Monday, 11 April 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Canberra Raiders

"There's no use in denying it: this has been a bad week. I've started drinking my own urine."
--Patrick Bateman

Ok, so that was just an excuse to quote one of my favourite books of all time but honestly, I haven't felt this down since I watched Season 2 of Skins in one sitting. Having spent most of the week trying to absorb insufferable uni tripe, I had high hopes for the packed sports weekend. Unfortunately:
  • The Raiders continue to play with about as much discipline as Ron Artest, Schalk Burger and Happy Gilmore combined, slumping to their fourth consecutive loss to the lowly ranked Panthers. Matt Orford is shortening in the race with Jarryd Hayne for the 'Worst Season by a Former Dally M Winner' award, while I find myself constantly glancing at a Road to Wrestlemania type clock counting down the seconds til Terry Campese's return (at the time of print it stood at around 4,814,748s. And counting). I do feel a bit sorry for Ox - it's not his fault the club brought in a 5'9 half with no running game and a 25m kicking range to replace a 6'1, 101kg five eighth who can dropkick 65m, punt 70m and barnstorm through defensive lines by himself. Its like trying to plug Standley Chasm with some Selleys No More Gaps. Speaking of plugs, I will accept cash donations in exchange for a bit of product placement - I will be waiting eagerly by the phone Selleys.
  • In the Malaysian GP, Mark Webber's car suffered a KERS failure on the formation lap, so not only could he not use the additional 80HP all race, but he also had to carry around 30-40kgs of dead weight that did not provide any assistance or entertainment the entire race. Mark must now know how Indiana Jones felt in the Temple of Doom (note: I am NOT referring here to Short Round - one of the more underrated sidekicks of all time). Despite dropping seven places at the start and performing an additional pit stop than the other front runners, Webber produced a great drive to finish 4th.
  • While Webber was rallying, everything was falling into place for Boy Wonder Vettel. First Webber's KERS was 'accidentally' broken by a Red Bull mechanic (I may be paraphrasing a bit here), then Heidfeld held up Hamilton, then Petrov held up Hamilton, then Hamilton had a poor pit stop, then Hamilton held up Button, then Alonso hit Hamilton - all allowing Vettel to cruise to victory. It would be great for racing fans that, instead of seeing battles for 3rd and 4th place we see drivers jockeying for the lead. Conspiracy theorists will also point to the fact that Vettel's KERS worked fine at the start of the race... The movable rear wing seems to be helping the cars reduce drag down the pit straight, leading to much more exciting racing and plenty of overtaking opportunities. Maybe even Vettel will be able to pass this year without hitting someone if need be. Great qualifier and frontrunner - not so great a racer.
  • I officially handed in my resignation to NRL Tipping (a little like this) when I realised I almost broke four knuckles and my replacement phone in a fit of rage after Manly's buzzer beater against Cronulla. I don't ever want a reason to care about a Manly-Cronulla game that much again. That said, Anthony Tupou's brain fade to go for an intercept when 13-12 up on Manly's likely final play ranks up there on the Dumb Decisions Scale with JT giving Russell his Immunity Idol in Survivor: Heroes vs Villains and Matt Dunning's late field goal when the Tahs needed a try to advance.
  • Uate, my $13.20 pick in the Inglis Stakes got beaten on the line by a nose after setting the pace.
  • Tottenham got embarrassed by Real Madrid at the Bernabeu to all but end their Champions League hopes. Peter Crouch suffered an identity crisis and not only thought they were playing at Fenway Park, but also forgot he is an uncoordinated, 6'7 lanky striker and got booked twice in the first 15 minutes to earn himself an early shower. Hopefully Harry will offload him to his 11th club in 11 seasons. Why on earth was he lunging twice in opposition territory in the first 15 minutes of the away leg of a vital tie?!?!?! Give yourself an uppercut with your Inspector Gadget like arms.
  • The Celtics received a good old fashioned schoolyard beat-down by the Bulls who officially clinched the #1 seed in the East. The only thing missing from the win was Carlos Boozer giving Big Baby Davis a severe pink belly, Keith Bogans noogie-ing Ray Allen's polished melon and Rajon Rondo leaving the United Centre in tears after Derrick Rose dacked him in front of the world. That last one actually happened (metaphorically at least).
  • Jason Day and Adam Scott fell just short of claiming the Masters, which was won by a South African bloke I have never heard of. Overnight leader Rory McIlroy suffered a Greg Norman type day down the stretch to card an 80. CBS also won the award for 'Theme Song for a Sporting Event Most Likely to Put Early Morning International Viewers back to Sleep' .
  • Neshen cost me a fortune by winning our weekly Buck Hunter contest not once, but twice. Reports of a huge betting plunge on Nesh at $4.50 in the rural town of Griffith are being investigated by police.

I suppose it wasn't all bad. On the bright side:
  • Gobias Industries (my NRL DreamTeam) are pulling away from Karl's Bilbul Bandits after he decided on a Kendrick Perkins type trade leaving him with interchange prop Tariq Sims scoring a paltry 9 points for the side. Cam Smith continues to produce bumper DreamTeam scores, amassing a whopping 76 points despite being substituted for the last 8 minutes (Parramatta played so poorly that Bellamy could afford to rest his guns). On that note, Melbourne look to have the same hunger this year as Clubber Lang in the first 30 min of Rocky 3 - still paying $8 for the title...
  • The Oklahoma City Thunder continue to gain momentum heading into the playoffs, taking the Northwest Division (earning me $360 in the process after winning in Denver at 1-10) and smoking the Lakers down the stretch today 120-106 at the Staples Centre. With LA and Dallas stumbling heading into the playoffs, it seems absolutely absurd that OKC are still at $11 to win the Western Conference. Speaking of absurd, Miami are still $2.62 favourites to win in the East, despite having only three guys, no rebounders, a rubbish bench and no big men. I also use the term 'three guys' very loosely; if the Miami season was The Hangover, LeBron and Wade would be Phil and Alan (providing 95% of the value and entertainment) and Bosh would be Doug (gets top billing with the other guys, quality at times, incapable of carrying the film alone, goes missing for extended stretches and his buddies are always trying to find him). After Thursday's game in Chicago, the Bulls look specials for the Eastern Conference at $2.85.
  • The Brumbies broke their five game losing streak by sneaking home against fellow cellar dwellers The Hurricanes, the Reds are on top of the Super 15 after a tough win in Cape Town, and the Swans screamed home like Black Caviar down the stretch to record a win against arch rivals West Coast.
  • Shane Watson belted a few sixes as Australia beat Bangladesh in a couple pointless One Day International I'd wager 85% of people either didn't even know took place or didn't care. We just lost the Ashes and the World Cup in the space of three months but jeez we looked good against the #9 ranked ODI side... 

  That brings an end to this cathartic diatribe. Check back next week for possibly a Doncaster Day retro diary (including a Patrick Bateman like analysis of Chathu's wardrobe) and maybe even an NBA playoffs preview.


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