Swans Grab the Flag for 2010

I need to apologise to my radio listeners for sounding a little croaky on air today and to the people in the rows in front of me at Subiaco Oval yesterday who may now be coming to terms with some kind of permanent hearing loss. I yelled myself hoarse as I experienced an absolutely thrilling game of Australian Rules Football.

It took them 20 years, but Swan Districts Football Club finally grabbed another premiership. The last one was back in 1990.

The Swans played an amazing game to overcome Claremont, the most dominant side of 2010. Despite only losing two games this season, having an extra week’s break before the big game, and being red hot favourites for the win, the Tigers fell just short of taking the 2010 flag.

In a game that saw the lead change six times in the final quarter, Andrew Krakouer was a standout player with 40 possessions and four goals that saw him be the clear winner of the Simpson Medal. It was Krakouer who kicked the final score of the match, a goal, to win the game for the black and whites by just one point.

There was a crowd of almost 25 000 at Subiaco yesterday afternoon and by the sheer volume of noise coming from the crowd it would seem that the majority were backing the Swans. There was certainly a roar from the crowd whenever Claremont hit the front, but whenever the Swans got the better of them, it was almost deafening.

I cannot describe the feeling of elation as the siren blew and the Swans theme song started playing across the ground. I do wish that it hadn’t been such a long time between flags but I guess that just made the victory a little sweeter.

Swan Districts 14.16 (100) – Claremont 14.15 (99)

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Footy Tipping 2010

afl_logo.jpgAs each year passes I prove more and more that I’m hopeless at footy tipping. This year I’m at it again and I’m inviting you to give me a kicking with your tipping prowess.

If you follow AFL can I encourage you to try to beat me at tipping for the coming season?

I’ve signed up again at footytips.com.au and so I’ll be able to pit my skills against thousands of other footy fans. The best part is that you can try your skills against mine by signing up to The RodneyOlsen.net Footy Tipping Competition. Just follow the link and join up. It’s free.

Some people spend ages checking the form of each side and thinking through the match ups, the ground, the ladder and a whole range of variables before tipping. I tend to just go ahead and choose then hope for the best.

I’ve run a competition for the last few years and it’s always just been a fun thing but this year I’m determined to find some prizes to award to the top tipper at the end of the season. I can’t guarantee that it’ll be a world trip but it’ll be something. (If you want to donate a prize or two, let me know.)

Go on. Join up. It’ll be fun.

The great thing with footytips.com.au is that you can be part of more than one competition at a time so if you’re already part of a competition with them you can still add your name to mine.

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Louie Louie

footy.jpgLouie heard you … he just doesn’t want to kick the ball to you.

Our home is less than a kilometre from a large park and sports ground. On a clear day we can hear some of the activity at the ground from our back yard.

There was quite obviously a footy game in full swing on Saturday. I could hear the muted sounds of cheering, an occasional whistle and then came a clear voice calling out. “Louie, Louie, Louie, Louie, Louie, Louie, Louie, Louie, Louie, Louie.”

I’m sure it was a player calling on his team mate to kick or pass the ball in his direction. It’s a shame that his football skills weren’t as legendary as his shouting ability. If I could clearly hear the call over half a kilometre, three roads and several houses away, I reckon that whoever had the ball would certainly have heard him. He obviously just didn’t think that Mr Shouty Man was the right option at that point in the game.

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Talking to a Demon

sca.gifThis morning during my radio programme I spoke to a man who is both an Assemblies of God minister … and a demon.

Chaplain of the Melbourne ‘Demons’ Football Club and head of Sports Chaplaincy Australia, Cameron Butler, joined me on 98.5 Sonshine FM this morning to talk about his role with the club and the wider influnce of chaplains in sport around Australia.

Far from being religious zealots out to force their faith on others, chaplains prefer to simply be a trusted friend to those who are comfortable with developing a relationship. Their duties can cover a range of areas that go well beyond those of a traditional pastor or minister.

A lot of high performance sports in Australia have chaplains supporting their teams. There are over 180 chaplains now serving teams of men and women involved in sports such as test and shield cricket, motor racing, tennis, rugby league, AFL, basketball, baseball, soccer, golf, yachting, skiing, netball, rodeo and horse racing, the Australian Institute of Sport and state Institutes of Sport.

Sports chaplaincy is a Christian cross-denominational service providing support for sports organisations. This includes sports men and women, administrators, supporters and family networks.

Why Chaplaincy?

Sports organisations and welfare officers recognise that sports people are whole human beings. The condition of other areas of an athlete’s life including unplanned circumstances can and do affect their performance, both on the field and in the public arena. Sporting demands can also have an impact on vocational responsibilities and relationships.

If you’d like to hear what Cameron had to say when we spoke this morning you can click the play button on the audio player in this post.


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Never lose your footy again

gBall.jpgWhat a brilliant idea.

Are you going to rush out to buy a gBall?

This weekend around the country, the gBall(BETA) will change Australian rules football as we know it.

Building on our core strength in search, Google was approached by a number of Australian rules football leagues to apply our technology in their search for new talent. In response, Google, in partnership with the official supplier of matchballs to the AFL, Sherrin, has developed the gBall. Incorporating specially developed Google technology, it will be used in all school and amateur competitions – and will go on sale to the public – this weekend.

Users can plug in and register their gBall online, using a simple interface. The gBall contains inbuilt GPS and motion sensor systems to monitor the location, force and torque of each kick. The data is interpreted by a new curvilenear parabolic approximation algorithm developed in Google’s Sydney office, known as DENNIS (“Dimensional, Elastic, Non-Linear, Network-Neutral, Inertial Sequencing”), which plots the ball’s trajectory, accuracy and distance.

If you want one, you’d better move quickly. I don’t think they’ll be available tomorrow.

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