Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jacquelin Magnay, Sports Show Ponies, the London Olympic, the Poms and Tiddlywinks

Why is it that silly people - like Jacquelin Magnay - always arm themselves with begging bowls, and always put out their hands (and bowl) for alms, when they get a whiff that the government might be about to dump some cash into the community.

Magnay - Why our Olympians are worth $100m - can't come up with any decent reasons for her public begging for athletics, unless you count beating the Poms in Britain at the next Olympics. (She's clearly dreaming when she suggests that giving 10k or 5k to young 'uns would be a bargain way to motivate gen Y and help the health budget down the track. Second thoughts, she can drop 10k my way, and I'll exercise and try really hard to beat the Poms at something - I hear their tiddlywinks team this year is second rate).

Along the way Magnay - a tad tainted by being a sports writer - moans about how cricketers and rugby league footballers make a lot of money and whinge about it. Err, cough Jacquelin. That's because people watch those sports (albeit for strange and mysterious reasons) and along with the gate money comes great television moola from the DC3s up there in the sky.

If you're an athlete and want to make Centrum the centre of your advertising life (which is maybe better than Just Right or Ironman food or the Thorpedo energy drink), better start winning and then hang around with a sponsor.

Only trouble is: apart from swimming, Australian athletics has been a bunch of losers since way back when. Indeedy you have to be a doddering old fart to remember the glory days. No trouble with that, except for that paw stuck out asking for some cash in the paw - like a hundred million - with no guarantee of success.

My bold prediction: the Poms will thrash Australia on their home turf, and it won't be for lack of capital on the part of Australian athletes.

Here's an idea. Magnay suggests if an athlete wins a gold, they should be able to pick up a 50k salary to help win the next one. Fine, provided if you lose (i.e. not win a medal of any color) you get kicked on to the dole, and your sporting body loses a substantial chunk of change. Yep, just like English soccer, if you want upward promotion, downwards promotion should be part of the package.

Meanwhile, while the strugglers battle on poverty street in the middle of a world economic crisis, it seems Magnay's best thought for social cohesion is to give sporting show ponies a nice stable, plenty of hay and some adoring handlers. But Ms Magnay, we all know in a free market world, life wasn't meant to be an East German sporting utopia.

Next week: my idea for fixing the Australian film industry by abolishing all the government bodies, sending bureaucrats to a re-education camp where they must make an actual film, and banning film festivals from funding films only a thousand people want to watch (the last bizarre strategy thanks to that owl loving Premier Mike Rann, who should be eternally damned to hell and made to watch Ozu films on an endless loop).

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