Well it is all AFL today.
I have just heard about the tragic passing of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh. In my time following football or sport for that matter, I cannot remember a current sportsman being murdered. I must say I am a bit stunned and shocked and I wonder how this will impact on the Crows players. If the game was tonight you would think it would not proceed. Not forgetting that he also spent some time at Geelong, so they would not be immune from the impact of this shocking event. This is unprecedented and goes beyond the grief of health related deaths that have impacted AFL clubs over recent years.
It was interesting to hear the commentary over the Sam Mitchell incident in the Hawthorn -v- Essendon game last Saturday. Yes it was a bit juvenile, but I am surprised there hasn’t been more of it and I am sure the Essendon players were not phased at all given what they have been through. It is also quite ironic given the Sam Lane article in the Age in 2012 lauding the Hawthorn supplement injection programme.
There was also a lot of debate in AFL circles this week about the leniency of the Buddy Franklin decision compared to the Bryce Gibbs suspension. Again it has to be referred back to the consequences. Franklin put Edwards out of the game for 20 minutes for testing, but he was able to come back on (albeit a bit early!). Gibbs put Robbie Gray out of the game and probably cost Port Adelaide the match. After Franklin was reported he only touched the ball once, so it could be construed that the report actually cost the Swans the game, so it was the reverse of the Gibbs outcome.
The other big story of the week was the continued issues with the Gold Coast Suns players and their illicit drug use, in particular Harley Bennell. There has been a lot of hysteria about this and I would urge people to take a deep breath and give the kid a chance. I hark back to Tom Liberatore and his issues in King Street a few years ago. The Bulldogs dealt with it and he became one of their best players. Young players will make mistakes and I think they all deserve a chance and if they keep making the same mistakes, then it is time to give them their marching orders.
Have a great weekend!
Well my first comment has to be about the shock regarding the passing of Robert Flower. He is one of my most admired players from other clubs and I always felt he was stiff to miss out on a Brownlow. He had all the attributes to win the codes greatest individual honour, however, playing for a side that was nearly always in the bottom half of the ladder probably worked against him. I think he came third twice which was probably a significant achievement in itself. The Melbourne Football Club has suffered more than its fair share of tragedies have the last couple of years and for another icon of the club to pass away too early is just not fair. Vale Robert Flower.
Secondly the Essendon situation has taken a further turn this week. I did not hold out high hopes for the Federal Court application on the basis that the club had self reported and had submitted to the process, but was encouraged in the running by some reported poor performances by witnesses for ASADA and the AFL. Justice Middleton was not so persuaded and I can understand the club now wanting to move to the next stage and not appeal. Why James Hird now wants to take this on does really not make much sense to me and if he persists I would not blame the club for terminating his contract. I have really swung around to the need for Bomber Thompson to stay at the club with or without Hird. James is the clubs greatest living player and carries a lot of sentiment for everyone associated with the club, but you do not put the individual before the club. Despite it not being right, I am getting to the stage where I think the players should take the ASADA deal just to bring it to a conclusion.
Thirdly, how boring was the Grand Final! When you are a non-aligned supporter you want to see a good game and I kept watching thinking that the momentum would swing to the Swans at some stage and it never did. I thought Jordan Lewis would have been a worthy Norm Smith Medalist, but you could have raffled it between him, Mitchell and Hodge. It was interesting that Sydney’s best two players were Franklin and Kennedy and they used to play for Hawthorn! The Box Hill Hawks also played off in the VFL Grand Final, so it says something about their depth and now they look like getting James Frawley. I know they lost Franklin which freed up a lot of their salary gap, but how can they keep getting good players from other clubs and paying them accordingly?
Hopefully the NRL Grand Final between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs is a better spectacle this weekend.
Have a great weekend!
Well I have been concentrating on the cricket in Sth Africa recently and this week is no exception. My observations and reiteration of a few maxims from the last test and the series are as follows:
1) You don’t insert the opposition;
2) You don’t enforce the follow-on;
3) Bowlers win matches, batsmen save them;
4) David Warner says some absolutely stupid things, but he seems to thrive on the pressure he draws to himself and away from his team mates. A rare breed of sportsman;
5) I don’t think you can underestimate the influence of Shane Warne’s presence in Capetown. Clarke finally produces an innings of some magnitude and the team turns around the disappointment from the previous week;
6) Test cricket is a test of mind and body and Morkel certainly tested Clarke’s body, but his mind won the contest;
7) The Sth African batsmen could teach our boys a thing or two about a solid defence;
8) Batting first in modern cricket seems to be too much of an advantage. Clearly Capetown was prepared in the hope that Sth Africa would win the toss again.
On a different tack, the AFL flagged this week that the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) in Sydney would be phased out. Given that Sydney has netted two very big names in Tippett & Franklin in the last two years it is no surprise, but is it fair. It is not my idea, but I agree, that the COLA should be there for the 1st or 2nd year players and rookies, but not for those who are on decent contracts, say greater than $150,000 per annum. Taking it one step further, why wouldn’t the same group of players in other states also be entitled to a COLA. Say you get a rookie from WA coming over to Victoria on basic payments, they are going to struggle financially and will need to get a job to supplement their payments because they do not have the fall back position of living with their parents.
Food for thought.
Have a good weekend!
3 March 2011 192.1 – Sportzfan Stan has a problem that the benefits the AFL players are going to get under a new collective bargaining agreement will be better than our military personnel who risk their lives on a daily basis. He is not happy with it. Paul Dalligan provides a bottom to top assessment of the 2011 NRL season….Cronulla Sharks to finish on the bottom – Melbourne Storm to be top of the table and beat St George in the Grand Final. The Professor takes an opportunity to talk with Glenn Day from the Great Western Hotel, the sponsor of the show. He thinks Hawthorn will finish in the top four and that Buddy Franklin will kick 100 goals for the season. The Gelding talks about his great day at Flemington, tipping four firsts and a third from five selections. He tells us he finished ‘about even’. Ha! Although the Gelding is a big fan of jockey, Brett Prebble, he awards him an S-Hit ride for his performance on Playing God. The Gelding also reviews the Sydney Colt’s selections at Warwick Farm. The Professor takes Mark Fiorenti to task about his prediction skills after saying last week that Adelaide would beat Gold Coast 2-0. He also discusses the Central Coast’s dour win against Gold Coast to get into the A League Grand Final.