New Series - Great Sporting Articles

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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:47 am

We're going to use this Forum to bring you some of the best sporting articles we see. We'll try to only post the ones really worth reading, or those that will make you think.

The first is by Richard Hinds in today's Fairfax papers:

Enjoy it, a look at the thought processes of some of our modern sporting heroes:

WHAT? You cannot understand why a superstar athlete is sitting on the roof naked drinking a pineapple Vodka Cruiser?

You must be one of those haters who doesn't understand how tough it is for a professional sportsman. Even after a week in which those dirtbags and sleaze merchants from the media have again grossly misrepresented the perfectly natural behaviour of special people just trying to do our thing.

OK, let me take you back to the start.

On Saturday we had a big game. Huge expectations, massive pressure and things had not gone well. I had been practising my try-scoring celebration all week, but I couldn't get near the line. Apparently, during the pre-season, some of the bit-part players and coach's pets had developed an obsession with "winning the game". They had forgotten their job was to give me the ball and let me entertain the people who had paid to watch me play.

Advertisement So I wandered back into the sheds and noticed the coach – who, until now, had seemed much nicer than the one I replaced last season – had a dark look. I'm not a big scoreboard watcher. But I guessed we must have lost.

Then he goes all red in the face and starts yelling at us. No idea what his problem was. The excellent new headphones I got from a personal sponsor block everything out! But, when he calmed down, the coach handed out these pieces of paper and says we have to answer some questions. Which turned out to be a really wise move. The toilet roll dispensers in the visitors rooms lavatory were not very well stocked. Bingo!

So to Sunday's recovery session where, I decided, it would be a good time to put an emphasis on the "session". Not only is it good to wind down after a big game, but it's a real chance to bond. Not with the dorks and mummy's boys from my team. With my fellow superstars from other clubs and sports. Buddy, Kurtley, Quade. It is not often we are all in town at the same time. So we found a quiet pub – well, it seemed quiet before we walked in – and talked about our favourite subjects. Art, literature, design. Although it's not always just about tattoos.

Of course, so many superstars in one place can be a magnet for troublemakers. We were barely into our third keg when a guy comes up to our table, clearly looking to make a name for himself.

This is where your superstar sportsman reflexes kick in because the bloke was brandishing a weapon. Yes, some might call it an "autograph book". But to a professional athlete, this is the type of sharp object that could inflict a season-ending eye injury. So, using the bonier parts of the back of my hand – which the typically biased police report would later describe as a "fist" – I ushered him into a less threatening position on the floor. Fortunately, his guide dog didn't attack or it would have gotten a kicking too.

You would like to think, in situations such as this, we superstars can rely on the loyal support of our clubs. Mine? Before they had even posted bail, I get a lecture from the media officer about my "failure to attend a club function" while I was out drinking. Something about the sponsors paying my wages. I mean, are we plantation workers or sporting gods?

But my manager had a great idea. We pocketed $10,000 for a TV interview in which I could explain my side of the story. Although, admittedly, it got off to a rough start. I was halfway through explaining that the needle marks in my stomach were caused by falling into the hedgehog enclosure at the zoo when I realised the reporter had asked about the needling I cop from the opposition on the field. Whoops!

So I get to the club on Monday morning, park in my usual spot – my wheels look much better in the chief executive's spot than his family truckster – and the football manager is waiting for me. I cop an earful about "team responsibility", "club culture", "pulling your weight" and blah blah blah blah. Then he tells me I'm suspended for two games.

As you can imagine, I grabbed my gear and told him I was going home to be with my pregnant wife. So what if I'm not married and none of my girlfriends are currently pregnant? Would you put up with these sort of draconian demands from a bloke who won't even sign off on a $2 million contract extension?

Which, obviously, is why I rang a mate, climbed on the roof, got my togs off and whipped out the Cruisers. If that doesn't make sense, you're just not cut out to be a superstar.


Twitter: @rdhinds

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Join date : 2011-12-11
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