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Monday, 16 July, 2001, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Do I not like Aussies
BBC Sport Online's Peter Sanderson takes a look back at other famous sporting outbursts, after Austin Healey hit the headlines before the third Lions Test in Sydney.
It seems unlikely that Rolf Harris and Kylie Minogue will take up Austin Healey's invitation for dinner at the Healey household this Christmas.
Healey launched a scathing attack on his Aussie adversaries on the eve of the final Test, calling them "planks", "plods" and even accusing them of living at the "back-end" of the world.
"Anything we say comes back to this back-end of the world with a whole lot of spin. Well, spin this, you Aussies: up yours," Healey said in his controversial Guardian column.
"Is that enough to get into your Sydney Morning Sun Telegraph Herald Load of Sh**e. If I ever wanted to do something it was beat you lot.
"I was injured in the ACT game," Healey said. "Something else I have to thank my mate Justin Harrison for.
"I thought it was that flanker Peter Ryan who clouted me, but, no, there it is on video, my old pal, the plod from the second row."
The Lions winger's comments did neither himself nor his team any favours.
Not only did it scupper his dreams of going back-packing around the southern hemisphere, it provided Australia with the necessary motivation to tame the Lions in their own back yard.
It also inspired rookie Harrison, the so-called "plod from the second row", to turn in perhaps the best performance of his life as the Aussies ran out worthy victors and claimed their first ever series win over the Lions.
But Healey isn't the first sporting hero to fail miserably in the art of diplomacy - and he won't be the last.
Only two weeks ago John McEnroe's career as a pundit hung by a fine thread after he accused soon-to-become Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanesivic of having only one shot.
"All that guy can do is serve," claimed BBC commentator McEnroe, as the All England Club competition began in earnest.
Fifteen days later McEnroe was eating huge portions of humble pie and heaping praise on the Croatian after his three-hour final with Pat Rafter ended in a first Wimbledon title for Ivanisevic.
"I think it was the greatest final I've ever been a part of," acclaimed McEnroe, apologising profusely for his pre-tournament outburst.
"I didn't think I'd be saying that in the year 2001 - that these two guys would go out and play a magnificent match. And it really was - the tension and the crowd was just unbelievable."
Whether you're a Macedonian in Barnsley or an Englishman in Australia it is imperative you use at least a small portion of tact when it comes to dealing with the foreign media.
Indeed the current ravages of Healey down under are reminiscent of former Barnsley striker Georgi Hristov's exploits when he joined the south Yorkshire club.
The Macedonian ruined any chance he had of following Dickie Bird into Barnsley folklore when he accused every red-blooded Yorkshire lass of being "ugly".
"The local girls are far uglier than the ones in Belgrade. Our women are far prettier and they don't drink as much beer," he claimed, destroying his reputation and social life in one foul swoop.
Needless to say, Hristov left Barnsley with his head held low.
England cricket captain Tony Greig found himself in a similarly awkward situation in 1976 following his infamous pre-series prediction that England could make the West Indies "grovel".
That initiated a pace assault which is only beginning to subside 25 years on, having broken a number of English bones along the way.
Indeed, like Healey's verbal assault, Greig's words were rammed down his own throat as he crawled off The Oval pitch at the end of the series, after England had been brought to their knees by the genius of Viv Richards and company.
Indeed, English cricket has a habit of comitting verbal no-balls.
In 1997 red-faced England were held to a draw by Zimbabwe, one of the lesser sides in the Test game.
The verdict of coach David Lloyd was forthright: "We flippin' murdered them," he announced, to widespread derision and disdain.
The morale of the story is simple - keep your mouth shut and your head low and pray your team-mates can do the same.
That might give you half a chance of winning and guarantee you a safe trip home - good luck Mr Healey.
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