The View from Shepparton – Olympics Special

Tried to find the source of the quote, “Getting old is not for the faint hearted” but apart from finding a qualification, “neither is the alternative” , the best that I could come up with is “as the old man said”. Not very satisfactory I must confess.

And what is the link with sport?.I have rapidly come to the conclusion that elite sport isn’t for the faint hearted either. Just ask James Magnusson, don’t have to be dead to be stiff. The same goes for the second place getter in the London Women’s Olympic Triathlon, Lisa Norden, whose disappointment came after 2 grueling hours of the most intense competition, and Erin Densham just two seconds back who had bravely tried to win from being  in front for the majority of the run leg. This was sports at its best and the great thing was that no one felt like they had failed or let supporters down. Magnusson obviously did not feel like this but I suppose that his disappointment came after about 48 seconds.


I can absolutely understand that winning a minor medal can mean anything from being a fantastic achievement to being a shattering loss. I just don’t think that is fair at all when reporters start off an interview to the effect that being second is nothing to be ashamed of.  How many people knew that our silver medalist in the men’s long jump, Mitchell Watt, had suffered significant injury in the weeks before the games.


Meanwhile from Toronto’s Globe and Mail;

“A decorated triathalete defending a heartbroken teammate. A horse disqualified for a scratch, leaving his rider in tears. A soccer coach accusing his heavily favoured opponents of illegal tactics.

There were no medals but plenty of controversy for Canada on Day 9 of the London Olympics.

Canada’s flag-bearer Simon Whitfield kicked everything off early Sunday morning, with critical comments for the staff responsible for teammate Paula Findlay’s preparation for the Games”.

I say that in terms of the whole thing, good luck to the Poms, it would be terrible if they didn’t see a reward for their efforts as host country. Who couldn’t be moved by the atmosphere, the crowd involvement, the ambience, as the English woman who was face of the Olympics for Great Britain, Jessica Ennis, came across the line first in the final event of the Heptathlon, the 800 metres. I really liked too a wonderful photograph of the winner of the men’s ten thousand metres, Mohamed Farah, enjoying the moment with his daughter. Who would have thought that a member of the Great Britain team would have beaten the Ethiopians in a long distance race. Fantastic stuff.

Thinking about fantastic stuff, at a local level, what about the Tomahawk’s goal as the siren was sounding, last Friday night. What about that Hawthorn fight back from 51 points down at the start of the second quarter. I reckon that the Hawks could come out of this game with more positives that Geelong. They proved that it was possible for such a big lead to be reeled back. Got to hand it to the Cats in that last passage of play though, Selwood somehow had the presence of mind in those final frantic moments to stay cool and direct the pass to Hawkins. If ever I was going to show outsiders how great our game is, this is the DVD I would get. Incidentally it was tough keeping an eye on this game and the Olympics simultaneously.

I didn’t know who to barrack for in the Collingwood St Kilda clash. I reckon that all of Milne’s idiosyncratic annoyances ultimately resulted in that fateful decision to call that free kick for Harry, couldn’t see it myself, I know that we are always being told that ultimately umpiring decisions have nothing to do with final results as any result is always the culmination of a series of events however I get the feeling that some decisions are a hell of a lot more fateful than others. And come to think of it if I were a Hawthorn supporter I would be screaming about the non decision regarding the dropped ball which miss resulted that passage of play to the other end. Have to be positive about one thing though, overwhelmingly so, that pick up and goal of Daisy’s in the last quarter when it really counted was absolutely first class, miraculous even, you never know that might have been the moment which could result in a Pies premiership.

Richmond ended their losing streak against my mob, well why not, if they couldn’t beat the cubs who were they going to win against? I suppose that whilst it is depressing for me, at least this is somewhat tempered by feeling that at least Richmond supporters at last had something to cheer about. I feel rumblings coming on about Voss’s tenure as coach. again.

Freo thrashed West Coast which is OK I suppose except that it makes it nearly impossible now for the Perth Eagles to have a home final, a venue which could have been interesting for most sides that cannot play away. Meanwhile the Pav played another blinder, just hope that he doesn’t get rubbed out. Freo stay in the race for the eight, was certainly a fantastic result for them.

The Sprawlers at last had a win, albeit at the expense of the Powerless. You would have to have a heart of stone not to feel for Primus, you knew that as soon as that final siren sounded that he was finished. As happens in sport one person’s despair is another’s triumph and for a bloke who had been kicked out of Essendon for being too old, with no new ideas, the moment must have been one of magic for him. For the Sprawlers, the fact that they could turn around such a disastrous last few weeks was truly a terrific result. For me, as  a Croweater I was embarrassed for South Australian football and wondered again why Port Adelaide is such a terrible team these days.

I watched the North Melbourne Footscray game for a while but about the only thing of interest was to see how many goals Drew Petrie would score this week. North of course still stay in the eight, they could make it to the finals.

As ever, Adelaide puzzle me. They should have walloped an injury depleted Essendon at home but in the end were damned lucky to get up. I reckon that what was once a strength is now a weakness and that is their defence. It seems as soft as.  A side like Hawthorn, playing in Melbourne would win by ten goals I reckon. Nevertheless a win is a win and they did come from a long way back, so that at least they do have a fighting spirit. They weren’t that shabby against Geelong at home the previous week either.

The pundits in Victoria still don’t seem to be taking the Swans seriously, can’t think why. As has the case for many years, they are a champion team who never give up. They don’t have that many big names either but I reckon they ought to be favourites at this stage. Carlton can, as they say, start building up for next year. Certainly has ended up being a very disappointing season for them given the way they started this year.

Melbourne beat the Suns, that should have been of interest to someone, don’t know to whom though.

High: Densham coming third. Lo: To be truthful, that she could not hang on to win. Other than that, Magnusson, Primus.

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer

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