Thursday, 17 November 2005


The socceroos qualified for the world cup yesterday. I'm a pretty patriotic guy (a scoundrel, if you like), so I was walking around with a grin for a while. I read on Ricky's blog, in various articles on SBS' site, that maybe this will help soccer challenge aussie rules and rugby (he doesn't mention the national sport - cricket) for sporting dominance in Australia. Good god, I can't think of anything worse.

All sports are surrogates for war, but none so much as soccer. Sport as a substitute for partisan emotions, be it for country, club or colours, is a wonderful idea. Every sport in the world keeps this on the pitch. Except soccer, amongst whose fans violence is commonplace. I know a bunch of fans of soccer teams, but very few fans of soccer. Take me. I'll cheer for Australia, but put me in front of a game between two neutrals, and I couldn't give a damn, and am likely to get annoyed by the lack of "courage" and "honesty" in the game. Like war, its an outlet for partisan competition where the competition itself is greatly lacking of aesthetic appeal. That it is the closest thing there is to a "world game" is a sad accident of history that we should not reinforce.

So I'm pretty happy for the socceroos, and hope they go well, but they can stay in Europe as far as I'm concerned.


Afe said...

Aussie aussie aussie!

(I can't remember the next bit)

Anonymous said...

Brave words, Jim, but you have a strong heritage from your grandfather!

Anonymous said...

Stay overseas and stop telling people that you’re Australian.

Jim said...

Ouch. Looking at it now, the post comes out much more shrill than I wanted it. That said, I won't be abandoning my nationality over it. Many apologies, to, er, whatsyername.