I know I’ve hammered the dribblers in the past (alright, you can call them commentators if you like, but they’re dribblers to me) for some of their idiotic comments but I sat bolt upright t’other night as I watched a League match.

That I recall the game was bogged down with errors aplenty and Phil Gould had already muttered several times  “Don’t get me started, Rabbits”  as something he didn’t like, flashed in front of him. Then Joey Johns dropped into the conversation/commentary Maybe the number of players on the field should be reduced!” It had an immediate effect – like a cockroach floating in the middle of the custard bowl.  The game went on in the background but in the booth silence (for a moment) reigned. Then somebody exclaimed: “WHAT?”  The Immortal, warming to his comment, said, “Well, the players have got bigger and faster but the field’s stayed the same size. Why not take a couple of players off each side and so open the game up?”

To say I was suddenly interested in what the dribblers were saying is an understatement.  That idea was one of several I included in my letter to Peter V’landis back in May when he altered a few rules of the game to try and get some life back into it.  And now here was Joey saying the same thing!  Peter hasn’t replied to my letter yet, but it looks like he’s circulated a few copies to see if others have any thoughts?  When I worked in the Public Service that was known as – Running It Up The Flagpole To See If Anybody Salutes.  Well, from my point of view, Joey has and that’s something worth noting.

Down South everything is happening up North!  Yep, The Oz Rules Grand Final will now take place in Brisbane.  It was probably the only call that could be made as many State borders are still closed and the bulk of the Oz Rules teams are in Queensland anyway.  The last flights north out of Melbourne was interesting.  All the AFL heavies were on board and the group included Eddie Everywhere!  “What’s he doing there,” seemed to be the uniform call.  “Don’t tell me the fix is in, Collingwood has the nod to be the Premiers and Eddie will be there to glow in the glory?”  Of course, everybody had to undergo the mandatory quarantine lock down period and that included three players re-joining their sides.  In a large blue box one of the officials checked in, was the 2020 Premier’s Cup.  With the heavies also came the plan to hold the first ever, evening Grand Final, which the AFL couldn’t get through the logjam that is tradition down in Melbourne.  The Times They Are A Changing.

And speaking of changes, The Land Of The Long White Cloud  has decided to punch a hole in their COVID 19 border wall to allow – – – – – – – have a guess?  Yep, to allow  The Wallabies  (and for those of you who haven’t been paying attention – that’s the Australian Rugby Union side) to enter New Zealand to take part in the annual blood-bath laughingly referred to as The Bledisloe Cup.  I don’t know why we bother – I’ve seen cricket scores smaller than the margin  The All Blacks  usually inflict on our hapless side year after year.  There’ll be two games across the ditch (currently, October 17th and 24th) and then two games here in Oz, though both the venues and times for the latter two are yet to be confirmed.  Will  The Wallabies  be competitive this year?  Not a hope in hell.  This year has been a bust for Rugby here and by the time you read this, the 2020 Grand Final of our home competition will have been played in Canberra between  The Brumbies  (Canberra) and  The Reds  (Queensland).  And where did The Blues  (NSW) finish in this year’s comp?  NSW, the home of Rugby and a powerhouse of the game here in Oz even before Adam played outside flanker for the Hakoah Club, only managed to finish 4th this year.  Under normal circumstances to finish in the top four is somewhat of a coup but with all the COVID 19 travel restrictions this year, there were only 5 teams in the domestic comp (and that included the resurrected Perth team) so it was pathetic:  Ken Catchpole must be turning in his grave.  I can’t see us winning a game in The Bledisloe!

Meanwhile, over in The Old Dart, The Galahs  have been playing  The Poms  in some incidental matches:  three 20/20 and three ODI matches.  “How did they go?”  I hear the raucous call of the millions who read this internationally acclaimed newspaper.  Well, I didn’t call the Australian men’s cricket team  The Galahs  because they dressed in pink – which they don’t.  No, I called them  The Galahs  because First, they tend to make a lot of noise, Second, they tend to make a lot more noise and Third, they’re so completely unpredictable!  They have shiploads of talent but when the chips are down and we need somebody to stand up with a bat, they’re hopeless!  If they were cattle, you wouldn’t feed them.  I think they’ve won a game but for mine, the airfare was wasted!  Are we going to do any better when  The Poms  come out here later this year?  Gawd, I hope so.

Talk at you later,

Hillside Critic

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