GIGSTUFF #48: A new Age of stuff

5th February 2011

by Andrew Gigacz

If you think that too many stupid facts and bad puns are never enough, then please allow me to direct your attention to the Sports lift-out in The Age each Saturday. “Giga Bites” will appear in each Saturday’s Age so you’ll be able to get an extra dose of Gigs’ freaky facts (and occasional fiction) each week. (Until I get lazy and start re-hashing the Age stuff in the Almanac column.)


The pressure put on Caroline Wozniacki and Vera Zvonareva by me in GigStuff #47 appears to have been too much, with both women failing to get past the semi-finals. The Z-drought goes on for at least another year.


It’s been a big few months for sports-people whose surnames contain both a J and a K.

Last footy season saw West Coast Eagle Andrew Strijk to become the first player in history to contain the 10th and 11th letters of the alphabet, in order, to play AFL.

And last weekend was a big weekend for “JK” tennis players, with Novak Djokovic and Kim Klijsters winning the men’s and women’s Australian Open titles. For Kim it was her first Australian Open win, while Djokovic now has two Australian titles. (So now you see where the “one-two” comes in.)


In 1948, Dora Danieli’s Italian husband decided to start up an athletic footwear company. Not sure of what name to give to his new venture, he asked his wife for assistance, while she was sitting at their kitchen table having coffee with an English friend. Dora was similarly stumped, so turned to her friend and asked her what a good name would be. The first thing to come out of the mouth of her friend, who was not expecting such a question, was “oh dear, Dora”.

And that was how the famous Diadora sports-shoe company came into being.


The weather focus has been understandably on other things lately, but for Melbourne weather freaks, it’s worth noting that the maximum temperature on Tuesday of 40.2 made it the hottest first day of February since 1983, when the mercury hit 41.2 and the third hottest ever. The hottest February 1st on record was in 1912, when the maximum was 41.3. That’s pretty hot, but there’s a chilling end to that story – Essendon won the flag that year.


And just when you thought I couldn’t say anything else about weather, Melbourne dished up 82.4 mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on Saturday morning, making it the 10th wettest day in Melbourne’s recorded history.

The all-time Melbourne “Wet 10” is now:

1. 113.4 mm Feb 3rd, 2005

2. 108.0 mm Jan 29th, 1963

3. 99. 6 mm Dec 4th, 1954

4. 90.2 mm Mar 5th, 1919

5. 89.2 mm Dec 28th, 1993

6. 87.4 mm Feb 26th, 1946

7. 86.9 mm Feb 26th, 1939

8. 85.6 mm Feb 18th, 1919

9. 82.6 mm Feb 18th, 1972

10. 82.4 mm Feb 5th, 2011

Note that 6 out of the top 10 were recorded in February. If we’re gonna get big rain in Melbourne, then this is the time of year it’s going to happen. Three of the other four were also in summer, and even the last one occurred on March 5th, which by the definition of most other countries is still summer.


Boy, the AFL really does seem to be scared of offending anyone when it comes to Good Friday. Once again in 2011, there are no games scheduled for this day. But it seems the fear goes further than that. This year Good Friday falls on April 22nd and a scan of the playing lists of all 17 AFL clubs shows that NOT ONE player was born on that date.

MUSIC NEWS – New Collingwood theme song?

Fans of the White Stripes were saddened to learn of Jack White’s announcement this week that the duo is no more. GigStuff representatives (also known as GigStaff) have been thus far unable to verify the truth of the rumour that Collingwood fans are petitioning Jack White to form a new duo, this time with Jack Black, to be named the Black and White Stripes.


Call yourself a tennis fan? Then you should know that Karolina Wlodarczack beat Great Britain’s Emily Webley-Smith, 7-5, 6-4, in the quarter-finals of the Burnie Challenger event in Tasmania during the week. To be honest, I have no idea how that match played out, but my mobile phone reckons it must’ve been a slog. Why? Because if you type in 7564 into the message function, the predictive text returns the word “slog”.


Sad news about the passing of legendary Saint Darrel Baldock this week. Many fans might not realise that before finally coming to Victoria, Baldock had signed with both Melbourne and South Melbourne. But a little bit of luck finally saw St Kilda end with Darrel Baldock.

Perhaps that should not be entirely unexpected when you realise that END WITH DARREL BALDOCK is an anagram of RED, WHITE AND BLACK LORD.

About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?


  1. Congratulations on the column Gigs. Should be a lot of fun.

  2. Baldock bit is interesting Gigs.

    Before he went accross Bass Strait he played with East Devonport Swans (red and white) and when he returned he played with Latrobe Demons (red and blue)

  3. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Super stuff Gigs.

    I’m quite taken by the idea of a band called the ‘Black and White Stripes’.

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