Tuesday Tithbits: 30th August

On this day 30 years ago…

Thanks to some brilliant wet weather driving and a well-timed switch from wet to dry tyres, Benetton’s Michael Schumacher (In his 18th Grand Prix start) won the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa to claim the first of his record 91 Grand Prix victories, smashing World Champion Nigel Mansell by 36 seconds, with Mansell’s teammate Riccardo Patrese in 3rd securing Williams the Constructors’ Championship.

Complete with the Rocky IV Soundtrack

It was the first win by a German driver since Jochen Mass won the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix, and it was also the end of an era in Formula 1…

With semi-automatic gearboxes dominating the World Championship, the B192 was the last car with a conventional manual gearbox to win a Grand Prix.

Funnily enough, exactly 6 years to the day of his first Grand Prix win, Schumacher was on course to win again at Spa, in weather that would cause a red flag with today’s safety standards…

Until David Coulthard ‘tried to kill him’.

“OH GOD!” – Murray Walker

‘Shaq says I back the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, in much the same way you can back a roughie at Randwick with Pointsbet, Albo’

Actually, that title should be ‘2 out of 3 people in this photo can sink a free throw’

Still, I believe that press conference has given us the funniest out of context Shaq image I’ve seen since this:

I liked how Tracy Austin’s son was playing Kathy May’s son in the 1st Round of the US Open

Forget about Nick Kyrgios being reminded you could have coaching when he doesn’t have a coach, in probably the upset on a Day 1 filled with upsets, Austin’s son Brandon Holt defeated May’s son, who just happens to be No.10 seed Taylor Fritz, despite Holt having never won a tour level match prior to the US Open.

In case you’re unaware, many moons ago, a 16-year-old Austin and May were doubles partners in the late 1970s, around the same time Austin won her first US Open in 1979.

Ah, it’s a small world, and segueing into another US Open topic, yesterday was the second-greatest single day attendance at the US Open in the event’s history (71,332), with 29,402 fans attending the opening night session at Arthur Ashe, the main feature being Serena Williams’ match to kick off her farewell event, followed by the Kyrgios-Kokkinakis match.

Here’s the part where I mention that the AFL Finals start on Thursday

Alright, now that I’ve mentioned that, it’s on to other topics.

A before & after of Allianz Stadium from almost the same spot

This was taken on a trip to Moore Park on March 5, 2021 (The first time I’d ever set foot in Moore Park), which I completely forgot I took until Sunday evening:

And we go from that to Opening day on August 28, 2022:

Polished off in 17 months, in which time Souths still couldn’t get out of their deal to play at ANZ Stadium.

Alternate History: Tim and Neil Finn writing the lyrics for ‘I Got You’ in 1979

Hello uncle Matthew, you’ll recognise this photo.

Finally put two and two together on a piece of family history

This was a newspaper clipping from circa October 25, 1916 that my late grandfather Ronald Burke (Who was J.A Burke’s son) had sent to me as part of a Year 10 history assignment way back in 2011, detailing his father’s Christmas message in a bottle, way before The Police even considered writing a song about it.

Yes kids, back in those days when they couldn’t send telegraphs, they used to send messages in bottles…

Unfortunately, the emojis went rank after about 2 weeks at sea.

So I finally went for a visit to Sydney’s Inner Suburbs on Sunday afternoon, and took a long walk out to John Burke’s intended source, the still-standing Friend In Hand Hotel in Glebe, the oldest pub in Glebe, some 106 years too late:

Me being me I didn’t bother to go in, because I was short on time and wanted to go and see the rebuilt SFS.

But, at least the Friend In Hand box was ticked, and on a side note here’s a bit of background about Walter Burke that a relation of Da’s had written decades ago on a typewriter, which the present-day Burke clan (Or more accurately, me) dug up while we cleaned up Nan’s flat in Lindfield over the weekend:

Turns out they had the right idea about Billy Hughes
‘Uncle Jack’ being John Burke

I would note the line about William McKell is incorrect, as McKell would be elected Premier of New South Wales in 1941 and serve until 1947, before becoming the 12th Governor General of Australia (1947-53) – The 1st GG was the Earl of Hopetoun.

Also, I couldn’t find any photos of Walter when we did the cleanout (He is described as bald and wearing a bowler hat so how hard could it be), but I did manage to finally discover one of J.A Burke (On the left), dated May 5, 1918 from the Western Front in France:

Yeah, there you go.

Deep Water by Richard Clapton will start playing in your head when you see this

“Sittin’ out on the Palm Beach Road, I’m so drunk and the car won’t go… My crazy eyes keep looking out to sea.”

The Australian Navy’s latest state of the art cruisers patrolling Sydney Harbour


Apparently they’re planning on upgrading them to Dreadnoughts in a few years when the Naval arms race kicks off.

I spent 5 days away from Perth and that ****in’ fire out in the scrub was still going when I came back

This was Wednesday, when I mentioned that it appeared the 2006 West Coast Eagles were having a premiership reunion when we flew out of Perth:

And we came back Monday afternoon, and it appears a few players were still kicking on and putting the others in the shade:

We’ll never seen a team like them again… Socially feral and full of talent.

Got a live look at the 2GB Continuous Call Team during my visit to Allianz Stadium

Now these are the kinds of things you fly across the continent to find at random during a trek through Sydney – David Morrow, Darryl ‘Big Marn’ Brohman and Mark ‘Piggy’ Riddell outside the SFS calling a totally irrelevant Sunday afternoon game between Wests Tigers and St George-Illawarra, and a crowd of neutrals riding every wave like it were a tight Grand Final.

Of course, the game ended with the Tigers doing what they do best and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory to lose 24-22 thanks to Asu Kepaoa shoulder charging Zac Lomax in the last minute, practically confirming the Tigers for the Wooden Spoon:

Look for the weirdo recording it with a blue hat

And from the reverse angle, as you can see Piggy Riddell leap from his chair willing that ball to hook left to give his old team the lead:

I did find it funny being there live that quite a few neutrals embraced the moment and cheered Lomax kicking the goal.

Fair dinkum, in Perth if you saw West Coast fans decked out in Eagles gear cheering for Freo when the Dockers kicked a goal won a tight game, you’d organise for them to be sent to a mental asylum.

Scientific evidence does indeed suggest Sydney’s sporting culture is located on a different axis to the rest of the planet.

I was very happy to see the old Johnny Warren statue is back in business at the SFS, to go with his new stand

And the sun was shining down on Captain Socceroo on Sunday afternoon:

Hopefully in the future they’ll put a statue of John Safran next to Johnny, in commemoration for what they both did to lift the Socceroos’ World Cup curse.

Prior to that moment, Australia had not appeared in a FIFA World Cup since 1974.

Including qualifying for Qatar, they haven’t missed one since.

Tweet of the Year

You really are the most devious bastard in NEWWWWW YORK CITAYYYY

Bill Horn, trainer/co-owner of the immortal pacer Village Kid, dies aged 89

Obviously, Horn didn’t have the caliber of standardbreds that some trainers had, but for the simple fact that he turned Village Kid into an all-time great, Horn should sit alongside the Kersley clan, the Warwicks, the Voaks and the Halls in the history of WA Harness Racing.

As a tribute, here’s some of the things Horn, driver Chris Lewis, and ‘Willy’ achieved:

Matched the legendary ‘Bathurst Bulldog’ Hondo Grattan from 1973-74 and won the Miracle Mile at Harold Park + the Inter Dominion in the same season (1985-86), with his ’86 Inter triumph at Albion Park proving so dominant he won all 3 heats and ran a track record mile rate of 1.55.6 for 2100 metres in the Final, when he thumped Vanderport.

In 1989, Village Kid would again win all 3 heats of the Inter Dominion (When it was at his home track of Gloucester Park), but could only run 4th in the Final to Jodie’s Babe.

Twice Australian Harness Horse of the Year (1986 & 1988).

4x WA Pacing Cup winner (1985-86, 1988-89), a joint record alongside another WA pacing legend Pure Steel

Won 19 consecutive fast-class races between February 20, 1987 and February 13, 1988, which I believe is still a record in the history of Australian harness racing.

In 1987, he became the first pacer in history to win the Miracle Mile twice:

The only other pacer to win an Inter Dominion + 2 Miracle Miles is Victorian great Westburn Grant, while Hondo Grattan did the reverse and won 2 Inters + a Miracle Mile.

All up, Horn and Village Kid racked up 160 starts for 93 wins, 24 seconds and 12 thirds for stakes of $2,117,870.

So ‘Willy’ died aged 31 in 2012, Bill Horn has now left us, but somehow the ageless wonder in Chris Lewis (67 years young), after 52+ years in the driver’s seat, is still driving winners, in a career only matched in the wins column by the late Gavin Lang and Chris Alford.

This week’s random AFL goal that popped up on my YouTube feed is David Wirrpanda kicking a banana from 50 metres out in Round 4, 2005

North Perth Bowling Club 2nd Division lead David Wirrpanda, might I add.

I would mock and point the All Blacks in this segment for turning into utter losers, but they’re almost certainly going to sweep the Bledisloe Cup

So instead, congratulations to Argentina for doing something the Wallabies haven’t done since the World Trade Centre was still intact… And I don’t mean that as a joke, the Wallabies’ last Test win in New Zealand was August 11, 2001, 23-15 in Dunedin:

And finally, with 1 day to go in August, I’m on the cusp of a new milestone

My old record for views in a month was 4,261 in May 2022 when the AFL record score post went up and started getting viewers by the thousands, but now I’m on the verge of 5,000 views in a month for the first time in recorded history, thanks in part to a random spate of 78 views from the United Kingdom that popped up this morning…

Obviously now that Neighbours is finished, the soap dodgers need their desperate spate of evening entertainment from Australia, and for some unknown reason that’s me:

So yes, it appears I’m achieving some considerable growth.

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