How Australian sport can change the world
After two weeks of contemplating such pressing questions as, “do Channel Nine realise that football is an Olympic sport?”, “what the hell is going on in the men’s pole vault?” and “are Kobe and Stephanie ‘doing it’?”, normal programming has resumed.
With it, Earth’s real problems are back in the spotlight.
Blanket media coverage of the Olympic Games is slowly winding down for another three-and-a-bit years, having once again proven the power of sport to shift focus away from such small trifles as civil war, poverty, and how NASA can send a signal from Mars but Vodafone users struggle to get mobile coverage on the Gold Coast.
Fortunately, the Australian sporting landscape is ideally placed to tackle these problems head on (except Vodafone – the New Zealand Warriors can tackle that one). So here’s four ways that Australian sport can make the world a better place, for life – not just a summer or a spring.
European Debt Crisis
Once the 2012 National Rugby League season has reached its thrilling climax, the officials responsible for collating home game attendance figures for the Gold Coast Titans, Sydney Roosters, Canberra Raiders, and Penrith Panthers should be put on the first plane to Greece.
These mathematical geniuses regularly work miracles by turning in crowd numbers which suggest that 15 percent full stadiums are closer to 30 percent full, so they could quite easily get the Greek books back in the black and be home in time for pre-season sand dune training.
Political Asylum for Julian Assange
Why waste time seeking asylum in Ecuador when the safest place on the planet is back in his country of birth? If the Greater Western Sydney Giants were to sign Assange up on an incentive-based deal – perhaps something along the lines of ‘don’t leak the tactical secrets of how we average almost half of our opposition’s score to desperate rival coaches or we won’t pay you’ – he’d be immune to media scrutiny of any sort.
In fact, most people in his homeland would be generally ambivalent to his existence, so there’s no chance he’d be on the rest of the world’s radar.
There’s a simple solution to putting an end to the Syrian Civil War – send Australia’s ‘Code War’ veterans in to settle it. Having traded such cutting taunts as “GayFL”, “Thugby”, “Yawnion”, and “Soccer” on Internet forums for the better part of the decade, their way with words and general diplomacy would have the Syrian Republic and Opposition forces realising how petty their squabbles are in no time.
As insurance, take along the troublemakers from Sydney FC’s trial match at Campbelltown – their courageous use of flares and no-nonsense approach to throwing stones at children will no doubt work wonders in a situation where violence might actually be required.
Generally boosting morale
Scotland is on its biggest high since Trainspotting after Australia this year offered up second-string Wallabies and Socceroos sides to their national teams for morale-boosting victories. Australia’s cricket selectors have recently taken a similar approach, generously including Steve Smith in the One Day squad that recently gave English sport a generous pre-Olympics shot in the arm.
Meanwhile, New South Wales continues to make Queenslanders feel good about themselves by suggesting that Brad Fittler could coach a State Of Origin side.
So what could give the whole of mankind a bigger morale boost than setting foot on another planet, given we’ve almost used up this one?
Let’s volunteer Eddie McGuire to pilot the first solo one-way flight to Mars, with telecommunications handled by the good people at Vodafone.
One small step for man, one giant leap for any sports fan whose TV doesn’t have a mute button.