Summer Scoop

This week – The Adelaide 36ers take out the NBL minor premiership, another wonderful edition of the Tour Down Under wraps up, but are crowd numbers a problem? Plus Australia Day cricket, what Aussie team will take the park?

Quote of the week –

“Our master statistician Lawrie Colliver tells us Laughlin has got Watson twice in the last eight balls he’s bowled him in this competition…”

Channel Ten Big Bash League commentator Mark Howard giving Adelaide Strikers captain Brad Hodge statistical information through Hodge’s on-field microphone in the game between the Strikers and the Sydney Thunder. Hodge then went on to bowl Ben Laughlin.

You cannot do that. In this day and age of betting, surely this breaches all sorts of laws and creates a million ethical dilemmas. Poor from Channel Ten who should know better. The Big Bash League cannot be taken seriously if that is the sort of thing that is happening.

Tweet of the week –

It’s official. Fans of Twenty20 cricket don’t care if their team wins or loses. They are there for pure entertainment. Monday night’s crowd was huge for a game that was virtually a dead rubber for the Adelaide Strikers. I cannot imagine a near sell out for a Crows or Port AFL game in the last game of the season if there was no hope of playing finals.

The hero

In an NBL season that has had more ups and downs than any season before it, Adelaide winning the minor premiership is a huge achievement. No one really gave them much of a chance going into the year and to come out on top is MASSIVE. The job is far from done though. Bring on the playoffs.

The villain
Somehow the Australian public seem to want to will Nick Kyrgios to win. I just do not understand that. His attitude is now the worst attitude of any Australian sportsman. How can you support that? He needs some help and it is time he was left alone and removed from the tennis court in order to get that assistance. His performance in the second round of the Australian Open was nothing short of disgraceful and not because he lost. The way he conducted himself both on the court and in his post-match press conference painted the picture of a very sad young man. Get help Nick.

The prediction
Australia Day at Adelaide Oval will the see the fifth and final One Day International of the Summer played in Australia against Pakistan. The Aussies have already wrapped up the series and with an ODI series in New Zealand and a tour of India to come, will there be the temptation to rest a few big players in this one? I hope not, because Adelaide deserves to see the best players out there on Australia Day. Time will tell.

The Scoop
Crowds were slightly down for this year’s Tour Down Under. There was a bit of hot weather in there, the race was a week earlier than usual, but for mine the lack of a really big name did most of the damage. The Tour Down Under is a world class event, but it needs to be able to continue to attract the best in the business. Chris Froome spent the last couple of weeks in Australia on a training camp. He should be target number one for 2018.

Crow Call Summer
Eddie Betts has had his contract extended for a further three years. How good is that?! Adelaide broke with tradition in offering him that, but as a small forward and ability to nurture the younger types in Charlie Cameron, Wayne Milera and Troy Menzel, Betts is the type of person you want around the place for as long as possible. Recruiting Betts has been the best decision Adelaide has ever made.

Turn It Up
The Adelaide 36ers finals games must be played at Titanium Security Arena (TSA). TSA is home and has the atmosphere to match. Any move to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre (AEC) would be the wrong one for both Adelaide and the League. So what if you lock a couple of thousand people out. Those people should have attended more games throughout the year or signed up as members.

What this does raise yet again though, is the need for a large multi-purpose stadium to be built in Adelaide. It could be used for basketball, netball and tennis all year round. That idea just keeps making more and more sense. 

Extra scoop 
Two more excellent marketing campaigns kicked off this week in the sporting world.

The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games kicked off with their “Greatness Rarely Seen” campaign. It is a highly inspiring advertisement and surely one to start building the excitement around the Games. The Commonwealth Games are just over a year away so expect this campaign to really ramp up in the second half of 2017.

The NAB AFL Women’s Competition has also released an advertisement to promote the upcoming season. Their campaign is a re-make of the 1990’s AFL campaign featuring the line ‘I’d like to see that’ and stars Cathy Freeman, Lee Lin Chin and Moana Hope amongst others.

With this advertisement, The AFL have ticked the first box in making this competition a success.

And by popular demand…
Richie Porte this week won the 2017 Tour Down Under with two magnificent rides up to Paracombe and Willunga Hill. Porte could be a Tour de France threat this year if a bit of luck can go his way. Team BMC have thrown everything Porte’s way and it could be the second time Australia experiences Tour de France success.

Meanwhile Orica Scott’s Caleb Ewan has continued his good recent form taking out the People’s Choice Classic last weekend and then backing it up with four of six Stage wins during the week. Ewan is only just beginning his career and with the world his oyster, Australian cycling looks to be in good hands.

You can see my week covering the Tour Down Under in images at from-the-grandstand.com

Picture – Liam Thompson

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