AFL

Tuesday Tithbits: 17th November

So kicking things off with the historical sporting anniversary, today marks 19 years since Lleyton Hewitt, at age 20, became the youngest ATP World No.1 in tennis history after defeating Pat Rafter in the Tennis Masters Cup (Now the ATP Tour Finals) in Sydney, which, combined with Gustavo Kuerten and Andre Agassi being knocked out in the Group Stage, guaranteed Hewitt the Year End No.1 ranking for 2001.

Just to cap it off, Little Lleyton defeated Sebastian Grosjean in the Final, the first and only time the end of year tournament has been held in Australia.

With the way Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are still holding up, that Youngest No.1 record should stand for at least another decade.


Manning Jack Attack makes its way to the Bowls WA Jack Hi magazine

Let’s just say there might be a correlation between the author of that report to the insipid reporter who reports to you daily on this website….

You’ll notice some lovely shots of the teams – The Lawn Clippings and the Bowling Stones, the Babes With Balls in their iconic pink shirts, and the Missing Moos, with Filthy Phil left in the shadow of Presto..

At the bottom you can also see a game from 2017 between Team Hope and the T-Birds, featuring Loose Bruce, Jamie, Kochie staring into the ground, plus yours truly, Rocket Rod and Half Price.


I think this Masters result sums up how cursed Australians are at Augusta

Cameron Smith became the first player IN MASTERS HISTORY to score in the 60s in all four rounds at Augusta – Not even the likes of Niklaus, Palmer, Player, Ballesteros, Faldo, Langer, Mickelson or Woods achieved that.

Of course, despite doing something no Masters winners has ever accomplished, Smithy still finished 5 shots back in a tie for 2nd, as Dustin Johnson finished at a Masters record 20 under, besting the old winning total by a full 2 shots.

Someone tell the other Cameron Smith to stop hogging the attention with his dodgy autobiography.


Moving every Australian tennis event to Melbourne in January 2021

Because as most Victorians will tell you, Melbourne is the sporting capital of the known galaxy, which is a serious case of Vic Bias if I ever saw one.

So the big brain idea from Craig Tiley and Tennis Australia is that the Brisbane International, The Hobart International, the Adelaide International, plus the ATP Cup – If that even goes ahead – Are all going to be played in Melbourne, logically at Melbourne Park before the Australian Open, along with the regional tournaments.

TA probably want to use the AFL Hub model to get some 550 players + personnel into Melbourne, where they can train in a bubble as they perform the fortnight of quarantine, although a more particular example is what the USTA achieved before the US Open this year, when they moved the Cincinnati Masters to Flushing Meadows, obviously to limit the amount of travel players and entourage would require.

However, there’s obviously a few problems – Daniel Andrews has said that little plan by TA is no done deal, even with Victoria getting out of lockdown, because the health authorities will have the final say…

To me, the other major issue is just how many top players are going to skip the Australian Open altogether, because if dozens of players didn’t risk travelling to New York at the end of August (6 of the WTA’s Top 10 didn’t play, plus defending champion Rafael Nadal), then a decent chunk are definitely going to give Australia a miss just 3 weeks after Christmas in the middle of a pandemic.

When you think about it, this could be like the decades prior to Melbourne Park, when top players would just skip the Australian Open because of the tyranny of distance so soon after the New Year, which caused many an obscure Australian major winner… like Mark Edmondson.


Ash Barty secures Back To Back Year End WTA No.1 titles

It should be noted Barty technically held No.1 for the entire year, the first woman to do that since Serena Williams in 2015, despite playing a grand total of 14 matches for the year for an 11-3 record, including the Adelaide International title, an Australian Open Semi-Final appearance, plus a Semi-Final run in Dubai, which was the last tournament Barty played.

Obviously the events of the year make you question why the WTA even awarded a Year End No.1….

Besides that, surely a funnier outcome is that thanks to these ATP & WTA pandemic ranking points exemptions, Bianca Andreescu, WHO DIDN’T PLAY A SINGLE MATCH IN 2020 because of injury, is still the World No.7, given she’s still got her points from winning the 2019 US Open, plus the 2019 Indian Wells title, which was a full 20 months ago.


Just when the Big Bash couldn’t jump the shark any more than it already has

Power Surge = You know, a mini powerplay isn’t as bad as it looks

An X-Factor player = Some club cricketer who wasn’t good enough to get into the XI of a Big Bash team, so he gets called an X-Factor to make himself feel better.

Bash Boost = Ah, it’s good to see the lunatics are still running the asylum, because why measure your run chase when you can go hard early and suffer a collapse.


State Of Origin Game 3

You know, I think the Queensland Government pulled the most Queensland thing I’ve seen this year.

Lifting restrictions on the day of Game 3 just so they could get a full crowd into Lang Park to try and peg the talent deficit, while the Blues can’t even stay the night in Brisbane.

It is Origin, so they call things like that…. MIND GAMES.

And for all of Channel 9’s complaintsabout commentators and production crew not getting travel quarantine exemptions, it’s not like there aren’t any able-bodied camera operators/producers in the State Of Queensland.

Plus, didn’t they quite literally just broadcast a Women’s State Of Origin game last Friday?


A bit can change in Adelaide in 25 years

November 12 marked 25 years since the last Australian Grand Prix was run in the Adelaide Parklands, which seemed very topical considering the Adelaide 500 was put to rest only a few weeks ago.

That Sunday, when Damon Hill won by a record 2 laps, an estimated 210,000 people lined the streets of Adelaide, and now, 25 years on, there was probably that many people snaking through the Senna Chicane to get a drive-through COVID test.

Lock it down you Croweaters, we all know how much you enjoy beating Victorians, but passing them for a COVID-outbreak size isn’t something any of us want.


Keeping track of Collingwood’s excuses for moving on Adam Treloar

I think it’s gone from:

“His teammates didn’t like him”

To

“His family situation was a catalyst in some shape or form”

Honestly, if Ned Guy, FIGJAM Buckley and/or Eddie McGuire had just said:

“We needed to clear Salary Cap space”

AND NOTHING ELSE, we wouldn’t have laughed at Collingwood as hard as we all are now.


One of the more remarkable Lewis Hamilton stats

And he’s got plenty of them.

In the time since Lewis Hamilton last retired from a Formula 1 Grand Prix, which was Austria in 2018….

He’s won 3 World Championships.

Yeeeeeep that’s right, when Lewis Hamilton last retired from a race, he had a mere 4 World Championships, level with Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton has now finished in the points in the last 47 races, which is another all-time record he holds, and were it not for that DNF in Austria, you know how many consecutive points finishes the 7-time champion would be on now?

81.

The next best on the all-time list is a mere 27 in a row for Kimi Raikkonen.

In a sport where reliability is a fickle and often cruel feature, and crashes can and will happen, that is nothing short of amazing.


Shayna Jack getting her 4-year doping ban halved at the CAS

What a great relief that was:

“Yeah you tested positive for a banned substance and you’re technically still guilty of taking a banned substance, but you didn’t intentionally take it, so we’ll call it draw.”


The ending to that Andrew Moloney vs Joshua Franco further reinforces my biased belief that boxing is a rort

Those 3 judges had 30 minutes to fix that bullshit incorrect decision of a ‘headbutt’ with the benefit of replay, and they completely and utterly failed and protected the referee.

To quote Bob Arum…. GET THE **** OUT OF VEGAS.


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