Underdogs gone overboard

There are only two times when Australians drop the pretence and openly hope Goliath will crush David.

The first is the Commonwealth Games, where we treat beating the likes of Papua New Guinea and the Isle of Man as akin to winning the America’s Cup.

The second allowable moment is right now, in that strange time between football and cricket seasons when the general public pretends to like horse racing. Continue reading

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This Sporting Life: Ben goes fishing

Cartoon from the Glasgow Looking Glass, 1825

Fishing and writing go together like the ALP and Howard-era immigration policies. The Compleat Angler was written by Izaak Walton in 1653 and is widely considered to be one of the earliest sporting books ever published.

If Ernest Hemingway wasn’t drinking or hunting or passing on suicidal genes to his offspring, he was fishing. I present to you my own fishing tale and, like all good stories, the main character learns a lesson. Continue reading

A Dear John letter to the Australian Olympic team

Dear James, Mitchell, Liesel etc

This is an incredibly hard letter to write but the time has come to end our relationship.

While the phrase “it’s not you, it’s me” is a cliché it is unfortunately the truth in our situtation.

Do not take this as a slight on your actions but during the past 10 days some awkward truths have come to light. Continue reading

This Sporting Life: Ben plays golf

A friend of mine proved himself a supreme optimist when he invited me to play golf. Me. They guy so uncoordinated he didn’t learn to tie his shoes until he was 12.

And not only did he asked me to play, he also provided a very natty club polo shirt and cap to wear. How could I say no?

After being fitted out with a set of what I now know are not called golf “sticks”, I quickly googled the rules (apparently you don’t want the highest score) and was ready to hit the greens. Continue reading

This Sporting Life: Ben goes running

Here is the first in a semi-regular series of posts where I undertake a physical activity in order to remind the world why I was picked last every phys-ed class. First up is running, an ordeal I have been subjecting myself to for health reasons for the past two years.

No longer does my youthful metabolism allow me to maintain my health by eating Subway and viewing copious amounts of DVDs. To quote Karl Marx, labour is motion and I am forced to labour if I want to keep in motion. Continue reading