We’re going to do something different. Since the are still two more games to go, we are going to split the coverage into two. Part Two will run midweek after the ANZAC Day games are played.
Welcome To Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
Round 5 (so far)
The Round started with a blockbuster: Crows v Swans in Sydney. It seemed an easy win for the home team, but, as this round would show, with this league you must expect the unexpected.
Neither did the Swans. The Crows showed ruthless efficiency and surprised the home crowd. No word on an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope. Here are the highlights:
You want more surprises? You’ve got ’em! Would you believe GWS has done it YET AGAIN and tied a game?!? They are the kings of the tie.
This is how we got there:
Always remember: Head down, bottom up. Here are the highlights:
Are you ready for a little respite from the surprises? Not yet? Would you believe the Blues beat the Eagles for their first win?
No, well, would you believe they tied?
What about they lost by only ten?
Here are the highlights:
So, the surprises kept right on coming. My Cats traveled to Adelaide to take on a Port team that had just lost the previous week. Normally, that’s not a good setup.
For some reason, however, the Cats seem to have the Power’s number. This was win number 14 out of the last 15 games. Here are the highlights:
Remember last week when people were saying the Doggies were back to playing the way they did during their Premiership campaign? Yeah, that was certainly shortlived. The Dockers thoroughly dominated them at home:
Come North American Saturday night, I thought we were done with surprises. And then the first half of the Hawthorn- North Melbourne game happened. I’ve never seen the Hawks so thoroughly outplayed.
It was a thing of beauty.
As expected, the Hawks bounced back in the second half, but the margin was too great to overcome. The Roos hung on and are the happy surprise side of the season.
Lastly, the Suns and Lions met in the Queensland Derby, aka the Q Clash. We were THIS CLOSE to another tie. Take a look:
That’s gotta hurt. Here are the full game highlights:
Remember that we still have two games to go (all times Pacific):
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
2:25 AM (Late Monday Night) – Melbourne Demons v Richmond Tigers at the MCG
The reigning champions take on the Melbourne Demons in a game that all logic says could get ugly. As we’ve seen from this Round, however, you never know.
10:20 PM – Collingwood Magpies v Essendon Bombers at the MCG
This promises to be a great game, probably the best of the Round. And that’s saying something…
Let’s delve into exactly why we are having games midweek this year, shall we?
ANZAC stands for The Australian and New Zealand Armed Corps which were created and active in the First World War. ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major casualties for Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. It remains one of the most important national occasions of both Australia and New Zealand, a rare instance of two sovereign countries not only sharing the same remembrance day, but making reference to both countries in its name. ANZAC Day is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, and Tonga, and previously was a national holiday in Papua New Guinea and Samoa.
In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies. The objective was to capture Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which was an ally of Germany during the war. The ANZAC force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April (the day in which ANZAC Day is now celebrated each year), meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Army commanded by Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk, the Father of Turkey).
What had been planned as a bold strike to knock the Ottomans out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. The Allied deaths included 21,255 from the United Kingdom, of which were some 4,000 Irish soldiers from the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an estimated 10,000 from France, 8,709 from Australia, 2,721 from New Zealand, and 1,358 from British India.
News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war. Though the Gallipoli campaign failed to achieve its military objectives of capturing Constantinople and knocking the Ottoman Empire out of the war, the actions of the Australian and New Zealand troops during the campaign bequeathed an intangible but powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as an “Anzac legend” became an important part of the national identity in both countries. This has shaped the way their citizens have viewed both their past and their understanding of the present.
The heroism of the soldiers in the failed Gallipoli campaign made their sacrifices iconic in New Zealand memory, and is often credited with securing the psychological independence of the nation. While Australia and New Zealand (and the other South Pacific island nations) were previously British dominions, the events remembered in ANZAC forged a desire for more political independence from Britain and a lesser sense of “Britishness” psychologically.
Even though the nations still remain in the Commonwealth of Nations, the personal identity of the citizens of each country is now tied to being “Australian” or “New Zealander” as opposed to “British”.
With the coming of the Second World War, Anzac Day became a day on which to commemorate the lives of Australians and New Zealanders lost in that war as well and in subsequent wars. The meaning of the day has been further broadened to include those killed in ALL the military operations in which the countries have been involved.
Our Canadian friends can fill in some blanks in the complicated history and relationship Commonwealth countries have with the United Kingdom. It is not correct to call ANZAC Day the Australian/New Zealand Fourth of July as this is just not the case. The United States went a different way and it is difficult for Americans to relate.
One thing we can all relate to, however, is having a day off work and being able to watch a game. Everyone agrees that’s a good thing.
Any insight our Canadian friends can provide would be greatly appreciated in the comments!
See you in a few days.