Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fuck you Channel 7. Fuck you very much.

It's 2-sets to one in a cracking men's singles quarter final at the Oz Open, where $151 shot Verdasco leads Tsonga, so what do the fucktards at 7 do? Put on Deal or Fucking No Fucking Deal ...FUCK!!!!!!!!! You fucking ball-sucking assholes!!! I hate you more than anything on Earth you fucking bunch of retards! Would it kill you to can that fucked show for just one fucking day?!?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Australian Open update

We 're now into quarter final action at the Oz Open and my predictions have been solid. Nalbandian, no chance. Murray, not yet son. Djokovic, gathering momentum. Simon, into the final 8 at good odds. And Verdasco, my $151 shot still alive! At this stage, the only thing I would alter is replacing Federer with Nadal as favourite. Rafa looks sharp; I've never seen him look this good so early in the season, which will be a worry for the rest of the tour. He has played two guys in Haas and Gonzalez, who are not only talented, but played very well on the day...and he dusted them off in straight sets. Here's the quarter final line-up:

Roddick vs Djokovic

I like Djokovic in this one despite his late night encounter with Baghdatis. Roddick is in good form, but you'd think he'll end up a one-Slam wonder, and the Djoker looks like he'll be peaking at the right time here.

Federer vs Del Potro

Del Potro is one of my favourites, but whichever way I look at it, I can't seem him rolling the Fed. Federer usually brings his A-game after a scare and Del Potro has yet to win a set in their three clashes thus far.

Simon vs Nadal

Nadal. Financially it would be better for me if Simon gets up but Nadal is like hot right now. But it will be his closest match thus far. Simon rolled Rafa on his home turf last year at the Madrid Masters, so the world number 1 won't be underestimating him. But he's just so hot right now...

Verdasco vs Tsonga

Verdasco. Juicy odds, knocked out Murray, is doing Anna Ivanovic, the man is on fire! Tsonga looks the goods as well, but is he doing Ivanovic? Could you get $151 on him at the start of the Open? No and no. Verdasco to win!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Unconventonal Wisdom: Why does Captain Ricky bat 3rd?

In game three of the one day series, a lot of blame should fall on the shoulders of the rather pedestrian looking Australian middle order. An apparently less pressing question is who should open with David Warner.

Whilst Warner was blazing the ball to all corners of the SCG, his opening partner was grundling his way to 43 off 63 balls. More problematic was his slow start. Despite Warners hot start, Australia struggled to keep their run rate over 6.

Who should be Warners partner at the top of the order? In the 50 over game, by definition - there are a limited number of overs. Further, the best opportunity for genuine shot-makers to score is the first 15 overs. After this, the game degenerates into a singles fest. Recent one-day opening stands on average last about 8 overs. Say it takes the first drop 15 balls to get set, we are looking at the start of the 12th over to have the number three established. 

Who should bat at the top of the order? Well, the best batsman in the team. This maximises the potential number of balls that the best batsman can face. It maximises the number of balls that the best batsman can face with the fielding restrictions imposed. It is pretty obvious that Ricky Ponting is that player.

Why then, does Ricky Ponting bat 3rd? Say what you will about Ricky's captaincy, he is Australia's best batsman. The idea of letting openers take the shine off the new ball in test matches to "protect" the number three makes logical sense. However, the same logic cannot apply in the limited overs game. From the school, to warehouse cricket and beyond the idea of the importance of protecting the "first drop" is ingrained. However, a simple look at the nature of one-day cricket would suggest otherwise. I have been massively critical of some of captain Ricky's tactical decisions over the years, but he could go a long way to wiping the slate clean with a brave call here.

Is It Feeeer?

The Australian cricket community was left bemused yesterday with NSW hiring a Kiwi for the domestic T20 final. Andrew Symonds, in particular, was outraged and claimed that it was an un-Australian act by the New South Welshmen. And for once, I agree with him. Whilst Victoria (T20 finalists also) haven't cried foul as yet, you can bet they will if they are beaten by a Brendan McCullum cameo on Australia Day weekend. McCullum was quick to hose down the controversy, saying "I know it doesn't seem feer, and people are a but upseet, but under-arm wasn't feer either and we were upseet about thet for yeers. In fect, we're still upseet about thet, even after all these yeers". New South Wales coach Matthew Mott was unapologetic. "What's the big deal? Contracts and rules and making a mockery of the domestic T20 Big Bash concept shouldn't get in the way of entertainment. If Victoria had any sense, they woud have been on the blower to Chris Gayle or even Andrew Symonds". Actually, I have an even better idea:

Seizing the initiative, glamour A-League club Melbourne Victory have reportedly been in talks with Brazilian superstar Kaka, after his negotiations with Manchester City broke down. "I can't say too much at this stage, but we might be looking to bring in a superstar to win the grand final for us!" exclaimed Victory coach Ernie Merrick. Merrick added, "Just like the NSW cricket team, we want to win at all costs. So if it means burning $10 million, signing a superstar for one game, making a mockery of the league, and listening to Adelaide or Frank Farina or whoever whinging about it for the next fifty years, then so be it!".

Saturday, January 17, 2009


There are only a handful of guys capable of winning the Australian Open in any given year but that doesn't stop a bolter from getting to the final. Over the past few years we've seen Baghdatis, Gonzalez and Tsonga ride the wave of crowd support through to the final so I'm looking for a couple of guys at good odds, who are in good form, and hopefully will go one better. Gilles Simon (can you be a bolter when you're ranked 7 in the world?!) looks great value at $41. Last year, he beat Djokovic, Federer twice, and Nadal in Madrid, where he had the Spanish crowd against him as well. So he looks well capable of going deep into the tournament, so long as he doesn't run into his bogeyman Murray, who repeatedly pantsed him in '08. Another guy I'm liking the look of is Fernando Verdasco. I just had a sneaky fiver on him at $151, but you're more likely to get him at around (only!) $126 with the TAB's. I like the cut of his jib (price).

Onto the big four now; Nadal, Federer, Murray and Djokovic. I've already had a piece of Djokovic as $8 seems way over the odds for the defending champ. Nadal never seems to be at his top at this early stage of the year so the $5 on him seems about right, but I'd be inclined not to take it. Federer won Kooyong to warm up for this and it needs to be remembered that he was out of sorts/had niggling injuries when he was dumped out by the Djoker last year. I'd say that he is a deserving favourite for this year's event. Murray...I think there is a Grand Slam coming his way at some point but I would be laying him in this. Until yesterday, he was listed as equal favourite with Federer, but that $3.50 is too short for me. I'd be taking Federer over Murray as I just don't think Murray quite has what it takes yet to win through a tournament where it's best of five sets, especially if the draw does him no favours. All this being said, any of these four guys could potentially win the 2009 Australian Open.

Other guys just on the cusp in betting include Nalbandian and Tsonga, both at $21. I would never bet on Nalbandian to win a Grand Slam. He gets himself into too many ridiculous situations, seemingly cruising to a straight sets victory and then, all of a sudden, it's deep in the fifth. Tsonga has injury concerns and is no longer a bolter. Just ask Baghdatis and's harder when you're not the underdog.

At this point, I'd love nothing more than to talk passionately about the Aussie assault on the Open, but for obvious reasons, I won't be saying too much. I'm looking forward to seeing Bernard Tomic continue his development, but I fear Channel 7 will be more interested in showing Lleyton Hewitt's decline.

And now to Channel 7, the bane of my fucking life. You've already fucked up the summer of tennis thus far by stupidly trying to cover three tournaments at once. Why not give at least one of those tournaments to Foxsports you greedy fuckers? But that's okay, I didn't really want to see the first set and a half of the inaugural Brisbane International final. Not to mention missing the first point after every ad break. What the fuck is with that? Thankfully for tennis fans, Foxsports shows what 7 doesn't want of the Australian Open, which is usually a pretty good collection of matches, and gives us a break from the half-assed crew of cretins at 7. But to see the big match-ups and all the Aussies getting bundled out of the tournament we'll have to put up with this:

I have a really cool job, even though I'm a retard who knows nothing about tennis...



Even the Arizona Cardinals can hardly believe the situation they now find themselves in; 9-7 in the regular season and now with a home game in the NFC Conference championship. And what's more, after I totally wrote them off against Atlanta, and then Carolina, I give them a good chance to win through to the Superbowl. Both the Cards and the Eagles benefited last week from their opponents sucking. The Giants were below par and Eli Manning had a forgettable evening against the Eagles. Still, Philly had to play well to get the win at Meadowlands. Arizona, on the other hand, simply turned up and watched the Panthers self-destruct. I don't think I've ever seen a really good team suck as bad as that. That said, the Cardinals passing game is clicking, even without Anquan Boldin (who might be back for this game), and they have established some sort of running game, which was non-existent during the regular season. Edgerrin James appears to be reborn at the right time...when he's looking for a new contract somewhere. But alas, Larry Fitzgerald is the man. He's made unbelievable catches all season, but his catches in the post-season are inspiring his team-mates to play their roles better. Their defense has also improved out of sight in recent weeks. The Eagles'offense, led by Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook, has been very reliable of late and they should be able to move the ball down the field without too much trouble in this one. Philly's defense was superb last week, keeping the Giants without a TD. They face a more difficult assignment than a struggling Eli Manning here though. If they can shut down Arizona's resurgent running game I think they'll sneak away with the win. The Eagles defend the passing game better than the Panthers in general, and infinitely better than the Panthers defended the pass last week. But the Cardinals are at home...hmmm... I'm having trouble splitting the two teams but if you dangled me off a balcony until I picked one...Eagles to represent the NFC in the Superbowl.


Two of the top defenses in the NFL face off in the AFC Championship game. Baltimore's defense showed some of what they could do against the Titans, but the worry must be how long they were on the field. If you're being fair dinkum, the Titans should have won that game; they dominated time of posession, but shot themselves in the foot with three red zone turnovers. I detected what looked like a bit of tiredness in the Ravens defense late last week and their offense needs to step up if they are going to roll the Steelers here. Rookie QB Joe Flacco, who has done a super job to get them this far, needs to find a bit more time of posession from the passing game to compliment the running game of Le'Ron McClain (a favourite of the Professor) and Willis McGahee. At this stage of the season, Pittsburgh seem to have a great balance with Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore trucking it up, Ben Roethlisberger playing well and the defense doing their thing. I've said before that I'm not the biggest fan of Big Ben but he is throwing nicely of late...but I still don't entirely trust him. He'd want to be careful against the likes of Ed Reed or he could wind up with multiple interceptions. Taking everything into account, I'm tipping the Steelers. I think they'll be too good here and are deserved Superbowl favourites.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


On Sunday evening as the Aussies openers came out to bat at the MCG, the name David Warner flashed up on the screen. I asked rhetorically and out loud "Who's David Warner?". The missus was passing through and thought I was talking to her...she didn't know either. So there you have it; two days ago, my missus knew as much as I did about David Warner, such has been his meteoric rise. It's hard to think of an Aussie sportsmen who has captured the public imagination in the same way Warner has but when you can smack Dale Steyn around like he's a C-grade warehouse cricketer, than kudos to you son. There have been calls (from the likes of Shane Warne, Bill Lawry and Boof Lehmann) for him to be included in the one-day side immediately with a view to the Ashes; perhaps a bit premature for a tour of the Old Dart, but he should definitely be given an opportunity at some stage durung this ODI series. The guy has got people genuinely excited about cricket and has injected some life back into the Aussie team after a deflating home series loss in the Tests. Looking forward to another big innings tonight, at a reportedly fungus-ridden go over the top then. Hopefully he can put Steyn over the fence a couple more times!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Australia vs South Africa, Third Test.

I will start by applauding the Australian selectors (for the first time in about 15 years) for selecting some promising new faces. I will continue by berating them for doing it far too late. Anyhow, Australia will take to the SCG looking to restore some of the pride that has been dwindling away, thanks to the selectors and Captain Head-In Hands Ponting's complete lack of imagination. We all still bear the scars of the Ashes tour debacle (not completely healed by our whitewash back home), and now, we have suffered the ignominy of a home series defeat. A home series defeat?!?! And sure, we are all disappointed that Dougie Bollinger has grown hair, but if not a mean, bald guy who you wouldn't want to stumble across late at night, then he is a heck of a bowler:

"Are the Aussie selectors watching any of my fucking NSW matches?!"

Andrew McDonald is a great inclusion as well. If Symonds ain't bowling, and correct me if I'm wrong, but is he not the all-rounder that the selectors have decided that we must have, above all else? And if not Symmo, then we must have Watson. Well dipshits, how about a guy who can actually bat as well as he can bowl? Isn't that the definition of an all-rounder?! I'm disgusted with the current state of this team, but am excited to see some new faces who might actually offer something to the team when given a run. South Africa are the number 1 Test side in the world now, so let's not kid ourselves. It's the perfect time to display some talent from the best domestic cricket competition in the world...thankfully the selectors finally think these guys are ready. Now the geniuses led by Andrew Hilditch just need to grow some balls and oust Ponting as captain, at the same time, not giving it to Captain Punter clone Michael Clarke. If a man has learnt everything he knows about captaincy off Ricky Ponting, then, he too, might lose us an Ashes.

NFL Wildcard Weekend

Wildcard Weekend has thrown up some interesting match-ups for the first week of the playoffs, such is the nature of American sport being split into divisions. To cut a long story short, two teams are on the road this week against teams with inferior records. Let's look at the games that kick off the postseason, with the Professor giving his views on the chances of his beloved Miami Dolphins.


With 427, the Cards scored as many points as the New York Giants in the NFC, the problem is that they conceded just as many. A shaky defense like that is shown up in the playoffs like a turd floating in a pool. That said, they are pretty handy at home, and score plenty of points on their home turf. That said, a number of their home games were against divisional rivals who were out of playoff contention about 12 weeks ago. They earn a home game here by winning what has been the crappiest division in football for as long as anyone can remember. So the Falcons have every reason to be confident going into this. The fact that Arizona have the worst running game in the league (how the hell did they make the playoffs?!) will play right into the hands of Atlanta; expect them to blitz early and try to get some hits on Kurt Warner, so as to hinder the explosive passing game. If Warner doesn't find his top targets in Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald early, they will get smashed. When Atlanta have the ball, they will mostly hand it off to Michael Turner, who I'm tipping will rip apart the Arizona defense, thus opening up the game for the likes of WR Roddy White. The key for them is Matt Ryan making good decisions; if he throws no picks, they should win. But with a rookie QB on the road, in a playoff game, let's just say, the opportunity is there for Arizona to make some big plays. I can't go past Atlanta in this one. They are a much more balanced team and, in Turner, have a running back that will give the Cards defensive line night terrors. Falcons by 13.

Professor's margin mayhem (tab line Falcons -1.5): This should be tighter than most are tipping. I am not necessarily a believer in the Falcons - whilst the two-headed running game featuring Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood (who both averaged 4.5 yards per carry!) is a massive weapon, the defence and aerial game is not scaring anyone. Warner to Quan/Fitty and Steve Breaston (who would be the feature wideout in most other systems) could make this very interesting. That said a 1.5 start for the Cardinals is laughable. Even those bullish about the Cards such as myself see a margin between 6-10.


It makes about as much sense as Chewbacca in "The Chewbacca Defense" that an 11-5 team has to play on the road to an 8-8 team. "This is just think about that for a second"... but at least the Chargers are probably the most talented 8-8 team ever. Incredibly, they were 5-8 when Denver were 8-5; Denver went on to choke worse than Jean Van De Velde/Greg Norman/South Africa pre-08/09 all rolled into one. Up to that point, San Diego ("it means whale's vagina"), had been very unlucky, but an impressive four game streak sees them making their own luck. The Colts will air the ball out in this one, not just because they have struggled to run the ball this season, but because the Chargers weakness is defending the pass. This is likely going to be the most high-scoring and definitely the most entertaining of the four match-ups this week. The Chargers will look to establish the ground game with LaDainian Tomlinson before Phillip Rivers starts airing it out to the likes of Chris Chambers and Antonio Gates. Indy's QB Peyton Manning will be looking for Reggie Wayne with Dallas Clark and Marvin Harrison chiming in with some catches. These teams have a thing going where every time they play it goes down to the wire; the last three contests have been decided by 2, 4, and 3 points. Should be a fantastic game with both teams having built momentum at the right time of the year. Could go either way, but I'll go with the Chargers by 4, only because they're at home.

Professor: Enough in the above to keep it going. Indy (-1.5) judging by the records should have the wood on the Chargers but the momentum behind the Bolts, Indy's numerous one-and-out playoff runs and the Bolts at home, means that I would take the Bolts here.


Has there ever been a more unlikely playoff dual than this. Last year, these teams combined for 6 wins and this year 22! The Ravens, true to their style of the last decade get by on a stifling defence and a solid ground game. Possession and field possession is their ethos. Add to that capable game management and the occasional deep threat from rookie QB Joe Flacco and whilst by no means a complete team, the Ravens are built for this time of year. If they weren't up against my team, the mighty Phins, I would be telling you to snap up the $20 on offer for this team to win the bowl. And you need to say nice things about the Ravens. Otherwise Ray Lewis will kill you.

Miami, on the other hand are one of the more balanced teams playing this weekend. Sound on defence, a young offensive line led by rookie Jake Long, a unheralded receiving core, the two-pronged running back tandem of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown and noodle-arm Chad Pennington. Yes, noodle arm. A man who couldn't fit into the Jets system of the now unemployed mangenius, Chad Pennington has been one of the NFL's top passers this year. Seriously, if you prefer to get involved in the most annoying saga in the NFL (Brett Favre) over this guy, you deserve to spend Superbowl Sunday in line at Centrelink you giant douche.

As for this contest, it could well be the match of the round. Supercoach Sparano will need to give the Ravens a number of different looks on offense - including a good look at the Wildcat. Beyond that, turnovers will be crucial - but Miami have done well in that regard this year. Pennington with the 97.4 passer rating built upon 19 TD's and just 7 interceptions will be the key to this. Beyond that, trying to stuff the Baltimore running game led by the coolest man in the NFL Le'ron McClain will be crucial. One of the most interesting things about the Raven's running game is that you know where they are going. Typically, the Ravens stack their three best run blockers in one corridor.

I tip Miami getting within the 3.5 offered on TAB, and maybe keeping the dream alive for another week.


The Eagles put the Cowboys out of their misery last week and clinched a playoff spot in the process. They take on a Vikings team with the NFL's leading rusher in Adrian Peterson, and the league's best run defense. You don't have to be Einstein to work out that Peterson is going to be very busy in this one, but I'm predicting that Philly's RB Brian Westbrook may see less carries than usual. I think Philly are going to go to the air in a big way; this will be either spectactularly successful or a spectacular flop. I'm going with the latter as I'm still not convinced about the Eagles. They are far too up and down for my liking and will be frustrated by the consistency of the Vikings on both fronts. If Donovan McNabb is intercepted more than once than Philly will be under all sorts of pressure. To me, the Eagles are a better team than Minnesota on their day...key words being "on their day". The only possible setback for the Vikings would be a shocker from QB Doctorin' In The Tarvaris Jackson but I don't think Brad Childress will give him much rein in the offense. More likely, it will be Peterson powering Minnesota to a narrow 3 point victory. Surely the Professor jests (see below)! Eagles by how far now?! On the road?!

Professors Margin madness! Philly (-2.5) - that will do me. There has been a bit of momentum at the right time behind the Eagles, and you can't forget that they have toiled in the toughest division in football. I think that this could be a blowout in favour of the Eagles, the Vikings are a nice team, but if Philly click (that is a big if) they won't have the firepower to get this done. The only hope for the Vikings is a ridiculous day on the ground for Peterson in inclement weather. Eagles by 13.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


It's a new year and we don't want to be reminded of the state of the Aussie cricket team, so just chill out for a few minutes and listen to the smooth sounds of WHAB FM...