American Football

Wednesday Tithbits: 6th November

Yeah, a special one-off Wednesday edition of the Tuesday Tithbits, obviously brought about by the fact that I simply had no time on my hands to get this done yesterday.

No ‘JT’s Sporting Review’ Post This Week

Instead, I’ll sum up what I was going to post in one image.

The Empress Of Ipswich becomes the Empress Of Shenzen.

Ahead of the Fed Cup Final this weekend

A history lesson about Australia’s last win!

Yes, it is a bit small. (

Of course, it was ALLLLL the way back in 1974, back when it was only 3 rubbers, and a one week tournament (The ITF are returning to the format next year), which on this occasion, was held in Naples.

It was still very much the Federation Cup, and it was the first played after Billie Jean King founded the WTA.

Evonne Goolagong led Australia, and was joined by her regular doubles partner Janet Young, and Dianne Fromholtz (Now Dianne Balestrat), who had reached the Final of the January edition of the Australian Open, back when absolutely nobody cared about it except ‘us’.

The Aussies didn’t drop a single rubber on the way to the Final, where they played a US team featuring Chris Evert……..

‘s younger sister Jeanne, and Julie Heldman, daughter of Gladys, who established the WTA’s precursor, the Virginia Slims Tour, proudly backed by those nefarious executives at Phillip Morris.

Goolagong easily defeated Heldman, Evert defeated Fromholtz in 3 sets, and Evonne then teamed up with Janet Young to defeat Heldman and Sharon Walsh in two tight sets to successfully defend Australia’s title, and make it 7 titles in 10 years.

Remarkably, Evonne played in all of them.

This time around, Australia obviously have the Barty Party following in Evonne’s footsteps, plus the huge weight of home court advantage, but i’d say the French have the more balanced team.

A funny Ash Barty coincidence

Her 2019 season started in Perth, and through every utterly crazy turn that she and all us of have enjoyed, it’s going to end in Perth.

Flemington attendance on Cup Day

So in perfect conditions, 81,408 is a very good crowd, especially compared to every other crowd in Australia.

But of course, with context, it’s the lowest Cup crowd in 24 years.

Aside from the more publicised plausible reasons, there’s one that I’ve seen that didn’t get much attention.

It was $90.75 just for a general admission ticket into Flemington.

On top of that, when you’ve got the usual ridiculous food and drink prices, plus betting money, and possibly wanting to ‘indulge’ in the entertainment at the track, it’s no wonder people didn’t want to pay to come.

Gai Waterhouse may be as mad as a box of frogs, but she made the argument for making racecourse entry free way back in 2012.

Why in the devil would the average working class person come to the races and pay for admission, because after you do you’d barely have a dollar left for some food, a drink or even a bet.

They could just as easily go down to the local pub and spend the money they are being forced to at the track, on a bet.

What is the matter with these race clubs? Why are they so backwards when it comes to getting patrons to pay for admission?

There is a race day coming up in Melbourne that will be free entry but they should all be like that.

Maybe with the exception of the very big race days like Doncaster Day, Golden Slipper Day or the VRC carnival, and then they could charge a bit extra for a ticket as people are more than happy to pay on those days.

But the average punter doesn’t want to pay admission on an average day as they’d be more comfortable and better catered for, with cheaper prices, at a pub or a club.

From Gai’s website, 20th September 2012

Problem is, people in increasing numbers aren’t happy to pay because they simply can’t, due to cost of living pressures.

As a reference point, in Japan, it costs no more than 200 Yen to attend the major racecourses on racedays, which could very well include the Japan Cup at Tokyo, which easily attracts 150,000 people.

At current exchange rates, that’s $2.66 Australian.

Imagine paying the equivalent of $3 to get into Flemington on Cup Day, or The Valley on Cox Plate Day.

Instead of 81,000 patrons, you’ll be getting 82,000.

Australians in the NFL Update- Week 9

Mitch Wishnowsky (49ers) – defeated the Arizona Cardinals @ State Farm Stadium

I noticed throughout the night that Joe Buck had no idea who Mitch was… It was either “Punted away by…..The Punter”, or “The Rookie from” without finishing his sentence.

It was Halloween, so I imagine Joe thought he was seeing an apparition.

It was a fantastic game- The young Cardinals took it right up to their division rivals, who were exposed defensively by injuries, but the one they call Jimmy G stepped up, and they were aided by Cards coach Kliff Kingsbury calling a timeout on the last play of the 1st Half when his defence had stuffed the Niners on 4th down.

Garoppolo threw a touchdown on the second attempt.

The Niners won by 3 points…. you do the math.

Mitch punted 5 times for a net average of 42.8 yards, and was able to pin the Cardinals inside their own 10 yard line 3 times, including twice in the 4th quarter…. before Kyler Murray and the Cards reignited the flame thrower to the Niners defence and marched down the field twice to cut the margin to 3 points.

Still, the Niners got the ball back, and made enough plays to kill the final 4:53 and get another win.

It was the first time the Niners had beaten the Cardinals since Week 17 of 2014, and thus, as of Sunday Night/Monday Evening, they’re the last unbeaten team in the NFL.

Cam Johnston (Eagles)- defeated Chicago Bears @ Lincoln Financial Field

A truly awful 1st Half. as the Bears had more penalty yards than they did yards, and the Eagles basically bundled their way along to a 19-0 lead, which included Jake Elliottt missing just his 2nd kick of the year by missing a PAT (That Johnston was holding on).

The Bears managed to string 2 drivers together and cut the margin to 19-14, and a couple of punts later, the Eagles finally got downfield again and kicked another field goal to make it 22-14, and then the bears fumbled the kickoff with 30 seconds to go, the Eagles recovered, and the game waas over.

The Demons’ former resident ginger punted 5 times for a net average of 41.8 yards, with 4 of them returned by Tarik Cohen (The longest was 24 yards).

Lachie Edwards (Jets)- lost to the Miami Dolphins 18-26 @ Hard Rock Stadium

If you need another reminder, I’ll give it to you.

The Jets are as harmful to the health of New Yorkers as the tobacco industry.

The Dolphins were winless, actively trying to lose games, and staring down the gun of an imperfect season.

And then the Jets came to town, scored a touchdown on the opening drive… and then they went down again, missed a 49-yard Field Goal (With Edwards holding), and it was all Fins from there.

Edwards punted 4 times for a net average of 39.3 yards, and here’s another odd fact, this was only the 9th game ever, and the first game since Week 14 of 1994 (The Cardinals beat the OIlers), in which both teams scored a Safety.

Michael Dickson (Seahawks)- defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 40-34 (OT) @ CenturyLink Field

Both defences got absolutely torched all afternoon, but at the end of the day, in a game that had to go to Overtime to be sorted, there was one difference.

The Seahawks have Russell Wilson under centre.

The hosts were in a bit of a hole in the 1st Half, given kicker Jason Myers missed a field goal wide left (That Dickson was holding for), they went down 21-7

The Seahawks had the chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but Myers got iced by a timeout, and missed a 40 yarder wide right (Dickson holding again, though it appeared to be perfectly fine).

But it didn’t matter, because they won the OT coin toss, went 75 yards downfield, and Wilson threw his 5th touchdown of the game, a ‘walkoff’ to Jacob Hollister, and the Seahawks won 40-34.

Dickson had his best punting performance of the season, punting 3 times for an average of 55.3 yards (Net average of 44.7), with his last being a 63 yarder that went all the way to the Bucs 21, that TJ Logan returned 12 yards.

The Seahawks are 7-2, but good lord, that defence is not sustainable as the months get colder.

Jordan Berry (Steelers) – defeated the Indianapolis Colts 26-24 @ Heinz Field

The Colts got dealt a huge blow when Jacoby Brissett went down with a jarred knee, and had to replace him with another former Tom Brady backup in Brian Hoyer, which leveled out the playing field for the Steelers with all of their injuries.

The game was close all afternoon, and it would ultimately come down to special teams play.

Berry punted just once- A 48 yarder on the Steelers’ last drive that gave the Colts the ball at their own 15 with 2:28 to go.

Adam Vinatieri, the 47-year-old Methuselah who will probably be euthanised soon, absolutely shanked what should’ve been the game-winner from 43 yards, because the punter didn’t hold the ball laces out.

You know what, enjoy it with the Spanish commentary.

That was how the Dolphins lost Super Bowl XVIII- Dan Marino didn’t hold the ball laces out, and Ray Finkle missed the game winning field goal.


After looking dead for rights, the Black & Gold are now 4-4.

Adam Gotsis (Broncos)- defeated Browns 24-19 @ Mile High Stadium

‘Our’ only position player in the league, Gotsis was finally returned to the Broncos D-Line rotation, after an injury to Demarcus Walker.

He was only on the field for 14 defensive snaps (19%), recording 1 tackle + 1 assist, but still, it was only the Browns, and the Donkeys got the job done.


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