What new TAB boss Gillon McLachlan really said – straight from the horse’s mouth

Pick me, pick me! As one who over the years has learned to speak fluent corporatese, I think I can give you the secret thrust of Gillon McLachlan’s remarks on the news breaking that the former boss of the AFL is now to be the boss of Tabcorp.

Tell ’em what you said, Gill, and I will do the translating.

what new tab boss gillon mclachlan really said – straight from the horse’s mouth

Former AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan will step into a big new role.

“It’s about creating entertainment for our customers in a safe way and providing a unique customer omni-channel entertainment offering across digital, retail and the media business.” (Translation: To get this thing tuned to perfection, we will have so many platforms for mugs to lose their money on, and it will be so alluring for them, that we’ll all be rolling in it for years to come.)

“Tabcorp is a proudly Australian company that contributed $1.1 billion to the racing industry last year and continues to be one of the racing industry’s biggest partners, as well as the wagering licensee in all states except for WA.” (Look, at least the money we suck out of the mugs stays here in Australia, so that is something, yes? And the racing mob really likes us because we are so smooth in the way we get the dosh.)

“This is a really important component of my decision.” (Am I in it for the huge personal gain? Nah, I just love it that Tabcorp is so, you know, Australian. And the racing industry people are such good folk.)

“There are enormous opportunities ahead, and I’m looking forward to driving the sport category, among other things.” (You might find it hard to believe, but there might still be a bit more juice in a few more sporting lemons that Tabcorp has not yet sucked dry. And I am going to use my huge sporting background to show the way. I am telling you, there is more mug money out there, and we can shake those mugs down so well they’ll even enjoy it!)

“Tabcorp is part-way through its transformation journey, and I’m looking forward to working with the leadership team to accelerate and deliver on the growth opportunities.” (Yes, “growth opportunities” for Tabcorp are incontrovertibly “loss opportunities” for Australian mug punters, but that’s such an unpleasant way of looking at it, don’t you think? Look at how shiny, corporate and well-presented I am. It couldn’t be that mean an equation, could it? COULD it?)

Vale, Willie Mays

One of the great pioneer black American baseball players, Willie Mays, died this week aged 93. A piece in the New York Times quotes him reminiscing during his induction to MLB Hall of Fame on his first games in Hagerstown, Maryland: “The first night, I hit two home runs and a triple. Next night, I hit two home runs and a double. On the loudspeaker they say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we know you don’t like that kid playing centre field, but please do not bother him again because he’s killing us’.”

Mays’ most famous baseball action is known as “The Catch”, and it is very nearly as good as John Dyson’s effort back in the ’80s. (There was a better one by Jeff Thomson, I’m told, against the Windies at the SCG in 1976, but I can’t find it on Youtube. You may take a pat on the back out of petty cash if you can.)

Cate the great

Cate Campbell on not making it to Paris for what would have been her fifth Olympics, missing out by the hairs of her coach’s chinny-chin-chin, showed a lot of class: “I had hoped for the fairytale ending, and it’s what I had worked for and what I felt I was capable of. And unfortunately, my body just said no. I started in this sport because I was a little girl who loved swimming. I did, I loved it more than anything else.

what new tab boss gillon mclachlan really said – straight from the horse’s mouth

Cate Campbell is surrounded by her fellow competitors after swimming the final of the women’s 50m freestyle.

“And over the years, that love has been tried and tested, and that relationship has been pushed to its absolute limits and its breaking point.

what new tab boss gillon mclachlan really said – straight from the horse’s mouth

Cate Campbell farewells her younger self.

“And I walked out tonight and I remembered that little girl who walked out behind those blocks for the first time, and I remembered the joy and the love that I have for the sport.

“I was able to do that in front of my friends and my family and my loved ones. I can leave the pool in peace and with love, which is a beautiful place to be.”

Cody Simpson, too, bowed out with equal grace before going back to his singing career: “I’m grateful for a huge run in the short amount of time I have been a professional athlete, and I wouldn’t trade a moment. I promise I will never stop trying to do special things with my life. Shoot for the moon … land among the stars. My shot has landed me in a constellation of stars otherwise known as that elusive club, the Australian Swim Team, forever. Thank you, swimming.”

Cheer, cheer

It’s about the Swannies. While you and I weren’t looking, they are sort of, you know, dominating the competition.

Those boogers are lapping the field and are three games clear of the rest at the top of the ladder. The weird thing, though? There’s not more hoopla about it.

what new tab boss gillon mclachlan really said – straight from the horse’s mouth

The Swans are flying high.

Friends, this is the Swans, who for decades in this town were little more than a bad joke. And right now they look as dominant in the AFL comp as the Panthers do in the NRL comp, as Queensland – QUEENSLANDER! QUEENSLANDER! QUEENSLANDER! Oh, do pipe down Billy Moore – are in the Origin.

We’ll see how GWS go up against them on Saturday in the local derby, but the likelihood is that the Swans will romp home again, leaving them with only one loss for the entire season!

Sally forth

And you thought I was hard on LIV golf.

Here was Sally Jenkins, writing in the Washington Post on Monday:

“The wrong guy won the U.S. Open. It happens sometimes. The better golfer from tee to green — and the stronger man of character — was not Bryson DeChambeau. His brawny-armed slap hugs and audience pandering to beery bro chants of “USA!” shouldn’t obscure the fact that he took Saudi blood money from a terrorism-financier government or that he stumble-lucked into a victory on one of the few courses in the world, Pinehurst No. 2, that would forgive his erratic thrashing off the tee.”

At this point, Jenkins had barely cleared her throat.

“DeChambeau’s frantic efforts at audience rapport all week long were so obviously a public relations effort to re-establish a connection with golf fans who have recoiled wholesale from LIV Golf. The glint of his smile or the glare of the victory silver should not blind anyone to his actual conduct … ”

She was particularly revolted by DeChambeau’s constant invoking of the late Payne Stewart, with DeChambeau going so far as to bellow after his save from the bunker, “That’s Payne right there, baby!” as if Stewart was guiding his shot from above. (#FFS!)

In fact, the Post veteran pointed out, Stewart had been outspoken about “the human rights violations of foreign regimes in discussing his American privilege. Meanwhile, here was DeChambeau’s noble stand on the Saudis, after agreeing to take their money: ‘Nobody is perfect’.”

Quite. Go, Sally.

What They Said

Nick Faldo on the Rory McIlroy meltdown in the last few holes of the US Open, where he bogeyed three of the last four holes and missed short putts on the 16th and 18th to lose to Bryson DeChambeau: “That’s going to haunt Rory for the rest of his life, those two misses.”

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy tweets: “Absolute choke job by Rory. No other way to say it. Guy hasn’t missed puts like that all year and then pukes all over himself.” A tad harsh by way of expression, but … OK.

Golf analyst Justin Ray on the putt missed by the Irishman on the 16th: “Rory McIlroy was 496-for-496 putting inside 3 feet this season before that miss.”

So said the former owner of the Sydney Blue Jays baseball side, Adam Dobb, thirteen years ago to his vasectomy surgeon after his wife gave birth to naturally conceived identical triplet boys: “This time, don’t just tie knots in it, cut it off at the hip!” In six weeks, Adam will be coaching the Hills Association under-12 baseball side boasting those three lads when they represent Australia in the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania.

Tiger Woods on missing the cut at the US Open: “Well, it’s one of those things where, in order to win a golf tournament, you have to make the cut. I can’t win the tournament from where I’m at, so it certainly is frustrating. I thought I played well enough to be up there in contention. It just didn’t work out.” Woods hasn’t finished in the top 20 at a major since he won the 2019 Masters.

Australian swimmer Shayna Jack on making it back from the purgatory of a drugs ban to the Olympics team: “But then I would have my partner, my dogs, my family, my friends, and they couldn’t take away my pain. They’d basically sit there and say, ‘we wish we could help, in a sense of taking this pain off you and taking that hurt from you. But all we can do is sit here and be there for you’. And that’s all anyone’s asking for when they’re struggling. It’s not necessarily about fixing the problem, it’s just about being there.”

what new tab boss gillon mclachlan really said – straight from the horse’s mouth

Latrell Mitchell has been reflecting on his NRL journey.

Collingwood’s Dane Swan reminisces on his early, scratchy years after being inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame: “[Coach] Mick [Malthouse] said ‘prove to me you belong here’ , and I started repaying some of the faith. It didn’t put me on the right path, it put me on a righter path. I’ve got no idea why they kept me. I was like a cockroach, they couldn’t kill me.”

Latrell Mitchell on Latrell Mitchell: “I honestly think back and think if I had just shut my mouth, like everyone is saying to do now, I’d be the best player in the world. I was 18 coming in, I was like a young Reece Walsh. As I gradually started to grow and find a voice, it became about, ‘OK, what am I passionate about?’. That’s my people. That’s my culture. That’s my family.”

Latrell Mitchell: “There’s so much bullshit about me and Origin, when all I’ve ever done is win for Origin. I’ve given everything to NSW, the badge and the name on my back – my family. Not having that protection after, when shit hits the fan, that’s where the doubt crept in about going back and playing representative footy.”

English football star Jude Bellingham on Jude Bellingham: “Jude Bellingham is made up of amazing people, really. It is not just me who turns up and enjoys it like I do and just plays football, it is because I have such a great support network. My family, my friends, my team-mates. Playing football is the easiest part.” Jude Bellingham. Jude Bellingham. Jude Bellingham. I don’t know about you, Jude Bellingham, but I just love saying the name, don’t you? Jude Bellingham!

Albania substitute Klaus Gjasula after scoring for both teams in a 2-2 draw against Croatia at Euro 2024: “My first minutes on the pitch were very, very difficult for me, not only for the own goal but also other situations. Then God wanted and gave me the opportunity to score.” Good ol’ God!

Team of the Week

Rory McIlroy. Dropped three shots on the last four holes – and his bundle – to let the US Open slip through his hands. And there we were thinking he and Greg Norman would never be able to find common ground?

what new tab boss gillon mclachlan really said – straight from the horse’s mouth

The Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum lifts the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.

Boston Celtics. Won a record 18th NBA championship.

Souths. Won their past three matches on the trot and now just three wins outside the top eight. Stranger things have happened than them making the finals.

Broncos. Haven’t won since the Origin period started.

Swans. If they win the Sydney Derby on Saturday, they can just about put the cue in the rack till September.

Origin II. NSW need to win to keep the series alive. Everything is set up for Latrell Mitchell to star and send it to Queensland for a decider that they will win. But I strongly suspect neither thing will happen.

USA Cricket. Made the last eight of the T20 World Cup. Extraordinary.

TWITTER: @Peter_Fitz

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