Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Boooo to the media for hijacking footy

After a couple of months off blogging, I'm back. Truth be told, with two kids under two, little sleep and a busy job, I needed some time to not worry about news and views and instead spend some time with my kids. Some of that was spent teaching my eldest how to swing a golf club in the backyard whilst lamenting the fact I can no longer swing a club on the course (ironically mainly due to the littIe mate I was teaching how to play).

In all honesty, lately I just couldn't be bothered putting pen to paper (fingertip to iPad). But the motivation is back and I thought I'd start with something I'm most passionate about (although becoming increasingly less so as the months roll on). 


Not simply about footy, but specifically how the wider media has ruined what I used to call the best game in the world. Footy, so long an outlet for healthy collaborative sporting passion, has been turned into a media tool for political and social propaganda. Largely under the guise of inclusiveness.

Back in the day - when footy was free flowing and there were more players than coaches, when forwards kicked straight and teams actually scored, when full back actually meant full back and the roving maul was left to the rugby folk - footy was as exciting as anything. 

Back then, it also didn't bother with political correctness. It was purely and simply; footy. You turned up, you barracked, you booed, you called the ump a white maggot (oooh racist!) and you went home after shaking hands with your mate who followed the opposition all day. 

In these days of media driven sensationalism, footy has become a political tool wielded by the media. There is just about a round for everything. If it's politically correct, the AFL will find a round for it. From multicultural round, to indigenous round, to women's round, to heritage round, to red round (the celebration of footy's apparent favourite colour. It'll be blue next month). There are so many themed rounds the novelty has worn off and they're largely useless. 

Funny that there is no Anglo Saxon round or men's round. A point well made by Sam Newman on the Footy Show last week. 

"I am a white Anglo Saxon, male, Protestant, heterosexual. I'm waiting for my day to come and when it does I will be first in line to say 'how stupid is this?'".

Regarding a potential gay pride game featuring St Kilda (it's only a matter of time until the sport weighs into the same sex marriage debate), Newman had this to say:

"So we get to St Kilda who are thinking of having a gay pride game. Now I know you're going to say this has nothing to do with homophobia, this is just using the competition again as some political agenda. 
Why don't we have a boat people day next week or what about we have a transgender round and we'll get Caitlyn Jenner to sign at the Grand Final."

I couldn't agree more. Yet, if we had a boat people round or a transgender round, it'd be completely useless as the majority of footy supporters are just that; footy supporters. Not political activists or champions of social change. They just don't care enough about these issues when they're going to the footy. All they want to do is watch a decent game whilst having a pie, a beer and a boo - I mean yarn, oops.

The media is so out of touch with the average person it's no wonder many of the experts are coming up with radical ideas to fix the game. It has become a politically correct bore fest. 

A perfect example of how unaligned the media with supporters was a recent rant Susie O'Brien (who knows as much about football as I do the celebrity trash she's somehow made a living from) wrote in the Herald Sun

In it she condemned Sam Newman for his opinion on the state of the game and said his time is up. There are currently 1,348 comments on her article largely against her. She herself said on her Facebook page that hardly anyone agrees with her. Hardly anyone out of 1,348 comments. Doesn't that tell you enough? Completely out of touch with the average fan.

The other night I did the once unthinkable. Watching another defensive, error riddled, low scoring game, with umpire Razor Ray dishing out yet another 50 meter penalty for "demonstrative language" I almost turned the idiot box off. When I saw the fifty meter lines marked with words in different languages to celebrate multicultural round, I reached for the remote control and a book. Seriously, what has happened to the great sport I loved? Footy should not be an avenue for political agendas and the media and players' role should be limited to reporting, broadcasting and playing. 

I think fans are sick of the media and political intrusion. Many said those booing Adam Goodes were racist. I reckon many were booing the media for ridiculously labeling them racist. 

This year is supposedly the year of the fan. It should be called the year of the politically correct media. Bring back real footy!

All the best,

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