Base football players

Or, instead of the usual hand-wringing, talk-show-interviews, counselling-sessions, all the pretending that this sort of thing hasn’t been a part of the game’s culture since as long as anyone can remember, and then packing it all away until the next scandal, we could just, oh, say, not care about sport so much.

As a nation, I mean. Personally, I’ve been not caring about sport for decades now. It’s really quite liberating, and I recommend that you try it.

All just a utopian pipe dream, I know, but sometime in the next couple of days I’m pretty sure that one of my daughters is going to ask me what all the fuss on the telly is about, and I’m going to have to awkwardly explain it to her, and it’s nice to imagine a scenario where I don’t have to be bothered with that. It consoles me, somehow.

Next time you see a media report about Matthew Johns, or the next one, remember: none of this would be happening if no-one cared about league.


10 responses to “Base football players

  1. Peter J Casey

    I propose that all professional footballers be given the pay and working conditions of hospital nurses for the next five years.

    After that, anyone who wants to continue playing will be considered a true devotee, and allowed to do so.

  2. I was going to say, let’s go further than that, let’s go back to the days when they all had full-time jobs.

    But then I changed my mind because I suspect that “back to the good old days” is part of the problem because there were no good old days.

  3. Unfortunately, I suspect if no one cared about league the group rapists would just find somewhere else to congregate.

  4. Good idea. Also it wouldn’t hurt to allow women to play. Tom, I suspect that group rapists only congregate in single-sex environments so the fewer of these the better.

  5. Tom: my last sentence could perhaps have been better phrased. I don’t think my plan would abolish group rape, but it would get rid of Phil Gould weeping on the telly and all the rest of the witless, maundering, sentimental bullshit about “the image of NRL”, which ducks the question of whether or not the League in fact richly deserves to have a bad image, which in my opinion it does.

    Laura: I think the problem is not with the blokiness, more with the institutions (clubs, the NRL and the media) which have turned a blind eye to the activities laughably referred to as “bonding” for decades, because it would damage the image of their cash cow. There are plenty of all- or mostly-male activities which don’t have these kind of image problems, because they haven’t fostered them in the first place.

  6. I get the urge to leap to the defense of league but, before I can get airborne, I trip over my dislike of this ‘code’ and the particular genus that are attracted to it’s professional expression. Is there, or do you have, some sort of ranking system for other-sports-that-indicate-pack-rapists? 1) Rugby League, 2) Gridiron… 164) Curling. And, in general, as regards caring for sports, is there an expressable threshhold between the extreme caring about vs. holding in mild regard, or action taken vs. thoughts harboured, that would allow me to articulate my occassional shame in, or embarrassment of, sportsmen (and occassionally women), after some horrible affair? Because in general I have great affection for sports.

  7. Look, the motive behind my post was that my own residual childhood affection for League had got me thinking “what can they do to stop this happening,” “isn’t it terrible for the fans” etc etc.

    And then I remembered that I never watch footy, have been to one game in my life, and that I was getting all exercised about something I really don’t care about that much, and that I wouldn’t miss if it vanished altogether. Even worse, I was anticipating having to explain something extremely icky to my children because of the media’s obsession with it.

    So I thought: “Why am I worrying about this? IT IS NOT MY PROBLEM.”

    So, short answers: 1) the League can go die for all I care and 2) why are you asking me? IT IS NOT MY PROBLEM.

    • Sorry, didn’t mean to hit literal, was aiming for a slightly manic, ‘isn’t this question ridiculous’ feel to that.

  8. No apology necessary. Anyway the meeja seem to have moved on from the topic this week so I am less cranky about it.

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