Ah, February is here, and I’m already trying to sleep through a 30 degree night.
Nearing the 1st anniversary of JT’s Sporting Reviews
The 10th of February, which will be next Monday.
Wowee, what an absolutely gut-wrenching achievement.
If I trawl back through the archives, I think the first thing I posted was assessing the non-finals teams of the 2018-19 Big Bash, and 12 months on, it’s good see a few familiar teams haven’t changed a day.
Just think – This website started in a random conversation I had on a Sunday morning with my former radio colleague Nunz.
The tale of 2 green Big Bash teams
So the Stars and Thunder will meet on Thursday evening to decide who faces the Sixers in the BBL Final on Sunday, and if you ask me, the entire Australian public is guaranteed a good laugh.
At least one of the following outcomes will happen this week; A) Either Sydney or Melbourne will lose, B) The Stars will choke away another title after being 10-1, C) The Sixers become the turkeys to lose a Final to the Stars, or D) The Chunder meme their way to a 2nd title, further cementing their status as the Florida Marlins of Australian cricket.
For those of you oblivious to Major League Baseball, the Marlins have existed for 27 years, and have only made the playoffs twice….. for 2 World Series titles.
After Friday’s hilarious failure, the Stars, despite missing the BBL Finals just once in 9 seasons, now have a finals record of 2 wins and 8 losses, and have lost their last 4 games of this season.
The Thunder have spudded things up for 9 years, having lost more games than any other team, and after pulling off a classic Bradbury to sneak into 5th spot with a losing record, and subsequently eliminating the Hurricanes and Strikers, they’re still a perfect 4 from 4 in Big Bash finals matches.
Jebus H, you just know they’re gonna win it again.
Further reiterating that Dominic Thiem is the current unluckiest bastard in men’s tennis
For so long it was Andy Murray, now it’s Domi.
He’s quite easily one of the two best clay court players in the world, evidenced by his consistently brilliant performances at the French Open, in which he’s defeated Novak Djokovic twice in the last 3 years.
The last 2 editions at Roland Garros, he’s reached the Final… Both times, the Prince Of Clay has run in to the King Of Clay and his lazy 12 titles.
Concurrent to that, he picks up Nicolas Massu (Only a 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist) as a coach to improve his hard court game, and immediately takes down Roger Federer to win Indian Wells (The unofficial 5th Slam), and 10 months later, makes a breakthrough Australian Open Final, beating Rafa along the way.
Aaaaand showcasing how brutal this era of Men’s tennis is, he has to play the 7-time Melbourne Park champion in Novak, and loses a 5-set epic after being 2 sets to 1 up.
3 major finals, and all 3 times he’s had to perform the equivalent of trying to destroy the One Ring at the Cracks of Doom.
Now all Domi has to do is work on his grass game and get stuck playing Roger in a Wimbledon Final.
Before that though, he’s got an extremely real shot of winning in Paris.
Speaking of the Australian Open Men’s Final
A 4-hour death match just isn’t the same without Mr Cho (Aka KIA Man) delivering his brilliant speech to congratulate everyone.
Imagine that – The CEO of a McCorporate sponsor got as big of a rousing reception for a 2 minute speech as Roger and Rafa did for that wonderful 2017 Final.
The reason – He added a bit of personality to it.
Unlike most of the other representatives, who have as much flavour as a packet of SAOs.
Sadly, KIA Man disappeared after 2017 – Apparently he wasn’t captured by the North Koreans, he simply went home after being replaced at Kia Australia by some useless impostor.
The AFLW Starts This Friday
Jebus, and I thought the Super Rugby had snuck up on me.
The advertising for this season has been bordering on an apparition.
Besides the fact that the AFL and the clubs managed to cobble together enough women’s footballers to expand to 14 teams, and the Grand Final being moved to mid-April, the one thing I’m looking out for, besides the usual jackarses talking about how they find it unwatchable, is if a team can finally crack 100 points in an AFLW game.
The highest score to date is the Western Bulldogs back in 2018 with 12.14-86, showcasing that if you completely and utterly dominate an opponent for 4 quarters, it is possible.
Anyways, it appears I now have something serious to write about on Sundays.
The Supercars Season Launch
The first thing I noticed was James Courtney’s new Tekno Commodore picking up the distinct Coca Cola livery.
Brilliant – The last time we saw the Coke livery in the ATCC, it was the highly entertaining days of Captain Chaos, aka Wayne Gardner, back in the mid-1990s.
Given JC’s last couple of seasons, he’s got half a chance of becoming the next true Captain Chaos.
The Wildcats’ postseason streak reaches 34 years
After defeating the Sydney Kings on Saturday, the Perth Wildcats have continued one of the longest running (And most impressive) streaks in Australian sport – 34 consecutive seasons in the NBL Finals, which is quite easily the most by a professional Australian sporting team, and indeed, the universe.
If you do the math, the last time the Cats didn’t make it to the playoffs was 1985-1986, at which point in time they were only 5 years old as a club and struggling out at Perry Lakes, they had never previously reached the postseason, and meanwhile in WA, the West Coast Eagles were a twinkle in some cash-strapped Victorian’s eye, and Brian Burke was still a walking blob of semi-respectability.
What changed was that in the 1986-87 pre-season, the Cats recruited the likes of Tiny Pinder, James Crawford and CJ Bruton (Pretty damn solid recruiting), and things magically picked up from there.
They moved to the Superdome, made it to the Grand Final, and were then demolished by Leroy Loggins and the Bullets.
Looking at some comparisons in the US and A for instance, the longest-ever streak in any of the Big 4 leagues is the Boston Bruins appearing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for 29 consecutive seasons (1968 to 1996), and in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs have an active streak of 22 seasons, although based on their record this season, that run is floating up Ship Creek.
RJ Hampton’s NBL stint is done
Following on from LaMelo Ball’s lead, apparently he’s seen enough of the Antipodes, and is now going back to the States to get set for the NBA Draft.
I’d say those 2 have set the groundwork for any future NBA Draft prospects that choose to play in Australia – Play for 4 months (In fairness, they were both injured), get to February with enough for people to see on tape, head home, and start preparing for life in Association.
Chris Ikonomidis out until the start of next year
Yep, it really is going to be just another painful year for the Glory.
Is he off to stud? Yes Yes Yes.
What a life – Only 3 years old, he didn’t even win a Group 1 (Although he was a Golden Rose runner-up), and yet because of The Everest, he’ll be worth at least $50 million at stud, and like most sires, he’ll be sleeping with more women than Wilt Chamberlain…. or until a sudden bout of colic ruins everything.
Mystic Journey out of the All Star Mile
After the sheer magic she brought to the people of Tassie throughout February and March of 2019, it feels like she just hasn’t been the same since Gatting knocked her off last September.
The other side to this disappointment is that we’ve got more of a chance to vote in another A-Grade hack to compete against a bunch of Group horses.
Apparently Star Missile and his 2,000 owners will be that lucky bugger.