Great sporting fare


There’s been so much good sport on lately that it’s hard to get much sleep, let alone put what we’ve seen into context. But there was one event last week-end that I reckon has slipped under the Australian radar.

The Federer – Djokovic Wimbledon final was one of the truly great sporting events of recent times, played by two dignified champions at a level that transformed the viewer to another plane of sports appreciation. Yet, with Gazza’s shoulder, Brazil’s demise and the much-loved Le Tour under way, it seems to have been missed by many Australian eyes.

We all love our footy  –  it is still the most attractive and free-flowing sport on offer in the opinion of most of us southern staters  –   and the events at Metricon last Saturday night when the Suns hung on against the Pies were very significant, if for no other reason than that it proved the irrelevance of rotations and the overrated position that fitness staff hold in modern footy clubs.

But Gold Coast and Gazza’s shoulder in mid season compared to the Wimbledon final or a Brazil-Germany World Cup semi-final? It’s a no-brainer, yet you would never have thought so from the disproportionate media coverage of the three events. Were we really supposed to be in a state of excruciating suspense as Gazza spoke to television crews outside Trevor Hoy’s offices? Would he or wouldn’t he have the op?

Sometimes we lose perspective. Even the highly-respected Carro can get it horribly wrong at times. On the front page of the broadsheet, on the morning of the Richmond-Carlton 2009 season-opener when Judd and Cousins were opposed for the first time, she trumpeted that it was the most anticipated sporting event in Australia since Cathy Freeman’s heroics in Sydney in 2000. Please Carro.

It’s a bit like the rubbish we have to endure about Anzac Day. No disrespect to the issue that is commemorated on April 25th each year, but from a football perspective it bears no comparison in importance to the events that take place in the last three weeks of the season. It’s a great day, but those who believe it’s any more than that have rocks in their heads.

The significance of Germany’s achievement during the week shouldn’t be lost in all the negativity about Brazil, either. The Germans are a great sporting nation and have been a soccer phenomenon at the World Cup for forty years. The success of German teams in the Champions League in recent years should have been proof enough, but on Wednesday morning the Germans were scintillating as they decimated their inept opponents.

No doubt the timing of international sporting events dictates where they sit in the consciousness of Australian sports fans. It’s not easy sitting up until 3am to watch Wimbledon, yet we all watch Friday night footy and were experts on Brian Lake’s brain faze.

We’ve had a sporting smorgasbord lately, but let’s not allow the achievements of Federer, Djokovic and the Germans to be lost among the goings-on in our own backyard. They were much more important than that.


  1. Peter Schumacher says

    The Minister of Home Affairs and I are on a “World Trip” at the moment and I have to admit that in that context AFL seems to be an extremely parochial oddity.

    Having said that I still following it all very closely. Adelaide done by Hawthorn. Could have ruined a perfectly good day on the Volga!

  2. matt watson says

    It all depends on your perspective. It all depends on what you enjoy more.
    I love footy, so Lake’s choke and Ablett’s shoulder are important.
    I find soccer excruciatingly boring, so I haven’t watched one second of the world cup. To me, soccer is up there with changing nappies.
    As for Wimbledon, it was all about timing. I’m happy to watch tennis, particularly the ladies, but not at 2am in the morning.
    I can’t take the tour de France seriously. It reminds me too much of Essendon. And people on bikes is about as exciting as soccer.
    So that leaves me with AFL football, the most exciting game in the world.
    Avoiding other sports is not about ignorance. It is about priorities.
    I don’t have 14 hours free each day to watch every sporting event known to man, so I choose to watch AFL.
    And that is why Lake’s suspension and Ablett’s surgery is more important to many people than a man on a bike on a hill.

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    B Mac while in the strict sense you are correct , Matt above is correct also it is what you enjoy and prioritise personally my interest in the World Cup went out the window when we were knocked out and the pomms bombed . Tennis while I admire the skill and ability of the top players no thanks re the time of the final
    Now Brendan on to matters of real sporting importance how many members of the Knackery were at Ad oval to see a blond haired Vic all rounder ( not SK Warne ) make his shield debut coming on to the ground at 2 pm ( about right ? ) to make there shield debut having only come in to the side that morning and had to fly across at a moments notice ?

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