The View From Down Here #33

Sorry I’m late, but life’s like that. I am going to post a special edition some time soon of my “best and worst” of 2008. Unless I get everyone objecting…

 

Basketball
Just scores again. And this is the grand final series. There ahs been virtually no publicity for what is supposed to be the pinnacle of basketball in Australia. Do they just want to fail or something?
NBL – Grand Final
A best of 5 series, with 3 games down and two to go:
Sooth Dragons 84 def Melbourne Tigers 67
Melbourne Tigers 88 def South Dragons 83
South Dragons 93 def Melbourne Tigers 81
And the results are going to home teams so far. Which makes this rather predictable, and not a little dull. The games have also lacked something. The brawl notwithstanding… brawl? Yeah, a bit of pushing and shoving like a bunch of slightly aggravated giraffes after too many weeks on the acacia plants. Pathetic. But it’s like everyone knows this is “it”… after this there is no more.
WNBL
It’s getting close, and their grand final is next week. At least this game was actually entertaining to watch. The men should be taking notes.
Preliminary Final
Bulleen 79 def Townsville 68

Soccer
AFC Asian Cup
Australia 0 lost to Kuwait 1
A loss at home, caused by complacency on behalf of the Australians, Kuwait’s determination and, really, a lacklustre offence. Too soon after the grand final would be my guess as to why, but Australia’s boring brand of international soccer of late is a cause for concern.

Cricket
Well, I suppose the number one thing to be talking about in cricket at the moment is that fact that this game has now become the latest pawn in the struggle between different ideologies (as I write this it is hard to tell if that difference is political, religious or something else). For those unaware, in Pakistan a bus carrying the Sri Lankan team and a van carrying the umpires was fired upon by armed militants. Six police officers were killed and a number of other people – including some players – were wounded. For years teams that have refused to tour in Pakistan over security fears have been told that the people of the nation love their cricket and would never do anything to harm the face of what is the one unifying thing in the country. Well, that is now seen as wrong. It is a tragedy for cricket, and for the Pakistani people who will now no longer have a chance to see their own team play in their own country, as Pakistan’s home games will be moved to a neutral venue in the foreseeable future. Sport has once more been dragged into the spotlight of political struggle. I really can’t say anything else as the full facts are yet to emerge, but this is not a good sign for all sport around the world. If cricketers in Pakistan are not safe… what does this mean for every other sporting personage in the world?
International Cricket
Second Test

Second test is still going as I write this, so result next time.
Domestic Cricket
Sheffield Shield

The final round has proven to be just as exciting as the rest, with the final place in the grand final against Victoria completely up for grabs! And the cricket standard has been amazing. The only pity is the crowds – disappointing.
Western Australia 210 and 4/248; New South Wales 8 dec/526 – Match drawn (NSW – 2 points)
NSW needed the outright win here… and missed out.
Queensland 302 and 1/187; Victoria 8 dec/806 – Match drawn (Vic – 2 pts)
That score!! Holy cow, Batman, where did that come from?! This makes Victoria a mind-blowingly formidable opponent in next weekend’s grand final…
Tasmania 301 and 9 dec/289; South Australia 253 and 5/338 – South Australia won by 5 wickets
And that puts SA into third position and knocks Tasmania out of the final!
            So next week it’s Victoria v Queensland in the grand final, and let’s hope it’s closer than this week’s match between the two…
ICC Women’s World Cup
Being played at a series of minor grounds in NSW/ACT, this is proving to be a competition where no-one can guess who is going to win!
Match 1, Group B
Pakistan 57 (29 overs); India 0/58 (10 overs) – India won by 10 wickets
Not a good way for the competition to start…
Match 2, Group B
England 5/277; Sri Lanka 7/177 – England won by 100 runs
Hmmm…
Match 3, Group A
New Zealand 205 (48 overs); Australia 6/132 (33 overs) – New Zealand won by 13 runs (using the infamous Duckworth/Lewis method of miscalculation)
The weather ruined what was a good match.
Match 4, Group A
South Africa 116 (45.2 overs); West Indies 8/117 (48.4 overs) – West Indies won by 2 wickets
Bit of a surprising result
Match 5, Group B
Pakistan 7/161; Sri Lanka 104 (39.4 overs) – Pakistan won by 57 runs
After the week that was, this was an impressive effort for Pakistan.

 

Australian Rules Football
Pre-Season Cup (NAB Cup)
Getting towards the business end of what has been a dull spectacle. Grand final next weekend.
Round 3
Collingwood 1.17.5 (116) def Essendon 3.6.10 (73)
Young forward John Anthony of Collingwood kicked seven goals in what was the only highlight of a game that was rather one-sided.
Geelong 2.9.12 (84) def Carlton 0.9.13 (67)
Carlton made the point of resting some big names and playing a lot of youngsters, so the result was never really in doubt, and it shows once again just what this particular competition actually means.

 

Rugby Union
Another round, but the matches I watched this round were a little disappointing. Oh well.
Super 14 – Round 4
Bulls 14 def Stormers 10
Hurricanes 29 def Cheetahs 12
Highlanders 6 def Crusaders 0
Blues 31 def by Sharks 35
            This was actually a game I am upset I missed as I heard it was a really good one.
Waratahs 15 def Reds 11
Chiefs 31 def Force 13

 

Rugby League
Breaking news! It has been proposed that following allegations of group rape already this year by a gang of rugby league players that the NRL should bring in a blanket ban on all alcohol consumption by its players! What next, tell them not to breathe? No, these neckless morons are only going to learn by mandatory castration. For a first offence. Come on, every year we hear the same stories – a group of footballers go out and get drunk together and then some poor women bears the brunt of their boorishness.
            So why is it happening every year, seemingly more and more? This is where the sport sociology training in me comes out. The fact of the matter is these youngsters are taken from high school, plonked into a culture that is almost purely male, with sport the sole focus of their lives, and long hours of boredom. Because they see no role models to tell them otherwise, the idea of testosterone-fuelled nights seems good, and so does the drinking culture prevalent in the majority of footballing clubs. And out they go and they do what they do because they think they are invincible. They are told they are heroes, and heroes get whatever they want. They have no idea how real society operates. Why is it different now? Because in the “old days” footballers also had real jobs where they went and worked and saw the world. The concept of professional sportsmen has created this monster of players taking advantage of women, gambling out of control, taking drugs, drinking to excess, breeding dogs for illegal fights, thumpoing anyone who disagrees with them, arguing over every little thing, and then begging forgiveness when they get caught.
            So it’s not going to change and more women are going to suffer because of it.

 

Professional Wrestling
RCW Epidemic IV, March 7, 2009
Match 1: Miami v Vixsin

Slaps to start. Miami with a handstand headscissor takedown. They go outside where Vixsion takes over. She dominates the rest of the match, despite some token offence by Miami. Vixsin sits on Miami and slaps her, then punches her in the head, knocking her out. There were some missed spots and transitions at times unfortunately.
Vixsin by KO
Match 2: Del Turina v Luke Santamaria
On his way to the ring, Luke gives a nipple cripple to Mark Williamson. Right. Luke starts fast, but Del Taurino distracts the ref for an obscenely long time, allowing Marvel and Plasma to beat luke up outside, throw him back in where, after a scant seven minutes, Del Taurino wins with a sit-out choke bomb thing. Taurino’s in-ring ability is improving, but this match was too short to be anything.
Del Taurino by pinfall
Match 3: Savannah Summers v Kellie Skater
Skater is a former women’s champ, and it shows. This was a hard-hitting back and forth match which really got the crowd involved. Lots of counters, some nice submission moves (Summers has got the surfboard down to a fine art), and it was headed for a big finish when Vixsin ran in and destroyed Summers, drawing the DQ. She then, however, went after Skater and demolished her as well before Miami ran back out and made the save. Vixsin has proven herself to be a dominant women’s wrestling figure here, and this, to me, had the hallmark of the start of some sort of national women’s circuit, which could be very cool.
Savannah Summers by DQ
Match 4: Marvel v Voodoo
Is Voodoo popular or what? The pop when he emerges nearly blows the roof of the place. Marvel has Del Taurino and Plasma with him. Voodoo and Marvel fight over a lockup. Voodoo goes up top and then hits a moonsault press on Del Taurino and Plasma. The ref then sends Del Taurino and Plasma back to the back. Voodoo takes control with suplexes until a Marvel neckbreaker. Marvel locks in a front chancery submission hold. Voodoo fights out, but Marvel goes back to a submission hold. Voodoo comes back with a tornado DDT. Del Taurino and Plasma come back out. Marvel locks in a dragon sleeper and Voodoo looks out of it. Del Taurino and Plasma jump up on the apron to celebrate too early, Marvel releases Voodoo, who then gets a rollup for the pin. This was the best match I’ve seen Marvel have in RCW and was Voodoo’s best match in quite a while.
Voodoo by pinfall
Match 5: Voodoo v Del Taurino
Voodoo is clearly tired and sore, but fights back against Del Taurino’s continuous onslaught. However, Voodoo manages to hit two stalling elbows, and gets the pinfall.
Voodoo by pinfall; Voodoo gets a wildcard entry into the contender’s tournament
Match 6: GD Grimm v Steve Valek
Start with tests of strength showing they are evenly matched. It goes back and forth for a bit before Grimm gets Valek outside and starts to beat him senseless, working the lower back. Valek comes back, but a low blow stops that. Back in the ring, Grimm continues to work the back. But then Grimm throws Valek to the mat and out of nowhere gets the three count. The psychology was all over the place, with the back being worked on not having any play in the finish. Just for laughs afterwards, Grimm hits a curbstomp on Valek.
GD Grimm by pinfall
Match 7: Fuzion & Brad Smythe v TJ Rush & Mimic
If Fuzion’s team wins, Fuzion gets a rematch against Mimic at the next show. Mimic and Fuzion start, Fuzion tags Brad in immediately. Brad and Mimic arm-drag each other again and again, adding more twists and somersaults as they do so, until Mimic throws Brad up into the air and hits a European uppercut on him on his way down. Ouch! TJ tagged in, lots of jumping and leaping follows until TJ powerbombs Brad. All 4 are now in, and Miumic and TJ hit stereo headscissor takedowns and clotheslines, sending Brad and Fuzion out. Mimic uses TJ as a step and hits a tope on both, then TJ goes up top and hits a back senton onto all three. Brad thrown back in, dropkick by Mimic, moonsault by TJ, then lionsault by Mimic and another moonsault by TJ before Fuzion kicks TJ in the back as he runs the ropes. Brad takes it to TJ, then tags in Fuzion who continues the beating. Brad back in, and they isolate TJ as they work him over, inclusing using a modifed Hart Attack. Tornado DDT, TJ out at 2. TJ fights back with a cannonball on Brad in the corner, but the ref doesn’t see the tag to Mimic. Brad and Fuzion make a wish on TJ, then Brad hits an enziguri on him. Then, out of nowhere, TJ lands kicks on Brad and Fuzion and manages to gett eh hot tag to Mimic. Mimic catches Brad on his shoulders in a fireman’s carry. TJ jumps off his back and sentons on Fuzion, then Mimic throws Brad into a 450 splash on Fuzion. Wow! Chopfest on Fuzion by the two, but he fights back, tags in Brad and TJ carries him to Mimic. They set him up on the top rope, then hit a move I don’t know the name of – TJ and Mimic on either side of Brad hit a moonsault, carrying him over with them. Brad somersaults out of an armdrag attempt into a springboard DDT, TJ jackhammers Brad, Fuzion spinebusters TJ and all 4 are down. Mimic hits a ,modified cradle suplex on Fuzion, then hits a 450 splash from the top, but Brad makes the save before TJ throws Brad out. Fuzion hits a spinning neckbreaker on TJ, then Brad tags himself in. TJ jackhammers Brad, then hits a shooting star press, then Fuzion pulls the ref out, stopping the count. Mimic comes to confront him and the ref, Fuzion pulls a chair out from under the ring and drills Mimic in the head with it. Fuzion back in, grabs the knuckles he used last show from a turnbuckle, knocks out TJ, dead lifts him into a chokeslam for three. Fuzion gets the rematch next show, and he cuts a promo (shorter than the last two) gloating. This was a great main event and Brad looked the goods in there with three much more experienced wrestlers.
Fuzion & Brad Smythe by pinfall, Fuzion pins TJ Rush
Overall: A good show. Started off a little disappointing, but grew more and more solid as it went along. And nice to see a tag match in a show.

 

This is a little rushed and a little late because we had our first show at the Adelaide Cup race meet. You may notice that there are no results for that horse race. The way we were treated on the day and the lack of anything resembling organisation where we were concerned (or where PA systems were concerned) tells me they don’t take themselves seriously, so why should I? We did our job, performed, did it well, and that is all I should say.
            We, by the way, were apparently better than just good.

And that’s this week’s view.

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