Interview: Power and the Passion
Unions: Tackling the Heavy Hitters
Industrial: Seeing the Forest For The Wood
Housing: Home Truths
International: Boycott Busters
Economics: Ideology and Free Trade
History: Long Shadow of a Forgotten Man
Review: Chewing the Fat
Poetry: Dear John
The Locker Room
A Place To Call Home
The Locker Room
Tears After Bedtime
Cricket in the dry season is a scary prospect.
It's unnerving to see the Australian Cricket team in full flight mid-winter. It doesn't feel right.
It would all make sense if it was two in the morning and it was a rain delay from Old Trafford, but this is all going on in Central Standard Time and must be fading the curtains and putting the cows off their milking to be sure.
The dry season has also struck the rest of the continent in the form of The Drought. Water restrictions across the eastern seaboard and business as usual elsewhere mean sporting fields are as hard as cement.
As a result someone has finally asked "what about the kiddies?" who seem to be getting the odd knee graze and bruised elbow.
The short answer is that it's good for them.
Running around like a headless chook is a terrific thing for kids.
The daytime arrival of winter cricket means that at least we don't have to put up with the gutless tediousness of Wimbledon interrupting the tea session of the third test from the Oval.
Instead we have the gutless tediousness of the Olympic Cigarette Lighter winding its way towards the impending doom of the Athens Olympics.
That accident-waiting-to-happen shot to prominence last month with allegations of drugs in sport targeting, shock horror, Australians. This was hard for the public to digest as the television coverage from the last Olympics informed us that Australians never cheat, are absolutely brilliant at everything and are all round good sports.
The Locker Room knows that there are drugs in Australian sport, but invariably there are not enough of them and they are the wrong kind.
The good news from last month was plumber Kevin Sheedy signing on with Essendon until 2007, which will mark his 278th year as coach of the Bombers.
"I wasn't going to be a boring person," said a disappointed Sheedy. "I don't want a boring footy side that doesn�t win games and wont fill stadiums."
This goes a long way to explaining why he never coached at Richmond - the club he played for until the early seventies.
Regular readers will know that the Locker Room is not enamoured by the concept coaches, and is even less gruntled by the increasing number of hangers on associated with sporting teams, such as the Queensland Reds hiring a physio to massage Wendell Sailor's ego.
Speaking of ego, reports from the rah-rahs test last month say that John Howard was roundly boo-d when he made his appearance - almost as much as the news that Wendell Sailor would be omitted was cheered
England's sporting pride lifted briefly during the Euro 2004 palaver when Roomania swept the land following the performances of the teenager Rooney, the working class Liverpool lad
It all came unstuck after they'd reached the final eight. When it came down to penalties David Beckham bent it like Beckham in a tragedy of celebrity proportions.
It's hard to see how a shattered Beckham could possibly come back from this, but this column's girlfriend has offered some suggestions.
Staying up to watch a winter sport being played during the northern summer in the middle of the night while a summer sport is being played in the middle of the day in winter has confused everything. No wonder kiddies are getting hurt down at the park.
Someone will have to get to the bottom of this. It would be nice if they just stopped playing soccer I the middle of the night and got it back to a Saturday afternoon where it belongs.
At least then we'll all get a good nights sleep.
Phil Doyle - screwing one off the side of the boot for a behind
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