Tuesday Tithbits: 13th September

So it’s the 13th of September, and today would’ve been Shane Keith Warne’s 53rd birthday…

I’ll be honest, I enjoy watching the Strauss Ball more than the Gatting Ball.

The entirety of the last 5 days has just been one giant advertising campaign for The Crown by Netflix ahead of the Season 5 release in November

And gosh darn it, I am HOOKED AGAIN!

Hyde Park Corner, Hyde Park Corner!

The drivers in 20th, 21st and 22nd in the Formula One World Championship are named Nyck, Nicholas and Nico

Formula 2 and Formula E World Champion Nyck de Vries takes part in FP1 for Aston Martin.

Has a coffee on Saturday morning in the Mercedes motorhome.

Alex Albon goes down with a bout of appendicitis, so de Vries is subsituted into the lead Williams to make his Formula One debut.

Outqualifies Nicholas Latifi, makes Q2 and Qualifies 13th, later promoted to 8th after several drivers had grid penalties, meaning he started alongside compatriot Max Verstappen.

Drives a very steady race and finishes 9th to earn Driver of the Day honours, and it means Nyck’s temporary teammate Latifi now sits 21st in a 20-driver championship.

Nyck de Vries appearing in an episode of McLaren Tooned in 2012 as a 17-year-old

10 years later, he finally got to drive a Formula 1 car in anger.

Random section of Rod Stewart being Rod Stewart

Much like Apples and Bananas, McLarens grow on trees

From @VettelGirlUK on Twitter

McLarens grow on trees?

In Europe?

At this time of year?

Random Souths Guy makes an appearance on CNN

Just looking at him, it could even be Anthony Albanese.

Fun fact – If Alex Johnston scores one try for South Sydney on Saturday night, he’ll jump into the Top 5 on the all-time tryscorers list

With a double on Sunday, Johnston leapt off his tie with Terry Lamb and is now on 166 tries, level with Sharks icon Andrew ‘ET’ Ettinghausen for 5th all-time on the ‘meat pie’ scorers list – The irony of course being that Souths and Cronulla are playing in the Semi Final this Saturday.

Ken ‘Mongo’ Irvine (1958-73) – North Sydney/Manly236212
Billy ‘The Kid’ Slater (2003-18) – Melbourne Storm319190
Steve ‘Beaver’ Menzies (1993-2008) – Manly/Northern Eagles349180
Brett ‘Josh’ Morris (2006-21) – St George-Illawarra/Canterbury/Sydney Roosters276176
Andrew ‘ET’ Ettinghausen (1983-2000) – Cronulla324166
Alex Johnston (2014-present) – South Sydney190166

The other amazing achievement Johnston pulled off on Sunday was becoming the first player to score 30+ tries in consecutive seasons, which becomes amazing when you consider that the only other players to score 30+ tries in a season are Dave Brown (38 in 1935), who is an Immortal of rugby league, and Ray Preston, who scored 34 tries for Newtown in 1954 when they lost to Souths in the first mandatory First Grade Grand Final.

One of the greatest finishers we’ve ever seen, with a tries per game strike rate in the modern era of rugby league that only the likes of Ken Irvine, Reg Gasnier can even claim to match & surpass.

Another enthralling journey alongside ‘Fat Jack’ in the Thursday and Friday pairs at Manning

Over the last couple of Thursdays & Fridays I’ve been playing with a dear friend of myself and ‘Half Price’ in James ‘Fat Jack’ Jackson, who was declared the greatest living South African after Nelson Mandela’s passing in 2013, and we’ve had several great moments in recent weeks, like spotting a certain team 6 shots over the first two ends and winning the game 11-9, followed by running into Greg and Sue Hogg (Parents of Bradley) several minutes later and being blown away by Sue casually landing 4 on the jack during a strong Easterly.

Well, myself and ‘Fat Jack’ had another great story to end last week, starting on Thursday when we drew the so-called ‘Robber Baronesses’ in Liz Matthews and Sandy Simpson, who is of no relation to Homer Simpson, and to cut a long story short, we started well and were 8-5 up with 4 ends to play, then we went where few bowlers have gone before…

We dropped a 3, then we dropped a 7, and to add the caviar to the crap coated cake, WE DROPPED ANOTHER 7!

For context, in pairs you only have 8 bowls per end, and usually one of you has to put a bowl behind for insurance in case of a drive, so a 7 is pretty much the maximum to give away, and we managed it TWICE, as myself and Fat Jack had a collective brain fart so big we’re still wiping it up with toilet paper.

Perhaps even funnier was that we picked ourselves up off the floor and won the final end to cut the final score to 22-9, and actually finished ahead 6-5 on the ends won, which eventually cost Sandy and Liz the overall win on countback, so yeah, sucked in.

The proof is in the ink

But, showcasing our fabled ability to bounce back from traumatic disappointment, we had a rematch against Andy and Heather, and just as it was a few weeks ago, the insipid Springbok-Wallaby alliance won 11-6 after picking up a 5 halfway through the game, setting ourselves up for a massive rebound on Friday as we donned the black armbands with the flags at half-mast in the Queen Elizabeth Memorial Jackpot Pairs.

Playing in memory of Her Majesty on a handsome day out, first up we took on 5th Division characters Grahame and Rick, and the game was done to a dinner after 3 ends when we started the game by holding 5, followed by 1, then the tables turned and we held 7 of our own to make it 13-0, and the lead was 18-0 at one stage, before Rick started playing like Josh Kennedy against a Bottom 10 team and gave the defeated Eagles fans something to smile about, as the game finished 19-5.

Then we took on the aforementioned Greg Hogg & 2022 Novice Singles winner Ian White, who had seen off 1st Division masters Andy & Wayne in a close game, and with the blood in our nostrils, myself and Fat Jack bowled above ourselves and outsmarted Greg & Ian in a quality contest to win 11-7, with Greg & Ian’s cause not helped by an unfortunate hit on one of our short bowls to give away shot when the score was 8-5 with 3 ends to play, which would’ve made the game extremely tight…

Whitey having to look at my handy work sitting a foot from the jack

Instead, it became 9-5, and we held 2 on the 10th End to lead 11-5 with the ends countback secure, and successfully prepared for the drive on the final end to keep Greg & Ian to 2 shots, after Hoggy bowled a beauty and sent the jack out of bounds to re-spot it on the T.

So, JT and ‘Fat Jack’ finished the day 2nd Overall behind the very handy pair of Robin and Joe Angel, missing 1st on an ends won countback (Which was to be expected given Robin and Joe won both games by 10+ shots), but the big downside was that unlike my other pairs triumphs that I’ve shared on here, we didn’t feature in The West Australian on Monday…

In fact, nobody at Manning did, because the bastards bloody well put the results of a meat raffle in Bedford ahead of us, before they had the decency to include the Saturday pairs results in today’s West, buried underneath the 8-page feature on the Queen during the Second World War.

Still, I am thoroughly satisfied, because with time running out for this bowls offseason and pennants trials just 3 weeks away, I can say that I finished as a 2-Game Winner at least once in every month from April through to September:

Straight to the poolroom with my other winners’ cards

I’ve now played in a grand total of 10 two-game wins across Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, plus a 1-game win on a rain-shortened Saturday and a 2nd Round win on a Thursday.

Sure, it sounds so stupid, but it’s a momentous sign of progress for me, for the simple fact that last year I had 1 win from 10 games across the Manning Thursday-Friday-Saturday pairs, and lost at least 6 of those games by 10+ shots.

Goes to show what a season of pennants and a siege mentality can do for your development.

Marc Marquez is BACK IN BUSINESS

And by pure coincidence, The Ant of Cervera will be making a comeback at his home track of Aragon this weekend.

As early as April 18, Carlos Alcaraz had never appeared in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings

In the week that followed, Alcaraz won the Barcelona Open and made his Top 10 debut on April 25, exactly 17 years to the day that Rafael Nadal first appeared in the Top 10, with the coincidences being they were both aged 18 and had just won the Barcelona title.

Fast forward to just over 4 months later, Alcaraz is now the youngest World No.1 in the history of the ATP Rankings, overtaking Lleyton Hewitt’s 20 year record from November 2001, and the first to reach the ATP World No.1 ranking before the age of 20.

To say he’s the youngest World No.1 in history is only partially correct, because Martina Hingis became the WTA World No.1 at the age of 16 in 1997, when she won the Australian Open.

Also, Alcaraz reaching World No.1 does remind me of Ashleigh Barty’s rise to No.1 in 2019, because Barty only debuted in the WTA’s Top 10 on April Fool’s Day 2019 after winning the Miami Open, when she sat at No.9.

Flash forward to just over 2 months later, and Barty won the French Open to rise to World No.2, then followed it up by winning the Birmingham Classic to claim the World No.1 ranking on June 24, which she would then hold for 121 out of the next 125 weeks of play before retiring in March of 2022.

Something from the US Open Meme Machine

The long-term effects of the AFL’s new broadcasting deal in 2025, versus the NRL’s reduced deal signed in 2020 through to 2027

In short, here’s Peter V’Landys and Gillon McLachlan when they get in the elevator:

And finally, if you think life is stupid at the moment, here’s a little story

The Denver Broncos traded 2 first round picks, 2 second round picks, 1 fifth round pick + 3 players to the Seattle Seahawks for quarterback Russell Wilson, paid him approximately $245,000,000 USD, then in his first game for the team, trailed 16-17 against the Seahawks with a minute left and 3 time-outs, followed by facing a 4th and 5 with 20 seconds left after using their first timeout….

And instead of putting the ball in the hands of the franchise to pick up 5 yards when he’d already passed for 340, they decided to send out kicker Brandon McManus (Who had a career best kick of 61 yards) to attempt a 64-yard field goal, which would stand as the second-longest kick in the history of professional football.

Naturally, the kick fell just short.

The Broncos then used 2 more timeouts when the Seahawks were in victory formation, because apparently the lord himself was going to magically conjure up a fumble.

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