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Guest post

March 15th, 2006 6 comments

Reader Jane Harris addresses the vexed question “How many umpires?”, first in econospeak and then in verse. The occasion is an AFL proposal to allow goal and boundary umps to award free kicks.

Comments welcome (rhyming couplets please)
Read more…

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The great purge

March 9th, 2006 4 comments

The Brisbane Bullets have sacked their captain Derek Rucker, having already axed Daniel Egan and Lanard Copeland. It seems pretty clear that Bobby Brannen will go as well. While Copeland has probably reached the end of his stellar career, the others still have plenty to contribute. They seem to have paid the price for the fact that an all-star team didn’t live up to expectations. Given that all of them turned in some superb performances at times, I would have thought the blame for the team not coming together lay most obviously with the coach or management.

I grew up following suburban club football in Adelaide. In those days, there were occasional changes but, broadly speaking, you took on a club for life, either as a player or a follower, and vice versa. I know times have changed, but I can’t say I warm to the wholesale shifts that characterise Australian basketball in particular. Not only do players move all the time but clubs come and go at a great rate, mainly for financial rather than sporting reasons.

Having moved to Brisbane just after the demise of the Canberra Cannons, and just when Derek Rucker (whom I’d previously followed in Townsville) returned, I thought I was in for a bit of stability. Instead reform and structural adjustment are the order of the day. I’ll find it hard to muster much enthusiasm for the Bullets next season.

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The race is not to the swift …

January 29th, 2006 19 comments

nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.

Marcos Baghdatis put up an impressive fight, but ran out of legs in the end against the calm professionalism of Roger Federer in the Australian Open. Still, there’s always next year.

Update While we were all looking to Melbourne for an upset that never came, this was happening in Sydney.

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At home with the Bullets

January 4th, 2006 5 comments

Coming home from another great win for the Bullets, it struck me that the part of the season I’ve seen has been great. After a few early hiccups, they’ve won consistently, beating more highly-fancied teams with ease. The problem has been that, in the away games I haven’t seen, they’ve lost just as consistently. Tonight, for example, coming off a 30+ point loss at Wollongong, they beat an impressive Sydney Kings outfit by 13.

What accounts for such a huge difference between home (8-3) and away (4-10) performance. I’d like to think it was the crowd. But even if the days when the Brisbane Entertainment Centre was referred to as “The Library”, teams with more enthusiastic crowds seem to have less of a home-court advantage.

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