Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Footy (AFL) : Bummer!

June 17, 2007
Essendon lost the Port Adeliade last night so we didn’t make 5 in a row.
We played like dogs for 3 quarters then blidzed them in lat quarter (6 goals to none.
They one 19 goals to 13.
Margin 31 points but was in excess of 70 points when the last quarter started.
Unfortunately I could only listen to it because it was interstate and not on free to air TV.
Double bummer!
Jay Nash played well, which is a good find.
He replaced one of the pregame injured players (Campo and Stanton).
Now for the mid season break.
We are 7/5 and probbably need to win at least 6 or 7 of our last 10 games to make the finals.
Given that our percentage is low and there is a log jam around us on the ladder, 12 wins will probably not be enough.

Footy Aussie Rules Again

June 10, 2007
Essendon won again by one point on Friday night.
Last week it was Sydney by one point who were th erunners up last year in the grand Final.
This week we beat West Coast who were the Grad Final winners last year.
We have now beaten last years top 4, not bad for teh team that finished 15th (2nd last) last year on 3 wins.  This year we have won 7 from 11 at the season’s halfway mark.
WC were all powerful in the first quarter.  Esendon were in awe and totally intimidated by them.
Essendon eventually clawed their way back into the game, despite being 6 goals down at one stage in the 2nd quarter and 5 at halftime.
In the end it was Essendon’s accurate kicking and their superior tackling (their stats were well ahead on this) that won the game for them.  Especially with the last minute or so being fought out on WC’s pocket up to their goals.  The match winner was when Fletcher(Ess) punched the ball from in front on the point post away from the goals and out.  There was 4 seconds to go which was consumed in teh throw in. 
No goals were kicked after the 12 minute mark of the last quarter.  Both sides missed one reasonable shot at goal.  I suspect the WC ran out of steam in teh 2nd half as well, given the way they ran and ran and ran in the first half.  Essendon in the end (despite being one down on teh interchange bench) paced themselves correctly.
Go Bombers!

Photo Timing at athletics

February 18, 2007
I have been an active competitor in athletics for nearly 40 years.
This season I have been co-opted into assisting with the photo timing.
I’ll talk later about our system.
For now, its an Omega Ssytem that presents a longitudal image wherre the horizontal axis represents time.
We manuually position the cursor on the chest of each competitor.
Having used it for a few weeks, these are my observations:
– Image recognition could be applied here
– At issue is determining which lane runners are in, because generally runner are off the ground.
– 3D multi-camera image processing will be an interesting application of this.

Christmas Eve

December 24, 2006
Well it’s Christmas eve.
I am reminded of an Australian poem. It is called "The Fire at Ross’s Farm" by Henry Lawson.
It was in one of my primary school readers.
It was about about a squatter and and an adjoining landowner.
You see squatters just came and settled on the land without purchasing it or being given it by the government.
So squatters were viewed by land owners as a lower class, to be despised.
Anyway, in the poem it is a typically hot Christams eve in the outback and bush fires are raging.
The squatter and the land owner join forces to put out the fire.
The poem ends with ..
"Two grimy hands in friendship joined.  And it was Christmas Day!"
The poem can be found it:
The Victorian fires ARE largely out.  Only one area is under warning.
So most of the fire fire fighters have gone home for Christmas.
We expect hail in Melboune tomorrow.  It will be one of our coldest Christmases on record.
And they DO expect snow in the Alps where the fires have been raging.
Merry Christmas to all.

And now for something completely different: Sport Downunder

July 6, 2006
Here in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, we consider our city as the sports captial of the country.  Home to a range of sports facilities such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground with seated capacity of 100,000.  They have sold more than 100K tickets for the Boxing Day Cricket Test.  Across the railway line is Melbourne Tennis Centre, the home of the Australian Open.  Across the road is Olympic Park Athletics track which also hosts Rugby and Soccer (Roundball Football).  On the other side of the city about 3Ks away is Telstra Dome which has a covered roof and seats 55K.  This along with the MCG are home to Aussie Rules Football.  Then there is Albert Park home to Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix and also has the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.  Down with the fairy pengiums on Philip Island ( a couple of hrs drive away) is the Phillip Island Motorway, home to the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP).  We also have the Flemington Race Course, where the race that stops the nation is the help, the 3K Mlebourne Cup.  Melbourne has a public holiday just for the cup .. see we are sports nutters here.  The Melbourne Cup carnival (4 race days over 8 days) is part of the Melbourne Spring Racing carnival which includes races at Moonee Valley and Sandown race courses.
Australia competes beyond its station in sport.  It is our national passion.  We are only 20 million but we are a leading country in the Olympics, we are the leading cricket nation, we are top 1 or 2 in swimming. We have a range of world champions.  We now have some Winter Olympic medalists (Yes Australia does have snow and ski fields, nothing over 5500′  Our largest mountain is 7000′, no all year snow). Who can forget Stephen Bradbury in the short track skating in the 2nd previous Winter Olympics?  We have provided a large number of tennis champions over the years and have won many Davis Cups.   We finally qualified for the World Cup (soccer) again this year after 37 years.  We have a number of top cyclists in the Tour De France (Cycling).  [I have rediscovered cycling from misspent youth in the last 12 months.  I regularly ride to work and back (10.5Ks each way)]
I regularly watch Essendon play AFL (Ausssie Rules) football.   We have been one of the top teams over the years but at the moment we are at the bottom.  AFL is played on a large grass field with an oval ball.  Kicking and handball are key parts of the gane.  Players can kick the ball in excess of 60m.  The object of the game is to score goals.  Minor points can also be scored ( 6pts = 1 goal).  Typical scores are in excess of 10 goasl, teh maximum AFLscore is about 33 goals.  You can forward pass (no offside).  You can mark the ball froma a kick in which case you can go back and take your kick.  If you get he ball from other than a mark you can run a limited distance with the ball after which you must bounce the ball.  If you get caught with the ball (not marked) then you get penalised.  There are a large number of conplex rules.  There are two goal umpires, 2 boundary umpires and 3 field umpires.  The game is fast,  furious and physical.  Generally no protective gear is worn.  The game evolved from rugby and Irish (Gaelic) football.  Ireland and Australia play an annual hybrid (International Rulles)competition.
 I have been a competitive distance athlete for nearly 40 years.  I run for Athletics Essendon. We have hadd a number of Olympic and Commonwealth Games participants including Peter Norman from that infamous 200M in Mexico City (He was 2nd).   (He actually ran for East Melbourne Harriers which amalgumated with us).  I also run the Corporate Cup which is a great time trial biweekly around "The Tan" Melbourne’s best running circuit.  Another running race is a Monday handicap with Custom Joggers around the Flagstaff Gardens.  I actually won their 1000th race.  The picture of me on this blog was taken when I received the tropphy for that race.  I also run from time to time with Victorian Masters Athletics at Aberfeldie.  When in Seattle I have joined the Seattle Running Co.. for their Sunday trail runs a few times.  For training I generally run around the Maribyrnong River Valley.  When travelling I enjoying running to do my own tours.  For example when I went to London I did a quick 2 hr tour of central London landmarks by running.