Interview: Trade Secrets
Industrial: It’s About Overtime, Stupid
Unions: Full Steam Ahead
Bad Boss: The BBQ Battle Axe
Economics: Different Dimensions of Debt
History: Raking the Coals
History Special: Wherever the Necessity Exists
History Special: Learning from the Past
History Special: A 'Cosy Relationship'
Politics: Regime Change for Saddam
International: World War
Corporate: Industrious Thinking
Review: Jack High
Culture: Duffy’s Song
Satire: A Nation of Sooks
Poetry: Mr Flexibility
The Locker Room
Month In Review
Lessons from History
State Based Organising
Gino on the Gong
The Locker Room
More Post-Colonial Madness
"That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly, they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell." - Thomas Aquinas.
The high farce and tragedy of the current English cricket tour continues apace, with crowds flocking to witness the ongoing demise of the home of flannelled fools.
That people are turning up in numbers is mildly surprising, with most pundits suggesting that it would take a far more competitive English contingent to create interest in the series. This doesn't appear to be the case, as it seems we are actually enjoying the perdition of Englifh cricket. This sporting equivalent of slowing down to watch a car accident has been breaking attendance records at venues across the country.
The Barmy Army are all part of the spectacle, and are a damn sight more entertaining than the English bowling attack, who have become as predictable as the weather.
What the English cricket authorities were smoking when they agreed to the current tour schedule is anyone's guess.
The idea behind the three day warm up games seems more designed to protect the English from a few humiliating defeats at the hands of the state sides, but all it appears to do is leave this psychologically and physically injured side vastly unprepared for the conditions in the test matches.
Nonetheless the Australian side seems to be getting into the swing of things in the lead up to the World Cup,
Speaking of the rest of the world, one match betwen Australia and England that may prove even more a diabolical hurdle than the recent Rugby Union test is the forthcoming game between England and the Socceroos.
The round ball game has been a glaring omission from Australia's pantheon of sporting success stories.
Australia's bizarre contribution to the world game continued last month with Mark Bosnich testing positive to the Bolivian Marching Powder and subsequently finding himself in for a stint of rehab. Here is a bloke who gets paid a small fortune to play the game he loves, is married to a supermodel, and yet remains unsatisfied with life. I guess it must be the English weather.
Meanwhile llittle Lleyton Hewitt pocketed nearly two and a half million bucks for just under four hours work last month, with one commentator claiming that he "earned every cent".
I beg to differ.
Like the vast majority of trade unionists I think the labourer is worthy of his hire, and no one would begrudge someone making a buck out of the talent they may possess. But, as the Carlton and Canterbury football clubs are finding out, success comes at a price - and it is a price that few of us can afford. The payments to elite sportspeople are in the realms of the obscene. Two and a half million dollars would certainly go a long way in junior soccer.
With many of the media outlets that have been pushing up the price of sport over the last two decades in trouble to varying degrees we can see a bit of a shake out in terms of the money available to sport as a whole.
Channell Seven are in court with the National Rugby League over the NRL's pay TV deal with the Foxtus network. It appears at this stage that the NRL may have some difficult explanations to make to people, especially those that are CEO's of NRL Clubs, about $150 million that slipped down the back of the lounge.
One thing is for sure, as the money dries up it will affect the grassroots more than it will the financial future of the Llikes of Lleyton and Mark Bosnich.
So enjoy the tragedy of the English cricket tour while you may - we may never see such a crap contest on free-to-air television in the future.
Phil Doyle - Representing Australia in Lane Four
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