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Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Michelle Jenneke easily wins her heat at the IAAF Junior World Championships last week. She’s got personality too!

She came fifth in the final, a not discreditable result. On to Rio in 2016.

Well done Michelle!

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Well, I guess that’s what she was trying to do; offer advice to the Australian cricket team as they prepare to face Bangladesh in Dhaka.

That’s the trouble with Julia – you have to guess what she is trying to do. Partly because the outcomes she achieves never seem to match her stated intentions.

We’ll reduce the number of asylum seekers held in detention (by implementing policies which invite huge numbers to come).

We’ll increase employment (by punishing businesses and imposing heavy new taxes on our most productive industries).

You get the idea.

So I’m only guessing when I say that Julia must have been trying to offer our new test captain some helpful advice.

Her suggestion was something she calls the ‘hyperbowl.’

Based on her implementation of this technique, the hyperbowl can be summarised as follows:

A long run up, slow at first, then at a frantic pace towards the end. A flamboyant display is made of bowling with the right arm, but the actual delivery is made under-arm with the left.

That could work.

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Wins a bit of attention for The Age.

Former Treasurer Peter Costello wrote in his column in The Age on Wednesday:

Footballers are not chosen for their moral principles. They do not go into a national draft for budding philanthropists. They can run and catch and kick a ball. What are the clubs thinking when they send them to schools to give guidance on life skills? Any right-thinking parent would quake with fear to hear that footballers were coming to their daughter’s school to give a little bit of inspiration.

Costello refers to a story about a young woman who claims to have had sex with two St Kilda players she met at a school skills clinic, got pregnant, and posted naked pictures of the footballers on the internet to prove it. Except there’s no evidence she was pregnant, and the photos were stolen.

The real story there was the eagerness with which the legacy media take up and publish anything which belittles high profile people or organisations, and the lack of fact checking that takes place before publication. But I guess that’s not news to anyone.

It makes as much sense to say the moral of the St Kilda story is that footballers ought to quake with fear any time they are required to have anything to do with teenage girls as to say that parents should be worried about footballers running a life skills clinic.

Costello says that footballers are not chosen for their moral principles. Well, no. Neither are politicians. If a few sports stars misuse their standing for sexual or financial rewards, that is no reason to suggest that the lot of them are hooligans with nothing useful to say, just as the fact that a few pollies do the same thing is no reason to make assumptions about the morals or effectiveness of the rest.

Star footballers, or people who have reached the top in any field of endeavour, are indeed likely to have useful life skills to teach:

Talent alone will not guarantee success, hard work counts, you make your own luck, teamwork is important, you reach your goals when you have priorities and stick to them, you have to sacrifice some things you might like in order to achieve others.

However, Costello is right about most of this, from the same column:

Whatever else you think of Warne, he ranks as one of the greatest cricketers of all time. Judged as a sportsman, he is simply the best of his generation. But if he aspires to be more than that, he has a problem.

It is common these days for successful sports people to establish philanthropic foundations. Ricky Ponting has one, as does Steve Waugh. And, of course, there is the Shane Warne Foundation “which raises funds to enrich the lives of seriously ill and underprivileged children”. Helping underprivileged children is admirable, but I can’t help thinking that one of those clever publicists has convinced cricketers that charity work will enhance their image and their brand.

When a person takes naming rights on a charity, they are putting their character forward to the public as a reason to make a donation. They are asking people to trust them on the basis of their reputation. They cannot complain if people decide to carefully scrutinise that reputation.

That last paragraph is spot on. But even sleazy blighters can have genuine concern for people in need. Cynicism about good works done by others just makes the cynic look ungenerous.

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I like Julie Bishop. She has been a loyal and hard working deputy leader of the Liberal Party under three different leaders. It is not often I disagree with her.

But she said today that she thought it was important that Australia support India’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games.

No. It’s not.

Or at least, it is less important than the safety and health of athletes and other visitors.

India has had seven years to prepare for the games. The games begin on October 3rd – a week from today. But athletes are arriving to filthy conditions, collapsing beds, non functioning taps, toilets and other basic amenities.

National teams could stay in hotels in the city, at substantial additional expense. But it would not be safe for them to do so. The Indian government has said it cannot guarantee the safety of visitors outside the games village and games venues.

I’m surprised they think they can guarantee a safe location anywhere.

There have been at least fourteen major terrorist attacks in New Delhi since the year 2000. Hundreds of people have been killed.

There have been clear threats from islamic terrorist groups to kidnap athletes and other games visitors. These threats are not new. They have been made by al-Qaeda for the last several years.

Given the high level of risk to games visitors, it is simply inexcusable that India does not have adequate facilities in place a week before the games, and as athletes are arriving.

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I ended my post featuring Morgan Freeman with the suggestion: ‘if you don’t think race should make a difference, stop acting like race makes a difference.’

So I was interested to read in Qantas’ in flight magazine about how jolly well some of those indigenous football players are doing.

Qantas even has a program to help them along, poor dears. Because, you know, of the extra help they need.

The whole tenor of the article was ‘Oh. you’re black, and you’re good at something. Gosh. Well done!’

This is a perfect example of Ayaan Hirsi Ali calls ‘the racism of low expectations.’

It is promoted by race relations commissioners, social workers and the media. It is applied to Australia’s indigenous peoples and to non-white immigrants.

It is insidious, insulting and destructive.

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KFC Australia have withdrawn a TV ad after claims it was racist.

Except that it isn’t racist. At all. Not remotely.

You would only think this was racist if you viewed it through a large number of racist assumptions. Or with the assumption that US stereotypes about African Americans apply in Australia to any non-European people.

The people in the ad are West Indians. Unsurprisingly, they are supporting the West Indies cricket team.  The white guy is not West Indian. He is supporting the Australian cricket team. As in most sporting events, people tend to sit with people who support the same team they do.

Would this be an uncomfortable situation? Oh yes. Would sharing food everyone enjoys make a difference? Maybe. It’s pretty obvious the West Indians are having a good time anyway.

Although I dont’t know why they would be.

The misperceptions of a few whiners in the US don’t make a perfectly innocent and amusing ad into something suspicious.

KFC should have told the whiners to sod off.

Caving into pressure to cut the ad looks like an admission they had done something wrong.

They hadn’t.

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via Hyscience

Tiger Woods will recover as a golfer. Can he recover as a person?

Brit Hume says it depends on his faith – what he needs is forgiveness and redemption.

Brit’s answer: Think about what the Christian faith has to offer.

Wow. It is interesting (and encouraging) to hear that kind of straight talking in a secular news commentary program.

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A woman invites a group of footballers back to her room.  According to Matthew Johns ”She encouraged the players to come forward, she actually says ‘Someone come forward and have sex with me.’ One player said he would, she said ‘No, no, anyone but you,’ and pointed to me, at which point I declined.”

During an interview on the ABC’s Four Corners, the woman said she had felt under pressure, and that the experience left her feeling degraded and suicidal.

But workmate Tanya Boyd has told Channel Nine tonight that the woman openly boasted about the incident with fellow employees. “I was disgusted that a woman can all of a sudden change her story from having a great time to turning it into a terrible crime,” she said.

Matthew Johns’ career is ruined, and an embarrassing moment of weakness and stupidity is public knowlegde. Johns has apologised to the woman. A rape counsellor says his apology is not good enough.

I am not sure he should have apologised at all. He had sex with the woman at her invitation.

She then invited other players to have sex with her. For them to do so was stupid, and unfair to their wives and girlfriends.

In as far as the word has any meaning any more, what they did was immoral.

So was what she did.

I am not surprised that after a few days and some reflection the woman felt ashamed of what she had done, and regretted her decision. But it was as much her decision as it was that of the footballers who accepted her invitation.

It is hard to have any respect either for her or for the footballers. But I would have a great deal more if she had accepted that even if she now regretted her choice to act the way she did,  it was nonetheless her choice.

The woman was an adult. Part of being an adult is taking responsibility for your own decisions. Matthew Johns seems to have done that. She does not.

It is not respectful of women to treat them as children who are incapable of making reasoned choices, who have to be mollycoddled, and others blamed, when they make choices they later regret.

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And is the first South American ever to win the US Masters golf tournament.

Angel Cabrera’s US Master’s prize money is a $1.35 million share of the $7.5 million dollar purse

That’s enough to park in Sydney for nearly 30 years.

Or to buy Kylie Minogue 270 facials. I hope the media isn’t too hard on Kylie for her recent beauty and relaxation expenditure. She deserves a little pampering. She works hard, and she’s had a hard battle with cancer, and she’s one of show business’s genuinely nice people.

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Eighteen year old New Zealand golfer Danny Lee could become the first amateur winner of an Australian PGA event for ten years.

I’m not much of a sports fan really, but I’ll be keeping an eye on the final round today.

Good luck mate!

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Serena Williams is an amazing athlete. The first set of the final over in 22 minutes without conceding a single point on serve.

This makes her the highest earning female athlete in history, with total earnings now approaching $25 million.

It also means she joins an elite group of only six other women with ten grand slam victories. At the top and surely unassailable is Australian Margaret Court Smith with twenty-four.

Congratulations Serena, and thanks for some great entertainment.

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