The Summer that Time Forgot

Monday’s disappearance of the Almanac from cyberspace set me wondering.  Did last weekend really happen?  My Eagles lost by 100 points?  Surely not.  There is no Dave Parker score update to confirm or deny, or tell me if Karrie Webb putted better than me over the weekend (not a high bar).

And that preposterous ERegnans twitter blurb from Christchurch was clearly a scam.  Like the moon walk that millions of fellow Trump supporters assure me happened in a Hollywood backlot.  There was nothing on radio or television to show me that Test Cricket was really being played somewhere in our hemisphere.  Let alone that Test Cricket could be exciting and unpredictable.  I watched and listened all summer and there was no sign of life.  ERegnans and Citrus Bob have got so desperate that they are now resorting to making stuff up.

But if the last weekend in sport didn’t really happen – why stop there?  Here at the Ministry of Truth we think that our Thought Police should expunge vast tracts of sporting history.  But where should history end?

1984 seems like an obvious candidate for the last year of history, but Essendon won the flag so that rules it out (Hawthorn lost so it does have some merit).  Kim Hughes captained Australia to a forgettable 2-0 series win over Pakistan.  No thanks.  History will have to go on a bit longer to capture some good bits.

What about Steve Waugh’s last Test against India at the SCG in January 2004?  Before IPL and around the last time the West Indies drew breath at Test level.  But if I draw the line there I miss out on 2 Eagles Grand Finals and the 2006 Flag.  Not that either were much to watch for footy fans, but this is a partisan decision.  It’s my history, go and find your own distorted reality.

Besides there was no Footy Almanac in 2006 and nowadays I get as much enjoyment from sharing the vicissitudes of sport and life with like minds, as I do from an Eagles flag or holing a 30 foot putt (both are on the same cycle as Halley’s Comet).

So my recommendation to the editors is that all sporting events after 30 September 2015 be removed from the site, with history resuming on March 24.  The case for the 30/9/15 is overwhelming.  Consider:

  • The last week in September has always been the spiritual end of the season. The Dockers lost and the Eagles won. Sounds like a perfect ending to me.
  • My Grand Final preview is still witty and plausible. Not delusional and pathetic.
  • I am still on holidays on the Mediterranean coast.
  • Essendon are still an object of scorn and derision, not pity.
  • Old Rowley has not saluted in the Cup at 100/1 and children across the country will still get Christmas presents instead of Salvos hampers.
  • DG Bradman and IVA Richards still hold the most important records in Test Cricket. Not Neville Nobody and Brendan from the Sheep Dip.
  • Cricket balls are red not pink.
  • The West Indies still remind me of Fire in Babylon, not Dire in Babylon.
  • Concrete wickets are found at Sunbury and Manangatang, not the MCG, Gabba and the WACA.

There you go, all compelling reasons to fire up the DeLorean and get back to the future by deleting the past spring and summer of pseudo-sport.

You know it makes sense.  What is your date for the end of sporting history?  (Any comments from Hawthorn fans will be met with cease and desist orders).


  1. Neil Anderson says

    At last contact with the outside world!
    I’m halfway through a Stephen King story called The Langoliers where a plane-load of passengers land at an airport in Bangor, Maine ( it’s always in Maine, the weird American State in King’s stories ). The whole place is deserted, the food has no taste and matches don’t light. Twenty chapters later it is revealed they’ve entered some sort of time-warp and they need to get back on the plane and fly back to their own particular future.
    So your idea of no history after September 2015 did make sense after reading some of the way-out scenarios written by Stephen King. In fact your ideas were downright feasible.
    By chance I happened to see a replay of the elimination final Bulldogs versus the Crows on Fox Footy this afternoon. I thought there was a chance of a different outcome to the match based on our thoughts about parallel universes etc, but it wasn’t to be. The Dogs were good and in front with ten minutes to go, but Tex still ran up that wing and passed the ball to Cameron who kicked the winning goal.
    So after all that, I would be happy to delete history after the first week in September 2015.

  2. The days are getting shorter, signalling that winter is almost upon us.
    September, spring, days getting longer….Is there room in the DeLorean for me, PB ?

  3. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Watching ‘Fire In Babylon’ was the highlight of my cricketing summer, PB. Thanks for sharing that wonderful doco. Should be mandatory viewing for all young cricketers, especially those in the Caribbean.

  4. Not sure how you putted on the weekend Pete but I guarantee you not as well as Haru Nomura, taking out the Women’s open. Karrie had an up and down day, one under the card and finishing third. The glitch in the matrix is temporary but sport is eternal.

  5. Neil Belford says

    The end of 2015 home and away Pete – then the AFL will have to give Freo the flag because the finals didn’t happen.

  6. Nifty concept, PB.

    But there’s always another sunrise.
    Another putt.
    Another missed free kick.
    Another drinks break.

    And I think there still are glimmers to be seen, of the Lost World.
    The play and respect for the game of BB McCulllum’s New Zealand being one.
    News of the Old Bar (Fitzroy watering hole) Unicorns starting footy training in the coming weeks another.

    Here comes the sun.

  7. matt watson says

    There are a lot of dates I would get rid of
    25 September, 1976 – North Melbourne loses the grand final to Hawthorn
    30 September 1978 – see above
    11 February, 1990, when rank outsider James Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson
    9 November, 1996, when rank outsider Evander Holyfield TKO’d Mike Tyson
    28 June 1997, when rank outsider Mike Tyson bit Holyfield’s ears
    September 26, 1998 – North Melbourne pleases the AFL by losing to expansion club Adelaide
    2005 – Australia, filled with arrogance to the eyeballs, loses the Ashes in England. It was the summer when umpire Billy Bowden suddenly stopped hearing inside edges onto pads and kept giving the Aussies out, LBW…
    I’d also like to expunge every North Melbourne loss ever since I was born…

  8. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Well done PB on choosing 1984 I am sure you quite rightly are still celebrating the mighty redlegs
    the history making flag winning from 5th spot at the end of the minor round thanks,PB and fair enough too.

  9. Hi PB

    The case for 30/9/15 is reasonable … to a point.

    Do you really want to be the Scrooge that denies Michelle Payne her wonderful moment in the sun? Do you want to exclude this quote from Australian history: “I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed, because women can do anything and we can beat the world”. No way!

    Then there is the 2015 NRL GF. You want to erase that? Really? Morgan to Feldt with a Thurston goal kick to wrap it up leaving Milford, having played out of his socks left to wonder what he did to deserve such a weighty loss! You want to go all ‘Total Recall’ on us about that sensational piece of Aussie history? No way!

    And there there’s is a small point about the mighty Hawks …


  10. Really enjoyed this PB.

    Although we lost was the 2005 Ashes, which I experienced first hand, the last great series?

    Has cricket declined since?

  11. bernard whimpress says

    Arresting thoughts Peter. I used to say cricket history ended for me with the Centenary Test in 1977. Up to that point I could remember it; after it became a muddle. I was living in Melbourne that year (and 1978) and attended the drawn grand final, standing in Bay 13 – my only VFL or AFL grand final – but skipped the replay because I returned to Adelaide. Perhaps that’s a good year to declare The End of Sports History.

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