Tag Archives: friday-musing

Friday musing – Australian Swimming Championships, Malcolm Turnbull and Port Adelaide FC’s China push

Chris Barwin HillsI have been watching a bit of the Australian Swimming Championships this week and have been amazed at the performance of Cameron McEvoy. Not only is he the first swimmer to win the men’s 50 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres freestyle, he is also mcevoyconsiderably smaller than the other swimmers. Most swimmers these days seem to be built like Centre Half Forwards whereas McEvoy is built like a Forward Flanker/Rover. He must have a very good technique to beat his more imposing rivals. I was also impressed that James Magnussen was happy to face the cameras after his defeat in the 100 metres final, he was clearly disappointed, but still put himself out there.

I was also bemused to hear during the week that Port Adelaide FC had secured a substantial sponsorship from China and they intended port adelaideto play an “away” game in China. That is quite magnanimous of them offering someone’s home game for their sponsorship! It reminded me of Carlton offering to play all their away games in Sydney some time back when it looked like the Swans were struggling and may fold. I cannot see any team wanting to take up Port’s generous offer, but the AFL may pressure the Gold Coast or Greater Western Sydney to take up the game as the AFL is still propping them up.

One thing I did laugh at was our Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull telling the world that Aussie Rules was the best game going turnbullaround….this from a private school educated person who has no doubt played a fair bit of ‘rugger’ in his time. I thought at one stage Turnbull was going to gag on his words.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – limited overs cricket a lesser version of the game…..

Chris Barwin HillsLate last year I lamented the decline of West Indian cricket and the impact on world cricket and now we have the West Indian men’s team, women’s team and the men’s U19 team being the current windiesWorld T20 champions. While I think that is great for West Indian cricket and it should engender significant more people wanting to play cricket in that region, I hope that first class and test cricket is not overlooked. Whilst it might be my age and what I grew up with, test cricket is still the pinnacle of the sport in my opinion and the limited overs competitions are lesser versions of the game. Do you agree?

I was a little disappointed to see Jason Day drop down the leader Dayboard at the Masters on the first day. He got off to a great start, but a triple bogey late in his round brought him back to even with the card. He is still in contention, but it would be good to see Spieth, McIlroy and Day in the final groupings on Monday morning.

I tuned in to watch a little bit of the Footy Show last night to see how Rebecca Maddern fitted in to the format. She was clearly nervous which is understandable and some of her material was obviously maddernrehearsed/scripted to get her into the program, but I think she acquitted herself quite well and should be a welcome addition to the show which now has a very strong Geelong flavour. I don’t think her addition to the show will make me want to watch the show more often, but it is good see a bit of diversification and Rebecca is obviously a big footy fan which is essential.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Justice for Jared Tallent

Coors lightRobbed of a chance to have the gold medal around his neck after the 2012 London Olympic Games, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (‘CAS’) has upheld an appeal by the world governing body for tallentathletics, IAAF against the winner of the 50 kilometre walk, Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin. Kirdyapkin failed a drug test and his results for the period 2009-2012 were annulled except for the Olympics title.

In a decision earlier this week, CAS ruled that Kirdyapkin could not retain the tile and the event was awarded to the Australian who was second over the line. Tallent said he felt ‘vindicated’ and AOC President, John Coates has said that a ‘meaningful’ presentation will be arranged for Tallent.

Seems that we are quite prepared to take the decision from CAS on watsonthis one when it benefits an Australian, but, CAS have got it totally wrong when it comes to the Essendon Football Club players – hard to fathom.

Friday musing – reappointment of Buckley and Hardwick

Chris Barwin HillsI was interested to see both Richmond & Collingwood extended Damian Hardwick & Nathan Buckley’s coaching tenure during the Unknown-3week. Damian Hardwick has reached the finals on three occasions for no wins and Nathan Buckley has coached in four finals for one win. Neither are premiership coaches and I seriously doubt that they would be on the radar of any other team at the moment….so why the rush?

I am not saying they cannot coach, I just cannot see the urgency. Essendon extended the coaching tenure of Matthew Knights in the martinmiddle of the second year of a three year contract and he was sacked at the end of the third year meaning a big pay out for the club. I am not comparing either Hardwick or Buckley to Matthew Knights as coaches, but what happens if both Collingwood & Richmond miss the finals this year? I would have thought consideration in the middle of this year would have been more prudent.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Premier League, NAB challenge, NRL

Chris Barwin HillsWith the EPL results this week it would appear that the title race and the race for the top four positions are still up for grabs with seemingly no side in contention performing to expectations. Leicester are still inspurs front and have stretched their lead by a point with a draw and Tottenham and Arsenal wasted great opportunities to make up the ground. We now see Manchester United and West Ham United with a real chance to get the coveted fourth position with Manchester City losing again. The title is there is be taken by the side that gets into a bit of form. The result of this week’s London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal could be crucial in the end result. From a purely unbiased perspective….’Go Gunners’.

I have heard a lot of AFL commentators criticise the teams that have been selected for the NAB Challenge and the standard of the games. What must be remembered is that nothing really hinges on these GCSgames. They are purely practice matches and sides will play how they wish and who they wish. I can appreciate that the media wants more and the AFL always likes to promote the games as being serious, but when it all boils down, it is the pre-season and the expectation that teams will treat them as any more than ‘practice’ is misguided.

The NRL season kicked off last night and it is great to see action on eelsthe field replace all the off field insanity.  For the record books, the Brisbane Broncos knocked off the Parramatta Eels. The Broncos seem like they have picked up where they left off in 2015 and the Eels look like they are in for a long season.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Cricket, Aussies #1 in Test Cricket

Chris Barwin HillsWell the Australian test team went to number one in the world test cricket rankings during the week on the back of the defeat of New Zealand in Christchurch and a 2-0 result in the series. Some people have suggested that this ranking over inflates their current “real” ranking in world cricket, however, you can only work with the system1440188864611 in place. I think the wins over the West Indies do not mean much, but defeating New Zealand on their home turf is no mean feat as they have had some very good results at home recently with a win over Sri Lanka and a drawn series in England last year. Australia’s loss to England last year and the subsequent win by England in South Africa recently would have England notionally right up there. The Aussie batting line up looks to be solidifying, however, our fast bowlers keep getting injured and in the future if we can keep Starc, Pattinson, Hazlewood, Siddle, Bird & Cummins on the park consistently(obviously not all at once) I think the side does deserve the number one ranking.

While it was good to see the Aussies successful in New Zealand, it was disappointing to see the bad behaviour of Hazlewood and Smith. faulkner-aussie-cricketThis continues a run of indiscretions which the Australian team trumpet as playing the game hard, but to my mind spitting the dummy and carrying on like idiots has nothing to do with playing the game hard. I think New Zealand in the recent home and away series showed the Australians how the game should be played. At least Steve Smith acknowledged his mistake and vowed to improve in this department. I hope he does learn, because I like him as a player and he could be a very good Australian captain. Smith should besetting the example to the rest of the team though.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Adam Voges, flares at A League games…..

Chris Barwin HillsI was interested to see that after Adam Voges had a lucky reprieve last week after being bowled on an incorrect call of “no ball”, that some of the commentators were calling for him to be given out in these circumstances.  This was based on the circumstances where the batsman is given “not out’ when it is later discovered that the vogesbowler has over stepped. I must say as much as I am usually more in the bowler’s camp than the batsman’s camp, this does not make sense and should not even be considered. When the batsman gets the call of “no ball”, his reaction is to have a go at the delivery with impunity and the level of application and concentration changes. It may be that the batsman does not even pick up the call and they don’t change their shot, but that would be impossible to adjudicate on. Leave things be for goodness sake!

We had the second instance of flares at an A-League game in the last two weeks and I must say I just don’t get it. Flares seem to be part of flaresthe unwanted fabric of soccer but make no appearance at any other sporting contest in this country. I don’t understand the rationale for flares at the soccer. That is not the issue I am looking at today though. Today’s issue is that now both Melbourne Victory and the West Sydney Wanderers could be subject to sabotage by opposition supporters. If it was a question of making the finals or finishing on top, what is going to stop someone dressing up as a Victory or Wanderers’ supporter and setting off a flare? Aside from the responsibility needing to rest with the crowd to retain offenders until security can apprehend them, how about people just generally showing some commonsense and

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Super Bowl 50, Michael Clarke returns…….maybe

Chris Barwin HillsWell we have one of the biggest sporting events in the world and certainly the biggest sporting event in North America kicking off on Monday morning Australian time being the NFL Superbowl between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. I have never been carolinaa big fan of the sport, possibly through lack of understanding, but the fact that a defensive linesman can have a great game and not touch the ball seems to be quite strange given the AFL emphasis on possession. I also find it peculiar that the main player in American football, being the quarterback does not kick the ball. Of the football codes, the NFL has the least emphasis on kicking. Notwithstanding my indifference to the sport it’s popularity in Australia is increasing and I am sure there will be a lot of people off work on Monday just to watch the game. I am going with the favourites, the Panthers.

I was interested to hear that Michael Clarke has announced he is coming out of retirement. As I understand it, he has only flagged
clarkeplaying the Sydney equivalent of district cricket at this stage, but surely he must be gearing up to cash in on the T20 circuit. As we have seen from other recently “retired” cricketers there is good money to be made. My big question mark over Michael Clarke would be that he has never been an attacking batsman that could do any better than a run a ball at best. If I had anything to do with a T20 franchise in Australia or overseas I would be reluctant to pay too much for his services and query the Melbourne Stars signing him to a contract in the Big Bash.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Essendon supplement scandal, Jobe Watson, David Bowie….

Chris Barwin HillsWell 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 beencas 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 watsonguilty 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 atbowie 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!

Friday musing – Jose Mourinho, Louis Van Gaal, A League, West Indies….

Chris Barwin HillsWell the Chelsea manager’s job continues to be a poisoned chalice with Jose Mourinho being moved on by the same Club for a second josetime the year after he took the title. It is pretty clear his team is not playing for him and being on the brink of the relegation zone, it did look to be inevitable and a case of when, not if.

Sticking with the EPL, Louis Van Gaal has also come in for some stick louisas well. While Manchester United have not been winning, they certainly haven’t been conceding many goals with the least “goals against” in the League so I don’t think it is all doom and gloom or as bad as the situation at Chelsea.

On the local scene we have the big local A League derby this weekend with Melbourne City coming off three very impressive wins as Unknown-4opposed to Melbourne Victory coming off three disappointing losses. The form guide couldn’t be more opposite. Personally I would like to see City continue their winning ways as they have been quite entertaining slotting the goals away at a consistent rate.

The Hobart test match finished, as predicted by most of the pundits, smithwith an easy victory to the Australians. I think it is time the ICC stepped into the West Indies situation to provide more finance and support. Cricket needs a strong West Indian team as they are the only test playing “nation” in that part of the world and like the AFL commission fostering football in the northern states, the ICC have the same responsibility to world cricket.

Have a great weekend!