AFL

Tuesday Tithbits: 22nd March

This is not fake

So we’re on the wrong side of March, and here’s my fun fact of the day:

Today is 59 years since The Beatles’ debut studio album Please Please Me was released as a mono LP by Parlophone.

The album cost an estimated £400 to produce, George Martin and the band recorded most of the album in a 13 hour session in Studio 2 at Abbey Road on February 11, 1963 – The only songs that made the album which weren’t recorded on Feb 11 were Ask me Why, Please Please Me, Love Me Do and P.S I Love You, which were all recorded in 1962 and had been released as singles.

The cover of Twist and Shout was the last song recorded at 10pm, by which time Lennon’s voice was worn out due to a long day and a bad cold, but the single finished take, with no editing or overdubs from Martin, turned out to be one of the most famous covers in musical history – They did attempt a second take, but Lennon’s voice was gone due to the throat-shredding performance.

If you want a comparison to the recording time, 4 years later, it took 34 hours to record A Day In The Life, the last track off Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, most of it due to recording the orchestra, followed by the original hummed ending, which was replaced by the famous single piano chord ending.

Interesting fact – Please Please Me is the only Beatles album in which the songwriting credits are listed on the cover as McCartney-Lennon, instead of Lennon-McCartney.


How I wound up playing 2nd Division Pennants bowls on a Saturday

With just 2 games to go until the Saturday Pennant finals, Manning encountered a sudden player shortage in the top divisions, and as such I got a call from club VP Steve at 4pm on Friday asking if I could play 2nd Division against Spearwood on Saturday, having been listed (By choice) as a reserve for the entire season, and I said yes without evening second guessing myself, and it turned another emergency call-up for 2nd Division was my good mate Whitey, who had gone from 5th Division outcast to 2nd Division emergency in the space of 7 days, thanks to his Novice Singles win.

Now, a couple of things – 2nd Division are 6th and cannot be promoted or relegated this season, Spearwood are a clear 2nd, I hadn’t played a single game on a Saturday, the highest grade I’d ever played was that 1 game in 3rd Division on a Thursday, and I’d never played a pennant game on our ‘A’ Green, which is notoriously slow these days, at least compared to the other greens….

Although the Thursday Premier League team have used it to tremendous advantage this season.

Despite looking like a sheep in a wolves’ pelt, I had some pretty handy company to create a bit of fun – Brett Adams (No relation to my aunt & uncle), one of the more laid back skips you’ll ever see, as evidenced by him going for more drives than Peter Brock around Mount Panorama, Gary the club’s resident Kiwi (For 2 more weeks then he’s off to Dongara to live), and the shortage was so dire they had to bring head coach Alan Booth out of his Saturday retirement, which would be the first time I’ve even played on the same rink as Boothy, and it was fortunate for us that Penrith played on Friday night, or else he’d be welded to the couch.

The opponents on our rink were Robert, one of two players on the rink with the given name Robert, playing Second was Chris, who spent more time on his phone punting than I do, Nikola (aka Nik) the Croat from Croatia and definitely not Serbia, and Bob the Skip, who was a bit hard of hearing, which proved detrimental late in the game.

Spearwood doing some kind of circle of trust pre-game

Naturally with two makeshift rinks out of 4, were floating up Shit Creek without a canoe, a feeling reinforced when I crapped my dacks and my maiden bowl in 2nd Division went flying into the ditch…

Brett did say he liked the line, though, and eventually I did start to get a few bowls in the head.

Other than that, it was pretty back & forth through the opening half of the game – There were 3 holds of 3 in the opening 4 ends (2 went to us), we’d hold 2 and they’d hold 2, Brett gave us a few shots and gave a few away, there was an end where Chris of Spearwood bowled on the wrong bias due to getting distracted by a bet on his phone, which he followed up by planting his next shot on the jack, and Spearwood were 10-9 up and holding 5 on the 10th End, but Brett managed to send the jack out of bounds and get the end replayed, which resulted in Spearwood holding 1 to lead 9-11, which means they won’t be popular in America.

Gazza standing on the bank as Boothy tells Brett where to destroy the jack

Eventually we retook the lead 12-11 after 13 ends, and the decisive moment came on the 14th end, when we were holding 1 shot the skips marched down, we had a safe 2 bowls in the head, and we plonked 5 bowls out of the back in case Spearwood went the drive, which was near enough to suicide because they had nothing out of the back.

Brett put a blocker in, so Nik told Bob he should just play the percentages and try and draw shot, but Bob obviously didn’t hear him, so he went the drive, sent the jack flying out the back, and we got an extra 4 shots without even trying, as the Spearwood gents just stood there in bewilderment.

That’s half the game in the higher grades – Just get a couple of shots out the back, because there’s every chance that’s where the jack is going.

So it was suddenly 17-11 and within a couple of ends we were 22-12 up after another damn good drive by Brett, and the game ultimately finished a tidy 22-17 after a few forgettable ends, and when our game finished Spearwood were 2 up on the aggregate with a combined 2 ends to play across the 4 rinks, then on the final end of our neighbouring game, Manning held 2 to tie the aggregate at 74-74, which meant it was all down to Steve’s rink to decide the game.

To cut a long story short, Manning were holding shot all the way down to the last bowl, there was next to no room to try a drive for Spearwood, but somehow, Uncle Vled the skip bowled a shot that would’ve wound up being hopelessly shallow, but it wicked a front bowl, kept on rolling, and must’ve held shot by no more than 2 inches, and the Spearwood gents were jubilant as they won 75-74 overall and 6-2 on points.

The irony was Steve’s team won the rink 20-16.

Fun fact – That was the fourth time this season that I’ve been involved in a 1 shot defeat on the aggregate, but our awesome foursome took absolutely no blame for dropping 5 shots in the final 3 ends, as we actually won our rink, but it still hurt knowing we got that close to victory, despite having absolutely no right to be competitive against the team in 2nd overall.

Actually, if you want to have a laugh, in 2nd Division we’ve got a bloke called Richard Pears, and another called Richard ‘Rick’ Pares.

There’s a Pears in there…. and a Pares as well.

All up, it was exactly what Brett told me it was going to be – A fun day out.


So it appears that’ll be the last game of my rookie pennants season

I was due to get another 2nd Division game at Safety Bay this weekend, as part of 3 Manning teams playing down at the windswept Bay this weekend (Premier League & 4th Division being the others), but unfortunately Safety Bay’s 2nd Division team all went on a bus up to Perth this past weekend, 1 person subsequently tested positive, they’ve all had to isolate, and under Bowls WA’s COVID protocols, the game is declared a no result and both teams get 4 points, which in the grand scheme of things only decided 6th place in 2 White.

The negative – I don’t get another game this season.

The positive – With the skyrocketing price of fuel today, I get to save some much needed kilometres in the tank not driving 40 minutes down to Safety Bay.


Michael Voss attempting to quasi-coach the Carlton vs Western Bulldogs game on Thursday from his couch in isolation

CARLTON will spend the next 48 hours working through the finer details of how isolated coach Michael Voss will communicate with players and staff members during Thursday night’s clash against the Western Bulldogs.

Voss, along with player Jack Martin and four other members of the club’s football department, have been forced into the AFL’s health and safety protocols over the weekend after returning positive COVID-19 test results.

But the Blues have been handed approval for Voss to play his part remotely, with the club considering whether it will use technology and processes sanctioned by the AFL in order for its senior coach to communicate with players and assistants throughout the night.

The option would allow Voss to communicate directly with players at all quarter breaks, as well as pre- and post-game, while it would also enable him to provide feedback to his assistants during play.

The League has granted a series of coaches approval to communicate with players and staff members remotely throughout the recent AFLW season, with St Kilda’s Nick Dal Santo – as well as a handful of assistants – doing so while in isolation.

Voss will become the first senior men’s coach to do so this Thursday night, having tested positive to COVID-19 on Friday. He, along with Martin, had previously returned negative test results on game day. Clarke and Lloyd tested positive the following Monday.

Attempting to coach a game from his own house….

Hang on, isn’t that what tens of millions of us have been doing ever since television was introduced to Australia in 1956?


Marc Marquez is going to injure himself into retirement, or die trying

In case you didn’t get to see MotoGP’s return to Indonesia after 25 years, Marc Marquez suffered 2 front end washouts in Q1 by riding in his usual balls to the wall style, then on Sunday morning, he got caught out by Michelin’s choice to bring a 2017/18 spec harder rear tyre for the searing heat of Mandalika, and as a result he suffered from a lack of rear grip all weekend, culminating in this utterly frightening high side at 190 km/h in the Warm-Up that sent him 2-3 metres into the air and a good 10 metres forward, one of the biggest highsides ever recorded.

Amazingly he only suffered a concussion and had to sit out of the race, instead of suffering a fate akin to Wayne Rainey or Mick Doohan.

It’s also worth noting Marquez suffered a similar high side in the heat of Thailand in 2019:

And there was the similarly frightening highside in Q2 at Malaysia in 2019, in which he shot up 2 metres in the air and face planted on landing:

It should be noted both of those accidents were before Marc injured his right shoulder and suffered a seriously broken right arm & subsequent nerve damage at Jerez in July 2020, which means he’s particularly vulnerable in right hand corners and clockwise tracks, due to the stress loading on his body – Turn 7 at Mandalika being such an example.

Either way, Marc is going to die trying to get back where he was, and it won’t be pretty.


Another highlight from the Indonesian MotoGP

How good is this camera work when a passing monsoon swept through the track:

Even though it’s a GIF, you can literally hear the crack of the lightning.

It’s a good thing there wasn’t a DeLorean on the track to get sent back to 1985.


A random moment from Thursday pennants

The great David Wirrpanda, name bearer of the Wirrpanda Foundation, All-Australian and 2006 Premiership player for West Coast, has been playing pennants for North Perth, and he made an appearance at the MBC on Thursday afternoon in a 2nd Division promotion final, which didn’t end too well for North Perth as they lost 82-39 overall against Manning, but it was bloody nice to see that unlike plenty of ex-AFL players, Wirra looks as fit as a trout…

We told him that with West Coast’s injury crisis, he’s half a chance of getting a call from Adam Simpson:

Thanks to Liz Matthews

So it would seem that Wirra is yet another premiership-winning Eagle that’s graced the MBC – Elliot Yeo has been down for a roll-up a few times, and I played against ‘The Glove’ Quentin Lynch in Jack Attack back in 2019, when he featured on a team called the Village Idiots, whose warmup routine involved arriving 45 minutes before the 6:30 start and being so confident in themselves that they spent said 45 minutes sinking piss at the bar instead of rolling up.

True story – Lynchy, minus the glove, was bowling with purple bowls that night, and let’s just say his performance was as questionable as his stint at Collingwood.

One of his mates could only comment “That’s how much he hates purple!”


In case you missed it: Essendon’s inaugural AFLW coach has a somewhat unfortunate name

Natalie Wood, who has been an assistant at the Western Bulldogs for the past couple of years, in addition to being an Academy Award nominated actress who mysteriously drowned in 1981.

Good luck Natalie, and whatever you do, don’t let the ladies perform any drills or activities involving water, or Robert Wagner.


It appears it has snowed in our living room

Oh wait, no it hasn’t, our murderess of a dog has just eviscerated yet another toy.


The Charles LeClerc helmet cam view of him fighting Max Verstappen during the Bahrain Grand Prix is top draw material

I think it does back up a theory that was doing the rounds.

LeClerc wasn’t even plucking 8th gear down the pit straight (Which you can clearly see on his dash) so he could bait Verstappen into passing him at Turn 1, ensuring LeClerc would get the DRS out of Turn 2 & 3, where he could then use the Ferrari’s straight line speed to retake the lead into Turn 4, and he’d stay ahead for the rest of the last lap.

This is the fastest point in the entire track, and he hasn’t even got the rev lights to change to 8th gear

Now that is a smart bastard if ever you saw one.

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