AFL

Tuesday Tithbits: 17th March

“Footy will, uh, find a way.”

Dr Ian Malcolm, aka Gillon McLachlan, 16th March, 2020

If Thursday night does go ahead, we can expect to see a bit of this before boundary throw-ins.

Finally, players can get into Bay 13 without getting abused.


It’s already the worst year in the history of organised sporting competitions, and it isn’t even April.

The important subtext:

That didn’t involve the outbreak of a World War.


The only sort of historical precedent of sports being cleaned up by a pandemic

You have to go all the way back to what we know as the Spanish Flu (Which didn’t start in Spain) cancelling the 1919 Stanley Cup between the Montreal Canadiens (The NHL) and the Seattle Metropolitans (The PCHA) in Seattle, which saw weird things like alternating league rules between games – PCHA rules allowed 7 players on the ice (The Mets dominated), compared to NHL rules allowing 6 (The Habs won the games with NHL rules).

After 5 games, the series was level at 2 wins and a tie, but days before Game 6 on April Fool’s, 7 (Out of 10) Canadiens players, plus owner-manager George Kennedy, went down with severe cases of the flu, and Game 6 was cancelled on the afternoon the game.

Kennedy was going to forfeit the series due to having only 3 healthy players, but Mets manager Pete Muldoon couldn’t accept the Cup due to the circumstances, and thus, the Cup went unawarded for the first time ever.

Four days later, Habs defenceman Joe Hall died of pneumonia at the age of 38, and Kennedy died at age 39 in 1921, thanks to the lasting damage caused by the flu.

The only other time Lord Stanley’s Cup was unawarded was 2005, due to a brutal NHL lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season, and the way things are heading, it won’t be awarded for only the 3rd time in history.


The abrupt end to the NBL season

So, considering the NBL are weighing up if a champion should be named at all (The great irony for a season as great as 2019-20 has been), please, selfishly consider this.

The Wildcats were 5-2 against the Kings in 2020, they were 2-1 up in the Grand Final Series, they offered to move Game 4 forward, but, ultimately it was the Kings who were the ones who pulled the plug and decided not to risk travelling to WA in these uncertain times.

Trevor Gleeson attempted a couple of analogies, one of which was that if you cancel the Bathurst 1000 after 150 laps, the car in front is declared the winner…. Mainly because it’s past the 75% distance required to classify a result.

I’m more Picasso than Einstein, but surely there’s next to no logical reason why the Kings, despite being the minor premiers, could be named as champions.

But, these are dangerous times.


Now that it’s over, here’s a summary of the NBL Grand Final Series

Aside from that…

Bryce Cotton

In 7 games between the Wildcats and Kings this year, Bryce Cotton scored a lazy 222 points against the Kings – An average of 31.7 points per game.

Apparently, it’s some kind of record – The most points against one opponent in a season.

Forget about Ser Jamie Lannister, Bryce Cotton is The Kingslayer.

AND YET HE WON’T HAVE A FRIKKIN’ FINALS MVP TO WEAR AS A CROWN.


Midweek Manning Bowls has been called off

The Trevor Chappells will wait for their debut, after Bowls Australia and Bowls WA recommended every club shut down.

I did have a feeling in the back of my mind this was coming, especially considering a huge chunk of Bowls clubs (It might be a stereotype, but is true) are made up of members, visitors players and staff directly in the firing line of suffering the serious effects COVID-19.

It’s a shame – The Chase The Ace at Manning Memorial was up to $3,400….


The Sheffield Shield getting cancelled

First, Cricket Australia cancelled the last round of the season – Which would’ve resulted in a repeat NSW vs Victoria Shield Final – And now, for the first time since the previous ‘Most Points’ system was changed after the 1981-82 season, the Sheffield Shield season will not have a Final.

The WACA jumped the gun in a Member’s email at 9pm last night and confirmed the obvious – All leagues are called off, and all States and Territory associations agreed that New South Wales (Who were comfortably in top spot) be declared the winners of the 2019-20 Shield – Theif rist title since 2014.

Funnily enough, New South Wales still haven’t won a Final outright since 2008.

Victorians have absolutely no right to whinge, considering they were only in 2nd thanks to sharing points from that match against WA in November, which barely lasted 40 overs and 2 days because the Mexicans prepared a completely unsafe MCG wicket.

Conversely, this also means South Australia are the unofficial wooden spoon winners, giving them a historic hat-trick of Shield spoons, and their 8th in the last 11 seasons.

Congratulations gents!


The Rugby League season has been called off

Although Peter V’landys has declared the rugbaleague season is still good to G.O for Round 2.


The Golden Slipper this weekend

I’ll take the Tagaloa-Covid-Farnan trifecta, thankyouverymuch.

To be honest, I still think the racing industry is one jockey testing positive to COVID-19 away from a shutdown.

On another note, there was two pieces of very interesting news in the past 24 hours.

Peter Moody’s bid for a trainer’s license was approved and he’ll return in May.

And this afternoon, Andrew ‘Hoss’ Bensley announced he’s retiring from Sky Racing next month.

Enjoy retirement on the Pondersa, Hoss.

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