And here we all are, heading at what seems like breakneck speed, towards another Christmas and I’m still trying to get over last Christmas!  Does anybody else have the feeling that time is really flying?

So I had an e-mail from a reader (let’s call him  MP) who was concerned by the reference I made to soccer in my last rant.  Sorry MP, but soccer is just not my bag. 

That hundreds-plus parents herd hordes of ankle-biters onto soccer fields and then also volunteer to supervise the game in this neck of the woods is to be commended, however it’s just not my thing.  For your sake and for the sake of the editor of this internationally acclaimed newspaper I’ll try to modulate my comments about the game but please, miracles are rare.


It dawned on me recently that just about all Australia’s sports teams have a nickname:  The KangaroosThe WallabiesThe MatildasThe Boomers,  The Cockroaches  and  The Canetoads!  So prevalent is the trend my wife’s nephew plays in a soccer team made up of medical folk and their team is called  The Docoroos!  It’ll come as a surprise then, when you consider our men’s cricket team doesn’t have one, though the ladies’ team does,  The Southern Stars.  I know it’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it so I’ll have a shot at the finding a moniker.  It has to have an Australian flavour of course, and have something to do with what, or how, they perform in their selected sport.  (Insert an hour’s thinking time here.)

Okay, I’ve got it!  I hereby name the Australian Men’s Cricket team  The Galahs.  You heard it here first.

What else can I say when, over the last year or so, they’ve run the full gamut of results – lost to South Africa, sandpapergate, a series loss to Pakistan, and now they’re at home facing South Africa (again) and a resurgent India!  Want to bet against them living up to their newly minted nickname this summer?

And before anybody else writes (please MP, not another e-mail) I’m certainly not calling for Smith or Warner to be reinstated:  in my book they’re both gorn for good!

It’s an old saying with  The Galahs, it’s easier to get in than it is to get out, and I know members of the team are playing in Sheffield Shield matches at the moment and they’re doing pathetically.  In case you haven’t been checking, both Smith and Warner have also been batting pathetically.

My solution?  

We’re rebuilding at the moment and setting up for the next World Cup, so why not select some younger players and stick with them!  Failing that select several of The Southern Stars, they’re doing quite well at the moment!

I notice The Wallabies  (for those of you who were late in, they play Rugby though I prefer to call it  cross-country-wrestling  and I’ve sworn a blood oath not to watch it ever again) are having a bit of a torrid time of it during their current overseas trip.  Yes, they did beat the      Italians, but that win has to be seen in context and I’d imagine a comparable team here in Oz might be the Cundletown Jets Under 10’s (if such a team actually exists).  They were beaten by Wales (I think, but who’s really paying attention?) but they began their tour playing The All Blacks (that’s New Zealand for non afficionados) in Japan.  That game was the third in this year’s  Bledisloe Cup  (some called the game  Slaughter House Three) and I really am at the point of wondering why the ARU bothers.  We beat Italy!  Whoopee, doesn’t everybody?  It would have been a much cheaper trip if they’d have played  The Mitchell Island Old Boys!

TV Spoilers

Spent several days watching the Australian Open Golf tournament from Sydney and it was of a surprisingly high standard.  Watching it on TV however, was ruined by the constant jabbering of The Dribblers.  I lost count of the number of times one of them would chirp up and say something like,  “His tee shot is fading to the right.”  The TV picture I was watching had water on the right and I’d think, Oops, hope that ball can swim!  They’d then flick to another camera to show a ball bouncing along the edge of the fairway hard up against (I think) The Southern Cross Freeway!  Where’s the water?  Yep, The Dribblers  got their view wrong again and I was tempted to turn the sound off and listen to the radio pros.  Where do they get these TV turks?

And what was my favourite couple of sights recently, I hear you ask ?  Well, I play golf and it was great to see a hole-in-one in the Oz Open.  I’d like to say I’ve nearly done it but in truth the closest I’ve ever come is when I miss-hit a chip and the ball was only about 2 metres from the hole.  Sadly, those 2 metres was straight up and the ball continued for another 30 metres before coming to rest in a patch of Sahara Couch!  The other?  Well, The Oz Open Tennis will take place in January and The Fed  will be there.  Saw him play a backhand in a match in Europe t’other night and it was a dream to watch.  Can’t wait for the summer tennis.  I’ve already booked my seat in front of the idiot box.

Festive greetings, talk at you later,

The Hillside Critic

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