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Hot & Not – 30th August 2011

Another massive week of sport has passed… Let's see who did well and who did not!

Who's Hot?

Essendon Bombers – Yes, they were very lucky to get over the line against Port Adelaide, however last weekend they managed to secure a finals berth after a horrid season in 2010. West Coast aside, the Bombers are arguably the most improved team in 2011 and under the guidence of James Hird and Mark Thompson, they've achieved what many thought was impossible. All of this whilst having one of the longest injury lists all season. Regardless of what happens against Carlton in the Elimination Final in two weeks time, season 2011 has been a success for the Bombers and they've proven many people wrong.

Arizona Diamondbacks – 7 wins in a row for the Diamondbacks has seen them shoot 5 games clear of San Francisco in the play-off race in the National League West Division. With less than 30 games remaining in the regular season, an extended winning streak will help see them reach the play-offs for the first time since 2007.

Richmond Tigers – 3 wins in a row for the Tigers and their fans are once again left wondering what could have been. The talent is there, there's no doubt about that, but the consistency isn't. A win over North Melbourne next weekend, along with a Bulldogs victory over Fremantle, will see the Tigers finish 9th again… An interesting twist to an interesting season. At least there's some hope for 2012.

Sebastian Vettel – With just 7 rounds remaining and being 92 points clear of Mark Webber in second place, a second world championship is all but certain. It's amazing to think that he's still just 24-years-old and with 17 career wins to his name already, Michael Schumacher's record of 91 wins might one day be passed. 

Hawthorn Hawks – For a team which has suffered injuries to key players all season, it's amazing that the continually find a way to win! Assuming Collingwood beat Geelong this weekend, the Hawks simply need to beat Gold Coast by more approximately 10 goals to secure second spot on the ladder and the home final which comes with it. It's hard to see them challenging Collingwood later in September, however we all thought that when they faced Geelong in the 2008 Grand Final as well.

Manchester United FC & Manchester City FC – 3 wins each for the cross-town rivals, as well as a goal difference of +10 and +9 respectively… Season 2011/12 is already turning into a two-horse-race!

Leicestershire Foxes – The underdogs of the four sides competing on Twenty20 Finals Day produced a stunning fight back in both their Semi Final and Final, to snatch their third Twenty20 Championship. It was a fitting send-off for 40 year old veteran Paul 'Badger' Nixon who earlier in the month announced his retirement after 22 years playing Professional Cricket… Well done Nico and well done Leicestershire!

Who's Not?

Mark Webber – Yes, he finished second in last Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix however what on Earth is happening on the starting grid? Webber is frequently ruining his chances of winning a race before the first corner, this time slipping to 8th position after starting on the second row. With just 7 rounds remaining, Webber is still in 2nd position overall however he's 92 points behind Vettel… A world championship looks like evading him again.

Arsenal FC – 1 point from 3 games and a goal difference of -8 already… Season 2011/12 is already gone!!!

Steve Hooker – The reiging Olympic Gold Medalist has had a shocker at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, recording three run-throughs in the qualifying rounds of the Pole Vault event. On each of Hooker's three attempts at clearing 5.50m, he lost his rythm in his approach and pulled out of the Vault before planting the Pole, therefore failing to clear the height. With the London Olympics just around the corner, Hooker needs to find some form, fast.

San Diego Padres – 5 straight losses has ruined their faint hopes of securing a play-off berth in 2011 and they now find themselves on the bottom of the NL West table. Where did it all go wrong?

Port Adelaide Power – How did they lose a math after being 34 points ahead, 10 minutes into the last quarter? A miserable 2011 season is almost over and in order to avoid their first wooden spoon, they'll need to beat Melbourne at AAMI Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Certainly possible…

DJC

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