I’m really struggling to put down a sporting wish list for this year.
I want to approach the task with all the fervour of a young tagged kid with too much Red Bull coursing through his unclogged arteries. But it is hard to do this because with as many years on the clock as my IQ the arteries are clogged, the brain is “doonered”and to be honest I have been incredibly disappointed in recent years with not one wish getting up or even going close. My gut instinct is to settle for less.
Seneca the Younger, the Roman philosopher had a good grip on disappointment – he basically put it all on the plate when he asked us to consider why we continue to get disappointed by the expected bad behaviour of all the low dicks around us? Seneca Jnr was saying that pessimists never get disappointed. But bugger the Romans they are rubbish at most sports except those that involve hair dye and high heels. So here it is.
My overarching wish is to see fashion eradicated from all sport
Appearance over performance is on the rise not only on the paddock but in the press. Fairfax Media had two stories about rugby league players suits in a month. This twaddle took the column inches from serious analysis of the game.
So where do we start? Well I’d start like this. If a character turns up with some fancy shear work on their dome expecting to run on for their country they’d be yanked. If they want to get their ends tinted then that can be done in the privacy of their own home but it has no place on the paddock of pride. The offender would be given two options – a sensible haircut done by a barber seconded to the national team or simply told to bugger off.
If a sportsperson gets a tat and wants to play for or represent their country that’s fine as long as we don’t have to see their stupidity on display. I’m talking long sleeve shirts and pants here if necessary and if they have one of those neck tats with stupid, scribbly writing with words like “Forever” or “Bethany” – I’m thinking a very tight-fitting cravat. Now the extra gear could be a problem for swimmers but kiddies would only have to see someone sinking to the bottom of the pool in the 1500m freestyle at the Rings to get the message loud and clear.
Wallabies clean sweep against New Zealand in the 2013 Bledisloe Cup
That cannot be such a big ask given we spend more money indirectly propping up this game via our tax dollars to the rugby breeding grounds of places like St Kevins of the Bleeding Noses than we do on aircraft carriers. For this sort of investment I don’t want to see further second half capitulation that has become the signature tune of some of the haircuts and inked billboards that run around these days in the gold.
I want to return to the days of hard slightly unfit characters desperately grunting hanging on with blood, mud and spittle on their chins. I know the milk industry has been rubbished by deregulation and Woolworths and the bush is being ripped up by Big Gina so pickings are slim but we need more dairy farmers and cockies on the park. We need blokes who know what drought is rather than these show ponies who sook it if a trainer doesn’t run on to give them a drink and well-done on the arse.
We need blokes with big ears and bad haircuts that only think about one thing. In October this year, after winning the first two they live or die for the pleasure of grinding those mongrels in black jerseys so far into the mud of the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Duneedin that a fleet of back-hoe drivers are required after the match.
An Australian bred horse that cost peanuts wins the 2013 Melbourne Cup
I don’t want it trained by Gai Waterhouse but by a trainer who cut their teeth at places like Northam, Seymour, Mudgee or Scone. That someone would have to be a person who pays their staff and strappers a fair wage and who works around the stables not sits on their freckle at three-hatted restaurant tables.
I don’t want it to be owned by Blue Tongue Singleton or the Parrot. It should be owned by many including a butcher, a baker and the chap who broke it in. I don’t want a Sheik Yo Money, I want a Sheik from Scrubby Creek with teeth like tomb stones, a ruddy face and story to tell. I also want it ridden by a smiling young woman who looks silly in a frock and a hunger to do the right thing by the owners not a fist-pumping rock jock who has deep pockets and shallow thoughts.
I want certain player managers to attend ethics classes
This is a big ask. The NRL Code of Ethics for player agents is a simple one page, eight point addendum to the Accredited Player Agent Scheme Rules document. I can understand why one would want to keep the document simple. A lot of these people trail off half-way through 160 character tweet.
The player agents in all sports are often the mentors, business managers and social conductors for these young players – some who are a long way from home and family influence. In recent times some of these player agents have been missing in action in most regards of their duty of care. Some are simply incapable of assisting their charges in navigating the complex social/work maze that young sportspeople have to traverse daily.
Some of the ethics course workshops could include;
- What’s yours is mine : Business Ethics
- You buy one – I get one for free : Financial Planning
- Tats, tequila and trifectas : Social Skills and Responsibility
I want the Swans “No dickhead rule” to be mandatory for all sporting clubs
Now this will have a devastating impact on most codes and clubs. For awhile there will be more sporting positions vacant notices than fatties at a fry-off.
There will be pain. No Friday night games, there will be forfeits, coachless clubs, boards without directors, two-man front rows, foot-long grass and chubby blokes coming from fourth grade to bat for Australia. But take solace – there will be no dickheads. That is no blowhards, no big heads, no loons, no lard farmers or flash moles. There will just be good sports.