American Football

Tuesday Tithbits: 10th December

“To be buried next to it’s eternal enemy, Falcon, Ford.”

The Death of the Holden Commodore

That’s what happens when you release a bastardised Opel thinking the average idiot will be convinced it’s a Holden.

“The decision to retire the Commodore nameplate has not been taken lightly by those who understand and acknowledge its proud heritage.”

“The large sedan was the cornerstone of Australian and New Zealand roads for decades, but now with more choice than ever before, customers are displaying a strong preference for the high driving position, functionality and versatility of SUVs and Utes.”

Kristian Aquilina

The Clayton Crew have said they’ll keep selling the car until existing stocks run out, which, based on the amount of models they sold this year (Lucky to get close to 8500), should only take another 40,000 years.

But more pertinent to my line of thinking was this:

What does this mean for the future of Holden in Supercar racing?

Holden recently re-committed to racing in Supercars through until the end of 2021, and that will happen with the currently homologated ZB Commodore race car. Racing is a strong part of Holden’s brand identity and we will assess our options as Supercars continues to evolve its rules for the next generation of cars currently due to be introduced in 2022.

Funnily enough, Roland Dane said last year that with all the outdated FG-X Falcons then-still running in the Series, Supercars shouldn’t want to look “Like a secondhand car yard.”

Well, based on today’s announcement, the 2021 field will look like Australia’s biggest secondhand car yard.


My President’s Cup Prediction

When Patrick Reed steps up to the tee, we could quite possibly hear the first-ever “You are a wanker” chant at a major golf tournament.

It truly is a testament to Reed’s low-down character that he can make Tiger look like a choir boy in comparison.


Browsing through cricket.com.au when I saw this

Of course Warner and Burns are prepared…. have you seen the state of the Scorchers’ bowling attack?


Australians in the NFL: Week 14


Mitch Wishnowsky (49ers) defeated New Orleans Saints 48-46 @ The Superdome

In terms of sheer entertainment, this was probably the new favourite for game of the year, between two of the heavyweights of the NFC, and in a result that stamped their credibility even further, the Niners came out on top.

The fun began when the Saints raced out to a 20-7 lead early in the 2nd Quarter, but the Niners hit back on their first play of the quarter, when Jimmy G rolled right and threw a dart to Emmanuel Sanders, who wasn’t down by contact, and ran it in for a 75 yard touchdown.

It led to another crazy stretch – The Saints score a touchdown to push the lead back to 27-14, but the Niners hit back again, with a trick play leading to Sanders getting involved again, with a crazy back foot pass that hit a wide open Raheem Mostert for a touchdown.

Mostert scored another touchdown just before the half to give the Niners a crazy 28-27 lead, and such was the offensive precision that the teams combined for more touchdowns (8) than Jimmy G and Drew Brees had incompletions (4) in the 1st Half.

The 3rd Quarter was a tad more sedate – Garoppolo threw an interception that led to Saints retaking the lead 30-28, then Alvin Kamara fumbled in his own half, leading to the Niners retaking the lead with Garoppolo’s 3rd TD pass of the game to George Kittle, and the Saints went down the field and kicked another Field Goal.

Down 33-35 in the 4th Quarter, the Saints ran a fake punt on 4th down, with Taysom Hill throwing a deep pass to Tre’Quan Smith that looked for all money like a flag was going to get thrown for pass interference, but the rules dictate you can’t get called for PI on the widest player in formation, when the offense is in punt formation (Hill per definition was the punter).

Another visit from the karma bus for their repeated whining ever since a non-call in the NFC Championship.

The Niners got the ball, and scored again to make the lead a very unsafe 42-33, which proved correct when the Saints scored TDs on their next 2 drives, including the go-ahead touchdown with a minute to go, but crucially failed the 2-point conversion to leave the score at 46-45 (The Niners had kicked another field goal), and on a 4th and 2 from the Niners 33 with 39 seconds left, Garoppolo found Kittle again, who mauled 40 yards upfield into field goal territory – With Marcus Williams simultaneously attempting to rip Kittle’s facemask off at the same time.

The game was in the Big Easy, so guess what Marcus, he blew right Bayou.

So that tacked on another 15 yards, making it a very manageable 30 yard field goal to win, and Mitch made a bad snap look good, held the ball laces out for Robbie Gould, who was indeed, as good as Gould.

After the toughest statistical 3 game stretch in NFL history, the Niners came out 2-1, with that only loss being on a last second field goal.

They’re frikkin’ good, but unfortunately, the key injuries have struck again – Centre Weston Richburg is gone for the year, corner Richard Sherman hurt his hamstring, and D-lineman Dee Ford hurt his hamstring, meaning they’re both out until at least Week 17, when they play the Seahawks in Seattle, which will likely decide who wins the NFC West, and take the No.1 seed in the NFC.

Jordan Berry (Steelers) defeated the Arizona Cardinals 23-17 @ State Farm Stadium

In this the 100th NFL season, we should of course remember that the Steelers and Cardinals faced off in Super Bowl XLIII, significant for Australian involvement in the pigskin game because our own Ben Graham, punting for the Cards, became the first Australian to appear in a Super Bowl, but the Steelers ended up winning their sixth title 27-23 in that all-time great 4th quarter, thanks to Santonio Holmes’ toe tapper in the final minute.

Fast forward 10 years, and we had another Australian on the field, this time punting for the Black & Golf, who for some reason, thought he was a running back.

JORDAN, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT.

What an utterly insane time for a fake punt – In their own territory, leading by 10 with 8 minutes to go.

Sometimes when you walk across a highway, you might just get hit by a truck.

The reason it failed so spectacularly, according to Jordan, was a communication breakdown between the linemen and him – They saw what was coming from Arizona and wanted to call the play off, but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wanted it run, Berry went ahead with it, and predictably got blasted to the year 2525.

Still, while special teams nearly proved the downfall of the Steelers, it also played a major part in their victory – Diontae Johnson scored an 85-yard touchdown punt return, the first for the Steelers since Antonio Brown in Week 13, 2015, which was also the play that resulted in him violating the padding on the uprights.

Johnson later caught another touchdown pass from Duck Hodges in the 3rd Quarter to put the Steelers ahead 20-10, and they intercepted Kyler Murray a couple more times to escape the desert with a W.

Through all the loss of key players, the Steelers are now 8-5, in a wildcard spot, and have secured their 16th consecutive ‘non’ losing season, which still second-best in the league behind New England…. who are now at 20 consecutive winning seasons.

Bravo to Coach Tomlin, and Jordan, stick to punting.

Lachie Edwards (Jets) defeated Miami Dolphins 22-21 @ Metlife Stadium

With 49 seconds to go, the Jets were facing 3rd and 17 and being on the verge of being swept by a Fish team who had scored entirely thanks to Jason Sanders (7 field goals, 1 short of the NFL record), after the Jets had led 16-6 in the 1st Half.

Aaaaaand then the League stepped in with a booth review, and gave the Jets a pass interference and a fresh set of downs – Which just by looking at it, was a fair call at a really dodgy time.

The reason the league were the ones who reviewed it is a fairly well known reason – All reviews inside the last 2 minutes of a half are done by the league offices in New York.

So, that extended the Jets’ drive, which was then at the Miami 46, and 2 plays later, our own Lachie served as the holder for Sam ‘Fricken’ Ficken’s 44-yard game winner.

Adam Gotsis (Broncos) defeated Houston Texans 38-24 @ Reliant Stadium

With Drew Lock settled at Quarterback, the Broncos delivered an utterly stunning beatdown on a Texans team who had just defeated the Patriots, leading 31-3 at the half, and then 38-3 in the 2nd Half, as lock went 22/27 with 3 touchdowns (And 1 interception).

Adam Gotsis featured in a defence that more than played its part – Their highlight was this fumble recovery by Jeremiah Attaochu, who instincitvely lateraled (More accurately, handed) the ball to Krispy Kareem Jackson, who ran it back 70 yards for a touchdown.

Their season may just about be toast, but the Broncos have finally shown signs that their offense has a semblance of hope.

Michael Dickson (Seahawks) lost to the LA Rams 28-12 @ The LA Coliseum

Did anything of note actually happen, other than the Rams’ defence once again making Russell Wilson sleep with the light on?

Oh yeah, the Seahawks lost their grip on the NFC West, but they still have the tiebreaker over the Niners, with the aforementioned Week 17 game getting ever closer.

Cam Johnston (Eagles) defeated the New York Giants 23-17 @ The Linc

It appears the Giants’ defensive gameplan of “Leave the Tight End wide open in the End Zone” didn’t work out too well.

That defensive performance summed up the game – It was utterly terrible, which sums up the NFC East this season, and both punters – Johnston and Riley Dixon – Went on the field 17 times (8 for Cam, 9 for Riley).

Things predictably fell apart for the Giants after they opened up a 17-3 lead in Eli Manning’s comeback game, and the Eagles scored 2 touchdowns in the 4th Quarter, forced overtime, and scored a triumphant comeback win against a 2-10 Giants team.

Remarkably, for the first time since the Eagles-Giants rivalry started in 1933, the Eagles are ahead in the Win/Loss column, having utterly dominated the G-Men in the 21st century.

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