THE YEAR IN REVIEW OF AUSTRALIAN SPORT

What a cracking year for Australian Sport! In team sports it was the Aussies V NZ in three codes and we took home the bickies twice!
Australia rode the Hayne plane as he soared into San Francisco and then we were all aboard the Payne plane as Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to ever win the Melbourne Cup.
The Aussie cricketers stormed to victory in the One Day version and the Netballers were dominant to secure our second victory over the Kiwis in a World Championship for 2015.
The Wallabies surprised us all and possibly themselves by getting into the World Cup final and as we sipped our hot chocolate in the wee hours of the morning they came within 20 mins of a stunning victory.
Hawthorn are just a freak football team. Four grand finals in a row and this year they made the three peat in commanding fashion. They are already being called Fourthawn for next year! And then there was the NRL grand final. I loved Michael Jackson’s ‘thriller’ but I loved one of the greatest thrillers in Rugby League history even more. After the Broncos couldn’t lose… they somehow lost by a wobbly field goal by the great Jonathan Thurston in Golden Point, to hand the Cowboys their maiden title. They are now one clear of the Sharks in overall Premierships.
It certainly was Jason’s Day at the PGA Championship as he finally triumphed and got his paws on a Major title. He blubbered on national TV and a tear certainly slid down my face as he drained his last putt.
We all fell in love with Mick Fanning after his horrifying shark attack and he came within 90 seconds of making the final at Pipeline, just after his brother passed away. Finishing second is absolutely no disgrace, following on from a horrible year.
Australia all cheered as Nick Kyrgios… Actually that’s a phrase which was never used this year.
My top 5 Australian highlights for the year are:
1. Michelle Payne winning the Melbourne Cup
2. Haynemania
3. North Queensland Cowboys victory
4. Jason Day winning his first major
5. Australian Netball World Cup Champions
I can’t wait for 2016 already and farewelling Lleyton Hewitt at the Australian Open will be a great way to start the year.
Remember, whatever I predict, bet the opposite way and your wallet will become so fat it will have to go on the Biggest Loser.
Merry Christmas sports fans!
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MATE V MATE. NOT STATE V STATE

It’s often said playing up against your mates is one of the hardest things in sport. It’s also one of the most enjoyable.

Believe it or not and contrary to what normally comes out of my mouth at about the 10 schooner stage, I have never represented my State. As a result I haven’t played for the Blues against the Maroons in anything.

I’ve actually never even played against my friends in a serious competition (although some will argue the Sooty Tour, golf, which I named after myself, was one of the most influential sporting events of the early noughties). As a result, what is happening today takes on a greater significance.

I am refereeing my former touch football team, in last year’s grand final replay. I was a very proud founder and captain of the all conquering Ratpack, but after 10 years, salary cap restrictions forced me into retirement. I didn’t want to be like many captains, who play one season too long and I wanted to walk rather than be pushed.

Today I have the opportunity to referee this motley group of people! It really will be mate against mate. Let’s not lie, I have premeditated metaphors for when they back chat and I would dearly love to put someone in the bin…but of course I’ll just blow the pea, according to what I see.

Stay onside Ratpack!

Is this the Olympics or the Hunger Games?

The Rio Olympics really isn’t looking great! Sad and a bit scary!

kazblah

Hunger GamesThere’s flesh-eating bacteria in the water and alligators hanging out on the golf course.

A fatal horse disease that’s been used as a biological weapon was discovered near the Equestrian Centre.

Public security has been described as a ‘total improvisation’. And there’s no guarantee there’ll be any power.

So is this the Olympics or is Rio hosting the Hunger Games?

It’s not unusual at this stage of Olympic proceedings to hear about construction delays, budget overruns and bureaucratic stuff-ups.

Rio logoBut the stories coming out of Rio suggest next year’s Olympics may be more about survival of the fittest than faster, higher, stronger. Even the logo looks like a slingshot.

Most of the coverage has concerned the putrid waters of Guanabara Bay, which will host the sailing, rowing, canoeing and the swimming that’s not done in the pool.

Testing by Associated Press found athletes would basically be competing in an open…

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THE WESTERN SYDNEY WHINGERS

The Wanderers Fan’s boycott isn’t far away. This is such a great boycott. The fans don’t go to the game and don’t get to watch their team play. The players lose their fans so there is no atmosphere in the stadium.

 

Yep- this sounds like a great idea from these so called passionate Western Sydney Wanderers fans.

 

I’ve been to sports events all over the world. I’ll be candid – I’ve had far too much to drink at many many events (when it’s less than 0 degrees, what are you meant to do? And when it’s 30 degrees you need to stay hydrated). My behaviour has bordered on what can only be described as baboon like. I’ve been a happy baboon, but I’ve woken up in the morning with a sore head and a lot of embarrassment.

 

What’s my point… I’ve never been kicked out of a sporting event. I’ve never been banned from a sporting event. It’s very very hard to get kicked out of a stadium. I’ve managed to get security guards to turn off an x-ray machine, so I could pose for a photo at the Athens Olympics and I didn’t get banned.

 

Let’s be honest, being inside an x-ray machine was one of the most ‘appropriate’ things I did at the Athens Olympics. Somehow I got on the track, under the track, went to every event for free and ate and drank for free…and I didn’t get banned. (Infact, I made money from this exercise, but you’ll be able to read about this in the upcoming book).

 

The 198 soccer fans who were named and shamed recently must have done something very bad. I’m sure they weren’t ‘bubbling’, but it had to be shocking to receive a ban.

 

It’s embarrassing for these people and I don’t think it was the correct thing to do, as people make mistakes and it doesn’t mean they need to be vilified for it. They’ve got a ban. They already know they’ve made a mistake. But, it also serves as a reminder to other fans. Enjoy yourself at sport but don’t be a twat!

 

I completely support David Gallop’s comments telling the fans to focus their energy on being fans. That’s what they are. They aren’t bigger than the game. If the fans don’t go to a game the games will still continue. There is something called broadcast deals and sponsorship deals, just to name two, which will ensure fans boycotting games won’t really affect anything.

 

The A-League is growing and getting stronger. Let’s hope the fans don’t ruin the game because they think they are more important than they are. The game needs fans. The fans need the game.

 

Here are my top tips for baboon fans :

  1. Don’t swear. There are kids around. One day these kids could be yours.
  2. Drink, but don’t spill your beer over people. It’s just a waste of good beer.
  3. If you’re going to streak, make sure you’ve at least been going to the gym beforehand. Don’t do it on a chilly night either as that will make it extra embarrassing.
  4. Don’t use a flair. When you leave the house and you check for your phone, keys and wallet, leave the flairs off this checklist. They stop you seeing the game and make it harder for the players.