He's a good sport, is Dr Phil

I VENTURED north of the border last week and it just might surprise you where I ended up.

Given the Ekka was on that could present an option but despite the lure of a dagwood dog or two, whip cracking has never been my go.

There are plenty of art galleries and museums (one right by my hotel) but I didn't darken their doors either.

Of course there was a huge amount of sport on offer, too, but I even eschewed that for this particular event.

I actually went to a show at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre where the star turn was none other than Dr Phil.

Yep, you heard it right, Dr Phil.

The very same Dr Phil who has a weekly television audience in the billions, the one who can solve problems that mere mortals such as we simply can't.

I wasn't exactly dragged kicking and screaming but I did well, ummm, have a few misgivings given his audience is usually well out of my demographic.

I could see the tell-tale heel marks where some poor husbands had been dragged in but I tell you now, it was bloody brilliant.

Dr Phil rocks!

It was just him and the audience in the round; he was erudite, knowledgeable and above all extremely funny.

As you'd expect there was an underlying message with most things he said but it wasn't shoved down your throat with a sermon to boot.

I listened to his words and I guess I was heartened when he kept mentioning sport (aha, a tenuous link!).

He played gridiron in his youth and maintains his fitness to this day including a daily game of tennis.

And some of his messages could easily be read in the context of the sport you and I play or watch, the overriding one of which was that you should follow your passion whatever that may be.

Be it lacrosse, table tennis, petanque, badminton or even rugby league, Dr Phil has given you carte blanche to love it like it was invented yesterday.

An unexpected, enjoyable experience and if you get the chance to see him live, do not hesitate.

The next night, I suppose I could have gone to the South-East Queensland derby between the Brisbane Roar and Gold Coast United … but that would have been just too weird.

No greater stage

I HAD a sneaking suspicion (no, really) that the Poms would stumble and eventually tumble in their quest for the Ashes.

No one could have predicted the magnitude of the fall but it was destined to happen and it is, of course, ever so terribly English!

Part of the rites of passage for any English person is to overcome the adversity of defeat in ignominious circumstances.

Losing penalty shoot-outs in major competitions is de rigueur, the notorious 'hand of God', Henman and now Murray at Wimbledon - the list goes on.

To be skittled in such a crushing way - not once, but twice - must swing the momentum Australia's way?

But hold on, what's that in the sky?

Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it's Super Freddie, St Freddie of Flintoff in his ultimate Test, in front of a home crowd in an Ashes, winner-take-all decider.

There is surely no greater stage?

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