I have to say, these pieces were so much more enjoyable to write when Australian sport actually had a winning culture. We seem to be going through a period scientifically known as “royally sucking” and it’s beginning to hurt like hell. There, I said it. Now, moving on quickly to this week’s nominations before I (again) find myself in the foetal position sucking my thumb and sobbing quietly.
Honourable Mention – Stuart O’Grady (Australia) (Cycling)
Perhaps the term “dishonourable” would be more appropriate. But I digress.
O’Grady has long been one of the most admired cyclists in the country and with good reason. Holding the Tour de France green jersey on several occasions, Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games, mentor, coach and team-mate; there wasn’t a lot that this guy wasn’t involved in when it had to do with cycling.
O’Grady announced his retirement earlier this week and, merely a few days later, admitted to blood doping in the 1998 Tour de France.
Now, I know that O’Grady has his supporters, that many state that one mistake should not ruin an entire career, but really? Let’s look at a few facts:
* O’Grady’s first green jersey in the Tour de France was in 1998 – the year he admits to blood doping;
* In 2005, he was inducted into the Australian Institute of Sport’s “Best of the Best” yet failed to disclose his doping;
* O’Grady – similarly to Lance Armstrong – only admitted to doping AFTER his retirement (which coincidentally came on the back of being named in a French Senate inquiry into blood doping in the Tour).
Sorry. You do the crime, you do the time.
Third Place – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) (Football)
Now, it’s not often that I get to give a mention to Ronaldo, mostly because, to be honest, I don’t give a flying rats about whatever the hell he does, but this week, he slots into the bronze place quite easily.
The weekend saw a friendly between Real Madrid and Bournemouth take place a Bournemouth’s local Goldsands Stadium, and excited Bournemouth supporter Charlie Silverwood (aged 11) couldn’t miss the opportunity to see the Spanish giants at his ground. Excitement quickly turned to pain however, when Ronaldo pinged a ball at the direction of his face.
Silverwood put his hand up to block the ball and wound up with a broken wrist.
Credit to the kid though, who sat out the remainder of match in pain – after all, seeing Real Madrid is a once in a lifetime opportunity – before heading to hospital.
Now potentially, the nomination could go to Silverwood – except Ronaldo has form.
Two years ago, another fan wound up with a busted nose as a result of a misdirected Ronaldo kick after copping a loose ball to the face and unfortunately, not being as quick as young Charlie to block it.
Someone better let Ronaldo know that it’s not cool to kick your fans in the face, deliberately or otherwise. Just don’t let that person be Eric Cantona.
Second Place – Mattingly Romanin (United States of America) (baseball)
Everyone loves a grand entrance. Admit it; when the “Queen” parachuted into the Olympic Stadium in London, you were a little spellbound, regardless of whether it was because you wanted to see “her” crash or just see what happens. Well, it turns out that even sportsmen can get caught up in the moment – just ask Mattingly Romanin, the starting shortstop for Hannibal Cavemen.
Someone (let’s not point fingers here) had a grand idea that having the game ball delivered into the most recent match for Hannibal via skydiver. Nice, hey? Have the ball delivered onto the diamond from the sky and then play ball. Sounds awesome, yes? Well, in theory. Until the delivery of said ball.
Romanin, like everyone else, was caught up in watching the skydiver descend onto the field when he realised – a little too late – that he was a little closer than he expected.
What happened next, words don’t really justify; so see for yourself:
Credit to Romanin; he managed to pull himself up. Check out his tweets after the match (@MRomanin2).
So, kids, here’s a lesson. When something is coming at your head at full speed from the sky, no matter how pretty, how shiny or how sparkly – run.
Winner – Batfist of the Week – Steven Warner (Australia) (cricket)
Oh dear. Dear me. You know something in the world of cricket that managed to still knock out the official Cricket Australia twitter account sending out “that decision sucked ass #bullshit” in the early hours of Sunday morning must have been good; and David Warner’s brother, Steven, did not fail to perform.
Steven, apparently upset at the treatment former coach Mickey Arthur was receiving, tweeted this in support:
An escape goat? No WONDER Australia were struggling to convert their matches into wins. How many other nations are coached by animals, for crying out loud, let alone escaped ones?
But the curious case of Steven Warner continued with Australia’s poor form with the bat:
Presumably, it was necessary to book business class in order to avoid the cattle class – or escape goats?
One of the final digs that had a few people sit up, however, was this crack at opening batsman Shane Watson:
“Sooner your out if the side”. Now, perhaps I’m not as fluent in English as I thought I was, but the combination of the three tweets hurt my head in the early hours.
But it gets better. After the tweets were brought to the attention of Cricket Australia (whom, let’s face it, would have been relieved that their little dalliance was shoved under the carpet and forgotten about as a result of these instances), Dave Warner issued a statement to the effect that his brother had a right to have an opinion but that Dave was behind Shane Watson 100%.
Steven went on to deny that he was responsible for said tweets.
Ah, Steven. It turns out that Shane Watson was not the only great pretender.
So, congratulations Steven Warner. For proving that Dave is not the dumbest Warner in the family, you win this week’s Batfist of the Week.