#200 – Shane Warne

6 12 2010

65.5 million years ago, there was a large-scale mass extinction of animal and plant species in a geologically short period of time. The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, as it is known, caused large amounts of coccolithophorids, molluscs, omnivores, insectivores, terrestrial and marine invertebrates, archosaurs and mammal species to be wiped from the face of the earth. The species that survived did so out of luck, hardiness, or the ability to adapt. Even today, there are countless examples of animal species walking the earth that are largely unchanged from prior to the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. They are the survivors, the examples of triumph over the shifting sands of time. They include crocodiles, mosquitoes, and Shane Warne.

Born at the conclusion of the summer to which Bryan Adams refers, Shane Warne grew up in Melbourne during the glory years of the old school bogan. As a teenager in the 1980s, Shane did all of the things that Shane felt Shane needed to be doing. He had a sweet mullet, he was good at cricket, pretty good at footy, and he coveted the VK Commodore. Despite his unwillingness to become fit, his rare cricketing talent propelled him onto the international stage in his early 20s. By then, it was the early 90s, and money was accumulating in his bank account at a swift speed. Sensing a changing of the times, Warne evolved. The mullet was gone, a gold chain appeared, and he signed a lucrative endorsement deal with Nike in 1994, releasing the “Air Flipper” shoe.

Despite the swelling bank account, international fame and sick Nikes, Shane was strangely unfulfilled. His career was devoid of the X-factor, that which would propel him to the dizzying heights of maxtremity, and secure his place as one of the foremost bogans since a mollusc named Trent some 50 million years prior. And then it began. First, some Indian bloke called “John” dangled multiple lakh rupees in exchange for information regarding pitch and weather conditions. Since Shane Warne does not know a damn thing about the frequency of sound, it is expected that he simply told John, “yeah, it’s going to be humid, eh.”  Subsequent to this gem of meteorological forecasting, Shane was charged with bringing the fine game of cricket into disrepute when he hated on portly Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga. It is believed that a particularly hot curry that was served as ‘mild’ may have been the impetus behind the angst.

His bogan quotient soaring, Shane Warne intuitively knew that in order to reach terminal velocity and truly rupture the hymen of boganic admiration, he must be involved in a sex scandal. Preferably one with maxtreme pornographic appeal. Like bombarding a British nurse with lewd messages. TBL believes that the content of these messages contained multiple references to spinning on his third leg, which were suffixed with LOL.

His appeal to the bogan rising like a particularly venomous flipper yet to reach the apex of its flight, Warne was caught taking last year’s designer drug shortly before the 2003 World Cup. Unwilling to simply fess up and count his millions for a year, Warne came up with arguably the most piss-weak excuse of all time, claiming his mum gave him a tablet to help with his weight problems. Although the ACB banned him for a year, Warne landed on his feet once again, and Channel Nine came to the rescue by offering Warne a sweet commentary job for the tenure of his suspension. Even better for Warne, Australia won the World Cup anyway, once again proving our complete awesomeness at everything, and giving the bogan the opportunity to engage in another of its favourite pastimes: forgiving celebrities. Strangely, the same logic would not be applied to Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Murilitharan, who despite having his action ruled legal by the ICC, would forever be abused as a “chucker” by the bogan, a cry that would become more vociferous when Muralitharan overtook Warne’s wicket record years later.

Of course, eventually, the ravages of time and scandal led to Warne’s retirement. With more than 700 wickets under his belt, he had achieved enough to allow the bogan to ignore the Sri Lankan’s superior tally to this day. But in retirement, Warne remained an unstoppable force of raw bogan power. After playing and missing for years, he finally managed to middle his marriage, sending it flying over the Paddington end boundary. He then decided that his post-cricket media career should begin in earnest. After nipping, tucking and microdermabrading the fuck out of his face for three weeks, ensured his surgically implanted hair was still in place, then set out to conquer the media world, armed with a fake tattoo sleeve.  Which brought us this:

In which Shane Warne and his face collaborate to ingratiate himself and us to his friends. In week one, about 854,000 bogans watched his new show. One week later, that number was 480,000. Perhaps even Warnie, he who bogans like more than all others, has jumped the bogan shark.