Monday, January 24, 2005

Rugby league was the winner on the day!

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of witnessing the inaugural Orara Valley Rugby League sevens tournament. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by:
1. the skills on display and
2. the lack of typically unintelligent and uninteresting remarks made by a league crowd.

And Who said league wasn’t an international game. League superpowers Fiji, Malta, Lebanon and the United States were represented along with the Guyra Superspuds(I didn’t make that up, though I wish I had).

A stand out for mine (ha ha… sorry Georg) was a feisty young playmaker playing for Malta. He was quickly and aptly given the name “Sol Glo” for his flowing, but quite greasy locks (Anyone that has seen Coming to America knows what I’m on about). He is what sevens football is all about quick, allusive, nimble and if you put him on a field with full compliment he would be eaten alive.

Malta made it to the final four with Lebanon taking out the $10 000 for first place, donated by “Uncle Rusty” (as he is known in the Orara valley). Lebanon beat the Metro Aboriginal All-stars in the final convincingly.

The highly fancied barbarians, comprised of the likes of Gorden Tallis, Spud Carrol, Mark Geyer, Rod Wishart, “Mary” McGregor, Robbie O’Davis, Tim Brasher, Cliff Lyons, Lee Hookey, Phil Blake, Ian Ruben, Jason Death and Sean Garlik were knocked out in the quarters by the Sydney Bulls, a highly underrated metro team.

In the Barbarians game against the Armidale Rams, Russell pulled on the boots for what proved to be a less than inspirational game,(insert reference to one of Russells movies here) making a total of two tackles (one was a ‘flop’) and no hit ups. Then again he did pay $10 000 dollars for 3 minutes of game time so….good for him.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

These boots

I love you Serena Williams.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Shoaib takes a shower

Did I just hear correctly on the ABC radio coverage of the Melbourne Test that Shoaib has left the field to take a shower? Can you imagine Lillie or Thommo or even Warney, that great hunk of spunk, leaving the field to attend to their ablutions? Hell no. These blokes probably waited til the fifth day to take a shower. They probably took a slash on the field during drinks. Well, the first two probably did.

Bloody hell, Martyn's out.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Bluebags r us

Having recently moved to Newtown I have noticed the support the Newtown Jets seem to have around the joint. I was in a wonderfully old-fashioned pub tonight that displays photos of Jets greats and I noticed a sign that read "XX days til the next Jets game" (Sorry, can't remember the exact number, could be 96. The sign also mentioned Henson Park - for old-time Leaguies this will ring some bells).

In these days of franchised teams and corporatisation it is good to see some 'grass roots' support of a team. It seems so antiquated and yet endearing that this little pub holds true to its team, even though they now play in a rung below the top level of the sport. The Jets biggest moment was a loss. A loss to Parramatta in the '81 grand final. The club has immortalised this historic loss in a Gallipoli-like fashion. You can now buy shirts with '81' on the front.

There is a noticeable elevation of failure to winning among old-time League clubs. Souths are gallant losers, Newtown are legends, even if they play in the NSWRL First Division, West Tigers are never better than when they're losing valiantly at Leichhardt in front of 2000 people. I know the game is big on telly and I know the Jets and the Tiges and the Rabbitohs will never get the crowds of the likes of the Broncos and the Dogs but I have to admit that there is a sense of community, of the community owning the team, that doesn't filter through with the big teams. There is passion, even if it's only to glorify their defeats. Go you Jets.

Postscript: I may have to go next door and ask for an explanation - I just heard a whoop of joy when New Zealand scored their winning run in tonight's one-dayer. I'm sorry, that is just not on.

Postscript two: For my brother, Charles - the Jets have been known as such since 1973, before that they were the 'Bluebags'. I think I prefer the latter.

What the?

Am I in a parallel universe? Brett Lee is wearing a red ribbon this evening, presumably as it was World Aids Day recently. I have just settled down to watch a bit of cricket and as Brett Lee was celebrating his successful yorking of Chris Cairns I saw the red fluttering prominently on his chest.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Punching a hole in the Hookesy legend

This blog doesn't usually post anything even vaguely related to sport but the latest post is about the glorification of David Hookes after his death and asks some hard questions. Well worth a read but the recommendation comes with an extreme language warning.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

What is this?

On the day Chris Sheil at Backpages decides to call it a day, Scott Wickstein at Ubersportingpundit is also throwing in the towel. Scott also wrote at Troppo (I think). He and I may not have been politically aligned but I would be the first to admit that Scott made an undeniably valuable contribution to the blogosphere. I hope he regains his enthusiasm in the new year.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck six stitchers!

Why is the ICB playing at letting this farce go on and on and on? First you have to keep your arm straight, then you can bend it "a bit", than 10 degrees, now 15 degrees. What next? You can bend your arm the length of pi divided by the length of the moons shadow on mercury in the second week of the eighth month every other year. How the hell is an umpire supposed to call Muralitharan for chucking now?

If the ICB doesn't intend to let umpires call no balls for chucking what's stopping a team from employing a baseball pitcher to send down some lasers, win the match and face the ICB after the game?

Between Muralitharan and Anil Kumble there's more suspects here than a marathon game of Cluedo.

"I'll be home by Sunday arvo darl." : Ponting

MMM I can smell it now. Just ten minutes before the toss of the first Test of the summer and already I can smell the sweet smell of success, mixed in with the hideous odour of a winging Kiwi nation having another thing to sook about. The only thing that will save the poor old Black Caps is rain, rain and more rain. And I do mean old. Is it just me or do the Kiwis seem to have the same line up that they have had for about the last ten years or so. Fleming, Cairns, McMillan McCullum, Vitori, Bond, Astle, Parore, Harris, Styris and Tuffey. These 'old nuts' seem to be the brains, back bone and every other organ that make up the Black Caps, except the heart of course, that has been MIA since the underarm incident (Ouch!).

Monday, November 15, 2004

Brains? Bah!

In the Fitz Files this weekend just gone was the following, absolutely wonderful, quote:

"It was boring, none of us liked it. There was nothing to do. There were hardly any pubs, no TABs. I'd rather be in Penrith ..." Luke Rooney, the Kangaroos winger on 2UE, after spending four miserable days in Prague with some of his teammates.

Now, I don't know about you but I believe I may be disappointed if the quote expressed any other sentiment. That's why we love our Leaguies, because they're BRAINLESS. What would league be like if it were different? I shudder to think. Admittedly, it's not just Leaguies. There's the legendary story of the English footballer who declined a visit to the Great Wall in China while on tour, claiming 'seen one wall, seen 'em all'. I think he preferred to stay in the hotel and play cards.

Let's face it though, if we found out our Leaguies had been visiting art galleries, picking up a few cheap second-hand-books, dropping into museums or dining in fine restaurants we'd be shocked and appalled. The inclusion of this quote in Fitz's column was just another Union bloke trying to put it over the Leaguies, to make us all poke fun at young Rooney. The thing is Fitzy, we expect nothing more and nothing less from these blokes, and I for one would be very upset should the status quo change.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

First Rooters scandal of the season

So, the Sydney Rooters have been given two byes next season, both of which fall conveniently in the weeks before the two State of Origin matches. That's a bit presumptuous on the part of the ARL, I mean, NRL, isn't it? Why don't they just name the Origin teams now? Of course, they will say that it was pure coincidence that the byes are at rather conveninent times. Arse.

A-League blog

Ok, I have spent plenty of time bagging Australian soccer so it's perhaps time I did it a favour for once (never mind the 20-odd years I actually played and paid fees etc etc). I have been alerted to the existence of an A-League blog by Stephen via a comment. I am very happpy to give it a plug as I think it is a good sign if someone is willing to set up a blog about the fledgling comp. Perhaps a little passion may be developing...slowly. So I guess I should also get in on the act by saying COME ON SYDNEY F.C.! (Well, I live in Sydney so I figured they would be my team. And they have one of the less dorkier names).

Oh, this has also brought it to my attention that there is no way to contact Blogballer, should you so desire. Feel free to email me (and I'll pass it on if you want it to go to one of the other contributors) at (just replace that AT with an @).

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Vale Johnny Warren

Mr Football has succumbed to cancer. A moment's silence please.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Kangaroos OS

Well this can't be. The Kangaroos have been OS for nearly three weeks now and not one mention of drunken debauchery, fisticuffs of theft. What has this game become?

While I'm on the matter of the touring party- two words- Brett Kimorley!!! How does he make it into any rep teams let alone the Australian team. He must have shares in MBF of HCF with the amount of hospital balls he throws. He chucks more custard the Stuart McGill and Brad Hogg combined.

Monday, November 01, 2004

A-League launch proves Australian soccer has no imagination

The new, improved, revamped, de-ethnicised Australian soccer leage was announced today. And why oh why am I feeling the need to pick the eyes out of it already? Maybe I was just born cynical but I can't say I'm feeling really optimistic about the latest reincarnation of the league. The teams are:

The eight participant clubs will be Adelaide United, Auckland Kingz, Queensland Lions, Central Coast Mariners from Gosford in NSW, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle United, Perth Glory and Sydney FC.

My first query is: two teams just north of Sydney? The Central Coast Mariners (Mariners?? Not a good start as any rugby league fan will know) and Newcastle United. Can the area support TWO teams? I would wonder if they could support one. Of course, I would love to be proved wrong.

Secondly, who thought up the gay names? Kingz was pretty bad but they can be excused, they're New Zealanders. The 'Victory'? Surely a mocker if ever I heard one. I'm still finding it hard to stomach the 'Glory'. I know John O'Neill has said this is not the Premier League (you got THAT right sunshine) but a little more imagination with the names wouldn't have gone astray. How can we ever dream to match it with the 'Terriers', the 'Addicks', the 'Toffees' or even the 'Posh'?

One good thing that I can see with the creation of this new league: NO NORTHERN SPIRIT!