What bad sportsmanship looks like…

October 12, 2022 BY

I know I’m a couple weeks late getting to this one, but I feel like I really have to say something. It’s been a while since I’ve witnessed such a disgusting example of bad sportsmanship. But that’s what I sat through while watching the AFL grand final between Geelong and Sydney.

Let’s start by saying how wonderful Robbie Williams was. Talk about an entertainer. If I was a fictional character with a made up name, I’d call myself Robbie as a Christian name in tribute to Robbie Williams. And there’d be another whole convoluted story explaining where my surname Tansel came from. Robbie Williams is a legend and should’ve been given the Norm Smith medal because that was the best performance on Grand Final day.

Anyway, I want to talk about the match. Now I need to confess that I’m not a big Joel Selwood fan. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a talented footballer. But over the years I’ve described him as a fake tough guy. In my opinion he has taken cheap shots behind the play and spent the bulk of his career milking free kicks by shrugging tackles up around his neck. According to me he invented that move.

On Grand Final day he redeemed himself with me though. First he carried Gary Ablett’s son as Geelong ran through the banner which was one of the more touching things you’ll see on the last Saturday in September. As if that didn’t seem like he was enough of a decent human being, he then made a point of getting Sam, a Geelong water boy with Down Syndrome out of the crowd during their grand final celebrations, and then to confirm his sainthood rang Sam’s parents and told them he’d look after Sam and get him home safely.

All of that still doesn’t make up for what happened during the game though. As everyone who watched the game knows, the match was decided within the first fifteen minutes. Geelong flew out of the blocks and Sydney were never in the match from that point on. This is what undid all of Joel Selwood’s good work. It’s not all his fault but as the captain of the team he has to accept some responsibility.

During my lengthy elite sporting career with The Sleepy Budgies mixed netball team, we regularly found ourselves in a match situation where we were dominating a team. Not against those bastards Resignators obviously, but we were a strong team and would often play against an opponent that simply couldn’t match us. They knew as well as we did that they were outclassed by Budgie brilliance.

On these occasions we would switch positions, rather than simply blowing them away because we knew that wouldn’t be kind. We’d give Maffy a go in Goal Attack and watch as he repeatedly airballed shots despite his height and proximity to the ring. Generally we’d send his defensive sidekick with him, whoever that happened to be at the time despite their protesting that they couldn’t shoot. Next quarter Skip would get moved from his natural home at Wing Defence to bomb miraculous goals from the edge of the circle and remind us why he was such an inspirational captain while wiggling a finger in the air after each success. Big Ting Tong would work his way through a variety of positions showing a big cheesie grin wherever he was. The goalies would be sent to defense and reminded repeatedly by everyone how they were in the most important positions now. It was always hard moving me to different positions because I was so naturally gifted all over the court and it really didn’t slow us down at all regardless of where I played.

Don’t get me wrong, as a member of such a mighty sporting team, I know what Geelong were going through. If you go flat out for the whole match and crush a team you look horrible. If you go easy and don’t compete at a hundred percent, you look like you’re mocking them and still like a bad sport. So they simply needed to do what the Budgies do: swap positions.

Stick Brad Close into the ruck for a quarter. Move Joel Selwood to full back. Move Tommy Hawkins into the midfield and give him a chance to be a rover. What about Rhys Stanley and the boy from Dartmoor Jeremy Cameron into back pockets? Let Tyson Stengle play on Buddy Franklin for a quarter. Get Sam the water boy out of the crowd at three quarter time and put him on at full forward. This is what the Budgies would do. Prior to Active8 getting rid of mixed netty. Thanks for that by the way, Kyle, with your great 3 on 3 basketball and your high quality basketball coaching, and stylish KT Hoops jumpers. You should send one of those my way I reckon as a peace offering. I’m an XL.

Anyway, well done Cats. After underachieving for the lists you’ve had over the last ten years, you deserved to finally win a premiership, even though I still think you should have won at least another two with the talent you’ve had.

If you want to know who the only team is with a gold premiership cup email me at [email protected]