Well, here we go, 2021 ... where to start?
The NRL season will be beginning in what is now only a matter of weeks. The good news is that Peter V'landys is pursuing the idea of bringing back all three grades to game day.
Readers may recall a column last year where I described going to see Manly play Souths at ANZ and the utter absurdity of the pre-match 'entertainment' consisting of a couple of kids' games being played on half the ground each, simultaneously, followed by the players' warm-ups, and then the even more ridiculous spectacle of the referees performing calisthenics.
'Why can't we watch more footy at the footy?' I asked.
It would seem V'landys also read the column, agreed with it and - love him or hate him you have to acknowledge that he is a man of action - has proposed to do something about it: The return of three grades - firsts, reserves and under 21s. Fantastic.
I do wonder at the logistics. It should be no problem for the Sydney sides, but is it feasible for, say, Auckland to be flying three full teams around the place at that level of frequency?
There could be an opportunity here, though, to bean two of the proverbial birds with the one Steeden, by allowing windows for, perhaps, also showcasing regional competitions. I, for one, think it would be great to have, say, Cessnock playing the Western Suburbs Rosellas, as a preliminary match at the Knights' stadium, and you'd have to expect the equivalents, in places like Queensland and New Zealand, would also relish the opportunity.
IT'S A CRIME
I'm not a particularly devout man: Church visits for me are generally confined to weddings, funerals and a quick cheeky red on Christmas Eve. But, still, I know sacrilege when I see it, and that is exactly what this 'Holey Moley' nonsense is - a religious crime against golf!
In case you haven't seen it, 'Holey Moley' is a Greg Norman-endorsed television show where contestants compete over a golf themed obstacle course: Sort of like a combination of mini golf and 'Takeshi's Castle' - the Japanese endurance show the late Clive James so drolly brought to us so many moons ago.
I'm all for fun, and love a laugh, but golf, I'm afraid, is no laughing matter. It's designed to be about crying. And there's the worry that this silliness may set a dangerous precedent; a potentially slippery slope - golf as light entertainment?
Will we end up with some tacky version of our noble sport being rolled out for the masses like they've done with the cricket and this 'Big Bash?'
Stay alert golfers, we may need to man the barricades ...
While I'm bashing 'The Bash': Don Bradman batted in the baggy green 80 times. He was not-out on ten of those occasions; he made 29 centuries, 6996 runs overall with a highest score of 334. His average, as everybody knows, was the notorious and, in all probability, insurmountable 99.94.
Amongst all of that Bradman hit only six sixes. Six only! Now the question I pose is, would you rather watch the likes of Bradman bat or the slog-fests we seem to be relentlessly subjected to these days?
I suppose enough people must prefer the latter to explain their televised ubiquity - the more sixes the better, which would also explain, I suppose, why they keep making the boundaries smaller.
The ropes are now often many metres in from the fence. When did this start I wonder? You used to have to hit it over the fence! . 'Over the rope...?' Not quite the same, is it.
To the actual cricket: What's so hard about acknowledging that the Indians simply outplayed us?
Because that's what happened. It turns out that Indian cricket has far more depth to it than we realised, to the extent that what we considered a 'B-side were able to come over here, play wonderful cricket, and beat us. They scored a record-breaking fourth innings in Brisbane to win the test and the series. It was a glorious achievement.
Rather than simply saying 'well played,' Australia is looking inward. 'What went wrong? Who's to blame? Sack the captain. Sack the coach.'
How about, instead, giving credit where it's due and just getting on with things...
THE COURT SAGA
Amongst the outraged outpourings surrounding the Margaret Court saga recently I read somewhere what seemed a fairly reasonable explanation. It was suggested that Court's elevation from Officer of the Order of Australia to 'Companion' was simply to do with gender equality.
Rod Laver was awarded the AC in 2016 and it was felt that if Laver held one then Court, whose accomplishments in tennis must be considered to be, at the very least, the equivalent of Laver (and actually probably superior) then Court should also be elevated in the interests of correcting the imbalance.
If this is the case then it seems, to me, to be fair enough.
Still, I'm not sure how keen I'd be to be looking at a future 'Sir' Nick Kyrgios ...