The Olympics are coming to a conclusion and I must say that my interest levels have been as low as I can remember for an Olympic Games. I don’t know if it is the timing of the events or all of the negative stories before the games started, but I have been significantly underwhelmed. Perhaps my level of enthusiasm is matched by the Australian results where very few of our competitors have performed at their best. It would appear from the vision I have seen that the crowds have stayed away too. If the athletics didn’t have Usain Bolt these could be the dullest games of all time where the side stories have far more interest than the performances.
I was interested in the Peter Nevill stumping during the third test in Sri Lanka when he waited for the batsman to lift his foot after playing the ball. The batsman was clearly out, but was it in the spirit of the game? I must admit some bias here, I was dismissed in a similar fashion playing school cricket and while I too was clearly out, I had avoided a bouncer and moved out of my crease before the keeper had passed the ball onto the fieldsman. I always thought it was unfair as it wasn’t the skill of the bowler that got me out of my crease. The same applied to the Nevill stumping.
Great news for Essendon supporters with Michael Hurley re-signing. When the players were suspended at the start of the year I thought Essendon would lose one of Hurley, Hooker or Heppell and they have all re-committed to the club. Essendon now need Jobe Watson to play another year so he doesn’t conclude his career as a banned player. He deserves to finish on a high note even if he does lose the Brownlow medal.
Have a great weekend!
Well it has been a hell of a week for an Essendon supporting David Bowie fan.
Firstly on the Essendon situation, I was not surprised they were found guilty as the news filtering through from the CAS hearing was that it did not go as well as the AFL/ASADA hearing, but I was surprised that the players got twelve months as this was not predicted even with a guilty verdict. Discussion on the topic has been hard to avoid, but I have purposely not read anything as what has been done cannot be undone. What has annoyed me is the people that have come out and said that the players should have taken the suspension which was offered to them by ASADA. Well that is all very well, but do you admit to something when you truly believe you are innocent? I wouldn’t and I think that the players felt the same way. The initial AFL/ASADA hearing also vindicated that view. ‘Comfortable Satisfaction’ was always going to be the problem as it is a very low test and so it played out.
There has been a lot of discussion about Jobe Watson’s Brownlow medal and while it pains me that such a low standard of proof should cost him the games highest individual honour, he has been found guilty and the medal has to be relinquished. However, I do not agree that the medal should then be awarded to the runners up, Trent Cotchin and Sam Mitchell. The Brownlow medal is not like an Olympic race or event, it is awarded over twenty-two weeks played in different venues all over Australia. Also do you go back and award higher votes to players who finished behind Jobe when he polled 3 & 2 votes? I don’t think you can, so the fairest result would be to not award the medal for 2012 similar to how Melbourne Storm was treated when the NRL removed their premiership wins.
And what has David Bowie got to do with sport, well he played in Melbourne on four occasions and the venues were, the MCG, Kooyong, Waverley Park and Rod Laver Arena. The first show at the MCG was one of my very best experiences at that venue and the final show at Rod Laver Arena was probably the best of the four concerts that I saw him play in Melbourne. In addition, he also wrote a song called Bombers which did not appear on any of his albums, but did appear as an additional track on a reissued CD. May he rest in peace.
Have a great weekend!
I think everyone was impressed with the interview/acceptance speech from Nathan Fyffe on Monday night when he won the Brownlow medal. In my opinion it was the most impressive, natural post Brownlow performance I have seen. Not only is the guy a natural footballer but he is a natural in front of the camera so you can imagine the media outlets will be lining up for his services and advertisers lining up for him to endorse their products. He is my favourite footballer that doesn’t play for my team and it was great to see him win.
The Brownlow voting seems to have changed over the last ten years. If you think back to 1990, Tony Liberatore and Gavin Wanganeen tied with 18 votes. Going back even further to 1986 Dipper and Greg Williams tied on 17 votes. In the last ten years only Ben Cousins in 2005 scored less than 24 votes (he scored 20) with five players scoring 30 or more. In 2000 Essendon scored the most team votes ever in the Brownlow (116 votes), but James Hird was the highest with only 16 votes so the votes were more evenly spread amongst the players. Today we get star players dominating the voting. The best example of that is Josh Kennedy and Dan Hannebery from the Swans scoring 49 of the Swans 94 votes. That is more than fifty percent of the Swans votes between two players. It seems to me there is a bit of a “cult of personality” which has impacted upon the umpires and their voting.
I am hoping that the West Coast Eagles salute on Saturday, however, it is hard to see Hawthorn getting beaten.
The Dally M for the NRL was decided on the same night as the Brownlow and Jonathon Thurston won the award for a record fourth time. I am not a big rugby league aficionado, but that is a remarkable performance and now that the Storm has been knocked out of the finals it would be good to see his Cowboys salute in the grand final. Up against him is the Wayne Bennett coached Brisbane Broncos, who I understand has a perfect seven from seven record in Grand Finals. That is a remarkable statistic in its own right.
Have a great long weekend!
Last weekend we heard about the passing of J B Cummings and with his passing we say goodbye to the trainer who trained more Melbourne Cup winners than any other trainer by a fair margin. He may not have trained as many winners or Group 1 winners as Tommy Smith or Colin Hayes or won as many trainers premierships, but in the race that every trainer sees as the pinnacle in Australia he trained more winners of the Cup than those two trainers put together. His record of 12 Melbourne Cup winners will not be broken in my lifetime and with the internationalisation of the race I doubt it will be broken at all. Vale James Bartholomew Cummings an absolute legend of the Australian turf.
I was at the MCG last weekend to see the Bombers take on the Tigers and I witnessed Courtney Dempsey’s tackle on Brett Deledio and I must say that it was extremely dangerous and Deledio was lucky he escaped with only a sore neck and a slight concussion. That type of tackle is probably worse than the sling tackle and Dempsey fully deserved his 4 weeks. The stupid thing about it was than it was also unnecessary, the game was gone and a standard tackle would have seen Deledio penalised for holding the ball as he had already broken one tackle.
Continuing the AFL theme it was with some interest I listened to Wayne Carey suggest that this weeks Geelong v Adelaide game should be for double Brownlow votes given that the earlier game between the two teams was abandoned due to the tragic death of Phil Walsh. I initially thought the idea had some merit, but the more I thought about it the less appealing it became. In the end it would mean that someone would play one game and get double the votes. I dare say that if someone lost out in that scenario then there may be a legal challenge. It was also proposed that all games in that round have voting suspended and that doesn’t make sense either as it penalises those players that performed well that weekend and again could open up a legal challenge. The original game was abandoned and the points were split and all the participants knew that there would be no Brownlow votes awarded and that is the way it should stay. It will be bad luck if Patrick Dangerfield misses out on the medal by less than three votes, but would it be worse than Chris Grant missing out on the medal from what was really only a clumsy attempt to spoil, I don’t think so.
There has also been a lot of discussion around Fremantle and North Melbourne resting players for the finals this weekend. While the Fremantle decision has no bearing on the finals, the North Melbourne decision is not as clear and the AFL are rightly copping a whack as a result, but this has happened before. Kevin Sheedy rested players at the end of 1990 to allow the four Daniher brothers to play together in the last round against St Kilda. They won the game, but due to the draw between Collingwood and West Coast in the Qualifying final it back fired on the Dons and some of the players had three weeks off and the rest is history. Sheedy did it again in 2001 when Essendon played Richmond in the final round, a few players were rested, but the team clearly didn’t have a winning mind set and went down by about four goals. This result kept Richmond in 4th place and meant that Carlton could not get above 5th. The following week in the Qualifying final Essendon belted Richmond by about ten goals.
Have a great weekend!
It was sad to see a champion of the game in Chris Judd end his career as he did last weekend. He is most certainly one of the modern day champions and for a period of 5-8 years was the undisputed best player in the competition. In my opinion his best form was at West Coast which took in a Brownlow medal, a Norm Smith medal in a losing team and he captained their 2006 premiership team. In this team he stood out in a team of good players like Kerr, Cousins & Cox. While there was no doubt he was still an exceptional player at Carlton where he won three consecutive best & fairest awards and another Brownlow medal, he stood out because he was so much better than the rest of the team. I think champions deserve to go out on their own terms and maybe going out the way he did took emotion and the fanfare away from his retirement which probably, in some strange way, suited him.
Sticking with football, it was great to see the football world rally around Neale Daniher and his cause last weekend. Neale was one of the most sublimely skilled players I have seen much in the mould of a James Hird, but unfortunately his body let him down before he really established his greatness. Having said that, I remember Leigh Matthews rated him ahead of Bruce Doull as a half back flanker, even though he had only played 60-70 games before he did his knee. Unfortunately for Neale his body has also let him down in life, but not dulled his spirit.
Moving away from football it was refreshing to hear Novak Djokevic acknowledge that he was beaten by a better player on the day in his post match interview after the French Open tennis final against Stan Warwinka. Too many times you have the sour grapes post match interviews where the skill of the opposition is not respected. In tennis I doubt I have ever heard Serena Williams acknowledge she was beaten by a better player on the day and certainly, in soccer, Sir Alex Ferguson never did!
Have a great weekend!
It has been a busy couple of weeks and I must say sport has probably been a long way from my thoughts.
One of the bigger AFL issues rearing it’s head at the moment is the prospect of Nathan Fyffe getting the most votes in the Brownlow, but being ineligible. I must say he was most unfortunate to be suspended for the incident that was in essence a head clash, but because of the change in rules and because he opted to bump, he was suspended. If the same thing happened last year he would not have been suspended and if the jungle drums are correct, the rule may be clarified next year which may not result in a suspension which would then not preclude a player from winning the Brownlow medal. So we may have the farcical situation where he misses out on the Brownlow on the basis of a rule which existed for one year. How ludicrous would that be!
You think of the other 2 “winners” who missed out on the Brownlow due to suspensions – Corey McKernan and Chris Grant. Both their incidents under the current Match Review Panel system, would probably only result in a reprimand due to lack of force. The AFL has amended rules in the past to allow winners who lost on a count back to be awarded medals and perhaps it is time that McKernan & Grant’s incidents were reviewed in light of current assessments. In McKernan’s case it would not jeopardise the actual winners as James Hird & Michael Voss had the same number of votes as McKernan, but Robert Harvey polled less votes than Grant and that may be an issue.
As an aside, Corey McKernan also missed out on the Rising Star award because of a suspension which was also lacking in force, but let us leave than one alone.
Have a great weekend!
13 June 2010 158.1 – Stan opens up on AFL losing Brownlow votes… Catchup with John Rillie talking NBL, NBA Finals & where NBA free agents may head… Sean starts the discussion of superstitions in sports from NHL Beards to Daniel‘s no high-five rule… The Gelding gets a few winners and lays down the challenge to the Sydney Colt…
Thanks for in-show tweets @Susan_Shan, @SydneyColt, @lisahayes4, @GayleESaunders, @the_dos & @Smileyj14