AFL

Tuesday Tithbits: 8th October

Todd Greenberg prepares to drop a hilarious joke that Joyce Churchill will struggle to understand (Still: Channel Nine/Fox Sports)

The plan for the Reviews in the coming months

So now that both the major footy codes are done for the year, I can finally sort this out.

At this stage, I’ll be finishing up the blog at the end of the year, and leaving it here as an educational tool, and if you want to have a laugh at how utterly shit some of this stuff I’ve written is.


Mason Cox randomly being linked to Essendon (Which won’t happen)

Forget about Tim Kelly, this is where it’s at.

This is all part of Essendon’s plan to end their 5-year long losing streak to Richmond, and finally win a Dreamtime at the ‘G game.

If only it were true, because it gives us the hilarious situation of an American playing with a bunch of Bombers.


Bathurst this weekend!

Aside from Supercars finding a way to cripple the Mustangs between now and Thursday, there’s a few things I’m looking forward to this year.

Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes driving together for the first time in 10 years, Garth Tander pairing up with the Giz (The carnage they could cause is immense), Mark Winterbottom once again teaming up with his old FPR teammate Steven Richards- In a Holden, nonetheless.

I wonder what hilarious piece of misfortune will strike Jamie this year.

In 2014, he runs out of fuel on the last lap, in 2015, he stupidly overtakes the Safety Car, in 2016, he crosses the line 1st and gets a time penalty for causing the McLaughlin-Tander crash, in 2017, he finishes down the field with engine problems, and in 2018, he loses a wheel on Lap 40, goes a lap down, and finishes in 10th.

And of course, there’s gonna be the usual special liveries which have marked the Enduro Cup, and Matt Stone Racing have gone with an old favourite, a Stone Brothers SP Tools livery that The Giz ran in 2012 (Matt being the son of Jimmy Stone, one half of the Stone Brothers)

On the front, there’s also a tribute to Leesa Davis, the late wife of SP Tools CEO Kevin Davis.

Leesa’s last ride around the Mountain.


The Clive Churchill Medal Screw-Up

The recent days have explained many things, like Todd Greenberg going on stage and audibly whispering “It’s Jack Wighton” into James Bracey’s ear while he was starting up the presentation, and then dropping that ripper gag on Joyce Churchill and Luke Ricketson, who then told Bradley Clyde.

Luke must have thought it was the funniest thing he’d heard since someone told him Bill Waterhouse was his father in law.

Despite claims of bias of having two Raiders legends voting for the award in their roles as Australian selectors, Mal and Loz actually had Jared Warea-Hargreaves ahead, which was why he got told… until the search party found Darren Lockyer, he gave his votes, and Wighton got the nod.

I couldn’t tell what was crueller- Telling JWH he’d won the award and then not letting him the truth, or having Wayne Pearce stand that close to the Provan-Summons Trophy.

If only Sarah Murdoch was the MC… she’d have announced JWH as the winner.


Putting the Roosters’ defence into perspective

In the 6 finals games they’ve played in this 2018-19 run, they’ve conceded a grand total of 6 tries.

The only team to score more than 1 try against the Tricolours in that timeframe was none other than Cronulla in the 2018 Qualifying Final, who scored 2, and lost 21-12.

And of course, one of those tries was an intercept for Josh Addo-Carr in the 2018 Grand Final.

Funnily enough, the 1974-75 Roosters, who also played 6 finals (But lost 2) and went back-to-back, also conceded 6 tries, which came in 2 lots of 3 (To Canterbury in the ’74 Major Semi, and Manly in the ’75 Prelim)- The other 4 games, they either shut out their opposition (Hello Saints fans), or kept them to penalty goals.


The A-League begins this weekend

It sets up to be the most interesting season in the 15 season of the A-League, especially with the league taking control of it’s own destiny in the FFA independence deal, Robbie Fowler managing the Roar, Kevin Muscat gone from the Victory, and Western United becoming the red-headed bastards of Melbourne’s footballing community.

There’s only one thought on my mind– Just how far will my beloved Glory boys plummet after that magical 2018-19 season.. especially after Andy Keogh was unceremoniously pissed off to some part of Asia.

Heck, we don’t even have Sam Kerr in our W-League team anymore…


Caulfield Guineas Day Draws

So out of all the interesting things, like Avilius in the Caulfield Stakes, the internationals making their Spring debuts, and the Guineas favourite Dalasan drawing the Glen Eira College barrier (For the record he’s in 18), the field for the Schillachi Stakes, to get the MRC’s golden ticket for The Everest next week, is….

How do I put it nicely….

Seriously lacking.

That’s not a ‘Group 1’ field, that’s a ‘Hanging Rock on Australia Day’ field.

Racing NSW would be better off narrowing the Everest field down to 11, because none of those shitkickers are going to do a thing.

In other news, Melody Belle, the 9x Group One winner in New Zealand, fresh off winning the Kiwi WFA Triple Crown, will be going to Flemington for the Empire Rose on Derby Day (Very much looking forward to seeing her), her stablemate Te Akau Shark will be in the Cox Plate, and so will Mystic Journey, after a disappointing 4th in the Turnbull.

Of course, I’m still firmly on board the Lys Gracieux for the Cox Plate Bandwagon- I’m pretty sure she’s now favourite after the weekend.


Australians in the NFL Watch: Week 5

It’s hard to tell who’s more infatuated with punters- Me, or Bill Belichick.

Michael Dickson (Seattle Seahawks)- defeated LA Rams 30-29 @ CenturyLink Field

It was a battle of two of the best punters in the business- Our ‘Doodle’ vs the Rams’ Johnny Hekker, and the NFC West rivals gave us a rarity in the NFL of late- A superb primetime game.

The highlight of the night for Dickson was landing a perfect 56 yard punt in the 2nd Quarter, and thanks to a good bounce, the Seahawks were able to down the ball Rams 1 yard line, which led to Fox/NFL Network going to an ad break blasting out Down Under on the broadcast.

Yep, I’ve seen it all now- Down Under being played during an NFL broadcast.

Thanks to Russell Wilson’s 4 touchdowns, the Seahawks ended up winning when Greg ‘The Leg’ Zuerlein narrowly missed a last second field goal wide right, giving them their first win against the Rams at home since 2016.

Cameron Johnston (Philly Eagles) vs Lachie Edwards (NY Jets)- Eagles 31 defeated Jets 6 @ Lincoln Financial Field

For some reason, I didn’t even give a shit about these two for the opening month of the season, probably because Lachie Edwards is stuck on the raging tyre fire that are the Jets, who are classified as the greatest plane-related disaster west of the Hudson River.

Because of the Jets’ QB situation (Sam Darnold is still battling mono), their offense is a complete disaster, meaning plenty of 3 and outs, and Edwards had to punt 8 times, averaging 50.7 yards, with 5 of them returned by the Eagles (The longest was 16 yards by Darren Sproles), while Johnston punted 5 times, averaging 46.8 yards, with a longest punt of 60 yards, pinning the Jets in their own 20 3 times.

Like most Jets games this season, it was never really close- The Eagles led 21-0 at the half, and eventually won 31-6, as the Big Birds landed 10 sacks on Jets QBs Luke Falk and David Fales, held the Jets to 128 yards of offence, and picked Falk off twice (One for a Pick 6) in a crushing win.

Amazingly, since the NFL and the AFL merged in 1970, the Eagles have a perfect record against the Jets- 11 games for 11 wins.

There’s plenty of other records like that- For instance, the Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t won a regular season game in Philadelphia since 1965… largely because they moved to the AFC, and only play there every 8 years.

Mitch Wishnowsky (San Francisco 49ers) – defeated Cleveland Browns 31-3 @ Levi’s Stadium (Monday Night Football)

I tuned in this morning, and fair to say Mitch had a funny old night.

The Niners had multiple problems with long snapper Garrison Sanborn and Wishnowsky, with more than a few bad snaps resulting in bad holds on field goal attempts (Kicker Robbie Gould missed 2 kicks and had a 3rd blocked), and Mitch almost fumbled a punt in the 2nd Quarter, but using his Australian Rules background, managed to recover under pressure and get a 38-yard kick downfield, and the Niners defence picked off Baker Mayfield on the next drive, which led to a touchdown to make it 21-3.

In close games, they’d be attacked by an angry horde for those misses, but this game was never ever close, and the only undefeated team in the NFC utterly thumped the Browns, in a game that really should’ve ended with a 40+ win to the Niners, such was their dominance.

Funnily enough, it was the 49ers’ 49th win on Monday Night Football, the most of any team through it’s 50 year existence.

Jordan Berry (Pittsburgh Steelers) – Lost to the Ravens 23-20 (In OT) @ Heinz Field

They say the Steelers and Ravens is the closest rivalry to the primitive days of the NFL, purely because of the brutal defensive battles which have come to define their contests, and Sunday in Pittsburgh was no exception.

Steelers QB Mason Rudolph was brutally knocked out by a head-high hit from Earl Thomas, and somehow, the cart taking him off the field broke down, leading to the frightening scene of Rudolph somehow getting up and walking off the field, despite having absolutely no idea where he was.

A multi-billion dollar business, and they somehow can’t get a working cart.

As for, Berry he punted 4 times, with only 1 returned out of those 4- Cyrus Jones went just 2 yards.

After 3rd stringer Devlin Hodges came into the game, the Steelers very nearly pulled off the upset at home, taking the game into OT at 20-20, and coach Mike Tomlin made the brave call of giving the Ravens the ball first (Always brave in OT), which very nearly came off when the Steelers defence forced a 3 and out, and when they only needed a field goal to win, on the first play of the drive, Juju Smith-Schuster caught a pass, and then had the ball spectacularly punched out and recovered by Marlon Humphrey, giving the Ravens a short field, and Justin Tucker finished things off.

Adam Gotsis (Denver Broncos)- DNP- Broncos defeated LA Chargers 20-13 @ That tiny stadium in LA

After their 0-4 start, the Broncos left Adam Gotsis out as a healthy scratching.

Coincidentally, they beat their division rivals on the road.

Between this, Jarryd Hayne and Valentine Holmes, it’s just proof that Australians can’t play anything other than special teams positions.


Andy Murray will play in the 2020 Australian Open

For some unknown reason, the Australian Open was launched today, despite it being 3 months before the tournament begins, and everyone’s favourite Melbourne Park finalist has confirmed he’ll be there in the Men’s Singles, just a year after he gave that tearful retirement announcement, and subsequently played in a superb 5 set 1st Round loss to Roberto Bautista Agut, which coincidentally, was his last appearance in a Major singles draw.

He’s either the Scottish Lleyton Hewitt, or the Scottish John Farnham.

Of course, it also comes as ‘Aussie Kim’ Clijsters announced a month ago that she’s making her second comeback, at the age of 36, and at this stage, it’s very likely that as a former champion, she’ll get a wildcard.

Yep, I’m not kidding- Kimmy is back.

This could be the greatest thing since Kimiko Date (Or the Date Woman, as Roy and HG christened her) retired in 1996 at the age of 26, then randomly came back in 2008 aged 37, and finally retired in 2017 aged 47.


THE CRICKET REVIEW TOMORROW… HOPEFULLY OUR WOMEN’S CRICKETERS CAN MAKE IT A RECORD 18 STRAIGHT WINS.

It is Sri Lanka, so they probably will.

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