There are so many ways we could begin today’s entry. Whitewash would be a good word to start with. Annihilation. Massacre. Humiliation. Thrashing. These are all excellent words and certainly apt for the occasion.
Perhaps we could take a lead from the Barmy Army and break into song, with something subtle like ‘five-nil’ repeated over and over to the strains of Auld Lang Syne.Seeing as it’s only the third time there has been a five-blot Ashes result – all of them in Australia’s favour, I might add – it is a feat worth singing about.
We could point out what a great advertisement our cricketers are for Australian workplace productivity, each Test dispensing with the Poms well within the allotted five days. In Sydney, they did it inside three, needing barely two and a half hours to finish off England’s batting ‘attack’ in the final innings. At one point, the Poms lost three wickets in the time it took me to make a cup of tea.
We could chortle at how Piers Morgan touched down in LA to be told by an Aussie flight attendant: “166 all out, Mr Morgan. Didn’t even last the day.” Or how former English captain Michael Vaughan posted a picture of a tub of whitewash on his Twitter feed under the heading ‘Selfie’.
We could compare the hard-headedness of Pitbull Clarke’s captaincy with the timidity of Cook’s, or add to the acres of print already dedicated to the genius of Boof Lehmann.
We could note that Australia Day came early yesterday and how, with the sun setting on a jubilant SCG crowd, Lleyton Hewitt took to the court in Brisbane to put Roger Federer to the sword, picking up his first ATP title since 2010.
But there will be plenty of time for all of that. We have earned our bragging rights and we will put them to good use. But right now there is something way more important to do. Right now we have to save Mitch Johnson’s mo.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I was initially not a fan of the Johnson mo. Though grown for a noble cause, at first, second and third glance it looked ridiculous to my untrained eye. I couldn’t wait for the end of Movember and the removal of the caterpillar that had wrapped itself across Mitchell’s upper lip.
Then he announced he was keeping it until the end of the Ashes and, well, over the past few weeks, Mitch’s mo has grown on me. It has become more than unsightly facial hair. It has given its host superhero powers. It has turned him into a force that is part sports star, part rock god, with the deadly precision of Dennis Lillee, the stage presence of Freddie Mercury and bearing an uncanny resemblance to both.
In the process, the mo has developed its own persona, a vital, if unofficial, member of the Australian team. Mo has been the X factor in this Ashes series, the difference between the two sides. Mo terrorises English batsmen in their sleep. They wake screaming its name. Jacques Kallis has retired ahead of our tour of South Africa, in obvious fear of Mo. If I could have dinner with any six people on the planet, Mo would make the list. Not Mitch but Mo, and second only to George Clooney. Mo could run the country. That’s how good Mo is.
But now, with the Ashes over, there’s no word on the fate of Mo. And I’m worried Mitch thinks he can go it alone. I’m worried he might do something silly and sever this perfect pairing of man and mo.
So, we must do all we can to keep Mo alive. Mitch must be made to understand that without Mo, he’s just another good looking bloke with a sleeve tattoo and slightly protruding teeth. Without Mo, there’s no menace and no mystique. Mitch without Mo is Austin Powers without his mojo and we know how ugly that got.
There is no issue facing this country requiring greater or more immediate attention. Write to your local MP. Tell them your vote depends on their action. Write to Boof Lehmann and get him to issue a one-man shaving ban. Write to Cricket Australia and get them to make it clear to Johnson’s management that Mitch and Mo are a package deal. Drop everything and do it now.
And sing after me:
“God save our gracious Mo, Long live our noble Mo, God save our Mo Send it victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us, God save our Mo.”
PS. Dave Warner, you’re free to shave. ASAP. Every time I look at you, I do the YMCA dance.
PPS. Five-nil, five-nil, five-nil, five-nil, fi-ive-nil, five-nil, five niiiiiiiiiiiiiiil….