Nice, thanks for the link. The money shot!
So I hope we'll get a blog post for the basketball? (aka everything the netball wasn't)
Plus, you know, let's break that rugby/netball NZ sporting hegemony :)
So, cos he hasn't been mentioned yet ... best EVAH NZ music critic - Gordon Campbell in his heyday at the Listener.
I was in my late teens, most impressionable age, but he turned me onto so much music that to this day is among the best I've ever heard.
Quite by chance this morning I read an old article called 'In praise of Iverson' , by David Halberstam. He wrote 'The breaks of the game' - often called the best basketball book ever written.
It includes this quote:
But here is what we should remember, and it was something pointed out to me years ago by Roger Angell, the gifted New Yorker writer, when I asked him what a player on the Red Sox was really like. "They are what they do," he answered, wiser in the ways of being around big time athletes than I.
That was it. They are what they do. Which strikes me as wise and as good a definition for measuring an athlete as we have. We do not, after all, have to buy the goods they flack for, the sneakers, and the soft drinks, the sunglasses, the telephone services. We do not have to hold them up to our children as role models. We are free to tell our children that John Lewis, the heroic Georgia congressman, or my friend Ron Ridenour, the grunt who blew the whistle on My Lai who died a few years ago, are better role models than any athlete.
'They are what they do' is a wonderful phrase for athletes.
Yikes - I really should have hit that 'Preview' button! The last paragraph "and yes of course ..." is incoherent and should be struck down from the record.
I love sport, but I think there's two big 'elephants in the room' with regard to sport that are hardly ever addressed.
One is the 'role model' argument. That our sports figures are role models, especially for children. They just ain't! They may be role models for how to do well in a particular sport/activity, but beyond that it's just a crap-shoot. They have as much chance of being a good person (aka role model) as anyone else. The great quote on this is that 'Sport doesn't create character, it reveals it'.
Sports bodies push the role model angle and frown on things that might be 'disreputable' because it has the potential to affect their funding. Pure and simple. And frankly, they have no business holding moral judgments on activities that are legal etc. They should pick people based on how well they perform in their sport.
The second issue is that sport is almost completely funded in New Zealand from freaking gambling! Think about that for a minute. This activity that is held up to be pure and moral and good is funded from something that causes immense community and societal damage. And it's hardly ever discussed or mentioned because no sport wants to upset the gravy train they rely on. And of course it's not a gravy train because there's bugger all funding in general, but it's pretty much all they get.
SPARC (the great provider for NZ sport) is funded from gambling. There is something fundamentally wrong with that!
So the idea of being critical of someone running a brothel whilst being funded from the proceeds of gambling strikes me as particularly hypocritical.
And yes of course, it's not something that can be helped - kids (and adults) look to the achievements of sports people and get inspired
sport here (and elsewhere) suffers from the moral the two biggest pieces of hypocrisy.