Spring racing carnage; an inconvenient truth

Published as ‘The cruelty of the Melbourne Cup’ by The Guardian, 31/10/13 It’s funny how the bygone Olympic Park dog track elicits such fond recollections for punters who braved the chill air (and worse elements) on a Monday night. A dirty secret few mugs would know are the lifeless underperforming dishlickers that would confront cleaners on…

Captains Contagious

Published as ‘Who leads the many captains?’ in The Sunday Age Sport, 9/12/12  It’s fair to say Clive Palmer’s A-League foray curried little favour with Australia’s football fraternity.  One of the billionaire’s more audacious directives – Gold Coast teenager Mitch Cooper wearing the armband on his senior debut – typified his contrary sporting ideology.  It also…

A Case for Mercy

As published by Inside Sport, July 2012 When a contest goes beyond the pale, where’s the pain relief? Since the lions routinely gave the Christians more than a good licking, humans have meekly stood by as the weak are plundered by the strong. And nothing’s changed if modern sport is any guide. Whether at the…

In search of a winning score

As published by the The Footy Almanac, 1 March 2012  and MX (8/3/12) It’s fair to say the rocky relationship between sport and music is an obvious yet strangely elusive one.  Venture into any changeroom and protagonists will be plugged in, psyching themselves for battle.  Perhaps too the more fanatical supporters.  What are they listening to? …

Athlete privacy matters

As published in The Roar and Ten Sport, Sat 28 Jan 2012 In the age of the internet, surveillance cameras and commercial databases, protecting one’s privacy has become one of modern life’s greatest challenges. Despite the purported rise and influence of civil libertarians, privacy is fast becoming a luxury rather than a basic right. As we…

Beyond the Parklands

It’s difficult to comprehend why our land of plenty is so bedevilled by cowardly acts of violence. As much as we’d like to expunge the perpetrators from our thoughts, there’s a curious fascination to behold.  Commonly, childhoods shaped by abuse, trauma, drug/alcohol dependence, indoctrinated prejudice or mental afflictions serve to confuse us with a burden…

Gambling on Sport’s Future

Is all the strife that the mushrooming sports betting industry is causing really worth it?  Like climate change, we’re in danger of passing the tipping point.  They say the urge to gamble is even greater in times of financial stress.  Whilst we may have deflected the worst of the global financial crisis in a way…

Fame Drain

As published in Inside Sport, April 2008 Lillee, Walters, Newcombe, Brereton, Trevino, Ali…  All oozed charisma, but what brought them to life will ensure we will never see their kind again.  At the risk of basking in a reflective glow of the ‘good old days’, the daggy and gloriously imperfect 70’s and 80’s saw sport…

Roborefs

As published in Inside Sport, December 2008 In bygone days the old chestnut ‘the man in white is always right’ could seldom be proved otherwise.  Now, modern sports coverage is hanging officials out to dry at an embarrassing rate. The time lag between technological innovations and sports’ procrastination over using them is as responsible as…

Brandalism

As published in Inside Sport, May 2008 Remember Modra’s mark of the year at AAMI Stadium back in 1993? Yeah, well, it wasn’t half as good as Tarrant’s speccy at Telstra Dome… or was it Colonial Stadium back then? Never heard the crowd go off like that – except when Freeman won her gold at…

Wasted Words

As published in Inside Sport, October 2009 I’ve got to go, Rock. It’s all right. I’m not afraid. Some time Rock, when the team is up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating the boys, ask them to go in there with all they’ve got and win just one for the…

Couch Critics

As published in Inside Sport, August 2008 They’re masters of Nintendo by day, majoring in social irresponsibility by night.  When our spoiled professional athletes actually attempt to earn their exorbitant salaries and fairytale lifestyle, all they can do is make mistakes.  How inconsiderate!  Don’t they understand they’re not human and we get really upset when…