Luke Hodge and the PR Machine

When Luke Hodge leads the Hawks onto the MCG this Friday night, it will represent a triumph of public relations and corporate skulduggery.

He shouldn’t be there. It’s as simple as that. He should no longer be Captain of Hawthorn, and he certainly shouldn’t be running out onto the field this weekend.

This will happen... and that's a shame.

This will happen… and that’s a shame.

For two reasons:

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Which World Cup is the Best World Cup?

With only days to go before the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the entire nation of Australia is rallying to support the Wallabies. The streets are being painted Green and Gold, the media coverage is saturation-level, and fans around the nation are obsessively following Twitter for any possible lineup changes or news from the Wallabies camp.

HAHAHAHA Just kidding of course… Hardly anyone cares!

Aaah yes, rugby, the backward passes and the... touchdowns?

Aaah yes, rugby, with the backward passes and the… touchdowns?

Which is a shame, because the Rugby World Cup is awesome.

I would go so far as to say it’s the BEST WORLD CUP IN SPORT!!!

I don’t mean the best literal cup… although it does have curves in all the right places.

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American Arrogance and the Hayne Plane

Despite my well-documented disinterest in both Rugby League and American Football, I admit I’m interested to see the Jarryd Hayne experiment play out.

Hayne, you may know, abandoned the NRL last year (where he was a superstar) and is currently attempting to make the NFL (where he is a no-name novelty from overseas).

You've got to admire his ambition and desire... even if it is a dumb sport.

You’ve got to admire his ambition and desire… even if it is a dumb sport.

So if I don’t like the sport he played or the stupid sport he’s trying to play… why am I interested in Hayne’s progress?

Because of American arrogance and condescension. It bugs me.

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Punting the Punt

In 1993 I bet $1 on Vintage Crop to win the Melbourne Cup. I was in primary school at the time, and was with my Dad as he braved the ridiculous crowds at the local TAB to place a handful of modest bets. A couple of hours later at the Cup Day BBQ, I watched as some horses ran around a track, and afterwards someone told me I’d won about $5. I was thrilled. When it turned out to be $16.20, I was beyond ecstatic. Yes, I still remember the precise amount, more than two decades later.

It remains the highlight of my gambling career.

They based this scene on my reaction.

They based this scene on my reaction.

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The 2nd Ashes Test – The Things That Go Unnoticed

Shane Watson and Brad Haddin’s absence from the 2nd Test brought some fans joy, ambivalence or anxiety. Many were joyful at Watson’s overdue dropping from the Test team. Haddin left himself out for family reasons but with a very capable replacement and poor recent performances, we are not too upset. However I am leaning towards feelings of anxiety…

Seems about right

Seems about right

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LeBron James owes Matthew Dellavedova a house

Most people don’t know who Matthew Dellavedova is, but Aussie basketball fans will recognise “Delly” as the Aussie who is currently playing alongside the world’s best player LeBron James for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA.

It was a flamin’ dropbear, wasn’t it LeBron?! I told you to watch those buggers. Hang on a sec I’ll get a box of paddle pops out of the esky for your noggin’.

Delly also has a particularly strange reputation on Twitter. More accurately, it’s been how his reputation has changed over time that is strange. But I’ll get to that.

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Rajon Rondo and The Alpha Spectrum 

I will always be a Rajon Rondo fan.

Yes, he no longer plays for my beloved Celtics, the greatest franchise in basketball.

But he is still a captivating, frustrating, unquantifiably irresistible NBA player.

He plays in a way we’ve never seen before. He is totally unique in NBA history. He is an NBA Champion, All-Star, and an elite player at the league’s most competitive position, Point Guard.

Rajon Rondo, certified MoTD ManCrush™

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Ethnic ties have held football back in Australia

A few years ago at work I was asked to show around a new employee, a young Englishman named Michael.

We got to talking and it emerged that Michael was a recent arrival in Australia, and was here to play football semi-professionally. He’d come to Australia to study, but was also playing football for a Victorian Premier League club, who were paying him a small stipend for his work as a central defender.

Weird that so many young English people end up in Australia, right?

Weird that so many young English people end up in Australia, right?

I asked him to compare the quality of the play in England to Australia, and his responses were generally predictable:

  1. England has a higher overall standard of play.
  2. Australia has surprisingly good goalkeepers though.
  3. English leagues are quicker.
  4. Australians are more aggressive

His next point was the one that, I admit, caught me off guard:

  1. There is too much ethnicity wrapped up in Australian football.

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AFL Grand Final Preview 2014 – Hawthorn v Sydney Swans

Every Grand Final Preview essentially is trying to crack the question: who will win the big game? This simple yet somewhat challenging question can baffle even the most expert minds. And at the end of reading these previews you can be scratching your head, seemingly no closer to understanding why Expert Person A has tipped Sydney by 12 points, or why Expert Person B has picked the Hawks in a nail-biter.

Who won’t be fake-smiling at 5.30pm on Saturday?

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The NRL is terrible

That a Melburnian doesn’t like the NRL is not overly surprising.

Ugh. Gross.

After all, I grew up being force-fed a steady diet of AFL, and being told that Rugby League is a rubbish sport. To be honest, I still believe Rugby League is a rubbish sport.

But I will take it a step further: The NRL head office, clubs, players, and fans are all awful too. Yes, based on recent evidence, even the fans are awful.

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