Thursday, 6 January 2011

The end of Australian Sporting dominance

There’s the usual flood of paranoia in the Colonies about the piss poor showing in the Cricket. One commentator is bemoaning the fact that Australian Rules Football is stealing the best and brightest athletes from games played in more than one country. For those not in the know AFL is an exercise in Brownian Motion with a job lot of shorts left over from a Gay Pride March. Now I have no doubt that the odd decent athlete who can play Cricket or Rugby chooses to devote his life to grind a dreary Melbourne suburb to dust. But in reality I suspect this will have little to do with the AFL and competition with other sports and more to do with other factors. In England Soccer does not compete with Rugby Union, because the people who play Soccer would not be willing to get their Tony and Guy Coiffeur messed up by sticking it between the legs of a sweaty 20 stone Prop.

The simple matter is that Australia spent East German levels of cash on sport in the 80’s and 90’s due to a 1970’s cultural cringe. Now I’m not critiquing the Breadstealers for this, we piss loads of money away on another form of entertainment - dress up and pretend. The Theatre, Opera, Ballet and other dull ass things not half as exciting as watching Dolph Lundgren blowing a Somali Pirate in half in the Expendables. What makes this different to the Aussies is only that the Royal Opera House get snooty if you take hats that hold beer cans to the Playoff of Figaro Vs Count Almaviva, a must win game for both sides. At least sport keeps you fit and free of bullshit about what Cravat you wore to Dear Larry Olivier’s funeral. Combined this with the fact that their Climate is OK in parts (Every time I’ve been to Sydney it has pissed it down, but I understand the Northern Teritories are free from rain) has meant that the Australians have been able to defy sporting gravity for 20 odd years.

Sport is Cyclical. You can mess with the odds by poaching players from other nations and//or concentrating on one sport as the All Blacks and Brazil Soccer team proves. You can spend a load of money on Academies to coach players. But at the end of the day once every 20-30 years, purely by pot luck, you will gather a collection of players that are generally better than anybody else. And when you do its best not to gloat because sooner or later they will retire to write dull biographies and bone B-rate actresses, and you’ll be left not singing anymore. If the Aussies learn one thing from the Ashes, they should learn to sing like the Barmy Army. Because when your team sucks, laughing it off by singing bawdy verses with your mates whilst being dressed up like Julie Andrews makes you a better and more balanced nation.


woody said...

Soccer, WTF is soccer if you're a "Very British Dude" ?

Jackart said...

It was always known as "soccer" (aSOCiation Football) until the mid 80s. "Soccer hooliganism" probably damaged the brand.

We call it "Soccer" here mainly because we're Rugby fans and it seems to annoy soccer types. ;-)

Travelgall said...

I was going to go with "Girly Kevball" or "Wendyball" but decided Soccer was more suitable for an international audience.

woody said...

touche :-)

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