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Pipped at the post in a year that wasn’t

Wrote one of those predictions columns at the start of the year. The space filler in the Christmas edition. Before taking a not-particularly-well-earned break, thought I would see how I went:* ”Expect man to run 100 metres in less than 9.5 seconds.” Figured it would be Usain Bolt, who could only jog a 9.58. Turned out to be Tiger Woods while being chased by a club-wielding wife. One from one.* ”Australia will comprehensively outplay England and win Ashes.” If you take the Ricky Ponting approach and focus on the averages rather than results, you will find that eight out of the nine words in that prediction were bang on (an outstanding 88.88 per cent strike-rate.) Australia comprehensively outplayed England and somehow lost the Ashes. Like Australia – near enough.* ”Serena Williams will reassert her dominance because she is one female tennis player who never chokes.” Technically correct. Williams only threatened to choke a lineswoman in New York by shoving a ball down her ”f—ing throat”. (Although, if you believe Williams and the feather duster-wielding officials who refused to impose a ban, what she really said was: ”I’m gonna take this ball and feed it to a frolicking goat. They get very hungry you know!”) Pass.* ”More defecations to rock the NRL.” This was a typo. Was actually predicting more defections to rugby union (you can throw in Karmichael Hunt who, after a stint with a French rugby club, a holiday and a haircut, might turn up to start earning his seven-figure pay cheque from the AFL’s Gold Coast franchise). But since Sydney Roosters forward Nate Myles mistook a hotel floor for a portaloo, it works both ways.* ”The impending showdown between AFL and soccer for corporate and spectator support will be settled when a compromise rules game is invented.” Thank you Thierry Henry for rising above the petty squabbles and showing the warring codes the way forward. Handsoccer! Tick.* ”Hooker will cause heartache for star athlete.” Take your pick. I am settling on Frenchman Romain Mesnil, who was the runner-up in the pole vault at the IAAF World Championships.* ”After the Shark’s bitter divorce, Greg Norman and Chris Evert will lead long and happy lives.” Hey, I didn’t say it would be together. Since neither was hit by a bus – or Laura Andrassy’s Beamer – still on track for a perfect score.* ”Tennis will again be a blast for Dokic.” Jelena’s Australian Open renaissance gets this one over the line. But if Damir’s personal weapons cache had not been seized, I would have really nailed it.* ”Kiwi coach Robbie Deans will finally bring all the attributes and success expected of New Zealand to the Wallabies.” Which he did, if you are talking about the success expected of the New Zealand cricket team. Check.* ”Superman will finally overcome kryptonite.” Roger Federer won the French Open. On clay. Sure, Lex Luthor (Rafael Nadal) took an early bullet. But this stacks up.* ”An international star will be involved in a particularly hair-raising moment.” Could I have made it any more obvious that Andre Agassi would reveal that he had worn a mullet wig during the 1990 French Open final? And still not too late for Pim Verbeek to provide a bonus point by shaving off that comb-over.* ”A 59 will not be quite good enough to win the British Open in the final round.” This was a copy-editing mistake. I actually wrote, ”a 59-year-old will not be quite good enough.” Tom Watson lost in a play-off. Are you with me?* ”Although key forwards have not been prominent recently, expect a big showing from Brendan Fevola at the Brownlow Medal.” Drank plenty of Carlton products, but is no longer one himself. Starting to make Nostradamus look like Mr Magoo here. Tick.* ”Mark Webber will fail to crash, retire, hit a school crossing guard or have to pull over when the air bag suddenly inflates during at least one grand prix.” Yes! Yes! Yes! Ohhhh yes!* ”Bart Cummings will win his 13th Melbourne Cup.” There goes the perfect score. What a miserable failure that old geezer turned out to [email protected]南京夜网.au
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