By Max Burford
Summer is coming to an end and it won’t be long before the freshly-mown cricket pitches around Adelaide are replaced with the customary mud-ridden centre squares and big sweaty bodies of footy season. With that image in mind, let’s keep our minds out of the gutter and take a quickfire look back at the summer of sport that was…
The cricket was a joke. After losing an entertaining and close series to South Africa, fans were regularly treated to the equivalent of a grade cricket side playing against hapless opponents in Sri Lanka and the West Indies. All that was produced were rare moments of individual brilliance, a stack of injuries and an overwhelming feeling that Australia is going to have a very bad time at the Ashes later this year. Shout out to the Aussie women who recently took out the World Cup over the Windies, though. Would not be shocked to see a few of those girls forcing their way into the men’s test side in the near future.
Australia’s own tennis Grand Slam always throws up plenty of excitement for viewers as they sit in their air-conditioned homes and watch a bunch of people slave away in the baking sun for two weeks. In between the 24-hour rolling coverage of where exactly that guy from LMFAO was at every second of the day, the tennis was spectacular as always. As per usual, the Aussies all laid down in disappointingly quick time throughout the singles draw but our doubles combos proved much more successful with Matty Ebden and Jarmila Gajdosova (as Australian a name as it gets) flying the flag all the way to a mixed doubles title.
The prestigious Sydney Hobart yacht race happened once again on Boxing Day…and that’s about all I can say for sure on that topic.
Over in the US, the NFL season reached an exciting climax as the Baltimore Ravens held off a fast finishing San Francisco team in a Super Bowl that featured the now infamous power outage. Unconfirmed reports still coming from New Orleans saying that power may have shorted after 200,000 locals simultaneously searched “Beyonce nude pics” online after her halftime show. In the meantime, the NBA season is now in full swing with the Thunder, Heat and Spurs once again leading the way. LeBron James is a lock for MVP after a ridiculous year so far and Dwight Howard is a lock for most mentally unstable human being on the planet after going through more mood swings in six months than a pregnant mother. NHL, America’s third big winter sport, finally came back to us after months of infighting about players’ money postponed the start of the season. Despite not having Coach Gordon Bombay, Charlie Conway, Goldberg or a team of loveable misfits this year, the Anaheim Ducks are leading the way with the Chicago Blackhawks challenging them in the West.
In other news you may have missed, some bloke named Lance Armstrong got told off by Oprah for using banned substances to help him jump higher on her couch and every single sports star in Australia spends their free time rolling in piles of illicit drugs and deer antler spray. Well no, not quite. But you could be mistaken for getting that impression from the media. Essendon is still not in the clear after a controversial ‘supplement routine’ was revealed. When you have a bloke nicknamed ‘The Pharmacist” working in conjunction with “The Weapon” under a coach often referred to as “God” then accusations of doping become even more credible. As for every other professional team in the country, you get the feeling that this story has definitely not run its course yet so keep an eye out.
The world game (soccer, football, wogball, whatever you prefer) is still going strong. In Australia, Adelaide United are in the process of throwing away their good start to the year in the hope of garnering some earlier holidays. Overseas, Manchester United are dominating the Premier League, Bayern Munich, Juve, PSG and Barca are all on track in their respective competitions, while crowd favourites Lecce are sitting pretty at the top of the Italian 3rd division, no doubt looking forward to their triumphant return to the top flight in 2014/2015.
Check out Armchair All-Star next week as we look forward to the AFL season ahead featuring a full preview, some surprise predictions and some Kurt Tippett love for all you forgiving Crows fans.
Image courtesy of The Age