||Issue No. 131||12 April 2002|
Interview: Cross Wires
International: Two Tribes
Activists: Beneath the Veil
Unions: Terror Australis
History: A Labor Footnote To The Royal Funeral
Economics: Private Affluence, Public Rip-Off
Review: The Great Hall of the People
Poetry: Waiting for the Living Wage
Satire: Israel Recruits NAB To Close West Bank
The Locker Room
Week in Review
A Voice for the Shareholders
Noses in the Trough
Memo: Carmen Lawrence
Police: Make the Boss a Woman
Baby Faced Brogden
Workers Online - Aoteroa
The Locker Room
Free To Where?
By Phil Doyle
- Kicking long into a stiff southerly breeze
As elite sportspeople haggle over millions in player payments, registration costs for junior sports often end up in three and even four figure sums.
Where's all this advertising and TV revenue money that's supposed to be filtering down to the grass roots?
Besides, I thought the game plan with modern sport was to concrete over the grass anyway, so we don't have to worry about these mysterious grass roots.
Big sport is in trouble; declining advertising and Tv revenues andescalating elite player costs are pushing entire codes to breaking point.
Phil Cleary, the former footballer and left-wing MP who enetered Federal parliament 18 years ago this week, identified tribalism as the great strength of the winter codes. He argued that TV breaks the nexus between fans - the tribe - and the sport. When the game becomes a commodity it's value falls. One of those ironical little quirks of capitalism that leaves lefties giggling.
But not the punters!
The treatment the AFL has received in NSW by Channel Nine is a case in point. Watching AFL games at two and three in the morning will do wonders for the AFL's exposure in the traditional Rugby League states.
So what do the punters do?
Local footy may be an option. Competitions like the Sydney Football League and the Metropolitan Cup offer that intimate encounter that's sadly lacking from the corporate game.
Besides, you get to watch Newtown run around at Henson Park. Which can only be a good thing.
In fact rugby league is back everywhere except Melbourne - where the Stormies are experiencing the same problems as their AFL counterparts in NSW and Queensland.
But that's OK. The NRL wisely considers South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania to not be part of Australia, at least in terms of a National competition, which can only be a good thing.
Who knows where this financial crisis will end?
Maybe they'll have to raise the registration fees for kiddies playing junior sport.
As usual, it's the kiddies that suffer.
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