More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Are Aussies Bad Sports?

The Allan Border medal for crickets’ highest honour has come and gone for another year. As usual, there's always those complaining about the flawed voting system, and rightly so. One day matches are given too much importance. They usually mean very little to everyone and no one really remembers most of them. Even though the scores are weighted to give tests more emphasis, it still probably isn't weighted enough. An example is how well Michael Hussey polled in the medal. Given that Hussey played great lately, he's only been in the test side for 6 matches. And three of those have been against bottom ranked West Indies. Despite scoring centuries in those Tests, they probably don't mean as much as playing against the English in the Ashes. Unlike the AFL season where each win gives a team 4 premiership points, in Cricket, wins against different nations are rated differently.

However, this years controversy centres on a video by ex-English bowler Phil Tufnell. At the time when I watched it, I thought it was quite funny and a bit of a joke. The Aussies have been making fun of the Poms for years over every single sporting success that they achieve against the Poms. That's the spoils you get when you win, you have the option of making fun of the losers. That's the Aussie attitude anyway. If you are willing to dish it out, then be prepared to take it back. Otherwise don't start it in the first place. Refraining from rubbing in the salt to the loser would be the epitome of sportsmanship. Someone like Roger Federer is so respected as a sportsman because he is a gracious loser or winner. When he wins, he still congratulates his opponents. It's only when you lose that your real sportsmanship comes through. Its always much easier to be nice when you win. Even when Roger lost in the semi finals of two of the grand slams last year, he still said that his opponents played great and outplayed him.

The way that Ricky Ponting and the rest of the Australian team reacted probably showed how much losing the Ashes hurt them. However, to get so upset over a joke is the wrong way to behave. Losing the Ashes should encourage them to work harder and try to win the Ashes back. They should accept that they were clearly outplayed and not complain when the shoe is on the other foot. They have been on top of the game for so long and given the Poms so much criticism that it would only be natural for the English to retaliate when they had the chance. Sport is not about the words off the field, its about the actions on the field. Battles should be fought on the field and stay there. All of this off field sledging only shows what a bad sportsman you are.

My friend Kin, who is very passionate about this issue, always says that Aussies are very bad sports. He says that “ The Aussie cricket team is famous for inviting inferior sides over to play and kicking the shit out of them and then make a big fuss about it.” Also, Aussies love to worship heroes who are just lucky. “Oh look how we treat 'CHAMPIONS' like Steve Bradbury…he won a Winter Olympics gold medal…BY DEFAULT.”

My views aren’t as strong as Kin’s. I think there are some Australians who are very bad sports, but not everyone is. I think all this bad sportsmanship stems from how much Australians value and worship their sportsman. It gives the sportsman too much of an ego boost and makes them try to win at all cost. Kids all aspire to be great sportsman in this country rather than do well at school and achieving something academically. How else can a nation of just over 21 million achieve so much world wide success in sports. Our (I do consider myself an Australian) success in sport is both a blessing and a curse. Success breeds more success and it shows you what you can achieve when you try your best, but it can also change some people’s attitudes for the worst.


Blogger Geoff said...

Steve Bradbury did not win by 'default', he was the only one who had the skill required not to fall over. Like any race, he was the best at the time and that is what matters in a race. If a driver had crashed his car whilst in front on the last lap at Bathusrt, would you say that the peron who won had 'won by default'? No you wouldn't! Skill is not in always being the fastest, sometimes it is being able to finish without stuffing up or as in some sports, say like equestrian events, stuffing up the least. Having said this, I do agree on all your other points. If you are involved in competition you should be gracious both in winning and in defeat.

3/26/2006 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's true. He did win it, not in the best fashion, but he did win it. I'm just annoyed the way his 'victory' was celebrated and how he's being glorified as a hero. I suppose I could win the lottery and be glorified that I am became the most wealthy man and considered better than people who actually earned their wealth.

4/10/2008 3:44 PM  

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