I am as patriotic as the next guy. I love it when my club team, my city, my state and especially my country play and hopefully succeed in their sporting battles against their opponents.
The Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, Wimbledon, the Boxing Day and New Year Tests and the various golf majors all are great opportunities for our sporting heroes to excel. I can’t get enough television time watching their endeavours. For about a week after a win I am proud and satisfied, then it’s back to work – one game at a time.
If they lose – yes, Nick Kyrgios, I am looking at you – I end up searching the British Open golf new for the results of Jason Day and Marc Leishman. There is always another game and another potential hero.
You will immediately note that I haven’t included the Socceroos in these lists. But I hope one day I will. I am sure you’re thinking, “What sort of a fan is he?” because I always want a winner. But losing sucks.
What doesn’t satisfy my insatiable desire to watch my heroes is the need of our sporting codes to transplant our precious teams into Shanghai, Tokyo, Denver, Los Angeles, London and now maybe New York to play our valuable rugby, State of Origin, AFL home-and-away matches, NRL games and, most importantly, international matches.
(Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)
The quality of the games are invariably poor and the free-ticket crowds never fill the arena and at all times seem understandably puzzled at what they are watching. But wait! This game is being watched by 300 million Chinese who are waiting for full-time to play kick-to-kick and sign up for the Beijing Beasts.
The AFL people will tell me that it is their holy duty to promote the game worldwide. I say no – it is their duty to promote it in Tasmania and support Gold Coast. That is what’s most important.
The real reason is not only administrator egos but money to be earnt by the media and, more particularly, the clubs who make the long trek.
It is not only the AFL – even the NFL, NBA and MLB do the foreign city shuffle using the same arguments.
Please keep your teams at home so we can see and enjoy them live.
It’s a well-known fact that government or public schools do not have as great access to facilities and resources as private schools, but in a nation that prides itself on its great sporting achievements, shouldn’t all schools have access to the same sport choices?
Sports have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Picking up any ball at any age has always given me something to do and a world of enjoyment, whether it was Friday afternoons at school or Saturday mornings growing up. I can’t imagine this being taken away.
While there are times when our major sporting codes are in competition with each other for fans, sponsorship dollars and media attention, for the most part, I believe that our codes have an opportunity to work together, learn from each other and share ideas to benefit the sports-loving Australian public.