Interview: Terror Australis
Unions: Graeme Beard's Second Dig
Industrial: The Hell of Troy
Organising: Miners Strike Gold
Economics: The Accepted Wisdom
History: Vicious Old Lady
International: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Review: War Unfogged
The Locker Room
Getting Away With Murder
The Locker Room
The Fine Print
"Swimming is the only sport in which, before an athlete competes, he stands on a pedestal. It would be terrible if he got the award the next day. He might forget what it was for."
- Mark Spitz
Not since Robert Maxwell has anyone received so much coverage for falling in the water.
The brouhaha surrounding the Ian Thorpe fiasco descended to the point where our glorious Prime Miniature described it as a 'tragedy'. God help us. Over ten thousand dead in Iraq and this moron calls a swimming disqualification a tragedy; is this man unhinged or what?
The bottom line is that nobody should be getting too excited about Athens just yet as the whole shebang is about as close to completion as Sydney's second airport. The chances of the show even happening are at best evens.
In a far more interesting development Croatia and Turkey registered a 2-all draw in Zagreb; the South African J Matthews won their heat at the Sunsmart Classic at Margaret River; and J Ling will be lining up for Gordon in the 2004 Sydney Fourth Grade Cricket Grand final.
This is a sample of the fascinating information that can be gleaned from that section up the back of the newspaper in 5 point type that is eponymously known as Sport Details.
The presentation of this arcane section says much about various sports and even the culture of sport in various cities.
Melbourne readers will be familiar with the Monday editions that carry the results of every Australian football game played over the previous 48 hours. From Collingwood to Corindhap, from Hawthorn to Henty, the fortunes of football teams great and greater can be tracked by anyone with the cover price of a paper in their pocket.
I guess that says a lot about the attitude to the grass roots of the various winter codes, as much as it does about the role of sport north and south of the Murrumbidgee (which all sports aficionados know is the true border between Victoria and New South Wales).
Try, for example, to keep a track of Rugby League's Metropolitan Cup, or the Group 10 competition. Nary a mention in any paper with something approaching a statewide coverage will ever appear. As for any of the various A-Grade competitions across Sydney, forget it, you have more chance of following the fortunes of European volleyball, or the latest news from the New Zealand orienteering championships, than what's happening in your own suburb.
Which is a shame. It's sad to think that decades of history in Country Rugby league matter not a jot to the powers that be. It would be nice to know how Orange CYMS is fairing these days, or even if they still exist. Is Blayney struggling? What about the Warilla Gorillas? Or the Maitland Pumpkin Pickers?
So much for the information age.
Usually parked up somewhere near the Sport Details, and in a similar sized typeface is the mystical codes of the racing info. Because of a wrestling match over money this industry-as-sport has been the suffering what is known as a 'blackout'.
Basically Shy Channel has been refusing to broadcast races out of Sydney on a Saturday. The crazy Bolsheviks at the various racing clubs have been pushing the outrageous proposition that the 'sport' belongs to various stakeholders including punters, trainers and, of course, themselves.
Sky Channel has asserted, quite rightly, that the thing belongs, in fact, to a media conglomerate working hand-in-glove with the TAB.
Rugby League was mature enough to admit that it was owned and run by a media conglomerate and has blossomed ever since.
The sooner racing can admit that it is there for the benefit of various media barons the sooner normal transmission will resume.
Next some lunatic will suggest that there is no place for lawyers in sport.
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