THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #112 – FINALS!!

AFL Grand final, next week it’s the turn of the SANFL and NRL. And the AFL will try to get it right this time. Then the cricket starts, and basketball not long after that. No lull here, oh no no no… But like 20% of the rest of Australia I parked my arse in front of the TV and watched Collingwood and St Kilda try to win the cup. Both failed. What a weekend!

Australian Rules Football
AFL GRAND FINAL
Collingwood 9.14 (68) DREW with St Kilda 10.8 (68)
News:
For thoughts on the Grand Final itself, check out my 10 Thoughts column…
            But as to the concept of a drawn Grand Final. Look, really, and everyone said it after the game (except the AFL CEO, who only looks at the money anyway), in this day and age – why? Why not have two quarters of extra time? If still tied, then golden score it. It’s not that hard. While the game was an awesome spectacle, especially that last quarter, the result left everyone (and I mean absolutely everyone) deflated. You could see it on the faces of the players, the crowd, the coaches, the commentators. Every single person there. So we’re back next week, going up against the SANFL Grand Final and biting into the NRL grand final as well.
            Yes, it is a unique thing to out game in this day and age. Yes, it does mean an estimated $25 million extra into the AFL’s pockets (which they say they’ll put back into the game… sure…). But it seems so unprofessional after the amazing spectacle and crowd that made the whole thing seem worthy of an international stage in the first place.
            I think it is time for a change.
SANFL Finals Week 3
Preliminary Final
Woodville-West Torrens 7.9 (51) def by Norwood 8.8 (56)
            This was a great game! The grand final next weekend should be an absolute corker.
News:
Nothing of note.

Rugby League
NRL Finals Week 3
Gold Coast 6 def by Sydney Roosters 32
St George Illawarra 13 def Wests Tigers 12
            Does this mean the hoodoo is off the Dragons’ back? Will they win the grand final this weekend? Their mental state could be the difference between the sides come this big one.
News:
Another week, another player in trouble, this time being accused of bashing his pregnant girlfriend. Sigh.

Cricket
2010/11 Champions League Twenty20
Victoria v Wayamba
            Wayamba 106 (16.3 overs); Victoria 2/108 (13.2 overs) – Victoria won by 8 wickets
            Despite the win, Victoria did not make it through to the semi-finals.
Guyana v South Australia
            South Australia 6/191; Guyana 7/176 – South Australia won by 15 runs
            South Australia went through to the semis undefeated.
Semi-Final
Warriors 6/175; South Australia 7/145 – Warriors won by 30 runs
            All good things come to an end. Valiant try, but the South Aussies were outplayed.
News
The Pakistan thing is not stopping. Look, I’ve pontificated enough here about Pakistan, the ICC and all associated woes. No more. But…
            It’s not stopping.

Soccer
A-League Round 7 (finished)
Gold Coast United 1 def Newcastle Jets 0
A-League Round 8
Wellington Phoenix 2 def North Queensland Fury 1
Adelaide United 2 def Perth Glory FC 0
Brisbane Roar 4 def Melbourne Heart 0
Newcastle Jets 0 drew with Melbourne Victory 0
Sydney 1 drew with Gold Coast United 1
News:
Why bother?

Motorsport
Formula One – Singapore Grand Prix
1st Fernando Alonso
2nd Sebastian Vettel
3rd Mark Webber
            Amazingly, this keeps Webber on top of the driver’s championship.

Commonwealth Games
What a freaking debacle!
            A pedestrian walkway collapsed, the roof of the wrestling venue collapsed, the athletes’ quarters don’t have drainage so the recent monsoon rains have flooded out rooms all the way up to the top, these same rains means work is not even close to being finished, the builders being used are apparently on lists of those to be avoided, money is being bled out of the place, there is a rampant strain of dengue fever, there is no infrastructure for the expected tourist influx, illegal bookmakers are already setting up shop and with them the spectre of corruption similar to that hovering over cricket arrives as well. And then the Indian officials complain when some athletes pull out, when some countries express concerns.
            Many are saying the Games should not have been awarded to India. Wrong. It was the right decision. What was wrong was that India were allowed to proceed without supervision. Yes, it sounds patronising, but when 2 years ago people started raising concerns, then the Comm Games people should have stepped in. They didn’t because of India’s financial strength and influence, and fear of upsetting them and so being punished n some other way (most likely on the cricket field… and, yes, India would have done just that; they are as lacking in self-esteem as they are in apparent financial common sense). Yet again, money talks, and this time it maybe have killed off the last thing that actually keeps the Commonwealth together apart from an old lady and her eccentric family over in England.

Australia!
I am one of those people who write letters to the editor of the local newspaper. And, more importantly, I am one of those people who tend to get published by said editor in said paper. Three times this year alone I have had the honour of having the first letter on the letters page.
            This week saw it happen again.
            We have a debate raging in this country about the legalising of euthanasia. However, like most debates of this kind, it has been hijacked by the religious right, who think their beliefs are the only beliefs that matter and refuse to see alternate viewpoints. But, many of you may be saying, that sounds like the USA. Well, yes, it is, except for one pretty important point. In this country, it’s not just the Pentecostal churches that throw this stuff out there – it’s the Catholics.
            Australia was colonised by the English, so the Church of England (which essentially believes that Jesus was English and the only reason he was crucified was because he was too embarrassed to point out they may have made a mistake) was the primary religion of the country. In my state, the Lutherans came out from Germany to give us some wonderful wine growing areas. However, because the eastern seaboard was, in fact, a penal colony, many Irish were transported out here as well. And they brought with them Catholicism. Then the Italian immigrants came (more wine) and brought more Catholicism.
            The Catholics are a powerful force in politics and social justice in this country. While they have been quiet in the past – we allowed women to vote, legalised the Pill and homosexuality and abortion – when things may not have gone their own way, not any more. They have seen the moral high ground hijacked by Christian groups that tend to appeal to a younger crowd, with dodgier financial systems and virtual empires of churches. So now the Catholics are biting back. They dominate the Liberal Party, and so they are coming to dominate politics.
            This means they are influencing policy. Euthanasia may well be defeated because of the Catholic bloc and threats made to Liberals who might support it. Gay marriage will suffer in the same way. Abortion is being investigated and may become so tightly controlled the backyard abortionists may once more become a feature of Australian society. Homosexuality itself may become what it was pre-World War Two – illegal and no longer accepted. Drug laws will be tightened further, creating more prohibition (and look where that got the world when it was tried with alcohol – organised crime and making innocents into criminals).
            Religion and politics – just say, “NO!”

And that’s the View through to September 27.

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