20 THINGS YOU MISSED
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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 ...
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?
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 ...