Another Tuesday where I blabber on about things that have caught my eye.
The AFL Mid-Season Draft
For the first time since 1993, the AFL held a mid-season draft, and fortunately for Carlton, this is one draft where they can’t gamble and trade a pick to Adelaide.
The Blues ultimately recruited former Docker Josh Deluca from Subiaco, who I once interviewed at Curtin Uni for Docker TV. True story.
Some highlights included Richmond taking a gamble on Marlion Pickett, who broke his finger playing for South Freo on the weekend, Fremantle recruited Dillon O’Reilly, son of former Docker Stephen O’Reilly (Who also played for Geelong & Carlton), and was also the one responsible for revealing Carlton’s brown paper bags in 2002, and St Kilda, just for laughs, decided to recruit another Jack- Jack Mayo from Subiaco.
This means they now have 8 Jacks on their list- Mayo, Steven, Steele, Billings, Sinclair, Lonie, Bytel, and Jack Newnes, and if you add the fact that they’ve got Jack Shit in their trophy cabinet, that’s 9.
The Cricket World Cup Begins Tomorrow
And my word, hasn’t the advertising been non-existent.
The Champions League Final (Liverpool & Spurs) and the Europa League Final (Arsenal & Chelsea) haven’t helped the ICC’s cause, but outside of the talk about how Dave Warner’s going to get slow roasted by the English crowds, it’s hardly raising a mention among the peasants in the UK.
It does highlight how different the build up is in a country where Cricket is the #4 sport, versus India and Australia,
Paddy McCartin Talking About Concussion
Unfortunately, of all the players who have suffered concussions amongst current AFL players, St Kilda’s Paddy McCartin is the unwilling poster boy.
McCartin was drafted 1st overall in 2014, but he’s only played 35 games since then, as a result of suffering eight separate bouts of concussion, and won’t play at all in 2019 thanks to his head knock in the pre-season.
He spoke to Triple M before the Saints played Carlton on Sunday, and it’s a pretty revealing and downright scary answer about the effects of repeated head knocks to players.
The whole thing goes for 16 minutes, but one of the more revealing lines comes some 25 seconds in.
“I’ve sort of lost my footy identity, but also my identity as a person as well, just because I can’t do stuff… I can’t go to the supermarket when it’s busy, I can’t go to a cafe with my girlfriend, drive my car, stuff like that.”
“I have a real light & sound sensitivity, I get really bad headaches, which are common symptons with concussion, but generally, they wear off by now.”
Starting at 2:05: “I’m a just a shadow of the person that I was really, I’m sort of just completely different… It’s gone from one day when I was playing, to within 10 seconds of being different… I just can’t do basic things.”
There we rumours earlier this year that Paddy would be forced to retire because of his concussions, and based on what he said on Sunday, I honestly hope he does retire for his own good and for his loved ones.
On a similar topic in the NRL, Rooster Luke Keary will have to miss at least a month, after he suffered his second concussion this season in that shellacking against Newcastle.
Beneficiaries & Victims of Circumstance
There was an entirely correct post on Reddit AFL that highlights the funny nature of circumstance involved in player recruitment.
As of Round 10, Geelong rookie Grian Myers has played in 10 games, for 9 wins.
Charlie Curnow has now played 54 games for Carlton, and has played in just 8 wins.
One player that springs to mind when talking about circumstance in player movement, because he’s now overtaken William Pike in my ‘Pike Power Rankings’.
After ending up in the waning years of Fitzroy, Pike was the Lions’ last Best & Fairest in 1996, before he was recruited (Along with several former Lions) by reigning premiers North Melbourne in ’97, and ultimately played in the 1999 Premiership for the Roos, never having a season at North end before the Preliminary Final.
After getting the arse for being a larrikin pisshead in 2000, Pikey ended up at the merged Brisbane Lions in 2001 after a meeting with Leigh Matthews.
As you’re probably guessing, the next three years went rather well for all concerned.
And one more to finish- In his 364 game career, Shaun Burgoyne has played in 245 wins.
In 25 seasons, the Fremantle Football Club has won 245 games.
David Pockock bows out
Another gun Wallaby has called time on his Australian career, after David Pocock confirmed he’s played his last game for the Brumbies, and retired from Super Rugby due to a long-term calf injury.
He’s headed to Japan after this season, regardless of what happens, either with the Wallabies for the World Cup, or when he goes back to play for club side Panasonic Wild Knights next year.
I’ll miss David- He’s one of only a few Wallabies that started their careers at the Western Force when they fired up, but now as the ever reliable Betoota Advocate are reporting, he can focus on what really matters to him.
Roland Garros Updates
Make it four Australians into the 2nd Round, after 3/4 Aussies progressed yesterday, in what was a battle royale between Australia and the US and A.
Alex De Minaur returned from injury against American Bradley Klahn, and it was never in doubt for The Demon, who won 6-1, 6-4, 6-4, ending a 5-match losing run, and racking up his first clay win this season.
He now takes on Pablo Carreno Busta, which technically means that it’s an all-Spanish battle, considering Alex’s heritage (His mother is Spanish).
Ash Barty took on American Jessica Pegula, who has an interesting backstory, being the daughter of billionaire Terry Pegula, who owns the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres.
I was a bit surprised, since I assumed Bill Belichick and Tom Brady owned the Buffalo Bills for the past 18 years.
There were a few nervous moments, like when Ash was pegged from 4-0 to 4-3 in the 1st set, and then in the 2nd set when she was down 2-3 0-40 on serve, but she recovered on both occasions, took the momentum, and powered away to win on the hour.
Sam Stosur’s latest campaign at Roland Garros was against Czech woman Barbora Strycova, and even at the age of 35, Slammin’ Sam proved herself as the only Australian player in the past 40 years who’s comfortable on clay, defeating Strycova 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).
It was the 13th time Sam has won in the opening round at Roland Garros, and if she can defeat Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova in the Round of 64, then it would be the 11th straight year that she’s reached at least the 3rd Round in Paris, the best streak of any current WTA player.
AND JUST THINK… THIS MAN IS NOW THE CAPTAIN OF QUEENSLAND.