Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

The Greatest – A Boy Remembers

Posted: June 4, 2016 in Sport

It all started for me in 1970. My best friend at Wavell High was Ian Anderson and he was a rabid Ali fan. Didnt follow boxing much but saw the hoopla about his return to the ring with Quarry and then Bonavena and by the time March 1971 rolled around for the Fight of The Century I was hooked. Because he was more than boxing. As said in other media commitments this was when Heavyweight Boxing ruled the world of sport and Ali ruled boxing in the early to mid 70s. Forget State of Origin there was no bigger event in the sporting world before that night. It was a Monday night in Brisvegas – a school night even – as it was beamed live into out lounge room . Sinatra was a ring side photographer, Lancaster a ring announcer etc NYC was a rough place then and Madison Square Garden was the epicentre that night. Frazier won fair and square but Ali was not diminished in any way and was yet another example that behind all the bluster was a courageous man as well. Devoted fans would know of my love of the USA and have been very lucky to visit several times and pay homage to this night both in NYC and Philadelphia. For me the two men are inextricably linked like no other sporting foes. They displayed the beauty, brutality and courage of boxing at its best and worst

Around the same time there was a better than average Aussie boxer going around called Mundine but not of the dickhead variety. Another friend at school (yeah yeah two friends is hard to believe!) had a very generous father who started taking us both to Festival Hall in Brisbane on the odd Friday night where we would see Mundine and Jeff White amongst others ply their trade. To see the crowd stand as one and sing “Stand up and Cheer” as the boxers walked to the ring was amazing. This was close and personal trust me and really filled a young 12 yr old boy with awe. Mr Hassum always joked “Dont shave this week David we are going to the fights on Friday” You had this world class boxer up close and personal to watch and then follow Ali from afar. Now my mother likely had early onset OCD bless her heart and amongst many early memories was Thursday morning washing day where the bottom sheet was pulled off the bed, the top one replaced it and then a new one on top. To this day I have never known anyone else to do that and yet it made perfect sense at the time. I relate this fascinating anecdote more to highlight what a wonderful mother she was, in difficult times, because despite a cleanliness requirement bordering on obsession she allowed me to plaster my bedroom wall with newspaper clippings of Ali. I cant recall the state of the paint when finally removed but imagine a redo was in order. I left town. Literally. She also sewed me a wonderful label to attach to the back of a dressing gown. These things are magic to a young boy. Not sure how I got the money (maybe packing at Woolies on a weekend) but as is my own little obsessive habit started to collect US boxing magazines, Newspaper clippings and even started to import Super 8mm films from the USA of Ali fights. The excitement in those days of receiving a package from the USA was significant. Later on my sweet CLP got me the same fights on DVD.



The next few years had its ups and downs until we got to September 1974. By now I was collecting friends like acne on a teenagers face and one – David Anstey – lived next door to school. It was Senior year and it was October 30th but only one thing mattered that lunch hour – the fight was on TV. This could well have been the start of the extended lunch hour that I manfully continued with through my working years. It was a masterful display by Ali and the world was indeed shocked. Then of course we came to maybe the greatest Heavyweight fight of all time – The Thrilla in Manila. Certainly a brutal one and the one Ali should have walked, or at least limped, away from. But that is not in his nature.



If you have even a passing interest in Ali or Boxing you should watch “When We Were Kings” for the Rumble in the Jungle and the HBO doco “Thrilla in Manila” for the latter. The latter is actually a more warts and all look at Ali as told from the perspective of Frazier and when reflecting on Ali it is important to understand he was no Saint. There were many more fights to come including the epic Norton battles but the peak had been reached and only more damage could be done. He achieved the rare feat of winning the championship a third time but by now not only his decline but also that of Heavyweight Boxing was evident

Ali’s greatest fight was still to come and one can only admire his courage in such a proud man showing his frailty so clearly in public time and time again. Without knowing anything about his real health one can only imagine it may have well been a blessing in the end. Despite his appearance though in later years most suggest he was still quite “well” . Mind you , one consistency throughout his career were the “hanger oners” . It is only with his passing that you truly understand the impact he had on your life especially in those early formative years. It also reinforces what a mediocre lot of “sporting superstars” , with some exceptions, we have these days. There will be many words written and said and sadly by a lot of “personalities” but I have my own memories so I dont need to read anyone else. I will however highlight something Obama said as he always strikes me as a thoughtful person (or at least his speechwriter is!)as it does highlight the flipside of this larger than life character that transcended the sport.

Muhammad Ali was The Greatest. Period. If you just asked him, he’d tell you. He’d tell you he was the double greatest; that he’d “handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder into jail.” But what made The Champ the greatest – what truly separated him from everyone else – is that everyone else would tell you pretty much the same thing.

He wasn’t perfect, of course. For all his magic in the ring, he could be careless with his words, and full of contradictions as his faith evolved. But his wonderful, infectious, even innocent spirit ultimately won him more fans than foes – maybe because in him, we hoped to see something of ourselves.

One could spend all day simply looking at his life in pictures. Here are a couple that I always liked

I have only kept one magazine in pristine condition from those days and it was actually a wonderful gift from CLP who chased it down many years later from USA. It is a classic piece of sports journalism that again you dont see much of today


If you want an example of Ali’s charm and wit simply watch his interactions with Howard Cosell over the years. “Whatever Truculent means if thats good I’m that” No script there.

I no longer have a bedroom wall covered in photos. I only need one


Rest in Peace

In some final good news for Loz the Snoz this morning news comes through he has been signed up for a big part as a new hero in the next XMen movie. His secret weapon is his huge Deflection Shield. He must have spent a lot of time with the QT man of Rugby League to have taken on board the one thing you need to do when you lose is deflect any blame away for your over paid Superstars. You know the ones that drop balls at tap kicks, or bombs at Fullback or miss getable conversions. Nah, load up on the referees instead. Now I like Loz and he is a fair and decent man by all accounts but just think the sheer frustration has finally got to him. Did QLD get the rub of the green ? Yeah probably. Have they always got the rub of the green for the last 11 years? Nope. The two most contentious issues were the no try for the Morris and reversal of the knock on against O’Neill just out from our line. Both decisions were correct Loz. It was actually the NSW touch judge that got the Morris call wrong and indicated to ref it was a try. Only reason it went up to Bunker as an onfield try. And this same ref missed a pretty obvious strip from Reynolds against Thaiday close to their line too which resulted in NSW feed rather than penalty. Kevvie is a newbie at the press conference caper but he needs to shut up about “needing some assistance ” to win big games. Take it this time Son because in your coaching career you will be on the other end for sure and certain and no one will give a crap let alone the NSW coach

The issue developing with SOO that the administrators and Channel 9 dont want to admit is they are becoming largely boring games. “Dour” is the buzz word but is a pretty way of saying snoozefest. Yes it is tough no doubt and every debutante will say “it was a lot faster than I thought” but it is not good spectacle . Unlike last years Grandfinal. The hype simply continues to build each year but is more about some petty hatred between some media and a need to justify “the game that stops the nation” Speaking of which a couple of players could have been put down this morning or at least swabbed. Now, I get wrapped up in the hype each year too but really only because I get sick and tired of the heavily NSW Biased NRL media and the crap they go on with so simply want QLD to win to shut them up

Thought Boyd was outstanding and should have been MOM although Gillett was very good. Gagai impressed while Smith and JT did usual solid stuff behind the line. Cronk was quiet. Thaiday did his best work after the match which simply gives the NSW media something else to latch on to and run with. For NSW, Maloney impressed as did Fifita off the bench. Moylan will be better for the run now nerves are out of the and looks all class. You cant see NSW winning at Suncorp and then will have the dead rubber in Sydney and a night on the Stilnox so NSW have hope for 2017.

Great line on the QPS Facebook page this morning

And THAT is how you Hold the Door! #Origin #Queenslander #GoT

There will be many great memes around today but this one tickled my fancy for its simplicity. From TAB with the tagline

One win in 10 years, probably smart keeping the tag..


Grand Finale Indeed

Posted: October 4, 2015 in Sport

And so the Grand Final with no losers north of the border is cracked, boxed and buried. Being a Broncos fan naturally a bit disappointed but not distraught. Great to see JT get his moment in the sun at last but sport can be a cruel mistress. I do love me a sporting streak and now the Supercoach’s GF run has come to an end. Everyone spoke well last night and you can see the genuine respect they all have for each other. So what do we know now in the wash up

1. Jimmy Barnes live is not a good sound. Leave it to Mossy mate – as great as Cold Chisel are

2. Why didnt the sporting Gods let JT kick the winning goal at the end in what would have been the fitting end? Who can forget O’Connor’s goal line conversion in the SOO? Instead the field goal will be remembered more for Hunts drop rather than any brilliant execution . Bennett has come out saying he disagrees with Golden Point and always has to be fair. Yes it may sound like sour grapes but without elevating him any further part of his angst is probably for Ben Hunt. I do not agree the GF should be replayed – that is not really feasible in this day and age but would suggest a golden try ending would be more fitting for a GF , or SOO, when your whole season can come down to a field goal

3. Broncos defense was great but they shut down the game too early – like 20 minutes from end! Cowboys attack is their strength , not their defense which to be fair looked a tad susceptible out wide. No doubt they were coach instructions but they were wrong. Wasting a bit of time does not tax the Cowboys and constantly giving away field position too easily. Turn a 4 point lead into 8 or 10 and then u may slow things down. One out runs and kicks into touch just allow Cowboys to mount another raid and it dont matter how good your defense is, everyone eventually cracks against a side that is not tiring as not doing much defense work

4. JT was pretty quiet for first 60 mins but stepped up when needed and it is the little things he does that are amazing – the big one on one tackles, kick chase and of course kick return near own line. Morgan was always going to be a danger and proved the winner in the end. JT should be an immortal but then again so should Locky. The Cowboys kick offs were great all night and no surprise one would be spilt eventually

5. Speaking of immortals, Joey Johns is a prize goose. And a troubled one. I do fear waking one day to hear something bad has happened there with him. Great footy mind though

6. The crowd was great and hopefully puts paid to any nonsense talk about shifting the GF. Superb spectacle all round

7. Hodgo was all class last night, especially off the field, but suspect he was not 100 %. Hunt will be remembered for the dropped ball but really made two massive mistakes earlier that let Cowboys draw level. The spear tackle and then the dropped ball in the last few minutes were death blows . Realistically he did cost the Broncos the match but it was before the dropped ball in Golden time.

8. QLD could dominate SOO for another 10 yrs with players like Morgan and Milford to slip in down the track. DCE can stay in Manly thanks

9. Referees did a good job and they should not figure in any discussions this morning which can only be a good thing

10. Seeing the POMS kicked out of their own World Cup in rah rah land certainly outshines any mild disappointment one may have about the Broncs losing

Dawn breaks on a New Day

Posted: August 17, 2015 in Sport

The Masters of Merriment – Roy and HG – dubbed Ian Baker Finch The Dark Shark in that wonderful Aussie way of mixing praise and derision in equal measure. The original GWS aka Greg Norman is likely the most famous, if not necessarily most accomplished, Aussie golfer of all time. Certainly the most talented and what he did, or didnt do, with that talent is the source for most ridicule. He also was a massive influence on the generation of Aussie golfers to follow especially Adam Scott. Much like how the WAGS lost us The Ashes it is clear that Mrs Scott and Scott Junior have similarly killed of Scotty’s career. God knows what he will do when he has to ditch the broomstick – or at least give it back to his wife 🙂 Having just spent a lovely weekend with the Flashman Five I do understand how younguns can distract one. They say any good golfer can win a Major but you have to be better than good to be a multiple winner. Of course the one tag you dont want is “best golfer to never win a Major” and this rotates around the usual suspects year after year. I do prefer the “How the hell did he ever win a Major” personally but the original is more fun. So every new Aussie star on the horizon is inevitably compared to GWS but no one has risen to his stature in the game. If you were to construct the supreme golfer of the Aussie variety you would take the course management of Peter Thomsen, driving of GWS, iron play of Scotty and putting stroke of IBF. This was of course when these players had their A Game and before IBF went wandering off into the bunda every second shot. Then Jason Day emerged and lo and behold if he doesnt just about match all those categories himself with the possible exception of course management which he may still learn one hopes. He is amazeballs long of the tee, high straight iron shots, great bunker play and a supreme putter. The last one cannot be underestimated – just ask Scotty and Sharkie!

His record in Majors before today is also rather amazing with a string of close finishes and 9 previous Top 10s. Of course when the “close finishes” start to pile up then the dreaded word “choker” will appear rather than “damn he is consistently good”. He had a handy, but not winning” lead before last round today of 2015 PGA at Whistling Straits GC on Lake Michigan – a stunning course to say the least. Of most concern was his nearest follower was the always dangerous Jordan Spieth who already had two Major wins this year. The turning point was probably the 9th when after a massive drive he hit a 100 yd shot 50 yds inexplicably. However he then proceeded to get up and down while Spieth bogeyed giving a handy lead for the back nine. So, he has finally reached the pinnacle his talent richly deserves and one can only hope from this lofty height his Vertigo does not kick in again! At 27 yrs of age he now has the chance to ice the cake and join the McIlroys and Spieths of the world rather than the one hit wonders like YE Yang! With his distance of the tee combined with that putting stroke the sky may well be the limit. He will never have the charisma of Sharkie but then he will likely only have one wife too eh. Speaking of which WTF was that Evert scene in the movie Trainwreck – talk about following the title to the letter!

In other sporting news I only have one question. Why has no one thought of putting our netballers in the Line Outs against the All Blacks. They are tall, can jump, and know how to beat kiwis! Broncs look good, Hayne going well, Kyrgios is an assclown – yep not a lot else changed

Having spent a lovely couple of days with Flashman Five I have nothing to moan about on this Monday but…….. been a bit of bad press lately for Uber and I have never used them so dont know the deal but I did use a Taxi on Saturday night in Brisvegas. Celebrating with CLP in Riverside and then caught a taxi home to Windsor. This is not far – as in barely got the seat belt done up when he had his hand out. Given there is almost $5 on the meter even when u open the door at a rank it soon adds up but really $21 for that distance! We really get ripped off here in Aussie land and that is why companies like Uber spring up , good or bad.

But lets not worry about these things now when there are so many pleasant memories from the weekend


Who Let the Dogs Out?

Posted: August 8, 2015 in Sport

And can he take his bitch Warnie with him please!

So the greatest certainty since Sticky the Stick Inset got Stuck on a Sticky Bun is finally over. Now Puppy may not know his way around a batting crease but he does with a media circus. He fell on his own sword…….. and still only nicked it!! My practicing religion is Cynicism so lets look at the timing of his departure. The final 3 dayer will now be his last test match and that will be all that matters. There will be more praise flowing than a margarine convention on a hot day because while we love to cut down tall poppies we still love to throw a bit more fertiliser on their dying roots. Only one real question remains – can he score more runs in his final dig than the similar cement boot clad Punter did? (Memo to selectors no more nicknames starting with “P” for Aussie test captains please). His form this series has been bad but really for the last couple of years it has been up and down like a Nun in a cucumber patch (thanks Dabear!) and there could be a tinge of sadness that a once dominant batsmen ends up on the wrong side of 50, test batting average wise. That is one of those magical numbers that defines true greatness. Its not all doom and gloom of course because clearly the only reason that the Poms won this series was because of the Aussie coach they have! Which brings us to the burning question – can someone please detail what the KSCs are for the job of Aussie batting coach. Di Venuto?? Sounds like an italian ice cream that melts on exposure to air. Its like having Tony Abbott as Minister for Womens Affairs. Ha Ha , good one eh. What??? You have to be joking…. Lordy Lordy, take me now. Under all this jocularity though is a serious question facing the game’s administrators. How do you pay Watto 4 million a year to stand in dressing rooms shirtless when you are only getting 3 days of gate takings! A standard ticket for the Edgbaston test match was 90 quid which I think is $3,275 AU. It will always be the mugs that get slugged

Then of course there was the match last night that the whole of Australia sits on the edge of their seats for. It doesnt happen often and usually there is a clear favorite with a distinctive coloured jersey. It wasnt a great match but by the end of it there was a surprise winner! Yes  Parramatta beat the Panthers. Elsewhere in the city some wallabies beat some team from across the ditch with a patchy record at best. The Bledisloe cup is odd to say the least – how can you have a best of two series?? Once u win the thing its very hard to lose so when we travel to Land of Long White Cloud to play reverse “Game played in Heaven with Rules designed in Hell”, the kiwis will win and another year passes of what ifs and coulda beens. But back to the real game of footy aka NRL. Its a year when only a sheila could win the local tipping contest because form means nothing. Get the darts out or go for the old favourite theme of big animal always beats little animal. You know, Panther V Eel, Bronco V Bulldog……. hmm ok I give up.

Speaking of sheilas at least they know how to win. Forget cricket, how about those Netballers! And lets be honest they are our only hope in the dive in and dont sink caper in the wet stuff come Olympics and World Champs. And of course Tomic is clearly our best tennis player. Everywhere you look the girls are our only hope. Lets face it if one of them hadnt slipped a roofy into an apple all those years ago where would we be? And all from one rib. Imagine if he had used a femur ?

Apart from Adam falling over at regular intervals the world would be a different place eh.

Broadsided and then Rooted

Posted: August 6, 2015 in Sport

Where to start?? Maybe with a couple of Tossers before a ball was missed in ignorance

Warnie is a tosser whenever he does anything but sit down(offscreen) with a microphone and actually talk cricket so it was no surprise to see his awkward leering at the boot clod young lady trying to sing Jerusalem before start of play. But King tosser of course was Cook of the Not James variety. As said in previous media commitments the toss is usually very important and we all know this so dont need this beanpole coming out with crap like “it doesnt really matter it all depends who plays the best” . How come you couldnt bend down to get the coin because you had barred up after winning it?? Cricket 101 is win the toss and bat. Rider 101 , subset “Convicts”, Paragraph “Overpaid Wankers in White” reads “of course unless playing the Aussies in England”. This at least gave us the chance to grab a rare insight into the thinking of Puppy after a hard week. “What would you have done Champ if you had won the toss?” Mumble, mumble “Doesnt matter we didnt win”. Wow, riveting TV. I tell you what doesnt matter and that is where u bat in the order because ya better get your pads on now!

The sun was out now because it was 5 minutes later and now the commentators were thinking ” well this could backfire on Cook”. Collectively the masses back home sat glued to the TV waiting for our men to show some ticker and get through the first hour. Then something terrible happened. Yes England bowled the first ball. From there it was a steady procession of clowns that should all get into one of those ridiculously small cars and drive into the Thames. Mind you with their sense of direction they would probably miss. It was a smart move by Pup though to wear a black armband in memory of his dead captaincy. Sadly he also had three wrapped around his ankles it appears as he couldnt move his feet. Buck played an average shot, Smith tried to be aggressive, Warner got a great ball, Voges a great catch yada yada yada. But the worst really was our Captain. A streaky 4 followed by a skied pull shot even had Bronwyn thinking this goose cant last. But really the icing on the cake was the dismissal shot – could you ever imaging AB playing a shot like that in these circumstances, or even Waugh? Remember the great tribute to Hughes with the “Leave your bat out” campaign. The Aussie cricketers should leave their match payment outside the hotel in a campaign we could call “Leave the fucking ball outside the off stump alone you braindead muppet”. Or something. Bring back Watto, at least we would have an LBW rather than all of these catches behind the wicket!

So the Ashes are gone. I went to bed but apparently you could actually score runs on that pitch and the record I like is that Root scored the first century in Ashes history in a second innings on a first day. Think about that. You win the toss and are bowling – and at stumps you have also scored a century. If he didnt get one that night he just may be a virgin. Of course it also highlighted another odd decision – replace an allrounder with a batsman who invariably fails at this level. So basically defending 60, we were already a bowler short. You cant make this stuff up

Of course we all know, in two years time the Poms will come out and get skittled and the media will say the Aussie side is on the rise again. Its like Politics – if Labor were to win next election it is because Abbott was voted out. No one has fallen under the spell of Bill Curly suddenly. Test matches are not won anymore , they are lost by the other team.

And no one can lose a test match as quickly as this current mob. Seriously does anyone prebuy tickets to day 4 of test match anymore ? They should at least plan a couple of 20/20 matches for days 4 and 5. Hell, our batsmen may as well wear the coloured gear for the test matches and at least save some laundering.

Its a strange world when you think the Aussies have more chance of winning the Bledisloe Cup this year than an Ashes series in England.

Wait a minute…….. doesn’t Folau bat number 4 and bowl slow offies ??

Well what a night lay ahead – SOO decider and the first day of the Ashes. One big question remained. Which Aussie cricketer would Liz Hayes do a hatchet job on the day of the match ? As usual Channel 9 had the monopoly on broadcast which did lead to an interesting contrast. Which long drawn out pre match nonsense would bore you to tears first ? It was a draw really although the cross to Heals and Tubs with red and blue scarves on was hard to beat for cringe me now material. The cricket started fist by a bee’s dick so lets go there now

There is nothing better in Test Cricket then the first session on the first day of the first test of the Ashes series. Sadly we were in Cardiff and playing in the car park it appeared. The first 3 balls of Starc’s first over bounced three times before Haddin could even drop them. They were nowhere near the actual stumps so the batsman was safe. Mitch was getting some new ink so they opened with Hazelwood and he was more impressive. Sadly now, SOO was about to start so missed the first wicket live but saw the replay and then Cook’s wicket later on. Someone who looks a lot like Ian Bell but batted like Ian Thorpe ( Note: Interesting fact. Though Bigfoot is an accomplished cricketer he has never bowled a maiden over) came and went quickly and is no longer the threat he once was. Then Rooty comes out , scratches around knicks the ball and the rout is on. Then Haddin drops it. Some say it was a tough catch, I say he made it look harder than it was by going with one hand. To be fair, the ball was not carrying through well. The rout was off, boredom set in and the match is rather evenly poised although to be honest would prefer to be in England’s shoes. As stated in other media commitments ( not bloody 60 Minutes!) it was a dead flat trick but can we at least agree that the much vaunted Aussie pace attack (“Spoilt for Choice – Who do we leave out??”) are not The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse but rather a good pace attack than can be a handful when conditions suit. For God’s sake, Warnie get over there and start bagging Starc will ya

So speaking of overrated sportsmen put your hand up if ya got sick and tired of hearing in the last month how Klemmer was the love spawn of Artie Beetson and Steve Roach who just had a blood transfusion from Mark Geyer. The blues biased media just loved him including respected folk like Paul Kent. Seriously they and a lot of many other good judges thought a Blues Dynasty was just around the corner especially with Blake Carrington in as skipper. You know the guy who use to play for Cronulla but now only plays rep matches.
They even got Alexis back as the hooker – talk about type casting. The Farrah fun and games may have even backfired on them but by all means exploit the rules if you can – Qld have in the past. Being an avid Maroon supporter can be hard especially when they are capable of a performance like last night at times. NSW were simply blown of the field with enthusiastic and hard defense and strong running behind cool calm heads like Smith and Cronk and the sheer brilliance of JT. Who else agrees we dont need Billy ? Chambers looked much better at centres and Gagai impressed. GI was dangerous at the back as expected and Parker always a threat. Hodges had a great last game highlighted by a lot of nothing runs and a couple of touches of brilliance. Pretty well his stock game these days. You really need to sit down and watch the game again without the hype and tension to really appreciate what someone like Smith does. And the icing on the cake is JTs mecurial kicking. You could almost feel sorry for the Blues or at least Loz. For the previous 5 matches they could have won them all and this could have been a dead match. Instead some Blues Origin careers are over you would think and they have to climb the mountain again knowing that the bulk of the Qld side will be around for a couple more years and can still put on a stellar performance like last night when needed. It was Big Mal’s birthday but it did seem odd that he carried around a big cake under his shirt at training all week just in case. The boy has been in a good paddock. Which of course reminds us all once more what a brilliant stadium Lang Park is.

SOO is over for another year and the world has returned to normal. Better still, one less show that requires the dial set on 9.Yes my TV still has a dial and rabbit ears.

Strangely it still picks up HBO

Brats and Spats

Posted: July 7, 2015 in Sport

Two sporting stories have taken over most of the news in the last 24-36 hrs and of course the media added the icing as always

While most people of Greek Heritage were saying “No”, Nick Kyrgios preferred much more colorful language. It is one thing to swear at the umpire but then in some lame press conference mea culpa ,no doubt suggested by his “team” , he insisted the “dirty scum” comment was aimed at himself. Yeah sure. Still he is a Playa (not a Player like most) so no doubt some Aussie fans still swooned at his backhand or his drop shot. We love to chop down the tall poppies but he is hardly there yet so lets keep pumping him up. Aussies like their sporting heroes to have character afterall eh Warnie. But then he goes on to play the cheese-eating surrender monkey and does the one thing no true Aussie can accept – he tanked it. Little Ley Ley was an obnoxious brat with the best of them at first but he slowly matured and more importantly always showed ticker – and would never walk away from Davis Cup even to go to the toilet with his Sorbent. I tend to compare the behaviour of most sportspeople to golfers which may or may not be fair but it is interesting. There are many similarities, not the least being megarich at a young age and they are individual sports. Golf though is renowned for its honour, respect for tradition and sportsmanship and even your backyard hacker plays within these self imposed rules because that is the game you choose. It is afterall one of the easiest games in the world to cheat at and maybe there in lies the secret. The other interesting comparison is that in tennis it appears that most tournaments are won by one of the top 3-4 players in the event. Maybe seeding plays a part in this. In golf it is not unusual for the 50th ranked player in the world to win in a given event against the best in the world. In fact one day the 256th ranked player could win – if Tiger can improve his driving! So really, saying that Kyrgios is a top 30 ranked player doesnt mean that much to moi. Now as much as I loathe the actions of Kyrgios , Dawn Fraser should just shut up. What a stupid comment to make. Nick is not alone of course but I cant really call Tomic a top ranked player and keep a straight face. Only time will tell if these clowns can mature but sadly I doubt it will happen because there are simply to many yes men around them. And the money keeps rolling in

Then we get to 60 minutes and the Cam Smith story. Oh, you thought it was about Alex ? Come on, this is channel 9. Ok have not watched the show – simply refuse to watch anything on 9 that is not sport or the odd news report – but have seen some clips. No one would deny Alex the chance to make some money (a book is on the way) or to be an angry young man. So, have no real problem with him being pissed off at Cammy who it must be admitted does not look good arguing with the ref at the time. He has always had the squeaky clean image off the field but is less well regarded from other players for some on field niggle and cheap shots. The annoying aspects though are a)the timing 3 days before one of the more important SOOs in recent years and b) Channel 9 treating their own story as NEWS! Seriously, it was the 3rd story on the news at 6pm! The cynic in me, who to be fair has been getting a lot of time lately, would suggest the timing was deliberate even with the pending book release and it is my understanding that the Rise for Alex round is not until Round 19 later in the month. Showing it next Sunday would have been perfect lead in – but of course after SOO 3 when eyelash boy simply returns to being Storm skipper and occasional shaver. Media interest would have dropped by 50% and we all know the media is run by NSW 🙂 It would appear by all reports that Storm management/players (? Smith) regularly tried to contact Alex in the weeks after. For a complete story, Smith’s side of events should have been given air or at least acknowledged. But that is not how 60 minutes works of course. Their response? “This was Alex’s story so no need to contact Smith. The facts of the story are not in dispute” .Facts???? On Channel 9! Give me a break. It was a clear set up for maximum impact. Conspiracy theorists revel in these yarns but at the end of the day their underhanded dealing and presentation of the story has detracted from what is an amazing and inspirational tale. People should be caring about how Alex will fare in the future, not whether Smith did this or that after the event

Rarely does a week pass when the media doesnt not piss me off in some way so while on my fave subject why is that whenever a media “personality” takes a break it has to be described as a “well earnt break” ? Who gives a crap. Do we really think Ray Hadlee only works 3 hours a day? Nope. Do they ever report on the news that “the shark attack victim could not be saved because the Vascular Surgeon was having a well earnt break”. No, because another surgeon steps in and no one cares. Of course if the PM (of either persausion) is on a rare holiday when something important happens then they are very quick to suggest he should come back to work. Well, I will give you a leave pass Hadlee, Jones, Stefanovic et al. Stay on holidays. No one cares.

I hear Greece is very reasonable this time of year

Game of Groans

Posted: June 17, 2015 in Sport

Two big events this week and as always the end product pleases and pisses off in equal measure usually

First up was the Season 5 finale of Games of Thrones. Spoilers naturally. The recent trend of the best episodes of a season being the couple just before the finale continued and most of the finale was one big tease – and a sleepy dragon. Someone said Jon Snow died at the end but the way Harrington acts I thought he died in Season 3? I dont read the books but understand GRR has not written the next book (?) which is becoming less of an issue with the apparent deviations anyway. There were certainly some odd things though

1. Sansa and friend jump from an uncertain height to an uncertain conclusion
2. Did Blondie kill Stannis and if so why not show it – usually do
3. Apparently the best way to tell when the body double was in shot on walk of shame was because she has bigger boobs than Lena?
4. Drogon needed a kip after a long flight ?
5. Did Jon Snow die? Didnt the interwebby explode after that one.

So all in all it was an average finale to a pretty good, but not great, season. There were some memorable scenes in Episodes 8 and 9 and these are what bring the fans back. The story continues to progress but at a somewhat glacial speed.

Next up was SOO 2 at the MCG. For once , NSW got the rub of the green and it is all yesterday’s fish and chip wrapping now. But some things require discussion and the main issue , as highlighted previously by Kenty et al, is the on field decision by the ref before sending it up. (On a side note there was talk this week that KFC require a certain number of video referrals as part of their sponsorship. Likely untrue, but not incomprehensible is this day and age). So rather than whining about the Morris try awarded or the Inglis one not, the pertinent fact to remember is that the ref awarded both ergo there needs to be conclusive evidence to overturn. There wasnt on the first one, fair enough. Hardly on the second either ? Of course the bluebags say that the “forward” pass was not forward minutes before but most, including Channel 9, focus on the wrong pass in question – it was the one prior to the last! At the end of the day the better team won so move on but one thing is clear – DCE is an overpaid dud. Had to tackle too much Mal? Didn’t seem to affect JT’s input. JT was the standout for moi with Inglis a close second and finally getting involved. Smith and Slater had quieter games. Hodges couldnt handle Jennings and Chambers was tres ordinary. And can someone please get Cam the Eyelash Boy a tissue so he stops picking his nose at the press conference! NSW looked more dangerous with the ball as they invariably do year after year. While an avid Qld supporter one quickly moves on – after all who can hate Loz? However, the very biased media will be a pain now for a few weeks. NSW were very good losers – after all the practice – but not such good winners, especially their supporters.

Still, much like taking the game to Victoria so they could boo during a minutes silence for a true legend the clowns that run the game have what they always wanted. A guaranteed sell out for Game 3 and 3 more weeks of media hype while the actual NRL competition and associated fans suffer

But the money rolls in

S.O.O. 1

Posted: May 27, 2015 in Sport

Like the latest box office CGI extravaganza no SOO can now live up to the ridiculous hype – and this one fell way short. They are never dull of course but this one bordered on boring and the ANZ surface never helps. QLD find a way to win but what is becoming more obvious is NSW still dont how to on a regular basis. QLD could not score despite having 73 chances in the second half and so we were left with the ridiculous sight of a 45m penalty goal attempt after NSW had just made 273 tackles on their line. Alfie actually physically threw up in the background as he was trying once again for another MOTM award simply for being on the field the most of any actual Queenslander. Meanwhile NSW had two good opportunities for field goal late and blew both .Part of the QLD problem was the left hand attack of Inglis/Boyd was way below par for whatever reason and lets face it GI has not been a factor at SOO for a couple of years really. And much like the Aussie cricket team it is sad to see that the Maroons have the biggest contingent of grubs these days(damn we miss Bird) with Slater and Hodges in a class of their own. As great as Billy may be he is simply a dirty player while Hodges is simply a niggling pest. Anyhoo time for the slide rule

Slater – 7. Tried hard all night and took his hits well. Loses a point for bad behaviour
Boyd – 4. not a factor, short of a run
Inglis – 5. not a factor maybe sick, maybe well marked, maybe on walkabout. Always hard to tell with him
Hodges – 6. Involved a lot but mostly short dummy half runs or niggling. Not a good look son.
Chambers – 8. Best of the back 5 and ran with purpose
Thurston – 7. Quiet in first half, ran more in second. Does heaps of defense
Cronk – 8. Big game, especially first half. Cool and precise when needed (watch him NSW!)
Thaiday – 7. Enthusiastic as always
Parker – 6. Not many offloads and dint run with any real venom
Myles – 6. Does a lot of tackling but lets make this his last year please
Scott – 7.5. Very solid effort if lacked a lot of penetration
Smith 8.5 – very involved all night, best game for years

As for rest both McQuire and Morgan showed they are Origin players with the limited opportunities provided

As for NSW, not going to help them out by pointing out the obvious but lets just say that Dugan and Morris are always dangerous while Tamou and Woods were superb in first half, then went missing. Pearce was ok but Hodgkinson was poor as were both wingers. Refs seemed fine on the night with no obvious howlers that impacted on the match

Hard to see NSW winning the next two but equally hard to get too excited about this current QLD team which is definitely approaching its use by date