No sport optimises the villain more than championship wrestling. The ring announcer yells out the name of the baddy who enters the stadium to ear splitting boos and hisses, their response is utter contempt to the fans who yell louder with failing arms and hand gestures. They are the people we love to hate but a lot of us secretly hope they win, they are showmen.
But, where does showmanship end and bad sportsmanship begin? Let’s first look at the definition;
Macmillan Dictionary defines showmanship as “the ability to do things in a lively and enthusiastic way that attracts attention”.
So, that leads me to Anthony Mundine, a man who has never been short on talking himself up, and in the world of professional sport there is nothing wrong with that, especially boxing. Who can forget the immortal words “I Am The Greatest”, Muhammad Ali telling the world what a lot of us already knew, and for a period of time and some timeless bouts he was. The thing with Ali was, you always felt he was a few seconds from bursting into laughter, like a naughty school boy waiting for the smell to become apparent to everyone.
Now as someone with a healthy self-confidence (some may say ego) and someone who is prepared to say and stand up for his beliefs, my take on Anthony’s recent controversy about not standing for the Australian national anthem is this. I thought it was bad form and showed a certain lack of class.
But let’s be real about this, how many sporting events does everyone stand for Advance Australia Fair?, not everyone and let’s not even discuss singing it.
If Anthony believes Advance Australia Fair does not represent all Australians and is racist in its words, well I support his right to believe that and would stand up for that belief, but without access to his bank balance, it would seem this country has allowed him to succeed in his chosen careers.
Really I don’t care if he stands, sits or turns himself inside out when the national anthem is played but don’t crack it when people disagree with you in the strongest terms.
So where does showmanship end and bad sportsmanship begin and what message does this send to the kids watching in admiration?
It begins when you continually protest you were robbed, it begins when you blame your race for your defeat, it begins when you bowl under arm, it begins when you try to return serve with the handle of your racquet and it begins when you take banned performance enhancing substances etc etc.
History may remember the villain but will always remember the true sportsperson.
As someone who works in the media and provides emergency information when events occur, I have reached breaking point with arsonists. We live on one of the driest continents on the planet and understand the impact bush fires have on people, the land and our animals. My frustration is, the day after such events you know the police generally report there are concerns the fire was deliberately lit, again and again.
It's time we got serious in this country with arsonists and really make them pay for the destruction and pain they cause, so here are my thoughts:
1. Mandatory 10 years gaol for adults who deliberately light a fire during bush fire season on any property they do not own.
2. Detention and rehabilitation (but with conviction remaining on record for life) of juveniles who deliberately light a fire during bush fire season.
3. 5 year mandatory detention for a juvenile convicted of the same crime twice.
4. Name and shame including ad in local paper with a picture included of arsonists. (adults)
5. No Medicare ever.
6. No social security ever.
7. The same rules would apply to someone with a mental health issue.
Until we start to treat arson in relation to bush fires as a major crime these situations will keep occurring. The destruction, heartache, financial burden and cost to society along with the risk to human life cannot be tolerated any longer. These people are surplus to requirement and should be treated as such.....
The shocking scenes broadcast live from the Melbourne CBD yesterday verged on the unbelievable, a driver mercilessly running down people on a busy city footpath. In the blink of an eye lives were lost, lives were changed forever and memories created that will last a lifetime.
One man and a car! Why? At this point we don’t know, but his reason will never justify his actions and any remorse ever lessens his evil.
Whilst we have had our fair share of tragedies, on a global scale we still consider Australia a safe place to go about our day-to-day lives and when events like occur we are genuinely rocked to the core. What makes this even more of a tragedy is less than 24 hours later Police are being critised for how they handled this matter. The alleged perpetrator was reported to have been involved in an assault earlier in the day.
Now here is where the police can never win, while this crime continues to be investigated and facts coming to light, I see a recurring trend in Australia when it comes to how police deal with instances like this in the public domain. Any job where part of your tool kit is a weapon tells me you have a dangerous and potentially life threatening career and the role of police is to protect and serve the public, but as I see it the public never seems happy with how they do it and the legislators never give them adequate powers to do their job.
Firstly, if a police officer draws their weapon and shoots and kills someone doing the wrong thing it’s trial by public scrutiny. Here’s what you hear “surely they could have used capsicum spray” “why didn’t they shoot them in the leg” “They only had a knife” “There were 3 police to one person” and the list goes on and on. Everyone is a Monday morning coach and until you have a person threatening your wellbeing you and I are not qualified to comment, point-blank.
Secondly, the legislators do not give the police adequate powers to resolve these situations for fear of the bleeding hearts complaining of police brutality, they talk big and deliver small. Successive governments have lacked the will to support police who, when they get a perpetrator to court the judiciary slaps them on the wrist and imposes sentences that don’t fit the crime or please the public.
Sadly the police are damned if they do and damned if they don’t and it is a job I could not do. I do know this, if I had a choice of whether a police officer or innocent bystander made it home to their family at the end of the day or someone who breaks the law I will take the former every time and honestly believe the world is a better place with some people not in it.
There is a lot more to come out of this tragedy and my heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims of this heinous act of savagery.
Well the hot blasts of summer have sent the mercury soaring and I sat at the traffic lights watching the temperature gauge on my dash click over to 41 degrees my mind drifted back to summers past.
Now if this was the movies my voice would start to echo and things would begin to blur as we head back in time, but it’s not so please just pretend…
I’m thinking back, way back to summers in Australia where things were so different, a time when the words smart and phone never went one after the other, the web was the annoying thing you walked into when you were “carrying” out the round garbage bin out, that’s if the kids didn’t have it in the street using it as a set of stumps for cricket and Paris Hilton was somewhere we could never afford to stay.
So, summers past, what was it about? For me it meant school holidays where almost here and a break from the books, one day cricket would be starting soon and would Australia get humiliated by the West Indies again, lets face it how many kids could bear the torture of test cricket, more salads for dinner and it was the one time of the year that pamphlets would appear in your letter box much to the adults disdain, Christmas was coming…
Oh and it was getting HOT! Summers passed always seemed so much hotter, maybe because the opportunities to get cooler were less. A car with AC, well the Smiths at number 11 are doing well, a friend’s house that had a pool always a popular hangout and windows were being pried open and little square boxes of cool inserted for a good nights sleep…
Also these were the summers before slip slop and slap, the summers where you bought sun tan lotion in shades, it was like selecting stain for a timber deck, did you want Ibiza bronze or surfers sunset and zinc was the domain of life savers.. And who could forget the worst summer advice of all, “get the first sun burn in and you’ll be right for the summer”, great, that feeling of heat the first night, the second night even silk sheets felt like barb wire then skin coming off in massive strips, then we were right for the summer. A lot has changed, some for the better and some not so.
Todd Sergeant is a Broadcaster, Writer, Social Commentator and Blogger. His views are frank and to the point and you are never left wondering what he is thinking.
Opinions stated in this blog are those of the author alone and not held or endorsed by Radio 2NURFM. Material is copyright and may not be reproduced without permission.