Ah, October is here, and the Spring Carnival is set to explode, as are the heads of the animal activist population when Racing NSW hijack Sydney Harbour in a fortnight.
Bring your torches and screw up the Opera House again.
The AFL ‘Rescue Package’ for the Suns
Jebus, that’s bordering on an NDIS package.
It’s worth noting this pushes the Pick 1 they received for winning the spoon to Pick 2, like the good old days of tanking for priority picks.
If draft picks were the answers to the problems on the Gold Coast, there wouldn’t be any damn problems up there.
This is just another case of the AFL admitting they completely screwed up everything about the Suns from day dot, all the way down to those portable facilities, and are now once again completely pissing up every other club in compromised drafts.
With how pathetically the Suns are run, there’s a good chance that most of them will have their careers ruined, and 4 or 5 of them will escape within 4 years and join a Melbourne club… probably Richmond.
A couple of years ago Brisbane were as big a basket case as the Suns are now (Heck, they didn’t even get close to making a final for a decade), and yet, they didn’t improve by getting a swag of draft concessions, it was primiarly due to took hiring the right people (Lord Fagan & David Noble), making the most of an imperfect science that is the draft, and recruiting senior players like Luke Hodge (And Lachie Neale last year) to lead their younger players.
Although, it does appear the Suns will be getting that much needed senior leadership, given they’ll likely be recruiting Brandon Ellis from Richmond, and 85% of Adelaide’s list over the next few weeks- Starting with Hugh Greenwood.
But for the time being, go and stick your head in a vase Andrew Dillon.
Some more random AFL Grand Final factoids
In terms of percentage, Richmond had the most dominant win in 124 Grand Finals throughout history.
Jason Castagna’s 5 behinds without a goal is the second-worst return by a player in a Grand Final since Arnold ‘The Bloody Latvian’ Briedis kicked a fabled 7 behinds for North Melbourne in the drawn 1977 Grand Final, and almost cost the Roos the flag.
In fact, oddly enough, all of those players played in teams who didn’t lose- Briedis for North (Draw), Castagna for Richmond (Win, obviously), Barry Breen for St Kilda (Win), Paul Sproule for Richmond (Win), and Scotty Lucas for Essendon (Win).
It’s funny looking at that list, especially Breen, considering that wonky 4th behind made him a legend at Moorabbin forever, when he could so easily have been a villain.
NRL Grand Final Factoids
The NRL have announced which referees fans will be able to direct their abuse towards on Sunday- Ben Cummins and Gerard Sutton, with Jared Maxwell in the Bunker.
In the meantime, I had a browse through the dear Fox Sports website, and there was one particular stat that caught my attention.
The Raiders’ all-time record against the Roosters in Sydney is 8-22, although this Sunday will be the first time they’ve played each other at Homebush.
Between 1982-95, their record was 7-6.
Since 1996, they’ve played the Chooks 17 times in Sydney (All at the SFS)…. for a record of 1-16.
The lone victory came in Round 17, 2011, an Origin-affected game in which the Raiders beat a Roosters team missing Pearce, Minichello and Myles 38-12.
From that game, Jarrod Croker and JWH will be out there on Sunday, and potentially Jake Friend + Joey Leilua, who was in his 2nd season with Easts back in 2011.
Regardless, 1-16 screams a serious case of history being against the Raiders.
The Dally M Awards tomorrow
One of the freaky deaky things the NRL have announced for tomorrow’s ceremony is that the winner will be illuminated onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge in real time with the announcement.
Of course, last night, the league were illuminating some of the great moments of 2019 onto the Coat Hanger, and when it came time for Cooper Cronk to appear, Todd Greenberg made a point that I absolutely agree with.
All young Queenslanders, growing up in Caboolture, Brisbane, Ipswich or even Rocky, dream of having their face shown in lights on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
I know my cousins did…. definitely, definitely did.
AB De Villiers joining the Brisbane Heat post-Christmas for the Big Bash
A very good get for our shitpit of a T20 League, and I guess we can officially call Joe Burns the Dean Waugh of the so-called ‘Bash Bros’, given he’s been living in the shadow of Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum, and soon, AB.
It’s going to be plenty of fun watching the Heat put up 200 in every game in January, and being unable to defend it, with the invisible bowling attack they never seem to do anything about.
The NBL begins on Thursday
Aaaaaand of course the big change is the addition of a 9th team- The South East Melbourne Phoenix, giving the league a ‘Throwdown’ not seen since the South Dragons folded a decade ago, and the first ‘new’ team to enter the league since the Gold Coast Blaze entered in 2007.. obviously not counting the returns of the Kings and Bullets.
Of course, that Throwdown will be the season opener on Thursday evening.
The other big change is that SBS will carry the free to air coverage after Channel 9 backed out, while ESPN have taken over the Pay TV coverage from Fox Sports, who started to cut back on non-marquee sporting content … not that it matters if you pay Uncle Rupert.
It’s a good move getting most of the games on FTA- Look no further to the massive success the Big Bash turned into after Channel 10 took over the TV rights in 2013 through to 2017… until Cricket Australia promptly slaughtered that Golden Goose and sent most of the games back to Fox in the last TV deal.
Last but not least… the Australians in the NFL Update- Week 4
I had to hold this off because Jordan Berry was playing in Monday Night Football for the Steelers.
On another note, Mitch Wishnowsky and the 49ers had a bye this week, and strangely enough, they’re now the last unbeaten team in the NFC… who’d a thunk that.
Michael Dickson (Seattle)- defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-10 @ State Farm Stadium
A return to normalcy for the best punter in pro football, as Dickson punted 4 times with a long of 51 yards, with no touchbacks, and 3 of those kicks landed inside the Cardinals 20, who only attempted 1 punt return… for 1 yard.
The Seahawks ground the Cards into history, leading 20-3 at the half
Adam Gotsis (Denver Broncos)- lost to the Jagwads 24-26.
Gotsis started for the 3rd time in 4 games in 2019, and the good news for the Broncos’ defence was that they finally recorded a sack in 2019, and, Adam recorded a tackle!
The downside- They blew a 17-3 lead and lost 26-24 on a last second field goal, thanks to a last minute drive from Uncle Rico lookalike Gardner Minshew.
The Miami Dolphins are on track to be one of the worst NFL teams ever seen… and yet, thanks to Strength of Schedule (Having played the unbeaten Patriots), they’re not last in the AFC… that honour goes to the Broncos, who are still winless at 0-4, and look like the Springfield Tyre Fire.
Jordan Berry (Pittsburgh Steelers) defeated the Bengals 27-3 @ Heinz Field
A MNF game between a pair of division rivals sitting at 0-3.
Predictably, it was a terrible game to watch.
The Yinzers, led by Mason Rudolph, The Red Nosed Quarterback, dominated after the 1st Quarter, scoring the only 3 touchdowns of the game to comfortably win their 1st game of 2019, and such was their dominance that Berry only had to punt twice, and served as the holder for both of Chris Boswell’s field goals and all 3 successful extra points.
It’s due to be announced that BARRY HALL WILL FIGHT PAUL GALLEN IN THE RING AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE….
Well, on the bright side, there won’t be too many brain cells spilled in that bout.