Sharks To Stay In Cronulla

25 09 2013

Unfortunately this is not an exclusive breaking headline, but a letter to Mr. Dave Smith, NRL CEO

Dear Mr. Smith,

I know that you have said that there has been no thought to relocating any clubs at the moment, but with the news surrounding the possible relocation of Cronulla to southern Queensland, I’d like to present some reasons why it should never happen:

1) There is no denying that the Sharks are the great under achievers in the modern game, it’s an inescapable fact. But will moving the team 1500 km north change that? Queenslanders, with their current domination of Origin, are bred for success, so do you think that many fans in that part of the world will adopt a team that is 0 from 46?

2) What about players who have signed on with Cronulla and have young families? They would have signed with Cronulla thinking they could raise their family in Sydney. So will they be willing to pack up and make the trek north or will they want to opt out of their contract to sign with another Sydney team if location was their reason for signing in the first place?

3) When St. George merged with Illawarra and Balmain with Wests, I can imagine that it would have been hard on the supporters. But a small consolation for them was that they would get to see the merger play at the same ground as which ever team it was that they were following before. Will Sharks fans still get to see their team play at Shark Park (sorry, Remondis Stadium) 3 or 4 times a year?

This is not wanted thank you

This is not wanted thank you

4) Why south Queensland? The Central Coast has been crying out for their own team for years. They already have a stadium (Bluetounge) that is used for league and it would be easier for existing Shark fans to travel to.

5) How do you tell young kids who support the team that they can no longer go and see the Sharks play because the family can’t make it to Queensland every other weekend?

So please Mr. Smith, keep the Sharks in the Shire where they belong.

Sincerely,

A One-Eyed Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks supporter.

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Getting The Gong In The ‘Gong

18 08 2013

The scene: The Dragons dwindling down the bottom of the ladder in 14th, and missing their strikes players Merrin and Dugan (among others) to injury. The Sharks up in 6th coming off the back of a 4 point loss to Newcastle, but with a near full squad, only Graham out injured, and mentally battling the ongoing ASADA investigations.

The view from my seat.

The view from my seat.

History was against the Sharks, having not won in Wollongong since ’89 (but while that’s 24 years, it’s not 24 games as the Sharks don’t travel down every season). The TAB doesn’t look at history though and had installed the Sharks $1.25 favourites (Dragons were out at $4).

So how do you think I felt as Sharks fan when the Dragons raced out to a 12-0 in about 7 minutes? Clearly it wasn’t following the script that I had written in my head.

I went to high school with this guy (K. Brennan, Holden Cup player)

I went to high school with this guy (K. Brennan, Holden Cup player)

But all was to upward after half-time. After trailing 18-6 at the break (Pomeroy scored the only try for the Sharks in the first half. The number on the back of my jersey just so happened to be that of Pomeroy’s too. It was 3).

I thought Feki had scored in the corner in the opening exchanges after he wrestles his way over, but it was pulled back for a forward pass. That was the second try the Sharks had been disallowed after Gallen was denied for an obstruction.

Some ground was clawed back after De Gois crossed after about an hour and Carney was able convert, making it 18-12.

Ryan crossed in the right hand corner with a bit fortune on his side. But because of the tough angle of the kick, Carney missed leaving it 18-16 to the Dragons. After that, I honestly thought that it was game over, knowing that the Dragons can grind out a win just as well as the Sharks. And the Sharks aren’t really renowned for their attacking ability. But this is 2013 and the Sharks have arguably the best all round line-up of my life time.

90 seconds were on the clock and still it was the Dragons by 2, and a miracle was about to unfold. Andrew Fifita was to out-sprint some outside backs and score the match winning try. Or so I thought. The ref had gone upstairs, my sense of relief had been replaced by anxiety. But he ruled try and just wanted to check onside and grounding.

Luke Lewis after the game

Luke Lewis after the game

My seating position wasn’t the ideal place to see the big screen, unless it was just my eye-sight (which is always a possibility – ed.) However, on the hill in front of the big screen was a decent sized contingent of Sharks fans, so when they went up after all replays, I knew it was good.

And it was! Finally, we had finally won in the ‘Gong. I have been to numerous NRL games in my life, but only four where I genuinely cared for the result. The first time I saw Sharks at Wollongong (we lost, I think it was 18-4). When I went to the State of Origin in Sydney (QLD won 28-24. Again, I think that was the score). And last year when the Sharks came back to the ‘Gong and we lost 16-10 (I’m sure that was the score, you tend to forget these things when your team loses).

So last night was the first time I left a stadium genuinely overjoyed. Especially considering I was the ‘enemy’ and my friend, ‘Charlie’, was a Dragons supporter and had a bit of a flutter on the game given the good return the Dragons were offering.

So now that I can tick “See the Sharks win” of my to-do list, I now have to go to a game at Cronulla and watch the team win up there so when I start belting out the team song I won’t be given the evils.

“Up, up Cronulla. The boys in the Black, White and Blue…..”





Video Killed The Football Star

4 06 2013

Seeing as tonight is the first State of Origin game, I may as well talk about that. At least I can kind of be positive.

A few people and I agree that we don’t like the video referees much in the NRL but we all reckon that this years system (where the on-filed ref makes his decision before going up stairs) is much better.

However, I still think it’s too much. Why could the game not adopt a cricket style referral system? The ref makes his decision as he sees it. But each team gets one challenge per game. So if a ref says it was held up, the team denied can choose to challenge the decision. If it comes back ‘No Try’, that team has no more challenges for the game, but if they are successful, they get another.

This would make referee’s decisions the ones that stand and might stop players hassling the ref, helping to further improve the family friendly image the game wants.

And why is it that the video referee can’t adjudicate on a forward pass? He can make a call about a knock-on, so what’s the difference? In both instances the ball travels in a forward direction.

Another alternative to phase out the video referee is to have more on-field refs. Bear with me here. We already have 2 referees on the field, and the 2 touch judges. But why not go further and have an ‘in goal’ referee? This mean that when a potential try is scored there will be 5 sets of eyes watching the action as it unfolds. It works for the AFL. Admitedly though, scoring in AFL is drastically different to NRL.

The good news for me at the moment is work hasn’t rung me yet. The bad news is it’s only 9:58. And yes, I am wearing a blue shirt today.

According to the published date on the post, it’s still the 4/6/13, but where I am it’s actually 5/6/13. Just pointing that out for those of you who are reading this and might get confused about my referencing the SOO as tonight.





How Good Is This!

17 11 2012

They say ‘never met your heroes’ (don’t you dare go there again – ed.). I never got the chance to meet Peter Brock and I don’t exactly classify him as a hero of mine, but I’m confused as to how I feel about him. I’m not knocking him for what he did, there is no denying the man is a legend.

I say this because I have just finished reading the biography “Peter Brock: How Good Is This!” by Wayne Webster (2008). It was an interesting read with a lot of little tidbits of information about Brock and his career. For example, did you know that the racing number that Peter made famous, 05, was actually in relation to work that he did for the Victoria Road Safety and Traffic Authority (VRSTA) in 1975? It was in that year that VRSTA introduced the law of drivers only being able to have a blood alcohol limit of 0.05 when they were behind the wheel. Peter fronted that campaign to inform drivers and the rest, as they say, is history.

Torana A9X: my personal favourite of all the Brock cars.

Another interesting thing that I learnt, and this may be why I’m having mixed feelings at the moment, is that he wasn’t the best family man. That wasn’t because he regretted having children or like sharing time with them, but because he was a very public person, and was always willing to give his time to others, so when he signed autographs for fans, he signed it for every last person standing in that line. This was one of the reasons why he was considered the peoples champion. After getting some much needed media training in his early day, he very much became public property and the fact that he had seemingly boundless amounts of energy and was rarely there for the people he should’ve been. The other thing that blew me away (admittedly I don’t read gossip pages or anything) but, Peter and Bev, despite having a 28 year relationship and two children of their own, never actually married. I was stunned at this especially given the very public knowledge of the split and how big it became.

Although, this Austin A30 is pretty sweet

Other interesting things that I read in the book was that Brock had a deep appreciation for the Aboriginal people and was keen to learn about as much about their heritage as possible. Especially in relation to the 76 hectare property that had been in his family since the 1800s. Six generations of the Brock family lived there in Melbourne.

One thing that I didn’t like about the book though was the lack of full page pictures; there weren’t that many when there should’ve been heaps. Of the pictures that were there though, some of them were excellent, but could’ve been better if they were full page.

I remember that a friend once told me that Brock started his career with Ford and that he was technically the prodigal son that never returned. I claimed bull-shit on this almost immediately, and to a degree we were both right. Brock did drive for Ford, but he didn’t start in them. It was in ’89-90 that he drove a Sierra after being cut off by Holden following the ‘Energy Polarizer’ scandal and his BMW team hit the skids financially (no pun intended – ed.)

*Choke, choke* What!!

The book really does a good job of tracing the highs (9 Bathurst wins; or 10 depending on who you speak to) and the lows (marital problems, crashes and financial woes; he was as well of as many people think) and as a read is generally quite enjoyable. But as I said at the top, I’m now confused as to how much I actually like him now.

Just before I go, the favourite fact that I read was involving the car that he sadly passed away in. He was driving a replica 1963 Daytona coupe. The original was designed by man called… any guesses? If you said Peter Brock, than you are right.

Ah, day-glow orange. One of my favourite colours





Stilnox Sure Yet

5 07 2012

Athletes competing for the Australian Olympic team in London this year have been banned from taking ‘Stilnox’. ‘Stilnox’, for those of you who don’t know, is basically a sleeping pill: and sleeping pills are for people who struggle to get to sleep.

This banning of the pill has come after revelations that former champion swimmer Grant Hackett admitted that he was addicted to it after being introduced to the pill in 2003. My question is though: was he addicted to the drug or was he addicted to sleeping? Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a good old sleep in? Particularly in winter. In fact there is even a scientific term for those who have an addiction to staying in bed, its called clinomania. In my experience, not many people know of this, so it makes for an awesome and plausible excuse as to why you may not have got something done. So next time you procrastinate a bit too long, just remember this.

Stilnox effects: kick in at the worst of times

Back to the issue at hand though, why did professional athletes have to use sleeping pills? Here are people who have a job that is envied by most of the general public. They get paid ridiculously large amounts of money (in developed countries anyway) and don’t have to do any tertiary study to get to where they are, and hundreds of thousands of people still admire their work and they can still acquire the tag of ‘role models’. So they can’t claim that it is through stress that they need it; they are under no more stress than you or I, and they choose to put themselves in the public eye. And they certainly can’t claim that it is because their health isn’t up to scratch; they’re getting paid to be in peak physical condition.

I’d put ‘money, money, money’, but you might then think that I like ABBA. I don’t by the way

I know that to be a professional athlete you have to be well rested, but that doesn’t explain why you need to take sleeping pills. My thoughts on the issue? Well I just think they mustn’t be training hard enough. Think about it; these are people who claim to have a gruelling regime that requires them to get up at an early hour of the morning and work for x many hours, rest and then go again. I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten up at 5 o’clock in the morning and gone for a half hours walks before to get to uni and then not returned home until 5:30 in the evening. After this walk, I never exactly engaged in what you would call strenuous physical exercise, but I was still tired when I got home and I had a wonderful sleep as a result.

I’d suffer clinomania with a bed like this too, you know

So I just think that Hackett was lazy and tried to cover up his clinomania with a pill. But in saying that, because he has got the pill banned, maybe he has done a good thing for society. I don’t know, it’s hard to say where exactly I stand on the issue. Although he was addicted to a pill, lived to tell the tale and has got it banned. All while swimming a few laps of a pool and getting paid big bikkies to do so; sounds like a pretty good life to me. As for the rest of his life at the moment, I’ll leave that alone I think.





Beauty Contest

9 06 2012

Here are the 44 best looking cars of all time (in my opinion atleast) in chronolgical order:

1934 Packard Twelve 1107 Coupe Roadster Convertible Sedan

1939 Delahaye Type 165 V-12 Figoni Cabriolet

1947 Cisitalia 202 Coupe

1947 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air

1957 Ford Thunderbird

1959 Mini Cooper S

1961 Jaguar E-Type

1962 Renault Alpine A110

1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA 1600

1965 Arbarth 2000OT

1966 Bizzarrini 5300GT

1966 De Tomaso Mangusta

1966 Ferrari 300 P3/4

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Coupe

1967 Lamborghini Miura

1968 Honda S800 RSC Race Car

1972 Fiat X1/9

1973 BMW 2002 Turbo

1981 Lancia 037

1987 Audi 90 IMSA

1990 Lamborghini Diablo

1992 Ferrari 456GT

1995 Ferrari F50

1997 Audi A4 Quattro 1.8T

1998 TVR Speed 12

1999 Pagani Zonda C12

2001 Aston Martin Vanquish

2004 Maserati MC12

2004 Porsche Carrera GT

2005 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione

2005 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

2009 Aston Martin Vantage RS

2009 Aston Martin Vantage V12

2009 Bugatti Veyron GS

2009 Ferrari 458 Italia

2010 Alfa Romeo Zagato TZ3 Corsa

2010 Aston Martin DB9 Volante

2010 Bugatti Veyron SS

2010 Hennessey Venom GT

2011 Aston Martin Vantage S

2011 Aston Martin Virage

2011 Lamborghini Aventador LP-700

2012 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

It was based purely on looks alone and nothing else





World Champion

7 06 2012

If you read my introductory post a few months back, you would know that I am not the sportiest person in the world but am more than willing to get in there and have a go. With the Olympics coming up soon, that got me thinking.

Why do will still keep official medal tallies? I got nothing wrong with handing out medals, if you’re in the top three in the world at what you do, good for you! But let’s be honest, we all pretty much know who’s going to end up on top.

Probably these guys

I say this because I love a good underdog story (I go for the Cronulla Sharks so of course I do. 45 years and counting. Come on Boys!) And who doesn’t? I always get more enjoyment out of watching someone who you’ve never heard of trumping the ‘champion’.

‘Up, up Cronulla’ has never been sung in October

So many people nowadays seemingly have heritage and bloodlines from multiple countries, and I have no problem with this, but when it gives you the chance to choose who you want to represent in sports, I think it’s a bit unfair. This belief may also stem from something that I hold close to my heart: State Of Origin.

It only happens three times a year

Over the years there have been many players for Queensland that are not actually from Queensland but claim dual eligibility. This came to light in recent times with the short ditty ‘That’s In Queensland’. This made me think about it on a bigger scale because I am eligible to represent many countries (if I was athletic enough). I could be Australian, Scottish, English possibly even German (as my dad was born there). So I have a pleasure that not everyone would.

Not only this, when watching the Olympics, we just want to be able to watch the best of the best, and that’s exactly what we get to do; so does it really matter where they are from? I had a thought the other day that went a little something like this: instead of having the participants walking around at the opening ceremony with their fellow countrymen and women, why not have them walk around with those who they will be competing against? So we’ll see all the shot-putters in a different group to the high jumpers. This means that we would then be able to appreciate the builds of the different participants that we’re going to be watching over the next fortnight.

This is where my idea gets a bit radical though. Scrap the national anthems. We all have favourite songs right? And we all love blaring them as loud as we can don’t we? Well, when someone gets gold, why not play their favourite song and encourage them to break out a few moves instead? Imagine the spectacle that would come with Usain Bolt dancing to the Black Eyed Peas’ ‘I Got a Feeling’.

I gotta feelin’ (I’m going to run a sub-10 tonight)

Also, we now live in the age of multiculturalism where many people emigrate from country to country but still hold onto values from where they originally left. These days it is neigh on impossible to describe a typical Australian without excluding some minority group in society, and for these reasons I think that a few changes wouldn’t go astray.

How I expect many people to react to what I just said