Jump Ball Sports
Ball Don't Lie Blog - 12/09/19
Aussies winning ugly, Boomers within touching distance and rationalising Joe Daniher's potential Essendon departure.
Aussies winning ugly
It's very hard to humble Australian cricket, even when Australian cricket desperately needs to be humbled.
The Test team had just clinched the Ashes after four riveting Ashes Test matches on foreign soil and in so doing, reeled back in many Australian fans lost amid the sandpaper-gate fallout and the poor pattern of behaviour that came before it.
Presented with the perfect opportunity to further a supposedly reformed clean skin image by winning graciously, what did it do...
Boorish, beer soaked over-celebration, complete with old culturally cringeworthy chestnuts: "Hey true blue", and "Who did we beat? England" "How did we do it? Easy".
Winning ugly didn't work for us remember, but you'd have to remind many of the game's local rusted on supporters, many of whom are members of the media pack.
Perhaps we should have seen it coming.
It started with talk of the redemptive value of Steve Smith's run scoring exploits, as if runs can somehow cancel out rule breaking.
Then there was the revisionist history preferred by many that somehow confined Australia's bad boy issues to Cape Town and sandpaper-gate, bemoaned the severity of the punishments meted out and countered by firing off examples of other national teams' ball tampering bogies.
Never mind that sandpaper-gate was the final straw for a team that had run roughshod over Test cricket for years before.
Ashes retention aside, there was also the small matter of actually winning an away Ashes series for the first time since 2001. The frat party could have perhaps waited a week.
The time is now
Can you hear that?
It’s the drums of war beating on the other side of the Pacific for Team USA’s 2020 Olympic campaign after its uber-humbling quarter final FIBA World Cup exit at the hands of France.
Australia might be expecting superstar Ben Simmons for its Tokyo tilt, but it can now expect a scorched earth approach from the Americans in a year’s time.
And so any lingering Olympic grass is greener thoughts must be firmly parked, for the Boomers’ time is now.
Heavyweight Serbia is gone, the Boomers banished Team USA-killing France to the other side of the draw and now face (hopefully fading) European royalty Spain with the winner guaranteed a medal (and the loser a second chance in the form of a bronze medal play-off).
That's right, the Boomers are within touching distance of the medal that has eluded Australian men’s basketball since the dawn of time.
The Boomers’ are headlined by proud professionals in Patty Mills, Andrew Bogut, Joe Ingles and Aron Baynes who are old enough and wise enough to know that the iron is red hot.
Not the most talented outfit, the Boomers are playing inspired international basketball, heavy on the collective, full of hustle and with a hand break on emotion. And their shot is falling.
Spain comes with Boomers baggage, the late Mills foul call in Rio 2016 was key to another medal-less heartbreaker.
Revenge is nigh.
Daniher going, going...
It's starting to very much look and feel like the Bombers' Joe Daniher is heading north to the Swans, barring some late change of heart.
Initially deeply traumatised by this development - yep, the whole generational talent, famous Daniher name etc etc thing - I am now almost at peace.
First, I can't blame him.
He chose the Bombers over the Swans on the eve of the club's supplements saga, which effectively robbed him of the chance of success in the first third of his career. Despite all that, he then re-signed with the club in 2017 on a relatively team friendly deal.
Seasons 2018 and 2019 were then largely written off with his infamous groin issue. While there hasn't appeared to be any reported suggestion as to injury mismanagement on the part of the club, whenever an injury is subject to more than one failed treatment (as in this case) questions are rightly asked. The club's fitness boss, Justin Crowe departing at season's end is another wrinkle.
Against this backdrop, one can readily appreciate the need for a new start interstate.
And now the club.
Essendon needs two things fairly desperately.
One is a bona fide inside midfielder.
Of course, this is no secret and if it is, perhaps treat yourself to midfield highlights from last weekend's West Coast elimination final demolition. One only needs to appreciate the impact Jake Stringer has as a pinch hitter to understand what Essendon is missing in its engine room on a full time basis.
And the only obvious way to secure this player is to trade Joe to the Swans for the sort of picks that can get a deal like this done.
Second, the Bombers' need a circuit breaker, something to shock them out of their comfortable mid-table Groundhog Day cycle of mediocrity.
With under fire coach John Worsfold staying put, Joe is the joker left in the pack.
Then - as mentioned above - there is the fact that he hasn't really played for two years, is a terrible shot for goal and that a lot of teams appear able to win flags without highly paid full forwards - think Hawks / Cats dynasties to name a couple.
I have almost talked myself into this.
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