AFL: Zombie bump lurches back to life
At this point, the bump is a zombie, spending most of its time six feet under, lurching up to surface for the odd day trip. We’ve finally reached a consensus, though: you can bump, but don’t hit the bloke’s head, unless you’re playing the ball, and bent over, or can’t avoid contact, or you’re bumping his head into another bloke’s head, or…BRAINS…
Richmond may as well have fielded a team of zombies – then they might have had an excuse for the atrocious goal-kicking that let them down against Paul Roos’ Melbourne team, who, despite all those malicious rumours, appear to be an actual football team.
NRL: Knights blame tight Tink for wage stink
Schadenfreude is ugly, but so is not paying your employees, which is why everyone’s having a great time taking pot-shots at Newcastle Knights owner Nathan Tinkler this week. Tinkler, who I’m legally obliged to describe as a former billionaire, stooged Wayne Bennett, Darius Boyd and the masseuse last week, and Knights supporters want him gone – the NRL are considering it, too.
Big Nath’s a big-picture guy, though: when you’re doing big-picture stuff, like digging coal out of the ground – huge, big-picture lumps of coal – nitty-gritty issues like safeguarding the tiny livelihoods of your miniscule employees tend to slip one’s expansive mind. That, and the ATM was out of service when he stopped by on the way to training, and I swear there’s a huge wad of cash in one of these pockets, and I transferred it yesterday, hasn’t it come through yet? That’s weird. It should have come through.
Football: Fun in the sun for long-suffering guns
A glacier-loosening cloud of carbon dioxide went up in sunny North London over the weekend, as long-suffering Arsenal fans breathed a collective sigh of relief. The brave, plucky Gunners, that frailest and flakiest of international sporting juggernauts, finally broke their nine-year trophy drought with a nervy extra-time victory over mighty Hull City. Hull, who are yet to win a trophy in their 100-plus years of existence, were the fall guys in this powerful, redemptive tale, a tale of one man, a dream, a back-up dream, and a wage bill of around £150m.
Meanwhile, Mile ‘Jedi’ Jedinak has been handed the Socceroos’ captaincy for their upcoming three-game tour of Brazil’s provinces. Congratulations, Mike!
Cycling: Australian does something good
Cadel Evans has wound back the clock in the Giro D’Italia, or, to be more precise, he has wound forward the pedals on his bike using his feet. He has done so very quickly, too, quicker than any of his competitors. This has led to some nice men offering him a pink jersey, and being a thoroughly modern guy, Cadel was only too happy to wear it. Then some nice women wanted to give him a big kiss, so impressed were they with his pedal-winding skills. Cadel was pretty freaked out, but he didn’t want to cause a fuss, so he went along with it. What a nice fellow that Cadel is.
Motorsport: Australian did something great
Jack Brabham pulled into the great pit lane in the sky this week, after clocking up an impressive 88 laps of the sun. Now, The Week In Sport is all about the chuckles and the japes, but this is a man worthy of every accolade thrown his way – the biggest, plumpest, free-range accolades on offer – so we’ll be paying Jack the respect his achievements deserve. Three F1 championships is impressive, but when you consider that Brabham famously won his final championship in a car that he had designed himself, the man’s achievements start to appear a little absurd. To put it in perspective, it’s as if Gary Ablett Jr had hunted a kangaroo, speared it, tanned the hide, cut and stitched the leather, inflated the bladder, and then kicked the winning goal in a Norm Smith-winning Grand Final performance.
Hats off, Jack.
Things to look forward to…
There’s only one more round of sprint ‘n’ bop before Origin 1, and it’s not exactly a vintage round. It’s a variety of mismatches and mid-table spats. With the exception of the Canterbury Bulldogs, the entire top five will be sitting it out with a bye. Nathan ‘Tightwad’ Tinkler’s Newcastle Knights will also be an enjoying an unpaid vacation.
Over in the aerial ping pong, Port Adelaide will be the latest team to measure themselves against wounded premiers Hawthorn, and after tearing through Freo before the bye, they’d be fancying their chances.
Elsewhere, it’s mostly cannon versus fodder, though GWS suddenly have an opportunity to roll over a Tigers side with some serious…BRAINS…