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THE LAST time Australia lost a home test series, Whitney Houston was number one in the UK charts with I Will Always Love You and we were walking around thinking we looked ace in the Global Hypercolour T-shirts  that showed up your sweat.
A lot has changed since then – Whitney has ‘enjoyed’ about 50,000 hits of crack and we have at least bought five new T-shirts, and now serial chokers South Africa have won a series for the first time on these shores.
They forged an unassailable 2-0 lead by giving the Aussies a nine-wicket mauling in a highly amusing MCG Boxing Day test.
Speedster Dale Steyn took 10 wickets for the match and also contributed 76 to a match-turning 180-run stand with JP Duminy (166). Ricky Ponting’s 101 and 99 were all in vain.
A brief summary of Australia’s 2008 then:
Rugby Union – Lost September’s Tri-Nations final.
Rugby League – Beaten by New Zealand in the World Cup final, a shock dubbed “the most significant upset in the history of international rugby league.”
Cricket: Beaten 2-0 in India and then on home soil by South Africa – their first series defeat in Austraila for 16 years.
Olympics: Even beaten in the medals table by Great Britain.
It’s gone well then. Has there been a better year to be here?

• DODDERING, word-slurring, geriatric mental health risk Evander Holyfield claimed after last week’s defeat to Nikolai Valuev that, at aged 46, his dream of a fifth world heavyweight title wasn’t over.
He obviously knew something we didn’t as the WBA announced they will investigate Valuev’s controversial majority decision victory.
Holyfield failed narrowly to become the oldest heavyweight champion of all time as 7’2″ freak show Valuev clinched a close verdict in Switzerland, with two judges giving it to the Russian giant and one calling it a draw. Holyfield claimed he was “robbed”.
And the WBA said: “We always care about and respects the fans’ and the media’s opinion, so the Championship Committee has ordered a panel of judges to review the tape of the fight.”
Expect an immediate rematch and Evander’s two remaining brain cells to be deadened in the very near future. So, so sad.

• THE NEW year honours list saw thick-thighed cyclist Chris Hoy receive a knighthood for his Olympic heroics while every other gold medallist from Beijing was also rewarded far less impressive titles.