Monday, December 10, 2012

Xmas Stocking Full of Surprises

Over the past couple of days I’ve opened more emails asking about Infarkt than 2Day FM has received hate mail.   

Since I’d loathe being on the back end of a public outcry over something as simple as prank calls, royals and Darwin’s theory of natural selection, I thought it appropriate to bang out a few hundred words in a special Xmas edition of Infarkt, looking at the main headlines since my last post in mid-October. And there’s been a hell of a lot happening in the weird and wonderful world of sports.

Lance is a confirmed dope, Punter finally got punted, the independent municipality of Parramatta was on the cusp of being occupied by Israel, Man U wobbling their way to the top of the EPL, the ADP experiment with SFC has gone FUBAR, Quade Cooper wanting to practice pugilism, F1 and men’s tennis exciting their fans till the very end, and RDM following AVB with a quick EXIT at CFC. All the while Brendan Rogers is still in phase one of a three year project that will take Liverpool from the cusp of contention to mid table mediocrity.

So let’s dive into our Xmas stocking a little early and examine in greater detail some of the lovely little sporting presents Santa left us at the back end of 2012.

Man United goes X-rated

Q. Who goes down quicker than Jenna Jameson?
A. Manchester United

Q. Who comes from behind harder than Ron Jeremy?
A. Manchester United

I used to love the inevitable Man United comeback - always exhilarating, always exciting, and in many ways, always inevitable.
  • Down 1-0 against Liverpool in the 1999 FA Cup with two minutes to go. 2-1 at fulltime. No sweat
  • Two early goals by Juventus in the Champions League before Fergie had a chance to sit down and pick his nose. 3-2
  •  Down three zip to Spurs at halftime during the 2001/02 season. Five United goals after the break
  • And the mother of all comebacks. ECL final versus Bayern. Stoppage time had ticked over. Lothar Mattheus was on the bench with his pants down getting a Euro Champ tattoo on his arse. Then in the blink of an eye the Teddy and Ole show broke their hearts. Breathtaking.  
This year they’ve spent their entire season coming from behind to save or win games, but unlike the Devils of yesteryear, the 2012/13 model resembles Basil Fawlty - bumbling, slow, incoherent and irritatingly enjoyable. If we weren’t six points clear at the top of the table I’d be poking my eardrum with a sharp 2B pencil. Come of you Reds!

Location, location, location: A couple of weeks ago Israel withdrew from Blacktown with a view to invade Parramatta. Local authorities tried desperately to cut a deal in order to arrange for a peaceful occupation, but totally buggered up the negotiations. In the meantime Israel saw more value in an assault on Randwick, leaving Parramatta free to fight another day.

To be perfectly honest the real winners in the Folau saga are the Eels and the GWS Giants. GWS no longer carries the burden of a useless player with a monster salary. Meanwhile the Eels avoid having a backline of Izzy, Hayne and Hoppa looking on in frustration as Chris Sandow fails in every metric applicable to being a quality halfback. In the losers corner the ARU has picked up another overpriced league convert who has demonstrated no passion or real desire for union, and will stick around long enough to cash a few cheques while meandering on the wing without touching the ball.

It’s not often that I applaud the bumbling buffoonery of the Eels management or NRL hierarchy, but on this occasion I view it as a blessing in disguise. Now if the brass at Parra has any sense at all they’ll use some of the cap space they’ve cleared to sign a backrower capable of busting the line and offloading.

A needle in a haystack: And so it comes to pass. After seven consecutive victories at Le Tour, hundreds of millions of dollars raised in cancer awareness programs and thousands of rumours about performance enhancing drugs, Lance Armstrong, the poster boy for hope and  aspiration, has been outed as perhaps the worst drug cheat since Soviet gymnast Ana Bolic’s testicle popped out her costume.

For all the cycling junkies out there I strongly recommend you add Tyler Hamilton’s ‘The Secret Race’ to your Xmas shopping list. Absolutely fascinating read – I say that even though I downloaded it as an audiobook and listened to it on my phone.

ADP = FUBAR: I copped a lot of flak from the fanatical football community at the Roar when I had the gall to poke a bit of fun at the Del Piero signing, claiming Sydney FC might sink faster than the Titanic due to the lack of quality surrounding Il Pinturicchio. To all of you haters out there...eff u!!! And no I don’t hold a grudge.

Momma said knock you out: Quade Cooper has recently re-signed with the ARU, so his little flirt with boxing is probably a thing of the past now. Unfortunate because I would have loved to watch Cooper get his arse kicked by a semi-drunk taxi driver. Ex-leaguies in the ring is a joke half the time, but at least they’ve experienced some bodily punishment through the whole tackling process. A rugby player…especially a back…entering the ring is hilarious. This is a guy who is allergic to tackling and avoids physical contact like the plague.

Who moved my cheese? Nole Djokovic followed up one of the greatest seasons in tennis history by retaining the number one crown. Considering the points he had to defend 2013 might have been the greater accomplishment. A Grand Slam title, two GS finals, five Masters Titles and some absolutely epic encounters with Roger, Rafa and Andy. Yet his greatest achievement may be this:

Temporary turmoil: While it’s not unusual for a club to announce a temporary manager, in most cases it’s an assistant thrust into the top job until the end of season when a real manager can be appointed. Not so Chelsea Football Club though, firing the guy who just won the Holy Grail and inserting Rafa Benitez with the title Interim Manager. Having Benitez on a temporary basis is about as useful as a hooker with a nut allergy.

How the mighty have fallen: The Aussie selectors finally bit the bullet after Ricky Ponting’s Stevie Wonder impersonation versus South Africa. In slipping and sliding around the crease desperately reaching for the ball he resembled a heavyweight entering the ring one too many times. Great career and hats off to Ricky. On the other side the world Sachin Tendulkar faces similar questions about his place in the Indian team. Unfortunately though the Indian selectors have one less ball than Lance Armstrong, and would never consider asking this cricketing deity to declare his innings. With no Indian youngsters knocking on the door with a bucket load of runs in the long form of the game, Sachin could well bat on for another decade.

Share and share alike: UEFA recently announced its plans for Euro 2020 to be hosted across the continent in multiple countries, which for each host city is like hearing from your girlfriend you’ve got the biggest d#ck amongst all your friends. Great news but…

And so I bid you all farewell for 2012 and wish you all a safe, healthy and happy new year, and an enjoyable Xmas…especially those lucky enough to follow the Julian calendar.

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