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Topics - DJC

The Sports Desk / Opals and Boomers at the Paris Olympics
As a basketball tragic, I haven’t really given this as much attention as I should have.

First of all, congratulations are due to Joe Ingles, Patty Mills and Lauren Jackson for winning selection to their fifth Olympics.  Loz’s selection is particularly admirable given that her last Olympics was London in 2012, she retired with a debilitating knee injury and is now 43 years young.  Her form in the recent series against China suggests that she’ll get more than her share of court time in Paris.

Joe and Patty have had stellar careers but both will probably spend more time on the bench than on the court in Paris.  Joe’s probably in better touch but Patty will still have his moments.

I think that the two most significant omissions from the Boomers are Chris Goulding and Matisse Thybulle.  Goulding, by his own admission, was always going to struggle against the younger talent.

Thybulle’s defensive efforts at the last Olympics were outstanding but it seems that Brian Goorjian is after more offensive firepower than hard nosed defence.  Goorjian is a wily operator and I’m sure that he knows what he’s doing.

Blah-Blah Bar / Megafauna on ABC TV
Highly recommended Australian documentary series on ABC TV and Iview.

It features Australian megafauna fossils in situ and in museums, palaeontologists and other scientists, and convincing CHI representations.

Check out Kakadu Ranger Jonothan Nadji’s CFC cap in episode 2 🙂
Blah-Blah Bar / RIP Ross Booth
Ross Booth called the VFA footy on ABC TV with Phil Cleary and Peter Gee. An understated but knowledgeable commentator that let the action do the talking.

Ross was recently found deceased in his Toorak flat, a residence that Phil would often refer to in order to light-heartedly accuse Ross of being a Toorak toff.  Ross was in his early 70s.

Ross was a midfielder for Monash Blues in the 1970s when they were one of the VAFA powerhouses.  I probably played in opposing teams but I don’t remember him from those days. I suspect that experience helped to make him a knowledgeable, accurate and entertaining commentator.

RIP Ross Booth.
The Sports Desk / Sam Kerr
Sam Kerr has been charged with the racially aggravated harassment of a police officer and will go to trial in February 2025.  What’s that about “justice delayed is justice denied”?

Of course, Sam is innocent until proven guilty and we shouldn’t anticipate the outcome of the trial.  However, I suspect that we won’t see any more FIFA puff pieces about Sam’s ethnicity:

“[Sam’s] journey speaks volumes about the evolving landscape of football and the power of athletes to transcend borders, languages, and cultures. As she continues to excel on the pitch, she also strives to be a beacon of hope for young Indian girls who dare to dream beyond conventions.”
Robert Heatley Stand / The midfield 2024 - how do we shoehorn them in?
Tim Clarke's pre-season report card:

Even with Walsh proppy, we have more quality midfielders than we can possibly fit in, even if we play a couple as forwards.

If Walsh is good to go, I'd start opening round with Cripps, Walsh and Cerra in the centre square, Acres and O Hollands on the wings, Docherty at half forward, and Hewett and Kennedy on the bench, the latter as a forward/midfielder (Cottrell is starting as a forward).

Round 3 will be interesting when Elijah Hollands is available, probably for a forward/midfield role.  Then there's Binns and Jack Carroll pushing for selection.  Cuningham is also hoping to spend more time in the midfield.

It was interesting to read that Carroll spent the summer in Perth with Crippa.  That's got to have a positive impact on his footy, fitness and attitude.
Robert Heatley Stand / The backline 2024
Sammy Hamill has done a review of some of our defenders and, you wouldn't believe it, they're flying through the pre-season  :)

Unfortunately, Sammy hasn't provided reports on Kemp, Williams, Young, tall Durdin, Marchbank and Cincotta.  I'm also keen to see whether Jaxson Binns is earmarked for a role in defence this season.

There's big shoes to fill with Weitering out in terms of his unbeatability in one on one contests, his ability to choose the right option when distributing the ball or rebounding from defence, and his generalship of the team in the back half.  I don't think any one player can do all of that and our defence will have to step up across the board.

If I was picking the team for "opening round", I would go with:

B:     Newman     Young      Williams
HB:  Saad            Kemp       McGovern
I/C:  Cincotta

I think the MC will go with:

B:     Newman     Marchbank      Williams
HB:  Saad            McGovern        Cincotta
I/C:  Boyd
Robert Heatley Stand / The forward line 2024 - who plays and how is it structured?
When I did Kruddler's best 22, my forward line was:

HF: Martin    McKay     Owies
F:    Motlop  Curnow    Silvagni

with Cottrell on the bench as the seventh forward and Docherty moving between wing and half forward.

Obviously, with Jack's tragic injury, there's an opening for another forward, but did I get the structure and personnel right?

We're going to go with two rucks and De Koning is going to spend time forward both to spell Charlie and Harry and to play as a third tall.  Do we need a like for like replacement for Silvagni or can we cover the third tall role with a combination of De Koning and medium forwards like Martin?

My post-Silvagni ACL forward line is:

HF: Martin    McKay     Cottrell
F:    Motlop  Curnow    Owies

with Docherty and De Koning as part time forwards and other midfielders resting forward from time to time.  I'm not entirely sure who to have on the bench as the seventh forward but I'll go with Cuningham.

Blah-Blah Bar / The EV thread
I don’t think we have a dedicated EV thread so here goes:

Robert Pepper is an automotive journalist who is more of an acquaintance than a mate (I have met him through a 4WD club and we are FB friends).  He doesn’t play favourites and conducts his own research to test manufacturers’ claims.  The following is his take on the recent Dakar rally:

An EV has won Dakar!  No it didn't, it's not an EV!

So which is it?  An electric vehicle, or a petrol vehicle? The opposing camps are each claiming the vehicle as their own.

The answer is both and neither. It's a hybrid. Similar in fact to Nissan's X-Trail e-Power.

So the Audi RS Q e-tron is indeed pure electric drive. It has an electric motor on the front axle, and another on the rear.  The "centre differential" is software, virtual.  This is just like Rivians, AWD Teslas including Cybertruck and the other AWD EVs.  There is no gearbox, single-speed.  Watch my EV AWD powertrains video for more on all of this.

The Audi RS Q e-tron also has a battery which weighs around 370kg and has a capacity of around 52kWh, which is pretty small for even a roadcar EV.  Total weight is 2100kg without drivers.

Now as you can imagine a 52kWh battery isn't going to get a 2100kg sand racer on 37" tyres very far. Which is why there is also a 2.0L, four-cyclinder turbo petrol engine which acts as a generator, or energy convertor - it generates electricity which either powers the motors at the axle, or charges the battery. The battery can also be recharged via re-gen when the vehicle slows.  And that's exactly what the X-Trail e-Power uses. Older hybrids used the ICE motors to directly drive the powertrain as well as the electric motors.

So is the Audi RS Q e-tron an EV?  Yes, and also, no.  Yes as it has electric motors which drive the car, and that is the technical definition of an EV, which doesn't preclude how those motors have their power supplied - from a generator driven by petrol, hydrogen, or just a big battery, or even solar. A "hydrogen car" is also an EV as it uses electricity to power its engine, just that electricity is generated by a hydrogen powerplant.  The definition of an EV doesn't mean it has to have a battery.

But in popular parlance, most people think of an EV as what is actually a BEV, or Battery Electric Vehicle which has no ICE (petrol/diesel) engine at all, and the Audi RS Q e-tron is not a BEV as whilst it has a battery, it also has a petrol engine.

Hopefully that clears it up.  You can go back to shouting at each other now which should make everyone feel better.
Ladies Lounge / AFLW Injuries
I have only just realised that Erone Fitzpatrick ruptured her ACL in our last game against St Kilda.

I suspect that means she’ll miss next season and that’s quite a blow for Erone and our chances 🙁

Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.
The Sports Desk / 2023 BBC Test team of the year
2023 BBC Test team of the year:

1. Usman Khawaja (Australia, 93%)

2. Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka, 55%)

3. Joe Root (England, 82%)

4. Kane Williamson (New Zealand, 58%)

5. Virat Kohli (India, 54%)

6. Ben Stokes (England, 55%)

7. Jonny Bairstow (England, 49%)

8. Ravindra Jadeja (India, 51%)

9. Pat Cummins (Australia, 74%)

10. Stuart Broad (England, 81%)

11. Mitchell Starc (Australia, 75%)

Those who narrowly missed out: Harry Brook (England, 48%), Travis Head (Australia, 46%), Ravichandran Ashwin (India, 47%), Nathan Lyon (Australia, 70%)

The percentages represent the number of people voting for each player.  How that results in Jadeja with 51% getting in ahead of Lyon with 70% and more wickets for the year is not clear 🤔

And then there’s the wicketkeeper 🙄

I guess it shows that the BBC and its audience aren’t great judges of cricketers.
Blah-Blah Bar / Footy cards
My youngest grandson collects footy cards (and various other cards).  One of his favourite cards is a Charlie Curnow card.  Charlie is one of his favourite players but he doesn't follow Carlton.  It’s more that the card has a very high price tag according to the footy card almanac.

Torquay is playing Jan Juc in the local cricket this weekend and Ed, Charlie and Travis Boak are playing.  The little fellow took his Charlie Curnow footy card to the game and Charlie signed it for him.  The little fellow is rapt; he reckons the card is worth heaps more now 🙂
Blah-Blah Bar / Doing a Bradbury
My son recently introduced me to the ABC series, “Australian Epic”.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s an exploration of several Australian historical events through the medium of musical comedy.

I have only watched the Steven Bradbury episode, but it is a ripper.  If you want a light-hearted but factual account of how Australia’s first Winter Olympics gold medal was won, give it a go.  Bradbury may have been lucky but his gold medal was well-deserved.
Ladies Lounge / AFLW - the way forward?
I was listening to Nathan Burke on the wireless this morning and was interested to hear his suggestions for improving the AFLW competition:

1.  Get rid of all draft concessions so that all teams have the same access to the draft.

2. Increase list size.  Burke’s season (and coaching career) was cruelled by injuries and having to play unlisted players.

Burke said that the requirement to turn over the list each season meant that clubs were shedding AFLW-capable players.  Increasing list size would keep players in the system, allow more development and provide better injury cover.

3. Align the AFLW and VFLW seasons so that players can move between levels as with AFL/VFL.  This would place extra demand on venues but the benefits would far outweigh any pain.
Ladies Lounge / Grand Final
Brisbane prevailed with a (relative) flurry of goals in the last quarter.  The difference between the two teams was mainly  Brisbane’s ability to hold marks.

Watching without a dog in the fight provided a different perspective.  Mrs DJC commented on the players’ inability to hold marks and that extended to an inability to gather ground balls cleanly.  That contributed to opportunities for tackling as did poor decision-making; turning into trouble and ill-timed disposals.

Sexual dimorphism doesn’t help with marking and sure ball handling but I think there’s another factor; under-developed instinctive game awareness.

Despite all of that, it was an entertaining game with plenty of great passages of play and individual efforts.

What does it mean for us?

I think that our list is focused on speed and our players are too easily brushed aside.  We need to add size and strength without sacrificing too much run.
Ladies Lounge / New VFLW coach
Glenn Strachan has been appointed as coach of our VFLW team.

Strachan retains his role as AFLW senior assistant coach and that will provide stronger alignment between the two programs.

I think it is a.very positive appointment.