The sports wrap with Nicky G

Wednesday 22 December 2010

The sports wrap with Nicky G

by Nicholas Gibson

With Xmas nearing there are only three sporting topics hitting our tabloids – one is good for the nation; one is great for Cairns, and the other makes one’s head shake.

You guessed it – the Ashes win, the Taipans local derby win and the fact that St Kilda footballers love getting drunk and nude!
Let’s start with the Ashes.

Our selectors took a punt and won using four quicks in Perth. Ricky Ponting has momentarily got the knockers off his back thanks to the heroics of Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Watson (the captain in waiting?) and the evergreen Hussey.

Keep up the winning boys! To win the Ashes back however will take every one bringing their ‘A’ game and Ponting’s leadership is crucial.

It will also be a good warm up for the Windies arriving for the one dayers. The boys will need to be crisp to face the pace attack of Joel Garner and Michael Holding, and then weather the storm of stroke makers Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd and Desmond Haynes. I wish!

With test cricket, 50 over one day games and 20/20 now on the fixture list I’m confused and miss the old days.  Call me old fashioned but it was simple to follow and the countries had superstars. Remember names like Botham, Hadlee, Boycott (my god he was annoying) and even Inzaman Ul Huq (greatest cricketing name ever.  In fact now used as Aussie slang for drinking too much and needing a ‘chuck’ as in "back in a sec lads, that last shot was harsh and I need to go for an Inzaman Ul Huq").

The game seems to be going through a transition period of stars and I for one am losing the passion. How could the Poms, for example, even get close to us over here? I’ve lived in the UK and it was hard enough to go outside let alone stand in a paddock all day!
Maybe my interest has waned due to basketball moving its season to summer.

The NBL took a huge risk in doing so but maybe the long hard road is starting to pay off!  Five thousand screaming fans rocked up for the local derby between Cairns and Townsville and even though it wasn’t pretty, the Taipans got home.

What a difference winning makes.  After financial insecurity the Taipans have rebounded superbly and could finish in the top two.  Some solid management great recruiting and a maturing coach have helped the club turn a corner. And if they can win playing really badly (like Saturday night) then anything is possible.

A special mention to departing community programs manager Joel Khalu who’s accepted a great opportunity elsewhere.  Great work Joel, you will be missed and we are all confident the incoming Dwayne Vale will carry on your legacy!
As for topic three, I’m glad I played the bulk of my footy before every man and his dog had a camera on their phone!

Three high profile Sainters – including the captain, have found themselves in a compromised position again thanks to a young girl with an axe to grind.  Now it’s not my job to say who’s right or wrong as I don’t have all the facts, but I do know as a former player that most players like to get nude every now and then!

But if I was lucky or good enough to play at the highest level, especially in the present day, would I think twice before doing it?  Yep!! It’s bedazzling that even though these footballers know the risks, their little heads keep doing the thinking.  They are calling it an invasion of privacy but I think it’s more like a stoppage of thinking.
Don’t forget to visit Under Wraps this week for your ‘Sporting Wrap’. Just mention this article. Ciao for now.