Demetriou sorry for dwarf laughing fit
AFL boss apologises for his on-air laughing fit after claims dwarf entertainer Blake Johnston was set on fire on Monday, saying he thought it was a joke.PT2M1S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2t25c 620 349 September 3, 2013
Paws for thought for Caro and Jimmy
There has been a litany of excruciatingly awkward moments in footy this year. Andrew Demetriou giggling like a schoolboy on learning that St Kilda players had torched a vertically challenged person in the name of post-season high jinks, Luke Darcy and Brian Taylor burning Sam Lane on Seven whenever she opened her mouth, Eddie's King Kong gaffe, and most episodes of The Footy Show and AFL 360 are a few that come to mind. But none of them hold a candle to a chance meeting in a leafy inner suburban park between Caroline Wilson, chief football writer for The Age, and defrocked Essendon coach James Hird, when both were taking their pooches for a frolic. In football parlance, Jimmy and Caro were playing wide of each other, taking advantage of the open green spaces until, unfortunately, their two canines took a shine to each other and, we're told, came together in the friendliest of ways. Pssst assumes relations were not as cordial between the owners given Caro led the charge against Hird and the Bombers during the supplements scandal at Windy Hill.
Too many callers?
One wonders why the most overexposed sports commentator in the country, Gerard Whateley, feels the need to also call thoroughbred races on the ABC. While his voice may grate with some, when it comes to matters of sport Whateley is well-researched, measured, articulate and eminently inoffensive on Fox, where he has the intellectual luxury of working alongside Mark “Robbo” Robinson, ABC's Offsiders and ABC radio. He even finds time to dash off a quick Saturday column for The Hun and has written a book on Black Caviar. But when it comes to calling races, Whateley should leave it to the experts. Pssst would like to remind Aunty that legendary callers including Joe Brown, Frank O'Brien and Greg Miles are etched in the nation's history, as are their commercial cousins, Bert Bryant, Bill Collins, Bryan Martin and Ken Howard, to name but a few. The craft does not need to be tarnished by part-timers.
Undaunted by scandal
Melbourne Victory chief executive Ian Robson is not a man given to hiding his light under a bushel. If Pssst is not mistaken, Robson is the same man who was the boss of Essendon at the time of the alleged supplements program and left Windy Hill in less than a blaze of glory not all that long ago. But there he was on radio, trumpeting the appointment of Kevin Muscat to take over as coach of the Victory from Ange Postecoglou. “Robbo” seems to have become an overnight expert on soccer and even espoused a long-term vision for the Victory, spouting all the usual corporate cliches – we think due diligence got a run around – acquired along the way. Why he even had the temerity to compare Muscat's appointment to that of Chris Scott at Geelong a couple of years ago. Muscat would not be making big changes but simply tweaking what is already there, and we all know that “led to a premiership”. We doff our lids to Robbo, a master salesman and self-promoter, if nothing else.
A sparkling attraction
The golf cathedral that is Augusta National Golf Club, venerated home of the Masters, prides itself on driving – and in most cases achieving – excellence. Still, it was a source of annoyance to the club that the bathrooms during the Masters were constantly being rated poorly by patrons. Maybe it was because the Masters Bathroom Committee – even at Augusta you have to start somewhere and work your way up – comprised a bank executive, two lawyers, a dentist and a doctor. Cleaning lavatories was not exactly their core business and, much to their joy, the club decided to outsource the task. A local cleaning franchise won the contract and Augusta National now has the cleanest bathrooms of any sporting event in the country. Not to mention the best “bathroom custodians”, who take immense pride in their job, Augusta's operations manager, Jim James, told Golf Management Australia's biennial conference in Sydney. So much so that one of them welcomes patrons thus, “Come on in. It's the cleanest rest room in the country and you could eat off the floor. But I wouldn't advise it.”
Prepared for ambush
Nobody does rejection well and that includes AFL footballers Heath Shaw and Paul Chapman, both of whom were still feeling a bit unloved when their new clubs, Essendon (Chapman) and Greater Western Sydney (Shaw), trotted them out for the obligatory media calls. Shaw said he was hurt when Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said there was no place for him at the club in 2014 even though he wanted to stay. We still maintain this one might come back to bite Eddie and “Bucks” on their backsides. Chapman revealed that his former coach, Chris Scott, told him he would more than likely spend most of the 2014 season playing at VFL level, regardless of form. That seemed odd, but “Chappy” said Scott is already wary of GWS emerging in a few years with a team of hardened youngsters, all with 100 or more AFL games under their belts. On that basis, Scott feels compelled to get 100 games' experience into the Cats' youngsters and avoid “ambush” down the track by the fledgling side from the harbour city. Based on the abysmal on-field showings to date by GWS, we think Scott must be looking at the future through a vastly different lens from the rest of us.
A scorching punishment
Tall tales of the punt continue unabated and nobody knows better than a few of this town's veteran racing scribes the manner in which the punt can “giveth and taketh”. So when this group of inveterate scribblers has a windfall, they flaunt it. Their pockets brimming with cash and their bellies full of strong drink, they had assembled in the upstairs bar of a well-known haunt for newshounds after scooping the pool at a midweek race meeting. They ordered beverages from the top and there was a kitty amounting to several thousand dollars on their bar table as they bet on whether the serial number on the $20 note each of them held in their hands ended in an odd or even number. They then proceeded to light their celebratory French cigars with the said $20 notes. Enter one of Melbourne's leading political writers, better known for keeping a rein on his own budget than that of the government. He was the last in his group through the door, a habit acquired to avoid having to buy anyone a drink. Immediately spotting, and smelling, the smouldering $20 notes in the ashtrays -- you could still smoke in bars in days of yore – our Scrooge tried to salvage them. To everyone's delight – they are a sick bunch in newspapers – he had his fingers burnt. The only person feeling sorry for him was a usually hard-hearted barmaid, who offered a soothing cream for his singed hands.
3 World Series titles in the past 10 years for the Boston Red Sox, who prevailed over the St Louis Cardinals in American baseball's showcase event. The Red Sox had endured an 86-year championship drought until 2004.
11.2 concussions per 10,000 games and practices, sustained by boys in the US who played high school American football. In contrast, college players received 6.3 concussions per 10,000 games and practices, according to medical studies.