American Football

Wednesday Wail: 3rd November

Well due to yesterday being a big day, in which the Crazy Tips went like a pile of arse, here’s the abridged Tuesday report on Wednesday, and to start things off, here’s some historical anniversaries involving Formula 1 and Australia…

The inaugural World Championship edition of the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide was held 36 years ago today, won by Keke Rosberg for Williams, in what was the late Niki Lauda’s final Grand Prix appearance:

It’s also 30 years to the day that the 1991 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide was Red-flagged after 14 laps (Despite 16 being completed) due to heavy rain in the City Of Churches, creating a new record for the shortest Formula 1 race in the history of the World Championship, a record that stood until this season’s Belgian Grand Prix, which was stopped after 3 laps and declared after 1 lap.

With half points awarded to the Top 6, Ayrton Senna, having already sealed the World Championship, won the race from title rival Nigel Mansell, who didn’t stand on the podium after crashing just before the red flag, requiring medical treatment for a concussion, and Senna’s McLaren teammate Gerhard Berger was 3rd, handing McLaren the Constructors’ Championship for the 4th consecutive season.

In actuality, when the race was declared after Lap 16, Senna was leading from the retiring Nelson Piquet, Gianni Morbidelli, Andrea de Cesaris, Alex Zanardi and Stefano Modena, because during Lap 16, Mansell hit the wall after instantly losing control of his Williams, and Berger spun on a kerb, but for whatever reason, the race officials decided to backdate the results to Lap 14, even though they were supposed to backdate it by one lap (Lap 15).

In fact, 1991 would be the last time there was any rainfall during an Australian Grand Prix until 2010 at Albert Park, when it rained at the start, and to date, that’s the only time there’s been a wet Australian Grand Prix since the event moved from Adelaide to Melbourne in 1995-96.

My random musical fact for this week, and it’s a big one

Yesterday marked 40 years since Columbia Records first released Men At Work’s Down Under in Australia:

So the partial story is that Down Under was released on November 2, a week before the band’s debut album Business as Usual was released in Australia, which contained both Down Under and Who Can It Be Now?, which had already peaked at No.2 in Australia back in August.

In Australia, Business As Usual went to No.1 for 9 weeks, and Down Under first hit No.1 on the old Kent Music Report on December 21, 1981, where it stayed until January 24 of 1982.

Eventually, after the massive success, Columbia Records released Down Under in North America during 1982, where it topped the Canadian charts for the first time on October 23 and stayed at No.1 for a further 2 weeks, around about the same time that Who Can It Be Now? reached No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, almost 18 months after it was first released.

Then on November 6, a year after it’s initial release, Down Under debuted at No.79 on the Billboard charts, and on January 15, 1983, the unofficial national anthem of Australia reached No.1 in the US, where it sat for a grand total of 4 weeks, and it would also hit No.1 in the UK on January 23, the only single by Men At Work to reach the Top 20 on the UK Charts.

The WA Police finding Cleo Smith alive and well in Carnavon

It amazes me that not even 24 hours ago, when little Cleo had been missing for well over 2 weeks, that there were a few stories up that Taskforce Rodia might have to fly in cadaver dogs from over east to help in the search, as there were serious fears she could suffer the same fate as the Beaumont children, Zahra Baker, or Daniel Morcombe.

Next thing you know, WAPOL find Cleo in some creep’s house in Carnavon, and we’re all absolutely stunned into applause:

It goes to show you that more than a few would-be online detectives probably should’ve realised after the events of the Chamberlain case that starting conspiracy theories about the parents’ involvement in their kid going missing from a camping ground probably isn’t the smartest strategy.

The numbers from the Manning Bowling Club Cup Calcutta on Monday night

Financially speaking, the MMBC Calcutta is the biggest Calcutta in Western Australia, and my goodness me it smashed all kinds of records this year, with the most plausible reason being that we’re all too scared to set foot on an aeroplane, and it was another fantastic attendance, with Darren McAullay and my former longtime neighbour on No Hope Avenue, Tim ‘The Toolman’ Walker handling the auction:

Cutting to the chase, last year the Calcutta pool was a record $31,8000, and this time around the pool was a record $36,175, thanks mainly to Incentivise being such a strong favourite that he went for a record $8,750 in the auction, when the average favourite would go for $3,400.

The winning share is 60% of the pool, 2nd gets 20%, 3rd gets 15%, and the club gets a 15% cut.

You’ll notice MV Wholesale feature prominently in that list, especially buying Verry Elleegant in the auction, and if you’re unaware, the crew from MV Wholesale are major sponsors of the club, and if you’ve ever read my Jack Attack reports, they feature very prominently as The Habibs.

So let’s track the turn of events that led to Chris Waller making the call to accept Verry Elleegant in the Melbourne Cup

Off the back of a somewhat disappointing run in the Turnbull, in which she ran 4th after overracing and being well beaten by Incentivise, Verry Elleegant trucked on to the Cox Plate, which appeared to be her original Grand Final, and she wound up running a big 3rd, just beaten by Anamoe and State of Rest, which led to people wondering if she’d go for the Melbourne Cup after running an unlucky 7th last year, leading to the Waller Racing stable issuing this tweet last Wednesday:

If you follow racing, that’s pretty much par for the course with Waller – Very conservative when it comes to his star horses.

That same day, James McDonald’s original Melbourne Cup ride Away He Goes, trained by Ismail Mohammed in the UK, was withdrawn due to a tendon injury, leaving McDonald unsure if he’d get a ride in the race, given Damian Lane had ridden Verry Elleegant in her Melbourne starts.

On the afternoon of Derby Day, Waller and the connections of VE finally made the call to accept for the Cup, at the last possible moment, following a promising trackwork display on Saturday morning.

“I just needed one negative to pull the pin and the owners were very supportive of that, there was no pressure from them at allI said to them before the Cox Plate everything had to be 100 per cent otherwise we don’t go (to the Melbourne Cup).” – Chris Waller, From the article by Ray Thomas for NewsCorp on November 1.

Importantly, Verry Elleegant’s regular jockey in McDonald would hop back on the mare, given ‘Frosty’ Lane had once again committed to ride The Chosen One in the Melbourne Cup, and JMac would celebrate by riding 4 winners on Derby Day at Flemington.

Then on Cup Day, with 57kg, the second-greatest weight a mare has carried in the history of the Melbourne Cup (Makybe Diva carried 58 to victory in 2005), from the cursed Barrier 18, the only barrier in the 161-year history of the race to never produce a winner, and with no mare having placed in the race since The Diva completed her hat-trick 16 years prior….

Verry Elleegant exploded past Incentivise, won her 10th Group 1 by a massive 4 lengths, joined the rare list of horses to win the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup, gave Chris Waller and James McDonald their maiden Melbourne Cup wins, and sealed herself as an all-time great of Australian Racing.

Amazing to think that Verry Elleegant can win 10 Group 1s, complete a career Cups double, be voted Horse of the Year….

And she’s still the second-best mare that Chris Waller has ever trained.

On that note, here’s all the horses to win the Caulfield Cup & Melbourne Cup in their careers

By my count, which is probably wrong, there’s now 14 horses to complete a career Cups double, with 11 of them performing the official Cups double, the most recent being Ethereal a full 20 years ago:

Poseidon: 1906 Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double, 1907 Caulfield Cup

The Trump: 1937 Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double

Rivette: 1939 Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double

Rising Fast: 1954 Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double, 1955 Caulfield Cup

Even Stevens: 1962 Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double

Galilee: 1966 Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double

Gurner’s Lane: 1982 Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double

Let’s Elope: 1991 Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double

Doriemus: 1995 Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double

Might & Power: 1997 Caulfield Cup & Melbourne Cup

Ethereal: 2001 Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double

Viewed: 2008 Melbourne Cup, 2009 Caulfield Cup

Dunaden: 2011 Melbourne Cup, 2012 Caulfield Cup

Verry Elleegant: 2020 Caulfield Cup, 2021 Melbourne Cup

Hopefully Incentivise is alright, given he’s pulled up lame following his big run for 2nd

All the best to Steve Tregea, Peter Moody, Brae Sokolski – After the magnificent Spring that Incentivise had, it’d be a travesty if we didn’t get to see him have a crack at Weight For Age racing, maybe even having a rematch against Verry Elleegant in the Tancred this coming March.

Be well boy, you deserve it.

Here’s the definitive highlight for Oaks Day on Thursday

After several years of dreaming, a certain trainer & jockey combination will finally become reality, after years of confusing the crap out of people.

In the last on the card at Flemington, the Group 3 Red Roses Stakes up the straight, the aforementioned Damian Lane will ride Sonnet Star.

The trainer of Sonnet Star?

Damien Lane, based out of Wyong in the Central Coast of New South Wales.

I’m seeing double here… Four Damien Lanes!

Hang on, did Gladys steal a line from Sir Joh’s book

This was from last Friday’s ICAC hearing:

Now remind yourselves, who enjoyed the phrase, Don’t You Worry About That, to the point that his memoirs were titled, Don’t You Worry About That!

Why, it was Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen!

Bloody Gladys, what a copycat.

The rechristened Billie Jean King Cup Finals began in Prague, overnight and Australia knocked off Belgium 2-1

So one thing you probably missed during the pandemic was that the ITF renamed the Fed Cup to the Billie Jean King Cup, as a nod to Billie Jean and all that she achieved for women’s tennis.

With Ash Barty having withdrawn from the event well over a month ago, and Ajla Tomljanovic doing something else, that meant it was left to Daria Gavriolva, coming off a long injury layoff, and Storm Sanders, on her Australian debut, to play the singles rubbers for Australia against a Belgium team that was comfortably the better on paper, given Sanders and Gavrilova aren’t close to the Top 100, and Belgium had defeated Belarus 2-1 on Monday.

Still, wouldn’t you know it, Gavrilova defeated Greetje Minnen in 3 sets, then Sanders, up against World No.18 Elise Mertens, dropped the 1st Set, fought back and got the 2nd Set to a tiebreak, which she won 7-5 to force a deciding set, and despite being some 113 players apart, Sanders absolutely crushed Mertens 6-0 to seal the tie for Australia:

Marc Marquez won’t appear at the Algarve Grand Prix this weekend

As per the Honda Racing Corporation statement:

“This past Saturday Marc Marquez, while preparing for the Algarve Grand Prix with one of his standard off-road training sessions, suffered a fall that caused a slight head concussion. After a few days of rest at home and seeing that he was still unwell, today Marquez has been assessed by doctors in a medical check-up to evaluate his current status. As a precautionary measure, this coming weekend Marquez will not contest the Algarve Grand Prix.”

“My First Pennants game” by JT

So on the 28th of October, I made my inglorious debut for Manning in a Thursday 5th Division game at Belmont, which is a truly unique place, because it might be the only bowling club in Australia that has an RC car track on it’s grounds:

What a brilliant range of entertainment; A bar, kitchen, TAB area, a ballroom, a darts area….. And a fully sick RC track.

If you ask me, more sporting clubs, not just bowls clubs, should think outside the square like that.

So in the end Manning comfortably won the day across the 3 rinks 65-49, set up by a comeback 20-17 win on Rink 1, plus a 31-14 win on Rink 2, although my team of Burkey, Ron and Nev went down 18-14 after a strong comeback from 14-5 down halfway through the game, caused mainly by us bowling a lot of “Short s**t”, but at some point in the next 40 years, I will frame one photo from the day….

My first hold in a Pennant game, which came on the 2nd End, thanks to Bob from Belmont hitting the jack straight into my back bowl, making me look like a total genius.

“And you thought Steven Bradbury was a miracle”

As I found out that evening, it was a rare day where the Manning men won in all 6 divisions, which happened again on Saturday, which came after the champion Women’s Tuesday teams performed a clean sweep to kick off the season.

Imagine what Matt Araiza could do with an Australian Rules ball in his hand

If he can kick 75 yards on the fly and 86 without raising a sweat with a gridiron ball, and for context the best punters will average no more than 55 yards a kick, then dear lord, he’d be able to kick a 75m torpedo and clear it half-post height.

Thanks for coming, Tyrone May

Penrith Panthers has today terminated the NRL playing contract of Tyrone May with immediate effect.

The Panthers Board of Directors concluded May’s conduct following the 2021 NRL Grand Final constituted a serious breach of his contractual obligations.

The Board also gave consideration to previous breaches in making the decision to terminate his contract at this time.”

Once again, here’s part of the reason May got given the lemon and sarse from the Panthers – His Instagram post following the Panthers’ Grand Final win, which featured a photo of his court case from 2020 and the Drake lyrics “And the dirt they threw on my name”, even though he absolutely deserved it, given he’d been found guilty of intentionally filming a woman without her consent.

If you want to see what that judge said during the sentencing, Neil Breen provided it when responding to May last month, and it is something to read:

And finally, the Atlanta Braves have done Hammerin’ Hank Aaron proud

Let it be known that today marks the end of the Atlanta sports curse, which stretches back to the Braves’ 1995 World Series win, and was supposedly caused by Atlanta selling it’s soul to the IOC to get the 1996 Summer Olympics.

That same year, the Braves returned to the World Series and had a 2-0 lead over the upstart New York Yankees, only to lose the series 4-2, then 3 years later, in the same year the Atlanta Falcons lost Super Bowl XXXIII 34-19 to the Denver Broncos, the defending champion Yankees swept the Braves in the World Series.

In fact, the Braves won a record 14 consecutive division titles between 1991 and 2005 (1994 being the strike year), but out of those 14, ’95 was their sole World Series title, then in 2019, the curse struck again as the Braves led 2-1 against the St Louis Cardinals, only to lose game 4 and get blown out in Game 5, and last year, the Braves led the LA Dodgers 3-1 in the NLCS, only to lose the series in 7 games, as the Dodgers won the World Series.

Perhaps the most famous example of the Atlanta sports curse is reserved for the Atlanta Falcons, who held this distinguished lead against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI in 2017:

28-3 up late into the 3rd Quarter, only for the Patriots to reel off 25 consecutive points to force the first overtime in Super Bowl history, and completing the worst collapse ever seen, the Patriots won the coin toss, marched downfield and scored the title-winning touchdown to claim it 34-28.

Then you have Atlanta’s former NHL franchise the Atlanta Thrashers, who moved to Winnipeg in 2011 and became the revived Winnipeg Jets, the Atlanta Hawks, despite having several good teams, haven’t played in the NBA Finals since moving from St Louis in 1968….

And back in 2018, the Georgia Bulldogs, appearing in their first National Championship game since 1982, led Alabama 20-7 in the 3rd Quarter of the Championship game, which just happened to be played IN ATLANTA….

Only to lose 26-23 in overtime.

But hey, they’ve finally won something!

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