TOPICS: Fans’ choice best

COMMERCIAL:    1300SMILES Stadium.

WE thought naming rights hit rock bottom when the Penrith Panthers unveiled Centrebet Stadium. 

Then this week, the North Queensland Cowboys decided their home would henceforth be known as 1300SMILES Stadium.

Congratulations are in order. We live in a commercial age and the Cowboys live in a state that puts the ‘‘yes’’ in ‘‘eyesore’’ and, yet somehow, they’ve pulled off a stroke of tackiness that would have Clive Palmer’s golf course T-Rex clapping, if only its little arms could meet.

The home of the Knights is currently called Hunter Stadium, which is harmless enough. But for how long? What if the next naming rights go to Dodo, or Nad’s Nose Wax?

We need something the fans can call it no matter what damage the owners might do, like how Brisbane fans refer to Suncorp Stadium as Lang Park.

Hunter Stadium was first called the Newcastle International Sports Centre. But that’s a bit clunky and, besides, the precinct is about as ‘‘international’’ as the US baseball premiers are ‘‘world champions’’.

The stadium names we like are timeless and concise, like Old Trafford or White Hart Lane.

What about calling it Turton Road? 

To us, that would feel authentic, and grounded in a sense of place. Or would you call the Knights’ home ground something else? Discuss.

Nobody’s business 

 FOR weeks, we’ve been watching a broken TV. 

It’s sat glumly on the kerb in Newcastle’s Bolton Street, and our obsession isn’t as sad as it sounds – we’ve done other stuff in between. But since the TV remains on the kerb as we go to print, we’re consumed by one question. Why?

This week, things took a turn. Someone unfathomably, viciously smashed the TV into bits of circuitry and broken glass. But no one collected the body or drew a chalk outline where it had been. No one cared.

It’s a busy stretch of footpath by Newcastle CBD standards and dozens of people walk past every hour. Many are parking inspectors. Was there, we wondered, a ‘‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’’ policy within the council, so that it wouldn’t be anyone’s job to collect it?

No, said a council spokeswoman. They always respond to reports of illegal dumping.

First, the dumped item is stickered with notices saying: ‘‘This is illegal dumping’’, or words to that effect, and the potential fines.

Compliance officers investigate by following up with neighbours or visiting the dumping suspects. Like Law & Order but less interesting.

If that investigation doesn’t yield a quick result, Compliance joins forces with Waste Services, like a Law & Order and SVU crossover special, to have the dumped stuff removed.

You can report illegal dumping on 49742000.

Pep talk turnoff

 TOPICS had just finished ranting about a telemarketer interrupting our lunch when our phone lit up again.


‘‘This is Paul Harragon!’’

‘‘Uh. Hi?’’

Then we realised we weren’t speaking to The Chief. It was a recording of The Chief, giving a rousing pep talk about how we ought to become members of the Knights.

We’ll think about it, Chief.


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