A Victorian in flight on Grand Final eve: I managed to snare one of the few remaining seats out of Sydney for Melbourne last night. Sydney Airport was full of people in red and white scarves – and also West Coast colours. I got talking to two guys who had been forced to fly Perth-Sydney-Melbourne because the direct Perth-Melbourne flights were full. Some friends of theirs had dipped out altogether and were believed to be driving through Port Augusta, more or less, as we spoke. This is all good news for the national competition and the Victorian economy. The MCG has become our nation’s Wembley, as is only right. What I could do without are the smug lectures from interstate fans about what’s wrong with Victorian football, how we Victorian fans don’t understand how footy works and why we need to embrace the bigger picture. Lucky I’m not a Kangaroo, Hawk or Bulldog fan. I might have been less polite. As it stands, (shrug), let’s hope tomorrow’s grand final even vaguely matches up to last year’s game. Go the winner! 
 
Calling all shrinks in the Oscoda area: The way my junior coaches in any sport used to tell it, sport is about “building character”, gaining skills and self-confidence, learning about yourself, your limits, about the joy and effectiveness of team work. All that stuff … which means the counsellors at Oscoda High School, in Michigan, America, have their work cut out right now. The school has just cancelled the school’s senior football team’s entire season because they are so, well, crap. The Bay City Times, reported on AP, carried the story of this team, which was reportedly so undersized and overwhelmed in the first four games of the season that the coaches held genuine fears for the players’ safety. Oscoda hadn’t scored a single point in its four appearances but that wasn’t what worried the management. “I have 28 years of coaching experience in high school and college, and I know the difference between a team playing bad and a team that’s unsafe,” said coach Kyle Tobin. The players have pleaded to be allowed to play but it looks as though it’s game over. “”All I ever wanted to do was play football,” sniffed senior quarterback Mike Gondek. The couch is over there. 

Killer blow to the sport of Rugby Union? Rugby Union faces its greatest ever credibility challenge after a former boy-band member was included in the Scottish national team training squad yesterday. Thom Evans was a member of Twen2y4Se7en (definitely a band for the SMS generation), which was so successful it once supported Peter Andre. “It was never serious, just a time away from rugby but I trained really hard and came back refreshed and raring to go,” Evans told The Times. Yeah, sure, dancing boy. Tell it to the judge – by which, we obviously mean Mark Holden.

Peter Fray

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