I love the “hit up” in the game of Rugby League. Seeing blokes like John O’Neill, all those years ago, demanding the ball so he could terrorize his opponents with devastating runs, is one of the things that makes Rugby League great for me. Even so, would you believe that the passing game, statistically speaking, makes twice as much ground than passing the the ball one pass off the ruck for a hit up! Yet the hit up is done twice as often as passing the ball. Does this make sense? I love the “hit up” and it’s a key part of any great footy team’s arsenal but statistics seem to suggest that the “hit up” and the passing game should be used more wisely. Check it out.
Rugby League Strategy
can sports companies be ethical?
How many companies have a truly ethical mission? How many professional sporting organizations place the general good and future of the world as a higher priority than making money? Patagonia has always branded itself as the ethical sportswear company. Socrates wanted to find out more about the outdoors gurus so he barged into the local Patagonia retail shop to see what he could find out. It’s a fascinating story, it turns out. Yvon Chouinard, the little kid with the girls name, may have started out just trying to make enough money to fund his adventures but for the last fifty years, or so, he and his company have been on a mission. Check it out.
Waves of Pain!
Imagine growing up around big waves, being addicted to surfing and then being transferred to a work place more well-known for its bears, forests and snow than surfing breaks. It can be a cruel world! Under such circumstances young folk would do almost anything for a surfing fix. Imagine yourself taking your “once in a blue moon chance” to get a wave and having that wave work you over so bad that it not only bloody nearly ruins your year but almost ruins your career. That’s what happenned to one young fella from Perth. Now that is a serious “Wave of Pain”. Usually, a day in the waves is bliss. Ocassionally it is hell. Read about one rare hell day here.
The ocean is a remarkable place. A wild place. A place that demands our respect. This moving and beautiful story from Angus Goozee takes us to a place that is even more remarkable, more wild and more demanding of respect than most of the seaside places where us puny beings normally hang out. I know the place that he writes about. On its most placid and gentle days it still leaves one with a feeling of awe. It is a mysterious place. A special place. A place that reminds you that wildness is still possible. Angus’s telling of this story of a morning that shook up his life for years, reminds us of the consequences of not being fully on guard when you visit wild places! This is a “Wave of Pain” story that will stick in your memory. Click the pic and read on!
Philosopher’s Sports Bar
Multi-skilled and multi-award-winning sports presenter, sports expert, sociologist and philosopher, Aaron Kearney, joins Socrates in the philosopher’s sports bar to run through some of the changes that we might expect in our sporting lives when the dust from the Covid19 epidemic settles. Not only does Kearney describe a bunch of changes that are likely in the world of sport over the next twelve months but he has a bit of a wish list as well. Let’s knock the boring sports celebrities down a peg or two might be one of his hopes! Other than a democratization of the world of sports stardom there is not a lot of negative in the sporting world of 2021 that Kearney imagines. Check out his conversation with our beloved “Round Mound of Scrumming-Down” (Socrates) here. Just click on the pic.
When the dust from the corona virus finally settles what will our sporting world look like? Will everything just pop up again as if nothing had ever happenned… or will the world of sport be a completely different place? Who knows? Socrates decided to invite various sports philosophers to the sports bar to ask them about where they thought that sport would be in 2021. He started off with the republican author, columnist and rugger bugger with the penchant for red hankies… Peter Fitzsimons. Not surprisingly, one of Peter’s strongest messages was that he hoped that in a new world (with many genuine serious social, cultural and financial needs) it wouldn’t be sport that gets pushed up to the front of the queue when it comes to handouts.
Here is a story about a new kid in town who suddenly, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, has to worry about how she will survive. At the same time, sports celebrities implore “loyal fans” to keep supporting their clubs financially. This kid…. and millions of others (many of them new kids in town) just WANT THEIR MONEY BACK. They need it! The elite sports leaders and many average punters come from totally different worlds. When someone asks the ones without jobs about how important the survival of professional sports teams is, I doubt that they have even given it any thought. They have more important things on their minds.
The Matildas had one big win against (and one not so big win) against Vietnam in their Olympics qualifier. They also topped their group in the Olympic qualifying tournament a while back. But do they look like they are playing as well as they can? Despite having some of the world’s best players Socrates feels uneasy about the progress of Australia’s favourite sports team. According to the fat old philosopher, even when they are winning they don’t look convincing. Find out what Socrates thinks about the play of the team that he thinks should be world beaters.
Socrates discusses rugby scrums and how they used to be in the good old days. He thinks that the former Sports Minister has been taking lessons from the Spartan scrum. Back in the day there used to be rules that wiley hookers would try to twist to their advantage. Socrates explains that some rugby scrums, on the other hand, didn’t give a tinkers cuss about “the rules” and pretty much made things up as they went along. In many ways, this lawless version of the rugby scrum (which didn’t usually pay off back in the old days) is currently making a return in the new world of Australian politics and, frustratingly, the lawless ones seem to be getting away with it. It is now the world of “I am the boss, so I can do what I want. I am not breaking the rules… because there are no rules!”
obey sound sporting principles!
Despite coaching basketball for over twenty years Socrates still manages to make the same stupid mistakes he tries to teach his young players to avoid. The old fool turns up for a game of pick-up with a bunch of fellow old coots and manages to make a complete goose of himself by doing precisely what he knows doesn’t work! The moral of the story? Even if you are playing with a bunch of sixty year olds, good principles still apply!
aphorisms, insights and wisdom… about fishing!
In pub discussions about the Australian women’s football team’s most remarkable player the name Aivi Luik is not often the first one to come up. Socrates thinks that this might be a mistake and that the value of this remarkable athlete might be under-recognized. Check out her record of achievment in almost every corner of the football world. USA, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, Spain, Australia. MVP awards. Championships. All star team selections. She has had a remarkable career by anyone’s standards and is still playing at her best at 34! With Luik and her fellow Matildas in camp preparing for their Olympic Games qualifying series matches against China, Thailand and Taiwan this week Socrates was grateful that she found time to answer some questions about her footballing life. Press here for the Aivi Luik interview – a must for all sports fans, especially ambitious young athletes considering overseas careers.
who is this kid?
This good looking young bloke was a handy rugby league half back and a cracker fielder on the cricket oval (though he couldn’t bat or bowl to save himself). He also had a pretty handy back hand in tennis. The handy back-hand he still has! Anthony “Albo” Albanese may be a sports tragic who would still love to win a competition or two but he knows that sport has more going for it than the buzz you might get out of winning the next match. Great sport is about great community thinks Albo!
sports style – or lack of it!
There are hundreds of fashion choices that look ridiculous, foolish, horrible and offensive in a sporting context but seven particular style choices brand the “sinner” almost beyond redemption. Socrates smugly sticks his massive nose in the air and points the finger of sartorial disgrace at the “sins” he finds most hideous.
Have you ever thought about living a life of adventure? Of buggering off to another land with a different culture, language and entire way of life and never coming back? That’s what John Morrell did decades ago. He went for a short visit… and never came back. If you went to Hokkaido too maybe you would do the same. Find out why John and his family are still loving the aspirin snow. Get his story in his chat with Socrates right here!