Friday, 18 April 2008

New trees

Eastern Avenue at Sydney University is looking a bit bare at the moment. In years gone past, it was lined with maple trees that would be turning all sorts of colours at this time of year. Now, instead or trees turning bare, there are two rows of gum trees. They are beautifully Australian and evergreen, but it will be many many years before they are anywhere near as large as the old trees that have gone.

Anyway, it was good to catch up with a heap of friends from Sydney Uni days earlier this week. For some reason at all these reunions we end up at the same Chinatown noodle place.

Monday, 14 April 2008

What's in a name?

KR: So, Julia, you're going to be acting PM for the next few weeks. While I'm in the Old Dart, should I ask the Queen if she'd mind a woman acting for her?
JG: She's a woman herself.
KR: Good point. But are the people of Australia ready for so many women?
JG: If you choose someone with a name that sounds like a boy, perhaps noone will notice.
KR: Great! Any excuse to appoint another Queenslander!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Plain football

Although I said a second AFL team in Sydney would have more serious difficulties than choosing a name, the idea has now received the (sensible) backing of the Sydney Swans, and at some point a name and nickname will have to be chosen. The "Blacktown Bogans" probably won't quite cut it, so our thinktank got stuck into the question.

Sticking "West" in front of "Sydney" is, at the very least, a bit boring. Using a more local name such as Blacktown, Liverpool or Parramatta would be more attractive, but wouldn't do much to gather support from the whole region. If anything, it wouldn't hurt to spread the net and appeal even to places that wouldn't typically associate themselves with the term "West Sydney". That's why we turned to the name of a highway and a railway line, the name applied as a county to the whole metropolitan area, but particularly to the plain covering most of the west. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the

Cumberland Emus

I've just realised that I'd suggested the nickname emus in the last post, even before we came up with it. There are many more possibilities for the nickname than the geographical name, but emus have so far been neglected by our sporting teams, and I can't see why. A team of fast, up to 2m tall, emus should make fans proud from Homebush to, well, Emu Plains.

Cumberland running the pants off the Kangaroos? I'd like to see that!

10 points for the best alternative name and nickname!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

East meets west on the football field?

Richard Hinds doesn't seem too positive about the AFL's plan to win the west (of Sydney) by establishing a new team in 2012. As a Swans fan since the years when the only thing rarer than a Swans fan was a Swans win, I don't really like the idea, but it makes a lot of sense.

Of course a new team in Sydney's west will struggle at first. With no support base to start with, it won't find things any easier than Sydney did from the early 80s, or the Bears a few years later. Whether they are the West Sydney Emus or the Blacktown Bogans is hardly relevant (what's the obsession with alliteration, anwyay?) - the difficulties have nothing to do with that sort of detail.

It's hard to imagine the team really taking off without serious success, which can't be guaranteed. But no matter what happens, the difficulties facing a second Sydney team in 2025 will be much greater if they haven't slogged it out on the big grounds and local parks for thirteen years already. It will be easier to start now than later, and settling for Sydney remaining a one-team city forever isn't an option if anyone is serious about growing the game.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Daylight Robbery

I'm not sure why we are still on "summer time" in the first week of April. Perhaps saving daylight instead of spending it is better for the inflation rate. The change in spring from the end of October to the beginning is a better idea, but it's still a couple of weeks after the equinox. Surely it should be symmetric?