Thomas
Hunter and Chris Canty write:

Paul
Roos tackles commentators.
The stoush between AFL
commentators and clubs has intensified this morning with The Age running comments from Sydney coach Paul
Roos about the negative commentary his club received during its round 16 match
against Richmond. Caroline Wilson writes: “Roos’s view was that his team was engaging
in a tough, high-pressure contest; the commentators’ view was that the Swans’
tactics were negative and stifling.” Sydney chief
executive Myles Baron-Hay has joined Cameron Schwab, his counterpart at
Fremantle, in expressing concern about the impact of negative commentary on viewer
numbers, and it’s a concern AFL House takes seriously given the time and money
being poured into securing Aussie Rules in tough markets like Sydney. Given Ten’s
interest in bolstering viewer numbers in Sydney, and the fact that Ten, the
AFL, and the Swans are effectively in partnership to secure a prosperous future
for the game in New South Wales, it’s likely some sort of understanding,
however informal, will be reached by all parties, despite Tim Lane’s strident
defence
of a commentator’s right to call the game as he sees it.

Boomers on the up. After losing
a four match series to New Zealand last month (albeit on a points countback),
the Australian men’s basketball team talked about rebuilding and blooding
youngsters and how fans shouldn’t expect too much in the way of glorious wins. “It is where the national team is right
now with who we have,” coach Brian Goorjian warned
after the Ramsay Shield
boarded a plane and headed across the Tasman for only the second time.
Well, it appears three weeks is a long time in
basketball. Playing in the Stankovic Cup in China, a precursor
to World Championships, the Boomers notched up a respectable loss to
Greece
(68-60) on Friday before last night beating France, the European
championship bronze medallist, 77-71. The win has given some confidence
to the Boomers, who now
rate themselves a threat to all other basketball playing nations and a
force to
be reckoned with. Even Goorjian was pleasantly surprised by the win:
“We haven’t played much together and previously I don’t
think we had the belief that we could win against the top teams in the
world,
but beating France and showing the intensity that we did amongst the
group, it shows
we can get anything done.” The World Championships start on Saturday.

Hit
and Run.
Who said mascots aren’t important to the
team? The Tennessee Titans’ mascot, T-Rac, while driving from the field in a
golf cart after his half-time performance, ran into New Orleans Saints reserve
quarterback Adrian McPherson, injuring the player’s knee and ruling him out of
the game. While much of the US
audience could see the funny side, Saints players and fans couldn’t hide their
anger
, with Saints
starting quarterback Drew Brees saying: “It’s idiotic … That’s something
that needs to be addressed. You can’t have guys doing what they’re doing as
football players on the field, and get hit by a golf cart.” T-Rac was not
harmed in the incident, but was not awarded a sack (a tackle that takes down a
quarterback) by statisticians.

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