More night finals for AFL. The AFL has announced that the two preliminary finals next weekend will be a night match on Friday and a Saturday game at a time to be confirmed, which sounds suspiciously like another night match is being planned. The wonders of the national competition already mean no finals in Victoria for two of the four weeks of finals and now daytime footy is going the way of goal umpire’s porkpie hats as well, despite the fact that the Bulldogs beating the Pies in front of 85,000 fans on a sunny Sunday afternoon last weekend was probably the best finals moment of the series so far. The League keeps insisting that a night grand final is not on the agenda, yet it’s possible that if Melbourne or Sydney make the Grand Final, they won’t have played in daylight for a month.

Armstrong’s mates admit to drug use. Poor old Lance Armstrong just won’t be allowed to sit quietly in his post-retirement rocking chair. The latest news is that two of his former cycling teammates have admitted to taking drugs in the lead-up to the 1999 Tour de France. Former team captain Frankie Andreu and a cyclist who preferred to remain anonymous told the New York Times they had used EPO in training, even though they were never caught. “There are two levels of guys,” Andreu said. “You got the guys that cheat and the guys who are just trying to survive.” While nobody has said a word about Lance, the inference seems clear given he was never making up the numbers on tour. It makes you wonder why these guys would feel a need to speak up all these years later? They say because drugs are having a negative effect on their sport. Gee, you think?

Alonso loves the Schu — not. The Formula One lovefest continues with reigning world champion Fernando Alonso just failing to get misty-eyed about his rival Michael Schumacher’s impending retirement. “Michael is the most unsporting driver with the largest number of sanctions in the history of Formula One,” Fernando sniffed to Spanish newspaper Marca, as reported in The Guardian. “That doesn’t take away from the fact that he has been the best driver.” Alonso also added that Ferrari and the Schu had received biased treatment from F1 supremos, saying: “In Formula One there are commercial and political interests. We are talking about the most successful driver in history and a little bit of help has never gone amiss. Quite often they go over the line of what is acceptable and it is inexplicable.” So, no post-retirement BBQs for the Schu and old Fernando then.

Peter Fray

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