Monthly Archives: March 2011

Sports journalism at its best

This is why I love corporate media, PR-driven businesses and professional sport. The entertainment value is second to none. 

Feeling relaxed, yet re-energized after my morning manipulations with Svetlana the former Ukrainian weightlifter come new age massage therapist, I half choked on my raisin toast when I read SportsDayThe Sydney Morning Herald’s sports pages.

According to Manly Rugby League Club officials (keeping in mind this is a part of the world where I was first introduced to football inutero) their star player Brett Stewart – who was only recently acquitted of rape – is ‘not guilty of anything other than being an outstanding citizen and great footballer’ – quote, unquote.

While calling for the blood of NRL chief David Gallop, same said officials at the same press conference, go on to ‘educate the media and Australian sports-loving public’ of what happened at the 2009 Manly season launch (and no that is not a typo… a CEO of a multi-million dollar business is actually commenting on events, to the media, two years later as though it is news!).

It gets better…their spin (and people it is DEFINITELY spin!) went on to say that the ‘outstanding citizen’ that is Brett Stewart was ‘asked to leave the main bar due to intoxication at around 6:00pm’ on the evening (6pm is evening now yes?) of said event:

Who’d of thought that the Manly Bingo crowd – two years ago – were such a rowdy bunch!

But seriously, don’t listen to what they’re saying, watch them as they speak and I think the look on rugby league legend and now Manly coach, Des Hassler’s face (far right) says it all…

BTW – Svetlana was a beat up… Heath was the lovely sports masseuse this morning 🙂

Hypocrisy or Hype?

Nixon is a name historically shrouded in scandal but here in Oz our leading man – Ricky Nixon – has as much charisma as the Toxic Avenger.

Personal taste and attributes aside, I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying the latest PR-ladden ‘personal issues and in need of rehab’ plead. Sorry Ricky, Tiger already rolled with that one and while it worked for him – for now – it took a dedicated and well rehearsed team, rather than a couple of weeks break OS, to make that one fly.

Now I don’t know Ricky Nixon, I’ve never met the guy and quite frankly, I don’t particularly care what or who he does with and in his spare time.

The real carrot of interest here, is the amount of airtime this whole showcase has received. Which makes me wonder… what are we missing?

2010 showed the AFL – and all professional football codes for that matter – that young women are not all sugar and spice (which any parent of a teenage daughter could and would happily tell you) and that some of them will and do in fact lie and seek to cause havoc if star (and I use the term loosely) attention is not reciprocated.

Now, I don’t profess to be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I know this is a somewhat sad by-product of fandom for some. I have personally watched as a young woman has stood a metre away from a group of professional and high profile athletes just waiting for one of them – any of them – to talk and show interest in her. And there was no indication of the crazy just by looking at her.

Now the psychologists could have a field day and while I actually felt sorry for her, experience tells me she is not the exception in some parts of the sports-loving community. What makes me curious in this instance is what they’re not saying. Inspite of the extended airtime.

Why is a business like the AFL, so hell bent on dedicating the time and resources to these young girls? What is it that these girls know? do? Is there something that the powers don’t want shared? Or is it just a case of big business looking after the little guy and seeing it as all part of a new approach to corporate social responsibility?

As with most official reports, it’s not the words written, but the text edited out that’s usually the most compelling.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see… if we can stay awake that long!