20 THINGS YOU MISSED
Sporting success: all in the length of your fingers, reportedly. To be more precise, it’s the length of the index finger compared to the ring finger, what is known as digit ratio. A study by the University of South Australia found that a longer ring finger, and thus a smaller digit ratio, was associated with testosterone in fetal development, as well as better muscular development in boys. “Our study shows that boys with lower digit ratios have better handgrip strength and this is irrespective of their age or body size,” author Dr Grant Tomkinson said.
Best sporting crossover of the month? Think we were going to say Conor McGregor, who swapped the UFC’s octagon for a boxing ring? Nope – we nominate basketball star Stephen Curry, who teed it up in the Ellie Mae Classic on the secondary golf tour in the US, and shot a pair of 74s to finish eight-over. It was hugely impressive considering Curry doesn’t play that much golf – plainly, this is a dude with a talent for putting a ball in a hole.
The fans of the NBA’s Oklahoma CityThunder have started a petition to get their Kiwi big man Steven Adams to appear on Game OfThrones – and those who know what Adams looks like can guess his role should be as a Dothraki.
The boss of SevenWest Media, Tim Worner, went out of his way to try and bum out all of Australian sport this month: “I think it’s fair to say that sports rights have reached a tipping point in this country.” The network had just announced a $745m loss.
Sally Pearson won the 100m hurdles title at the IAAF Worlds in London, as gratifying a victory as any in her career after yet another return from injury. She also received two medals – this was the first event where coaches also receive a prize, and Pearson has been coaching herself.
Cyclist Shane Perkins, a 2012 Olympic bronze-medallist for Australia in the sprint, declared his allegiance to Russia. The 30-year-old from Melbourne, who missed out on Rio, is eligible to compete for his new country in Tokyo. Perkins knew to get the hierarchy on side, thanking Vladimir Putin.
Proof that sport isn’t scripted: Usain Bolt doesn’t win his last 100m at the world championships. Further proof that sport isn’t scripted: Justin Gatlin is the one who beat him. Why didn’t Bolt quit after Rio again?
The 2026 FIFAWorld Cup, widely thought to be a cinch for a joint North American hosting gig combining the United States, Mexico and Canada, has a rival bidder: Morocco. Cue the “rock the casbah” jokes.
The first day-night cricket Test in England is played, at Edgbaston. Alastair Cook plainly liked the pink ball, batting for 583 minutes. The entire West Indies team like it less, lasting for a total of 392 minutes at the crease in the innings defeat.
A review of the Australian Olympic Committee’s internal culture described the organisation as “dysfunctional” and “not aligned” with the Olympic ideals. AOC president John Coates, who staved off a serious challenge to his position last May, blamed executives who were no longer with the organisation.
The right-wing media outlet Breitbart published an alarming, or alarmist, story about Spanish gangs sneaking in illegal immigrants on jetskis. The picture they used to illustrate the story featured a man on the back of a jetski, which happened to be former German World Cup winner Lukas Podolski, now playing in Japan. Breitbart was forced to issue a gem of an apology: “There is no evidence Mr Podolski is either a migrant gang member, nor being human-trafficked.”
The Parramatta Eels scored the fastest try in NRL history, after Kirisome Auva’a crossed less than 13 seconds after kickoff against Brisbane. Said Auva’a: ““Wow, no way ... 12.88? That’s about how quick I run the 100m. I’d be one of the slowest wingers ...”
Ken Owens, a rugby international for Wales and the British and Irish Lions, said watching the All Blacks demolish the Wallabies in the first Test of the Bledisloe Cup made him feel better. The Lions went to New Zealand and were able to split the series with a win each and a draw – which did look impressive in the context of the 40-6 first half in Sydney.
A deal struck between Optus and Tabcorp returned broadcasts of the English Premier League to the pubs of Australia, which is great news for those blokes (and face it, girls) having a big Saturday night (or Sunday morning).
The Footy Show’s SamNewman criticises Bob Murphy for hogging the Western Bulldogs’ limelight in the Grand Final post-match last season, to universal condemnation. It’s almost like Newman can comprehend the idea of gracefully exiting the stage ...
Laurie Daley is axed as coach of the NSW Origin side after five years, although he does walk away with a series win to his credit. Later that week, St GeorgeIllawarra and Blues star Josh Dugan meets stricter discipline from his club than he faced from his state, held out of a critical match for the Dragons after missing the team bus.
Just to prove that, yes, baseball can be fun instead of stuffy and boring, the Major Leagues cut loose for a weekend and allowed players to put their nicknames on the back of their uniforms. Best of the bunch: “Beef” Welington Castillo, of the Baltimore Orioles.
Social players in the Diamond Valley Monday night basketball comp in Melbourne got more than they were expecting when a fill-in player turned up ... and it happened to be rising NBA star Ben Simmons.The 208cm Simmons didn’t hold back, either. One of his luckless opponents told a Melbourne newspaper: “We didn’t have any idea until we were warming up, but we’re all pretty big NBA fans, so we knew it was him when he rocked up.”
Have to appreciate Rafa Nadal’s honesty. When asked before the US Open whether he wanted to face Roger Federer before the final, the Spaniard replied: “I prefer to play against another one. Is obvious, no? Sounds very good, but the real thing, I prefer to play against another player, an easier one if it’s possible.” Curiously, the great rivals have never met in a final in the year’s last Slam.
Floyd Mayweather was denied placing a $400,000 bet on himself to beat Conor McGregor within ten rounds. Because, you know, the roughly $300m he was already making on the fight wasn’t enough ...