I Love Sports... But...


I love sport.

Sure, there are some sports I like more than others, but on the whole, I think you can categorise me as a certified sports junkie. If I don’t get my fix of sports each week, who knows what will happen to me? Anything could happen! You might find me up at 3:30am watching a 53 year old man swing a golf club in the hope of seeing something amazing. You might find me travelling all the way to the USA just to see a single game of basketball.

I don’t just love my sport; I need my sport.

One of the things about being so passionate about sport though, is that you become passionate about a team or a player. If you’re a fan of sport, but you don’t have any teams that you support, it’s the equivalent of liking music but not having any artist that you’d want to go see in concert; a little weird.

The thing about sport though, is that it hooks into your competitive instincts and allows you to release them by supporting a particular person or team. You want your team to win! You want your team to win more than scoring a date with Jennifer Hawkins (ok, not that much – but if it’s a grand final… then maybe… ok not even then, but you get my point).

Have you seen how pumped up people get when they’re passionately cheering for their favourite team? Have you seen the riots in Europe when two big soccer clubs clash? Both lots of supporters support their team with gusto, and are willing to do whatever it takes to beat the other team, even if that means throwing cluster bombs into a crowd of opposition supporters that will likely cause instant death for the masses.

It’s like being in a war zone. I’m sure if you go through the list of international conflicts from the past 75 years, you are guaranteed to find at least 4 that have started over some sort of sporting defeat. I’m even willing to bet that Austria-Hungary invaded Serbia in 1914 over a soccer match rather than the Austrian prince being assassinated…

One of the natural progressions of supporting a team though is that you feel an admiration of sorts for its players. You want their autograph. You want your picture taken with them. You have posters of them on your wall. You idolise some of them. You want to donate money to some of them. You’re willing to turn gay for some of them… of scratch that last one, but you get my point (on a side note, some female sports stars you just support simply because they’re hot – Anna Rawson anyone?). Often though, this leads to you being able to forgive them for any sort of indiscretion.

And that’s the problem.

On the weekend, the Canberra Raiders best player Todd Carney went out to All Bar Nun in O’Connor and had a bit too much to drink. Not such a punishable crime, but when you then consider that he urinated on another person…? What the hell kind of a thing to do is that? Add to this, that it’s the latest development in a long list of indiscretions for the Raiders halfback.

Last season he had his driver’s license suspended for driving WAAAAYYYYY over the legal limit. Then less than 6 months later he led police on a car chase through most of Canberra and when it was clear he wasn’t going to out-drive them… he ditched the car and  tried to out-run them.

Lame Todd.


Now, if this were a regular member of society, you are pretty much guaranteed that these instances of behaviour would not only ensure you were fired from your job (in fact I think my boss would do his best to make sure I never got a job in Australia ever again and ensured I’d be found dead in the back alley of Chippendale), but there’s a high chance you would’ve faced some prison time too. But wait! If you’re good at sports, it’s the equivalent of a get out of jail free card in Monopoly.

The simple fact is that members of the public and sports team owners are willing to overlook almost any indiscretion if it helps their team to win. The mentality remains the same: ‘win at all costs’. It doesn’t matter which sport you take, you are guaranteed that there will be competitors who are able to avoid the prosecution that us mere mortals would receive simply because they have some manner of sporting skill. Quite frankly, that’s a crock.

I recently read a book called ‘Out of Bounds’. It was written on a similar topic and it’s basically a much longer, and much better argument than the one I’ve been trying to outline so far in this column. This is because he was being paid to investigate the issues of crimes in sport while I’m just doing it because I’m bored. Essentially though, his book dealt with a number of examples of American basketball players performing various crimes (most notably rape) and avoiding the consequences. Why do these players perform so many terrible crimes?

They feel invincible.

They are Superman.

You know the feeling; it’s as if nothing can touch you. The law? That’s for losers to worry about. You are above the law. It’s like walking into a party with the hottest girl in the world on your arm. You know everyone wants to be you and there’s nothing they can do about it.

Incidentally, going out to dinner with an incredibly attractive woman is fantastic for drawing envious looks from every other male within a 50 foot radius. I did this on Wednesday night and I felt like royalty. Good times… ahem… anyway, sports players feel invincible.

That’s when it happens. They see something they want? They take what they want. They don’t think about the consequences because deep down, they know that there will be no consequences! They can do whatever you want.

If you’re ever going to sort out behavioural issues in sports, you need to show that these guys aren’t above the law. If players don’t think they can get away with things, chances are that it’s less likely they’ll try to get away with things. There has to be some form of deterrent.

What that deterrent is? I have no idea. Maybe it’s a lifetime ban. Maybe it’s actual prison time for a player. Maybe it’s 2 weeks without women. I don’t know.

What I do know is that the longer players get away without consequences, the problems aren’t going to go away either. So NRL, NBA, AFL etc… get up off your lazy butts and do something for once.

Until then, the problems will remain, and that guy from All Bar Nun will definitely need a new pair of trousers


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The Shark turned back the clock
at the 2008 British Open.
Anna Rawson
Anna Rawson is arguably the hottest
female athlete on Earth.
Todd Carney comes under
the category of: Muppet.
Too many sports stars think
they're the Man of Steel.