A TRIBUTE to a high-flying forward and a tribute to a fire-fighting hero. A revered musician and a preaching reverend. A subtle dig at a coaching rival and a self-deprecating dig at misguided martial arts. Fight MND Big Freeze 7 has a lot to live up to when the next group of sliders take the plunge on Monday.
The annual Fight MND Big Freeze match between Melbourne and Collingwood will be held at the SCG for the first time on Monday, but the seventh pre-match slide will again take place at the MCG and be broadcast from 2pm AEST.
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Warm up for the iconic Fight MND Big Freeze slide by remembering some of the classic attempts to look cool while braving the ice bath.
Saint Nick bows to the Queen
Freddie Mercury graced the biggest stages and the wildest after-parties as part of 1980s rock icons Queen, but former St Kilda star Nick Riewoldt perhaps surpassed the singer as he strutted his way across the Fight MND Big Freeze stage and down the slide in 2019.
The reverend rips a hammy
The champion of Fight MND Big Freeze, Neale Daniher, became known as the Reverend when he first practiced his inspirational preaching as Melbourne's coach. Chris Fagan paid tribute to Daniher by dressing in an ordained outfit on his way down the slide, but might've dropped some sacrilegious sayings on his way out of the ice bath when he slipped and tore a hamstring.
Cult figure finds his cool
Goal-kicking wizard Warwick Capper spent much of the 1980s leaping from behind onto the shoulders of unsuspecting defenders, while 2002 Winter Olympic Gold Medallist Steven Bradbury claimed the greatest – or at least the craftiest – come from behind victory in the history of Australian sport. It's hard to tell which of these cult figures it was that plunged into the ice pool in 2017.
Swan dive with a silky-smooth entry
Perhaps mindful that a horse would struggle to fit down the slide, John Longmire flipped the script on the nickname he's had since his playing days by dressing in jockey silks. His good friend and old foe Alastair Clarkson looked more than happy to shove the Sydney coach down the slide in 2018.
Hey Clarko, why the wrong face
Moments after Longmire suffered a subzero chill a centaur (half-man, half-horse) appeared in a Swans jacket to take the frosty drop. Other than a dubious-looking horse mask, the diminutive creature closely resembled a certain Hawthorn coach.
Karate kid gets his kicks
When Fight MND Big Freeze 6 couldn't be held at the MCG, the 18 clubs stepped up to send their players plunging into unrecognisable recovery baths. The best of these was at GWS Giants, where a man made for martial arts tried to turn the 'Toby Greene rule' cool.
Bucks honours a fire-fighting hero
Nathan Buckley paid a touching tribute to MND sufferer and Collingwood fan Murray Swinton, sliding down the Big Freeze 4 slide in the former fireman's uniform. It was a reminder of the importance of the work done by FightMND in finding effective treatments and ultimately a cure for Motor Neurone Disease.
Crows fanatic cries 'C'mon!'
Some of Australia's greatest sporting icons have taken the slide and two-time tennis Grand Slam winner and football fanatic Lleyton Hewitt was happy to cop his serve. The former world No.1 dressed in the jumper of his beloved Crows and let out his trademark 'C'mon!' catchcry to psych himself into the Big Freeze bath.
Cool Beveridge skates for a mate
The 2016 premiership coach has been known to join the youths popping ollies and kickflips at the local skatepark while hiding behind a disguise. But Beveridge was happy to show the best of his balance as he surfed down the slide and owned the frosty finish with a controlled dismount. It will be hard for the Big Freeze 7 sliders to look better than this cool Beveridge.
Sheeds is off with the fairies
Kevin Sheedy came across Martians, seagulls and marshmallows during his 678-game coaching career, but it took the Big Freeze 2 – and a heartfelt request from his granddaughter – for the master coach to step into the world of Peter Pan and a fairy dress as Tinkerbell.
Tickets for the Big Freeze in Sydney match are on sale now. Get your tickets HERE. The famous blue Big Freeze beanies are still available from Coles, Coles Express, Bunnings or fightmnd.org.au, while donations can be made at fightmnd.org.au.