The View From Down Here #110 – Finals Go On

Finals dominate! No, seriously, that’s all I got. Finals. Lots of sport, but it’s finals time. In the football codes that real men play.

Australian Rules Football
AFL Finals Week 2
First Semi-Final: Western Bulldogs 11.11 (77) def Sydney 10.12 (72)
            See ya, Sydney!
Second Semi-Final: Geelong 20.15 (135) embarrassed Fremantle 10.6 (66)
            Adios, Freo!
Brendan Fevola has been the news. His drunken antics at last year’s Brownlow Medal were apparently the subject of police investigations which went awry because the police stuffed up and didn’t do anything in time. This has come up now because a woman at a non-club charity function has accused him of assaulting or groping her. And added to this is his apparent issue with gambling and the fact he is supposedly in rehab for gambling, yet he was seen allegedly leaving a casino while in Melbourne for rehabilitation instead of staying Brisbane where his club is. While it’s always good to have characters in sport, sometimes they can take things too far… And act like real pillocks.
SANFL Finals Week 1
Elimination Final: Woodville-West Torrens 17.14 (116) hammered Sturt 6.10 (46)
            Goodbye, Sturt!
Qualifying Final: Norwood 12.11 (83) def Glenelg 5.9 (39)
Good to see the SANFL is following its sporting counterparts. It is alleged that members of North Adelaide went on a bit of a bender, did some naughty things and were caught out. However, no one will be punished because they cannot ascertain who did what exactly. But… the coach was sacked with a year to run on his contract. Ahh, sports people and administrators. Love ‘em!

Rugby League
NRL Finals Week 1
Gold Coast 28 def New Zealand Warriors 16
            See ya, Warriors.
Wests Tigers 15 def by Sydney Roosters 19
Penrith 22 def by Canberra 24
St George Illawarra v Manly, Full Time 28-0
            Better luck next year, Manly.
Gotta love rugby players! Two Roosters’ players have been caught allegedly defecating in a hotel, a year after a team-mate of theirs was caught and fined heavily for the same act. An entire under-18s team including coaches have been banned for from five years to life for threatening a referee physically (though several bands have since been overturned on appeal). Two cheerleaders have said their drinks were spiked during a team function. Post season and finals shenanigans – rugby’s clearly in good hands!
            Having said that, it was also time to celebrate the best of league, with the annual Dally M Awards. There’s 19 of them awarded, but the most important 3 are:
            Coach of Year – Brian Smith (Sydney Roosters)
            Rookie of the Year – Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos)
            Dally M Player of the Year – Todd Carney (Sydney Roosters)

A-League Round 6
Central Coast Mariners 1 def Melbourne Heart FC 0
Wellington Phoenix 2 def Sydney 1
Adelaide United 2 def Newcastle Jets 1
Melbourne Victory 3 def Brisbane Roar 0
Perth Glory 0 def by Gold Coast United 1
(Melbourne Victory v Wellington a mid-week match to come)
Well, following comments last week, it may be time to stop reporting on anything to do with soccer. It is obvious soccer supporters only read things the way they want to read them. So to keep going on about how soccer players are overpaid prima donnas who don’t know how to use their upper bodies, who think that cheating to get a free kick by diving is within the rules, and who think that loyalty is just a word in the dictionary that is never used, to keep going on about a sport where nil-all draws are the norm, where less happens in 90 minutes of play than in 5 days of test match cricket, and where the players dry-hump one another every time one of them so much as touches the ball, to keep going on about supporters who think that the best way to show your team you like them is to riot, who do not consider anything else in the world even a sport, and who do not handle criticism in any way shape or form lest it be seen as indicative of their own lack of a life… all of that is a waste of time.
            I find soccer dull. I find McDonald’s disgusting and can’t eat it. I find the works of Dan Brown dull as dishwater. I find Sylvester Stallone’s “acting” laughable. Popular does not mean it’s good – it simply means those who do not like to think for themselves are well catered for in society.
            And as it’s my column, I guess readers may have to live with it.

Other Sport
Rugby Union
Australia 22 def by New Zealand 23
V-8 Supercars
* Phillip Island 500
1st Craig Lowndes / Mark Skaife (Commodore VE)
2nd Mark Winterbottom / Luke Youlden (Falcon FG)
3rd Jason Richards / Andrew Jones (Commodore VE)
            Next race in 3 weeks or so is Australia’s classic closed wheel race, the ultimate event – the Bathurst 1000 all day event. Even non-revheads like me get caught up in the thing.

A brief one this week.
            We finally got a government in this country. The Labor party led by Julia Gillard finally managed to form government with the backing of three out of the four independents and the Greens’ sole House of Representatives member. The Liberal party were close, but failed.
            What this means is that we have a parliament that could do some great things in reform, but also could stagnate under its own weight. The problem is the senate where the new senators do not take their positions until July 2011, and Steve Fielding of the ultra right wing religious party Family First has said he will make Labor’s life a living hell until he finally loses his seat. Gotta love Christians and their attitude of ‘if it’s not my way, I’m going to act in the most unChristian way possible.’
            Anyway, we have a government and a parliament now, so maybe we’ll soon have things we need. It seems the independents have managed to get a guarantee of parliamentary reform (long overdue) and more money for regional health care (really overdue). There is also a chance for a few more things to actually happen for the benefit of the country, but it does mean we now live in interesting times in Australia.

And that’s the View through to September 13.

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