Okay everyone, strap on your reading goggles, sit down and watch me sift through another round of sporting problems with a blowtorch.
Brendan Bolton, Part 6589
Wasn’t it amazing watching Brendan Bolton’s farewell press conference yesterday.
As Blues President Mark LoGiudice announced his early termination, I swear that as Brendan sat next to him and awaited the guillotine to drop, I saw that a smile had returned to his face, for the first time since he finished that 5 game stint as Hawthorn coach.
It was like his soul had been returned to his very short body.
And do you know what his parting words were?
“I love coaching.”
Welcome back Brendan.
Ash evicts another American gatecrasher from The Barty Party
This time it was Sofia Kenin, and I kid you not, this edition of the Barty Party is going so well, it’s turning into the Barty Bender.
Only one player on the WTA Tour has made the Quarter Finals of both majors so far in 2019: Ash Barty!
I was a tad nervous when Kenin made a mini comeback in the 1st Set, closing from 5-1 to 5-3 before Ash closed out the set 6-3, but the American’s momentum extended into that 2nd Set, when she took an early break from Barty, and then shut down Ash at every opportunity to win the set 6-3.
Fortunately, our intrepid hero recomposed herself, held serve to kick off the final set, then after a marathon second game, broke Kenin’s serve, and after that, it was all over- Barty scored a final set bagel to advance to the Quarter Finals, and pick a fight with another American- 14th Seed Madison Keys.
I listened in to Radio Roland Garros (Which is strangely in tune with the TV coverage) during the match, and one of the suggestions from Australian commentator Peter Marcato was that someone back in Australia should create a dish called the ‘Barty Slice’, in honour of Ash’s signature shot.
A dish named after an iconic Queenslander- It’d be on par with Lady Flo’s Pumpkin Scones.
On the flip side, the ‘Asharenka’ combination of Barty & Victoria Azarenka were knocked out of the Women’s Doubles in the epic showdown against Sam Stosur and Zhang Shuai, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
And as a parting note, I’d like to join the dissenting pack and say that the Roland Garros YouTube page is abso-bloody useless, compared to the channels of the other three majors.
Case in point, the French only put up pissy little two minute highlight videos of matches like Ash’s, whereas Wimbledon are able to put up ALL SIX HOURS of the Nadal-Federer Final from 2008.
Speaking of which, It was Rafa’s birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday Rafa.
The Australian Football Hall of Fame is tonight
I think a lot of people enjoy Hall of Fame night, largely because we get to reminisce about the great champions of the game from decades past.
No wonder I enjoy it every year.
According to the gritty analysis by Daniel Hoevenaars, there are two ‘more than likely’ candidates for induction this year- Brisbane champ Simon Black, and the former Brownlow Medalist and 2x Coleman Medal winner, Kelvin Templeton.
Considering Blacky won a Brownlow, a Norm Smith Medal and a hat-trick of Premierships, and was a key part of arguably the best midfield we’ve ever seen, he’s a mortal lock to be honoured.
Fun fact- Kelvin holds the record for the most scoring shots in a game by a player, when he racked up 24 against St Kilda in Round 13, 1978, on his way to the Coleman Medal.
Of the 24 shots, Templeton kicked 15.9, as the Dogs racked up 33.15-213, and won the game by 107 points.
I can imagine how that must have gone down in the rooms.
“How many goals did you kick Kel?”
“How many behinds did you kick?”
“Crap kicking, you’re dropped.”
Just a day out from Origin I, and apparently a Blues Sex Tape isn’t the biggest problem gripping the series right now- It’s the Lang Park crowd, which may only get close to 50,000 by kick-off.
That would make it the lowest crowd at the ground for an Origin game since Game I of 2003, which was the grand re-opening after the rebuild, and ultimately became best remembered for Justin Hodges getting his knee wrecked in that crap-filled sandpit surface.
No wonder they call Lang Park ‘The Graveyard’- There won’t be any noise there!
Chris Judd vs Garry Lyon
Ironically, Chris Judd wore #3 because of Garry, but the former Melbourne captain had some stern words for Juddy after Brendan Bolton’s dismissal from the Blues, to which Juddy responded by hitting Gaz with an almighty drive-by.
And I believe we’ve now got a live shot of Gaz after Juddy’s drive-by:
The AFL Score Review
So after two failures to check if a kick had been touched off the boot on the weekend (Which coincidentally both benefited a WA team), one of which ultimately impacted the result of a game (Collingwood vs Fremantle), it’s now reached the point where the problem for the AFL is that either; A) The technology is so useless that the Score Reviewer can’t access all available replays, or B) The people entrusted to use it are complete morons.
Yeah, that’s a better idea, Old El Paso kid.
After the success of The Everest, the announcement of The Golden Eagle and the success of standalone events like the Hawkesbury Gold Cup, Pistol Pete V’landys and Racing NSW have put the flame thrower to their friends in Victoria, by announcing more cash-filled standalone Saturday meetings.. for the Provincial race clubs!
The first is a 1300m Quality Handicap at Newcastle, run on the 16th of November, simply called ‘The Hunter‘, which aims to attract runners from The Everest.
Just think, the world’s richest 1300m Handicap Turf Race will be run at Newcastle… in New South Wales.
Personally I’m very disappointed- A fancy new feature race gets announced for Newcastle, and it isn’t named after the Hunter’s favourite son-
Matty Johns Gary Harley.
Of course, the other race that was announced is a 1600m Quality Handicap to be run at Kembla Grange on November 23rd, and appropriately, is known as ‘The Gong’.
Thank goodness they didn’t call it something more culturally appropriate for Illawarra & Wollongong, like ‘The Bong.’
If we can find out how Damion Flower was able to afford his Everest slot, then we’ll probably figure out very soon how Racing NSW are funding all of this.
TOMORROW: I’LL BE DROPPING A ‘PHRESH’ STATE OF ORIGIN PREVIEW!