THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #103– Masterchef!

Well, the limited feedback I received was positive last week, so we’ll stick with the changes until the next time I get bored or I’m sacked from my position here, whichever comes first. So, here’s some sport, news, whatever…

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round 17
St Kilda 14.3 (87) drew with Hawthorn 13.9 (87)
Collingwood 19.13 (127) hammered Richmond 6.9 (45)
Geelong 19.13 (127) def Brisbane 9.10 (64)
North Melbourne 18.11 (19) def by Essendon 18.14 (122)
West Coast 1.17 (83) def by Carlton 15.19 (109)
Western Bulldogs 24.14 (158) def Fremantle 12.4 (76)
Melbourne 22.10 (142) embarrassed Sydney 10.9 (69)
Port Adelaide 13.10 (88) def Adelaide 9.15 (69)
News:
Jason Akermanis, motormouth extraordinaire, has been sacked from the Western Bulldogs. He is a Brownlow medallist, a 3-time premiership player and one of the most exciting and controversial players in the AFL. Ostensibly, he was sacked (and he did not like it) because his team-mates had lost faith in him after details of comments he is alleged to have made about them in an upcoming book were leaked. Interestingly enough, the book hasn’t been written yet.
            This comes on the heels of some one leaking his team’s (The Western Bulldogs) private internal training information, and with Akermanis being prominent in the media, he was blamed. Then he made some ill-advised comments regarding homosexual players. Essentially, he said he would advise homosexuals to remain in the closet because of the way they might be treated by others, the same advice given to at least one male Australian athlete at the Sydney Olympics (apparently). He did not say that homosexuality was bad, he just said that his perception was that many of his colleagues would be uncomfortable. He was vilified for this. And so now he is sacked and he let the club have it.
            A former coach said he was always selfish, but that does not explain why he accepted a pay cut in his last year at Brisbane in order to keep the team together. I like the man and think he is a good player, and maybe he shoots his mouth off, but you cannot tell me the Bulldogs did not know this going into the selection of him.
            Shame, but that’s the way of sport in these overly politically correct times. Bring back the characters, I say.
            Oh, and how did his team do without him? 24 goals and a hammering of top 8 side Fremantle says it all, really…
SANFL Round 19 (part one)
Split round, sort of a mid-season break.
Glenelg 16.12 (108) def North Adelaide 9.9 (63)
West Adelaide 9.5 (59) def by Central Districts 19.9 (123)
News:
None of note.

Cricket
Test Cricket
Australia v Pakistan
Second test
Australia 1st innings – 88; Pakistan 1st innings 258; Australia 2nd innings 349; Pakistan second innings 7/180
Pakistan won by 3 wickets
News:
Muttiah Muralitharan retired this week, in his last test match, taking his last wicket, which was his 800th – the only man ever to take that many in tests – with his very last ball.
            You could not have written a better script… and some Australians are saying just that – it was written, it was set up, yadda, yadda.
            Well, I say – grow up! I said last week how I find his action suspicious, but he has been deemed legal, and he has now taken 800 wickets and congratulations are in order. I think the Australian response was more jealousy than anything else. But that’s by the by. He is regarded as the greatest and will be for a long time to come.

Rugby League
NRL – Round 20
Canterbury-Bankstown 16 def by Parramatta 32
St George Illawarra 10 def by Gold Coast 11
Canberra 20 def Cronulla 13
Melbourne 18 def Penrith 10
North Queensland 28 def Newcastle 24
South Sydney 38 def Warriors 28
Manly 38 def Wests Tigers 20
Brisbane 30 def by Sydney Roosters 34
News:
The Melbourne Storm fiasco just keeps on keeping on. But it looks like it might almost be over, with the Storm dropping legal action against the NRL against their penalty. Now, apparently, it is up to the supporters to continue fighting. Yes, a lawyer is telling supporters they can get in on the action and try to sue the NRL for taking away their enjoyment of the game, for taking away their history, for making their memorabilia worthless, for being Victorian… or something like that. And you know how all-pervasive this story is? Not a single drunken rugby player has been reported since it broke. And that’s saying something!

Boxing
Danny Green v Paul Briggs.
            Inside Fights has the report here but I want to tell of some of the rumours that came out after the so-called 29 second ‘fight’:
(1) Briggs had a previous injury to that part of the head;
(2) He had an undiagnosed delayed concussion or a concussion from training;
(3) Green actually hit him with the heel of the hand (a palm strike) where there is not padding in a boxing glove:
(4) Briggs is a wussy wimp who shouldn’t have even stepped into the ring (as his trainer said two weeks ago) and only did it for the money; or
(5) Green is just a really powerful, awesome, physically superior sort of brain-dead fighting man and his mere breath could knock you out. Only Chuck Norris would stand a chance against him.
            The fight was a farce and it is now being formally investigated. As well it should. Considering the bookies were saying a lot of late money came in for a first round knockout, I think this has to be cleared up. Sure, it might be legit. But it might not. Now let’s have independent authorities have a look and make the decision.

Other Sport
Rugby Union – Tri Nations Test
Australia 30 def South Africa 13
            This has to be something of an upset.

Professional Wrestling
WWE – Money In The Bank PPV
I thought I’d throw in my 2 cents worth regarding the latest WWE PPV. I saw it about three days after it aired, so I knew some of the results, though I deliberately stayed away from Pulse Wrestling until I’d seen it.
(1) Smackdown Money in the Bank Ladder Match
            This was an okay opener, but had a distinct lack of psychology. Spot, set up, spot, set up. I thought they’d go with the Big Show here, but I can live with Kane getting his just rewards for years of loyalty and putting up with crappy writing. Not a bad match, but not great.
(2) Alicia Fox v Eve Torres – WWE Diva’s Championship
            Crap. Next. Alicia retained.
(3) The Hart Dynasty v The Usos
            Not a bad match. The Usos are still a little green, but the Harts carried them to their best WWE match yet. It’s only a matter of time before they win. And I want to see Natalya fight Tamina one-on-one. Yeah, good-ish match.
(4) Rey Mysterio v Jack Swagger
            I was expecting more than I got from this match. It wasn’t bad, but it disappointed me. Swagger’s not Angle v2.0 yet, and Rey’s injuries have clearly caught up with him. Not bad, but not great. Rey retained predictably.
Then:
(5) Rey Mysterio v Kane
            A cash-in now! Wow! This I liked. It added something to it. Short, sharp and shiny, and Kane wins the title. I liked everything about this.
(6) Layla v Kelly Kelly
            My God, this was worse than the last women’s match! TNA’s women’s division might have been gutted recently, but it still craps over all of this. And then I look at the Australian scene and I reckon 90% of Australian female wrestlers crap over all of this. Sure, they don’t look like catwalk models, but they do look good (for the most part) and they look and act like wrestlers! This was horrid.
(7) Raw Money in the Bank Ladder Match
            I liked this one as well. I enjoy the money in the bank matches, and this one had a bit more psychology, a bit more heat due to previous feuds and more experienced athletes, I guess. Whatever, this was my match of the night. And I know a lot of people are creaming themselves because the Miz won, but I can’t take him seriously as a serious contender. At least it is some one new in the title mix, however, and for that we should all be happy.
(8) Sheamus v John Cena (Steel Cage Match)
            Look, a good cage match by recent WWE standards (not at Tully-Magnum level; not even at Warrior-Rude level) but the ending annoyed the crap out of me. I think the Nexus should have come in and destroyed both men, and then Sheamus is accidentally thrown through the door for the win. That way it achieves the same ending, but the Nexus look even more like pricks.
            By the way, the Nexus angle is one of the best I’ve seen in WWE/TNA/WCW in years. I am loving it, and even when things don’t go so well, they are still sticking with it. And I am looking forward to the 7-on-7 Summerslam match.
            And that’s my take!

Australia!
TV Time!
The biggest televisual event of the year is upon us! No, not the debate between our prime-ministerial wannabes. No, not the grand final of some football code. And no, not a nationally televised beer drinking competition.
            It’s the final episode of reality TV cooking show Masterchef Australia.
            Seriously. A cooking show between two amateurs set tasks most five star chefs would struggle to do – where contestants have their food “fixed” during commercial breaks, where one of the judges is so popular now he has been able to release an album of his favourite cooking songs – is destined to be the biggest thing on Australian television this year. How big? The debate I mentioned earlier was put forward an hour so as not to clash with it. Yes, the leader and her opponent agreed to debate earlier so as not to disrupt the viewing habits of 4.3 million Australians (yes, the final pulled in 4.3 million viewers or 20% of the Australian population, the largest non-sporting audience ever in this country) who sit in front of their TVs marvelling at how easy cooking is while they eat their McVomits takeaway on the couch they appear to have been super-glued to all weekend.
            Okay, I’ll be honest – I didn’t watch it. Reality television makes me realise that having a life is actually an important part of living. I’m all reality TVed out after Big Brother, So You Think You Can Dance, Australian Idol, X-Factor, The Farmer Wants A Wife, Australia’s Got Talent (ha!), The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Ladette To Lady Australia, Australia’s Next Top Supermodel, Hot Property, So You Want To Be A Laughing Stock On National Television… the list is disgustingly endless. The problem is they are cheap and they serve to alleviate the voyeuristic urges that apparently have lain dormant in society for ten thousand years, except in strange little men in long coats who suffer asthma when looking through windows.
            For what it’s worth, Masterchef’s final was fought between two South Australians, so a South Australian won. Adam beat Callum (and how do I know? because this show has been in the legitimate news media as if it was a real story! I thought only Fox did that!). But the fact that so many people watched it tells a lot about society.
            And none of it’s good.

And that’s the View through to July 26.

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