Welcome to 2017!
You may have noticed a tweak or two over the Christmas break. A new look and a new name! Rest assured though, the same columns are back for the New Year, with a few new ones thrown in across the duration too. You know – just to keep it interesting. 2017 is set to be another big year of sport and here at From The Grandstand, we will cover it all!
A new era begins in women’s sport as the Suncorp Super League netball competition begins and AFL Women’s kicks off. The AFL season will get back underway in March. Can Adelaide go one better than the last two years where they have bailed out in a semi-final? In a cricket sense, Australia head to India and most likely Bangladesh for Test matches, before a big big Ashes series later in the year. Plus soccer, basketball and anything else the sporting world throws at us in the next twelve months.
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Let’s get into it!
Quote of the week –
“It’s the third match into the year, so I am starting to feel the ball better and better and I am just moving around the court better, so I am really pleased.”
Roger Federer is back after returning from a knee injury at the Hopman Cup in Perth. It would be an awesome sight to see one more Grand Slam win for the Swiss champion. Perhaps the injury layoff will bring a rejuvenated Federer to the Australian Open which starts next week. Here’s hoping!
Tweet of the week –
And your explanation for the other 10 times you’ve claimed venues were “sold out” when they clearly were not? https://t.co/3oX3NTZ4Cp
— Boti Nagy (@boti_nagy) January 4, 2017
— Dwayne Russell (@_DwayneRussell) January 5, 2017
This one is an interesting debate. Advertiser journalist Boti Nagi and NBL commentator Dwayne Russell got in a Twitter spat during the week after Russell last Sunday claimed that the Adelaide 36ers Thursday night game against Illawara was already sold out. This was clearly incorrect information and it was unfortunate the Russell mentioned it on the broadcast three or four times. Nagi’s point is that Russell overhypes the game at a time where the NBL is having arguably its best season in history. Nagi thinks the extra mayo is unnecessary and that the product should do the talking. I tend to agree, but surely we can leave the childish tit for tat antics to a private forum.
ABC’s sports program Offsiders returned to our screens yesterday, a few weeks ahead of normal. Finally sporting producers have realised that sport does not stop, so neither should the sporting programs. Offsiders is one of, if not the best sporting panel show on the box and it is great to see Kelli Underwood hosting over the summer period.
— Offsiders ABC (@OffsidersABC) January 6, 2017
The James Hird situation is a prime example of the media not knowing when to stop and a slow news period. The bloke did wrong, but it is time we all left him alone to get on with his life. He has done his time and clearly the man is struggling to come to terms with it all.
Now, the same journalists who rubbed salt into his wounds during the saga and camped outside his house for weeks on end are coming out and criticising the public for doing the same. Move on. The 2017 AFL season should be a James Hird and Essendon saga free zone. Enough is enough. Bring on the footy.
Matt Renshaw will be picked in the squad that goes to India, but will not be the first choice opener. This is despite the 184 that he made in the Sydney Test and the patience and perseverance he has shown in the opener role since being brought into the side. That position will go to Shaun Marsh, which would only send mixed messages as to the direction the Australian team is heading in. Wrong call.
There will also be no lifeline for wicket-keeper Peter Nevill, who at the start of the summer was clearly Australia’s first choice keeper. Now he is probably at number three behind Mathew Wade and Peter Handscomb. Wade’s glove work has been patchy, but it will not be enough to stop him from making the trip to the sub-continent with Handscomb as the back up.
The Adelaide Crows are owed the most amount of money out of any AFL club following the collapse of merchandise supplier BLK. $841,000 to be precise. Unlike other AFL Clubs including Richmond and Brisbane, Adelaide are yet to switch manufacturers for the 2017 season. Will this one blow back in their faces, just six weeks out from the JLT Community Series? Watch this space.
Turn it up
From the you cannot be serious pile –
NSW Cricket Chief Andrew Jones says that there should be times where Sydney has two Test matches each summer. What a ridiculous idea. Test matches must be spread around the country to allow everybody the ability to attend. Besides, if there was ever to be two held in the same location, it would not be at the always rain ridden Sydney Cricket Ground. These figures only reinforce that point. Please.
Washed out Test days since 1877:
MCG 6 (not including 1971 washout => ODI)
— Ric Finlay (@RicFinlay) January 5, 2017
Channel Nine are reportedly set to throw everything into the ring in order to obtain the rights to the Big Bash League, even if that means that it is at the expense of international cricket. Given Nine’s coverage of sport and current crop of commentators, that would be a disaster. For mine, Ten and Fox Sports will share the rights with Fox desperately looking for more summer content and Ten also needing an offering. Channel Seven are the smokey, but with exclusive rights to the summer of tennis, it is hard to see where they would place the BBL.
And by popular demand…
Adelaide Oval is still doing wonderful things for the City of Adelaide. For just under 40,000 fans to turn up on an afternoon and evening of 40 degree temperatures is a wonderful reflection of South Australia. A fair proportion of these fans were sitting in the hot sun as well. Well done SA! We really are a sporting state.
— Adelaide Strikers (@StrikersBBL) January 6, 2017
Picture – Triple M