Hipster All-Stars just pundits showing off
DELIVERING the obligatory annual snub to Stephen Cluxton isn’t even the daftest thing the All-Star football selectors did. There are always disagreements about the choices made, that’s half the point of the thing. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a selection which is quite so self-admiring and eager to draw attention to itself.
Take the placing of Colm Cavanagh at full-back for example. There is a huge difference between having to man the edge of the square and mark a full-forward and merely standing in front of it to cut out long balls. Why not reward someone who actually played in the fullback line? Cavanagh should have been selected at midfield and Brian Howard in the half-forward line.
But the ultimate proof that this is the Hipster All-Stars was the selection of Ian Burke ahead of Shane Walsh and Damien Comer. There’s nothing the self-important pundit likes more than banging on about the ‘unseen work’ done by players. Burke laid off some very nice stuff during the year, but pretending he had anything like the impact of Comer and Walsh is just showing off.
XANDER SCHAUFFELE’S victory in the WGC Champions tournament completes a stunning season for American golf. The Yanks won three out of the four Majors, all four WGC events, all four FedEx Cup play-off events and the Players Championship. The sole resistance came from British Open winner Francesco Molinari and overall FedEx Cup champion Justin Rose.
The almost total American dominance in Shanghai, where they filled seven of the top 11 places, underlines what a hollow sham Europe’s Ryder Cup victory was. In the aftermath of the win there was much nonsense about how it proved the Europeans possessed some kind of quality the Americans lacked.
But all Europe really had was an ability to deliver in a meaningless competition. When it really mattered, the Americans kicked our ass this year. Not for the first time the Ryder Cup was nothing more than a consolation prize.
AUSTRALIA’S Winx is a national icon in a way no other racehorse can match. Last week the seven year old mare burnished her legend by becoming the first horse ever to win the Cox Plate, Australia’s most prestigious race after the Melbourne Cup, four times in a row.
Winx’s record now stands at an astounding 29 wins from 29 races, 22 of which have been Group Ones. So it’s no wonder that the Aussies are sensitive about any slights casts on Winx’s achievement. Her trainer Chris Waller described British TV presenter Matt Chapman as “a bit of a dickhead” for suggesting Winx’s opposition has been, “fairly moderate.” That’s why we won’t mention that the Cox Plate runner-up Benbatl, who finished just two lengths behind Winx, came fifth in the Juddmonte International and tenth in the Queen Anne Stakes in her last appearances on these shores.