A random video randomly related to the random tipping total of 4 for Round 22...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Final Four

Yes it’s true and it aint worth crying over: the final round of AFL Football has finished for 2010; and therefore sadly, so have my random tips. For the final countdown I end up getting a total of 4 correct tips. Not bad, not brilliant, but once again, lots of fun. And after 22 rounds it means I end up with a Grand Total of 95, an average of 4.32 per round and a lot of crazy methods in the process. I manage to get 7/8 twice and never score lower than 2/8. Before I bail, as-always with these ‘results posts’ I should dabble in some obscure references to the method… What was it again…?

Ah yes, the Final Countdown. Well those who want even more classic Countdown clips should dive in here for long lost episodes and here for more memories. For me though, I prefer to press play on my Countdown: The Wonder Years double-DVD and lap up its 65 different videos of Australian hits from the ‘70s & ‘80s as performed (well mimed really) in the Countdown studio. And it’s there that I get to once again relive such gems as Kids In The Kitchen...

And what about the Chantoozies!?! Ha-hah!

Before we leave the world of Countdown did you know there was another show with the same name on the other side of the world delighting music fans with their own blend of swell ‘80s treats?! Indeed here’s The Cure from 1987 on Dutch Countdown with both the top 10 countdown and a live performance of Why Can’t I Be You...

And whilst we’re in the land of obscure international music shows how about this 1987 vision of Europe performing The Final Countdown on Russian TV direct from a Moscow-based studio...

Perhaps though THIS is the best version I’ve found so far of the song that inspired this final round of tipping… Take it away maestros!

So that’s it… the random tips are over, I’ve had my fun and should especially thank any of you still following the madness. It was never meant to be taken too seriously and indeed, I may return for 2011, we’ll just see!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Round 22 - The Final Countdown

“It’s the final countdown...!” Sing it everyone! Indeed it’s the final round before the Finals, the final chance for some teams to make those Finals (maybe, don’t ask me!), the final chance for some fans to see their team play this year, and the final time I do my random tips for 2010! And what better source to use for my random tipping method than THE final Countdown. Yes, I’m using the last ever episode of ABC’s legendary music show Countdown from July 1987. Ah Molly, we miss those Sunday nights at 6pm.

Before I get to the HOW, let’s step back in time and relive some of those moments. I’ve been recently watching the excellent DVD Countdown: The Wonder Years and not just for this random method. Here’s one of its gems featuring a very young Kate Ceberano from 1986. Ah, I remember going to Le Rox to see I’m Talking do this very song live back in the late '80s. But I digress, take it away Kate…

Countdown was a religion for me. Every Sunday night for the 13 years between 1974 and 1987 I would be glued to the set from 6-7pm watching, listening and loving all of the music. Another devotion of mine back in the ‘80s was my life as a dedicated daily diary desperado! Yes, I wrote down my random thoughts in a diary at the end of each day. Must have been an ‘80s thing. Not only that, I still have them and man, there are some gems in there! But this also means that I have the actual diary-entry from the day I watched the final episode of Countdown! Here it is from my diary entitled “Book Four: June 22 - Sep 11, 1987’

Sunday 19th July (1987)
A very average day. The worst weather.  Up at 12:30, big lunch, then relaxed in bedroom, watched TV, read paper.
GEEZ I lived an exciting life! Clearly a recovery Sunday… Let’s fast forward to 6pm.
Watched final Countdown…very emotional. Then watched the Countdown Awards to finish it all. Molly showed off his new hairstyle… completely bald! Woah! Crowded House and John Farnham got all the awards. Was fun watching it and brought back memories of when I used to watch it in the beginning when I was 10. It certainly is the end of an institution, and they even had a tribute to Molly at the end. Very moving.
Scintillating stuff aint it?! If you want more memories head to the official Countdown site right here. But don’t just take that or my old diary entry for proof. Howzabout some vision from the last few episodes of Coundown?! First up it’s snippets from the 2nd last show featuring one very ocker Kylie…

Now here’s some vintage vision of the final time Countdown screened, which was the Countdown Awards featuring more true ‘80s Aussies including Kylie and an over-eager Jason!

But none of the above is the actual FINAL episode of Countdown. Vision of that I cannot locate, but thanks to this excellent site I have been able to acquire a short report on its content and all the songs that featured. And here it is…

And yes that does FINALLY bring me to the tips… How the hell did I do it? Well I thought it needed to be as random as possible being the final round. I couldn't just track down Molly and ask for his tips; as random as that would've been. So once again I assigned the names of the teams playing to a list of the songs that appeared on that final Countdown. There were the 12 videos played in that final episode and I then used the final 4 songs of the Top Ten to make it the 16 songs I needed to match up with the 16 teams playing. I put all the names of the songs in a commemorative Molly Meldrum akubra hat - well ok, the next best thing: one of my girl’s white cowboy hats - and then had one the girls pull the names out randomly. Whatever song she pulled out and the footy team I’d assigned it to, was the team I’d pick to win that game. See here’s proof…

The image is clearly included here for the Chief Random Tipping Adjudicators standing by, see them just over there. And THIS is how it panned out…

And all of THAT means THIS is how I will tip for the final round of 2010…

Adelaide to lose to ST KILDA by 13 points *
HAWTHORN to beat Collingwood
Geelong to lose to WEST COAST
FREMANTLE to beat Carlton
BULLDOGS to beat Essendon
Brisbane to lose to SYDNEY
RICHMOND to beat Port
MELBOURNE to beat North Melbourne

* 13 points for the 13 years Countdown was on our screens

I don't care that some of those tips are crazy - they're meant to be that way: random to the very end! Finally, I’ll leave you with the one song that had to appear on Countdown's final episode and certainly DID! The final song they played before the Top Ten was of course…

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vote Four Gruen

And we thought some football games were close! The weekend’s election results are in and it’s looking like it could even be a draw. Which would be pretty ironic as the results of my random tips from the weekend = 4 right/4 wrong. Is that well-hung or just average tipping? Either way, I don’t care and am just happy with my 4 points. I’m still jittery anyway that the Gruen Nation team did my random tips and once again must thank the supremely witty & wonderfully clever Annabel Crabb for her time, effort and interest! Here she is on yet another TV panel, this time ABC’s Sunday morning program The Insiders, shedding light on those all-important independent MPs…

Loved her line… “Play that funky music Wyatt Roy…”. Seriously, how much fun can be got from the young chap?! One of the best lines I saw pop up in the Twittersphere on Saturday night was this gem: “Wyaaaatt, Mum says it’s time for bed”. Or the one about Maxine McKew’s loss: “McKew now looking to run against Jones for the safe-seat of Lateline”. Before we leave Ms Crabb to return to her fine work at the ABC I should share one more link right here being the launch of her recent book Rise Of The Ruddbot as it also features some fine commentary from The Chaser’s Julian Morrow, at the launch that is. I’d be happy to see this book under the Xmas Tree, hint-hint Kel…

Okay before I go any further, I know you’re all sitting there wondering who came first in Triple J’s Hottest Prime Ministers Of All Time?! It was of course Bob Hawke, the legend himself. See the top 10 right here as Keating, Howard, Holt & Whitlam all feature! And speaking of winners, how’s the stunning success of The Greens! I’m sure it had a lot to do with the poignant ‘ad’ made for The Pitch segment on Gruen Nation. No matter how you voted, you'd have to agree: this is a good ad...

There’s really only one way to end this fascinating election-based random method and that’s with the Country Party’s awkwardly brilliant ad from 1949, as unearthed by Gruen Nation...

The minor round wraps up with next weekend’s games, so stand by for a random method relating, in more ways than one, to The Final Countdown!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Round 21 - The Election+Gruen Nation

It’s going to be pretty hard to avoid the Federal Election this weekend so I say let's join the madding crowd! Indeed this week’s random method is election-based, as I manage to get one of my favourite political commentators, and one of Australia’s emerging television stars, ABC’s Annabel Crabb as my random tipper for the coming round of AFL footy. And she, in turn, is able to get some of her fellow panellists from ABCTV’s Gruen Nation to assist in the random tipping fun!

I first think of somehow using politics as a random tipping method back in late June when Julia Gillard has just become the Prime Minister. I’m then all of a twitter when this message pops up in my Inbox soon after I decide to follow her in early July and she's but a virtual finch with only 4 tweets. But so much for being her 6771st best friend: F/FWD to now & she’s following 27,486 of us Twits with plenty more following her…

By the time I attempt to get Julia on board as a random tipper she’s apparently too busy saving her job! Go figure… I then decide it’d be swell to use some of that talented lot who grace our TV screens sharing their clever wit & thoughts on all things election-tinged. I speak of course of Yes We Canberra & Gruen Nation, two of the shiniest gems in ABCTV’s big bag o’ jewels. I know I’m aiming high, and not expecting a lot – but am beyond stoked when Gruen’s Annabel Crabb, the bloody trooper, not only says YES but then follows through with the tips: what a champ!

If you don't know who Annabel Crabb is then we can no longer play at recess. She's only ABC’s Chief Online Political Writer, a member of ABCTV’s Gruen Nation panel, writes for The Drum, appears on ABC24's The Drum, has written several books and ah geez, just read her Bio or this recent interviewHer tweets are worth following as well @annabelcrabb

Gruen Nation should need no introduction, especially after its first episode attracted 1.6million viewers totally winning that night’s ratings. You want proof? I’ll show you proof.

You want more info. I’ll show you more info. Well I won’t actually, but if you click here you can head to Gruen Nation’s page and immerse yourself in its radiance, check out the panel, click on the ads ...you know the drill. And whilst we’re in Clicksville, check out ABC’s The Drum another fine creation of our beloved ABC. 

Before we get to the tips let’s pause and reflect on who’s going to win this weekend’s election. Okay let’s er, NOT as I’m sure you’ve heard enough and I’m not here to get deep: rather to provide light relief. So instead let’s delve into some entertaining offshoots of the election. Clearly I’ll leave it to the experts at Gruen and Chaser to uncover the best lampoons and the like, but I do manage to dig up a few of my own. Julia Gillard & Clare Bowditch’s MySpace interview for one...

Or maybe you’d like to see what’s on Abbott’s or Gillard’s iPod as they both recently chose their own MySpace playlists…

For Abbott-fanciers, this crazy site let’s you create your own Tony Abbott poster. I can’t explain, just click. Or how about Triple J’s election fun where they want you to vote for the Hottest Prime Ministers Of All Time! Tune in to Breakfast on the Js this Friday morning for the countdown…

After watching this week’s Gruen Nation I discover that JERKCHOICES does in fact exist… Then there’s Robert Grayson from YouStandUp and his recent ode to the election...

Finally if we must talk election stuff then check the excellent ClueyVoter that a mate of mine posted a link to on FaceBook - thanks Kirby you stellar chick! It may just help some voters come Saturday!

Alrighty, let’s get on with the real-deal and the only reason you’ve read this far… Just how do Annabel Crabb and her Gruen mates tip? Upfront she admits that the tips are done during ‘a quick whip round at the Gruen’ and it's all ‘pretty scrambled.’ I totally understand the madness of the hour when she adds ‘the last week of campaign is notoriously diabolical’. It also appears that Todd and Wil* are off comparing their clever one-liners and therefore not present during the tipping. But Annabel, along with Russel Howcroft, Neil Lawrence & John Hewson are all around and what really matters is that the tips are done. This is how they rack up…

[* truth be told I did receive a swell email from the busy-as-ever Wil, but Annabel had already done the tips... phew]

Geelong Cats V. Carlton
Tip: Carlton.
Comments: Neil Lawrence reckons this is the only clash on the weekend that will be won by the blue team. He seemed quite insistent about this, so - who am I to argue?
By how many points: I think everything on Saturday is going to be a kind of tight-run thing, so let's call it four points.

St Kilda V. Richmond Tigers
Tip: Richmond.
Comments: This is a Victorian fixture - the only state which seems whole-heartedly to be backing-in the Atheist For The Lodge campaign. Being Saint-anything is very yesterday, so I think the Saints are toast. Also, John Hewson observes that the Tigers are "doing very well in the NRL". (Yeah, and so's antisocial behaviour, but this is supposed to be random, so...)

Hawthorn V. Fremantle
Tip: Freo
Comments: Two reasons. First, it's my old mate Matt Price's favourite team. Second, as Russel Howcroft obligingly points out, Freo is sponsored by Woodside. And in WA, there's nothing petro-bucks can't achieve.

Collingwood Magpies V. Adelaide Crows
Tip: Magpies
Comments: Neil Lawrence: "Well, Crows and Magpies can both shit all over everything. But in a tight negative campaign, back the Magpies".

Sydney Swans V. Western Bulldogs
Tip: Bulldogs.
Comments: The clash of the weekend. The Melbourne bogans versus the Sydney establishment. Julia Gillard once said she had "more chance of playing full-forward for the Dogs" than challenging for the prime ministership. Consider this a broken promise, but one that I think (no offence, PM) distinctly enhances the odds of a canine victory over anything in plumage. And Swan always seems to come second, so that nails it for me.

Port Power V. Melbourne Demons
Tip: Port Power.
Comments: The resurgence of teal. It's a crucial undercurrent to this campaign. Surprised you haven't noticed, actually.

Essendon Bombers V. Brisbane Lions
Tip: Brisbane
Comments: If this campaign has taught me anything about politics, it's that you never say no to Queensland. You want a new ring road? You want to do more fishing? You want to win the damn footy game? Fine. No problem.

West Coast Eagles V. Nth Melbourne Kangaroos
Tip: North Melbourne
Comments: I've run out of reasons. It's a vibe thing.

Blessed with such wit and fine justification this, according to our learned friends at Gruen Nation, is the final call on who may well win this weekend’s games; randomly speaking of course…

Geelong to lose to CARLTON by 4pts
St Kilda to lose to RICHMOND
Hawthorn to lose to FREMANTLE
COLLINGWOOD to beat Adelaide
Sydney to lose to BULLDOGS
PORT to beat Melbourne
Essendon to lose to BRISBANE
West Coast to lose to NTH MELBOURNE

Before I go, and in honour of the good people at Gruen Nation, let’s watch the ad they named as the Best Ever Election Ad. Powerful stuff…

The tips have been made and the votes soon to be all done. May the best team/s win this weekend… Stand by for results on all of the above come Monday!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The seven tips of Shakespeare

If the cast’n’crew of State Theatre’s Romeo & Juliet ever tire of theatrical life, they could become expert football tippers. The clever bunnies’ combined tipping efforts landed me 7 correct tips! Ah seven: my lucky number! Thanks you absolute champs… not just for the stellar tipping work, but for the excellent performance of R&J I witnessed on Saturday night! And lovely to catch up with them after the show as well…

Yep that’s me with Michaela & Mark, two of the finest actors I have seen on stage for a while. Indeed eight tippers, all alike in dignity, did an amazing job on and off the stage… I’m not fussed that I missed out on a perfect score by one, as my glass is always half full: it’s the score of 7 that thrills me. That, along with State Theatre’s excellent adaptation of the Bard’s classic love story which I urge you all to see. But don’t just take my word for it. Sure I’m biased but here’s an excellent preview you should read by Robert Dunstan direct from The Adelaide Review. Or maybe this shot by Shane Reid of the opening scene will tempt you…

And if you hear people hating-on this version, please tell ‘em they’re dreaming… Yes it’s an adaptation, yes it’s a lil’ bit different but everyone who’s put off by that OR the fact it goes for 2hrs20mins with no interval… well they all just need to CALM DOWN! Don’t drink too much before the show, go with an open mind and accept where the Director and actors are taking you… and seriously if you want R&J the trad way, go and see it done by any of the other less experienced theatre groups who just take the easy standard option. I enjoyed the challenge and lapped up the fun of it all. Especially when they ripped this classic out when staging the Capulet feast:

I was also stoked to hear one of the characters singing along to THIS classic Smiths track at one point!

I’m not here to write a review but I have to say I was stunned by the intensity of the actors, their stage presence, their memories! Man, I reckon we all must take live theatre for granted sometimes – all those lines they need to learn, let alone remember! It made me want to immerse myself in more Romeo & Juliet, listen to the language, hear the dialogue… and of course that meant another viewing of Baz’s excellent movie version. And so I’ll leave you with a snippet of that other modern version. After trawling through the many options, most of which were full of soppy sap, I found this one to be to my liking…

Okay I lied, yes I am about to retire, but before I go I do need to point out a speck of synergy or maybe prophesy. I should have known all along that I would get 7 from 8 for this round as I started the last post with the phrase “If the whole world is a stage…” paraphrasing the classic Shakespeare words “All the world’s a stage”… And here’s the clincher – that very line is from the Bard’s poem entitled The Seven Ages Of Man which refers to man having SEVEN AGES! Here are the first few lines...

All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages

Ah seven, I heart thee well.

And yes, now I go. Only to return Thursday with the coming round’s method, somehow related to the looming federal election…

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Round 20 - State Theatre Cast

If the whole world is a stage and the game of football often described in theatrical terms, then clearly the logical transition is to use the cast of a theatre production to be my next random tipping method! Indeed State Theatre’s current production of Romeo & Juliet is the show, and the cast’n’crew my eager tippers!

So how did this come about you may ask? Well I’m mates with one of the cast, Mark Saturno, and it's when recently chatting with the talented fella about my random methods that the idea is forged. There are 6 members of the cast, add the Director, along with his wife (& script-adaptor) and we have the 8 people I need to each pick the winner of the 8 games in the coming round of AFL football. Let's have a closer look at the cast and see if they look like successful tippers...

Well they certainly look good, and not just because that clever man Shane Reid took the pix, but whether they're successful or not doesn't matter - this is all meant to be random remember. Before I get to the tips a lil' bit more about the show, which I’m yet to see after sadly not being able to make it to opening night. But my time will come. You all know the classic story of R&J, the pair of star-crossed tippers lovers… Well this version I understand is that and more... but you should really click through to State Theatre’s excellent site if you want to learn more about THIS adaptation… Or at the very least watch this excellent video splicing together each actor performing the same piece…

From there you can also click through to each actor’s individual ‘read’ < yep that’s theatre jargon I just made up. Standby, I’ve just heard that the word I’m looking for is ‘monologue’… got it! Or if you are more of a social media junky then you’ll need to join State Theatre’s Facebook group and also tweet away with them on the State Theatre Twitter account. Then there’s the invite I received for opening night that was pre-torn down the middle, tearing apart those troubled souls. But for me the pinnacle of all their promotional activity is this simple yet effective idea by that talented bunch at JamShop.

Yes it’s a lift that opens to reveal more, separating the lovers. Jam has an excellent blog called Sticky (which you should all subscribe to) and it recently posted a link to animation of the lift working - you really should click through to check out this great concept that has already won an online award. Geez I’m requesting a lot of clickety-clicking aren’t I! Calm down mate... But trust me on this one. Okay so back to the tips. My aforementioned mate Mark is also part of the successful team at Longview Vineyard: the Marketing Director in fact, that is when he’s not a celebrated actor here and O/S. So Mark and the rest of the cast’n’crew were all up at the Longview last Sunday for its excellent Sunday Tapas Session where I’m told they ‘all drank awesome wine and did the tips over a scrumptious lunch!’ – and who wouldn’t enjoy such fare. Here’s the link to Longview online if you are tempted. But more importantly, here’s the report I received back on how they all tipped…

Essendon V Collingwood
Tipper: Geordie Brookman (Director of Romeo and Juliet, AKA Super Coach!)
Special comments: Collingwood are like Capulet; Loud and brutal but very effective. They will win by 30 points.

Carlton V Richmond
Tipper: Prince Escalus (Tom Conroy)
Special comments: Prince Escalus tips Carlton. Richmond may have gangs but in Carlton, they fight with guns. You can’t beat that!

Fremantle V Sydney
Tipper: Capulet (Terrence Crawford)
Special comments: Capulet is a soul brother of the great Geoffrey Edelston, so I have to go for the Swans.

Bulldogs V Geelong
Tipper: Nicki Bloom (Script adapter, playwright, dramaturg….and Geordie’s wife!)
Special comments: I’ve gone with the ol’ mascot pick. A bulldog would probably beat a cat in a fight, so I’m backing the Bulldogs. 

Let's pause here for a mo and see if Nicki's right...

Maybe, or did the cat just have enough?! Okay, back to the 2nd half...

Port V West Coast
Tipper: Lady Capulet (Josephine Were)
Special comments: I’m a loyal Lady and I’ll support a dog til their dying day!

Brisbane V Adelaide
Tipper: Lady Montague (Michaela Cantwell)
Special comments: Lady Montague is a one eyed Collingwood supporter. Usually very contained, the only time you see the real woman is at the football. She would have lots to say about umpiring and I think might even do some goal umpiring in her spare time... more than anything she loves their shorts. In this case she would pick Adelaide to win as Brisbane are pretty dumb at the moment.

Hawthorn V Melbourne
Tipper: Benvolio (Roman Vaculik)
Special comments: I say it will be a draw. Benvolio is a peacekeeper and to avoid conflict, he does not want anyone to lose. But seeing as we need an actual tip I have sought council from my confessor and personal trainer, Friar Laurence, who assures me “that a Demon will never prevail against one of God’s most majestic creatures; the Hawk.”

North Melbourne V St Kilda
Tipper: Friar Laurence (Mark Saturno)
Special comments: Being a holy man it would be remiss not to tips the Saints. To paraphrase the Bard, “Oh, then, dear Saint, let (tips) do what hands do, they pray…”

Insert random shot here of Mark Saturno and link to his recent article in the Adelaide Hills Weekender...

The tips are clearly all about the whole cast, but I gotta give some pictorial love to the bloke who brought it all together, thanks mate. So after all of that fine work, this is how the R&J cast’n’crew tip for this weekend’s games…

Essendon to lose to COLLINGWOOD by 30 pts.
CARLTON to beat Richmond
Fremantle to lose to SYDNEY
BULLDOGS to beat Geelong
PORT to beat West Coast
Brisbane to lose to ADELAIDE
HAWTHORN to beat Melbourne
North Melbourne to lose to ST KILDA

Before I toddle off I really need to thank Mark, Geordie, Nicki, Tom, Terrence, Jospehine, Michaela & Roman for doing this whilst in full show mode and in between performances. You’re all already winners. No pressure at all as to how you tipped, as I hope you enjoyed the journey, and need not concern yourself with the destination. That said I’m indeed looking forward to seeing how the tips go AND seeing R&J this Saturday night… I’ll report back on Monday with the results from both.