AFL

Tuesday Tithbits: 8th September

Footy Twitter steps up again

I best begin this Tuesday by mentioning something that wasn’t exactly highlighted during the recent Italian Grand Prix coverage, probably because it’s not something people want to remember:

Thursday will mark 20 years since fire marshal Paolo Gislimberti was killed by a flying wheel (There was only one tether per wheel in those days), during the horrible opening lap crash in the 2000 Italian Grand Prix, the first person to die as a result of a Formula 1 accident since Ayrton Senna died at Imola in 1994.

That afternoon was also noteworthy because Michael Schumacher won his 41st Grand Prix from Mika Hakkinen, equaling Senna’s career total, causing the usual unflappable Michael to almost break down crying just thinking about what happened in 1994.


Still on the subject of Ferraris

Leon Cameron just crashed the AFL’s Ferrari…. again.


So this is how the Big 3’s stranglehold on Grand Slam tournaments ends

Roger Federer has surgery and eventually decides to sit out the rest of 2020.

Rafael Nadal, defending US Champion, opts out of the tournament due to health & safety concerns about quarantine in New York.

And Novak Djokovic, the undisputed title favourite on a 26-match unbeaten start to 2020, gets defaulted for hitting a lineswoman in the throat.

One of these is not like the other one, one of these is not like the other one!

Who’d have thought an all-time legend like Novak would join the infamous club of bringing harm to stationary tennis officials:

Tim Henman getting himself and Jeremy Bates defaulted at Wimbledon in 1995 for hitting a ballgirl with his racquet in a doubles match, the first disqualification at Wimbledon in the Open era.

David Nalbandian getting defaulted in the 2012 Queens Final for kicking a Nike advertising board and a line judge in the shin in frustration.

And a 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov nearly blinding a chair umpire in frustration in 2017, which quite literally decided a Canada-Great Britain Davis Cup tie, although in fairness, Kyle Edmund was up 2 sets and a break ahead.


Well, on the bright side, we’re finally going to see 2 things in the ATP:

The big one – A new men’s major winner for the first time since Marin Cilic at the 2014 US Open.

And the other…

A major winner born in the 1990s.

Thankfully, Alex De Minaur also got through to his first major Quarter Final, and I was bloody happy I stayed up to watch that Tiebreak against Vasek Pospisil – 2-6 down and The Demon won it 8-6.

He never looked like losing after that.

There was also the possibility that we could get a player born in the 2000s win a major, but Dominic Thiem dusted off Felix Auger-Aliassime this morning, leaving ‘El Shapo’ as the only Canadian in the Final 8.

It kind of shows how utterly dominant those three players have been that it took until 2020 for a ’90s player to win a men’s major.

If you want a comparison, the first woman born in the ’90s to win a major was Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon in 2011….. and Bianca Andreescu was the first player born in the 2000s to win a major at last year’s US Open.


Ash Barty sitting out the French Open

I suppose it’s the simple matter of would you rather lose the World No.1 ranking or your long term health.

Anyway, I could be wrong, but under the WTA’s Pandemic rules for ranking points, she won’t actually lose her defending champion points until 2021.

Yes, I’m probably wrong, considering the rule was only for 2019 tournaments that hadn’t already been played in 2020.


The first thing Anthony Griffin should do when he starts work at St George-Illawarra

Forget about meeting up with Laurie Daley, he should probably start magically making some of the shit he’s liked on Twitter disappear from his account before a few talking heads get wind.

By the way, great timing on that apology to Nathan Blacklock.


The people of Cairns must hate the AFL and the NRL

First of all, the NRL completely neglect them, then Peter V’Landys cracks jokes at their expense at a press conference to get back at the AFL…

Then when the AFL promises the people of Cairns the world of entertaining footy…..

THEY GET THE DEMONS INSTEAD.


The Racing Victoria push for whip reform

I think we need to start this part out with a song:

From RaceNet:

“RV will propose that, from 1 January 2021, riders are only permitted to use the whip on a maximum number of occasions throughout the entire race and never in a horse’s consecutive strides.”

“RV is proposing that the maximum number (of strikes) be between five and eight occasions per race.”

So there’s only 3 glaring problems with this move:

  1. They didn’t even consult the Jockeys Assocation until they announced it
  2. They didn’t even consult the Trainers Assocation until they announced it
  3. They didn’t actually consult any other Australian racing jurisdiction besides themselves

Racing Victoria, accurately reflecting the current state of governance in Victoria.

Here’s an idea to crack down on the repeat offenders who blatantly breach the whip rules to win…

UPHOLD A FRIKKIN’ WHIP PROTEST.

Nothing would send a clearer message than actually stripping a win for whip breaches.


The NFL season starts on Friday

Just having a look at the current Australians in the American game, former St Kilda character Arryn Sippos was waived by the Detroit Lions after losing the battle for the punting job, while Jordan Berry was released by the Steelers yesterday, and Lachie Edwards was cut by the Jets, signed with the Buffalo Bills during training camp, before being waived 8 days later in August.

As for some of the current Aussies still hanging around, Adam Gotsis left the Broncos and signed as a free agent with the Jacksonville jaguars, the team once called the Jagwads, while Cam Johnston is still at the Eagles, Michael Dickson and Mitch Wishnowsky are still at the Seahawks and 49ers, and I think the big positive is that right now, Jordan Mailata isn’t injured, and there’s a good chance he’ll actually feature in a game for Philly after missing all of 2018 and 2019.


I also noticed in the Italian Grand Prix that the Sky commentators were raving about the idea about reverse grid races in F1

As someone who has a long memory when it comes to the V8 Supercars…

REVERSE GRID RACES CAN PISS OFF AND NEVER COME BACK.

Yes, the lack of competition is a serious problem affecting Formula 1 right now, but manufacturing entertainment because of a lack of competition has some decent potential to do more harm than good.

If Liberty Media are so desperate to even the playing field, why don’t they just go all Mr McMahon and bend the rules to screw over Mercedes?


The end of the MotoGP season is going to be brutal

So after a 3 week break, the season returns this weekend for the Misano double-header, which sadly coincides with the 27th anniversary of Wayne Rayne’s career-ending accident, and the 10th anniversary of Shoya Tomizawa’s fatal accident in Moto2.

Now, there’s a good reason I say brutal.

This is the start of 9 rounds in 11 weeks.

The only weekends without two-wheeled action between now and the end of the season in Portugal (November 22) are October 2-4, and October 30-November 1.

Jebus, if any rider suffers any slight injury, they’re pretty much up the creek.


The end of the Formula 3 World Championship this weekend

An off note before I start, it was great to see Alex Peroni successfully return to Monza a year after this happened:

The Taswegian set the fastest lap in the Feature race, but missed out on the points due to a penalty, although he recovered from 16th to 5th in Race 2.

Anyway, if Formula 3 wasn’t already the 4-wheeled Moto3, then this year has confirmed it is, because that Monza round was some utterly merciless cut-throat racing, especially for our own Oscar Piastri.

First, the Big O becomes one of millions to get penalized in Qualifying for impeding drivers on the racing line while waiting for a tow, dropping him down to start the Feature from 15th, while Championship leader Logan Sargeant started 5th, and had a huge chance to build on his 7 point lead.

But, the fortunes reversed in the race, as Piastri went balls out overtaking other cars to work his way into the Top 10 (It also helped that the leaders took each other out), while Sargeant made several errors and actually raced Piastri for several laps, but the Seppo had his race destroyed by a hit from Clement Novolak at the Roggia chicane after a Safety Car restart.

Ultimately, Piastri picked off 3 cars in the final 5 laps finished 3rd in the feature race, putting him back in the Drivers’ Championship, as his other Prema teammate Fredrik Vesti won the race, securing the Teams’ Championship for the Italian team.

Then in the Reverse Top 10 race on Sunday, the craziness carried on when Piastri (And David Schumacher) was taken out thanks to another stupid move from Novolak at Turn 1, with the pendulum swinging right back to Sargeant, who had gone from 26th to 5th, seemingly set to take the Championship lead.

Buuuuuut, with 3 laps to go, Sagreant managed to violate the Golden Rule of racing by squeezing Vesti at the Ascari chicane, they made contact, and Sargeant got a puncture and scored nothing.

Replay from the Formula 3 Twitter

So heading into the final round at Mugello this weekend, Piastri leads by only 8 points to Sargeant, with Frenchman Theo Pouchaire only 24 points behind Piastri and still a live chance with a maximum 48 points available, and further to that, the Aussie will get hit with another 5-place grid penalty for causing terminal damage to David Beckmann’s car in Race 2, an incident that apparently every TV camera missed, while the American gets a 3-place grid drop for causing the Vesti incident.

I just realised – There’s a good chance the Moto3 race at Misano and the Formula 3 race at Mugello will be on at the same on Sunday.


Yesterday was my 666th Post

That’s right Kenny – My Shix-Hundred And Shixty-Shixth Post!

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