Stone the Crows! Deja Vu All Over Again

Richmond Football Club will play in the 2017 Grand Final, tackling the favorite Adelaide Crows, who must be beaten at all cost.
It’s the first time in 35 years that the Tigers will play off in Australian Football League’s most important game of the year. Richmond would lose that game after a stripper took off all her gear and streaked across the hallowed turf, her illegal actions much more appealing to the Tigers’ opponent Carlton, traditionally a favorite haunt of Australian organized crime, than a Richmond known for its hearty applications of elbow grease and welcoming acceptance of battlers from all over the world.
It has been 37 years since the Tigers won the premiership.
1980 Grand Final Record
When the Tigers won the 1980 flag, one pundit famously dubbed them the Team of the ’80s. Richmond would not win much in the 1980s. In fact, its star players mostly walked out on the club, it almost went broke, did not play finals after 1982 and twice finished bottom of the league, a dubious honor that bestows a wooden spoon on the team that accomplishes it. The 1990s were no better, the finals drought finally broken in 1995, but misery ruled the day. The Noughties were even worse. More wooden spoons followed and despite almost twice as many teams being eligible to compete in finals as had traditionally been the case, the Tigers developed the alarming tendency to finish agonizingly short of the Top Eight qualifiers, finding itself labeled with the mocking nickname of Ninthmond.
Things changed, slowly as they are wont to do when a winning culture has eroded, upon entering the 2010s. Gradually, the Tigers redeveloped a winning culture. From 2012 to 2015, Richmond was a finalist every year, losing each time it played off, but being an A-list team for three consecutive years for the first time since the club’s mid-1970s heyday.
Things seem a hell of a lot different in 2017 Still, there’s lots of similarities at work. In the Tigers’ last Grand Final, 1982, they were valiantly inspired by the late, great Maurice Rioli, the first even and one of just a few players from a losing to be awarded the Norm Smith Medal for Man of the Match. Maurice’s nephew, Daniel, will be playing for the Tiges on Sept. 30. Richmond’s captain 35 years ago was David Cloke, who was suffering a niggling problem that cast his appearance in doubt. This year, Richmond’s captain, Trent Cotchin, may be suspended (for an alleged transgression that would not have even been a blip on the radar of umpire concern in 1982) and his appearance is in doubt. (FWIW, Cloke would play, but walked out on the club after the game to take big bucks from vile Collingwood, one of Richmond’s fiercest rivals. He would be unceremoniously dumped a few years later and return to Tigerland with his tail between his legs). Also of note in the 1982 game was Mick Malthouse, who would famously fail a fitness test. Malthouse would go on to claim the record for coaching the most league games.
Cloke had also been an uncertain starter when he was vice-captain in 1980, the Tigers’ last premiership year. He would make it. The Tigers’ captain at that time, however, was Bruce Monteath, who would spend most of the day as a reserve in what was his final game for the club even though he was only 25.
There’s also similarities to 1980, the Tigers’ last premiership year. That year, one team was clearly ahead of the pack before an upstart team clawed its way through the finals to lay down a challenge. It’s a similar case in 2017, when the Crows have been at the head of the pack all year and go into the Grand Final as a clear favorite, especially after flogging the Tigers in the teams’ only encounter for the year, if not the sentimental choice, which is clearly behind Richmond. It’s converse to 37 years ago when the Tigers had been the dominators and challenged by Collingwood as the first team to make the Grand Final after finishing in 5th place. The Tigers would go on to win by what was then a record margin (here’s hoping the same doesn’t happen again).
1982 Grand Final Record

Tigers Trump Tenderfoots

Richmond Football Club will contest the 2017 AFL Grand Final!
The mighty Tigers triumphed over the Australian Football League’s newest team, the Western Sydney Giants, a talent-packed outfit created to boost revenue from TV broadcasts.
Now, Richmond will play the rampaging Adelaide Crows to determine the Aussie Rules champion of the world!

Tiger Time! is usually concerned about kangaroos, especially those in Japan, but now it’s Tiger Time!
Richmond Football Club, the Tigers, are one of 18 teams competing in the Australian Football League.
Football in Australia can mean many different sports, mainly depending on the location where the word is used, but the most Australian variation refers to Australian Rules Football, an indigenous sport with professionals found only in Australia (the game is played by amateurs in dozens of countries all over the world, including Japan).
Richmond was once the most feared football team in Australia. From the late 1960s to the early 1980s, the Tigers played off in the VFL Grand Final, the most important game in the league and the match to determine that year’s champion team, on six occasions, winning four times.
When Richmond made the 1982 Grand Final, it entered the match as a hot favorite and was leading until just after half time. At that time, a young female stripper ran onto the ground. The Tigers never led all other teams in the league again.
Move ahead 35 years, almost to the day. On September 23, 2017, the Tigers will take on the Greater Western Sydney Giants in a Preliminary Final with the winner to progress to the 2017 Grand Final against the Adelaide Crows to become the champion of Australia. Richmond would be unlikely to win that game, having a pretty ordinary record against the Crows, which has been the best team in the league throughout this year.
Nonetheless, Australia, particularly the Aussie Rules heartland of Melbourne, is in the grip of Tiger fever.
A crowd exceeding 90,000 is expected to watch the Tigers take on the Giants, whose fans have purchased just 1,200 tickets to watch the game.

Straya, We’ll See Your Vegemite Chocolate and Raise You with Cough Lolly KitKats

Strewth! It doesn’t get much worse than the latest KitKat concoction to hit Japanese stores, which arguably takes the title of world’s worst chocolate unofficially claimed by Australia when it produced Vegemite chocolate back in June 2015.
KitKat Nodoame flavor is now selling at Japanese retail outlets and is the latest in a line of Japanese KitKat flavors that extends well beyond 200.
It should be noted, that <i>nodoame is the Japanese word for throat lozenge, and that’s exactly what’s been dished up in the latest KitKat…a throat lozenge flavored-chocolate!!!!
For what it’s worth, throat lozenge-flavored KitKat tastes exactly as it sounds, with your average cough lolly covered by waffle and coated in a layer of chocolate.
The Nodoame KitKat is sold in a box adorned by a caricature of soccer commentator Yasutaro Matsuki cheering Japan on to its ultimately successful qualification for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia (which it achieved by defeating Australia’s hapless Socceroos at Saitama Stadium 2002 on August 31, 2017).
The presumed use of Matsuki to promote the flavor is because his shouting for Japan precludes the need for a throat lozenge.
Japanese KitKat Flavors (not a complete list…site in Japanese)
Japanese KitKat flavors page 1
Japanese KitKat flavors page 2
Japanese KitKat flavors page 3
Vegemite chocolate ad from back in the day

Tokyo’s Strange Socceroos

Japan has a strange affinity when it comes to using Australian animals for its advertising.
A number of major Japanese corporations use koalas and roos to plug their products and services.
One with a difference is Hayashi Corporation, a construction company with a history of over 100 years and based in suburban Tokyo.
Hayashi Corporation’s Fuchu branch office entrance is adorned with photos of a family of cartoon kangaroos decked out in soccer gear, just like Australia’s national football team, the Socceroos.
Japan’s next opponent in World Cup qualifying is Australia, but there’s no connection.
What is interesting to note, though, is that the kangaroos had been painted over until quite recently. They were restored after many years and now stand out prominently.
The reason for why this marsupial touch has been added to outer suburban Tokyo remains a mystery, though.

Strange Straya Tucked Away in a Tract in Tokyo

Uluru curry

Ayer’s Rock Cafe is located in a distant corner of Machida, an outer suburb of Tokyo.
Why the cafe located in such a distant tract of Tokyo derives its name from the now non-PC moniker of Uluru is something of a mystery, but it has been operating since 2000 and comes highly recommended by members of a nearby horse-riding club and large private school, so it must be getting something right.
For Aussies, there’s nothing on the menu that really makes it worthwhile making the trek out to the cafe for a need to combat homesickness.
The cafe does serve Bundaberg Rum and is decorated with standard Aussie kitsch like tourist-oriented Indigenous Australian trinkets like boomerangs and digeridoos, copies of Australian road signs, a few items of bush jewelry and assorted items from Carlton & United Breweries.
The one menu item that does play on the cafe’s Australian association is Uluru curry.
This curry is a dried curry served atop a healthy pile of rice and presented in a way that makes it bear something of a resemblance to Uluru.
The curry is served with side dishes of salad and yogurt, and all are tasty and filling.
The curry is mild and its appearance at least gives something of an Australian flavor that doesn’t seem to come from anywhere else served at the establishment.
Other dishes are tasty, but not noteworthy. They will not disappoint the taste buds, but may not please the pocket.
Recommended are the set menus, which include a main meal, a donut from Daddy’s Donuts, which the cafe also deals in, and a drink for around 1,300 yen to 1,400 yen are probably best.
Indeed, the donut was delicious, made with little oil and with a light fluffy taste with a crisp outer crust.
The donut is served with a scoop of ice cream, which can be topped with cinnamon or rum sauce or both, and berries with garnishing of castor sugar.
The dish is excellent and the donuts come in four flavors of plain, sesame, soybean or early grey.
Also recommended is the coffee, which was dark with a rich, satisfying taste and powerful aroma.

Let’s Barbie! Aussie-Style BBQing for the Japanese!

Australia beef is the most visibly successful Australian export to Japan, leaving considerable distance to its closest rivals, which these days are probably Tim Tams, Miranda Kerr and hordes of drunken ocker snow bunnies in country towns like Niseko and Hakuba.
To be honest, Oz doesn’t really enter the consciousness of most Japanese, except for Aussie Beef, which is probably the first thing that comes to mind for many Nihonjin when asked about Oz.
And this year, Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd (MLA) is going all-out to try and convert Japanese consumers to worshiping the barbie in much the same manner that many Aussies do.
MLA is conducting a huge Let’s Barbie campaign to encourage people to use the summer months to enjoy munching away on some good old tucker.

The Let’s Barbie pop-up store in Tokyo’s trendy Aoyama district

And they’re using Strine to do it, too, with part of the campaign involving a pop-up shop placed smack-bang in the middle of Aoyama, one of Tokyo’s trendiest districts, and a huge sign urging passers-by to “barbie!”
The pop-up shop is offering demonstrations of cooking, Strayan-style, and serves up three different kinds of steak and salad “meat parfaits.” There’s Beauty, with lime and ginger, Genki, flavored by chili pepper and garlic, and Let’s Barbie, with lime and mint. All are delicious and served in a cup with salad and mashed spuds.
Part of the campaign is teaching the Japanese about how Aussies barbie. Here’s what the official Let’s Barbie campaign website says about the Barbie…

About the Barbie

What’s a Barbie?
Barbecue Superpower Australia calls barbecues “barbies” and 3-4 times a week, (Aussies) enjoying tucking into thick-cut, Aussie Beef steaks and fresh salads anytime, anywhere. You can relax and enjoy them, and everybody’s all smiles out in the wilds of nature, which brings everybody closer. And the communication tool that brings that about is the Aussie-style barbecue: The Barbie.
Aussie lifestyle is about not putting on airs, and the real thrill of the barbie is being about enjoying communication with your mates and your family.

It’s hard to see what sort of impact the campaign will have. Japanese tend to be great barbecuers, anyway. And while many would gladly abide by the campaigns exhortations to get out and enjoy a good steak with your mates, most are stuck inside the office waiting for the boss to go home before they have any hope of being able to leave.

Related links
Barbie (Strine Strife)
Barbie (Yabai-lingual)
Barbie (Go-cabulary)