Tuesday Tithbits: 26th October

Well it’s the last Tuesday of October, the 299th day of the year, and in 2 days it’ll be the 20th anniversary of the time when Prime Minister John Howard, while delivering a 20 minute speech about the Liberal Party’s 2001 Election policy, made the following statement in relation to the Tampa affair that included the now memorable line…

“We will decide who comes to this country, and the circumstances in which they come”

That summed up Australia’s attitude to refugees ever since, although 20 years later, we have states with border policies that are basically this:

Mum’s birthday today

To celebrate, the family went down to an avoidable part of the earth known as South Perth, better known as the poor man’s Jutland Parade, and in hindsight it’s a good thing we went up to South Perth, because I saw the hail that hit Bentley and Curtin Uni this morning, which isn’t too far from the cave in which I reside, and if you didn’t know any better, you’d think snow had fallen in Perth during Spring.

Anyway, it was a bit more pleasant where we were, allowing me to get today’s cover photo:

I remember going to South Perth for the Australia Day fireworks one year…

I didn’t see any fireworks.

ABC Perth’s Russell Woolf dying in his sleep overnight at the age of 56

To me, what should tell the story about how people loved and respected Woolf is that everyone from the Governor to the Premier of WA mentioned his passing today, and we tuned in to listen to 720 ABC Perth on the way down the freeway this morning, and the on-air programming was just listener after listener calling in to Geoff Hutchison and mentioning that they’d been in tears or some other form of emotional agony this morning at the news that Woolfy had been promoted to glory way too soon.

I almost couldn’t listen to it because it just hurt me to think about it.

Going back, I remember when Wally Foreman (Who was also with ABC Perth) died at the end of October 2006 and how that was a massive shock, given Foreman was only 58 when a heart attack got him on a morning run, but Russell probably had him covered for popularity, given he was there every morning for a lot of people, he had that larrikin streak in his presenting, and he had the characteristic face for radio.

A big mop of hair, the beard that made him as hairy as his last name, and his characteristic bear hug that became the stuff of legend, although I’m probably glad I didn’t experience a Russell Woolf hug, because my organs would’ve been squeezed out through my mouth.

Then you hear the classic stories like when he got caught drinking on air because it made for good radio, and that time he ran on a “Save Our ABC” ticket for the Australian Senate alongside his former on-air presenter Verity James during that special election back in 2014:

Yeah, what an absolute travesty that he’s no longer with us.

For the uninformed, Nadia and Russell presented the ABC’s breakfast show

With one week to go until the cup, Racetrack Ralphy has introduced his Cup novelty markets

A Greens pollie trying to ban horse racing at 2/1?

That’ll be even better value than Incentivise!

Racing Victoria’s machine that goes ping decides not to go ping a week out from the Melbourne Cup

Still, I thought the solution to fixing the CT scanner was very straightforward:

Formula 1 hasn’t been this popular in the United States since the Indianapolis tyre saga in 2005

Formula One’s struggles to crack the motorsport-rich US market since the 1980s, when they went from Long Beach, to Dallas, to the Caesars Palace carpark, plus the streets of Detroit and Phoenix, have been well documented.

After the last visit to Phoenix for the US Grand Prix in 1991, F1 wouldn’t return to the United States for another 9 years, but a successful campaign by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway convinced Bernie Ecclestone to stage a Grand Prix at The Brickyard in 2000, which resulted in an F1 record raceday attendance of 250,000 that year as Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello gave Ferrari a 1-2, only for the inroads to come to a shattering end in 2005 when Michelin, the teams and the FIA helped create one of the most farcical scenes ever seen in motor racing, which led to the Indy F1 adventure coming to an end 2 years later, most likely to never return.

Eventually, along came a band of Longhorns from Austin and their brand new Circuit of the Americas to get F1 back to the United States, although even that venture looked on shaky ground after various court battles, the fact the track was designed as an F1-specific circuit, unlike the Indycar and NASCAR specific tracks of America, and when the 2015 event was hit by heavy rain in the midst of Hurricane Patricia, resulting in low attendance figures and funding cuts in the millions from the Texas government.

However, the US GP quickly picked up again to a new record attendance in 2016 thanks to good organising from Bobby Epstein and the COTA LLC, namely bringing in a headline concert on the Saturday night, there was also the small fact of an American team (Haas) entering the sport, and after the enforced hiatus in 2020, this weekend at Austin saw estimated crowds of 400,000, with 140,000 on raceday, which would make this past weekend the best attended Grand Prix on record.

From ESPNF1 on Twitter

Maybe it’s because of Drive To Survive bringing in that Netflix-watching crowd to the sport, or the fact that there was a live championship battle in Texas for the first time since Hamilton vs Rosberg in 2016, but F1 in the United States, from the outside looking in, looks the healthiest it’s been in years, and there’s the Miami Grand Prix to come in the Northern Spring next year, alongside the visit to Austin in the autumn, assuming the contract gets signed.

Good signs for the holy grail of motorsport markets.

Sergio Perez drove the entire US Grand Prix with an illness and without a functioning drink bottle and still finished 3rd

Hang on, a driver finishing a race in 3rd place after losing their water for most of the race.

Where have I heard that before…

The mystery of what happened Miguel Oliveira in Sunday’s MotoGP race

Right around the time in the race that Pecco Bagnaia fell off his Ducati from the lead at Turn 15 to seal Fabio Quartararo’s status as the new World Champion, which would’ve moved Quartararo up to 4th, Miguel Oliveira, who would’ve moved up to 3rd, randomly fell off the face of the earth, a moment that the TV Directors apparently missed or decided not to show in the heat of the moment, obviously because ‘El Diablo’ had just won the championship and they were too busy showing footage of the Yamaha garage.

The answer according to Oliveira himself is that feel of the forks changed as the fuel load lightened, causing him to lose the front of his KTM over the bumps of the Turn 14 hairpin, almost at the exact same time that Bagnaia went off at Turn 15:

You can vaguely make out some marshals in orange running across the gravel at the top of this still, but that’s where Bagnaia went off.

Thank goodness cleared that up, because I was half-tempted to call David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson to see if they could check if aliens had returned to the earth.

Here’s a photo of something England haven’t held since 2017

A fair old nurrie in the first ball of the Heat vs Hurricanes game from Courtney Sippel to Rachel Priest

From Fox Cricket

The Sydney Swans requested a home game for Round 1 of the 2022 AFL season, given Lance Franklin is sitting on 995 goals

Well, that makes Buddy an absolute guarantee to kick 4 goals in Round 1 against Hawthorn, who will absolutely be fixtured against the Swans at the SCG, and next thing you know he reaches the big 1000 in Round 2 against GWS as the Swans get their first 4 games at home in case Buddy takes longer than expected to get there.

Anyway, I don’t know why they’re making a big deal out of the race to 1000, because Gladys Berejiklian and Dan Andrews both cleared it without playing 300+ games.

If you ask me, Joel Embiid’s hard foul on Josh Giddey is just Joel’s pent-up rage at dealing with Australians for 5 years

Damn you Ben Simmons, you’re wrecking our future.

Dale Earnhardt Jr talking about Daniel Ricciardo driving Dale Sr’s 1984 Wrangler Chevvy at the US Grand Prix

The context to it all is Danny Ric is/was an unabashed fan of the late Dale Earnhardt Sr, who is part of the reason he chose No.3 as his driving number (It was also his karting number), and McLaren CEO Zak Brown decided to have a bet with Ricciardo that if he got a podium with McLaren, then he could drive the Wrangler Chevvy that resides in Brown’s impressive collection.

Of course, Ricciardo won the Italian Grand Prix, Brown brought the Chevvy to Austin, Duncraig Dan got 20 minutes in it in front of the American fans, and Dale Jr saw the replay and absolutely loved how much Ricciardo admires his late father, aka ‘The Intimidator’, who died 20 years ago this year.

Another forgotten part involving Duncraig Dan’s love of The Intimidator was his Jens Munser-designed tribute helmet for the weekend, which was based on the helmet & livery of Dale Sr’s Goodwrench Service Plus Chevvy that he drove from 1998 until his accident in 2001.

That helmet belongs on the same shelf as his Jack Brabham tribute helmet from the 1000th Grand Prix in China back in 2019:

Matthew Hayden reporting in from the inner sanctum of the Pakistan cricket team after that superb win against India

So that means in a few days we’ll get Australia with Justin Langer on the coaching staff, against Pakistan with Matthew Hayden on the coaching staff.

If the game can’t be decided in a Super Over and goes to an impromptu boxing match between the two, I’ve got to back in big burly Haydos.

The Green Bay Packers have finally accepted the fact that they might just be Australia’s team

Photo from NFL Australia

I think it is ironic that the Packers wear green & gold, because Green Bay, Wisconsin would experience winter weather that makes Canberra in July feel like a three month heatwave.

And finally, not only is the Manning Spring Challenge clear to go for Week 3 tomorrow night, on Thursday I’ll be making my Pennants debut

And there’s no better place to do it than a suburb of Perth best known for having a racecourse located in Burswood…


Hey Belmont, you’re going down harder than Ansett’s share price.

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