Thursday, May 14, 2009
I gotta admit, I'm not the biggest Bulldog's fan (N.R.L. Australia) but I can't help but admire Hazem El Masri, or 'El Magic' as he is fondly referred as.
The pocket rocket from Lebanon, emigrating in 1988, plays his 300th first grade game (all for the one club, Bulldogs) tonight against the Dragons and looks set to score another milestone in his stellar career; look out Steve Menzies and E.T. (Andrew Ettinghausen)!
The 33 year old winger (has played fullback on occasion too) is an absolute dynamo being just 178 cm or 5ft 10 inches on the old scale and 88 kg (14st). But his stature certainly doesn't mean that he is any type of small fry in the game.
He has the all-time highest NRL career point scoring record at 2,208 pts, beating out Andrew Johns, and actually set another record when he kicked a highest total of 11 goals against my beloved Bunnies (Rabbitohs) in a round 21 game back in 2003. That is just the tip of the iceberg with most points scored in a single season (2004), highest score in a single game (34 pts against West Tigers - Round 2, 2006) and the list goes on and on.
But more importantly, El Masri, a devout Muslim, is a top bloke, visiting sick kids in hospital and doing great work in the community by being a wonderful role model. Married to Arwa, with three children, Hazem is a true gent and family man (even though his 'obsessive' training schedule may have taken away from some important family time - hey, none of us are perfect!)
The former Belmore Boys High Schooler and Enfield Federals soccer star has come a long way and we wish him the best in the big game tonight.
We love you El Magic - GO YOU GOOD THING!