THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #118 – I Hear Motion

 Sport, horses, marijuana, dogs, crashes, a musician dies. It’s been just another week here in Australia. No, really, it has. Intrigued? I hope so. Please, do read on…

Cricket
One Day International
1st ODI: Australia v Sri Lanka
Australia 8/239; Sri Lanka 9/243 (44.2 overs) – Sri Lanka defeated Australia by 1 wicket.
            Sri Lanka were 8/107… and still won! One of the greatest comebacks ever in the history of cricket. This means two things – Australia is not ready for England, and Sri Lanka are still a genuine power of world cricket, not to be taken lightly.
2nd ODI: Australia v Sri Lanka
Rain-affected match with the Duckworth-Lewis so-called system to sort things out making it even worse for all those involved.
Sri Lanka 3/213 (41.1 overs); Australia 210 (37.4 overs) – Sri Lanka won by 29 runs.
            Yes, despite being 3 runs ahead, they won by 29. You work it out.
3rd ODI: Australia v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 115 (32 overs); Australia 2/119 (21.4 overs) – Australia won by 8 wickets
            Hang on… what happened? Did these two teams have a transplant or something? The only interest in the end was whether Clarke would get his half century, which he did when he scored the winning runs with a four. Wow. This makes no sense.
News
One moment Clarke should be taking over from Ponting in all forms of the game in Australia. Next, Clarke should be dumped for North. The media in this country is running rampant with rumours that are being put forward as fact. You’d think they all worked at FoxNews or something. The team is in trouble with their performances, yes. There is no denying that. But it is most likely not in trouble internally. Not to this extent. Yes, some players are under pressure to retain their positions. But that is as it should be. Keeps them on their toes and means if they continually fail to perform they can be replaced. (Not always, of course. There are too many examples of Cricket Australia ignoring young talent to prop up a failing career in its twilight just because the player in question is from NSW or Vic… but generally, this rule works.) But to have such ridiculous statements putting extra, unneeded pressure on the team is just going to be detrimental to the whole immediate future of Australian cricket.
            FoxNews belongs to the former Australian Rupert Murdoch, the Republican Party and certain Arab Oil Sheiks. Its obscene practices of putting forth badly thought out opinion and works of fiction as news should not be influencing Australia that much.

Soccer
A-League Round 12 (cont)
Wellington Phoenix 1 def by Brisbane Roar 4
Perth Glory 0 drew with Melbourne Heart 0
A-League Round 13
North Queensland Fury 0 def by Central Coast Mariners 1
Melbourne Victory 0 def by Gold Coast United 1
Brisbane Roar 4 def Adelaide United 0
Sydney 1 def Newcastle Jets 0
            An obvious refereeing mistake gave Sydney this one, not their own skill.
Perth Glory 0 def by Wellington Phoenix 1
News:
Why bother?

Basketball
NBL – Round 4
Townsville 85 def by Perth 91
Cairns 86 def Perth 69
Gold Coast 81 def by New Zealand 96
Adelaide 87 def Sydney 75
Melbourne 82 def by Wollongong 86
WNBL – Round 5
Canberra 74 def  Townsville 61
West Coast 64 def by Bendigo 67
Dandenong 99 def Logan 63
AIS 59 def by Townsville 82
Sydney 75 def by Bulleen 95
Adelaide 79 def by Bendigo 91
News:
Wow! A week’s gone by without some international competition being beset by issues!

Rugby League
Four Nations
Papua New Guinea 10 def by England 36
New Zealand 20 def by Australia 34
            And the New Zealand crowd lost it, pelting the ground with rubbish after their team’s loss, including a full bottle of beer which hit one of the Australian players in the head. Last week I said Australia were the best on the day; now it seems they are better. Period.
            At the moment.
News:
Back in June Roosters hooker Jake Friend was arrested. It was found he had drugs on his person. Well, on Tuesday in court it came out they were Valium taken from an 89 year old patient of a nursing home with mental degeneration issues who had no connection to rugby in any way, shape or form. How Friend got them is anyone’s guess.
            But that’s not the big news. Oh no, no, no!
            This one is to be listed in the ‘What the hell were they thinking?’ file. Canberra Raiders star player Joel Monaghan is being investigated for something that allegedly happened during the club’s ‘Mad Monday’ debauchery. Nothing unusual there – rugby players go off the rails all the time during Mad Monday. So what did he do to get such instant notoriety?
            He was photographed by a team-mate while having a simulated sex act with a dog.
            Sorry.
            He was allegedly photographed by an alleged team-mate while allegedly having an allegedly simulated sex act with an alleged dog.
            The anonymous man who posted it online has been threatened (of course – shoot the messenger is always the cry of rugby league). He said he only did it after asking the Raiders for a comment and he was rebuked. The radio station that brought wide attention to it by posting it online somewhere took it down very quickly.
            It seems that yet again rugby league sprang to the defence of the indefensible. Now, after the public outing, they are having inquiries and such. Stuff that would not have happened had it remained an in-house joke amongst mates. It may well have become part of league folklore. But it became public so now everyone involved is saying it’s bad, tut-tut. Hypocrites.
            But, anyway, Monaghan’s manager is reported to have said, “It was a moment of abject stupidity brought about by too much drink and a complete lack of any thought process.”
            Can’t add anything more to that.

Rugby Union
Spring Tour
Wales 16 def by Australia 25
Ireland 21 def by South Africa 23
England 16 def by New Zealand 26

Motorsport
Formula One
Brazilian Grand Prix
1st Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2nd Mark Webber (Red Bull)
3rd Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
4th Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
Any of these four can win the drivers’ championship come the last race of the year in Abu Dhabi, while the 1-2 secures Red Bull the construction title, their first. I can’t remember a championship this close in F-1. Maybe 2 drivers fighting it out, but 4? And down to the wire? At least it’s making things interesting for a change.

Horse Racing
Melbourne Cup
The richest race is Australia. It is called the race that stops a nation because, well, it seems most people are watching it. It’s a public holiday in Victoria. Every other state has office sweeps in their local papers. And because for some reason abusing animals is considered sport, I shall put the results here.
            But: The RSPCA estimates that 70% of thoroughbreds born in Victoria do not race and that of those that do race a third are lost to “wastage”. What happens to these animals? Are they onsold to become children’s pets? Put out to stud? Exported to be eaten? Who knows?
1st Americain (a French horse)
2nd Malucky Day
3rd So You Think (the favourite)
News:
A veteran Australian jockey has been suspended for 3 months for being caught out with a positive test for marijuana. Stupid? Yep. Overkill? For sure. Does a jockey taking dope mean anything? Nope. These guys are not the role models of other sports people. And the photo of him after copping the ban showed him with a cigarette and can of beer. To quote/paraphrase the late, great Bill Hicks (because I can never remember these things exactly): The government wants its drugs taxable.” Especially after recent studies [http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/11/01/alcohol-illicit-drugs.html] done on the subject show some rather interesting indicators.

Cycling
News:
Dale Parker, 18 year old Australian cyclist who recently won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in India, is suddenly finding his career at the cross-roads. Allegedly, while or after doing burnouts in his car, he crashed his car into a stobey pole after dropping a mate off somewhere, causing the pole to fall on said mate, injuring him quite severely. Parker was tested and found to be over the blood alcohol limit.
            So he lost his licence and will have to face the courts. Then Cycling South Australia have asked him step down from all racing commitments for the time being. And now he appears to be in danger of losing his spot on Lance Armstrong’s Trek-Livestrong development squad as well, meaning his ProTour dreams may also be dashed.
            No other comments. Just putting this out there.

Australia!
Musician James Freud found dead.
            At the age of 51, front man of the Australian band The Models, James Freud apparently took his own life after a long on-again, off-again battle with alcohol abuse.
            I just wanted to pout this out there because the Models were one of my favourite Australians bands in the 1980s. I first came across James Freud in 1980 with his single ‘Modern Girl’ (performed by James Freud and the Radio Stars). This band tried to record with Gary Numan, the results apparently were not seen by either party as any good and it was shelved, then the band broke up.
            He then joined the Models in 1982 and stayed with them until they broke up. ‘I Hear Motion’, ‘Barbados’ and their mammoth hit ‘Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight’ were part of the sound track to my teenaged years. The pounding drum beats of OOM,OOS would generate a line of air drummers at nearly every Blue Light Disco.
            They were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in October, but he was not present with his former band mates, though veiled references to his issues were made at that time.
            A sad bit of news, to be sure, but he has left a body of work that resonates at least with this one old, jaded music fan. Vale.

And that’s the View through to November 8, 2010.

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