Hold the tears Jobe

Essendon produced a great come from behind victory last night. I admire the grit of any team that can do that in the west, Jobe Watson’s tears however aren’t so welcome.

Jobe Watson in happier times

Jobe Watson in happier times

Social Media went nuts last night after West Coast fans booed Watson every time he touched the ball. Some fans were outraged they could boo a player after the culture problems they’ve had at their own club, while some didn’t care because booing the opposition is part of the game.

Drugs in sport are horrible. Recreational drugs can often carry more health risks, while performance enhancers do just that, and for that reason I think the two are very different animals.

If a player makes the choice to take recreational drugs then they are putting their own health at risk while potentially putting those around them in danger. That can’t be applauded because it shows an obvious flaw in human nature.

If you take performance enhancing drugs, as Watson has admitted to then you are not only giving yourself an unfair advantage in your field, but you are tarnishing the name of your employers and the league to the point where the damage may be irreparable.

If you’re Jobe Watson, then you’d think being on roughly $800,000 to $1M a year, you would be able to independently check whether what you are taking is on the banned list.

In a past athletic life the first thing I did every time a doctor suggested I took something was check if it was on the banned list.

Now tell me, if I can be doing that from the age of 14 when I am earning absolutely nothing, what’s the harm in Jobe Moneybags (pun fully intended) placing a phone call or getting a second opinion?

I honestly don’t believe athletes can trust anybody who isn’t an official member of ASADA or WADA when it comes to what they are taking.

Sure, you can say that he was under the care of his employer so he should trust them, but look at the history of Dank and tell me if you’d trust him with anything.

Club captains are meant to be role models and set examples for not only the rest of the team, but everyone who in any way associates themselves with the team and I believe that while we should congratulate Watson for having the guts to come out and admit his actions, he has firmly failed as a role model as a result.

It can be argued that admitted his took a banned substance sends a great message to the community, and I agree on that point, but it doesn’t undo the wrong he has done through his own irresponsibility.

Should he lose his Brownlow? I don’t see an alternative.

 

 

 

The Boss and I

It might be over three months since I had the pleasure of seeing Bruce Springsteen but the time has finally come to put into words how awesome the night was.

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For as long as I can remember I never thought Bruce Springsteen would come back to Australia. When combining his disaster tour of 2003 with the fact the man turns 64 in a few months, it was hard to see him making the trip to this side of the globe.

When the announcement was made at the end of November last year that he was making the trip down for a series of shows on the East Coast it was a case of getting tickets at whatever cost, which I managed without a great deal of stress thanks to the wonder that is pre-sale.

The day finally arrived, and the excitement I felt was increased by the fact the concert came a day after another anniversary celebration with S, who would be accompanying me that night.

I’m sure if you asked her I probably checked the time once every two minutes to see if we needed to start getting ready yet.

Once we were seated inside Rod Laver Arena, the anticipation grew as the crowd filled with the show slated to start at 7pm.

The moment of reckoning came and went, and the applause was thunderous as he hit the stage at just after 7.45.

I’d spoken to several people before the show who had seen him at other shows on the tour so I was fortunate that I knew what to expect, and if there was ever a case of somebody delivering what they promised this was it.

It was almost like a scene from a movie for the entire night as it felt like I had floated into a magical place where everything went as planned and even if there was a hitch it certainly wasn’t noticeable.

Musically there were several highlights for me (Set list below) with  Hungry Heart being the first indication of the energy he could draw from the crowd, and from there it didn’t diminish.

I’d heard great things about the Ghost of Tom Joad, thanks in part to Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine, who was filling in for Miami Steve who couldn’t tour due to previous commitments.

With the Ghost of Tom Joad being widely renowned as one of, if not the worst album he had released my expectations weren’t exactly high, despite this conflicting what I’d heard.How wrong I was.

Tom Morello (who had been outstanding on guitar all night) brought enough of a vocal change to this rock-paced ballad to ensure that it left the crowd rocking.

In one of the many conversations I had with S after the show she remarked how incredible it was that he was still producing such great music at his age, something which her favourite track of the night (Death To My Hometown) is the perfect example of.

Many know of the emotion that goes into the words written by Springsteen, but the moment of the night for me (and many others I assume) came during Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out in the third verse, when the venue fell silent as pictures of The Big Man filled the big screen, which were in turn met with deafening applause.

Not only is that a great show of unity from Bruce, but also a show of strength from Jake Clemons who is on the Sax on the current tour, as I can’t imagine how tough it must be for him to see the tribute to his uncle night after night.

I said it multiple times that night and have said it multiple times since, I really hope I’m that healthy when I hit 63.

SET LIST::

1. Out In The Street (Video #1)
2. The Promised Land (Video #1)
3. Something In The Night (Video #1)
4. Wrecking Ball (Video #1 clip)
5. Death To My Hometown
6. Hungry Heart (Video #1 clip) (Video #2 clip) (Video #3) (Video #4 clip)
7. Spirit In The Night
8. High Hopes (Video #1)
9. The River (Video #1) (Video #2) (Video #3) (Video #4)
10. Seeds (Video #1) (Video #2 nice!)
11. Johnny 99 (Video #1)
12. Prove It All Night (With ’78 guitar intro) (Video #1) (Video #2 slightly distorted) (Video #3 clip)
13. Pay Me My Money Down (Video #1)
14. Darlington County
15. Shackled & Drawn (Video #1 clip)
16. Waitin’ On A Sunny Day (Video #1 short clip with a kid) (Video #2 clip)
17. The Rising (Video #1 + GOTJ)
18. The Ghost Of Tom Joad (Video #1) (Video #2 clip) (Video #3 clip) (Video #4) (Video #5 short clip) (Video #6)
19. Badlands (Video #1 short clip)
20. Land of Hope & Dreams

Encore:

21. Born In The USA (Video #1 clip) (Video #2) (Video #3) (Video #4) (Video #5) (Video #6) (Video #7) (Video #8) (Video #9 + BTR)
22. Born To Run (Video #1) (Video #2)
23. Dancing In The Dark (Video #1 clip) (Video #2 clip)
24. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (Video #1 clip) (Video #2 clip)

If there was ever a way to capture the night in one statement it was the following which came from the official tour program.
“Clarence doesn’t leave the E-Street Band when he dies. He leaves when we die.”

That loyalty and bond Bruce shares with each member of the touring party whatever role they play, made it a truly remarkable experience which I’ll treasure forever.

I can’t wait to do it again!

Home club shines in Sunday finale

A frantic day of Gymnastics came to a close on Sunday afternoon at the Essendon Keilor Gymnastics Academy with several first time competitors stealing the spotlight.

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Emma Ward was a standout performer at the EKGA meet on Sunday

With the school holidays just around the corner excitement is already paramount in many households around Melbourne.

This was increased exponentially yesterday with as hordes of gymnasts had the opportunity to harness their energy across the floor, bars, vault and beam disciplines.

Before the competition began the enthusiasm was clear as all competitors took to the floor for a 20 minute warm up, which also served as an opportunity for them adapt to the main stage, a task which many of them took in their stride.

Among the highlights of the afternoon was Seven year-old Emma Ward of Gowanbrae who showed great prowess across the afternoon collecting a Gold medal on the Floor as well as two Silver medals on the Beam and Bars respectively, which combined to propel her EKGA White outfit to a second placed finish.

Despite showing early signs of nerves, Ward quickly settled, saying after the competition it was merely a case of doing what she knew best.

“I knew that I’d practiced a lot, so there was no need for me to worry about what I could or couldn’t do. That meant that by halfway through my floor routine it was just case of doing what I do.”

The success of her first competition will act as a great springboard for Ward, who will compete in three more competitions over the next month.

 

 

Deebacle :: 2013 release

A few weeks ago I wrote a wonderful post how despite the fact that Melbourne were absolutely terrible, the belief that I had wouldn’t drop. What a long time a few weeks is in sport.

Remember Robbie Flower? He actually cared

Remember Robbie Flower? He actually cared

“Neeld gone, In comes Neil Craig” read the text I received just after nine this morning. My prompt response was filled with choice words that won’t be repeated here and the proclamation that we will not win again this season.

Not only do I wish that were a lie, but I wish I cared enough to care.

The sporting landscape is packed for the casual fan, so when you compulsively need a team to support, there are always five or six different leagues on the run.

I’m lucky that I live less than 15 kilometres from the MCG and can jaunt across whenever the mood strikes to view one of the longest standing passions of my life.

The mood has not and will not strike in 2013, in fact the last time the mood struck was for the simple fact I got to have a kick on the G’ after the game, before that? I have no idea.

The product is insipid, the management is questionable if it exists, the results are predictable, and even our social media channels are deluded, going as far as to call a 100 point loss a “tough afternoon”.

Let’s call it what it is – A business playing in a world where they don’t belong.

Does this mean I’m going to be taking my love elsewhere? Nope, simply put I’ll watch on the idiot box if I can and keep one eye on my phone if I can’t watch, in hope of a miracle.

I mentioned above that I live close to the home of football, yet there is a team who play their home games 16,935 kilometres who I’d much rather invest my time in.

I use the Boston Red Sox as little more than an example. Sure I can’t get to Fenway Park as often as I’d like to, but you know what I do get out of them? Respect.

Melbourne are in year 49 of a very boring premiership drought, where they are yet to flirt with winning on the last Saturday in September. Yes there have been two chances to buck the trend in my life, but when you lose those games by an average of 78 points, I don’t think that counts as giving it a good crack.

I look forward to seeing who we bring in next year, because I’m sure they’ve got some good ideas to take us forward, but given half of the current squad don’t want to be there, I see them suffering the same fate as Neeld.

As long as there is a Melbourne, I am Melbourne.

When I made the move south in 2011 I was overjoyed at the prospect of making the trip into the city every week and watching us make the move north in the standings, because let’s face it, that’s what I’ve waited my whole life to see.

Looking back I can see that hope really does spring eternal.

This may also seem very rash, but I’ve known we’ve been rubbish for a long time, and I have no regret in venting the frustrations at our current plight.

The only real regret I have is buying my Niece and Nephew Melbourne gear when they were born, because they have no choice but to follow the mediocre path I have traveled for 25 years.Maybe if the club wasn’t so accepting of the low bar they have set themselves then they might get somewhere.Cheers to another 25 years of misery if we make it that far!