AFL

Tuesday Tithbits: 25th May

The best statue of a sportsperson in Australia

Well it’s the last weekend of May, and of course, this weekend is a celebration of First Nations and Torres Strait Islander culture, with the Indigenous Round for the NRL, and the first of two weekends of Sir Doug Nicholls Round for the AFL, and I figured I’d include the statue of Nicky Winmar’s iconic stand at Victoria Park in 1993 that proudly sits outside of Optus Stadium, because this year, St Kilda’s Indigenous guernsey design was created by Winmar, complete with a silhouette of the “I’m black and I’m proud” pose, and on the back there’s stencils of Winmar’s hands:

Nicky said he was inspired by Jackson Pollock when he created the design, so I think this is the closest we’ll get to Pollock and his experimental designs crossing with Indigenous Australian art, which is a whole other subject in of itself.


Max Duffy gets signed by the Denver Broncos

Now for those Australians who are unaware of the Denver Broncos and or the NFL, think of this vintage Simpsons moment:

At this stage, you just have to assume the worst and think that Max is probably going to be a Training Camp body and will end up being cut, but damn son, imagine some of this in the NFL:

All you can gather from that is there are a crapload of players in College Football who love a bit of candy, because the NFL is so much faster than that.


The St Kilda President’s letter to the members after losing by 111 points to the Bulldogs on the weekend

So afl.com.au called one particular line a ‘mind-boggling backflip’, given the Saints were apparently built to contend this year, which they’re obviously not because they’re St Kilda and everytime they sniff the thought of a flag they collapse like a communist dictatorship in 1989.

So this was the line from Andrew Bassat that Mitch Cleary focused on, given St Kilda have one of the oldest lists in the comp:

“We knew that with our list profile we would need to be patient to be competitive every week against the better sides and that our genuine window would more likely start in 2022 than 2021.”

I have to agree, every St Kilda President’s address should just be realistic and go with something like this:

“Hey everyone, we’ve been shit for 148 years – If you’re still with us now, you’re thick enough to never jump off.”


In recognition of Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday, here’s an alternate take of Lay Lady Lay that I enjoy

It took us 51 years to learn Dylan’s inspiration for the song, which he’d actually revealed to Tony Glover in 1971 – It was for none other than Barbara Streisand.


Bloody hell, Channel 9 really need to do something about their lighting on interviewees

I saw that Peter V’Landys interview about the recent actions on head high contact in the NRL, and fair dinkum, I got distracted about his argument just by thinking that light must’ve been bloody intense in Peter’s office, because they made him look like he’d just found out that Clive Palmer was tag-teaming with Israel Folau to steal the limelight from him:

GIVE HIM A BLOODY TOWEL, DAMMIT.

Well it’s that, or it just looks like a member of the fourth estate has just asked him if he isn’t planning on creating some unexciting new multi-million dollar 3-year-old race to be held at a midweek Warwick Farm meeting during the Sydney Spring Carnival, now that the MRC have restored the Thousand Guineas to the middle Wednesday.

Yeah, that happened.


Major spring changes at Caulfield for 2021

As mentioned above, the Thousand Guineas, which was held on Caulfield Guineas Day since 2014 to create some kind of Super Saturday of four Group 1s (The Toorak, Caulfield Stakes + both Guineas), is going back to the middle Wednesday where it was run from 1988 to 2013, as a means of giving all three days of the Caulfield Cup Carnival a shot at a good crowd, which means we won’t be subjected to the torture of any more three-horse Blue Sapphire Stakes fields like we were last year, although in fairness that three-horse Blue Sapphire was the greatest boat race since Australia II won the America’s Cup:

Absolutely captivating stuff.

And, the other major change is the aforementioned Caulfield Stakes, which will stay put on Guineas Day, is being renamed after Might And Power, in recognition of his two great wins at The Heath, which were his only two starts at the track – The epic 8-length romp in the 1997 Caulfield Cup, and the 1998 edition of the Caulfield Stakes, in which he shattered the heart of Tycoon Lil.

Another great champion gets a deserving honour of having a Group 1 named in their honour…

Now, when are we going to give Phar Lap that accolade?


Reading the obituary from ‘The Beeb’ about former FIA President Max Mosley’s death and the mentions of Imola 1994

There’s these paragraphs from Andrew Benson about the weekend and the events afterwards:

His biggest challenge came a year later, when Senna was killed in an accident at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix that was broadcast live around the world.

As a global sporting icon, and an almost God-like figure in his native Brazil, Senna’s death raised serious questions about safety in Formula 1, and world leaders contacted Mosley questioning the sport’s position.

Mosley immediately introduced a series of changes to the cars, setting in motion a new approach whereby the safety of the drivers and spectators was central to the ethos of motorsport and attempts were made to constantly improve it.

In this, he was backed by Ecclestone, and supported by the FIA medical delegate Professor Sid Watkins and the FIA F1 director Charlie Whiting. Together, they changed the face of the sport

It’s funny that Andrew Benson only mentions Ayrton Senna’s death, considering Roland Ratzenberger died instantly in a crash the previous day, and Mosley attended his funeral rather than Senna’s, simply so someone in the world wouldn’t forget that someone that wasn’t Senna died that weekend.

“I went to Ratzenberger’s funeral rather than to Senna’s, where all the great and good of Formula One were, because I felt somebody needed to support him and his family.”

It should be noted Gerhard Berger and Johnny Herbert attended both funerals, but that gesture was one of the best things Mosley ever did as FIA President… Now, let’s not mention the utter insanity of the 2005 US Grand Prix.


And finally, the French Open returns this weekend!

And ahead of the first ball in anger on Sunday, there is Qualifying in which a crapload of Australians will be knocked out because 99% of us can’t play on Clay, and meanwhile, Ash Barty has made her first appearance on Court Philippe Chatrier since she won the title in 2019:

It was so long ago that according to the WTA Rankings, there’s technically two defending French Open Women’s Singles Champions:

Now on that note, I’ve looked at the live rankings and done the mental maths, and Ash Barty is currently still holding the No.1 ranking on 10,175 rankings points, given she’s still got the points from 2019 until Sunday, which leaves her a good 2,700 points ahead of Naomi Osaka on 7,461.

In this day and age, you get 2,000 points for winning a major title, 1,300 for finishing runner up, 780 for making the final four, and a mere 10 for making the main draw and losing in the 1st Round.

Now, that means that at a bare minimum, if a human-made disaster were to occur and Barty was knocked out in the 1st Round. she would be on 8,185 points, which means that at a bare minimum, Osaka would need to make the Final to reclaim the No.1 ranking, and based on her recent clay court record, I’d put that down as improbable.

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