The View From Down Here#105 – It’s Rant-tastic

Well, a lot has happened this week. So I rant against the AFL, soccer bosses and a few other things. And I answer a facetious American (really? they exist? [/sarcasm]) with the latest Australiana instalment, this one concerning urban animals.

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round 19
Essendon 9.19 (73) def by Carlton 23.11 (149)
North Melbourne 19.9 (123) def Fremantle 10.9 (69)
Sydney 19.15 (129) def Hawthorn 13.7 (85)
Geelong 11.9 (75) unfortunately def by Collingwood 13.18 (96)
(No, I do not support Geelong; I just really hate Collingwood)
West Coast 9.11 (65) def by Brisbane 10.10 (70)
St Kilda 23.13 (151) completely hammered Port Adelaide 8.9 (57)
Melbourne 16.13 (109) def Richmond 11.14 (80)
Adelaide 7.11 (53) def by Western Bulldogs 8.13 (61)
A bit of news about, but the one story that got me was the fact that the Tasmanian government have indicated that they are willing to back Hawthorn in moving to the Apple Isle. There are three issues with it – one, Hawthorn is a Melbourne club and would most likely go through the same teething problems South Melbourne did when they became Sydney; two, the size of the grounds in Tasmania (initially Aurora at Launceston, maybe later Bellerive in Hobart) is not large; and three, the AFL doesn’t want it. I mean, why would they? They love the idea of too many teams in Melbourne and pushing their sport into non-traditional areas of Australia like Western Sydney and the Gold Coast, both rugby centres. The fact Tasmania is an Australian Rules state does not matter. There’s not enough money in it for the AFL and so they do not care.
The other big story doing the rounds this week has been the revelation that the Victorian police has given the AFL confidential files regarding the players and officials where it comes to police matters. Not only is this a gross invasion of privacy, but also a flagrant misuse of power. But it’s the AFL, and the governments of this country let them bend the laws as they see fit. And all because it’s sport.
SANFL Round 20
Glenelg 10.4 (124) def West Adelaide 7.11 (53)
Norwood 16.14 (110) def North Adelaide 6.10 (46)
Port Adelaide 12.7 (79) def by Woodville-West Torrens 15.2 (102)
South Adelaide 13.5 (83) def by Central Districts 17.14 (116)
Bye: Sturt
Well, the AFL has decided to flex its muscle and probably go against ACCC guidelines now that it has decided Adelaide Oval is to be the new home of AFL football in South Australia. What this means is that the SANFL – the group which owns and paid for the licences for the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power AFL teams – may be left with nothing. The AFL has even hinted it will take the licences away.
How arrogant. Now Victorians may say they own the game (and they often do say this) but if they want the game to extend beyond basically the bottom half of Australia, this stupid parochial decimation of other interstate leagues (and even smaller Victorian leagues) has to end. The AFL thinks it can run roughshod over everyone else, to the detriment of grass roots. But what does the AFL care? All they want is the money from TV rights to support the ridiculously high salaries of its bosses. Football? It can get stuffed. And that’s why I try to support the SANFL as well as I can – because it’s not the AFL.

Rugby League
NRL – Round 22
North Queensland 26 def by Brisbane 34
Gold Coast 34 def Parramatta 12
Manly 26 def Melbourne 6
South Sydney 30, Wests Tigers 30
Extra time: Souths: 34 def Wests 30
This was the most amazing game of Rugby League I have ever sat down and watched. Truly awe-inspiring. You need to track this one down. Seriously. Do it. (Highlights here:
Cronulla 10 def by Warriors 37
Newcastle 30 def Canterbury-Bankstown 6
Sydney Roosters 12 def by St George Illawarra 19
Canberra 30 def Penrith 26
Following on from last week’s news about an independent commission being investigated, the Rugby League Players Association has not ruled out going on strike to get one up and running.
Part of the issues come because the players want a voice on any independent commission, which is not going to happen it seems. But if the NRL remains reluctant to put one in place, there could be trouble a-brewing.

A-League Round 1
Melbourne Heart FC 0 def by Central Coast Mariners 1
Adelaide United FC 0 drew with Newcastle Jets FC 0
Perth Glory FC 3 drew with North Queensland Fury 3
Sydney FC 3 drew with v Melbourne Victory FC 3
Gold Coast United 0 drew with Brisbane Roar FC 0
Australia still does not have a national coach. They have been encouraged to go to Asia to look for one, or maybe back at Europe. Well, here’s an idea: How about picking a freaking Australian!? I’m sure we could find one who is doing the job for, I don’t know, love of country instead of the insane amounts of money thrown at soccer managers! And, yes, if you find an Australian who is not quite up to par, then let him cpoach his way. Give him charge of all national teams – youth, women’s and men’s. And let him learn the ropes. He’ll make mistakes, but he’ll be there for love of country. Period. How hard is it? What a joke. Way to promote the sport in this country FFA!

International Test
Australia 59 def Jamaica 38
Not a lot of note. Netball remains relatively scandal free. Could it be because no teenaged and drunken men are involved? Or that the money is less and so doesn’t attract the egos of all other sporting codes?

Other Sport
Rugby Union – Tri Nations Test
New Zealand 20 def Australia 10
And thus the All-Blacks retain the Bledisloe Cup.
Hockey – Champions Trophy
Australia 4 def England 0
Australia win the final in this prestigious field hockey tournament.

I received an email during the week asking if it’s true that kangaroos hop down our streets. While this rather facetious fellow claims he hails from MI (Michigan? Missouri? Mississippi? Ming The Merciless? Who cares?), I think he was trying to be funny. I mean, you don’t hear Australians asking if bald eagles fly around and dive bomb people on the streets of New York… Oh that’s right, they couldn’t because Americans have virtually hunted them to extinction!
Well where I live, in Adelaide, a city with a population a little over a million, surrounded by hills and national parks and farmland, things are a little different. Lots of trees and green still dot our suburbs, even if the developers seem to want to get rid of it all (except where they live, of course – greedy arseholes). And we have animals.
In my backyard we had a few possums for a while. Possums are a common scourge in Australian cities. They get into your roof and just go out of their way to piss people off. Think of them as cat-sized, clumsy rats and you get the idea. There was a pair of koalas living in the park at the end of our street last summer; when the winter came they migrated down to the creek about five hundred metres from our place. At least, we saw some koalas down there not long after they left here.
In the city itself, the CBD, there are ‘duck crossing’ signs, and possums congregate. We get swans and ibises and herons and pelicans on the river running through the centre of our city. We have dolphins in the Port River, who seem to play whenever anyone’s around.
We also have some of the most dangerous snakes in the world in our backyards, red-back spiders in our gardens (caught one last month with a leg width of five centimetres – huge bloody things!), and Great White Sharks patrolling our beaches (only about three people a year get attacked here, so that’s not too bad), where seals also occasionally come to have a look at the sun-bathers.
And we have kangaroos. Where I am, small ‘roos have been known to make their way. Only two kilometres up the road bigger ones have been seen on school grounds destroying the ovals.
So, yes – we do have kangaroos hopping down our streets. And we love it.

And that’s the View through to August 9.