Supporting Rimmer

Oh what a feeling ! (perhaps Toyota have trade-marked that, never mind)….. Lovely to know that somebody makes the effort to trek on over to TA every day to read the musings of the post-moral majority. I thought I’d better post something to assuage Mork and those readers of his/her (I’ve made the gender mistake before) ilk, tired of undiluted Shiel (goodness me, nearly made a typo there), one more of my little gems for all to disregard.

More than the posts themselves, I have enjoyed reading the comments to Chris’s posts. You must admit that he has a way of encouraging comment, I can’t think of any other posts to TA that have generated as many comments as ‘Moore Please, Masked Etc. and Elites’. I thought that was what blogging (at least what TA) was all about, putting you opinion out there for all to argue with. And I believe that TA has played an important part in establishing a site where people of all kinds can voice their opinions.

Because most commenters have played the game so well, I miss the opportunity to ridicule and satirise as often as I did when Ken first started. Even Dave is starting to make sense ! When one is ‘tired and emotional’ it’s sometimes best just to read and stay quiet until one is sober feeling better, isn’t that so Mork ?

I don’t have much to say about the RWC, most of the stuff in the media is unadulterated crap, hype to fill the tabloid columns. For instance, a headline in today’s NT News;

Pom fans spark kinky sex boom.
Australian brothels are stocking up on whips and chains for the World Cup in anticipation of a boom in business generated by posh English fans.

Sam and Ken get a mention ” you get your beer-drinking yobbos, but at the higher end of the scale rugby union has a clientele that you just don’t get with rugby league – the judges, lawyers and big decision makers who are into all this.” It’s obviously rubbish because the article forgets to mention university academics and other members of the ‘elites’.

Another thing that really pisses me off is the assumption of the team as ‘ours’, as though your average punter had anything to do with the effort and commitment that goes into the making of an elite team. All right, I guess it’s OK for a community like Penrith to soak up the jubilation as a result of the Panthers victory on the weekend, but supporters are just that, supporters.

No one other than the individuals in the team and those close to them have the right to use the words ‘we’ and ‘our’. It’s an Australian team and supporters, while they may get to bask in the glow of victory or the shadows of defeat, shouldn’t expect to identify any closer than that. Supporters don’t train til they vomit, put their very life in harms way and deny themselves the very necessities of life (nooky), in order to win.

As much as Chris proposes line-ups for the Wallaby backline, he along with everyone other than the team and coaching staff is completely in the dark because, as Ken puts it, we haven’t seen the team play a serious game for months now. So why don’t we all just take a breather, sit back and wait for the game on Friday.

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Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2024 years ago

Does this mean you haven’t gone to South America yet? You wouldn’t be sad and desperate enough to read blogs from an internet cafe while on holidays, surely!?

2024 years ago

When one is ‘tired and emotional’ it’s sometimes best just to read and stay quiet until one is sober feeling better, isn’t that so Mork?

Not at all, Wayne! I may have apologised, but I didn’t say that I regretted anything I posted. And, after all, are you not entertained?

But it’s good to see you posting, and I totally agree with your comments on the use of “we” in relation to sports teams. One of my favourite online sportwriters, a gentleman by the name of Steve Goldman who writes for the NY Yankees TV network web site wrote this the week before last:

I don’t want to disillusion anyone, but if it will save lives there is really no choice. There is no “We” in team. Baseball owners have a business in which fans have a rooting interest. The relationship ends there. No ties of blood bind the parties together.

Dodgers or Giants, Yankees or Mets: these loyalties have as much real-life legitimacy as Chocolate or Vanilla, Coke or Pepsi, Beatles or Stones, Mantle or Maris, John Ford or Howard Hawks, Rodgers and Hart or Rodgers and Hammerstein. It’s an affinity that one has; a taste preference. If I like blondes and you like brunettes and Uncle Charlie likes redheads, well, we simply shrug our shoulders and say, “It takes all kinds, and besides, more for me that way!” We don’t shoot each other over it.

Sports fans, though, are at times unsure of where they stand. If you listen to the radio sports talk shows, quite often you will hear a caller say, “I want to talk about the Mets. We need more pitching.”

“Do we have enough pitching to get to the World Series?”

“Are we going to sign Donald Duck as a free agent?”

“How are we going to get through the season without Chad Pennington?”

The question that almost never gets asked in return is, “Who the heck is ‘we?'” “I” am a fan. “We” is an employee of the team. Fans often confuse this relationship. The teams never do. Internally, these are business organizations. Each team has awareness — to varying degrees — that it is an entertainment company, but the emphasis is on company. Cash in, cash out.

I don’t know if there are movie and television call-in shows, but if they exist it is certain that there is not a whole lot of we. If someone said, “Now that Charisma Carpenter has left ‘Angel,’ I’m concerned that we don’t have enough secondary star power to keep up the ratings,” or, “I’m wondering about David Caruso on ‘C.S.I. Miami.’ With his tendency to break down, I don’t know if we can count on him over a full season.” That would be laughable, as would two moviegoers brawling outside of a multiplex last spring shouting, “The Pianist!” “Chicago!” and then shooting each other.

Baseball teams want you to take them seriously. They want you to hope along with them, and there are definitely many idealistic baseball players and personnel who are truly moved by fan support, which is to say emotionally, beyond its impact on the bottom line. Remember, though, that your emotional attachment is a huge component of the bottom line.

You can feel part of they. The teams count on you to feel part of they. But you are not they, and when some unimaginative thug shouts, “Yankees suck,” feel smug at his lack of vocabulary. Mourn his dearth of good taste. Laugh, hand him a sawbuck and tell him to go have a beer on a Yankees fan. Whatever you do, don’t take it as an attack on God, king, mother, country, or you personally. He’s talking about a corporate entity to which you pay money for the purposes of your amusement. Let it ride.

Obviously, it was written about club sports rather than national teams (and it was addressing a specific incident in which a Giants fan was shot after a game), but I think it applies equally to this context.

2024 years ago

Which is true, but if supporters didn’t turn up to fête them, what’s the point? Every performer needs an audience, whether fair-weather or stalwart. With the crowd, they might as well be playing kick-to-kick in the park.

Anyway, the only thing I can’t stand about rugby union is the bloody horrible poetry that gets written about it. Rupert McCall is down there with Pam Ayres and Ogden Nash.

2024 years ago

With_out_ the crowd, rather…

2024 years ago

Which is true, but if supporters didn’t turn up to f

A  Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty
A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty
2024 years ago

Yes – wondered the same thing myself, Mork.

2024 years ago

No Ken, not gone yet, only a few more sleeps tho, and anyway, I fully intend to read the blog whenever I can get to an internet cafe while I’m away. In fact I usually write an electronic diary and email it to myself so that when I get back I have a record of where I went and what happened. Been doing it for years, best way I know of keeping memories. Perhaps now and then I’ll post something interesting from Peru or Patagonia, just to make you jealous of what you’re missing. Been busy planning itineraries, booking flights and searching the web for accomodation, that, with helping our kids buy their first home has kept me from contributing.

Well done Mork, the sporting quotation you found expresses my thoughts exactly. And perhaps even shines a little light on my attitude to blogging. Granted a literary license your quote could read; ” when some unimaginative thug shouts, “[Woodsy] suck[s],” [I] feel smug at his lack of vocabulary. Mourn his dearth of good taste. Laugh, [write] him a [comment] and tell him to go have a beer on [the All Blacks]…. [In any case I], don’t take it as an attack on God, king, mother, country, or [me] personally.”