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Doping and Organised Crime

A couple of weeks ago I watched with interest the Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah.  I honestly never expected to see Armstrong admit to cheating in his sport of cycling.  For so long I believed that people were gunning for him due to the tall poppy syndrome.  Surely, someone who won seven consecutive Tour de France’s had to be juiced up, they were saying. No one could possibly achieve that feat without some assistance, they said.

I for one believed him and then felt like a schmuck when I heard him confess. I knew that doping in cycling was rife but I hoped that the best of the best, who had such stellar careers and did so much good in the community, were above that.  That these people won because they had a drive and determination and a skill that made them the best.

I now can’t look at the sport of cycling or its participants without thinking cheats and that their sport is tarnished, perhaps forever.

I remember thinking that I am glad that cycling, which is to me, just a sport which is a passing interest, and I felt sorry for all of the fans whose sport was now ruined and in tatters.

I was glad I wasn’t that guy.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday the same brush that has tarnished the sport of cycling was also used to brand, well most Australian sports, into the category of drug cheats.

In a historic press conference, the heads of the major sports in Australia, including AFL, NRL, FAA, and CA, with politicians and investigators from the Australian Crime Commission lifted the lid, no blew the lid on illegal doping in most Australian sports with a link to organised crime.

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I was shocked that it was so widespread and while no names were named it was pretty obvious that this story is only going to get bigger and a witch hunt will begin.

So now what?

As a major consumer of sport, particularly AFL, NRL and Cricket, I want names named! I want to know who are the players and coaches and sports scientists and clubs that are illegally trying to get an advantage.

I want to know who the clean players are so that when I watch the footy this winter, I’m not wondering if that goal by a superstar forward was not assisted by illegal doping. That, that freak try that no one in their right mind should have been able to score, was not assisted by illegal doping.  That, that outfield catch which was no one’s business to take, was not assisted by illegal doping.

Because until names are named, that is exactly what I will be thinking.

It’s a very sad time for Australian sport and the authorities must get to the bottom of it and quickly.

So what do you think. Is all Aussie sport tarnished?  Will you be watching and wondering who is a cheat and who isn’t?

What I’m Not

Ever since I was a little kid I have had dreams, ambitions for many different kinds of jobs. When I was 10 I wrote labels on the local music shop’s juke box and I also had a paper route. When I was 12, I answered phones for a small town taxi company. I earnt $12 a night and that was a fortune which I used to buy heaps of lego and cricket sets.  When I turned 14 I worked at the Donut King for a little while and then went onto work at the local Coles Supermarket.

All the while I wanted to be a policeman but with my poor attitude to studying I knew that I would never achieve that, so I joined the army instead which I have written about previously.

Over the course of my adult life those dreams, ambitions have radically changed.

In my early 20’s a few people told me I have a great voice and should get into radio.  I even did a 13 week radio course when I lived in Sydney but have done nothing with it bar a failed attempt at being the SAFM Sports Rookie.

I’ve always thought I am a funny guy.  I am.  You know it.  I know it.  Everyone knows it.  So I’ve always thought I could become a stand up comedian.  I’ve written a few gags which in hindsight weren’t even funny.  Check out this pearler from a few years ago I put on EwwwwYube.  I’m more of a spontaneous comedian, making a current situation funny through observational humour.

At one stage over the past 18 years I think I have also had a desire to be a sports agent.  I think Jerry Maguire had a bit to do with that one.  Show me the money. You complete me! All that crap.

Last year I flirted with the idea of being a personal trainer in the height of my gym days.

My current dream, ambition is to be a writer whether it be as a novelist or as a screenwriter. I’m still going with this one but from what I have found it, the chances of me making a living in this area is limited so for now it is just a hobby and not a career.

I remember declaring at the age of 16 I would play cricket for Australia.  I suck at cricket.  I love it, but I was lucky to just make my clubs third grade squad yet alone don the baggy green representing Australia at the MCG in the boxing day test.

I have been so preoccupied over the years of seeking the dream job for me that I have not realised that I am pretty bloody good at what I do already.

I am a good father and husband.  I love my girls unconditionally and would do anything for them.

I am a loyal employee.  I spent 18 years with my last company, moving around the country, uprooting my family to go where I was needed.

I am a good friend to all my mates.  I am there for them when needed and while I don’t pick up the phone as much as I should – but nor do they – I am always there for them if needed.

I am a good citizen.  I respect the laws of my country and respect my culture.  I don’t apologise for being a Nationalist.

So while I am not a radio announcing cricketer who dabbles in stand up comedy while writing in-between setting up new deals for my numerous sports stars across the country, should I give up my dreams of being any of this?  No way.  You gotta follow through on your dreams and while I am smart enough to realise that I will not achieve most of these, if any, that doesn’t mean I stop trying.

It’s good to be me.  There are plenty of people in the world who don’t have what I have.  I just gotta remember that what I’ve got and who I am now, is still pretty bloody good and I should be satisfied with that.