Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Late last year Audi launched their challenger for the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours. Unlike its predecessors it will be a coupe instead of an open prototype.

Before looking at the new R18 TDi here is an evolutionary look at Audi at Le Mans since 1999.

In 1999 Audi had two different approaches to the 24 hours, the R8C coupe…

and the open prototype Audi R8R…

In 2000 Audi won Le Mans with the Audi R8. Audi dominated at Le Mans with this car, winning in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005.

In 2003 Bentley won at Le Mans with their Speed 8. This car was built by Audi, had an Audi engine and run by the Audi works team.

In 2006 Audi launched the R10 TDi, a V12 turbo diesel rather than the V8 petrol turbo that they had used in the R8 and Speed 8. It won at Le Mans in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

In 2007 Peugeot launched their 908 turbo diesel which while proving faster than the R10 TDi, was much more fragile. In 2009 Audi launched their successor to the R10 Tdi, the R15 TDi. The R15 TDi used a V10 turbo diesel engine. This car proved to be little faster than the R10 TDi and was beaten by the Peugeots in 2009, although it did win Le Mans in 2010 mainly due to the Peugeots unreliability.

In December 2010 Audi released the R18 TDi, which will use a V6 turbo diesel engine.

This Saturday is AFL Grand Final day with Collingwood taking on St Kilda for the premiership. I know that watching the Magpies smash the Saints is excitement enough for some of us, but for those who may get a little bored during Channel 7s telecast there is always the 2010 AFL Drinking Game. Here are a few of the rules to the game…

  1. Anytime that 1966 is mentioned – take a drink
  2. Anytime Bruce McAvaney says the word ‘special’ – take a drink
  3. Anytime the cameraman focuses on ‘Molly’ Meldrum or Eddie McGuire in the crowd – take a drink
  4. Anytime that the name Barry Breen is mentioned – take a drink
  5. If we get the tips of Channel 7 celebrities like Kochie, Matt White, Larry Emdur, Alf from Home & Away or any other person who knows nothing about AFL footy – take a drink
  6. Anytime that Channel 7 talks about the latest betting trends and the odds for the match – take a drink (If it is David Schwartz doing this then you have to skol a full stubby)
  7. If Channel 7s production value has not improved since 1989 – take a drink
  8. Anytime the camera focuses on Joffa Corfe and his gold jacket – take a drink
  9. If in the pre-game telecast anyone talks about Lou Richards or Darrel Baldock – take a drink (Have an additional drink if they are interviewed)
  10. Anytime that Denis Cometti makes one of those smart-arsed, off the cuff comments that you know that he’s rehearsed all week – take a drink
  11. Anytime the umpire stuffs up bouncing the ball – take a drink
  12. If Steven Baker hits a Collingwood player – take a drink
  13. Anytime a commentator talks about X-Factor – take a drink
  14. If Sandy Roberts is commentating – take a (very big) drink (of something with a high alcohol content). Believe me, it’s the only way you’ll make it through the telecast with your sanity intact
  15. Anytime that umpire ‘Razor’ Ray Chamberlain decides he wants to be in the spotlight and gives a contentious free-kick – take a drink
  16. Anytime that Travis Cloke misses a goal – take a drink
  17. Anytime that Justin Koschitzke accidentally injures one of his team mates through his own unco-ordination – take a drink
  18. Anytime that Stephen Milne throws a punch – take a drink
  19. Anytime that Nick Reiwoldt berates his team-mates for not kicking the ball to him – take a drink
  20. Anytime Dayne Beams misses a goal – take a drink
  21. If Cometti uses the cliche ‘the Magpies swoop’ – take a drink
  22. Anytime the commentator use the phrase ‘Saints footy’ – take a drink
  23. Anytime Dane Swan gets a possession – take a drink
  24. If the pre-game entertainment is crap – take a drink (If it involves Angry Anderson and the Batmobile  – take another drink)
  25. Anytime a commentator mentions the new 7Mate TV channel – take a drink bonus drink if they talk about Jersey Shore or Family Guy
  26. Anytime the commentators mention how unlucky Dane Swan was to not win the Brownlow Medal – take a drink
  27. If Jim Stynes is interviewed during the pre-game telecast – take a drink
  28. If Nick Riewoldt cries after the match – take a drink (same goes for Mick Malthouse)
  29. If Channel 7 cuts off the telecast at 6pm to go to the news, regardless of whether the winning team has sung their theme song – take a drink
  30. If you wish that Channel 10 were televising the game instead of Channel 7 (I empathise with you) – take a drink

This is probably all of the rules that I have come up with so far, although there are undoubtedly many more. I don’t advocate anyone actually following this by the way, because if you did you’ll be suffering alcohol poisoning just by following rule number 1 alone, as I know that 7 will mention 1966 hundreds of times before the game actually starts. You may have gathered that I am not impressed with Channel 7s football coverage and you would be correct. In my opinion the biggest problem with 7 is that their coverage is the same as it was in 2001. It learnt nothing from the innovative ways in which 9 telecast the footy from 2002-2006 or the way that Channel 10 has broadcast the football since 2001. They just picked up from where they left off and have not added anything of substance to their coverage. Hopefully Channel 9 will regain some of the rights in 2012 after the current deal finishes.

As for my prediction for the Grand Final, I hope Collingwood win but I am not willing to tip them that as it would be bad luck. (I’m very superstitious!)

Next Week

Posted: September 19, 2010 in AFL, Sport

Last night St Kilda beat the Western Bulldogs to set up a showdown with Collingwood in next week’s AFL Grand Final. I don’t think that St Kilda was all that impressive last night and they will have to play a lot better if they are going to beat the Magpies. Early in the game when the Bulldogs put the Saints under pressure St Kilda made a lot of errors and there were a lot of clanger kicks. Unlike the Dogs Collingwood will be relentless with their pressure for the entire four quarters, and as Geelong found out on Friday night the Maggies will capitalise on any error that the opposition makes. If St Kilda are to win next week they cannot afford to be as sloppy as they were in the first half last night.

I also wonder whether Brendon Goddard will end up being reported on video evidence for his errant elbow last night on Picken. I think this will definitely come under scrutiny of the match review panel but whether he is suspended is unknown. The Channel 10 commentators said that if last night was a regular home & away match then he would definitely get a week but that the tribunal would likely be more lenient with the Grand Final coming up next week. It should not be the case but we will see.

One More Game To Go

Posted: September 18, 2010 in Collingwood, Football, Sport

Collingwood are into the Grand Final where they will play… we won’t find that out until tonight but I suspect it will be St Kilda. Last night the Magpies had an easy win over Geelong. Earlier in the week I said that Mark Thompson’s ‘mind-games’ smacked of desperation when he talked about the other finalists being jealous of Geelong, and I was proved correct.

Collingwood was a far better team last night and while it would be unlucky of me to predict victory in the Grand Final, I do think that they will be very difficult to beat. Last night the Magpies pace made Geelong look very slow and the Collingwood pressure made the Cats’ passing look inept. Despite Gary Ablett getting a lot of possessions he really didn’t have much influence on the game as he would always be kicking or handballing to a team-mate under pressure, who would inevitably turn the ball over to a Collingwood player.

Too many Geelong players went missing last night. Tom Hawkins was useless in the ruck, while James Podsiadly played like a VFL player.

One thing I found interesting is that the Collingwood team only had two players, Alan Didak and Ben Johnson, playing last night who were from our 2002/2003 losing Grand Final teams. Of the other players still at the Magpies from those years, both Leon Davis and Simon Prestigiacomo were omitted from the side because of injury, while Josh Fraser was overlooked. Shane O’Bree retired earlier in the season. For the Collingwood team to have changed so much over the last seven years and to still be regular finalists is amazing. I wonder whether Leon, Presti, Josh and Paul Medhurst will still be at Collingwood next year. I think that Fraser will be traded to another team for sure, while I think that Leon may stick around. I cannot see any of those guys being able to force their way into the team next week, especially since Tyson Goldsack, who replaced Leon at the last moment last night, played very well. Neon Leon isn’t known for playing well in finals and the Grand Final is not the place for him to try to get some finals form.

I think that St Kilda will easily beat the Bulldogs tonight but who knows. I thought that Collingwood vs Geelong would be a close match.

Collingwood has just scraped by and beaten the Adelaide Crows by 3 points in a very low scoring match.

Not only does it look as though there could be the possibility of Tony Abbott being our next Prime Minister but Adelaide are currently 10 points in front of Collingwood. This is looking to be a sad night.

It’s currently showing ALP 71 to LNP 66. ALP need 5 more seats to form government or alternately LNP need 10 more seats.

Antony Green has predicted we’re headed for a hung Parliament.

Here’s his prediction: Labor: 73 seats; Coalition: 72 seats; Greens: 1 seat; Independents: 4 seats.

This was shown this week on the UK edition of Top Gear. Apparently Bernie Ecclestone has decreed that the F1 footage shown in here is never to be broadcast again.

Just watching the Senna footage just reminds me of how great F1 was when I was a kid and how crap things are today in comparison, especially when you watch last week’s German GP. The tifosi may think that Schumacher is the greatest or that Alonso is the best driver today, but they just don’t compare at all, especially when you note that Schumacher and Alonso have made sure that their team mates are not challengers to them, while Senna went out of his way to be the team-mate of Alain Prost who at the time was considered to be the best driver of that generation, just so he could prove that he was better. Senna didn’t need his team mates (or anyone else) to be told to get out of the way so he could pass, he would just pull out some amazing overtaking manoeuvres.

Le Mans 24 Hours

Posted: June 11, 2010 in Le Mans, Motorsport, Sport

This week is a big one for sport with the World Cup football (soccer) beginning. The Canadian Grand Prix is also on this weekend as is the Le Mans 24 Hours. Qualifying for the 24 Hours is underway as we speak, and it looks as though the Peugeots will have the upper hand on their arch rivals Audi. Come race day it could be different as at Le Mans it is not always the fastest car that wins, but the car that has the least problems and Audi will no doubt want revenge on their defeat last year. The Aston Martin team may have a slight chance of winning if Peugeot and Audi run into troubles. 

I noticed yesterday that the CEO of the Parramatta Eels rugby league team, Paul Osborne, dismissed the new Western Sydney AFL team as being a threat by saying,

‘I am not particularly worried by it… It’s a pretty ordinary game and we’ve got a much better product.’

He went on to say,

‘I am not too concerned as I am sure they will come back when they see how boring it is. They are quite intelligent in Western Sydney.’

Ha ha ha. Don’t make me laugh. Rugby league is only strong in NSW and Queensland whilst Aussie rules is strong not just in Melbourne but in Adelaide and Perth, both the Swans and Brisbane Lions are very strong, whilst Tasmania have been begging the AFL to grant them a franchise for a dozen years or more. The NRL has just two non-NSW or QLD teams, one from New Zealand and the Melbourne Storm. (I know technically Canberra is in the ACT but in reality it is part of NSW) The Adelaide Rams rugby league team lasted just two seasons, and although they had attendance figures that put most Sydney rugby league clubs to shame, Rupert Murdoch decided that they could not compete with the AFL’s Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power.

The Storm have been a roaring success in Melbourne but it is still just a handful of regular supporters who attend every match. An average of 12,474 spectators to their home games in 2008, whilst the Parramatta Eels attracted 16,478 spectators to their home games in 2005 (the latest figure I could find). An average of 16,466 people attended NRL games in 2009. In contrast 37,776 people attended each AFL game, with Port Adelaide having the lowest average attendances every week at 25,589. The Sydney Swans attracted an average crowd of 30,857 spectators to their games in 2009, with 2008 seeing an average crowd of 31,821 at Swans games. In 2005 an average of 37,000 people attended Swans games. In 2008 AFL had 1,784,000 MORE free-to-air TV viewers in the capital cities each week than the NRL. If Aussie rules was such a boring game and rugby league so superior wouldn’t it make sense that more people would go to or watch the games and that it would have penetrated into more states of Australia? Since around twice as many people attend Swans AFL games than those of these two NRL teams I reckon there should be a lot of concern. If Paul Osborne isn’t worried now he should be.

I hate Geelong!!!

Posted: September 19, 2009 in AFL, Sport
Tags: ,

I hate Geelong but after tonight’s performance I think I hate Collingwood even more!