A sporting week to savour

DOING the job I do (shhh, I’m still not sure what that is but I’ll be sure to let you know), you get totally immersed in sport.

Alas, sometimes it can all get so darn serious.

People want to know economic impacts, business models, about the latest nefarious forms of cheating and skulduggery and of course there is the interminable, inevitable spin and, well, bullshit (not all of it peddled by me)!

The ‘spingate’ scandal of the past few weeks where it was not only planned to crash a speeding F1 missle but, astoundingly, gobsmackingly actually carried out that brought it all home.

You just forget that it is sometimes nothing more than just sport!

There’s no ‘other angle’, no deep and meaningful underlying theme, no sheep stations. Just sport.

So last week, during the smorgasbord of fare that was on offer locally and around the country and armed only with freebie tickets and a TV guide, I tried to sit back, relax and enjoy.

Chicken soup for the sporting soul if you will.

I wasn’t disappointed.

The professional rugby league was at its glorious, gladiatorial, combative best with the Parramatta v Bulldogs match.

It had everything from the twinkled-toed stars to the colossal collisions and it hung in the balance until the last 10 minutes.

All thoughts of drunken atrocities were gone.

A lazy afternoon was spent in the affable and knowledgeable company of one Stan Gilchrist watching cricket and talking sport.

Later that day I found myself with John McMahon and we shot the breeze in our rose-coloured glasses about the way it used to be and laughed.

I learnt more from those two erudite fellows than any of my students learn in a whole year of lectures!

Sure, a few more bums on seats would have helped the coffers but did it really matter?
Lismore put on a great show and our hospitality and second-to-none facilities were well received.

The AFL grand final was wallpaper to an afternoon on the couch.
Great game (not that I really understood the nuances), great skills and the right result.

I interspersed that with a few well-placed internet bets on the gee gees (still not moving from the comfy environs of the lounge) and thanks to Mr Clangtastic I kept my head above water!

Of course the Masters Games is all about fun and friendship – at least that’s the way the vast majority perceive it.

Some didn’t but I’m letting that through to the ’keeper – suffice to say those involved should be ashamed.

I became a willing spectator at many a sport – netball, open water swimming, cricket, baseball, kissball and on Friday night the throwback disco dancing as practised by a thousand slightly the worse for wear patrons at the Games launch.

It was sport for the simple pleasure of meeting old friends, reliving tales of derring do and having a go.

Some got medals, some didn’t but that wasn’t the point.

I even ventured to the dark side and caught a bit of the football grand finals and watched passionate, committed and skilful play by all.

In the stands the lack of alcohol seemed not to make a jot of difference!

All in all, a great week with plenty more to come.

The Australian Cricketers’ Association game in Lismore tonight should surely be worth a trip and the
NRL grand final on Sunday evening or whenever it is this year.

But now I must really get back to the day job.

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