A-League

Tuesday Tithbits: 7th July

Obviously the business in Victoria is unsettling, but I’d like to begin today with the mention that Ennio Morricone passed away yesterday, so to kick off this week’s Tithbits, here’s the theme to A Fistful Of Dollars, one of the more forgotten pieces of music from Leone’s Dollars Trilogy, probably because it was overshadowed by The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

If you ever watched the original Balls Of Steel, all I can say is – Neg’s Urban Sports.

Also if you’re a cultured individual like I claim to be, Morricone’s score for The Mission, anchored by Gabriel’s Oboe, is one of the greatest film scores in recorded history, and got bullshitted out of an Academy Award by Round Midnight.

Still, the fact that you barely remember Round Midnight but fondly remember The Mission, solely for the score, shows how crap that decision was.


A Desperate Message from Melbourne’s public housing towers

That’s probably a more realistic request than asking for food to be delivered to your flat.


The Aftermath Of The Fonua-Blake Angryness

So he officially got 2 games from the Match Review, but right now it’s 3 games, because the Sea Eagles play the Cowboys in Townsville in Round 11, but AFN can’t enter Queensland because he won’t get a flu shot, thanks to the State Government’s “No jab no play” business from May.

Still, it might not even matter, considering the NRL officially ruled he’d breached the Anti-Vilification Code for supposedly using the word “Spastic” to describe the officials in the supposed tunnel tirade, which means the league can give him a top-up suspension, although in a written statement of apology, AFN now states he didn’t know what the word meant, and as for the incident, it wasn’t “Directly at their face, it was me venting out loud in the sheds.”

If he’d just gone the simpler route of calling Atkins a cheat, ala Gorden Tallis to Bill Harrigan in Origin I in 2000, this would all have just been so much easier to deal with, and we’d probably all just have a laugh at how stupid it was 20 years later.

Still, I’ve said far worse things at the height of anger, so I’d be the kettle in this situation.


Supercars and the Vic border closure

If you look at it, this Shutdown has caused as many headaches for Supercars as it did for the AFL:

The head offices for the Confederation of Australian Motorsport are in Victoria, which means a shortage of officials, and Race Director Tim Schenken didn’t travel to NSW although he can apply for an exemption.

Tyre supplier Dunlop are based on Melbourne, although Operations Manager Kevin Fitzsimons was able to get to Sydney, and the company supposedly have enough tyres leftover from the Australian GP and the former New Zealand round to supply every event in 2020, with the exception of Bathurst.

Perhaps the biggest problem – There are 5 Supercars teams based in Victoria who had to flee cross country, and the upcoming round (On July 18) was due to be held at Winton in Northern Victoria, but the decision had been made well before Monday to move it back to Eastern Creek for the SuperNight, which will actually get fans, which is a nice change.

Thankfully, all the teams got to NSW before the lockdown.

Tickford Racing managed to get 3 trucks full of parts, crew, four Mustangs and a Super2 car up to Sydney on short notice.

Walkinshaw Andretti United managed to get most of their pit crew moved to Sydney Motorsport Park, all while dealing with losing team principal Matty Nillson.

Kelly Racing had to move up to the Kelly’s family farm, located on the NSW side of the border near their native Mildura.

Erebus are lucky to have Betty Klimenko owning the team, because they’ve concoted a plan to stay at her farm in the Southern Highlands for however long they’re out of Victoria.

Charlie Schwerkolt’s Team 18 will probably go to Sydney Motorsport Park, and Mark Winterbottom will be based where his career started – Western Sydney.

Another grey area is Brad Jones Racing, who have long been based in Albury-Wodonga, which is like the West & East Berlin of Australia right now, but both Todd Hazelwood and Nick Percat live in Melbourne, although it appears Todd will be staying with his engineer Tony Woodward.

Still, they all got over in time, and it was a damn good very admirable display for so many crews & teams to make a major sacrifice on such short notice – They’ve saved the season from another potential hiatus.


Another Classic A-League Moment

And it didn’t even occur on the pitch.

Melbourne City, Melbourne Victory and Western United had a 10pm meeting at AAMI Park before flying out on short notice for Canberra at midnight (Due to the Sydney Airport curfew) so they could get to Sydney before the A-League season start….. but the plane couldn’t take off from Tullamarine because of the fog in Canberra, meaning they got stuck in Victoria past the deadline for Melbourne residents entering NSW, and now have to apply for exemptions to enter NSW.

When it rains on the A-League, it bloody well pours.

Still, it seems that NSW Deputy Premier Giovanni John Barilaro and the FFA will find a way to get the players an exemption…. after all, the NSW Government were happy enough letting the Ruby Princess in.


At Frikkin’ Last

Great news for degenartes like me who can’t spell degenerates – Sky 2 is finally being included on the base Foxtel Sports package.

It was damn stupid that it was even cost anything in the first place… people don’t normally pay $5 a month to drunk punt on the Alice Springs nags or the Bundaberg dishlickers on the grass.

And it’s great for Perth punters, considering Ascot and Belmont are odds on to get at least 1 race per meeting punted to Sky 2 for a generic New South Wales greyhound meeting.

No longer will “Sending someone to Sky 2” be considered a punishment.


The Aquanita 81 Up For Disqualification

A few years ago you’ll remember a host of trainers and stablehands who got disqualified from racing as part of the Aquanita scandal – Well, it’s taken a nice old turn, with 81 horses being identified that:

“Were the subject of a prohibited administration and thus they have today written to the managing owners of these horses at the time of the relevant races, or their representatives, to afford them the opportunity to state why their horse ought not be disqualified from the race in question.”

Of those 81, 24 were winners, 24 finished in the placings, and the highest profile case is that of Robert Smerdon’s ex-mare Politeness, who won the 2015 Group 1 Myer Classic (Now the Empire Rose) on Derby Day, which can be seen down the list on October 31, 2015.

Ironically, the runner-up of that race was Fenway, trained by Lee and Shannon Hope, who have also been disqualified from racing during the cobalt crckdown.

Mosheen’s VRC Oaks win from 2011 wasn’t listed, but her runner-Up to Atlantic Jewel in the 2011 G1 Caulfield Guineas (12th October) is odds-on to get stripped.

As far as I’m concerned, piss the lot of them off – I’m still furious at what they did to Aquanita’s name.


If Victorian Racing is brought to a halt by the metro lockdown

The positive is that we’ve still got plenty of things to punt on.

Like New South Wales racing.

Still, I somehow think the Vics will be included as an essential service…. Even as Flemington and Moonee Valley were right in the eye of the COVID storm.

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