Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
The 'Jab and the Kings slug it out tonight for a final's berth against the Royals. Punjab are captained by Yuvraj Singh, famous for hitting six sixes off an over of 20-20 from hapless Pom Chris Broad. No such heroics from him in the IPL however; the star has been Aussie Shaun Marsh who is the tournament's leading runscorer with a whopping 593 runs from his 10 matches. He has an average of 74.13 which when coupled with his strike rate of 139.86 = pain for bowlers. Chennai's leading wicket-taker Manpreet Gony, along with Makhaya Ntini and Murali will be looking to curb the destruction. Personally I hope Marsh hits Murali out of the ground every ball. And I hope Yuvraj, Hopes, Pomersbach and co. follow suit. Warne is putting Murali to shame in the IPL. Murali is Warney's bitch. But I digress. For the Kings, Captain Dhoni leads the batting stats and is supported by an under-rated batting line-up including Fleming, Patel, Morkel and Raina. They come up against the IPL's second best bowling attack with Sreesanth, Chawla and Pathan among the top 10 wicket-takers. Should be a cracking contest.
Betting: Punjab $1.55, Chennai $2.45
The Daredevils come into this match, having scraped into the final 4 - denying preseason darlings the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings in the final week. Whilst much has been made of the Daredevils being a lucky finalist given the clearly superior Indians lineup; the runs are on the board. The Royals have seldom looked like anything but the best team in the comp. This flies in the face of preseason pundits who had this team as close to the worst in the competition.
The Daredevils boast one thing in abundance: Strikepower at the top of the order. In Sehwag and Gambhir at the top of the order, this must be considered a strength for the Daredevils. Both will definitely handle the conditions - another plus. As good as Sehwag is to watch, the Professor's tip is that it will not be long until we declare that the best batsman in the world is: Gautam Gambhir. Handles all conditions with ease. Looks poised. Hits all over the wicket. Will take Tendulkars mantle very soon. The Daredevils bowling is off and on. The Maharoof is on fire a potential key here.
The Royals, who have made it clear will do this without Australian hero Darren Lehmann, will come into this game as deserved favourites. Led by the unbelievably effective 20-20 stylings of Graemi Smith and Shane Watson with the bat and the bowling of the unhearalded Tanvir and the genius of Shane Warne with the ball - this team was built for 20-20. Can we see the pirate superstar Dimitri Mascarenhas tonight?? That's the big hope at WHAB HQ. In short, a team without the massively big names of other franchises (at least in quantity), but with massive ability.
How Shane Warne never captained Australia is beyond me.
Take the $1.72 on the Royals if you are betting.
$25 on Brisbane/Canberra/Melbourne(13+) @ $4.97
$25 on Adelaide/Melbourne Demons/Melbourne Storm @ $4.57
$30 on Marasco, PR7 no.1
$20 on Absolut Glam, BR8 no.6
$5 NRL highscore Storm/lowscore Sharks @$56.70
$10 Raiders/Panthers/Titans/Tigers @ $34
$15 Tigers (1-12)/ Storm @ $4.51
$20 Adelaide/Geelong/Collingwood/Sydney/Storm @2.08
$50 on the Daily double (racs 6/8 at Eagle Farm) Absolut Glam into Heavenly Glow.
The Waratahs $3.50. $10 on that.
Have the Tahs again but this time into the NAVY BLUES at $6.50. $5 on that.
Manly-Penrith-Parramatta triple $10
Gold Coast <13 $25 @ $3.70 Oh yeah, that's The professor's BIG LOCK!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
We'll now have a look at the distance events or staying races in horseracing parlance.
1500m: The King of middle distance running Hicham El Guerrouj has retired leaving Kenyan-turned-Yank Bernard Kipchirchir Lagat and Kenyan Daniel Kipchirchir Komen at the top of the ranks. I'm guessing that Kipchirchir means Smith in Kenyan. The third highest ranked runner this year is also Kenyan which brings me to the conclusion that Kenya must be a pretty boring place if pounding pavement/dirt track is their prime source of entertainment. Any Aussie who did Little Athletics will tell you that running 1500m sucks balls which is why we have no runners in this event at the Olympics.
3000m Steeplechase: The least high-profile Australian medal hope at Beijing will be Donna MacFarlane; this is because she is in the silly event which is the 3000m Steeplechase. Personally I am looking forward to the 'Chase. With immovable hurdles there is a great chance for some carnage; a poorly timed leap could leave a competitor well and truly impaled. There are also water jumps. I have no idea why. It doesn't make sense to have water jumps unless the runners are wearing bowling shoes which would provide the possibility of more maimings. Another idea would be to fill the water jumps with sting rays. Imagine Donna MacFarlane coming down the home straight to pass an ailing Kenyan, who has a sting ray barb going right through her foot, for the gold!
5000m: If the lights go out during the 5000m final at the Bird's Nest, that lone runner you'll see is Craig "Buster" Mottram. He is Australia's best athlete by far; he can actually beat the Kenyans sometimes! Buster was disappointing at last year's World's but was carrying a hamstring injury. If he can run 13th while injured, imagine what he's going to do if he's fit for Beijing! Go Buster!
20km and 50km Walk: Walking as a sport is absolutely inane. Especially when it's an ass wiggling, hip swaying nonsense where the athletes are in dire need of a trip to Hog's Breath Cafe. Nonetheless two of the Australian men, Nathan Deakes and Luke Adams, are ranked in the top 10 in the World and are medal hopes. I just can't get excited.
Marathons: Don't expect too much from our marathon team at the games. Lee Troop should stick to the City to Surf. Benita Johnson is having her first crack at the marathon...in the Beijing smog. Not the smartest move I would have thought given the best marathon runner in the world, Haile Gebrselassie, is giving the Beijing marathon a miss saying that if he runs he will probably get emphysema and won't be able to sing Happy Birthday to his kids when he retires.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Notorious Olympic boxing winners include Muhammad Ali (1960), Joe Frazier(1964), George Foreman (1968), Sugar Ray Leonard (1976) and Lennox Lewis (1988).
Luke Boyd (NSW) [51-54kg bantamweight]
Paul Fleming (QLD) [54-57kg featherweight]
Anthony Little (WA) [57-60kg lightweight]
Todd Kidd (QLD) [60-64kg light-welterweight]
Gerard O'Mahony (ACT) [64-69kg welterweight] (c)
Jarrod Fletcher (QLD) [69-75kg middleweight]
Brad Pitt (VIC) [81-91kg heavyweight]
Daniel Beahan (QLD) [+91kg super heavyweight]
If communism can produce one thing, its Olympic boxers. In the Athens games Cuba dominated winning 5 of the eleven gold medals, Russia winning 3 and the USA winning only one gold, equal to that of Thailand and Kazakhstan. Australia have never won a Gold medal in any of the boxing divisions - ever. Our closest efforts were that of a silver medal in 1908 by "Snowy" Baker and a silver in Seoul (1988) to "Spike" Cheney. In fact Spike's efforts in 88 was the last medal Australia has won in boxing, while the biggest achievement in the sport was that Australian Tony Madigan lost to Cassius Clay (Ali) in the Semi-finals of 1960.
Can O'Mahony and the boys lift gold in Beijing? Not likely, but you know when you watch boxing that someone is going to get the shit bashed out of them - old school, and isn't that what the Olympics are about? Mono v mono, champion v champion, 8 minutes of pain and only one gold medal, fire up Australia, its the Olympics.
If we were to discuss the finer points of all 15 track events at the Beijing Games I would be old and grey by the time we finished. So here's a brief overview of each.
100m: Jamaica's Asafa Powell is the world record holder mon but Tyson "I'm Not" Gay is the 2007 World Champion. There is speculation that Powell chokes on the big stage, finishing a disappointing 5th at Athens when favourite and being beaten into 3rd at the World's by Gay. The Americans seem to be trying to convey some sort of subliminal sexual message with Walter Dix joining Gay at Beijing. Australia are a fat, slow and generally white nation. We are without individual representation and relay teams in the both the 100m and 200m in both the men's and women's. Shirvo and Patrick Johnson are our fastest runners and they are old and not really that fast. Shirvo is white and Johnson is not black enough. Tough times.
100m/110m Hurdles: In the 100m hurdles (women's) Sally McLellan is being tipped as a dark horse for a medal for Australia. In the 110m (men's) we are once again too slow. Hopefully there are some awful stacks with faceplants and body parts getting tangled up in hurdles; have a sneaky fiver on McLellan "doing a Bradbury".
200m: "I'm Not" Gay is also 200m favourite. His main opposition comes from Usain "In The Membrane" Bolt and Wallace Spearmon. And where there's Gay, Dix seems to follow. After running the second fastest 200m ever last year, look for Gay to give Michael Johnson's WR a nudge. Australia's last chance to scrape into Beijing in this event was disqualified for turning up to his final tryout like this:
400m: This is expected to be a one act affair. Watching this guy blitz his opposition is even more fun with a Swedish race-caller. Go to Youtube and type in Jeremy Wariner, Stockholm for a look. Wariner is tipped to go close to Michael Johnson's WR of 43.13 at Beijing. Aussies John Steffensen, Shaun Wroe and Joel Milburn will be looking to cause a massive upset. In the women Tamsyn "Jana Is Such A Bitch" Lewis will compete for Australia though the 800m is her pet distance.
4x400m: The Aussie squad includes the three guys mentioned above as well as Dylan Grant and Clinton Hill. Thanks to Hill's kick-ass final leg at Athens, the boys were able to grab silver which they'll be looking to emulate. Chance of beating the U.S and grabbing gold...zero.
400m Hurdles: Jana "Tamsyn Is A Slag" Rawlinson's event. She is two time World Champion but is still looking for that Olympic gold after her well publicised injury dramas before Athens. Loves the camera does Rawlinson. Waiting for another poorly timed soap opera before Beijing. Otherwise should be in the mix for the Gold medal.
800m: The best thing about the 800m at Beijing is:
Although Tamsyn is the reigning 800m World Champion, she'll start as underdog with the bookies behind Yelena Soboleva. No doubt will start favourite amongst teenage boys though. Australia also are represented in the men's by Lachlan Renshaw.
Next edition: 1500m+
Anyway, we can kind of assume that the field events will throw some decent viewing at times, but nothing that will glue us to our screens in the way that Archery or Judo can.
Australia's best medal hope appears to be in the Pole Vault, with Steve Hooker a good chance in the mens and Kym Howe a good chance in the womens event. Sure to be compelling viewing if you are into the pole. I know JB is.
Will do my best to come up with 10 good reasons to watch athletics field (only 8, wish I was high):
8. Hammer throwers make me feel like a serious athlete.
7. Feels like your primary school sports day all over again. Watching Aussies get their asses handed to them makes it feel like your primary school sports day all over again.
6. The Decathlon. There are always mediocre athletes that slip through into the games. Watching them be medicore in everything from 100m sprints to the Shot Put to the Hammer throw is awesome. No mercy in the Decathlon.
5. Staying with my favourite field event, the decathlon: It is heaps of fun watching one of the lean decathletes who dominate the 100 metre sprint get their asses handed to them in the hammer throw.
4. Wondering what this years miracle drug is... What will the Chinese be injecting into themselves this year. Shaved Tiger Penis? An aphrodesiac and makes you run faster. Go CHINA!
3. Maths geeks like me get half a fat over the decathlon scoring system. Makes Duckworth/Lewis look like little bitches.
2. Do you dig big Girls???? There will be plenty of large lasses on display to get your fetish juices into a frenzy in the hammer throw! Motor Boat that, Biatch!
1. Lesley Brannan, who throws that stereotype out the window.
Monday, May 26, 2008
USA and Brazil have dominated the medal tally winning 5 out of the 6 gold medals on offer since the Atlanta games. The sport rose to fame on the gold medal winning efforts of Natalie Portman and Kerri Pottharst in the Sydney games who had won bronze at the previous Atlanta games.
Reasons to watch are obvious, and the game is pretty good as well. While you may be on the edge of your seat hoping for a nipple slip or the likes, the fast pace, quick scoring will hold your attention to the end of the match and potentially for the entire games.
AFL Tipping proved the secret of my success. That baffles me somewhat, as there is not that much that I like about the game. Our good friends at sportingmind discussed a ranking of the four Australian football codes on a recent post. For me, AFL is a distant last. My order looks like this:
I love Union having played for many years. I love watching the game, I love playing the game. Soccer recently overtook league in my eyes. It's a harder thing for me to sell to myself at Origin time but typically I would prefer to watch some good soccer than league. Especially with the mediocre commentary that we get. The feature of my top two codes is that they have a valid international focus. Will be getting to heaps of Sydney FC games this year, and stoked to see my team in England promoted to the Premier League on the weekend! Go HULL!
AFL, as I said a distant last. I am sure it would be fun to play... I enjoy watching it when there is no better sport on. It is a clear winner over ANY form of motor racing. It may not be in keeping with the idea of someone who writes a sports blog but motor racing sucks balls. If I have the option of watching a replay of the Simpsons softball episode that I have watched 100+ times or the motor racing, go Simpsons. Ken Griffey and his grossly swollen jaw and all that. I would prefer an uncomfortable chat on the couch with my lady than watching motor racing. It sucks balls. That's all.
Some guy, lets call him Dick Johnson driving a V8 Supercar. It's Bogan and Boring!
Not as "bogany," but equally mindnumbing. Some other guy drives an F1 car. Let's call him David Coulthard. I know it isn't but at least that guy was at least hitting this:
And now hits this:
Anyway from the weekend, Hull's move to the top flight has been my favourite piece of sports news. Not too long ago, these guys were playing in div 3. Apache Cat is a superstar of the highest order. If the Titans can go to Leichardt and almost steal the points they are a SERIOUS football team.
A big piece of news from WHAB headquarters: We have been spending a lot of time covering high profile sports. However it occurs to me that we could do some work adopting and covering a team at the grassroots level. If you play in a sporting team - the worse the better - email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and suggest your team for the WHAB treatment. Coaching Controversies at 8th grade level?? You bet we want to hear it.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
With one look at this physique, the short answer is no. But let's have a look at the two main challengers.
Rafael Nadal does Roger Federer's head in on the clay. Federer has only one victory against him in nine matches on the surface despite having opportunities in many of those matches. If they clash again here and you're on Federer, don't get too excited if he cruises through the first two sets. The likelihood of him winning from there is not much better than it is before play starts. Federer's problem with Nadal is that he can't put him away. When the Fed Express is in control of a match, nine times out of ten his opponent won't offer too much resistance but Nadal is the ultimate fighter who believes he can win from anywhere.
Novak Djokovic has already signalled his intentions to Federer and Nadal; he wants to be World number 1 by the end of the year. His first Grand Slam win at the Australian Open and a recent victory at the Rome Masters have him high on confidence. However, he has not beaten Nadal in four attempts on clay and was beaten in three sets in the semis at Hamburg just two weeks ago by Nadal. One gets the feeling that he, like Federer, just can't match it with Nadal over a best of five sets match on the most gruelling tennis surface.
It is very difficult to see the winner not coming from these three. Fourth favourite is Nikolay Davydenko who couldn't possibly win. It's more than likely that he'll go down under suspiscious circumstances (with betting on the match suspended worldwide) to a relative unknown, with shady Russian Mafia-like characters scattered through the crowd. You then go out to David Nalbandian and David Ferrer at $41. The best roughie looks to be Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at $201. Although clay doesn't appear to be his best surface, he is sure to have the home crowd pumped up and could get on a roll to take him deep into the tournament.
The 2008 French Open will be the last for one of the most popular winners at Roland Garros, Gustavo Kuerten. The French crowd fell in love with "Guga" who was French Open winner in 1997, 2000 and 2001. Kuerten's trademark victory celebration was to draw a giant love heart in the clay, which wooed the Parisians with a case of the Frenchy fag-nasties.
Some say the French Open is boring. Purists say it is enthralling, a battle of minds, tactics and physical endurance. The sliding and the angles. The fact that you won't get ass-punched with your bets by dodgy line calls. No need for hawkeye here people. For those of you who don't yet appreciate claycourt tennis, do yourself a favour and watch as much as you can of Nadal en route to a fourth successive French Open crown.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Not bothering to split my tips into Sport/Racing this week. I have me $100 to play with and I am going to make quite the killing.
Did we mention that JB won last week? His punishment posts for us are a Synchronised Swimming preview (me) and Rhythmic Gymnastics for the Captain. We will be posting those previews when they come up in the alphabetical cycle.
Would love to tell you to back Helideck in the Doomben 10,000 but Weight For Age is a massive test. Let's get one thing very clear though. You should get some $$$ on the Deck for the Stradbroke before the weekend. The Deck will enjoy a 7kg swing on Apache Cat, dropping to 52 kgs and I think will be almost unstoppable at that weight if it holds its form. Any sort of promising run tomorrow will see the Deck shorten into clear favouritism. The $8 is going to be fun while it lasts.
Anyway, on to my last $100. I will have $15 on Reigning to Win for the 10,000.
$20 on the double Hurricanes - Waratahs at $4.31
$20 on the Navy Blues into the Swans at $4.37
$10 on Hawthorn to be pushed by the Demons and win by less than 25 at $5.10
$15 on Cocktail supreme in BR3 - a ridiculous price of $11 at the moment. Can someone please explain to me 1) why the Cocktail is not favourite or at least b) why it is carrying less than Main Vein under handicap conditions.
$10 on Eskimo Dan in BR6
$10 on Helideck
Would love a bit more time this week to continue the good form proper, as it is will give something for you all to think about as you lay out your hard earned.
$50 Win on Rabbuka in Race 4 at Randwick
$50 Multi with Manly/St George (1.39), Melbourne/Souths >13 (1.92), Geelong/Collingwood (1.21), Hawthorn/Melbourne (1.05 and don't for the love of life think that this will be close, if the final score is close it is because Hawthorn have opted for early showers), Bulldogs/Kangaroos (1.48) total paying $5.02
After two unlucky weeks that have completely pissed me off it's time to get back on track!
$35 on the Cat in the Doomben 10,000! That's BR 7 folks.
$15 on Key Bar Nights in BR4.
$20 on the Manly/Melbourne/Crusaders/Waratahs at $3.52.
$20 on Hull City @ 2.30 to win the Championship playoff vs Bristol City.
$10 on San Antonio to beat the L.A Lakers in Game 2 @ $3.30.
Good luck to all, hope you can't close your wallet on Monday morning!
PC: Probably not here.CC: Will be pretty easy to catch here. Trainer Pat Duff has even conceded that he is in the field because there is good prizemoney down to fifth. Just not quite in the class of some of these other runners.
PC: I don't really know what to do with this guy. Came back and put in an okay run. Probably wasn't suited by the heavy. Probably found the Cat over 1200 far too sharp first up... All that could help him reverse the 2.8L result. Would love to have seen a run between then and now though. Or a trial. Or something... Heavy Hitter Bowman on board. (NOT THE BOSS) Hurrah!CC: There's talent in this fellow, I just get the feeling he has been the victim of circumstances. Wet tracks, being tried over 2000m, in hindsight perhaps being set for the wrong races. A real chance, ticks at the distance and track, though has to beat the Cat at WFA here.
CC: Just doesn't have the class to win. Looks okay at WFA and might be able to sneak a place.
PC: Put in a booming run last start against the Cat. Looked to be gobbling up the leading group in another 100. Problem with the Cat is that you watch his races and think that he can't go any further and then next start he wins again. Maybe?? $31 says why not? Paul St. Vincent, the trainer of The Jackal is an interesting case. He had to work another job for years (like Cabbie Joe Janiak) to make his racing dreams come true.
Trainer of The Jackal: Paul St. Vincent...Former career of Paul St. Vincent - heckling muppet.
PC: Prefer the guy above at a much better quote. Can't see any sensible reason to think that the Dare can win this.
CC: Another place chance given he has improved since his 1.5L 6th this track/distance in last year's BTC Sprint. That was his third last run and he probably needed some more hard racing before a Doomben 10,000.
CC: Here's your knockout. At $13 he is the best value runner in the field. Keeps jumping the hurdles put in front of him; however, this hurdle is really high. He has to jump over the Cat! WFA may be his undoing but for mine he is the most likely to spring a surprise win.
PC: Makes me want to back him with the last two starts... Where on earth has this horse come from??? Progressing swiftly through the grades and this is his big test. Going from a friendly weight against some classy Brisbane horses to Weight For Age against the Cat. That's the BIG query here. In spite of that, I'll have something reasonable on Helideck.
CC: Don't think three year olds come in that well at WFA. He has good lead up form and will be hard to hold out if the track favours the leaders though I never really want to be on a leader in a Doomben 10,000. It's high pressure and more often than not the pacesetters have had enough at the top of the straight. No doubt has ability but I think others offer much better value
PC: Maybe this is the perfect race for Murtajill. Sits forward and gave Racing to Win something to catch in his last start. If the track is suiting the on pace types, you have to give this guy a chance.
PC: I like saying the name of this horse with a Tappa Henning South African Rugby Referee (TM) voice. It makes me smile. I'm smiling now.CC: Or a South African Super 14 commentator accent; "Lovely jinking run from Turffontein". Would be stretching it a bit to think he could win this. A perfectly timed storm could see his ears prick up though.
9. La Montagna (1) $41
CC: It's hard to work out horses when coming back from long injury layoffs. She seems to be going okay but is probably still a little underdone. Certainly worth a place bet on the chance she finds her best.
PC: Could be working up to something big. Maybe in two weeks on Straddie day, rather than here though. Follow the market. You know that it is up to this kind of race. But is it ready to roll???
PC: Not here... not the worst.. this the testing material... (insert your own form guide cliche and save me the trouble!)CC: Not keen. Place preferred. Looking to others. Pass. How's that PC?
CC: Too much has been made of the BTC Cup. A good horse but the Cat will have her measure over this trip and possibly other runners will as well.
PC: Could turn the tables on the Cat. Will need luck from the barrier. Can beat anyone on his day though so the price looks fair.
CC: On form it would be mind boggling if she won and quite puzzling if she placed. However I'm prepared to give her a place chance because of her trainer's uncanny knack of springing surprises with travelling horses.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
It's a promoter's dream in the West; the defending champion San Antonio Spurs vs the glitz and glam of the L.A. Lakers. It's a who's who of the entertainment world in the crowd for a Lakers game while the Spurs have only one high profile fan in Mrs Tony Parker, Eva Longoria. Some may say this match up is a duel between entertainment and basketbore but that cheap shot won't bother the Spurs who have won three of the last five championships.
The Lakers no doubt will be hoping that high profile fan Keith Kincaid (a.k.a Kit Ramsay) can keep it in his pants for this one ; scaring off the Laker Girls could be a PR nightmare. On the court, 2008 MVP Kobe Bryant leads the team, yes he actually leads the team these days rather than trying to outdo Shaq or score 50+ points every time he hits the floor. He is supported by Spanish centre Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher and some very handy bench players.
The Spurs have Tim Duncan; possibly the most boring superstar in NBA history. Yet he's fast running out of fingers to put all his NBA Championship rings on. Running the point is the aforementioned Tony Parker with Argentinian Manu Ginobili the other main scorer for the Spurs. However, the main reason this team has been thereabouts for the last ten or so years is the strength of their bench year in, year out. There seems to be endless big game experience which they can draw from; none more so than Robert Horry. Tim Duncan is running out of fingers for his rings but Horry has only one ringless finger left; he is one of only nine players in history to win 7 or more championships and the only one of these that wasn't in the Boston Celtics team of the 1960's.
The Lakers have home court and are $1.42. The Spurs are fantastic value at $2.90 after taking out the top seed in the West in New Orleans. Game 1 is today at 11a.m. AEST at the Staples Centre where security will be keeping a close eye on this guy:
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
It is a bit of a lottery tonight, so not much time in this thread will be dedicated to the game itself. All this is about is answering a few questions: (assuming you are at home with friends rather than at the ground or a pub)
1)What is your beverage of choice for Origin night??
2)What is your food of choice??
3)Do you turn the volume down on the TV and listen to ROY AND HG or do you put up with the juvenile ramblings of the Ray Warren, the FAT and GOULD???
4) Who do you think will win?
1) Haven't been drinking a lot of beer of late, as it gets colder I tend to gravitate to the Red Wine. However origin night is always something a bit different. Have a real passion for the slight fruitiness of James Squire Golden Ale at the moment and a six pack of that seems the plan! No, it's not the Rugby League taste of VB but then again I am not a Leaguey.
It's not quite as clean as VB, but beggars can't be choosers....
2) Origin = pizza. And the best pizza in my bayou is Gourmet Pizza Kitchen. Some sort of Chicken Tandoori pizza seems like it will match well with my James Squire Golden!
3) Volume DOWN! Origin is not the same without the dulcet tones of Roy and HG. I am looking forward to them slopping up Lillyman. I will miss the dumb ass comments of Ikin but he speaks so slowly that I can lip read.
4) I think the blues will be too good tonight. I still think that if QLD get it right we will lose the series but I am just not threatened by Thurston and Hunt in the Halves.
1. Amsterdam 500ml cans. With no ad breaks you've just got to go big.
2. Subway; Meatball footlong on Italian Herbs & Cheese with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, jalapenos, Southwest sauce and pepper. I'm a creature of habit.
3. I admit to having the Channel 9 coverage on. There are many reasons for this. I get disorientated listening to the radio while watching the TV. I need the crowd noise to get me amped. But most of all, it's a royal pain in the ass to move my stereo system into the lounge room.
4. Go the Blues! I really think they can win. I would be less optimistic if Prince was playing, so a shoutout to the QLD selectors there. Gallen will be man of the match and Bird will be man of the series. Oh, and QLD suck balls!
Final thought: If you don't listen to Metallica's Enter Sandman before the game you are a total softcock...
1) Like most blokes I don't really organise anything - ever. Potentially going to the pub, potentially going to someones house and potentially staying at home. To be honest my vote is for home. Pub, full of dickheads more concerned at yelling at the screen and each other than watching the game. At someone elses pad, you don't know the layout, you have to make small talk with people you've just met and potentially ass raped over a good seat to watch the game.
As its the first in the series and a school night, I will be on the beers and as it its time to get patriarchal so I'll make sure its QLD - not XXXX, maybe St Arnou, come a deciding game three and I'll be on everything.
2) Well writing this post has made me realise that I will have to go out and buy some St Arnou beer and now some grub. Had pizza last night as it was cheap Tuesday, so will aim for a collection of hot canapes that can be bunged in the oven 30 mins from kick off. Buffalo wings will be high on the shopping list.
3) I like Roy and HG, and rarelly if ever miss them on a Sunday arvo, but I find they just miss too much of the game when commentating. The one thing I will be avoiding like the plague is the pre-match bullshit channel 9 has on before the game. When I was a kid nothing got you going more then a Kenny Sutcliffe piece but these days we have to put up with Gould and Ikin. I can't stand them during regular season and they push me over the edge on Origin night. I will have Roy and HG for the pre match banter and unmute the T.V for the game.
4) There is now talk around the grounds that Inglis will be in the five eighth spot come time to run out or even Cam smith with PJ Marsh starting as hooker. Well if it happens then I will be happy to say that it was WHAB that brought you the exclusive. Qld will win for the same reason Aust beat NZ, too much fire power in the backline. NSW will put up more of a fight then the bookies give them credit, with a fierce backrow that only gets better on the bench (Fitzgibbon, Laffranchi and Tupou). Man of the match - Cam Smith, First points - Penalty kick NSW, First Try Scorer - Israel Folau, Final Score 22 - 14, Player of the Series - Cam Smith, Series result Qld 2 v NSW 1. And needless to say:
What about everyone else?? Comments below.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
You would think we'd all be thankful the two best teams in the Eastern Conference are through to this stage but it's not all good news. The reason these teams had such good win/loss records for the regular season has a lot to do with the state of the Eastern Conference itself. It's bad people; only five of the eight teams to make the playoffs in the East were above .500. Boston and Detroit played most of their matches against crappy teams from their Conference which they beat up on unmercifully. Detroit in particular took the pants from the backsides of their opponents often by restricting them to under 70 points with their miserly, junkball defense. The Pistons have a stunning record when keeping their opponents to such lowly scores which is a good thing for them considering they usually only drop in 70-80 of their own. Detroit are led by Hannibal Lecter wannabe Richard "Rip" Hamilton with a surrounding cast including Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace and mollydooker Tayshaun Prince.
Boston's big three are Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce who came to be all at the one place when the Celtics decided that after years of sucking it was time to try and buy a championship. Boston have been shabby in series wins over Atlanta and Cleveland and are as yet to win on the road during the postseason. Detroit have comfortably dispatched Washington and Orlando and have had a week off while waiting for their opponents. Both teams like to slow things up and pride themselves on the defenses so don't expect high scores. Why would I want to watch a low scoring game of basketball I hear you say? Well Detroitians are blue collar people who love to fight. Or as Russell Crowe would say "You wanna foight?!".
Boston have home court advantage for the best of seven game series and are $1.70 favourites with Detroit at $2.20. Odds of basketbrawl breaking out are shortening and Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett are on the top line of betting for K.O-ing an opponent. The series gets under way Wednesday 10 a.m. AEST with coverage for all matches courtesy of ESPN.
- The Royals continued their dominance over the IPL on the weekend with another impressive win. This time, led by the batting of Grahemi Smith (75*) and Shane Watson (46*) and WHAB favourite Shane Warne (3 Wickets). Darren Lehmann was again not seen, leading to speculation that he has been spirited over the border to Pakistan as a hostage. WHAB would like to make this very clear: WE WILL NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS. If you have Darren Lehmann, send us an email and we will be able to work something out. Sure, we only typically do business here with juicy SPAM and that might not suit you. However, take note extremists that SPAM does not actually contain PORK so you will be fine.
SPAMs complete lack of Pork makes it a useful bargaining chip when dealing with extremists.
- Heavenly GLOW's dominance and the Powerful win to the Panthers were good to me (+28) in the weekends punting. However, not good enough to overcome the strong performance of JB (+55). I took his advice and backed Synonym so it wasn't all bad.
- The Panthers win underlines something that I will be basing coming "Last $50" selections here on WHAB. Whenever the Warriors travel, you are advised to invest hard in the home team to win by >12.5. Even if it is the Rabbitohs.
- Had a long road trip on Sunday afternoon. Listened to the whole Panthers v Warriors call on ABC radio. Maybe I sound like a 60 year old when I say this but: This is a far superior way to enjoy football than channel nine's match coverage. Even without the aid of images. Radio commentary relies on detailed description and analysis to keep the listener entertained. TV commentary is lazy to the point of being criminally slothful. Warren Boland is Ray Warren's daddy. Warren Ryan is the only ex-coach in the media worth listening to. Phil Gould as I have said before is a complete cockbag.
- Helideck looks like the best value in the Doomben 10,000 at $12 after his last two starts. You'd be hard pressed finding anything to roll Apache Cat but this guy might be able to do it.
- NSW at $2.20 at home in game one looks great. I don't think I will back NSW to win the series as Queensland have a habit of making the right changes after a loss (i.e. Scott Prince) but I think NSW will be too good in game one.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Women's events at Beijing will be comprised of Balance Beam, Floor Exercise, Uneven Bars and Vault with individual and teams all round competitions for good measure (to assure more medals for countries other than Australia). Men's events include Horizontal Bar, Parallel Bars, Pommel Horse, Vault, Rings, and Floor Exercise with individual and teams. Rings are the most boring of these events. Watching Rings is akin to watching a Rugby match that finishes 3-3.
Australia's gymnasts were unable to crack the top 10 at the 2006 World's with Hollie Dykes finishing 12th while our best placed male was Joshua Jefferis in a lowly 24th. Dykes hung up her leotard in January at 17 as she was getting a bit long in the tooth to compete with the younger teenybopper generation. Things were looking grim and still are in the men's who failed to qualify for the teams event. Samuel Simpson is the only male who will represent us at the Games. Here's an excerpt from his blog with details of his "qualification":
"The way qualification works with gymnastics is the top 12 countries send a team selected by the country, the next three send 2 people selected by the country, and the next three send 1 person selected by the country. After this has been played out all the people from these countries are taken off on the list and the top 7 all around scores are given a place. Then there are 6 places given the gold medal on each apparatus. If the gold medallist is from a country that has already qualified a position then their spot is given to the next all arounder.
After this there are 3 wildcards given to regions of the world who are not represented and one more wild card which is decided by the IOC. I was selected as an all around position in the 4 extra places that were available due to gold medallists being from countries already qualified."
Come 2007, our women's team qualified for Beijing by not making the final at the World's, as you do. So it would be a miracle if we were to sneak a team medal but no doubt our Aussie contingent will be studying videos of Steven Bradbury's famous Winter Olympics gold medal performance. Our best hope for an individual medal is Daria (Dasha) Joura. This is because she was born in Russia. Had she been born in Australia, no chance. But we all loved Tatiana Grigorieva and so we will love Daria Joura if she looks even remotely like getting a medal. She was a very commendable 10th at the Worlds.
Who to watch out for:
MEN: The Chinese team spearheaded by hometown hero Wei Yang. Will no doubt be 'roided to the max for this. Also, Diego Hypolito is the only Brazilian who as a boy told his Dad he wanted to be an Olympic gymnast rather than like Pele. The old man was admitted to Sao Paulo Mental Hospital that day. And get behind Sam "How On Earth Did I Qualify!" Simpson. Give 'em hell son!
WOMEN: Shawn Johnson. He appears to have an obvious advantage. Also look out for Jade "Captain" Barbosa, she'll be the one wearing an eye patch. The Chinese team are reported to be "fighting fit" according to team dietician Ana Bolic. And Go Dasha! A realistic medal chance in gymnastics for Australia...you may not see that again in your lifetime!
Friday, May 16, 2008
If you had picked this match-up for the 2008 FA Cup final then you would no doubt be on a tropical island sipping expensive cocktails instead of reading this. But you didn't and you aren't so let's have a look at our finalists starting with Portsmouth.
After knocking out Manchester United at the quarter final stage, Pompey qualified for the final with a 1-0 victory over newly promoted West Brom Albion in the semi. It's been a big effort to get this far after releasing their top scorer Benjani at the end of the January transfer window to free up the funds to sign Jermaine Defoe (who is ineligible for this after turning out earlier in the FA Cup for Tottenham). So Portsmouth go into this match down on strike power but with many classy players through the midfield with Nico Kranjcar, Lissano Diarra and Sulley Muntari running the show. The backline is strong with Sol Campbell and Sylvain Distin the backbones along with keeper David James. Expect manager Harry Redknapp to have a calculating game plan with the right balance between steady play and flamboyance. For the uninitiated, Portsmouth are a Premiership side (they finished 8th this year); this is the top league in English football.
Cardiff City on the other hand are a Championship side (finished 12th); sounds really good but actually means they are in the league below the Premiership. They earned an unlikely finals berth by eliminating Middlesborough on the road before taking out Championship strugglers Barnsley. Cardiff have an FA Cup winner in their midst in Robbie Fowler - who won with Liverpool in 2001. They also have former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink so they have a lot of big match experience. Their manager on the other hand is a worry:
It's hard to see Cardiff winning this with a sooky, tentacled sea creature-man with a crab leg at the helm. But stranger things have happened in football.
This should be a tight contest and a nervy one early. One goal might be enough to win it. I fancy Portsmouth to be strong late in the match so Cardiff will need to start well. Coverage starts at 10.30p.m Saturday night on SBS and 11.30 on ESPN with kickoff at midnight.
Betting at 90mins:
Cardiff City $4.90
FA Cup winner:
Cardiff City $3.25
$20 on G'Coast/Bulldogs (1.45) into Roosters/Eels (2.5) into Brisbane/Cronulla (2.5) into Manly/NQld (1.28) into Penrith/Warriors (1.7) into Tigers/Newcastle by less than 13 (3.1). Paying $61.13
$20 on Bulldogs/Fremantle by 20-39 (4.5) into Hawthorne/Port by same margin (3.85) and Geelong over Richmond again at the same margin (3.85). Paying $66.70
$10 on Hawthorn/Port(1.35) into Geelong/Richmond(1.18) into Adelaide/Melbourne (1.06) into Sydney/Essendon (1.06) into Bulldogs/Fremantle(1.68) into G'Coast/Bulldogs(1.45) into Manly/NQld (1.28). Paying $5.58
$20 on the Titans/Melbourne double paying $3.91
$20 on the Titans/knights double paying $3.48
$5 on Portsmouth 2-0 after 90 mins @ $10
$5 on the score being 1-1 after 90 mins @ $10
More racing here... think the best bet of the weekend is Heavenly glow...
$20 on fixed @ $3.20
$15 on Penrith by 13+ @ 3.40
$5 on the multi Chiefs (2.80) - Hurricanes (2.05) - Penrith 13+
$10 on the Sharks to be the NRL's lowest scoring team for the weekend at a staggering $21. They can't score points at the best of times. Good luck without their two best players.
Flemington Race 2
$15 win No.1 Gold in Dubai
Flemington Race 6
$15 win No. 1 Gorky Park
Rosehill Race 6
$20 win No. 2 Synonym
$8 on Heavenly Glow BR 4
$10 on Absolut Glam BR 6
$10 on Viewed BR 7
$14 on Scenic Shot BR 7
$4 each way on Reggie BR 7
The profits will be invested on El Cambio in BR 8. The Captain. Out.
$35 on Viewed BR7
$5 Reggie BR7
$5 Laura's Charm BR
$5 Strong Choice BR
Can't avoid Viewed. I would have a nibble at Nuclear Sky/Musket at $10 or so in this field. So it comes as no surprise that I would Take the horse that beat them both by 4Lengths!!! Strong Choice and Laura's Charm are strong interstaters that can run very well here. Reggie a brilliant roughie.
Anyway, onwards to our first preview.
What do I know about Archery??? Well, I believe that it is played with a bow and arrow and what looks like a manzier or "bro." I also know that it is nigh on impossible to win archery on the classic "Mario and Sonic at the olympics" on the Wii. There ends my archery knowledge. I hope you learned something. According to the Australian Olympic Archery website, Australia is seeking a medal in the sport for the third consecutive Olympic games. I did not know that. Right now, I couldn't care if we do reach that goal. By Olympics time, schooner in hand i will probably be cheering on the Australian Icon, Tim "Manboobs" Cuddihy as he strives to improve his result of bronze at the Athens games.
Showing the Australian spirit, Tim "Manboobs" Cuddihy shows off his Australian Manzier and Chappel era hat! Go Manboobs!!!Archery seems to be a sport dominated by the Koreans. Good work Korea. Seriously, what kind of childhood obesity epidemic would this country face if we had our kids specialise in the sports that Korea dominates. Archery, Table Tennis, Purchasing Hello Kitty products. At least you can have a beer or two with Table Tennis.
Winner of Gold at Athens Sung Hyun PARK shows that this is a sport with something for the fellas.
Anyway, unless Manboobs brings Australia some Olympic glory, you won't see much Archery at the games. Hopefully. Anyway, for most of these previews I will give a "top 10 reasons to watch." I will try to come up with four here. Even that took me some lateral thinking.
4. A gold medal winner wearing a Winnie the Pooh top. At the Olympics. I think that this is a violation of the sponsorship rules at the olympics. Probably some sort of subliminal "EAT HONEY" message.
3. Dennis Lillee Hats! Why do we have to wait for Archery to see hats like this?? Because you're BORING Ricky Ponting.
1. The hope that they allow someone of Eddie the Eagle quality compete. Eddie the Eagle only risked injuring himself. A crap archer could take out a fan. OR Maybe a Channel 7 commentator. Oh please let it be the bald patronising bastard David Koch. Please Santa???? Either that or I have to keep training my Assassin Zoolander style. Fortunately there is someone just about stupid enough for the job.I'm a genius TOOVES, I just invented a double quarter pounder with CHEESE.
Archery: So HOT right now.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
JB is on sabbatical. In Haiti building houses for orphans. Or some such.
So to this years field:
1. Grand Zulu (59) $21
Captain Carnage: Wins the BMW as a three year old easily beating Mummify and Makybe Diva. Latest run a 2.1L 3rd in the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup...if would be fair to say his halcyon days are behind him.
Professor Chaos: Certainly hasn't shown alot in the last few years. Coming up to Brisbane for the carnival is possibly it's last chance to show something.. anything. This is a fairly hot field by Doomben Cup standards so you should probably be looking elsewhere. It's a shame because the Zulu could've been anything 3 years ago. Weight for age is a plus with this horse, as in handicap racing it still gets punished for its deeds of '04. Maybe this horses best chance is a head-to-head race with Railings in the "hit's of yesteryear" handicap. I'd back him in that.
2. Scenic Shot (59) $5
Captain Carnage: A deserved favourite. Was second in the Group 1 Turnbull to Devil Moon last spring, second to Marasco at WFA in Perth and won the Hollindale last week with perhaps a bit in hand. Looks tough enough and has obviously been set for this.
Professor Chaos: Coming in off a big win at the Gold Coast in the Hollindale. Has mixed it with some of the top horses in its career and may just have a class edge. I'm not backing him, but that doesn't mean that I don't think he's in this. I just like Viewed more.
3. Sarrera (59) $8
Professor Chaos: Mudlark of sorts, who is coming off a big win at Randwick in the Queen Elizabeth. The talk after the race was that it found some wet ground to run on?? How does that help. Horses who like the mud still run quicker times on the dry. They just do less badly on the mud than other horses. Anyway, Sarrera is a hard one to line up. I think it is well and truly good enough to win.
4. Emerald Jack (59) $41
Captain Carnage: One of the nice roughies in the field. Doubt that WFA will suit but is very capable at this distance. You can see yourself getting stuck behind a group of young lasses in the betting line each putting $1 each way on Emerald Jack when they could possibly pool their money and put in one $20 each way bet which would at least give you time to get to the fence. Serenity now.
Professor Chaos: Serenity now, insanity later. You'd be hard pressed to find a better $41 shot than this. Rattled home and lost by 1.8L to Nuclear Sky. In case you haven't noticed: Nuclear Sky is so hot right now. Maybe a few drops of rain could help.
5. Stormhill (59) $26
Captain Carnage: This horse has frustrated me many times but that was maybe because he was being set for races like the Stradbroke rather than more suitable trips. Not far off Scenic Shot in the Hollindale but I personally don't think he can turn the tables here. A definite chance nevertheless and at a nice price.
Professor Chaos: Part of the bunch that weren't too far behind Scenic Shot at the Coast. Comes into it here as a leader with the short straight of Doomben. I can just see myself willing him home there.
6. Spinney (59) $12
Captain Carnage: Surprised me a little with his strong frontrunning run behind Scenic Shot at the Coast. That must surely have been his career best run however and it will take another career best run to win this. Will be thereabouts but ultimately I think Scenic Shot is the better horse.
Professor Chaos: Sat forward and was brave in the Hollindale. At Doomben it has the chance to go one better. Probably can find more to like about others at that price though.
7. Legendary Man (59) $31
Captain Carnage: Has good form over this distance but that may be a bit misleading. His best run this time in was over 1400 in the Newmarket at Newcastle. I can't see how he's going to go from running third to Fulmonti in a Group 3 handicap to winning a Doomben Cup at WFA.
Professor Chaos: Agree with the Captain here. Was a nice run behind Fulmonti, and I would back him to beat that field this week. This field however is a very different proposition.
Captain Carnage: One that ran surprisingly well at WFA last start and given his price and okay form you're entitled to box him in your trifectas and first fours. This is definitely as far as he wants it though so be prepared to miss out on the trifecta or first four by let's say one place, maybe two...Doesn't it give you the royal shits when that happens. I'm primarily talking about you and your last 100m in the 2003 Melbourne Cup Zagalia!
Professor Chaos: Went backwards late in the Hollindale. Obviously given his 4/1 quote in that affair someone has some wraps on him. Not for me.
Captain Carnage: Wow, that last run was hot. Hot like Hansel. Weight for age a bit of a query but like I said, he's so hot right now.
Professor Chaos: Getting to weight for age is the ONLY query on this fellow. I could have made a case for Musket or Nuclear Sky in this field a couple of weeks ago. Then this guy put 4 Lenghts on those two!!! This is my top pick by a considerable margin. Indeed he is so hot right now. I can't express to you just how big a tick of approval this gets from the Professor.
10. Luvuleo (59) $101
Captain Carnage: If he's going to teach colts to run real good then he's going to have to be faster...at least three times faster!
Professor Chaos: Finished behind Grand Zulu in the Wagga Cup. You'd be hard pressed backing the Zulu in this field. You'd be even harder pressed backing the thing that is giving it 3.0 kgs back on that last start. PASS, PASS, PASS.
Captain Carnage: I have voiced my concerns about Eskimo Queen and her lack of consistency before. However, she loves Brisbane. A big chance if she turns up.
Professor Chaos: Eskimo Queen is in my "never to back again" bin. You have to think that this race could suit her but, not with my cash. Maybe it will lash out at Viewed in the gates and ass punch me like in the Caulfield cup when I had a nice bit of cash on Maldivian at fixed odds. Screw you Eskimo Queen.
12. Like It Is (56.5) $15
Captain Carnage: I'll tell it like it is; I think connections are wasting time and money sending this one up here. $15...I call shenanigans!
Professor Chaos: Lost to Benson (And possibly Mr Belvedere) in his last start. Pass.
Captain Carnage: Will be fit as a fiddle for this. Interestingly didn't go on to the Sydney Cup but was kept for this. $21 is a nice price punters.
14. Lasoron (56.5) $15
Captain Carnage: Would like to see her drift in the market. Could definitely get interested if the price is right. Ran on nicely in the Hollindale and probably prefer her to the second and third horses there over the longer trip at Doomben. Could be the knockout.
Professor Chaos: Tough to have this at $15. Made some top late ground in the Hollindale. A good chance but I would take a little more value to be interested.
Captain Carnage: Would take some trickery indeed for an Adelaide mile winner to pop up and pinch this. $12...great value. You might as well back a greyhound at the same price and hope for the best. Much better value for money.
Professor Chaos: Don't you listen to the CAPTAIN. You should never ever back a greyhound. You should also leave this horse well alone. Last time I saw this run this kind of trip it was against WHAB SUPERSTAR MOLOTOV. Pass.
Captain Carnage: Might be aiming a bit too high here and perhaps trying to run too far.
Professor Chaos: No. Maybe this race would be more suitable
17. Mission Critical (55.5) (EM) $13
Captain Carnage: If he gets a run will be first turning for home...Just don't rate him at $13. Ridiculous price. If he gets a run will probably be at about $8. And like I said, will be first turning for home...
Professor Chaos: If this horse gets a start it could be real knockout material. Bowls along in front, nice weight, short Doomben Straight... Trained by the sneakiest man in world racing. Moroney always finds the right races for his horses.
Well considering the almost inevitable loss in Sydney, this is the attacking line up that you would want to see coming into the Brisbane leg:
1. Karmichael Hunt
2. Israel Folau
3. Greg Inglis
4. Justin Hodges
5. Billy Slater
6. Darren Lockyer
7. Johnathon Thurston
8. Brad Myers
9. Cam Smith
10. Petero Civoniceva
11. Michael Crocker
12. Sam Thaiday
13. Dallas Johnston
14. Tonie Carroll
15. Nate Myles
16. Scott Prince
17. Matt Bowen
Brad Myers is a more modern forward than Webb, who to be quite frank, looks lazy and unispiring this season. The absolute strength of the NSW team is there ball playing second rowers. Sending sluggish forwards in will play into NSW hands who will look to run the ball up two wide of the ruck and get away the offload. Civoniceva is a relic of the game gone by, but who wouldn't want him in the first 15 mins of an origin.
I don't believe in having a second hooker in a side ala PJ Marsh (who can't get a start in the Brisbane team behind Michael Ennis), especially when the starting hooker for Qld is the best in the game at the moment. Having a second hooker really started with Craig Wing on the bench for NSW a few years ago, but Wing isn't a stand and deliver hooker, he's a strong running, ball player. Even in the current side, to go with Hunt over Prince in the run on side and then to have PJ Marsh on the bench over Prince, one really has to wonder.
Bowen, if uninjured, is pretty much your first pick for any Qld side and despite being left with only two forwards on the bench, the size of Folau and Inglis gives you the potential to slip one of them into second row with Myles, Thaiday and Carroll able to give the props time on the bench.
The Qld selectors are questioning whether Thurston can work with Prince, well if that's the case, and you know the WHAB position on Thurston, Prince has been bent over thrice by selectors out of touch with the game. Tate, I mean really.