A-League

Tuesday Tithbits: 5th January

The first Tuesday report for 2021, and you may not know it, but the 5th of January marks a major milestone in the modern history of the game of cricket…

Today marks 50 years since the first One Day International match between Australia and England at the MCG, which only happened as a compromise between the ACB and the MCC because Melbourne’s weather was so crap it wiped out the 3rd Ashes Test.

Despite fears about the-then novel short format of the game ruining the spectacle for patrons, 46,000 people attended the game at the MCG, and cutting a long story short, limited overs internationals were here to stay.

In the 40x eight-ball over game, Bill Lawry won the toss and sent England into bat, with John Edrich’s 82 the only shining light as England were bowled out for 190, and the Australians would chase down the target with 5 wickets and 40 balls remaining, led by Ian Chappell’s 60, in what was a rare win for Australia in that summer of 1970-71 which ended in Lawry’s dismissal as captain and England becoming the first touring team in history to not lose a Test in a full series Down Under.

Also, it is topical talking about John Edrich, considering he passed away only a fortnight ago, because in addition to recording the first-ever half century in a One Day International, he was also the first Player Of The Match in a One Day International.

Of course, there were two other noteworthy cricketing moments that occurred on January 5…

Shane Warne took his first Test wicket against India at the SCG in 1992, when Ravi Shastri holed out to Dean Jones after scoring 206, the first double-century by an Indian batsman against Australia.

And in 1993, a certain Brian Charles Lara built on his maiden Test match century by bringing up a double century and a 250, eventually being run out for 277 off 372 balls, featuring 38 fours, and the legend of Lara was well and truly underway.

Now, where was I.


I think every organising body should take note of New South Wales and change the name of every sporting event in threat of being cancelled due to COVID-19 to ‘New Years Test’

Stuff calling every house party a ‘New Years Test’ to avoid the lockdown measures, let’s go the whole hog:

The 2021 ‘New Years Test’ Grand Prix

The 2021 ‘New Years Test’ Open

The 2021 ‘New Years Test’-W season

See?

It’s foolproof.


A simple solution to the Australian Open hotel legal wars

Instead of putting 1100+ players and personnel in a hotel complex without consulting the poor little residents, how about the Victorian Government house them in the homes of the Victorians who got locked out when they shut the borders?

I mean, it’s not like they’re going to be using them this summer, plus I’m sure someone would be elated knowing that the one and only Novak Djokovic was staying on THEIR couch.

Think of the value of that sucker after a 17-time major champion plants his backside on it.


The 2020-21 Melbourne Renegades could very well be the worst performed team in Big Bash history

They currently sit at 1-6 and last on the table, thanks to the Heat and Scorchers stringing back to back wins together, coupled with their 6 straight defeats.

They’ve recorded 3 of the 6 biggest defeats by runs in Big Bash history in this season alone.

They’ve been bowled out for under 100 runs 3 times in 7 games

They’ve conceded the 2nd most runs and score the 2nd fewest runs.

To call their fielding Big Bash Fielding would be an insult to typical Big Bash Fielding.

A fantasy matchup we’ll never get – A tri-series between the 2020-21 Renegades, the 2014-15 Heat, and the 2012-13 Thunder.


I can only think that Max Duffy can retire off the profits from the hand candy he sold to those North Carolina State players

I can salso ay with confidence that based on my Manning Jack Attack experience with Duff, I don’t think Max inherited that turn of foot from his dad.


It’s been 12 years to the day since Clinton Grybas died

You know, it’s been so long since Clinton died that the kids of today wouldn’t know who or what Clinton Grybas was.

If you ask me, I’d describe Grybas as being like what Brenton Speed is for Fox Sports – The caller who can pretty much call any sport and hardly miss a beat, with his most notable work being on the old Fox Footy Channel, where he was the de facto No.1 commentator, and alongside Rex Hunt on 3AW, where they pretty much hit it off.

One of their greatest works of art together was that magical night when Nick Davis kicked his 4th and final goal with 2 seconds left in the 2005 Semi Final, which obviously gets lost in history because Anthony Hudson on Channel 10 exclaimed “I see it but I don’t believe it!”

“There would not be a bigger roar if a thousand blokes in Broadmeadows won Tatts!

“IT’S GRAND LARCENY! IT’S HIGHWAY ROBBERY! IT’S RONNIE BIGGS! IT’S NED KELLY! IT’S THE GREATEST THIEVING EFFORT YOU WILL EVER SEE!”

And after that, Rex comes in and leaves everyone in hysterics.

I can recall another great line Grybas had after West Coast came back from 44 points down to defeat Carlton in Round 11 of 2006, the week after they came back from 54 points down against Geelong.

“Last week we watched The Great Escape… I hope you enjoyed the sequel.”

A fantastic talent who was only 32 when he passed away.


I find it a shame the A-League is getting such a lack of coverage

In between the stories about the clubs being handed control of the ‘independent’ A-League after 15 years, we don’t even get to see stories like Football Australia and the other clubs in the APL coming in and taking over the Newcastle Jets from Martin Lee because he was apparently such a penny-pinching tight arse who hadn’t invested any money into the Jets in over a year, effectively saving the club from dissolution.

That said, I did check in to the Victory vs Roar game on Saturday evening, and I have to say, the quality of play was more than acceptable for a league that people like myself enjoy ragging on – Free flowing, plenty of goals, the kind of game that keeps engagement up.


There’s only 2 Australians in the NFL Playoffs this time around

Fancy that, the NFL adds an extra playoff spot for each conference this season, and we still get fewer Aussies featuring in January.

Anyway, for the third consecutive year, Michael Dickson and the Seattle Seahawks are in the playoffs, this time as NFC West champions, and sitting as the No.3 seed, they take on division rivals the LA Rams in Seattle in the second of the Saturday games.

And, after getting cut and re-signed during the year, Jordan Berry will continue punting for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had a massive late wobble to finish at 12-4 and the AFC No.3 seed, and they take on their age-old division rivals the Cleveland Browns in the Browns’ first playoff appearance in 18 years.

Here’s an odd fact: If you include the upcoming game, the Browns’s 3 most recent playoff games (1994, 2002, 2020) have all been against the Steelers.

Still, I don’t fancy the chances of either the Steelers or Seahawks getting out of their conference, primarily because now it’s only the No.1 seeds who have the first round bye, and the last time a Super Bowl champion didn’t have a first round bye was some 8 years ago (2012 Ravens)… In fact, that was also the last time a team who didn’t have a first round bye appeared in the Super Bowl altogether.

Still, if that streak will end, this year’s a great chance.


Tanya Roberts’ partner going the early crow and mistakenly telling her publicist that Tanya Roberts had passed away

Hmmmm, I think Monty Python covered this 46 years ago.

“Here, she says she’s not dead.”

“Yes she is.”

“I’m not!”

“She isn’t?”

“Well, she will be soon, she’s very ill.”

“I’m getting better!”

“No you’re not, you’ll be be stone dead in a moment.”


This week in, “The refurbished Eagle Farm track is a tad unsafe”… the refurbished Eagle Farm track is a tad unsafe

From Ben Dorries in the Courier Mail:

An email from the Australian Trainers’ Association Queensland division to Racing Queensland bosses, including chief executive Brendan Parnell, outlines how the premier track which was first closed for renovations in 2014 has again reached the flashpoint of “immediate concern”.

Trainers believe a series of renovations and refurbishments have been botched, despite about $1 million being spent on the maintenance of the troubled track in the last 12 months.

A tad furhter down.

Recent complaints have ranged from the wrong type of grass being used (the Monteith Report in 2017 recommended wintergreen but Grand Prix Couch was laid) to the wrong base (sand was used).

During a recent Eagle Farm Saturday meeting, three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Glen Boss sent out a public warning that the track was not up to scratch.

The latest of the Eagle Farm complaints is that the top layer is too soft and “chops out” but the layer underneath is hard.

You know what, I’ve got an idea, and it caters perfectly to Queensland’s love of ‘Big’ things like the Big Pineapple.

Given the BRC and RQ couldn’t organise a chook raffle these past 6 years, how about they just bite the bullet, sell off the track to the developers for a couple of million, get out of the racing game altogether, and in a couple of months, it’s time for the grand opening of…

THE BIG SAND PIT.

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