Wednesday Weekly Wrap

Welcome to a new weekly wrap of all things sport. Every Wednesday, we will have a look at the big issues kicking around in the world of sport and try to make some sense of them.

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Thumbs Down!
1.AFL Bye Rounds
The three weeks of shortened AFL rounds are silly. It stems momentum during the middle of the AFL season and is confusing to follow as to when games are on and which network is broadcasting them. Surely a better option is to have one round off completely mid-season or alternatively play a round over two weeks. You could then match teams up the following week according to who had the bye and who did not. The current situation just does not make sense and I am sure annoys broadcasters and fans alike who want to watch footy week after week in proper time slots and with consistency. This is an easy one to fix.

2. Mark Robinson Bashing
Mark Robinson’s tweet about Alex Fasolo days after Fasolo had come out and said that he was suffering from mental illness was highly inappropriate. However that does not give the right for those social media warriors to bully and launch an array of abuse to Robinson on social media. It makes them no better than Robinson’s initial comments. You do not have to agree with somebody’s views, but there is a way to express yours without becoming a bully yourself.

The media too started a witch hunt on Robinson that went way too far and appeared more of an opportunity to score points for their own media network than actually condemn Robinson for the comments. Those in glass houses…

3. The Age continues to lose quality journalists in the latest cuts to the industry around the country. Sports journalism has not been immune from the changes with Rohan Conolloy and Sam Lane announcing that they are finishing up with Fairfax. The country is poorer for it, not to mention the quality of journalism which is a lacking aspect in Australia at the present time.

Thumbs Up!
1. Michael Barlow handled himself with absolute class after suffering another broken leg in the Suns loss to the Blues over the weekend. Despite clearly being in immense pain, Barlow sent out a post on Instagram to assure fans and the football world that he will be alright. Well played Michael.

2. NRL comes to the Adelaide Oval this week in yet another indication that the city needs a world-class rectangular stadium. That aside it will be good to see two of the best teams of the last few seasons in Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters battle it out in Adelaide. Here’s hoping this one can become a regular fixture on the NRL calendar.

3. There are big questions as to the relevance of the ICC Champions Trophy tournament, but anytime India and Pakistan meet in an event is worth watching. The eyes of a fair proportion of the world saw Pakistan beat their arch rivals on Sunday Night. The only time these two sides do battle now is in major tournaments, which is immensely sad given what cricket means for these two nations. Perhaps the cricketing gods were telling us something by pairing the rivals in the final.

The Thought
Was Warren Tredrea watching the same game?

The Question
Why did only just under 32,000 people turn up to watch Port Adelaide play Brisbane last Saturday afternoon? A perfect sunny winter afternoon and a team that until last weekend had been in pretty good form. Has the gloss finally come off Adelaide Oval? Were Port Adelaide fans spooked after one week of terrible footy? Is Saturday Twilight not a popular time slot? Although there have been plenty along the journey. Saturday’s crowd was the lowest for an AFL game since the redeveloped Adelaide Oval opened in 2014.

And Another Thing
Well played to Matthew Keenan and Robbie McEwan who will take the reigns of the Tour de France coverage from start to finish replacing the iconic voices of Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwan who will now only have cameo appearances on the world feed. While it is great news for Keenan and McEwan, falling asleep to the voices of Liggett and Sherwan has been a Tour de France tradition for me and it will be solely missed!

Wednesday Whinge
Oh Channel Nine, you promised so much, but delivered so little when it came to the Suncorp Super Netball competition in 2017. The final straw though was the non broadcasting of the event in high-definition on the main channel in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. That is despite this comment from Head of Netball for the Nine Network on June 1 2017 –

“It really has been an amazing first year of Suncorp Super Netball. After 59 incredible matches to have the Grand Final prime time on Channel Nine is the perfect result for the competition and for netball.”

Wrong. 9Gem was the home of netball in two states and one territory around Australia on Saturday Night. The biggest game of netball for the year shown on a secondary channel is simply not good enough.

It really is nothing short of pathetic and those in charge of Suncorp Super Netball should be demanding answers. Those answers should then be given to fans in the states who did not get to watch one game of netball in high-definition or a on a main channel in 2017.

There is absolutely no excuse for this sort of treatment of the sport from Nine. From The Grandstand sought comment from Channel Nine, but nobody was willing to give an explanation apart from assuring me that it was available on 9Gem.

Netball is a national sport and unlike the NRL or AFL it is not stronger in some states than it is in others. The game should have been live, in high-definition and on a main channel nationwide, no questions asked. Fans put up with it during the regular season and indeed for the two Semi- Finals and the Preliminary Final.  For one Saturday Night of the year, surely Nine could cut short their hour long news service and instead show a national netball decider rather than the news and then Hamish and Andy or a movie as turned out to be the case.

From The Grandstand will continue to hold Channel Nine to account until ALL games of Suncorp Super Netball are shown on the main channel in high-definition. The sport of netball has earned that right and simply deserves better.

Picture – The Daily Telegraph