Welcome to another installment of A Mind of its Own. This week we thought we’d throw on the whites head down the oval via a trip to the painting isle at Bunnings and rough up a few cricket balls before rolling the arm over to send down a barrage of half volleys, laughs and insights about the world around us.
It’s been the second biggest thing to hit the news in recent weeks only to be surpassed by the shambles of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony that left us wondering how long it would be, before the woman responsible for Arsegate would be releasing a book titled My Crack, the story of the games unhidden shame.
Three men, one piece of sandpaper, a roughed up cricket ball and the scandal of the nation. Not since the infamous John Hopoate Incident in 2001 has a nation’s sporting world been rocked so heavily. There’s been the odd breach of the NRL’s salary cap (A new year another team) or the new round of AFL naked selfies but nothing that has brought a great sporting nation like ours to a halt like this has since John reached up and fingered several of his opponents anus’s.
As I sit in the office dual screens in front of me researching cricket’s current events it occurs to me that we need to just relax. What? I am relaxed you think to yourself and who is this guy to tell me to relax? I’m not talking about you the reader sitting there sipping your latte on a Wednesday morning while scrolling through our blog on the latest and greatest tablet or smartphone. I’m talking about society in general.
We place our heroes on pedestals like infallible gods only to become extremely enraged and upset with them when they make a mistake. Sports men and women seem to cop it just as much as anyone else. The only good thing to come out of the recent cricketing scandal is Bunnings profit margin for the first quarter of the year. In the last month alone sales of sandpaper have gone through the roof and the average age of customers has lowered by 20 odd years. But no on a serious note, why do we feel these people, yes they are people like you and me whether they be athletes, celebrities, the kid who walks your dog or your mum and dad aren’t capable of making monumental mistakes?
Have we become that much of a politically correct society that anything deemed questionable should come with a warning label stating you will be judged and looked down on for all eternity should you proceed. We all love social media but has anyone here read George Orwell’s classic 1984? Well yeah it’s happening people, no matter what you do, where you are, big brother is always watching. Except in our case big brother just happens to be every man and his dog with a smartphone.
I feel for parents these days, it must be tough, your child can be an absolute arsehole and you can’t even give them a little smack to bring them into line without the fear of being branded with the child abuse tag, whilst they continue to runaround terrorising the neighbourhood. Anyways bringing things back on track…
In the case of our cricketers it just so happened to be a curious cameraman trying to confirm whether rumours of Cameron Bancroft’s nickname Donkey were true or not. I’m still questioning why he lingered so long on Cam’s crotch and apparently so is his wife. So our captain does the right thing and falls on the sword, he takes his VC along with him and the perpetrator of the whole event just so happens to get less time in exile than both of them.
Maybe it just that we (Society) thought our cricketers, not all just our Australian team were above such acts. We are Australia we don’t need to cheat, we have some of the best players in the world. I mean we know our league boys like to pee into their own mouths and defecate in pot plants or pretend to have sex with dogs and cause a downright ruckuss. While our AFL boys just like the marching powder a little too much and try swimming across the Swan river in an attempt to escape the police and the union guys well they are just private school pest who haven’t grown up. But our cricketers no they are saints, they are the good boys of aussie sport, they don’t have guys who try to set records for the most amount of beers drank on a flight between Australia and England or drug test that come back positive for banned substances. No they are the darlings of Australian sport…
No they are not, if you’ve read some of the books published by former cricketing greats they were just as bad as everyone else. They had fun, they were successful and we loved them for it. The difference being back then we loved a jokester and we enjoyed the on and off field antics of our sportsmen. Nowadays they need to be setting a good example for the kids who sit glued to their ipads or phones from the time they come out of the womb. As they are so impressionable. Put down the bloody technology, go outside and use your damn imagination to come up with something to do.
The facts of the matter are that scandals, like gossip around the water cooler at lunchtime spreads like wildfire. For those in media it also helps to sell news. We make a mountain out of a molehill because it sells papers or in this case sandpaper. Nobody’s infallible, we all make mistakes, we all do things that can be deemed questionable, the difference is we are not in spotlight for the entirety of our professional lives like our athletes. Most people learn from their mistakes and take the second chances they are given with both hands. In the case of some of the Rugby League players they are quite slow at learning that a second chance is a gift don’t be stupid. One concussion too many could be blamed but then again do we really think they are the smartest people?.
As for our three cricketers in exile on the Northern Beaches of NSW in their million dollar plus mansions. They now have plenty of time to lay on the beach counting their cash, while they think about what they have done. I for one wouldn’t mind being put in that naughty corner. Only time will tell whether it has been a valuable lesson for these three lads and whether the Australian community wish to bring them in from the wilderness. One thing is for sure we won’t be winning a lot of games over the next 12 months and Cricket Australia will have every sandpaper company knocking on their door with offers of endorsements.
Australia is no stranger to a sporting scandal from fingers up bums to salary cap cheats to sleeping with your teammates wife. It’s safe to say that when it comes to sport it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. At some point the elation, excitement and thrill that comes from winning could drive you to do something stupid just to get that rush, that feeling one more time. As Australian’s we might feel we often dominate on the field but we are all susceptible to one thing. Being human and being human we will all make mistakes at some point in our lives..
I must have been sleeping for a lot of the last few years, sport has eradicated the larrikins, hollywood has outed the perverted and the politicians just keep racking up the frequent flyer points on the way to see there lovers and somewhere along the way the Emily seabomb became a term of endearment amongst friends or a joke by the northern territory tourism office to bring in unsuspecting travellers to the crocodile infested waters of Darwin.
So to all those aspiring athletes out there, don’t do anything stupid around anyone with a phone, camera or any piece of technology and if you need to put yourself on a social media ban in case you are inclined to say something, or do something that may upset someone because we all know someone will get offend in our modern PC Society. Actually if i was a professional athlete my advice would be unless you are competing just stay at home and become a hermit. People can’t even go to the shops in their ugg boots anymore without someone scoffing and judging them or getting upset at the sheep that was slaughtered for your feet to be comfortable warm.
In some ways living in a politically correct society is inspiring and refreshing. The LGBT and I am sure I am missing some letters in their community can now legally marry. Campaigns like MeeToo are empowering women to speak out about sexually harassment and assualt, R U Ok empowers all of us who are struggling to speak and yet we all feel we need to judge and look down on not only those in the spotlight but those around us who do something wrong. We don’t even try to understand why or let them explain we just come down on them like a ton of bricks.
Until next time, be good, be nice and try to be a little less judgemental of our overpaid athletes 😉 Thanks for reading, The team at A Mind of its Own…