20 THINGS YOU MISSED

Inside Sport - - CONTENTS -

1

The In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee con­firmed its widely ex­pected split-de­ci­sion: the Games will head to Paris in 2024, and Los An­ge­les in 2028. It’s the IOC ef­fec­tively say­ing that it doesn’t have bid cities lin­ing up at its door any­more; Games-go­ers who pre­fer big cities to, say, built-up re­sort towns on the Black Sea will re­joice (that’s sports jour­nal­ists that you hear). It also means we’ll have three es­tab­lished Olympic cities in a row – do you hear us, Mel­bourne?

2

Favourite non-sport sport­ing tan­gent of the month: WAxit, the po­ten­tial se­ces­sion of West­ern Australia from the Com­mon­wealth.We know what we started think­ing: in­ter­na­tional AFL!

3

Can­ter­bury NRL player Josh Mor­ris stopped to field se­ri­ous ques­tions at a press con­fer­ence ... while dressed up as Thor for the club’s Mad Mon­day cel­e­bra­tions. Now that’s pro­fes­sion­al­ism.

4

Be­fore the LPGA’s Port­land Classic, for­mer world no.1 golfer Stacy Lewis pledged her pay­cheque for the week to her storm­rav­aged home­town of Hous­ton. Might have been the karma, but Lewis went out and won for the first time on tour in three years. She still ded­i­cated her prize of US$195,000.

5

In a Caribbean Pre­mier League T20 match, West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pol­lard bowls a no ball to end the match. Noth­ing wrong there, un­til you con­sider that St Kitts & Ne­vis opener Evin Lewis was stand­ing at the other end, and was left stranded on 97 not out.

6

The West­ern Force lost its ap­peal to the courts to avoid its ax­ing from Super Rugby, and megabucks pa­tron Andrew For­rest in­stead launched a six-team rebel com­pe­ti­tion with teams across the Indo-Pa­cific. “We will in­clude strong and deeply pow­er­ful play­ers, broad­cast­ers and fans of rugby all across the Indo-Pa­cific re­gion, where some 60 per­cent of the world’s peo­ple live on our time-frame right here in West­ern Australia,” For­rest said. Hon­estly, he might be bet­ter off fund­ing WAxit ...

7

French foot­ball club Mont­pel­lier finds the name on its team jer­seys is mis­spelled. In an act of supreme savvy, the club or­gan­ises to have them sent to the Ver­mont town of Mont­pe­lier.

8

Real Madrid’s Marco Asen­sio en­ters him­self into the weird in­jury an­nals, miss­ing his team’s UEFA Cham­pi­ons League opener be­cause he cut his leg shav­ing. “He has a pim­ple, which means he can­not pull his sock up,” said man­ager Zine­dine Zi­dane.

9

The one-up­s­man­ship over who plays first in the new Perth Sta­dium con­tin­ued. Af­ter the NRL an­nounced its sea­son-open­ing dou­ble­header there, gazump­ing the favoured lo­cal code, the AFL struck back, sched­ul­ing the Fre­man­tle women’s team match in Fe­bru­ary. They’re hop­ing for an AFLWrecord crowd – but they should re­ally ask the NRL about how empty seats in a 60,000-seat sta­dium looks.

10

The AFL changes is name to YES amid the same-sex marriage de­bate, and gets a threat­en­ing phone call that forces its of­fices to evac­u­ate. Carl­ton says it would take no po­si­tion on the is­sue, prompt­ing its fans to ac­cuse the club of be­ing weak. Sam New­man, pre­dictably, ram­bles on The Footy

Show about the AFL’s stance and gets into an ar­gu­ment with Ed­die McGuire. Ladies and gen­tle­men, demo­cratic dis­course in the 21st cen­tury.

11

Not even cham­pion sport­ing dogs can avoid the temp­ta­tions of fame ... Ir­ish grey­hound Clon­brien Hero, win­ner of one of the big­gest races in Ire­land, tested pos­i­tive for co­caine. Trainer Gra­ham Hol­land told a Bri­tish news­pa­per: “We feel we are be­ing vic­timised here for some­thing we haven’t done” – not sure if he was speak­ing for his dog, as well as him­self.

12

The Cleve­land In­di­ans set a base­ball record, run­ning up a streak of 22 straight wins. Throw in Char­lie Sheen wear­ing a bad pair of glasses, and this sounds eerily like the plot of the movie Ma­jor League.

13

Medals at the up­com­ing 2018 Pyeongchang Win­ter Olympics are said to be heav­i­est ever: golds will check in at 586g, which could cause a lot of Nor­we­gian hand-car­rieds to bulge this Fe­bru­ary. Have to won­der if the medals from Torino would have been heav­ier if they weren’t that stupid donut shape ...

14 The PNG Hun­ters won rugby league’s Queens­land Cup, a tier be­low the NRL. A great fil­lip for a tremen­dous league na­tion, and should they be­come re­ally suc­cess­ful, how about we rel­e­gate the NZ War­riors and put the Hun­ters in? 15

Not con­tent to leave the sport­pol­i­tics mash-up to the AFL this month, for­mer PM and league man Tony Ab­bott tossed the grenade into the NRL de­cider, declar­ing GF en­ter­tain­ment act Mack­le­more’s song Same Love was politi­cis­ing the event. An on­line pe­ti­tion cir­cu­lated, while Pauline Han­son re­quested John Farn­ham or Daryl Braith­waite. Mack­le­more had a sting­ing re­tort: “I’m get­ting a lot of tweets from an­gry old white dudes in Australia ... Imma go harder.”

16

In an en­tirely forsee­able meet­ing of the minds, Nick Kyr­gios and John McEn­roe bonded while rep­re­sent­ing Team World at the Laver Cup. Even af­ter the elder ten­nis brat crit­i­cised the new-age one last year, you could sense there was a meet­ing of the minds in play. Kyr­gios said McEn­roe shared sim­i­lar mo­ti­va­tions to their sport: “He said, ‘You know, it’s the same rea­son you play. It’s be­cause we are bet­ter at it than ev­ery­thing else that we do.’ I think we can re­late on many things.”

17

A Fin­nish 16-year-old will con­test Rally Australia in late Novem­ber. No word whether Kalle Ro­van­pera gets busted if he strays onto the roads sur­round­ing Coffs Har­bour.

18

Tas­ma­nia fi­nally gets an AFL team! Or, an AFLWteam. TheTassie Kan­ga­roos, a joint ven­ture of the Ap­ple Isle with North Mel­bourne, was one of six suc­cess­ful ex­pan­sion bids that will join the com­pe­ti­tion in 2019 and 2020. It’s al­most like they’re a real state ...

19

Perks of win­ning the Amer­ica’s Cup – you get to set the rules for the next one. So the New Zealan­ders have laid down 75-foot mono­hulls for 2021, but the in­trigu­ing one is the new na­tion­al­ity rule – one in five sailors must have a pass­port from that team’s coun­try, or be a res­i­dent. So much for all those Aussies sail­ing for the United States. But will they have a boat in the race?

20

Ben Stokes gets ar­rested, still gets picked for the Ashes squad, and Australia sad­dled up its moral high horse. Im­pli­ca­tions: we get to call Stokes the “com­bat­ive” English all-rounder, and David Warner is off the hook over that Joe Root in­ci­dent. Stokes was later sus­pended, but we re­ally should let him play – imag­ine the re­cep­tion he’ll get at the Gabba ...

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