The degree of success and adulation achieved by great sporting clubs such as the Black Fish rarely comes without great cost. As the eminent Belgian archbishop (and prominent Black Fish supporter) Leo Joseph Suenens once said, “Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.” And so it is for the Black Fish.
With the 2012 Tour Down Under only weeks away, each member of the elite BF cycling squad has been living the sort of ascetic, self-flagellant existence that would make even Suenens question his faith (in god, not the mighty Black Fish). And while most known deities, and other sundry supernatural entities (ranging from Santa Claus to, awkwardly, a Mer-Man), have formally signed on as Black Fish supporters, it appears that even the Fish are unable to avoid the occasional stochastic mishap.
Which brings us to the sorry fate of Richard "Slow-Twitch" Weeks, the engine-room of the Black Fish train on the flat and the owner of the world's most peculiar reverse-fatiguing thigh muscles. Not content with his dominance on the bike, Weeks sought to demonstrate his ability to survive a torrid backyard pace bowling spell from elite 5-year-old prodigy Weeks (E) during the traditional Weeks/Edwards Xmas cricket carnival. Overjoyed at managing to back away from his stumps without being detected by the jeering crowd, Weeks attempted a Brett Lee-style jump and heel-click. Cricket afficionados will appreciate that not even Lee, who took 310 wickets in 76 tests and therefore did his stupid little skip at least 300 times, was able to carry off this manoeuvre with anything resembling grace. One can only imagine, then, the carnage that was the Weeks attempt. I will spare you the details - one's imagination will produce sufficient horror - but here is the result:
Even those unfamiliar with looking at x-rays of the little toe will appreciate the enormity of this fracture but, just in case, I have added a pink arrow to demonstrate the severely angulated spiral fracture. Nasty stuff. Enough to make even Mick Doohan shudder. And it took only 2 ring blocks, a double rum, and 3 attempts to reduce the fracture. Doohan would have needed 4 ring blocks, at least, I am sure.
But this is where the Black Fish spirit prevails. Ordered off the bike for a minimum of 4 weeks by the Orthopaedic surgeon, the magnificent Weeks simply prescribed himself a single dose of HTFU and was back on the bike within days.
I encourage all Black Fish fans to stand and applaud this fine man as he cycles past you on January 20 - he will be in pain, but he will finish the TDU.
That is the way of the Black Fish.