The View From Down Here #2

Ignoring the Olympics, it’s been a strange time down here in the realm of sport. Of course, it always seems like a strange time in sport in a land where our sportspeople are worshipped as demigods and every tinea itch is a major news story.

The US Open starts soon. Australians don’t care. And it’s not because it’s the US Open, which is considered by the rest of the world as the teenybopper Grand Slam, with lots of whooping, and yelling and clothing that blind people would be embarrassed to wear. It’s because our only semi-hope of getting into the second week, Lleyton Hewitt, is off having a hip operation. Like my grandmother. Not that he’d do any good, having joined the long line of D-list celebrities who sells his every waking hour with his soap opera star wife to trashy magazines, and then complains about the paparazzi stalking his family. No Australians with a hop = no Australians with interest.


The worlds of rugby league and rugby union have clashed uncomfortably recently with Sonny Boy Williamson defecting from league’s Bulldogs to join some French union team with more money than sense. Legal action, court injunctions, threats and counter-threats were finally settled when he agreed to give the Bulldogs $750,000 to cover the breach of contract. Then it turns out that boxing motormouth Anthony Mundine raised the money, calling it a bargain. Nobody won and Rugby’s codes took yet another kick to the testicles, giving the other football codes yet another free kick in their never-ending battle for supremacy in a country of 20 million inhabitant.

Australian Rules Football
With the finals looming, the question being asked is not if Geelong can win a second successive flag, but who, if anyone, can put up a serious challenge to them, to actually make them work for it this year. At the other end of the spectrum, a group of three clubs is being accused of tanking (not trying hard enough) in order to get priority draft picks at year’s end. Of course, they are denying it, as they seem to think every team plays inexperienced rookies and places other players out of their normal positions at this time of the year. And in other ARF news, South Adelaide are still making me very sad…

Australia is almost certain to pull out of the Champions Trophy in Pakistan over security fears. These are the same whingers who complained their schedule was too packed and demanded time off… and then they all promptly played in India during this time for obscene sums of money. Oh, and Australia are going to play Bangladesh. Which is like the USA track and field team challenging Papua New Guinea. I’ll leave it to you to decide which is the USA and which is PNG.

“Football” chiefs are still trying to convince Australians that a game that can go for almost two hours (including extra time) only to end in a nil-all draw is as exciting as other football codes. Or even as exciting as worm racing. They fail to realise we only care about soccer when it’s World Cup time, and even then 90% of the time Australia bombs out anyway so we go back to watching sport that’s actually interesting.

AFL – Round 20
Collingwood 16.10 (106) def Port Adelaide 10.15 (75)
Adelaide 19.15 (129) def Essendon 10.13 (73)
Melbourne 11.13 (79) def West Coast 5.15 (45)
Brisbane Lions 13.12 (90) def Western Bulldogs 10.19 (79)
Geelong 20.13 (133) def Sydney 14.10 (94)
Richmond 16.9 (105) def Hawthorn 10.16 (76)
Kangaroos 22.9 (141) def Carlton 14.6 (90)
St Kilda 17.10 (112) def Fremantle 9.15 (69)

NRL – Round 22
Gold Coast 12 def by Newcastle 32
Canberra 74 def Penrith 12
Sydney Roosters 24 def by Parramatta 28
Bulldogs 12 def by North Queensland 36
Warriors 16 def Brisbane 12
Cronulla 28 def South Sydney 14
St George Illawarra 10 def by Wests Tigers 18
Manly 10 def by Melbourne 16

SANFL – Round 20
South Adelaide 3.8 (26) lost to West Adelaide 12.18 (90)
Glenelg 16.12 (108) def 12.7 (79)
Port Adelaide 9.9 (63) lost to Sturt 13.13 (91)

And that’s the view from down here!

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