THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #80 – Sport And An Apology

APOLOGY

To start, after the hullaballoo I seemed to have created last week, I thought I’d better apologise to three who, looking back, I did wrong.
            First and Second, I’d like to apologise to the Riot City Wrestling organisation and to Rocky Menero. I did not mean to drag either party into this mess, and for that I apologise profusely. I mentioned I had an association with RCW; that involved me being a private contractor going down to assist with some specific training. This led to me going to shows and becoming a fan. That is what I am – a fan. I did not mean to drag them and their organisation into this, and for that I am truly sorry. My association with Rocky Menero involved training with him maybe 6 times ten years ago. But, again, I am a fan of his, and did not mean for him to be demonised as a result of a personal opinion/review.
            Thirdly I would like to apologise to Wayne Mattei. Mr Mattei clearly has a passion and a vision for professional wrestling in this country, and the work he put into setting this show up with wrestlers from 5 states coming together at one place was nothing short of phenomenal. I feel, looking back, that I did not give Mr Mattei enough credit for the damn hard work he has done to do something like this. I hope, as has been indicated, I have not torpedoed a future endeavour by Mr Mattei, as he thinks so much of our sport that he really puts his money where his mouth is to put on the biggest, which so few are willing or able to do. So, on a personal and professional level – I am sorry.

All right, let’s get on with some sport, eh?

Cricket
International
Third One Day International

Australia v Pakistan
Australian 6/286; Pakistan 249 (47.4 overs) – Australia won by 40 runs
            Australia batted well, Pakistan tried and it was a good game until the last ten overs of the Pakistan innings when the result suddenly seemed inevitable. Pakistan just batted carelessly. And some of the umpiring decisions seemed a little dodgy. This match seemed to have some good arguments for the introduction of the revision system that they have in test cricket now. But that is by the by. Not a bad match.
Fourth One Day International
Australia v Pakistan
Australia 8/277; Pakistan 142 (37.5 overs) – Australia won by 135 runs
            The Australian innings was good, with some good fielding and bowling and some hard-fought batting. The Pakistan innings was boring. They appeared to have given up before the Australians bowled their first ball, only to get worse when they lost their first wicket in the first over. This was supposed to be a contest between these two teams. Instead we get an Australia doing enough to win and Pakistan self-imploding on and off the field.
Fifth One Day International
Australia v Pakistan
Pakistan 212 (49.3 overs); Australia 8/213 (49.2 overs) – Australia won by 2 wickets
            It looked like Pakistan had not made anywhere near enough runs, but then Australia only just managed to win with less than an over to spare. It was as though they were trying to lose at some points in the match. But win they did to complete 5-0 series whitewash. It was good match, however, with a tense ending. But two things overshadowed the cricket. First, a pitch invader managed to tackle a Pakistani fieldsman, gaining a life ban from the cricket ground in the process. Next there was ball-biting incident by the Pakistani captain who received a two-match ban for his efforts. Weird.
Under-19s World Cup
Australia 9/207; Pakistan 182 – Australia won by 25 runs
           Congratulations to the Under-19s in their win in the Youth World Cup. To be honest, I knew nothing about this until I found out the results, but a good effort needs to be congratulated all the same.
Sheffield Shield
Tasmania v Victoria
Victoria 297 & 340; Tasmania 262 & 5/207 – Match drawn (Vic – 2 pts)
            Not a bad match, but the last day was played for the draw, which was disappointing.
New South Wales v Queensland
Queensland 335 & 252; New South Wales 244 & 176 – Queensland won by 168 runs
            This game was played at something of a frenetic pace, as though both teams thought it was a three day match and not a four. And the last innings with New South Wales playing as though there had to be a result was just amazing in its recklessness. But a fine match indeed.
Ford Ranger Cup
Tasmania v Victoria
Victoria 7/326; Tasmania 9/306 – Victoria won by 20 runs
            What a game! This is what the internationals should have been. The batting from both teams was superb, with a great century from Victoria’s Hodge, while the bowling held up well against batting onslaughts from both teams.
South Australia v Western Australia
Western Australia 9/228; South Australia 4/229 (40 overs) – South Australia won by 6 wickets
            South Australia’s most convincing win in the 50-over competition. The Twenty20 Big Bash has really given them some much-needed confidence. On the back of 4 wickets each from O’Brien and Christian, Klinger went on to score 113 and set SA up for a dominant win that even earned them a bonus point.
Women’s National Cricket League
Final
Victoria v New South Wales
New South Wales 9/206; Victoria 147 (39.1 overs) – New South Wales won by 59 runs
            For the fifth time in a row NSW have won the women’s 50-over competition. And after a series that delivered so many close matches, it must be said that the final was something of a let-down. NSW dominated completely. Congrats to the NSW women, however.

Soccer
A-League – Round Nineteen
            I do believe this is the last match to finish the bizarre split round:
Melbourne Victory 4 hammered Wellington Phoenix 0
Round 25
Gold Coast United 1 def Melbourne Victory 0
Brisbane Roar 1 def Sydney FC 0
Wellington Phoenix 1 def Adelaide United 0
            Three 1-0 scorelines? Wake me later…
Perth Glory 3 def Central Coast Mariners 1
            And wouldn’t you know it, but there’s another match that is later on…

Basketball
NBL Round Eighteen
Melbourne 95 def Adelaide 85
            Melbourne have really come back from the dead in the second half of the season while Adelaide have fallen behind. And with Adelaide import Gilchrist out for the rest of the season with a knee in jury, things are going from bad to worse.
Townsville 86 def by New Zealand 91
Gold Coast 99 def Melbourne 91
Adelaide 87 def by Townsville 88
WNBL Round Sixteen
Sydney 89 def Logan 66
Dandenong 80 def AIS 33
            It just gets worse and worse for the AIS.
Adelaide 54 def Townsville 51
Canberra 82 def Logan 62
Bulleen 82 def Bendigo 67
Bendigo 85 def AIS 65
Perth 57 def by Townsville 96

Tennis
Australian Open
Another year done and tennis once more fades from our mnedia (until the next grand slam when we’re interested until around the third round when the final Australians are defeated and humiliated rather convincingly… again) and we wonder what all the fuss is about.
            But there is something I do not understand. Why do the women in the singles get paid the same as the men? In Doubles, fine – best of three sets. But in the Singles? Let’s look at one very basic group of stats: The women had on average 2.27 sets per match, the men 3.55 (this includes quarter and semi finals, but not the grand final). So the men were on court for around 1.5 times the amount of time. So why aren’t they getting 1.5 times the money? Maybe the women should go to best of 5 to make things more even at grand slams…
Women’s Doubles
Serena Williams / Venus Williams def Cara Black / Liezel Huber 6-4 6-3
Mixed Doubles
Cara Black / Leander Paes def Ekaterina Makarova / Jaroslav Levinsky 7-5 6-3
            I am embarrassed to say that I have never even heard of any of these people before this tournament. They did play a good match, but it felt rather anti-climatic, especially knowing the men’s final was next.
Men’s Doubles
Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan def Daniel Nestor / Nenad Zimonjic 6-3 6-7 6-3
            The Bryan brothers’ fourth win in 5 years! They seem to own the Aus Open at the moment!
Women’s Singles
Serena Williams def Justine Henin 6-4 3-6 6-2
            The Henin fairytale did not come to fruition like Clijsters last year at the US Open. Williams is now the first 5-time female Aus Open champion. The first two sets were really good, but Henin seemed spent in the last and Williams just powered through.
Men’s Singles
Roger Federer def Andy Murray 6-3 6-4 7-6
            And he does it again. He made it look so easy, even though he was not as convincing coming into the final. The man is a sporting freak; I doubt we’ll see his like on the tennis court again for a long, long time.

That’s this view – January 18 through 25.

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