast. In fact 4 of those 6 tournaments are played on surfaces with speeds equal to that or slower than the australian open RA surface.

The success of the usopen revolves around roddick and agassi. if at least one makes the final, there will be no ratings drop. I can guarantee you that if both players reached the final, there would be an even higher rating .

The ausopen only has one realistic home hope. If he goes down, aus hopes go down. Last years rating & attendance were particularly high because hewitt was in the final.

The situation is different in wimbledon however. Henman is losing to guys like tursunov, and no amount of whining about the surface is an excuse. Give hewitt a break, he has a chance of winning it. Any small advantage hewitt may get as a result of a quicker surface may put him over the hump.

I am not a fan of his complaining, but i dont see why in this case he should be condemned when this goes on at every slam behind the scenes.

Deboogle!.
01-15-2006, 06:56 PM
i still dont see what is wrong about lleyton getting a second day start. Agassi and others have requested similar scheduling requests and they have been granted. I didn't say it was wrong. But I don't think people can sit back and whine about the USO scheduling then ignore the fact that it so blatantly happens other places too. :shrug:Also, you cannot compare the usopen with the ausopen. The usopen surface is already very fast combined with the wilson balls. Andre and andy dont really need to complain because its in their favor already.I disagree. Andre does better on slower high-bouncing courts (AO, Miami), and Brad says all the time that Andy prefers things a bit slower too. Pete liked it uber-fast, but if the USTA was acting at Agassi's every whim, it'd be Rebound Ace or something. Since when did grand slams care about being fair? They care about making the best tournament for the fans. This doesnt mean that everyone gets an equal shot at winning.Perhaps you're missing my point (or you just disagree, that's fine).... My point is that there is a difference between a country federation doing things to help their own players (which has its own separate and distinct issues of fairness alnog with it) and a single player actively seeking out the tourney organization to get things done in his favor.

World Beater
01-15-2006, 07:26 PM
I didn't say it was wrong. But I don't think people can sit back and whine about the USO scheduling then ignore the fact that it so blatantly happens other places too. :shrug:.

ok sure.


I disagree. Andre does better on slower high-bouncing courts (AO, Miami), and Brad says all the time that Andy prefers things a bit slower too. Pete liked it uber-fast, but if the USTA was acting at Agassi's every whim, it'd be Rebound Ace or something.
.

well you are clutching at straws here. Which slam did andy win? Aus open or usopen? As you say, ausopen supposedly favors andy more than usopen surface, yet andy has done much better at the uso. there is no comparison.

Andre has done very well at the usopen. Almost every time he lost, he lost to sampras. This particular matchup favored andre on slower surfaces because pete was so good on fast courts.That is why his record is so good at the aussie open. His record at the usopen isnt half bad. Hewitt's record at the ausopen is dismal compared to hewitt's usopen record. No comparison. Agassi and roddick have no reason to complain.

Furthermore, i would speculate that andre would much prefer a faster court. Do you think andre would like to play nadal on RA or on a slicker surface? Andre's best chance against federer,nadal,hewitt,coria,nalbandian,davy is on a quicker surface.

only safin and ljubicic, he would like to play on a slower surface.


Perhaps you're missing my point (or you just disagree, that's fine).... My point is that there is a difference between a country federation doing things to help their own players (which has its own separate and distinct issues of fairness alnog with it) and a single player actively seeking out the tourney organization to get things done in his favor.

there is a difference no doubt. But the difference occurs because hewitt has something to complain about. Roddick and agassi dont have much to complain, which is why they are not so vocal at the usopen.

Deboogle!.
01-15-2006, 07:54 PM
Seems like even the Aussie press doesn't find it cute
======================
Little Lleyton reverts to familiar racket
By Patrick Smith
16jan06

LITTLE Lleyton Hewitt has lobbed to play in the Little Lleyton Open.

Apparently nobody has listened to him and he must play on a court that has not been prepared to suit his game. So he's grumpy.

Foolishly, Paul McNamee thinks the Australian Open is a grand slam event, regarded by some as the best of the year, and that it should not be prepared to favour one man or woman ahead of another. The Hewitt huddle thinks differently, and exactly why the tournament is not actually played in the Australian No.1's backyard confounds them.

All this is familiar territory, court included. Soon Little Lleyton's trumpeters in the media will tell us whether the court is too large, the crowd too quiet, the surface absurd, the balls without bounce, the net too high and the toilet rolls too rough.

The only difference is Hewitt comes not in triumph. In Adelaide, he was beaten by German Philipp Kohlschreiber who is not even a household name in his own abode. "Hey, darlink, who is the guy with the racquet watching the Blaupunkt?"

Sydney saw Little Lleyton survive a near-death experience. He clung to life and then victory as a virus threatened to floor him before his opponent Vincent Spadea could.

The Australian survived, though he says it nearly killed him. He was left with no firewall for Italian Andreas Seppi who gave Hewitt a start and a beating.

Elsewhere, Kohlschreiber and Seppi would be described as journeymen. It is a glib remark not available to local media. If they were Australians they would be hailed as the new Hewitt and Pat Rafter.

As it is, if a young Australian can tell the difference between a forehand and a ham sandwich he is hailed as a potential Davis Cup saviour and slobbered over by John Alexander.

A report in the weekend media sought to make sense of Little Lleyton and his relationship with the media. It was put forward by one person interviewed that journalists either see no fault with Hewitt no matter what, loathe him irrespective of his achievements or think he is a champion player with a head as big as Serena Williams', well, hamstrings.

That is not right. No one who has followed Hewitt with half an eye could deny he is one of the nation's best players. Not journalists, not members of the public. He has two grand slam titles when world tennis has been at its most competitive. His courage and will to conquer is without bounds. They are the elements that make him so abrasive he can rub opponents raw.

But to assemble the complete tennis player from those who will play this Open, Roger Federer would contribute most but Hewitt would be its heart and its soul.

First up he plays Czech Robin Vik, who is no Federer. But he might be a Seppi or a Kohlschreiber and that, on the form of the past two weeks, would be sufficient to end Hewitt's campaign.

His slow start to the summer has been attributed by some to fatherhood. The birth of a child can change a man's priorities. A life can be rearranged. Doting can become more satisfying than a forehand down the line. And high paying women's magazines also suddenly become important, too.

Hewitt alone will decide if nappies, bottles, colic and the like are to become distractions that leave him vulnerable. But he is not the first sportsman to become a parent and it is simple for watchers to finger the obvious. Tiger Woods was said to be all but lost to golf when he married. Rather than losing his head and heart Woods was giving birth to a new swing. Just nobody believed him.

If fatherhood was such a millstone for sports people, coaching manuals would begin with directions to practise birth control first and the volley second.

John Newcombe has another theory. He fancies Hewitt has played too negatively. It is not a new observation and one made regularly even when he was the world No.1 and winning the US Open and Wimbledon.

Todd Woodbridge says that the No.3 seed's game is fine and that it is only a matter of getting into the right frame of mind. A couple of quick kills in the first week will see to that. He will thrive on the expectation and drama of the second week as he did last year.

That's Woodbridge's theory. Let's hope Hewitt's former Davis Cup team-mate has read it correctly, for Little Lleyton is so important to the plot.

Three elements will be critical to Hewitt's progress. Given the manner he has prepared and played before previous Australian Opens, his preparation this tournament has been imperfect. No matter how Woodbridge and others look to assess Adelaide and Sydney, that is a fact. How critical will be evident soon enough.

He will not have to face Marat Safin, who beat him in the final last year, nor French Open champion Rafael Nadal. They are absent injured. But there is Federer and the Australian has not beaten him since the summer of 1922.

Finally, contenders are beginning to clutter around Hewitt. Tennis experts tell us to beware the obvious: Federer and Andy Roddick, but add players like Tomas Berdych, Ivan Ljubicic and Nikolay Davydenko. David Nalbandian, of course, has a famous victory over Hewitt that delivered Argentina Davis Cup victory.

Hewitt, on yesterday's comments, is on edge and that is never a bad thing with the champion. But if he continues to fret about the pace of the courts, if he remains non-committal about the Davis Cup, then he should look to his daughter for inspiration. Or her dummy at the very least.

PaulieM
01-15-2006, 07:59 PM
hewitt just seems to need some sort of controversy/tension to pump himself up to play :shrug: as for the late start, isn't that usually reserved for guys that are arriving with little time to adjust/prepare because they've been playing elsewhere the week before ro something similar?:confused: in this case it doesn't really apply to lleyton, and i guess i'd say he should just deal. :shrug:

Raquel
01-15-2006, 08:07 PM
The Aussie press really went for Lleyton last year. He's just never going to be the gentleman type champion they were used to in Rod Laver and the players of the era when Australia dominated. I think it may have fired him up, so let them say what they like. They'll miss him when he's gone though, and realise it's better the devil you know than to have no devil at all, because I don't see anyone special coming through the ranks.

nobama
01-15-2006, 09:00 PM
Speed is relative my dear. Just because 6 of the 9 are on hardcourts, doesnt mean the surface is fast. In fact 4 of those 6 tournaments are played on surfaces with speeds equal to that or slower than the australian open RA surface.Maybe so, but the comment made was that the Masters Series events favor the "dirtballers". That's what I was responding to. I don't agree.

Merton
01-15-2006, 09:22 PM
It is the same situation as last year. Lleyton thrives on controversy, last year he did just fine on this surface, lets see how it will play this year.

KoOlMaNsEaN
01-15-2006, 09:22 PM
We'll be hearing about this throughout the fortnight like last year

bad gambler
01-15-2006, 09:33 PM
lol c'mon rusty :D :D