Slowdance on the inside…

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…

The Final Countdown…

No this isn’t another blog about music or the band Europe who created a classic in The Final Countdown. Finally something magical is coming to the Gold Coast and no it’s not another plastic surgeon, professional footballer who’ll hang around for a season or another attempt at creating a professional sporting team who will only ever be mid table finishers at best.

With only four days to go before the biggest event to come to the Gold Coast since star-dust circus graced the shores for Burleigh beach. The team (A guy sitting behind his laptop all on his own) here at A Mind of it’s Own thought we should get into the Games spirit and hangout with a blue Koala with a weird sounding name and have a look at what’s going to happen over the next two weeks.

Firstly TV’s in households across the national will be tuned to channel 7 and only channel 7, allowing the nation to forget our recent cricketing shame. The only ball tampering going on will be the adjustment of the crown jewels as men lower themselves into couches and settle in the for the duration of the games with an iconic Australian beer. For the Queenslander it’ll no doubt be a XXXX, the Welshman will have their NEW, the dirty Mexicans have a variety of choices but it would be disappointing not to see they sipping on a stubbie of VB. The South Aussies can’t go past a Coopers the west Aussie will be hitting the Swan lager and the rest of the nation well depends what’s in the fridge I guess.

While the rest of Australia gets set for their couches to finally discover butt indents while they glue themselves to the TV for two weeks watching athletes in tight-fitting clothes romp around the Gold Coast like a bad episode of the bachelor. The residents of Gold Coast are preparing for their lives to be turned upside down. With the roads in and around the Gold Coast already bumper to bumper outside of peak hour the added pressure of the Games and closure of roads will make getting anywhere a nightmare for the 2 weeks of competition.

So travelling to the games might become an episode of the greatest race and I look forward to hearing how it goes for all those venturing into the heartland of Games activity as they try to get a look at the Aussie athletes battling it out with the rest of the Commonwealth nations. There’ll be nations no one knows or has heard of like Kiribati or New Zealand and the Gold Coast will see people from all walks of life visiting to watch some expensive event while they pay two times the usual rate at a three star hotel out the back of Nerang.

So the statistics well we don’t have any all we can tell you is like any other event where there are both male and female athletes the games committee have invested heavily in condoms and safe sex promotions for the village. They are warning locals and tourists to plan their travel and prepare for delays. They’ve built some new venues and even made a dedicated lane for athletes and officials on certain roads throughout the GC. We’ve literally done zero research on this one ladies and gentleman, well that’s a lie we research what events were taking place next to the actual sports that people will want to see.

The long list of sports has been profiled one by one to give you an overview so you know what you are watching from comfort of your own house and we’ve given you the names of some of the athletes or participants to watch as recommend to us by the official games guide. One thing we do know for sure, there will be an influx of selfies on instagram around some of GC’s iconic places and a lot of overseas people holding Koalas and patting poor old Skippy meanwhile scaring him to within an inch of his life. The things out wildlife do to satiate our tourist industry.

Regardless of what you decide to watch over the next couple of weeks it has once again sparked an age-old debate that has raged in local drinking holes across Australia over the years. Is it a sport? Well here at A Mind of It’s Own we’ve settled that questions for you the reader.

Athletics – Event

With iconic events such as the frisbee toss, spear throw, gate jumping, ball and chain toss circle walking and reverse limbo why wouldn’t you want to come along and watch these modern-day hunters show their skills. They’ll show you how they can run, jump and throw things at imaginary animals taking us right back to the days of ancient Greece where they lubed each other to show who was the best warrior. Keep an eye out for that guy from Melbourne with the abnormally large calves and that girl from Sydney that does that little dance before she jumps over the fences. As always the Jamaicans will put on a good show almost like they are chasing after the Red Stripe vendor on the beaches of Port Royal. Either way these hunters turned athletes will be showing us exactly what it used to be like to hunt in the days before firearms.

Badminton – Sport

Like many people we’ve become perplexed by this sport, it’s a cross between tennis and volleyball. It raises the question as to whether this game was invented for those who couldn’t quite manage to make it in either sport. Are they hitting a miniature peacock back and forth over a net? What is that thing it’s like a deformed tennis ball with wings? Going by the age-old adage it’s not a sport unless it involves a ball I can’t tell if i am watching a sport or an event of grunting people trying to hurt miniature animals as they salvo them back and forth across a net.

Basketball – Sport

LeBron, Jordan, Bryant, Curry, Durant, Chamberlain, Westbrook, Duncan, Johnson, Bird and Nowitzki just to name a few. None of these greats of the game will be dunking, alley ooping or hitting fade aways over the two weeks of the games. Safe to say we’ll get see some 3rd string ballers from the Lithuanian premier league. If we are lucky enough the Boomers will have recalled some of their benchwarmers from the NBA to light up Townsville and Cairns, that’s right you heard it here first the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and you have to venture to Cairns and Townsville to watch a Round Game. The women’s bball will see the likes of Babbage and Jackson back from the WNBA so it might be more thrilling than the men’s as these two big birds show the country that women can indeed dunk…

Beach Volleyball

Sand, surf pounding in the background the iconic Coolangatta overlooking the newly constructed temporary volleyball court. The ultimate perving event for both Men and women. Swimwear, tanned and toned bodies this could just be the sport of the gods. It’s got it all, something for everyone to enjoy. It’s highly competitive, it was in Top Gun and it’s got skimpy little outfits. I for one am sold on the beach volleyball. I’ll apologise to my wife now, I will be watching the volleyball.

 

Boxing – Event

Street fights and bar brawls brought to the masses. Trained fighters who like to punch the snot out of each other. Someone back in the day cashed in on a major marketing opportunity when they realised they could get people to pay to come and watch something they can get in their local pub for free on a Friday night watching Johnny insult Tom’s manlihood, wife or choice of clothing after he’s had a skinful of the amber ale and starts to get a little lippy to one to many patron. The men and women will throw on some gloves, mouthguards and headgear to make it look a little more civilised for the masses but you’ll no doubt still get to see some blood, big hits and knockouts as these professional pub fighters slug it out in the ring for your viewing pleasure.

Cycling – Mountain Bike

Penny Farthings with suspension racing through the hinterlands of the Gold Coast dodging deadly snakes, spiders and whatever else may lurk up there. Well this will be an event to watch. They’ll be hurling down hills and climbing like they are on sections of the tour de france. This is one of three penny farthing events we will see on the Gold Coast over the next two weeks and is sure to attract a big crowd giving the growing participation in the sport of the recent years thanks to its inclusion in the Olympic games. That won’t stop this writer from yelling things like “It’s a push bike, get off and push it!”

Cycling – Road

Unlike the mountain biking this Penny Farthing race will involve laps of the Gold Coasts pristine roads. Who are we kidding the roads are only so good at the moment because they’ve been relaid specifically for this event. Lucky none of it heads onto the M1 we’d have the whole group in the peloton and no break away groups experiencing the true traffic of the Gold Coast as they race around the roads in effort to prove their dominance in the most drug fueled sport in the world. It’s safe to safe that ASADA, WADA and any other anti-doping authorities will be watching this one through a microscope and the intake of peeing in cups will rise quickly after the conclusion of this event.

Cycling – Track

The Nascar of cycling, whether it be individual or team pursuit my favourite part of any track cycling is watching these guys stack. Sad and not every nice i know but having experienced a velodrome stack myself I know how much it hurts and also how funny it looks from the outside looking in as someone replays your crash to you, over and over cackling the whole time.

Diving

Jumping off a platform into a pool of water, well safe to say this is another sport where the stacks are spectacular. The slap of skin as it hits the water after an ill timed tuck or attempted triple somersault can make even the manliest of blokes squirm as they imagine themselves being that person. Credit where credit is due though these guys put life and limb on the line as they push themselves to do something sillier than their last attempt all because they are judged on difficulty and application.

Gymnastics Artistic

The bitchiest sport at the Commonwealth Games… As highlighted in thousands of movies over the years it’s not called Gymnicetics. Well that being said the things these athletes put themselves through just to get on the squad is well who knows really but we are looking forward to the vault, tramp, rings and bars as athletes hurtled themselves at the apparatuses in an attempt to get perfect scores for their team or as an individuals. Coles and Woolworths close to the events have stocked up on hairspray and glitter incase teams didn’t get their buses full of the junk through customs but no doubt the athletes will need a little top up of hairspray to ensure there isn’t a strand of hair out-of-place or there leotards start riding up.

Gymnastics Rhythmic – Event

I can only take a pot shot at this like tin cans on the fence and Pa’s old 22 shoulder ready to have a crack. I’m assuming the difference is Rhythmic contains all the floor events like the bowling ball, ribbons and clap sticks. Again this will be a hairspray fueled event with the change rooms become like brown paper bags at Coomera train station on a Thursday afternoon as the kids wait to head home. My only hope is that through all the events we hear the dulcet tones of one Rampaging Roy Slaven and H.G Nelson commentating. Nothing like seeing a battered Sav, Sausage roll and whatever other hard moves these athletes perform in their quest for gold on the big stage.

Hockey – Sport

Ah the sport of women… What? Only women play field hockey right? How many male hockey players have coped this through the years from their mates or obnoxious bullies in the school yard. Yes here in Australia the Hockeyroos had the limelight for years having won Olympic gold but the Kookaburras have managed to bridge that gap in the last decade as we’ve developed some greats of the sport who will go down in history. With many of the top ten nations involved in the Commonwealth Games the hunt for the gold medal will be hotly contested in both the men and women’s competition. There are so many big names to watch out for we could almost to an article just on the hockey. We’ll just throw you some of the Aussies to watch. Watch out for Bone, Fey and the little pocket rocket and captain from Crookwell NSW Emily Smith. Over on the men’s side watch out for Whetton, Beale, Govers (Blake not Keiran) and retiring legend of the game Mark Knowles. The English and Indian’s will put on a good show and this particular writer is interested in watching the Scottish boys Bain, McIntyre and the Forsyth brothers battle it out as I reminisce about coaching them when I was a wee lad myself.

Lawn bowls – Sport

Forced out of retirement to participate, half the competitors in this event drag the overall average age up but what they lack in youth they certainly make up for in their ability to get their balls closest to the jack. For your information the Jack is not a man and they are not playing some sick perverted game it’s that little white ball they aim at with their big black balls. Hmmm actually this isn’t sounding very good as i type this out. Besides that the oldies enjoy it and will be missing there midi, pot or pony of mid strength at the far end of the green for the next two weeks. One thing we do know, it won’t be this gang in trouble at the end of the games for trashing in the village…

Netball – Sport

The game that makes women want to pash the blokes, makes them want to tell dirty jokes, netball, netball. What a game, tall chicks in skirts jumping around a court throwing a ball to each other before trying to shoot it into a little ring, scratching and gouging each other. It’s non contact they say… Have you ever seen a netball game? Those chicks are hard-core, they make rugby players look soft and funnily enough a lot of them date footballers, I wonder who wears the pants in those relationships. People to watch ahhh well for that we’ve had to research the interweb and trust google is giving us a fair indication of who’s who in the netball zoo. There is ex-swans full forward Kurt Tippetts sister Gretel, she’s almost as tall if not taller than him and her ankles are a lot sturdier and her close mate Kimberley Ravaillion and some english bird Helen Housby. All recommended by google as some of the top competitors at the commonwealth games to watch. It would also have to be one of the only sports at the Commonwealth games where there is not a single male competitor. You can be guaranteed though there’ll be plenty in the stands though cheering the ladies on as they battle it out for Commonwealth gold.

Rugby Sevens – Sport

The scaled down version of the apparent game played in Heaven. Who doesn’t want to watch a bunch of blokes as they shove their heads up each others backsides and squirrel grip each other as they try to form a slack attempt at a scrum with not enough players. They’ll have rolling mauls and rucks and one man line-out? It’ll be fast, fun and furious and with both the Australian Men and Women’s teams dominating the tournaments around the world recently they are sure to go into the games as hot favourites for the gold. Google has instructed our research team that the convicts need to watch the mother country as they once again look to assert some dominance over the colonies. With household names like Caslick, Williams, Green and Staples in the women’s team and Anderson, Killingworth and Longbottom taking the paddock for the men we are sure to see some rugby worthy of being in heaven,

Shooting

Time to dust off the old musket and pace out the steps, grab grandpa’s double barrel and oil it up finally a sport for those who don’t feel comfortable with a racquet, bat or stick in their hands. Animals make way for paper targets and clay pigeons as these farmers turned athlete’s for the next two weeks find themselves on the big stage amongst all the city folk as they try to visual the perfect shot in which they’ll win a gold medal that will find a home in their gun safe with all there guns and bullets. People to watch out for? Ah is that Michael Diamond fella still about or has he been arrested again?

Squash

The sport of the advertising community, a game in which you can picture middle-aged men standing around in their short shorts smoking a Winfield Blue talking business before stepping into the court where game faces drop and goggles are put on for the match ahead. Who would have thought smashing a little rubber ball against a wall would become a sport but like many other events at this years Commonwealth Games it has. A game formally dominated by India a recent google search lead me to the Dunlop Professional Squash Association World Rankings and it’s the Egyptians and English you have to watch out for. Poor old Australians rank mid to late teens that being said it could be a battle of Ashes come the Gold medal match and I’m not sure who we should tell you to watch out for in this event.

Swimming

The creme de la creme of survival sports not sure how this ever became a sport but it did, as far as this writer is concerned it’s a survival skill. If you don’t swim you drown plain and simple but somewhere we as human beings with a competitive streak managed to turn it into a sport. Two guys in a river “hey mate if we don’t swim we will drown how about we race to the other side?” “You are on old chap”… We then expanded it and decided we needed to challenge ourselves and throw in long and longer distances and breed fish instead of humans. So the sport of swimming was born and many a little fish was made to swim laps in their local pee infested pool as their dreams of gold grew.

Table Tennis – Sport

This will be the slowed down version of the game without the chinese, Taiwanese and well most of the Asian countries involved. Our only hope is for one of the colonised countries to come to our add and grace us with a future champion of the game. Played in caravan parks, garages, games rooms and around the world most Australians have taken to the alcohol fueled version of this game that involves throwing the little white ball into cups filled with alcohol in order to make your opposing team drink. Unfortunately due to the spirit of the games or some crap like that we won’t be seeing any competitive drinking events until after the games have officially closed.

Triathlon – Event

The ultimate event showcasing survival skills at their best, there’s a bit of running some swimming and the racing of the modern-day penny farthing all combined into the one event. This event will showcase the amazing beaches of the gold coast along with some roads what more could you want. Watch out for the likes of Snowsill, Curry-kenny oh wait I think they’ve both retired. You might have to consult google to check out who is still on the circuit these days.

Weightlifting

As if going to gym isn’t bad enough already we’ve given the roid ragers an excuse to get in their and throw the weights around as they look at themselves in the mirrors. Trying to best each other as they load up more and more weight on the bar to out lift each other and put strain on their necks, shoulders and backs that they will pay for later in life these men and woman eat sleep and breathe protein powder. I don’t know what it is but weightlifting often reminds me of those two guys from the circus who wear leopard lift one should leotards and have sweet moustaches and are ridiculous strong. Unfortunately it’s not that comical or entertaining as we watch athletes, strain, grunt and try not to fart as they lift 100s of kilos to out lift their competitors.

Wrestling – Event

Guys in tights hugging each other on the ground if there was ever an event to be championed by the LGBT community this would be it. Throw in some jelly and beers and you’ve got yourself a best seller. All of Gold Coast will be there trying to be in the ring, circle or whatever it is that try to pin each other down on to get a win. Unfortunately there is no jelly just the skin-tight lycra and silly little helmets to protect their ears. Holding on by the skin of it’s teeth this could be the last time you see wrestling at a Commonwealth games let alone an Olympics. Who watches wrestling?

So to all those arm chair athletes out there, we hope you enjoy the games and remember we are only taking the mickey. All of the above mentioned sports have their place and all have famous athletes who we here at A Mind of It’s Own respect highly. Thanks for reading and until next time peace out!