Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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MARCH 8, 2004

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Well, it's early March, and it's that unique time in Melbourne when there is a cross-over in the seasons, and foreigners also feel welcome to be a part of the sporting capital of the world, Melbourne. Let's have a look at three sports: Formula 1, cricket and footy!


Formula 1

The Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix has been run and won, with a predictable victory to Michael Schumacher from Germany in his Ferrari. Australia's home-town hero Mark Webber retired from the race early due to gearbox troubles in his Jaguar.

Other important highlights of Grand Prix weekend at Albert Park included the rare vision of cigarette sponsorship in Australia, grid girls, lanyards galore, and traffic chaos around South Melbourne.

The Formula 1 Grand Prix is an opportunity for many Australians to show they know absolutely nothing about the sport, yet choose to wear the Ferrari team colours. This does not account for all Australians, however, with many wearing the green of Jaguar, and the navy blue of Williams to show that us Aussies do have our own thought processes from time to time.



Australia's test team is about to begin their series against Sri Lanka. Any team is difficult to beat in the sub-continent, and this series will be no exception.

Australia welcomes back the great Shane Warne to the side, who will add vital firepower that was sorely missed in the recent India series. Ricky Ponting will be keen to get his test captaincy off to a spectacular start after taking over from Steve Waugh in January. Sri Lanka have one decent bowler in Chaminda Vaas, a thrower in
Muttiah Muralitharan, and some reasonable batsmen scattered throughout the order. My tip is Australia will win the series comfortably.

Locally, Victoria will host their first Sheffield Shield final in more than a decade when they meet Queensland at the MCG on March 12. This match will be one of the most important in recent domestic cricket history, due largely to the untimely passing of
David Hookes, the coach of Victoria.


Australian Football

The 2004 AFL Premiership Season is fast approaching, and is as important off the field for many clubs as is the action on the field.

Melbourne, St Kilda, Geelong, the Western Bulldogs, Carlton and even Richmond are facing hefty financial difficulties in the lead up to the season, and some of these clubs are closer to the brink of extinction than many people realise. Melbourne, in particular, are surely in grave danger of being the next Fitzroy.

On the field, the non-Victorian teams are powering up for another stellar year, with tipsters loathe to predict any missing the finals. Brisbane are undoubtedly the Premiership favourite overall, with West Coast and Adelaide providing some pressure. For Victorian fans, the best bets look like Essendon and Collingwood, with St
Kilda's pre-season form also looking promising.


My Two Cents

I guess it would be remiss of me to forget to give Rugby League a mention here today as well. The Canterbury Bulldogs have placed themselves in hot water after claims of sexual assault during a training camp in Coffs Harbour. The Melbourne Storm have also
had similar issues to deal with in the off-season, but have been criticised for covering up the allegations. The feel on the street is now that the concerned players, if guilty, should feel the full force of the law, and be sacked. Fame and fortune comes with its own responsibilities. Those who abuse their privileges should be duly
punished. And that's my two cents.

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