It feels like it’s been forever since Geelong absolutely smashed Port Adelaide in the AFL Grand Final back in last September. Over five long months without football. Without having Friday night footy blaring on the big screen LCD. Without seeing the idiots on the Footy Show carry on every week (check out Bogut’s appearance last year). Without seeing kids kicking the footy in the park outside my house. Without seeing characters like Aker do things like this or players taking speccies like this (that one’s almost higher than Dwight Howard). Thankfully – and this is truly one of the great blessings in sports scheduling – we have the NBA to keep us amused during these lonely months. But ladies and gentlemen, it’s with great pleasure and excitement that I officially announce FOOTY IS BACK! While watching my Blues lose their season opener last night wasn’t so enjoyable, it felt great to just be sitting on the couch with my mates, watching the AFL playing on the tele again, abusing umpires like old times. For any non-Aussies, AFL is not the Arena Football League – it is the Australian Football League, and it is the greatest sport in the world. Well, maybe second greatest to basketball, but I love em both.
Back in September ‘07 I named my All-NBA AFL Team – the first ever named AFL team compromising solely of NBA players. If you’re an AFL and/or NBA fan go and check it out, and if you’ve never heard of Australian Rules Football in your life, it will probably give you a fair idea of what the game is all about. As a fan of both sports I feel a bit spoiled right now – the NBA season is wrapping up and about to enter the most exciting stage of the year, while AFL just begun with all the hopes and expectations that a new season brings. It may be my favourite time of year, since as a Carlton fan the AFL season tends to quickly lose meaning after a few weeks. But nonetheless, here are a few of the things I’m most looking forward to for the 2008 AFLSeason:
- Not having to see Nathan Buckley play for Collingwood any more – although seeing his face on every AFL television broadcast might be the only thing worse than that
- Watching Buddy Franklin win games off his own boot again
- Seeing Juddy in a Carlton uniform
- Not seeing Lance Whitnall in a Carlton uniform
- Seeing if any team in the league can end up being half as good as Geelong by the time we get to September
- The Saints finally meeting expectations this year, making the Finals, and wait for it… winning a Finals game
- Seeing Gary Ablett have an even better season than last year (you mark my words, he will)
- Watching Richo spit the dummy a few times so we can add some photos to our Richo Wall (note: this was updated with two awesome photos last week, and he was on the cover of the Age Sports today!)
- Seeing Fraser Gehrig back in action and hopefully getting really angry
- Listing to Rex Hunt singing My Fevola and of course, singing the fat lady (this is my favourite point of any game I listen to on 3AW). Rex Hunt, is the most entertaining sports announcer/commentator in the world. I didn’t say most informative, most interesting, or even most good. But as for entertaining, he wins hands down.
- Finally not having to listen to Essendon fans blaming Kevin Sheedy for their team playing like crap
- Watching Essendon play like crap
- Seeing if the Kangaroos can prove last year wasn’t a fluke by making the top 6
- Watching Melbourne start tanking games about half way through the season to secure the wooden spoon… actually, after thinking about that, they won’t really have to tank at all
- Seeing Port Adelaide not make the finals. I already hated them, but after watching Tredrea take a bow in last year’s prelim I’m now forced to hate them for the rest of my life. Thank you Paul Chapman.
- Seeing how the Sydney Swans will go without my previous Swan-favourite – Adam Schneider. Although they still have the less impressive Schneider #2 (aka Amon Buchanan)
- Watching the impact of no Judd and no Cousins on the West Coast Eagles. Can you remove two of the best players of the past decade from your team and still be competitive? If any team can, it’s that Eagles squad
- The Doggies make the eight. I don’t think they will, but I just really want them to. Everybody has a soft spot for the Doggies.
With footy out of the way (although that won’t be the last you hear from me on the AFL), it’s time to turn to the NBA.
First off, I need to talk about the Los Angeles Lakers. Their last two games have completely shaken my NBA commonsense- without Gasol, I gave them no chance against the Mavs (in Dallas) who had been flying recently and needed to keep winning to avoid falling to the bottom of the eight. But the Lakers took care of business, were leading by 25 at one stage, before avoiding a late Mavs charge and securing the W. In reality I didn’t give them zero chance, probably about a 2% chance. But against the Jazz today, let me tell you I honestly gave them zero chance. 0.00% chance. Beating the Jazz at home is harder than trying to convince your sister you borrowed her Carmen Electra aerobic videos just to get fit – I’m not saying I’ve done this, I’m just saying it would be hard to convince her, if say she didn’t know where the videos were, and she found them in your bedroom. Well, the Lakers made the Jazz look about as welcome in their own home as the Knicks are in MSG. They were up by 20 in the first quarter, the game was over in 15 minutes. I was kinda shocked. It makes me feel bad for doubting Kobe so much in my MVP rankings, because right now he is proving he can lead this Lakers team against any one – and it’s happening without Gasol. With this mini tough patch behind them, the Lakers now have 7 of their next 8 games at home. I wanna say that the #1 spot out West is looking secure for them, but the West is too crazy right now and whatever I say today will be completely irrelevant in three days time.
And can we officially stop doubting the Boston Celtics now? Sweeping the Texas Triangle, which apparently hadn’t happened for like seven years, is pretty much the best way to silence the doubters who claim they can’t match the best out West. The Celtics are the best team in the league, ok? It’s not the Spurs, the Lakers, or the Hornets. It’s the Boston Celtics. They have won more games than any one, they NEVER get blown out, they have three guys who can deliver in the clutch (today it was Ray Allen), and their defense is the best team defense I’ve seen since the Pistons of 03-04. I watched the Dallas v Boston game today. I’ve love to be able to confirm that the Mavericks are sliding, they haven’t gelled without Kidd, and they should be concerned come playoff time. But the truth is, they were just beaten by a better side. Dirk played great, Dampier played as well as I’ve seen him play, and Josh Howard was scoring with ease (although he looks way too relaxed all the time… kinda like Scottie Pippen used to, except every now and then Scottie would make a play that knocked you off your seat, while Josh kinda seems happy for you to sit there). They were only a play away from winning this game, and soon as Kidd starts shooting better than 1-8 they will be OK. Put it this way. Right now they’re in 7th and would face the Hornets in the first round of the playoffs. You don’t think the playoff-experienced Mavs would be capable of taking the Hornets in a 7-game series? While CP3 might actually eat Kidd alive during one of the games, I wouldn’t be betting against the Mavs in that series.
Finally, for some laughs, check out this vid of the Houston Rockets players imitating Dikembe. Pure gold.
Comment posted by
at 3/25/2008 5:53:28 PM
As long as LA keeps giving blowjobs to Delainey and the other officiating staff, they’re secured a top spot. that GSW OT game was bullshit.
Comment posted by
at 3/25/2008 8:29:05 PM
would tend to agree, if you’re talking about the call on D-Fish. but i like to focus on the positives… how good has Lamar been?!
Comment posted by
at 3/21/2008 7:05:06 AM
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Comment posted by
at 3/21/2008 7:16:55 AM
[…] robd wrote a fantastic post today on “Footy is back! and so are the Lakersâ¦”Here’s ONLY a quick extractAnd can we officially stop doubting the Boston Celtics now? Sweeping the Texas Triangle, which apparently hadn’t happened for like seven years, is pretty much the best way to silence the doubters who claim they can’t match the best out … […]