Sportsmasnhip

Total Class

Not only did they win the 4th test and the series outright, Indian team Captain Ajinkya Rahane presented opposition player Nathan Lyon with a signed team shirt to celebrate his 100th test milestone. Total class.

Maybe Australia’s biggest lesson should come from studying India’s sportsmanship. The other lesson is to NEVER ever use a historical milestone as an excuse to relax the team’s guard ever again.

Consider that Australia was beaten by the Indian B-side. That isn’t damning the guests with faint praise but a sign of how deep the talent pool is.

Australia has plenty of talent in the A-side but the B-team locker is pretty bare, hence why they’ve tolerated Wade, Burns and Harris for so long.

The Aussies properly lack the “gel” that makes a side truly stick together in all conditions, especially adversity.

Time to remove Paine as captain and insert someone with proper tactical skills who isn’t everyone’s mate. No, Steve Smith has proven he has no leadership skills to have allowed the ball tampering debacle in Sth Africa.

Many may think that this is an odd choice but Josh Hazlewood has the mettle and the ability to lift his side in tough times. He just doesn’t carry any executive authority on the field at the moment.

First things first. Let’s learn to play for the love of the game and not the paycheck.

Australia must stop believing in the past and focus on dealing with the present

India should be extremely proud of the way their depleted test side has performed this series. They always looked the more hungry side. Rookies took their opportunity to shine as their teammates dropped out injured.

Australia on the other hand has to stop relying on historical benchmarks as gospel and understand all records are there to be beaten.

Last week, Aussie Captain Tim Paine sledged Ravichandran Ashwin during the Sydney test about the impenetrable fortress of the Gabba, a ground Australia hasn’t lost a game at since 1988.

The last time Australia blathered about record totals being too high a hurdle of the opposition, we lost. Ben Stokes played the innings of a lifetime.

India deserve to win the test series and Australia needs to consider that even with many of the world’s best players, teamwork comes from leadership that can lift a team which is staring unlikely defeat in the face. Australia rested on the laurels of antiquated statistics instead of focusing on the present. India has done the exact opposite.

When your older brother is your biggest fan

While 8x motorcycle world champ Marc Marquez convalesces after extensive surgery to his right humerus, he was rooting for his rookie 2x world champ younger brother, Alex, who finished in 2nd at Aragon yesterday, his best result in the MotoGP class.

We think these brothers are quite close.

#AM73

#MM93

Capitalism wins again. NBA to take wokeness off court in 2021

As ratings have plummeted since these overpaid social justice warriors took to ramming politics down paying fans’ throats, the NBA has decided it will take its woke messages off the court next season.

In what must have been the most predictable outcome imaginable, money has finally spoken. The question is whether the fans will come back?!

As we often say, people who support particular causes are willing participants right up to the point they are mercilessly shamed for not expressing outwardly in a manner the apparatchiks demand.

How soon until NFL, MLB and NHL follow suit? #GetWokeGoBroke

Dallas Stars CEO admits the NHL team is losing fans

Dallas Stars CEO Brad Alberts has said the NHL team is losing season customers due to the pre-game BLM protests but “stands by our organization’s commitment and support our players 100% to express their views.

What these multi-millionaire sports stars fail to grasp is that their homes and neighbourhoods aren’t being destroyed. So the last thing their (former) fans – who drive past smouldering building shells where police precincts once stood or plinths with no statues atop – need is a lecture.

Fans want to watch sports to distract them from the toils and stresses of life. Not to have it thrust in their face before a whistle has been blown. The irony is that the NHL had avoided woke displays of social justice and ratings were rising as a result. Perhaps they’d drawn eyeballs from the weaker viewing numbers in NBA, MLB and NFL. Instead of heeding common sense, the NHL followed suit and have shot themselves in the foot. 

The leagues and teams are well within their rights to push politics in sports but we will have no sympathy when fans abandon them. Just like any business. To risk alienating core customers through badgering is never a smart move. Did we need Gillette to demand men check their toxic masculinity? Do we need Nike to serve up messages using players who embody some of the worst aspects of team and sportsmanship?

What we don’t quite understand is why the leagues are so eager to push causes where the people they name were hardly role models in society before they became known? Drug abuse, domestic violence, armed assault, battery, sexual assault, trespassing, outstanding warrants and resisting arrest. 

To top it off, the player strikes just add to the patronizing behaviour of these well-paid celebrities. To strike when fans are turning off in droves is a bit like sending emails to an ex-girlfriend after she dumped you. You might claim she is nothing without you but at some point, you realize that all of that correspondence has been directed to her junk folder. 

Get woke, go broke. 

Isaac jersey sales surge after he refused to kneel

Do you remember when Orlando Magic NBA player Jonathan Isaac bucked the trend last week and stood tall whilst others knelt (on towels to protect their precious knees) for the national anthem? Even though Isaac copped much vile abuse on Twitter for not cowering to the mob, his jersey sales have gone through the roof to be #2 after LeBron James.

It is more than likely that LeBron James jerseys are produced in far more abundant quantities due to his long term superstar status but Isaac could well find this popularity continues and causes the few remaining collective brain cells amongst the NBA management to consider the message fans are sending – “We endorse individual freedom. Get the politics out of sport!”

380 million reasons to feel oppressed

Mookie Betts (middle) has just signed a $380 million 12 year contract with the LA Dodgers baseball team. We don’t doubt his abilities.

Betts has agreed to make a charitable contribution of $100,000 annually out of the $27m he makes per annum. The egregiously unfair part of the deal is that he will be forced to stay in 4/5-star hotel suites while on road trips.

Imagine what he might have received if America wasn’t so systemically racist?

Cynically, one wonders whether kneeling for the BLM movement, while Marxist in its roots, might end up helping the agents of minority players leverage woke teams to offer even bigger paydays to atone for decades of oppression? Good on them if they can exploit capitalism for their own benefit.

We just hope these teams factor in the possibility that turning sports into politics may end up eroding the fan base by such an extent that they may end up unable to honour the deals to maturity.

WNBA – Why NoBody Attends

WNBA

We went back through the data to see just how the WNBA stacks up against the NBA. It came as no surprise to see it reflect other sporting codes like football. The men’s game has been at it longer and has 123x the revenue of the WNBA to prove it.

Over the years we have compared the USWNT vs the USMNT and the Socceroos vs the Matildas soccer teams to make the case for why there are discrepancies. These are just published facts. Data.

As an aside we have always advocated paying women more than men if the viewership reflects that – championship tennis is a case in point. We also made it clear at the time of Serena Williams’ tantrum that the statistics showed umpires were harsher on men than women over the last 20 years, even though she claimed the opposite. Once again, facts matter. Not feelings.

Put simply, when fans are asked to put hard money down, both men and women tend to support the male codes more than the female versions. It isn’t sexist. It’s the commercial reality. That translates to advertising and sponsorship dollars too. It is a virtuous circle that can always become vicious.

We think the WNBA’s political stunt which involved players walking off the court before the national anthem was played will backfire spectacularly and alienate what few viewers the league has managed to accumulate. It was a choice that the woke league backed. They should live with the consequences and not cry foul should attendance drop.

An article written by Sarah Ko about the WNBA ended up debunking her own argument. Essentially the men were all ego and money but the women were all just celebrating the love of the game, not the paycheck.

Then Ko spoke about the recent event where the WNBA complained that they only take 20% of the winnings when the NBA teams took 50%. Could it be that there is a bare minimum level of cost to run a league – salaries, administration, marketing and promotion- that would be drastically curtailed if the players got their wish, which ultimately would see them paid less over a lifetime.

Ko also mentioned that WNBA tended to have older fans. At some point, the WNBA administration has to make a commercial decision about how to broaden the supporter base. Having its players cynically hijack a social justice movement to gain attention to boost its audience numbers is risky. Writing ‘Black Lives Matter‘ on the court won’t help either. Why do they only advertise the names of dead black females? Don’t all female lives matter?

Sport has always been a great distraction from the stresses of daily life. Fans will desert in droves when the very identity politics they went to the game to escape are rammed down their throats before a whistle has been blown.

The ultimate irony will be when the very capitalist system they expected would boost their pay clashes with the same hand they bit to feed it.

How serious are the Redskins when they’re still selling merchandise with the logo?

Ultimately the Washington Redskins are a sporting franchise and the team website is still selling items bearing the Redskins name/logo, albeit at a discount. This is the same as L’Oreal removing the names of “skin-whitening” products but selling them anyway.

Makes us wonder if the management truly wished to reflect strict obedience to the cancel culture they would have immediately ceased the sale of these items too. They haven’t which speaks volumes about true commitment.

Put simply, the Redskins’ owners are proving to be unwilling passengers in this ordeal forced by sponsors and a sporting code which are holding them at gunpoint.

There is only one place the team and NFL are heading. The scrap heap. All so some woke liberals can appease some activists and feel good about themselves despite not creating one extra benefit to the very community they proclaim to support.

Are we witnessing sporting suicide?

People used to be able to watch sports in order to be able escape financial stress, relationship pressure, horrible bosses or politics for a couple of hours. Now politics comes as standard and is being actively shoved straight in paying customers’ faces.

The NBA has just announced it will paint “Black Lives Matter” on the courtside.

Retired NFL defensive end Marcellus Wiley explained why he thought it is a bad idea for the NBA to do it based on the divisive manifesto of BLM.

This follows on from the NFL’s pandering to identity politics and promotion of segregation by introducing a “black national anthem” before Week 1 games.

As one astute reader posted this with respect to the NFL post we wrote today,

If this causes a loss of attendance will the excuse be that those missing were therefore racist? And how does that help pay the bills? What will be the steps taken to address shortfalls in revenue ? Presumably reductions in salaries and jobs to those whose livelihood depends on the attendance?

This is a very emotive issue and no one is denying that it is not an important one but enforcing dictats onto paying customers is never a good idea – asking for help to change is better than demanding change and alienating a section of society who for the most part were already onside -you cannot force their cooperation – you will just make reasonable people unreasonable.

We think the NBA and NFL are making extremely poor decisions. As corporations they have that right but since when has treating customers with contempt been a good strategy?? Gillette anyone?

We wrote a piece on the divisive nature of sports being ruined by political activism a few weeks back.