It’s been a tough week with not much to cheer about for sport fans.
The Diamonds lost their Constellation Cup Test match against New Zealand in Launceston followed by the shock second round knockout of local boxing hero Daniel Geale to relative unknown Renold Quinlan in front of a home-town crowd at the Silverdome.
That defeat was a tragedy for one of the nicest guys in sport you could hope to meet as he attempted to resurrect his career.
But after losing four of his last six fights you would have to think it is time for the 35-year-old to call time on a distinguished career which saw him win a Commonwealth Games gold medal and multiple world middleweight titles.
AFL fans were stunned when Hawthorn announced they were trading five-time best and fairest winner and four-time premiership player Sam Mitchell to West Coast in possibly the biggest shock of trade period ever followed by the news that Jordan Lewis is angry and disgruntled after his post-season discussion with Alastair Clarkson and also looking for a trade to Melbourne.
Adding to the misery Australian tennis bad boys Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios were up to their usual antics again.
Tomic retired mid-match for the fourth time this season in another below expectation year but his mate Nick Kyrgios was far worse with another disgraceful tanking effort in a second round match in the Shanghai Masters which included arguing heatedly with spectators who jeered him and the umpire who questioned his professionalism and respect for his opponent and the game.
There are not many Australian sportsmen I wouldn’t cheer for – but fair dinkum Tomic and Kyrgios are two that I have no respect for and would never pay money to watch.
Starting the cavalcade of bad news was the Australian cricket team suffering a 5-0 series whitewash in their one-day tour of South Africa – the first time our national team had lost five matches straight in a bilateral ODI campaign.
The Australian selectors took a second string attack to South Africa choosing to again pursue their ridiculous rotation/resting policy which saw Josh Hazlewood left at home and a number of other key bowlers in Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Patrick Cummins wrapped up in cotton wool recovering from injuries.
Wonder if any of Cricket Australia’s sports performance gurus ever considered that players actually need to play regularly so their bodies get used to the physical demands placed on them – that was always Glenn McGrath’s philosophy and it seemed to work OK for him.
Can’t recall Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thompson, Lenny Pascoe, Max Walker and Merv Hughes ever being rested much either.
Anyway, the ODI series result followed on a 3-0 loss to Sri Lanka on the Test tour when the wheels fell off earlier and does not augur well for the upcoming summer of cricket.
Former Australian captain Mark Taylor believes less than half of the Test side have performed well enough to book their selection in the first Test of the summer against the Proteas and other former greats are predicting an ugly and bleak summer unless the Aussies can turn their fortunes around.
The one ray of sunshine in a gloomy week was chairman of selectors Rod Marsh finally pulling the pin after the ODI rout and announcing his resignation when his contract expires next June.
Perhaps he could take Mark Waugh, Trevor Hohns and Pat Howard with him.