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The best of the rest

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There have been a number of responses to the media ban post of last week. It seems as if every sports fan has a tale to tell, so I’ve grabbed the top 6, put them in order from ‘relatively stupid’ to ‘mind boggling unlucky’ … so to speak, and added my own take on things.

To reiterate, some of last week’s tales may come across more vehemently than what they should. Maybe I should use more exclamation marks. <– Even then. Just know that while the broken bans are remembered, they aren’t the end of the world and haven’t broken any friendships … yet. Strained? Yes. I mean, Yes!

6.  2010 NBA HUGE regular season game– Cleveland @ Boston

Huge meeting of the year between the potential East finalists, and much anticipated matchup. All the boys were over to watch this game followed by Friday night football. In the process of placing punts for the Friday night football I become aware of my centrebet online balance.

It takes a few minutes of watching the game to realise I’d stymied myself with a silly silly mistake. I had actually also placed punts earlier in the day on the result of the NBA game. Had I got those wagers correct, my centrebet balance would have been significantly higher than what I had seen moments earlier.

Mistake – Not hiding the centrebet balance on the home page.

Lesson – Losing the bets and knowing the result that you don’t want makes for a cracking evening !!

Blogger’s note – good work by this man, as we had no idea this game was spoilt until it was over.

This brings up another wrinkle in the broken media ban – you have to act like everything is normal. If you tell people you know the result, they will watch you like a hawk and you will give it away.

The amount of times I’ve had to sit on a couch and pretend to support my Lakers or Bombers when someone had ruined it… let’s move on.

5.  2002 AFL Brownlow Medal. Again, major delay in Perth. Two hours behind. Two hour delay.

At the half way point of the count, the leaderboard reads:

14 Michael Voss
12 Shane Crawford
11 Andrew McLeod, Travis Johnstone
8 Simon Black, Nathan Buckley
7 Adem Yze, Ben Cousins
6 Josh Francou, Luke Darcy.

(Blogger’s note – I am almost positive he remembered this off the top of his head. And you thought I was obsessed!?)

Phone rings. It’s a private number. That means it’s work. I have to answer. I know it has every chance of killing my night, but I still have to answer. I plan to answer aggressively.

Me: “If this is someone ringing to tell me the winner of the Brownlow Medal, don’t even utter a word, just hang up now because I’ll be really angry.”

Caller (yep from work – oh yeah, I’m an AFL journo): “But, I need help. I need a phone number because I’ve been going through The White Pages and can’t find it.”

Me (really angry now): Go to my desk. There’s a red contact book there. Look it up. If I have the number you want, it’s in there!

Next round of votes: Simon Black 3.

There’s only one reason that person was calling. They want to know where Simon Black’s parents live because he’s won the Brownlow Medal. They want to speak to them. They want a photo. It’s stock standard. Ben Cousins is still in the hunt, but everyone knows where his parents live. His dad won a Sandover Medal.

Simon Black’s parents live in Qld. They moved years ago. That’s why they don’t exist in The White Pages.

Lesson: Non sports writers shouldn’t be allowed to write anything about sport if it means ruining the night for the sports writer who is home watching it “Live”.

4.  2008 NBA Finals – Game 4 (Boston lead series 2-1) Boston @ LA

Blogger’s note – I have nothing to say in my defence, here, except that the writer of this broken ban had the game wrong. He thought it was game 5, so it couldn’t have been too life-altering … could it??

This series had both teams evenly matched, and with stars all over the court a clinker to the last moments almost guaranteed. Headed out to dinner with the Mrs, and would watch upon returning home.

On the way to dinner get a text msg from a certain person … a 1 worder that would often be used in moments of anger frustration, disappointment, or just a general greeting if your name is Stiffler.

So already shot on enjoying the game, at least some consolation is that I don’t know what happened or what the score was. Not for long. I get another text from an extremely casual Boston fan exclaiming an enormous comeback and a win for the ages.

Mistake – Having a mobile phone.

Lesson – Don’t turn it on once the game has begun, tell your family members to call you at work in the case of emergency.

3.  2005 NBA Finals – Game 5 (Series tied 2-2) San Antonio @ Detroit

Hugely anticipated game 5, and after successfully getting thru the day, all set to go. Two friends arrive, we get some food , and lock in for what would be a critical game.

Yours truly presses play, and to the horror of all concerned we see a Robert Horry post game interview and highlights of the 5 massive 3s he made in the 4th quarter and OT which helped his Spurs team win an all time classic 96-95.

Fair to say the anticipation excitement balloon got popped in the proverbial in that moment. We just kicked back and watched “Beaches” for the remainder of the evening.

Mistake – Not checking and double checking the timing mechanism on the Hard Drive.

Lesson 1 – Even the very best make mistakes.

Lesson 2 – Keep a copy of “Beaches” for such occasions.

Blogger’s note – we were surprisingly unperturbed by this situation. Everyone makes mistakes, and this was a doozy. End of story. It was the key game of the season, out of over 1,500 by the way.

2.  2002 AFL Preliminary Final – Collingwood v Adelaide

Almost the most exciting week of any AFL season and this game had great hope for us that the Adelaide Crows would slay the dirty giant which would bring us great joy. But this day prevented a massive challenge for all of us as a mutual friend decided to get married on this day. This person should except to be heckled for the rest of the term of his natural life for this scheduling. (Blogger’s note – agreed.)

The wedding is complete before game time which allows us to watch the first quarter before taking off to the reception. We all manage to successfully avoid any football talk till the waning moments of the afternoon reception. I’m almost thinking I’m safe when a mate comes up to me (yes M@@kie it was you) and says, “Did you hear Collingwood won?”

Well no I didn’t but thanks heaps for letting me know. I’m now so flustered that I head back to our table and blurt out to another mate, “You’ll never guess what M@@kie just did, he told me Collingwood won!!”

My mate’s fairly predictable reply was, “What are you telling me for?!!”

Fair point in retrospect.

Mistake – Not seeking immediate counselling from an independent and un-related person to the media ban .

Lesson – Always decline ANY wedding invitation scheduled during the football finals.

Blogger’s note – this was a memorable day, as we all had the media ban broken in a variety of ways. Mine was from someone telling me not to look out the window, as apparently a car was driving past with a scarf hanging out to celebrate their win. Um, I wonder if that’s a Collingwood fan, considering that Adelaide fans … live in Adelaide!

1.  2011 AFL Preliminary Final between Collingwood and Hawthorn.

Note – every Friday night game is delayed in Perth. Grrrr. Avoided radio. Turned phone off. Sat in bedroom alone with wife watching a girly show on Foxtel. All bases are covered. Can’t possibly find out the result.

Hawthorn are leading by 17 points at three quarter time, then Chris Dawes and Leon Davis kick quick goals for the Pies. The deficit is only four points and the MCG is going wild.

Wife walks into room and asks “good game?” Yes, I reply. Really close. “I know,” she says. “I was just on Facebook and someone had posted ‘so close’ but I don’t know who wins”. SO CLOSE. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Only a Hawthorn fan would write that. A Collingwood fan would be devastated and angry that they’d stuffed up a season. I now know that Collingwood win.

Lesson: Take phones away from other people in the house too, even if they know absolutely nothing about football.

Blogger’s note – this is a great example of how much depth we can read into a simple comment. So, when we say, ‘Don’t say anything’, we mean, ‘Don’t say anything’!

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About petek8

Pete Evans has just finished going 12 months without watching any sport. The journey stemmed from a sense that the balance was out-of-whack with my time and my priorities. Everything seemed to revolve around creating enough time and space to fit in the last game, games, recap shows or space to surf the net for the latest numbers and analysis. The cycle never ends - one season leads into another, seasons overlap if you follow various sports and the media's insatiable appetite for a new 'story' means that even the greatest of achievements aren't heralded for more than 3 days. So I stepped away from the machine for awhile and intentionally engaging with the journey by writing about it.

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