Topics: Another Nike in the guts for Newcastle

SNUB: Ben Simmons on the Newcastle-free cover of NBA 2K19.

SNUB: Ben Simmons on the Newcastle-free cover of NBA 2K19.

Now that we have light rail (almost), you’d think it would be time to retire the “another kick in the guts for Newcastle” mantra which has informed our identity for so long.

But then along come the marketing departments at the NBA and video game giant 2K to deliver another size-19 Nike Air Max to the solar plexus with the cover of their latest basketball game for Xbox and PlayStation.

The cover features NBA Rookie of the Year and dyed-in-the-wool Novocastrian Ben Simmons in full flight, ball in hand, for the Philadelphia 76ers.

But it is his fellow Novocastrians who will be dribbling with rage at the absence of the words “Newcastle” and “Hunters” and “Broadmeadow Basketball Stadium” in the background graphics.

Melbourne gets a mention because he once went there. Ditto Fitzroy. Unbelievable.

Big Ben learnt everything he knows about basketball in Newcastle, where he played under-18s state league for the Hunters at the age of four. He was only five-foot-nine at that time, but boy could he dunk.

He has gone on to become possibly the most famous Newcastle athlete on the planet and has a Kardashian.  

The Aussie version of the NBA 2K19 game has the words “They will know your name” scribbled urban-style along Our Ben’s left leg. They do know his name, but they won’t know Newcastle’s.


One of the thoughtful contributions to the animal-cruelty debate this week.

One of the thoughtful contributions to the animal-cruelty debate this week.

Peppa debate turns salty 

Herald reports this week about animal rights group PETA asking the Civic Theatre to take pork products off its menu during performances of Peppa Pig’s Surprise gave everyone on Facebook the opportunity to engage in tolerant, fair-minded dialogue about the relative merits of veganism.

The participants, through the kind of richly nuanced exchange so typical of social media forums, arrived at a broad consensus about the rights of the individual to exercise life choices without fear of mockery or condemnation.

Thank you, Facebook. Thank you.

QWT agenda takes off

Newcastle company Out Of The Square Media has launched into the Queen’s Wharf Tower imbroglio with a video depicting the 40-metre willy as a rocket taking off into the stratosphere.

QWT’s days as a tribute to Her Majesty are numbered after the council sounded the death knell last year.  

Topics revealed this week how Novocastrians were demanding the tower be turned into a ute, but the inspired people at OOTS have taken the debate to new heights.

Their video, replete with billowing clouds of burning rocket fuel, shows how the tower could easily be converted into the genesis of an Australian space program based out of the Brewery.

Presumably, the three decades of alcohol-infused urine in the tower would provide a cheap and powerful propellant to get the thing airborne.   

Over to you, Australian Space Agency.

Nutty in trouble.

Nutty in trouble.

Brush with Nutella

Big news out of Queensland’s Jimboomba Times with reports of a brushtail possum getting its head stuck in a jar of Nutella.

RSPCA wildlife ambulance officer Chantel Sibilla found the poor creature, head crammed in the near-empty jar, wedged between a wheelie bin and fence.

“I wanted to call him Nutty the moment I saw him there,” Chantel sighed.

“You know you have a problem when you end up in a situation like that.”

Topics can sympathise with Nutty’s plight. We once got our head stuck in the bars at Buckingham Palace long enough to get the fire brigade interested.

Mother was not amused.