American Football

Tuesday Tithbits: 21st January

30 years ago today – An umpire finally handed John McEnroe his arse

Novak is out of the Australian Open

Yes, Dennis Novak of Austria lost to Hubert Hurkacz, after blowing a 2 set lead – 7-6, 6-1, 2-6, 3-6, 4-6.

Mitch Wishnowsky is off to the Super Bowl!

Stand aside Ben Graham, we’ve finally got another Aussie playing in the Super Bowl – The Gun From Gosnells, Mitch Wishnowsky.

Adding to it, his Niners teammate Solomon Thomas is the honorary third Aussie – He lived in Sydney for five years when he was a kid before moving to Texas.

And I should add, he won’t be the first Aussie to potentially earn a Super Bowl ring – Jesse Williams was a member of the 2013 Seattle Seahawks, although he didn’t play at all during the season.

On Championship Sunday, everyone of note flocked to Santa Clara to see the Niners make their bid for Miami – The GOAT receiver Jerry Rice warmed up the crowd by running a trademark 200 yard route, and Rob Lowe was also there, although for some reason, he didn’t turn up in a Niners hat – He rocked up with an NFL Hat usually only seen on referees.

Like everyone else, Rob has seen the funny side to it.

Anyway, after starting with a promising 3 and out of Jimmy G the Packers hopes of victory lasted as long as Cowboy Cerrone in the octagon against Connor McGregor.

The Niners stopped the visitors on 3rd down just short of halfway, and would go on to score on the next 5 drives – Running back Raheem Mostert would have to take the workload after Tevin Coleman dislocated his shoulder, and he utterly destroyed the Packers defence in the 1st Half, running for a whopping 160 yards, and finishing the game with 220 and 4 touchdowns – the second most rushing yards ever in a playoff game, and the first to achieve 200+ yards and 4 touchdowns in the same game.

The Packers’ capitulation (Or copulation as Jack Dyer once said) was summed by two stupid turnovers – The first occurred when the Packers drove into Niners territory down 13-0, only for centre Corey Linsley to snap the ball onto his own gooch, giving Rodgers no chance of handling the ball, and the Niners’ DeForest Buckner recovered the ball, leading to Mostert’s 2nd touchdown.

The other came when the Packers got the ball back inside the 2 minute warning before the half, only for Rodgers to throw an utterly useless pass that Emmanuel Moseley picked off, leading to Mostert’s 3rd touchdown of the half, and giving the Niners a 27-0 lead the half, which was a fair reflection on just how much they’d pummeled the Pack.

Still, the Packers were able to come out of the locker room looking like a competent football team, leading to them putting points on the board via a Rodgers touchdown pass to Aaron Jones, but in their only possession of the 3rd Quarter, the Niners simply the ran the ball down the throat of the Pack, and thanks to some excellent blocking, Mostert ran in his 4th touchdown.

After seeming to take the foot off the gas (Leading to a rare appearance from Mitch) and allowing back to back touchdowns to the Packers, the Niners led 34-20 with 8 minutes remaining, realistically needing only a field goal and/or a solid drive to kill time off the clock.

Sticking to the run game (Plus being helped by an iffy pass interference call on 3rd down), the Niners killed 4:30 off the clock, forced the packers to burn all their timeouts, and with a lovely hold from Mitch, Robbie ‘Good As’ Gould sealed the deal with a 43-yard field goal.

The Packers got the ball back one last time, and the game ended with Rodgers taking on Sherman one too many times, and a deep ball to the red zone ended with A-A-Ron’s second pick of the game.

Summing up how much success the run game had on the Packers, Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t throw a pass for the equivalent of 2 Quarters (90 minutes in real time), and threw a grand total of 8 passes for the game – the fewest attempts to win a playoff game in 47 years.

And thus, we have the Niners, going for the first title in 25 years, playing the Kansas City Chiefs, appearing in (And trying to win) their first Super Bowl in 50 years – The Niners, a team who run the ball and never have to pass, and the Chiefs, team who pass the ball and never have to run, on account of them having Patrick Mahomes with his nuclear missile for an arm – Although, based on the AFC Championship, he runs like a missile too.

Some other funny facts include Kyle Shanahan joining his dad Mike (Coached the Broncos to wins in Super Bowls 32 & 33) as the first father & son to coach a Super Bowl team, and the other funny facet is the sheer number of Quarterbacks who have played for both teams – Bob Gagliano, Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac, Steve DeBerg, Alex Smith, and most famously of all, Joe Montana finished his career in KC, and defeated his protege Steve Young in their only ever meeting in 1994, the year of the Niners’ most recent title.

It appears Joe Cool is enjoying the fact that his former teams are facing off!

Another Piece of Australian NFL News – Adam Gotsis’ Bushfire Fundraiser

A couple of weeks ago, Broncos lineman and native Victorian Adam Gotsis launched his fundraiser for the Bushfires – Green and Gold Unite, in which he auctioned off things like Super Bowl tickets to raise funds the relief efforts.

In more exciting news, The NFL have also gotten involved, auctioning off an absolute shitload of memorabilia, including used game balls from past Super Bowls, and helmets signed by current and past players.

As it is a ball used by the Pats, it will be slightly deflated to 11 PSI

That’s good stuff.

Today marks 30 years since a classic Australian Open moment

A certain Superbrat named John McEnroe became the first player in the Open Era of tennis to be defaulted from a Major tournament for misconduct, in his 4th Round match against Pat Cash’s old Davis Cup foe, Mikael Pernfors.

The story goes that the chair umpire Gerry Armstrong (Who is now the tournament referee at Wimbledon) gave Johnny Mac his first code violation in the 3rd Set for unsportsmanlike conduct towards a lineswoman, then his second code violation came in the 4th Set (When McEnroe was up 2 sets to 1) for racquet abuse, which led directly to McEnroe engaging in a fierce war of words with Armstrong, bringing the chief of supervisors Ken Farrar to the court, who gave the all clear for Armstrong to give us that memorable line.

Code Violation. Verbal abuse – Default, Mr McEnroe.

Something that amazingly didn’t happen to the Superbrat hundreds of other times throughout his career – Just a year prior, they had changed the rules to make it three code violations before a player was put at the mercy of the chair umpire.

Ben Simmons being named Eastern Conference Player Of The Week – And then posting a triple double

It was what you’d call a career day – An equal career-high 34 points on 12/14 from the floor & 10/14 from the line, 12 rebounds, 12 assists and 5 steals, as the 76ers defeated the Nets in Brooklyn 117-111.

Because the Seppos love their advanced statistics, Simmons is the first player in NBA history to have a 30-point triple-double, shoot at 80% from the field, and have five steals in the same game.

And yet, if you ask them on a bad day, he’s the Australian version of Kwame Brown, given they both have no jump shot.

Random Australian Open Thoughts

Prior to Ash winning the 2nd Set (And eventually the match) yesterday, Australian players had lost approximately 14/14 sets they had collectively played on Monday.

Flash forward to today, and approximately 14 Australians have won matches.

I think Monday’s results were pretty much an effort to exterminate the weak.

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