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1 week to go – what to see, miss and find!

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So close…

358 days down, 7 to go!

It’s a little surreal to be writing about the end of the year without sport journey, particularly in light of the fact that my wife is currently 1 day overdue. As close as the end of the sport hiatus is, it hasn’t been in the forefront of my mind. A pending bubba is…

Still, come next Thursday, in order to not go too crazy trawling through archives, iTunes and YouTube in search of lost sporting moments over the last 11.75 months, I asked a couple of people for a sporting event that I have to see, one that I should miss and a left field event that not many may remember.

There’ll be the obvious ones of the NBA Finals, the AFL Grand Final and WrestleMania, but what else is out there that I have to get to, may not have even heard of, or should definitely miss? Here’s their take on things.

Bomber fan, legend and sports journo

The choices, the choices.

12 months of sport that one person has avoided. Major events like the Grand Final, epic batting performances in cricket and WrestleMania.

But when you step out of your cocoon and look at the world through different eyes, context is the most important thing you should chase.

I’ve been asked to provide three distinct options for Mr YWSWIATBF (Mr Year Without Sport Who Is About To Become A Father). [Blogger’s note – that acronym’s going on my CV!] Here are my responses.

The must see:

2012 Australian Open Final – Djokovic vs Nadal

He’s pumped. Fair enough too…

The match goes for almost six hours so spare yourself the entire thing and just watch the last set. Two warriors battling it out in front of an enthralled crowd.

My wife even watched the last set … and she never watches sport.

The post-match presentations are worth looking at because they place even more perspective on the moment.

A hyped event to avoid:

Black Caviar’s Record

Granted, this one’s got game.

This will be controversial. Black Caviar has captured the imagination of the Australian racing public. The AFL even moved a game of footy so people could go to the game and still watch Black Caviar race.

This horse set a record by winning 20 consecutive races. Impressive effort. But really, the record was never in doubt. She’s way better than everyone else. Bookies had her at $1.04. Would you watch Geelong thrashing Melbourne by 186 points when you can see the Bombers’ stunning four point win over the Cats?

Wait until June 23 when she runs overseas.

Left field sporting moment or event that I have to witness

The sliding injuries in the AFL

Slide tackling in the AFL. It took me a little while looking at this to realise why it could be a problem. Then it hit me… Jaymie Graham Gary Rohan

Context is really important. You’ll see some free kicks and reports in the AFL when you start watching again and they’ll have you scratching your head.

But there are reasons behind these free kicks. The AFL has cracked down on players sliding into contests. At first you’ll think it’s unfair. But watch these two incidents and you’ll understand why.

Jaymie Graham never played footy again. Gary Rohan won’t play again this year.

A sidebar

You wrote a column about AFL legend, the late Jim Stynes. You should now sit down and watch Garry Lyon’s tribute to his mate on The Footy Show. Genuinely powerful.

Saints, motocross and basketball fan – father of 3 girls (athletes have girls!)

The must see:

2011 NBA Finals – Dallas vs Miami

You have to watch the complete NBA finals series from last year. Watch them all. It sounds like an obvious one but it’s an amazing story that unfolds as the series progresses, not to mention some amazing basketball. I say this not only because it was a great series but it’s you who’s asking, you’ll love it!

The side stories are of great depth too and the commentators don’t fail to include them. [Blogger’s note – I cannot wait to see the Lebron disappearance, though I have a feeling it’s more media hype than actuality…]


A hyped event to avoid:

Michael Clarke’s 329 not out vs India

Photos abound of the great 329, but not so much his wedding =>

You’ll probably think that’s weird as you have written about it and mentioned it multiple times. It was an amazing feat no doubt but could you honestly sit there through 10 hours of batting when you know the result?

It certainly isn’t rubbish, but if you watch it for 10 hours it will probably leave you feeling deflated and asking yourself, ‘Why on earth did I watch that’?

[Blogger’s note – Mrs YWS thanks you for not enabling me to watch 10 straight hours of cricket…]

Left field sporting moment or event that I have to witness

NBA Western Conference Playoffs, 1st Round, Game 5

Memphis Grizzlies vs San Antonio Spurs

This series was a cracker, though not the ‘upset’ that many define it as.

Go back to Spurs vs Grizzlies, in the 4th quarter of Game 5. What’s key here is that the Spurs were the No.1 seed, Grizzlies the 8th.

The Grizzlies played their pants off, pure youthful enthusiasm throughout the series and went on to win. The Spurs looked on the ropes the entire time. The shots sunk by both teams in the closing minutes of the 4th in Game 5, in the context of the series, (at San Antonio who were down 3-1) are simply incredible.

What’s next?

Thanks for that, fellas. There’s some quality viewing to look forward to! The point about Clarke’s 329 is hard to disagree with. Most significant cricket innings or matches quickly lose their lustre. It happened. I wasn’t there for it. Move on. Same for Warner’s unbelievable century.

I love the left-field options of the Stynes tribute and Spurs-Grizzlies in the NBA. Both seem must-sees.

Thanks to both of the boys for contributing. Your support of this blog over the last 51 weeks has been phenomenal. Love your work and appreciate you both.


Forgive the drama here…

Next week’s postings will see a farewell to the journey, plus hopefully a welcome letter to a special someone.

Keep in mind that the blog will continue after May 24. There will be a lot of intriguing roads and decisions to navigate once the floodgates open.

Until then…!

[Blogger’s note – this post became particularly hard to finish considering some news I received about some friends. My prayers are with you, EJ. God bless.]


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.

One response »

  1. Great point made there concerning the tennis mate. I was at the 5 hour marathon event about 4 years ago when Verdasco and Nadal went at it. I was hosting corporate guests and luckily for me, I had a great relationship with them and could leave early. My arse was killing me and watching more than 2 hours of tennis for me is more painful than a complete veiwing of the Neighours series.

    The last set of this years final is something to see. Even I watched a reply and would happily watch it with you. Its just so gruelling in a beautiful way.

    On a side note, I actually developed a hemorrhoid from that Verdasco game. True story.


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