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?
I asked him to compare the quality of the play in England to Australia, and his responses were generally predictable:
- England has a higher overall standard of play.
- Australia has surprisingly good goalkeepers though.
- English leagues are quicker.
- Australians are more aggressive
His next point was the one that, I admit, caught me off guard:
- There is too much ethnicity wrapped up in Australian football.
Posted in Soccer, Sport
Tagged Bobby Despotovski, Croatia, Ethnic Ties, football, Football Federation Australia, Melbourne Knights, Racism, Serbia, Soccer, Victorian Premier League
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?
That a Melburnian doesn’t like the NRL is not overly surprising.
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.
Last night a glittering second half hat-trick from Alexis Sanchez saw Arsenal prevail over Hull 3-1, and left me buoyant. The world’s colours shone brighter, food tasted better, and I had a spring in my step.
Encouraged by their solid display, Arsenal immediately changed shirts and backed up for another match (a hugely impressive feat) only to be decimated by a Manchester City shaped steamroller, 6-0.
Shattered… vulnerable… I put down the PS3 controller.
And two minutes later…
Posted in Soccer, Sport
Tagged Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, EASports, FIFA Addiction, FIFA14, football, Hull City, Laurent Koscielny, Liverpool, Manchester City, Pablo Zabaleta, PlayStation, PS3, PSG, Samir Nasri, Video Game Addiction
The coccyx, pinky toes, ear muscles, the appendix, wisdom teeth and the Commonwealth Games. What do all these things have in common?
Posted in Basketball, Netball, Olympics, Other, Sport, Swimming, Uncategorized
Tagged 2014, Anchorman, Appendix, athletics, basketball, Breaking Bad, Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, Gold Coast, Gold Medal, Ian Thorpe, Michael Phelps, NBA, Netball, Olympic Games, Olympics, Opening Ceremony, Ron Burgundy, Science, Scotland, sport, Sports, Swimming, Usain Bolt, Wisdom Teeth, World Records
In my opinion, Brian Lake should have been dragged in front of a Magistrate, not the Match Review Panel.
The Hawthorn defender is currently serving a 4 week suspension for choking North Melbourne’s Drew Petrie. Choking. That means he consciously and violently attempted to deny Petrie oxygen. Check it out.
Posted in AFL, Basketball, MMA, Sport
Tagged AFL, Barry Hall, Brad Fox, Brent Staker, Brian Lake, Campbell Brown, Choke, Crime, Drew Petrie, Fights, Houston Rockets, Kermit Washington, Law, Los Angeles Lakers, Match Review Panel, NBA, Punches, Rudy Tomjanovich, Thug, Tony Lockett
Two days ago we saw one of the most incredible games in World Cup history, with Germany annihilating Brazil 7-1 in the Semi Final.
The game and its implications will reverberate for years to come. People will remember where they were when the Brazilians were humbled. Hundreds of millions of people around the world watched as a German team with cliche-levels of efficiency completely dismantled the home nation on one of the biggest stages possible.
Cheer up kid. Maybe you’ve got some German *ahem* ancestry…
Posted in AFL, Soccer, Sport
Tagged A-Legaue, AFL, Australian Media, Brazil, Channel 7, FIFA, FIFA World Cup, Gary Ablett, Germany, Herald Sun, Hooliganism, Jack Watts, Journalism, Media, Melbourne, Melbourne Media, Soccer Hooligans, World Cup, World Cup Semi Final
Being a sports commentator is a hallowed and sacred position in the Australian sporting landscape.
We have our preferred commentators, we have those we can’t stand, and we have commentary that becomes synonymous with moments in time.
Jesaulenko, you beauty.
Leo Barry, you star.
This, is a famous victory.
Oh it’s a wonderful moment in Kaiserslautern!
But I have a problem with Australian sport commentary. And it struck me during Australia’s recent World Cup matches, which I watched at 2am while involved in numerous simultaneous SMS conversations with friends also watching the matches.
Posted in AFL, Basketball, Soccer, Sport
Tagged AFL, Analysis, Bruce McAvaney, centimetre perfect, Commentary, commentators, Dennis Commeti, EPL, Garry Lyon, Grantland, NBA, Zach Lowe
Friday it kicks off – the big dance, the big show, the main event. THE WORLD CUP! Every 4 years we set our body clocks to nocturnal and enjoy the extravaganza that is football! Now at this time you can read any type of preview imaginable – from your basic break down of each team and their star players to ones that can state which team will win based upon the selections of an ocelot.
Case in point
So at Mike or The Don we have stripped back all the fluff and have compiled arguably the most comprehensive form guide to give you all a slightly different perspective of each team’s chances heading into the World Cup. Continue reading
Posted in Soccer, Sport
Tagged Australia, Australian football, Australian soccer, Brazil 2014, Brett Holman, Cristiano Ronaldo, football, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Soccer, socceroos, Tim Cahill, World Cup, World Cup 2014
Here at Mike or The Don, we think the FIFA World Cup is the greatest sporting event on earth.
We are stocking up on Red Bull, napping at the office, and experimenting with not-quite-legal medication in an effort to retune our body clocks to Brazilian time.
Most pundits are writing off Australia as having no chance. We are not most pundits.
We’ve done the homework for you, investigated our competition, and have come up with this sure-fire, can’t-miss, lock-it-in-eddie guaranteed plan that will win Australia the World Cup.
Allow yourself to imagine those hands belong to Mile Jedinak!
Laughable, you say? Well, let’s break it down, MoTD-style. Continue reading