Welcome to the Australian sporting world’s equivalent of The Bermuda Triangle  because nothing of any consequence happens now and anything that does is sucked into a vortex and disappears.

The cricket season is over and at best, I’d suggest Australia’s report card would see us with a “C-” (I seem to recall we were beaten by South Africa and India but managed to beat Sri Lanka) but more likely it’ll show us with a “D” (I need say no more than Smith/Warner to explain that) and there are many who’d suggest that rating is high!  To quote Bett Britain (in a speech she made in late 1992 after one of her castles was fire damaged and several of her kids had marital problems) this cricket season could well be described as an  annus horribilis  and more could follow if CA reinstates  the recalcitrant pair  as if all is forgiven.  It isn’t and won’t be for a while!  And the football season hasn’t started yet so we’re adrift in a sea of boredom:  we have a large screen TV, many cartons of beer, a comfortable chair and possession of the remote but there’s stuff all to watch!!!!

Oh no!  Yes, MP, there is lots of soccer to watch!  Mate, we had this little chat earlier and while I’ve acknowledged the right of that game to exist and be played in this region I must  “recapitulate back to what I said earlier” (to quote my hero, “The Moose”) it’s just not my bag.  I should also mention the 2019 AFL Women’s competition has just begun and not only am I’m amazed their season is so short but the ladies seem to be happy with that.  I’m not, I think they should be playing the same number of games as the men in a full season but (if I were a cynic) I’d suggest the AFL is probably scared they’d drawn spectators from the men’s comp.  If pushed, I’d have to say I think it’s just a matter of time before the Women’s AFL competition expands and begins to present a real alternative to the established comp.

Golf of course, is also being played intimately at the moment and the format of the recent Victorian Open was of interest.  Both gender Opens were played together on two adjacent courses at 13th Beach on the Bellarine Peninsula.  I could tell you where that is but then I’d be contributing to your couch potato status and I know you’ll remember it longer if you go look it up, so off you hop.  Know where it is now?  ‘story.  The two competitions were integrated and by that I mean, each group of 3 or 4 men were followed by a similar group of ladies for the first two days when the field was cut by about a half and this is the normal procedure in golf tournaments.  The third day’s play was confined to just one course but with the male/female groups still happening with another cut in numbers taking place at the end of the day’s play.  The final day’s play then saw the best male and female players continuing the alternate groupings to the last putt where the prize money was the same for both the male and female winners!  It was an interesting format that we might see some more of down the track.

The big sporting news (for me) for the month however, was Super Bowl 53 – or “LIII” as the Americans like to portray it.  I knew the result early as it was in every news bulletin and also in one of those strips that creep across the bottom of our TV screens now a days.  Anyway, I’ve managed to flick through my recording and will do so again shortly at a slightly slower pace, so I can appreciate the game better.  It wasn’t the blow out many of the pundits had predicted and as the roof on the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta was closed, the weather wasn’t a factor.  Here in Oz a wet field for a football match is bad luck but in the US recently, ice and snow have been the norm in many regions and mounds of snow could be seen beside several fields during the playoffs where it had just been graded off to allow the games to be played.  Tom Brady (the Patriots quarterback) is 41 years old and in a sport where 35 is thought to be almost ancient, Tom is seen as a marvel and when he muses he’d still like to be playing at 45, folk are listening.  He has played in 9 Super Bowls and won 6 of them!  It’s a fair bet the Americans have never heard of our Heather McKay and her run of squash wins but can you think of any other sportsperson who has had a run similar to Tom’s.

Was quite surprised recently as I flicked idly through the sports section of my Sunday paper, to be confronted with a two-page spread on the 2019 Rugby season.  Despite the thrashing the sport took (alright, alright, that’s a bit harsh – I’ll start again.)  Despite the thrashing  The Wallabies  took during their recent tour, it appears they intend to go ahead and play the sport again this year!  You gotta admire their puck.  That said, you’ve also gotta question their sanity, but to each his own!


Talk at you later,


The Hillside Critic

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