Archives For Sport

We’ve won our 4th ever Winter Olympics Gold Medal: The Age.

Of course everyone in Australia knows who won the first one, and it will be a story for the ages: Steven Bradbury is 4th in the final and looks out of it, and then the 3 people ahead crash into each other, allowing him to win.

But I digress: how is it that Australia has gone from Winter Games minnow to moderately successful in the last 10 years?

Skiing has always been expensive here: I can remember as a kid only the richest in school went on skiing holidays because it was that expensive, and if you’ve ever checked prices today, it still is ($100-$200/ day for a lift pass etc.)

But I wonder whether Australia’s growing affluence may be reflected in our increased share of Winter Olympic gold?

That is: more people can afford to ski locally AND fly overseas and do it vs in the past.

The stats show every year record numbers of Australian’s holidaying offshore, and some of them might be heading for the snow as well.

I haven’t checked any stats, but I’d love to know if you could chart affluence against Australian Winter sport success.

Hey NRL, get fucked

May 21, 2009 — 6 Comments

According to Fox Sports today, the future of the Cronulla Sharks might be in doubt.

NRL chief executive David Gallop says he cannot guarantee Cronulla’s future in the competition as the club’s crisis deepens.

The short version is thanks to the Matthew Johns affair, long term Sharks sponsor LG is pulling out, and the club has no long term sponsor beyond that.

I understand the why on the sponsors behalf. But there’s a difference between a sponsor pulling out, and the NRL throwing a club under a truck.

The Sharks have long been on the outer in the NRL. One of the few Sydney based clubs that broke ranks and went with the Super League, there are those with in the NRL who have long waited for the opportunity to put the knife in.

The Sharkies haven’t had the best record in the NSWRL/ ARL/ NRL. Entering the compeition in 67, they’ve made the finals only three times. 73, the classic draw in 78 (lost in the replay) and the one and only Super League grand final. The latter was the only time I watched in person (at the ground) the Sharks play at that level, and sadly they lost.

I probably shouldn’t be a Sharkies fan. My grandfather was one of the founding members of the Eastern Suburbs Rugby League Club (now the Sydney Roosters.) The actual cup awarded in the now abandoned “Premiers Cup” was given to the NSWRL by my grandfather; last I heard one of my uncles was trying to get it back, as it was given on the grounds that it was for the competition, now that they’ve dropped it (in the last 10 years), it belongs in the family.

But there is a reason I’m a sharkies fan. It’s where I grew up. As a kid, I idolized Andrew Ettingshausen, who would often appear to present the trophies at the end of year Little Athletics functions. Indeed one of the last functions when I was in Little Athletics was out on Captain Cook Road at the Cronulla Sharks home ground. I can even remember the music playing: Debbie Harry, I want that man, 1989.

In later years before I left Sydney I’d occasionally find myself at Cronulla home games, or out at the club for a drink. The location was always a little remote, and it was never a Penrith Panthers in terms of the whole “casino” feel, but it was our local football club.

The Sutherland Shire today, even more so since I have left it, is one of the largest local government areas not only in Sydney, but Australia. Over 200,000 people live in the immediate area. The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks are their local team. As many again outside the area, particularly among the massive Shire diaspora support the team.

Sorry NRL, but if you’re going to throw the Sharks under a bus, you can get fucked. It will only cement for many why the AFL has been soooooo much more successful.

NBN by the numbers

April 7, 2009 — 11 Comments

$42 billion ($42,000,000,000).

Households in Australia: 7.4m (2001), projected at 10.2m in 2026. (ABS)

Est in 2009 (based on above figures) 8.296m

Cost per household of NBN (at 100% rollout): $5,063 per house.

Note that Fibre will only go to 90% of houses by 2018. Remaining 10% will be serviced by wireless or satellite. Whether this provision of the remaining 10% is dearer or cheaper I don’t know. I’d bet the 10% is cheaper, which makes the cost of the fibre higher again.

Comparative costs of “high speed” broadband in other countries:

Japan: to 160mbps $28 ($20 US) per household.
Note, that this rollout utilizes existing infrastructure as is an upgrade. Infrastracture that is already in place in most Australian capital cities (cable.)

United States: $1,141 (US$817. Conversions at 7/4)
This is the better comparison because Verizon is physically connecting homes to fibre as the NBN will do. The United States, like Australia has a large land mass, so doesn’t get the density advantage in play in Japan. Note Verizon currently offered at 50mbps, but the fibre network could sustain more; the suggestion being that the 50mpbs is more a market cap than technological constraint. Second: it’s the same sort of fibre.

Source on both figures: New York Times.

So it costs $3922 per house more to roll out “high-speed” broadband in Australia vs The United States, or a staggering $5,035 per house more vs Japan.

Doesn’t matter anyway: it will never be finished. Politicians and long plans: be seen to do something now, and do nothing later.

Update: should be noted vs US: Australians are less spread out. You’d actually cover less territory in Australia to get to 90% (for fibre) than the US. Interesting to consider: if Australian cities were in the US, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth would make the top ten. Even Adelaide has more people that San Antonio, currently 10th in the biggest cities in the US list (here)

Update2: pointed out by tahpot on Twitter: the US figure doesn’t count “US$716 for equipment and labor in each home that subscribes.” But does the NBN? Is Rudd proposing a subsidy at the end as well? because I thought this was a wholesale access rollout and the retailers would cop the end charge.

But lets play none the less, because the gap is still dramatic.

Verizon: $2140 AUD. Still cheaper by over half.

Ian Thorpe a drug cheat?

March 31, 2007 — 5 Comments

SMH: “Thorpe’s drug test ‘positive’

This one will be interesting. Thorpe is an Australian Hero and now it looks like he was taking persian rugs…the irony of it all.

England beats Australia. I bet the odds the Australian team got may have in theory received on England winning would have been phenomenal. The stench ghosts of Marsh and Lillee continue to haunt the team, even though fatso the magic wife porker has retired.



Vale Peter Brock 1945-2006

September 8, 2006 — 11 Comments

peter brock

Peter Brock, veteran racing car driver, many, many times winner of the Bathurst 1000 has died today doing what he loved doing most: racing.

According to the SMH, Brock was behind the wheel of a car competing in the Targa West rally and crashed into a tree at Gidgegannup, outside of Perth at lunch time today (Friday 8 September).

I may have been a Dick Johnson supporter in my youth, but like many Australian’s I deeply admired the King of the Mountain. For many years it was a family ritual that on a particular Sunday in September we would all sit in front of a television set for the day and watch “the great race” as it unfolded, no mean effort the race itself goes for roughly 8 hours. And year after year one man continued to win on a regular basis: Peter Brock.

Although in recent years, his interview on Denton in particularly may have turned away some fans, he will still always hold the position in the hearts and minds of Australian’s as our greatest ever Touring Car Driver.

My thoughts and condolences to his family at this time.


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September glory

August 28, 2006 — Leave a comment

The score says it all:

Fremantle 18.10 (118) West Coast 8.13 (61).

The underdogs whip the silvertail, drink driving, gangster socialising Weagles.


At 12:52 am WST, Australia loses to Italy in the last second by a dodgy penalty in the goal box awarded to Italy.

Simply, we were robbed. I wonder how much Italy paid the referee.


Update: Australia agrees, we were robbed.

Australia 2 v Croatia 2.

Australia advances to the knock out round of 16 playing Italy 11pm (+8 GMT) Monday, which means unlike this morning where I slept through my 3am alarm, I can stay up and watch it!


And I love this SMH Graphic!


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In response to Aaron

June 14, 2006 — 2 Comments

Aaron has posted this lovely photo of me:

aaron brazell

and my only response: