Wednesday Weekly Wrap

Welcome to a 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. I was prepared to call it an outlier, but there is now far too much data to call Port Adelaide’s attendance figures this year anything but disappointing. There were 39,000 people on a Saturday Night, featuring a big drawing club in Richmond. Where were all the people?! This surely was a 50k crowd minimum as a pass mark. What is with the sudden drop off from Port Adelaide fans? The Adelaide Oval novelty has worn off, but the Power are a real contender this season and are as good a chance as any. Strange for mine.

2. The AFL has provided some absolutely thrilling football games across season 2017. However, while the last few weeks may have been closely fought contests, the standard of footy has been nothing but ordinary. It is frustrating to watch, ugly to analyse and lacks any real excitement except for maybe towards the end of the game. At one stage over the weekend, Carlton kicked the ball amongst themselves for about three minutes in their game against Adelaide. Fans do not want that. I am not sure what the answer is, but give me a high scoring game any day over a defensive, ugly thriller.

3. It was the second year anniversary of the death of former Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh during the week. The Advertiser in Adelaide thought this was a great time to re-publish a three-part story about Cy Walsh that outlined the last moments of Phil Walsh’s life and everything in between. This is really bad taste and showed little respect for Walsh’s family and the Adelaide Football Club, both of whom do not need any reminder of July 3 2015. Sometimes life is bigger than click bait articles.

Thumbs Up!

1. Santos has signed on for a further two years as the naming rights sponsor of the Tour Down Under. In times where businesses are very cautious as to where they put their money, this is a major vote of confidence in one of South Australia’s premier sporting events.

The stages for the 2018 edition of the Santos Tour Down Under will be named in coming weeks. It is an unlikely proposition, but a time trial stage is the next direction this event needs to go. It would be a great stage for fans who can line the course in one spot and see every rider go past them across a couple of hours. It may also help attract a different sort of rider to the race. Good food for thought.

2. How good is July!? Seriously. Sleep is for the weak when this time of year rolls around. Wimbledon has kicked off and despite the Australian contingent being unlikely to do anything particularly successful, there is still the calibre of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to cheer on and admire. Their return to the top echelon of world tennis is up there with the top sporting stories of the year.

Meanwhile the Tour de France has also got underway and will feature on our screens every night over the next three weeks. Richie Porte is a big chance for the yellow jersey if a bit of luck goes his way. While you would tune in for the scenery alone if cycling is not your thing.

3. 21,000 at the Adelaide Oval for the NRL game between Sydney and Melbourne two weekends ago can be labelled a huge success. It looked slim pickings early on, but the crowd streamed in not long after kick off time. Those who came were treated to a great game of rugby league, even if a few key stars were missing. This event has done enough to be a regular on the NRL calendar, but perhaps outside of Origin season. It also again shows how Adelaide are desperately needing that second inner-city stadium that could be used for rugby and soccer.

The Thought
There is absolutely no need for a send off rule in the AFL. Incidents that require that sort of attention are very rare and the last thing the game needs is another interpretation in the hands of the umpires. Leave the game alone.

The Question
Netball just does not know how to get the basics right. Announcing a Diamonds squad should be an event. So why was a press release outlining the team released at 6am in the morning?

Well Played

Wednesday Whinge
Prior to the recent SA Labor Party Budget, From The Grandstand outlined five key spends that would boost sport in South Australia, as well as help the economy, tourism and the jobs crisis gripping this state. It is fair to say that sport was certainly an afterthought in this particular Budget.

An $4.5 million dollar initial upgrade to Priceline Stadium got the go ahead, which means any thoughts of an inner-city multi-purpose stadium are a long way off. This is disappointing, because it is a no brainer on so many levels.

Also making the cut was a Female Facilities Fund, which expands on idea of attempting to get more women involved in sport and providing appropriate facilities. There was also $1 million dollars towards athletes participating in upcoming major events including the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

There was and still is plenty more to be done. Where are we at with a Commonwealth Games bid? When are our netball, basketball and soccer players, who have done the hard yards going to get stadiums that their sports and fans of these sports deserve?

The SA Liberal Party meantime has got very little policies period and so it remains to be seen what they will do in the sporting world for the state should they win the next election.

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