I know nothing of the Olympic gold medallist and accomplished stockbroker Danni Roche, who is challenging John Coates for the presidency of the Australian Olympic Committee, and have no skin in the game.
But I know this: she does not deserve the bollocking she is receiving from so many quarters in the media and sports world. She is challenging Coates for the big gig. Good on her. I think they call it “democracy”, yes? And isn’t that what we Australians do?
The Olympic movement, notoriously, is about as undemocratic as it gets, with figures across the world so often appearing to get lifetime sinecures in the movement, without serious challenge. But this is Oz – and we test, we challenge, we hold elections.
Yes, Coates has done a fabulous job in the gig for the last quarter-century or so – I would say most particularly at the expense of the Australian taxpayer, squeezing extraordinary amounts of money out of successive governments – but why the hell shouldn’t Roche shake it up, and challenge the way he does things? And how admirable is it that she does so, when she would have been all too aware of the smears, sneers and jeers coming her way from the dug-in peers of the sporting realm whose positions are threatened by her insurrection?
“I will work in an honorary capacity,” she says, taking a shot at Coates’ $700K annual salary, “which will allow $3 million over a four-year period to be put back into sports and athletes. Every dollar that can be saved out of administration and driven back into sports and athletes is a win.”
Seems like a pretty good platform to run on, yes? She also says that if she wins, she’ll bring in a regulation to limit her own presidency and all future presidencies to just three four-year terms, to guarantee rejuvenation. Again, sounds like a plan?
“I think there comes a time,” she says, “when sport needs to have fresh ideas and new energy to thrive.”
Good on her. Let the members of the movement vote. If Coates prevails, which he probably will, it will at least be with the renewed moral authority of having won a genuine election. And if she wins, it will equally be a victory for the most precious thing of all – democracy.
Mary Mary quite contrary
Roy and HG, frankly, couldn’t have said it better – which is saying something. In the course of the St George Illawarra-Cronulla match, we saw the Dragons fullback Josh Dugan go into a tackle from the opposite angle to his teammate, Russell Packer, a big powerful man whose right elbow came swinging round and inadvertently connected flush with Dugan’s jaw. Dugan went out like a light, lying face down on the turf for as long as a minute, before slowly coming to. I knew it was concussion. You knew it was concussion. Everyone who saw it knew it was concussion, everyone bar one.
“I think it was a jaw injury not a head injury,” Dragons coach “Mary” McGregor said in the press conference afterwards. “That’s the report I got back in the box … I’ve got Kurt Mann there [on the bench] so I’ve got a guy to put on straight away so it’s not a big deal. He said it was his jaw so I back the medical staff there.”
You can’t make that stuff up! He said that! He really said that! All those times you’ve seen those slow-mos of boxers going at each other, with one boxer unleashing a vicious right hook, left cross, swinging haymaker that connects flush on his opponent’s jaw, sending him straight to the canvas? You probably thought it was a KO. Only Mary McGregor knew better. Nuh. Hit him on the jaw, don’t you see? Couldn’t be a KO! Must be flu! Must be food poisoning! Must be something like that! Couldn’t be concussion could it?
Last gasp from violence apologists
As to all the other apologists who have come forward in recent days, defending the three incidents that the NRL has cited, maintaining it’s all overblown etc, etc. Please. You still don’t get it, do you? Some of you represent the last gasp of the bygone era of Phillip Street, when you’d see a bloke king hit on a Sunday afternoon with a vicious punch, only to be defended on the Monday night judiciary by some biomechanical expert or other, maintaining that though it looked like a vicious punch, sounded like a vicious punch, and bloke fell to the ground as if it was a vicious punch, in fact, when you look at it from a certain angle, and understand physics, it was really just a light tap, etc …
The whole point of the episodes cited by the NRL is that the diagnosis was not up for grabs. No one serious could see those hits, and the results, and doubt concussion and … And what? You still dispute it? I say for the umpteenth time: if it wasn’t concussion, WHAT THE HELL WAS IT?? Exactly. No answer. At least read Matthew Johns’ piece in the Tele on Friday about what is happening to his generation of footballers now because they suffered in an era where precisely your kind of views prevailed. And weep.
Cricketer Jack Gibson bone cancer fundraising appeal
One of those things. Jack Gibson is as fine a young man as you’d find in six days’ march in any direction, and among other things won Sydney Uni’s premiership-winning third grade cricket side’s best and fairest award for his fast bowling. Alas, just weeks ago, he was diagnosed with bone cancer and instead of returning to Wesley College and doing his third year of a bachelor of commerce he must spend the next eight months receiving treatment at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, with 28 weeks of chemo and surgery to replace his knee joint and 20 centimetres of his femur. To support Jack, a dozen mates from the Sydney Uni Cricket Club have shaved their heads and on April 2, his brother Harry and nine of his schoolmates will do the same. Together they are raising funds for the Lifehouse so it can continue its great work improving the lot of cancer patients. Their goal was to raise $10,000 but today they are already in excess of $17,000. If anybody would like to contribute go to braveandshave.everydayhero南京夜网/au/skinheads.
Take rugby to Wagga Wagga and beyond
Meantime? A reader suggests – in a week where rugby union officially fell to only the 26th most popular pastime in the country, at the level of ballroom dancing – that the best way forward professionally is to “cut the Force but require each South African province to play one home game in Perth each season to cater for the ex-pat South Africans there. Also require the other four Australian provinces to play one home game per season in regional Australia e.g. Reds in Townsville, Waratahs in Newcastle, Brumbies in Wagga and Rebels in Bendigo. Share the game around.” There has to be merit in that? Just 15,000 at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night was sad, and the Tahs played, sadly. The same number in, say, Wagga Wagga, would have been euphoric, and a real occasion for the game.
What They Said
Mohammed Anas, a footballer for South African team Free State Stars: “I appreciate my fans. And my wife and my girlfriend. I’m so sorry … my wife! I love you so much from my heart.”
Eddie Jones, after his England side at last lost in their 19th time at the crease “We are batting at a pretty good average – even Don Bradman got zero when he played his last Test. Obviously we are disappointed – but we will fight another day. It is not the end of the world.”
Seventy seven-year-old Jack Nicklaus understandably proud of his 71: “Just when I was getting my handicap up there, I had to go and not only shoot just my second round under 80 since November, but better my age by six shots with a 71.”
Todd Greenberg after handing out a staggering $350,000 in fines to three different clubs over concussion breaches: “I watched last night’s game on the lounge with my family and I was dismayed Josh Dugan wasn’t taken off for assessment.” Previously, the heaviest sanction handed out to a club for breaching concussion protocols was $20,000.
Greenberg, on what awaits, if they don’t get it right: “Monetary fines are first, second would probably be accreditation of officials and individuals and third would be competition points. Today is a very clear sign that I hope goes across the game when we write concussion policies and rules we expect them to be adhered to.”
Paul Sironen happy that Jason Taylor is gone: “He punted me then got rid of my young bloke last year. Well, karma’s a bitch … “
Nick Kyrgios, on the fallout after his loss in the Australian Open: “Obviously it felt like the whole of Australia was against me after I lost. Even though no other Australian did really well, but I copped it all, I felt.” Nick, no one cares if you lose when you go down fighting to the last gasp. It’s the other stuff that gets us – and overall we can’t help notice the gap between your colossal talent, and actual results, you know?
Greater Western Sydney Giants coach Leon Cameron about a young player: “He’s fitted in really well and he may be running out at Footy Park at 3.20 against the Crows.” This would be a great pity, if true, as the Giants opening match of the season is actually at Adelaide Oval.
Wallaby World Cup-winning prop Tony Daly, in trouble with the law after a string of petty thefts, on the childhood sexual abuse that “robbed me of my innocence and normal life”. “The boarding school was the launch pad of what has gone wrong in my life. I’ve stuffed up two marriages, I was drinking a lot, abusing substances, I’ve been all over the shop for years.” He has been, and we’ve all feared for him. Some – and no one more than Nick Farr-Jones – have tried to help. All strength, Dales.
Wayne Bennett the philosopher on if concussion should mean that rugby league teams are allowed to have extra players on the bench: “How many players do you want on the bench? Where does it all stop? I am not pushing for 18 players. We will lose a player then another and people will say we need 19. It’s like a piece of string – there’s no end to it.” Don’t know, Wayne. Only that your starting point has to be the safety of your players, and then work back from there.
Jose Mourinho on the Special One: “Mourinho the man tries to be the opposite of what the manager is. He tries to be discreet and calm. To find a way to disconnect.” He tries not to talk about himself in the third person. He finds that it is a work in progress!
Team of the Week
Australian Test cricket side. Going into the fourth Test, still a chance to win the series outright, after holding off the Indians in the third.
Shaun Marsh. The much-maligned middle-order Australian batsman proved his worth, by scoring an admirable 53 runs, over four hours, to keep the Australian show on the road, just as the Indian side were at their most threatening.
Todd Greenberg. The NRL CEO moved this week to ensure that the NRL’s protocol on concussion is observed, laying the foundation stone for what should be his greatest legacy to the game.
Jason Taylor. Sacked after three weeks of the season, even after an impressive opening-round victory. Is this a postwar record for an early sacking?
Victoria/South Australia. Contesting the Sheffield Shield final. Was once called the sixth Test of the summer. Now it would be the one in autumn that barely anyone cares about.
Harley Windsor and Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya. Became the first Australians to win a world figure-skating title at the world junior titles in Taiwan.
Sydney Uni Flames. Won the WNBL title. Hurrah!
Adelaide and Brisbane. Contesting the inaugural AFLW Grand Final.
Bruce McAvaney. The iconic commentator has announced he has leukaemia. All strength, Bruce.
Formula One. Gentleman start your engines as the new season begins in Melbourne. Be still, my beating heart.
Socceroos. With a paltry four points from their last four games delivering only four draws, the spectre of failing to qualify for the World Cup is starting to loom.
Swans/GWS. Speaking of new seasons, good luck to the Swans and Giants who begin theirs this weekend. We want to see both of you in the grand final on the last Saturday in September.
Owen Wright. The Australian surfer was competing in his first elite tour event since sustaining a brain injury late in 2015 and won it!
TourXOz. Cyclist are riding from Perth to Broome to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute. It’s in September so if you want to ride, there’s time for you. Details or donation info at 梧桐夜网tourxoz南京夜网
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.