Sunday, October 07, 2018

Sporting shorts

The final weekend of the Rugby Championship was a story of comebacks – the All Blacks trailed South Africa 13-31 before coming back to win, the Wallabies trailed Argentina 7-31 at half time.
The Spring tour at the end of next month will be interesting, but its really next year - the World Cup year that matters. 

The International Cricket Season started this week too with the New Zealand Women’s team just swept by the Southern Stars in their three-game Twenty-20 Series. I didn’t look at the scores but its fair to say NZ left their best cricket at home and put in three disappointing performances. 

I know I had similar thoughts to this last year, but it seems tougher writing about the sport during the off season of the AFL and Rugby League. 

That's not to say I'm not following a bit of sport at the moment. I’m keeping tabs on Cricket, Baseball, Basketball, the NFL. Given ESPN is part of Optus’ Fetch TV package I’m able to see a little bit more live coverage some American sport. The NBA starts in another 10 days and at this stage I find it hard to go past Golden State Warriors to win, the NFL is now four games into their season and I just don't know enough to predict a winner. 

New to Optus for the 2018/19 season is European Soccer, which is perhaps a touch surprising given their World Cup disaster earlier in the year. I don't mind the surprise as it was so great to see Arsenal's Europa League tie. 

It is quite a big year for European Soccer with a new tournament being added. The UEFA Nations League is a European competition with matches being held during the ‘international windows’ when ‘friendlies’ were usually played. (Read more about the tournament here). 

With ‘American’ sport – In most of the codes it’s an appreciation of the contest without loyalty to a team or player. There’s certainly something enjoyable about being able to watch a game without having a vested interest in the outcome. Though, that said, I did decided to follow the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and probably have cost them any chance of success in the near future ;)

One strange thing about American sport is the fact that franchises can move cities. Still seems sad to me that Seattle don't have a basketball team based in their city.

The one thing I would like transplant from the US is a rotating city hosting the Championship game. In thinking about both AFL and NRL, I can certainly see Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney all hosting the Grand Finals. 

I think it would certainly broaden the appeal of the game, and I prefer that than to move towards a best of three final series which has been talked about in relationship to the AFL.

All that said, I think you can expect some irregular posts on the European Soccer, especially the continental competitions where you find Football's best players. I might post a little more about the World Series and Superbowl but we'll see. 

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