The View From Down Here #46

I’m adding a new section! That’s because I feel like being a prick…
            But sport in Australia is still the main religion of the majority of people. No matter what the morons who play sport do, the public is finding ways to defend their behaviour. The media is even trying to portray those who are being idiots as idiots (for a change), but the public just can’t shake their adoration of these dickheads. The letters and posts online defending the actions of these people is just disgusting. Apparently there are many Australians who think that abusing women, taking drugs and creating a public nuisance is perfectly acceptable behaviour.
            And these people vote and breed…

Cricket
This week sees the start of the Twenty20 World Cup in England, with India hot favourites (as they should be) and Australia second (which is surprising… I would have put Sri Lanka above the Aussies for one). The hit-and-giggle cricket for the ADD generation will be fun to watch but I just can’t take it seriously. Still, as results come in, I’ll add them because I’m a sucker for this sort of thing…

Australian Rules Football
Interesting week, when it was announced that a number of players had tested positive for illegal drug use, and a few twice, but we – nor their clubs – can know who they are because the AFL defends illegal activities to minimise harm to the bottom line. It’s fine to take the high moral ground against rugby when you go and defend law-breakers. Apparently.
AFL Round Ten
Carlton 16.15 (111) def West Coast 10.10 (70)
            It was a shoot-out between the dominant forwards of each team, which ended in a tie (Fevola and LeCras both scored 6 apiece) but Carlton used the ball much better to get a well-earned victory.
Western Bulldogs 18.9 (117) def Sydney 12.5 (77)
            The Bulldogs wanted it more, in front of a capacity house in Canberra. A good game as well.
North Melbourne 12.9 (81) def by Brisbane 15.9 (99)
            A closer one than many would have thought, with North Melbourne showing something, but still going down handily. However, as an exhibition, it was nothing to write home about.
Fremantle 17.10 (112) lost to Richmond 17.13 (115)
            Richmond welcomed back Ben Cousins with a win, only their second for the year. It was actually a surprisingly good game, as well, with both teams overcoming nerves to put on quite the spectacle.
St. Kilda 11.17 (83) def Melbourne 6.10 (46)
            Not as comprehensive as many thought would have been the case, but St Kilda really did not get out of second gear, and Melbourne are really quite pathetic this year.
Adelaide 16.10 (106) def Hawthorn 12.7 (79)
            Even though an Adelaide home game, this was something of an upset. Hawthorn are not the team of last year, despite showing glimpses in recent weeks, and will not be troubling the grand final this year.
Essendon 11.4 (70) def by Geelong 20.14 (134)
            And Geelong’s march towards yet another grand final continues unabated. They swamped the Bombers completely… And no everyone is salivating waiting for the round 14 showdown between them and St Kilda…
Collingwood 17.12 (114) def Port Adelaide 11.10 (76)
            And Port Adelaide’s yo-yoing continues, frustrating fans and tipsters alike. This was a game of 2 halves. Port dominated the first, Collingwood the second, and that was that. Not a good game, by the way.
Stop Press!
            As I write this, Terry Wallace has announced that he is resigning after this weekend’s game as coach of the Richmond Football Club. He jumped before he could be pushed, but his position had become impossible with the leadership group of players exhibiting no confidence in him, and he treating them like naughty school children. Allegedly and allegedly. The club can now focus on next season with a clean sweep of everything, and for the sake of the team, let’s hope something successful comes of it… or else Tasmania could be looking at their own AFL team. Richmond is a town in Tasmania not far north of Hobart. They could even keep the name. Good fit. Think about it, people.
SANFL – Round Nine
Norwood 6.11 (47) swamped by Sturt 14.9 (93)
            Sturt won well in a game described by their coach as “scrappy”. In front of such a good home crowd, you would have thought Norwood would have fought better. But this season has been a season of yo-yoing from the majority of the teams…
Woodville-West Torrens 14.6 (90) def Central Districts 11.9 (75)
            An upset of the highest order! Undefeated Centrals going down to the team defeated by Westies last week! The Eagles’ supporters must be tearing their hair out at the inconsistency of their team this year, while Centrals’ supporters should be glad the club got the wake-up call now and not in the finals.
Port Adelaide 9.16 (70) def by West Adelaide 11.8 (74)
            A slog, and not a good game to watch, especially the first half.
South Adelaide 10.11 (71) def by North Adelaide 15.17 (107)
            South showed more spirit than they have since round two, and tried really hard, but they have lost confidence and have almost forgotten how to win, and so went down to a determined Roosters outfit, leaving them firmly mired on the bottom of the ladder…
Bye: Glenelg

Netball
Round Nine
Pulse 66 def Steel 44
Vixens 57 def Firebirds 53
            They had to work for it because the Firebirds are going well, but Melbourne Vixens are showing they are the team to beat this year.
Mystics 47 def Tactix 46
            Close game! Not a brilliant game, but the Mystics – with only their third win for the year – snatched victory in the last minute after trailing for the whole match.
Fever 41 def by Thunderbirds 61
            A blow-out by netball standards as the Thunderbirds have started to assert themselves, and are looking really the only viable threat to the Vixens come finals time.
Bye: Swifts; Magic

Rugby Union
The grand final and it was a disappointing showing after the amazing semi-finals.
Super 14 – Grand Final
            Bulls v Chiefs, Full Time 61-17

Auto Racing
V8 Supercars
This was the Falken Tasmania Challenge. And the big news is Holden Driver Greg Murphy’s assertion that drivers are becoming increasingly desperate and vicious in their driving, resulting in his car being left a battered and bruised vehicle by the end of the weekend. Good for spectators, not so good for the drivers’ and teams’ hip pockets.
            The other news is that Holden finally put a stop to Ford’s dominance so far this season with strong showings in the first race of the weekend and some better showing in the second.
Race 7
1st Garth Tander (Holden Commodore VE)
2nd Russell Ingall (Holden Commodore VE)
3rd Steven Johnson (Ford Falcon FG)
4th Will Davison (Holden Commodore VE)
5th Todd Kelly (Holden Commodore VE)
Race 8
1st Jamie Whincup (Ford Falcon FG)
2nd Will Davison (Holden Commodore VE)
3rd Fabian Coulthard (Ford Falcon FG)
4th Mark Winterbottom (Ford Falcon FG)
5th Lee Holdsworth (Holden Commodore VE)

Rugby League
With the first State of Origin match coming up later this week, that has been the focus. To explain: In rugby league in Australia, there are two camps – New South Wales and Queensland. And every year they select players based on some nebulous concept of their state of origin. Sometimes it’s where a player was born, sometimes it’s where a player played his first game, sometimes it’s where a player first played for a club, sometimes it’s where a player first masturbated. Whatever. But it’s the most fierce rivalry in Australian sport, bar none. And that’s not hyperbole. The bragging rights last for years, and the results can be argued for decades. In fact, New South Wales claim they have played a different amount of games to Queensland because of a dispute over whether one game was true Origin game or not! It’s that petty… and that damn serious. And that means the games themselves are more intense even than the grand finals. And I can hardly wait to watch. I don’t care who wins (I’m not from NSW or Qld, so it’s not my entire ego on the line) but, man, I love the games!
Round Twelve
St George Illawarra v Penrith, Full Time 38-10
Parramatta 10 def by Cronulla 13
            Cronulla’s first win in too long, but it does not mean they are out of the woods yet, especially off-field.
Warriors 14 def Wests Tigers 0
Newcastle 22 def Bulldogs 14
            Newcastle were robbed! Two tries that went to the video ref went against them. That conspiracy I talked about last week? Here it is. Anything to keep the media away from off-field shenanigans.
South Sydney 18 def by Canberra 34

Boxing
Normally the boxing in Australia is of such limited importance that it barely registers on our radar, let alone anyone else in the world’s. But the International show held in Brisbane last Thursday is important for two reasons.
IBO World Middleweight
Anthony Mundine def Daniel Geale (split points decision)
            Mundine wins another world title – though the IBO is not one of the higher ranked organisations in the world – from a fellow Australian and, to everyone’s surprise, praised his opponent after the win. Normally the mouth goes off at everyone, but he led a round of applause for Geale which surprised all. Of course, boxing being what it is, Geale is appealing the decision, claiming Mundine’s handlers intimidated the judges and the referee and were racist, but I think this is just building up hype for the inevitable and lucrative rematch showdown between the two of them. If Mundine ever gets a fight in the US, it will be interesting to see how his arrogant style copes.
Heavyweight
Sonny Bill Williams (NZ) def Gary Gurr (NZ) (TKO – 2nd round)
            Despite the fact this was a fight between two first-timers, it was made interesting just by who Sonny Bill is. The ex-rugby player who ran to France for the money. Gurr is known as a man who enjoys baiting and fighting bouncers, so he also had a name. And it turned into an ugly fight, but Williams deserved to win and he really looks like he could make a go of this boxing thing. If he doesn’t take the money and jump to MMA. (Cheap shot; I said at the time he was okay to take the money because the club would have dumped him anyway. The rest of the media has a different take, but I don’t think Williams did anything wrong.)

Sporting Morons
New section! And this is where I shall catalogue the week’s stupidity by Australian sporting… people. Let’s see how many we get before year’s end, shall we? And the tally starts at 15 after last week.
Ben Cousins: The reformed druggie from Richmond delighted parents across the nation when he gave the bird to the camera in the club’s dressing room, in full view of thousands at home watching. No excuse given, no comment from the club, and the AFL has another case of ‘bringing the game into disrepute’ which would get a minor player suspended, but will get Cousins another pay rise because the AFL caters for their stars like a fawning groupie ready to have the dick of any so-called famous person shoved inside her mouth. Now, this is not a big thing in the scheme of things, and the fact it happened hours before the actual game and was shown by the media outlet during half-time indicates that he was set up by the media. But the fact remains – he did it.
Nathan Baggaley: He won two silver medals at the Athens Olympics in kayaking, was suspended from the sport in 2005 for steroid use, and this week went to jail for dealing in ecstasy. Apparently being found guilty of using steroids is an excuse to sell drugs, potentially to kids. Gotta love the morals of sports people!
Tally: 17

I’ll be back with an overview of State of Origin next week. And if you can catch it, it’s generally one of the best things in Australian sport, so watch it. Having said that, of course, this year will probably be a big, boring blow-out. But watch it anyway. Chances are it will live up to the hype.

And that’s the view!

 

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