The Dissemination of Thought

Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's intelligent…

Posts Tagged ‘soccer

Sporting lessons and why zombies won’t attack if victory eludes you

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With many sports quickly approaching finals season, I think we all need a timely reminder that there is more to sport than winning.

There, I said it.

And I meant it.

I’ve spoken to several people representing a myriad of sports over the past few weeks and a disappointingly familiar message was sounding: sport isn’t as enjoyable as it used to be.

Lamentably, it wasn’t just competitors whinging about it.

Numerous spectators and fans of both local and professional sport have told me they don’t find watching the games they love as pleasurable as they used to.

One rugby league fan – who could best be described as a diehard-cum-fanatic – told me about how the recent State of Origin series caused him no end of stress.

The gentleman, who is a Queensland supporter, explained to me that he “bleeds maroon and football” but was finding it hard to enjoy watching the game he apparently loves.

“That second game [when New South Wales won 16-12] nearly killed me,” he recounted dramatically.

“I couldn’t sleep for a few days after it because I was so p—– off that those b——- won.”

When I suggested he was taking it a little too personally, he snapped back at me.

“Rugby league is life.”

Really, that’s the official line we’re running with these days?

Am I the only one who noticed the sun still came up on the Thursday morning following the loss, just as the sun rose on the horizon for New South Welshmen after the Maroons won their seventh straight series on July 5?

Following the 21-20 thriller at Suncorp Stadium, a friend suggested on Facebook that it was the best day of his life.

This is a guy who, according to his error-plagued social networking post, had never experienced anything greater in his 30 years walking the earth.

While I’m a sports fan, a football match – or any sporting event for that matter – doesn’t count in the top 100 things I’ve done in my life.

I don’t think it should for anyone, and that’s where I think we are going wrong.

The more I listened to people’s tales of woe, the more I thought about it until I finally came up with what I believe to be the cause of the feeling.

People are taking their sport – and themselves – far too seriously.

Whether you are watching or participating, be it a junior game or World Cup final, sport should be fun.

If it’s not, you’re doing it wrong.

Throwing your equipment is a sign you aren’t enjoying your sport as much as you should be. If your nine iron is in a tree, it’s time to take a deep breath. Source: bittenandbound.com

The Oxford English Dictionary indicates sport is an activity “in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment”.

See, it’s all about the entertainment.

Without an element of enjoyment, sport quickly becomes nothing more than a quest for victory and supremacy.

Don’t we have enough competition and seriousness in our lives without exacerbating the situation by pretending our lives depend on each shot at goal?

Just because you miss that three-point throw doesn’t mean you will lose your job.

Your family won’t desert you because you hooked that eight iron shot on the fifth hole.

Stepped over the sideline as you sprinted towards the try line? It’s okay, it’s not the end of the world; the zombies aren’t going to suddenly attack because you missed an opportunity to score four points.

As a collective sporting community, we need to step back and take a look at what small percentage of our lives centre around the games we love.

While this may pain some to read, sport isn’t the be all and end all, irrespective of what you believe or are told.

When we finally accept this statement to be true, everyone is suddenly going to find sport – whether as a player or fan – a lot more fun and interesting.

It’s simple: the more you enjoy your sport, the better you will be at it and the more pleasure you will derive from it.

It’s not rocket science, but it seems to be a lesson that’s easily forgotten.

So, when you run onto the sporting field to play or sit on the sideline to barrack for your favourite team this weekend, remember there are benefits to sport that transcend trophies and silverware.

Winning is wonderful but don’t let be the only reason you participate in sport, either as a player, club official or diehard fan. Source: triplem.com.au

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Why the A-League’s billionaires should start being sent off

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Another week, another opinionated column. Here’s a taste of the column I’ve written in today’s The North West Star about the current embarrassment that is professional soccer in Australia, and why the billionaires involved need to step back and take a few deep breaths.

For those who have emailed me asking why I’m writing about sport so much, the answer is simple.  I’m a sports journalist.  It’s kind of my job to write about it.  A lot. That said, many will be happy to know that I’m currently working on a few non-sporting pieces for The Dissemination of Thought.

Voting has now opened for the People’s Choice Award component of the Best Australian Blogs 2012 competition, which is run by Sydney Writers’ Centre. If you could click on the link and vote for my humble – and occasionally nonsensical – blog it would be greatly appreciated.

To keep an eye on the competition’s progress on Twitter, search for the #bestblogs2012 hashtag or follow @SydneyWriters.

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What is going on with soccer in this country?

After Football Federation Australia stripped Clive Palmer the Gold Coast United A-League licence almost seven weeks ago, Australia’s premier round ball competition has looked like it was in a state of disarray.

When Nathan Tinkler, another mining magnate with his finger in a few sporting pies, decided he no longer wanted the Newcastle Jets licence this week, the A-League was about to experience a total meltdown.

It’s a pity, because the apparent battle of the billionaires is taking the focus off the key element of the A-League: the soccer.

The verbal stoushes between Frank Lowy, Palmer and now Tinkler are almost farcical.

Am I the only one who feels like I’m watching the sporting equivalent of a Days of Our Lives episode?

It’s almost a reality show where contestants go head-to-head in a clash of the chequebooks.

When news of Gold Coast United’s demise became public, FFA chairman Lowy said he was disappointed but that he had no alternative but to revoke the licence following Palmer’s “flagrant disregard” for A-League rules.

Never the wallflower, Palmer fired back.

“We don’t know what the charge is and Frank Lowy has behaved like a dictator. This course of action should not be allowed to stand in Australia,” Mr Palmer said.

“Frank Lowy has started this fight and we will finish it.”

The comments were almost as unbelievable when Tinkler’s Hunter Sports Group handed back its licence for the Jets, albeit with the role of instigator reversed.

“Unfortunately, having lost confidence in the FFA management and its ability to find a resolution, it is clear we have no other option,”HSG chief executive officer Troy Palmer said.

FFA CEO Ben Buckley hit back by saying, “Let me make something very clear here. We have had countless meetings with Troy Palmer to address these issues.”

It’s a pitiful look for the sport.

There has been little comment from the players on how they feel about being used as pawns in what looks, at face value, like a “my wallet’s bigger than yours” contest between three of the richest men in the country.

One would have to assume that, like the fans, they’ve had enough.

Among the threats, laughable quotes and chest puffing, many have forgotten there’s still on-field action in the A-League.

It’s disappointing that the most important part of the sport has been relegated to the naughty corner like a small child, when in fact the child has done nothing wrong.

The poor cherub has been punished for the actions of its bickering parents.

Perth Glory travel to Gosford tomorrow night to challenge Central Coast Mariners for a spot in this season’s A-League grand final against Brisbane Roar.

There is some tremendous soccer talent in this country, and it’s about time we remember that.

The talent of the players needs to take centre stage again, as does the dedication of the clubs’ coaches, management teams and administration staff.

It’s time to give the fans what they actually pay for: the best soccer Australia can offer.

There are some glaringly deep issues with the way the A-League is being run, but that’s an issue for another day.

The billionaires have run out of yellow card chances: it’s time to begin sending a few egos off.

The billionaires involved in Australian soccer, including Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy, need to remember the A-League is actually about the on-field action. Source: smh.com.au