Mandy Nolan’s Soap Box: Ball tampering – who cares?

How exactly does a ball make headlines? Malcolm TurnBALL – oops, Turnbull – must have been delighted that it was the leader of the Aussie cricket team, and not the country, copping the heat for letting everyone down.

Hey, here’s something you may have missed with CRICKETGATE occupying a ridiculous amount of air time and social commentary. After the 28th consecutive newspoll Malcolm has pulled a miserable 37 per cent as preferred PM. He’s sanding his balls for extra swing while we speak. He’s been swaying out for a while now; he’s going to need to find a way to get his ball to swing in. He might need a little chat with Warner himself.

Seriously, can we stop talking about cricket and talk about stuff that matters? For the last week every media source has blasted us with stories of outrage about a few blokes who had a crack at sanding their ball to gain some winning advantage.

Who cares? I certainly don’t. It’s a game. I don’t think that’s been mentioned. A game means that in the scheme of things it’s a meaningless leisure activity where someone wins and someone loses. And by the way, when it comes to integrity and role models, I don’t look to sports players. Who does? It’s sport for Christ’s sake. It’s (usually) a bunch of over-paid men chasing a ball. If they want to restore integrity in sport then stop paying them so much.

Women at the same level don’t cheat. Sportspeople are good role models for BALL CHASING. Perhaps they are role models to fellow ball chasers such as border collies and Labradors and should be apologising to them.

When did we start expecting sportspeople to act like diplomats? Since when did behaviour on the pitch become the benchmark of the highest attributes of human behaviour?

Personally I reckon if you can put $5 on a team through Sportsbet I don’t think you’re talking Henry Kissinger. You might win a trophy but you ain’t getting the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s a game. If you get caught cheating you lose. End of story.

This ridiculous baying for blood by the Australian media is a beatup. What do they want to see happen to Steve Smith and David Warner? Would they be happy with a Game of Thrones-styled walk of shame at the MCG?

Humiliation is great for ratings. I can’t believe Australia finally cares about integrity. We’re sending coal ships through the Barrier Reef FFS. We’re fracking farmland. We’re killing children in detention. Two fellas kill their wives every week and we don’t raise a sweat. A bloke cheats in cricket and now we’re the Integrity Nation? What a joke. Shouldn’t we be looking to our political leaders instead of cricketers for integrity?

The prime minister is more appalled by the cricket team’s cheating than he was about Barnaby Joyce’s recent ball pampering with his media adviser. The PM was quick to bleat: ‘Our cricketers are role models and cricket is synonymous with fair play’. Really? Fair Play? What is fair play exactly?

Personally if you can sand a ball and make the game finish a bit faster I’m happy. Why do we hold our sportspeople to higher account than our political leaders? Steve Smith got 12 months’ suspension for tampering; John Howard got two more terms after his Tampa incident. Why wasn’t he suspended?

The government has been the architect of some horrendous acts of cruelty, namely our migration policy, which saw the UN Human Rights Council implicate Australia as part of an escalating cycle of repression and deference that has caused a massive abuse of migrants. That was reported at the beginning of March. There was no nationwide shame.

Did we have Malcolm Turnbull on the telly crying that he was sorry and he’d do better next time? No, because we value competition more than we do human lives.

Maybe if we can find a way to get refugees competing so we can gamble on them through Sportsbet we might give a shit.

I just don’t get it. Human beings lie and cheat to get ahead. It’s part of what we do to gain advantage. Who hasn’t lied about their kid’s age to get a cheaper movie ticket, broken something at home then taken it back to get a refund, or told their boss they’re sick when they’re hungover?

Ball tampering? It’s so bloody Aussie. Let’s not forget many of us still have convict blood. It’s how we roll…

And by the way – no-one died. It’s not news. It’s Spin.

4 responses to “Mandy Nolan’s Soap Box: Ball tampering – who cares?”

  1. Ken Smith says:

    Loved it, Mandy, especially the line about Howard’s Tampa.

    My favourite line in this sorry spin-cycle came from John Birmingham (Fairfax), who compared the cricket suspensions to NRL’s Bulldogs / Sharks players who copped bugger-all for disgraceful behaviour towards women.

    How come the cricketers copped a 12-month ban when they only had their hand down their own pants ?

  2. Kay Long says:

    Well said, my sentiments exactly!.

  3. Stephen phibbs says:

    Mandy you nailed it. Cricket is an excuse for discussion, when you haven,t got the balls to talk about things that truely matter.

  4. Bulldog says:

    Mandy, So true. Everything you have said is accurate. I mean if you want to hand out a few million to there mates to do a study to find that it’s not economic to recommission the line (arup) it’s the finding what they paid for.The rail trail group should go away & and lick their wounds, why would any government of sound mind commit millions of dollars to a hair brain rail trail scheme. I think Roma Newton’s idea of a lottery is brilliant & should be followed through. I can’t wait to see trains back on the c–m section. I have been on the xpt from murwillumbah to Sydney one stop at Casino & then straight though to Sydney Beautiful trip 12/99

Leave a Reply to Bulldog Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers.