SPORTS REVIEW – 2ND EDITION 25.07.2017

So, I would like to start off today with some amazing sporting achievements that happened this past weekend.

THE TOUR DE CRAZY!

Lets talk cycling. To be completely honest with you I am not what you would call  huge fan of cycling. In the past I used to take an interest in the big races like to the Tour de France etc. however the whole Lance Armstrong compulsive cheating and bullying debacle left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth and ultimately slid cycling down my priority list of interesting sports. In saying that I still finding myself keeping an eye on it from time to time.

You just have to respect the athleticism shown in this sport overall and in particular in the Tour de France. The TDF features 21 days of grueling cycling with only 2 rest days in between clocking up a total of 3540km racing. WHAT THE ACTUAL F6??? 3540km… I’ll say it again 3540 KILOMETERS. And we are not just talking about a leisurely bike ride through the countryside either, we are talking about flats, hills, mountains, cobbled roads, sprints, massive downhills, rain, sun, bumping, elbowing, accidents and some serious injuries to boot. In my opinion, this sport is the total and ultimate test of both physical and mental toughness, the pinnacle of human endurance and whilst I don’t follow it closely, I have mucho respect for these athletes (bar the ones, of which there have been many, who were caught doping over the years).

This brings me to this years TDF champion and now 4 time champion Chris Froome. What a completely dominant race he had this year. I believe he only lost the yellow jersey (this is the jersey worn by the overall leader of the TDF on any given day) for one day of the entire tour, so for 20 days of the 21 days he was in the lead. That is AMAZEBALLS. Whilst acknowledging Froome’s amazing achievement we must also give credit to Team Sky, as although it may not seem like it, cycling is actually a team sport and there is a lot of preparation and team strategy that goes into completing a victorious tour. Team Sky did an wonderful job from top to bottom and definitely deserved the win and the accolades. In winning this years TDF Froome is now 5th in the all time winners list and should he compete and win again next year he will join the elite group of 5 times winners of which there are only 4, possibly the greatest riders of all time. Should he accomplish that you would have to say that he no doubt deserves the distinction.

* It is important to note that Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France 7 times, but they were taken away from him when it was revealed that he is a CHEATING, LYING, MANIPULATIVE PIECE OF SHIT.

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THE OPEN:

Again with a mind to being completely honest in this blog, Golf has not been a sport that I have followed in great detail over the years, however I do have a good overall understanding of its history and try to stay current when it comes to following the big tournaments.

One of those “big tournaments” took place from last Thursday to Sunday at Royal Birkdale in the northwest of England. THE BRITISH OPEN. It was a pretty crazy spectacle which started in horrendous weather conditions, brutal winds and rain causing several delays and the most challenging of golf. By Friday things had calmed down somewhat and golf as we know it started to take off with great days to follow.

The excitement all came to a head on the final day. Only two golfers in with a real shot of winning the title. Overnight leader and young sensation Jordan Spieth and fellow American and surprise package Matt Kuchar. This is how it rolled out. Spieth had a three shot lead at the end of play on day 3, and day 4 begins. In the first 13 holes on the final day, Spieth conspires to BLOW THE SHIT out of his lead and ends up 1 shot behind Matt Kuchar on the run in. THEN, Spieth decides to wake the hell up (with a little help from his caddy Michael Grellar) and went on an amazing 5 hole run to recapture the lead and win The British Open by 3 shots in the end. An amazing achievement from an amazing young talent.  At the age of 24 he has already won 3 of the 4 major tournaments and you wouldn’t say it will be long before he completes the grand slam.

Hard luck to Matt Kuchar, I really felt sorry for the dude. Gave it a really good shot and just came up short. Beaten on the day by a more talented golfer. Whilst I am sure he is greatly disappointed I am sure the $1.1 million dollar 2nd prize will help soften the blow somewhat.

Keep an eye out on Jordan Spieth, he has the potential to become one of the greatest of all time if he keeps on his current path. I said on the Friday that he would win the tournament and so he did.

I realize today what a dumb ass I am for not dropping a little wager on it. Hindsight hey!

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WOMEN’S WORLD CUP OF CRICKET:

It was so great the last few weeks being able to watch and follow the women’s world cup of cricket. For so long the women’s game has remained deep in the shadows of the mens (not only in cricket but in many other “man dominated” sports the world over) but I got the impression the shackles may have finally been broken allowing women’s cricket to break free and gain the respect they have deserved in recent years. This past tournament, held in England, featured exciting and skillful cricket. The competition was fierce, with teams going all out to try and win and the quality was outstanding. Again a complete breath of fresh air, a tournament that everyone enjoyed and you could see that by the crowds who attended throughout as well as the “sold out” final which took place over the weekend.

The only negative, ENGLAND WON. I am sorry, but being a proudly raised Aussie I am just incapable of celebrating in anyway an English victory, just not gonna happen. You could black bag me, ship me off to Guantanamo, put me through all sorts of razor blade, bamboo or water torture or even threaten me with a “cock-meat sandwich” and I would still not lift a finger in celebration of an English victory. I was wishing with all my being that India would win the final, especially after knocking Australia out at the semis, but it wasn’t to be.

Jealousy and bitter rivalry aside one has to say that England were the best team throughout the tournament and thoroughly deserved to lift the trophy. One has to say that. Just not me… 🙂

Looking forward to seeing further strides forward in the women’s game in years to come.

Women's Cricket World Cup Final - England vs India

FOOTBALL TRANSFERS, MONEY SURELY BETTER SPENT ELSEWHERE.

It seems in the current climate in football, where there is more money, there will be more extortion. For me that is the most accurate way to describe the state of the current football transfer market. In simple terms, football clubs are being held to ransom over player purchases which ultimately means that a RIDICULOUS amount of money is being spent both collectively and individually on football transfers and to be brutally honest, I am disgusted by it. Let me give you a few examples of the kind of over inflated football transfers we have already seen this summer..

Romelu Lukaku moved from Everton to Manchester United in a move that could eventually cost over €95 million, Kyle Walker from Tottenham to Manchester City for €50 million, Benjamin Mendy from Monaco to Manchester City for €55 million, Alexandre Lacazzette from Lyon to Arsenal for over €50 million, Federico Bernadeschi from Fiorentina to Juventus for €40 million, Andre Silva from Porto to AC Milan for €38 million and so on and so forth…

And the latest rumors fresh off the wires are that Neymar might go to PSG for €200 million and Kylian Mbappe may go to Real Madrid for €180 million.

This is just the tip of the iceberg here and we are talking about current purchases to the value of over €600 million. By the end of the summer transfer window I would not be surprised at all if football player purchases in England alone reached in excess of €2 BILLION. Now, is it just me or does anyone else out there think that this is just fucking crazy? I mean come on…. the situation has gone bonkers and something has to be done to stop it immediately. Some kind of limit, cap, regulation… something… otherwise it is just going to keep getting worse and worse and worse.

Now I am not stupid (most of the time), and I understand that clubs are now getting a lot more cash flow coming in due to improved television deals and most clubs now have a global outreach in terms of fans and merchandising. Add to that multi million dollar sponsorship deals and I think its safe to say the clubs have money to spend. BUT, and here it comes (your gonna think I am totally crazy here), are you ready for it? How about instead of fucking spending double on a player just because you can, how about halving the price of a ticket so normal everyday working class fans can afford to both come and see a match and feed their god damn children? How about only making 100% profit on a brand new replica kit instead of 200%? How about doing more to ensure the future of the game overall by investing some of the money in low level grass roots football in their local communities? Bloody radical thinking I know.

Now, if we think these were good ideas, who would we rely on to help enforce them and embrace a new legislation that will secure the future of the game for clubs and fans alike? How about FIFA? Corrupt as fuck. The English FA? Incompetent, inadequate and arrogant. Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio? Hmmmm yeah right.

Basically what I am saying here the situation ain’t gonna change but god I wish it would. I wish from the bottom of my heart that one person would come into the game and start enabling positive change, one person to inspire others to challenge the system, one person to stand up and say we can all do better and we can all be better. Unfortunately until we find that one genuine leader it will be a case of SAME SHIT DIFFERENT DAY.

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I guess it will just have to be another idea for me to keep in mind for the further development and future of PLANET OZ.

 

 

 

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