THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #117 – Oi Oi Oi!

 In which we this week look at various sports featuring various Australians and discuss the chant that has made drunken Australian sports lovers as well-loved the world over as a fart in an elevator.

Australian Rules Football
International Rules
Ireland 1.11.13 (52) def by Australia 0.14.13 (55)
News:
The draw for the 2011 AFL competition has been released. Whereas the AFL rigged the draw for the past 5 years to gift Collingwood a grand final, now that that has paid off it looks like Carlton is the next Melbourne team to be given a grand final win. Their draw is so heavily biased it is almost unbelievable. I did say ‘almost unbelievable’, because the two big Melbourne clubs winning flags means more money for the AFL from Melbourne and that is all Demetriou cares about – money.

Cricket
Twenty20 International
Australia v Sri Lanka
Australia 8/133; Sri Lanka 3/135 (16.3 overs) – Sri Lanka hammered Australia by 7 wickets.
            Considering the team is made up primarily of players from Victoria and New South Wales (what a shocker!), and it was South Australia who did the best in the recent T20 world club champion ship, is this result a surprise to anyone?
News
Two bits of news.
            First, Cricket Australia is in hot water over a publicity stunt for the upcoming Ashes, where a holographic image was broadcast onto the House of Parliament. They did not get planning permission and face legal action and a hefty fine. This brings two things to mind. First, the English clearly have no sense of humour. Second, Cricket Australia think that this is more important than getting our team right for the series. Mind you, I thought it was funny.
            Second, the English team has been told their WaGs (Wives and Girlfriends) are not welcome on the tour this time, apart from a brief Christmas window. It’s about time. While I can see the side of the story that says they miss their families, this sort of distraction can be detrimental to a team. And, as was shown in a recent Australian team, when the WaGs don’t get along, the whole team suffers. Well done, England; this might be the little thing to tip the scales in your balance.

Soccer
A-League Round 12
Melbourne Victory 2 def Adelaide United 1
            Adelaide’s first loss for the year. And it was against Melbourne. They just cannot beat the Victory, can they?
Sydney 1 drew with Brisbane Roar 1
Central Coast Mariners 5 completely embarrassed Perth Glory 0
Newcastle Jets 0 def by Melbourne Heart 2
North Queensland Fury 1 def by Gold Coast United 2
News:
Why bother?

Basketball
NBL – Round 3
New Zealand 84 def Melbourne 79
Perth 87 def Wollongong 84
Gold Coast 92 def Cairns 81
Townsville 80 def Sydney 79
Adelaide 82 def by Wollongong 96
WNBL – Round 4
Canberra 93 def Adelaide 76
Logan 80 def Dandenong 68
AIS 86 def Adelaide 79
Sydney 83 def by Canberra 87
Bulleen 85 def Bendigo 55
Townsville 73 def Dandenong 66
News:
Apparently the players in the Greek League are striking at the moment. The first round started this weekend with a few strike breakers and a lot of foreigners. Riot police attended all the games. Sit-ins occurred. In one game all the spectators were ejected.
            Australian basketball really is boring. Thank God.

Rugby League
I had this as union last week. My bad. It’s actually league, so I’ll start again…
Four Nations
New Zealand 24 def England 10
Australia 42 def Papua New Guinea 0
New Zealand 76 def Papua New Guinea 12
Australia 34 def England 14

Rugby Union
Tri-Nations / Bledisloe Cup
Australia 26 def New Zealand 24
            In Hong Kong! No home ground advantage. Does this mean that Australia is actually better than New Zealand? Only in this one case. The two countries are both very good and either could have come out on top on any given day. And the closeness of the score says just that. Great game. (And thank God for the Internet or else I never would have seen it.)

Australia!
During the course of the past week Australia managed to get its first saint in Mary MacKillop, giving more fire to the outdated religion that is Catholicism to stake a claim as Australia’s premier religion. But that is by the by – worshipping dead people before God is something Catholics do very well.
            The issue was with a group of Australians in the Vatican when the proclamation was made. What did they do? Yes, they chanted. And not ‘Nearer my God to Thee.’ No no no. It was “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!” Yes, that boofhand bogan cry was used at what is considered a solemn, religious ceremony.
            Mind you, all it takes is 3 Australians and three cans of beer in the middle of a crowd of any size, throw in something vaguely patriotic and the cry rings out like a car alarm at 3am. Sporting events the world over have rung out to a sound that is second in the annoyance stakes only to the vuvuzela. Well, now there is serious discussion that it needs to be replaced in the Australian psyche.
            Several prominent people have called for it to be replaced and a majority of Australians (according to a NewsPoll) are embarrassed by it. The problem with it is twofold. First, it is not used exclusively at sporting events. It was there at Mary’s canonisation. It’s at Gallipoli each year. It rang out at Fromelles during the interment of the bodies in a new cemetery. It was even shouted out at more than one political rally during the recent Federal election. Second, it’s not Australian. It was stolen from some British groups.
            Yes, it is harmless. And I sort of don’t mind it at sporting events (though hearing it when Australia came 53rd out of 52 competitors in the Olympics was a little bit sad), but its constant use is nothing short of stupid. Sure, it’s bad enough for our reputation in the world when Schutzenfest in Germany has special tents for Australians only because they cannot control themselves, but to compound it with an inane, imbecilic cry just makes us look more like yobs than we already are.
            The next problem is what do we replace it with? And considering the literacy levels of the FaceBook / mobile phone generation all about us, it’s going to be one hell of a lot worse.

And that’s the View through to November 1, 2010.

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