Peter Ricci's Blog

ramblings of a peripheral visionary

Archive for November 2009

Matthew Richardson and Richmond FC

leave a comment »

I had the pleasure of playing at the same club as Matthew and I still remember someone telling me one day he will be a champion, it was 1991 and I think he was 16 years old. There was a man on the field kicking to him and he was leading and marking the ball. He was tall, skinny and fast. I also played against Matthew a few times, twice for Clarence and once when Tasmania played Richmond, when he was an established AFL player.

Matthew was tall, fast, had amazing endurance and was one of the best pack markers the game has seen in a long while. Even forward greats like Tony Locket, Dermot Brereton or Jason Dunstall were not really very good pack markers. He was also nearly impossible to tag as he was exceptionally fast for a man his size, matched with incredible endurance. I can remember some games where he led around exhausted rivals and just appeared everywhere, boy Matthew Richardson could be exciting.

But then can think of days where he would completely dominate and then all of the sudden an umpiring decision went against him or a team mate didn't kick it to him effectively and he left me bewildered by his tantrums, which almost always affected his play for the worse. Damn he used to frustrate his fans and yet, we always forgave him.

So what memories do I conjure up when I think of Matthew Richardson as a player? I am sure there will be many writers and football people telling us he was one of the greats of all time and they will not be far off the mark, however for me, he falls short – even as I write this he frustrates me.

Think about your first thought when someone mentions his name! My first thought is that Richardson was shaky whenever kicking for a goal he shouldn't miss, he was fine from 50 yards out, but anything easy, you could just see he wanted to get it over and done with. Secondly he was a little dodgy when it counted, this maybe a little harsh as he didn't have too many games where Richmond had to win, but if you look back over the 10 or 15 games during his career where a win could mean the finals, Richmond always lost and for the most part Richo didn't play well and for me, that is what makes a champion, being able to deliver when it counts. Think of all the recent greats that do it, Wayne Carey, Gary Ayres, James Hird, Andrew McLeod and Peter Matera are all champions that did it when it counted. Matthew Richardson didn't play in the team s these guys had, but he had at least half a dozen chances to lift us into the finals and from memory failed each time. This does not a champion make.

Now these are terrible thoughts to have for a guy who really wore his heart on his sleeve and played some of the most amazing games of football in a Tigers Guernsey. You see Matthew Richardson was Richmond and when I think of Richmond FC since 1982 I am left disappointed.

I cannot think of a year since 1995 when Richmond started the year with a team that couldn't make the finals. Every pre-season was filled with hope and every post season with disappointment. I remember the hope John Northey brought the club as a coach. Back then Richmond were a bash and crash team that no one wanted to play but everyone wanted to watch, they were relentless and downright dirty. But we sacked Northey and got Robert Walls, who from his players I have spoken to, puts you to sleep with his endless diatribes and research sessions.

So Richmond lost everything they gained and forgot that when all else deserts you, when you are tired –  passion is everything!

We then moved onto Jeff Gieschen, Danny Frawley and Terry Wallace – nearly all of these men got the Tigers to within a game of finals. I remember these crucial final home and away games and they all ended in disaster. I can even remember losing the final home and away game, when all we needed to do was to beat the bottom team to make the finals and you guessed it, we failed.

As for this year? Well we now know one thing, there is not one player left from the old guard so maybe now Richmond can move forward and possibly make the finals?


Written by peterricci

November 14, 2009 at 1:01 am

Posted in Posterous

Carl Sagan Day

leave a comment »

Aside from my parents, few people have the impact on my life as Carl Sagan has. Whether it be writing about UFO's, Comets, Stars, Religious or his documentaries like Cosmos Carl Sagan has been a part of my life since the day he died.

Yes, the first I had ever heard of Carl Sagan was in December 1996. On the 9th of November this year Carl Sagan would have celebrated his 75th birthday and we are the poorer for his not being here.

if you would like to find out more about Carl Sagan then there are some great resources online from Wikipedia , The Carl Sagan Portal and WorldCat . He has many great quotes attributed to him, but this is my favorite.

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. Carl Sagan

Read more about Carl Sagan Day here.

Written by peterricci

November 11, 2009 at 11:12 pm

Posted in Posterous

Lip Syncing in Concert

leave a comment »

I am not a fan of any laws or rules and regulations, however this one did amuse me. Britney Spears is currently touring Australia with a number of concerts. Apparently she is upset because a politician made a comment that they should pass a requirement for all live acts to clearly indicate on all tickets whether the shows are actually live or mimed/lip synced.

I love it, begs the question however, would Cindi Lauper, Boy George, Madonna, Kylie Minogue or sister Danni ever have got off the ground, if they couldn't lip sync? I was at a live performance where Danni Minogue did sing live and aside from giving her full marks for bravery, it was a performance that had me feeling sorry for her, it was unbearable. Of course, she is now a TV talent show judge!

I think it is an unenforceable regulation, as the people who go to these type of performances deserved to be deceived 🙂

Written by peterricci

November 9, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Debate on Climate change

leave a comment »

I often find myself in a debate about climate change. Even within my own family there is a variety of views. My view is not so much about who is right or wrong, it is about what happens if either side is wrong. Sometimes I speak with friends and family about these issues and it frustrates me that they are on one side of the argument not because of their understanding, but because of their ideologies.

I will let you know my position from the outset, I believe that climate change is caused predominantly by humans, I don’t believe the extremes, but I do believe we can and should do what we are advised. Who am I to question the men and women scientists that dedicate their lives to research and data, sometimes in the most inhospitable regions on our planet?

A friend recently purchased two books from and delivered to my door, I never asked for them and at first did not know who they were from. These books were from the other side of the climate debate, I dislike the term ‘deniers’ because that implicitly deems them to be wrong by default. However, I was not pleased to receive these books, in fact I was furious.

To understand why, you have to understand my rules. I have only a 3 rules in my scientific research, the first being that the person must submit their findings to be openly peer reviewed, the second being that their livelihoods not be adversely affected by a finding either way and the third being that they are qualified in the field of discussion, whether through schooling or experience years in that field.

The first book was called Air Con by Ian Wishart and it only takes a few minutes of research to realize this guy has some serious problems when it comes to reporting facts, he often writes books for the sake of being on the other side of the argument and has no experience in science or climate science, he also dismisses evolution in favor of creationism and Intelligent design, so as you can see, this man automatically disqualifies himself from being anyone to be taken seriously. So out goes that book.

The second book however is a different story, I have read some of the work of Ian Plimer and actually really like his writing style and he has got the qualifications needed to question or challenge the science! This book ‘Heaven and Earth’ is his take on global warming and last night I sat down and read the first few chapters. However, I cannot take his word and it makes it hurt because he actually is well respected, educated on the correct fields of science. But he is a director of 3 mining companies and he has admitted that his companies will be adversely affected by any legislation. I will continue to read this excellent and mostly factual book. However I cannot trust between the lines as we all know that authors all stamp their feelings on a book – even a purely research book and he is no different.

I will continue to research and hopefully will find some more authors whose livelihoods do not depend greatly on their opinions, however for now, my debate will be stymied by people who think that Polar Bears are not endangered and that the hockey stick controversy is actually a controversy.

I don’t believe all I read or hear, in fact I do believe that the debate has gotten ridiculous with each side trying to discredit each other so much that this is all that ever gets reported. I am also very skeptical of the approaches of the UN and most Western Countries to reduce CO2 emissionsm, but I am in favour of a start, however small it is.

What if I am wrong? There is a reasonable probability for both sides to be wrong, from my perspective, we may finally end our dependence on oil and coal, we may finally harness the sun, wind and water’s energy where it makes sense to do so and possibly a few companies will no longer enjoy the riches they have taken for granted for decades.

However, if any of my friends and family on the other side are wrong and keep in mind it depends who you listen to, then the consequences seem to be a little more severe. Given our limited knowldge on these subjects, I prefer to trust the majority of people actually doing the research.

Out! PJR

Written by peterricci

November 9, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Posterous

Sally Seltmann, Glen Hansard, The Frames

leave a comment »

I am creating a new WordPress site for Singer Songwriter Sally Seltman at the moment. Whilst I am organizating all of the content from her site I have been listening to her music. I have to say it is gorgeous background music whilst you work. You should check it out at . It reminds me of a movie called ‘Once’ ( with the legendary Irish Rocker Glen Hansard who is the principal writer and lead singer of ‘The Frames’. A friend of mine took me to see ‘The Frames’ for the first time in Sydney, I think in 2008 and I had never heard of them – it was without the doubt one of the greatest live shows I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot. Since then I have purchased all of their albums and I am a serious fan.

Do yourselves a favor and look and listen to both.

Written by peterricci

November 9, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Posted in Posterous