We Need Rogers, The Final Vestige Of Yesteryear

There has been a groundswell of online support – tweets and the like – to rush David Warner back into the third test tomorrow. Just consider that sentence for a moment before continuing with this article.

Unlike many cricket fans nostalgic for success against the ‘Old Enemy’, I’m concerned that the selectors, in their haste for instant success, will rush Warner back in to replace seasoned opener Chris Rogers – who has been given just two tests to prove he has what it takes to single-handedly negate a rampant English bowling attack as his fellow top order batsmen fail miserably around him.

A lot has been made of Rogers’ age – he’s 36 – and that we must “look to the future” when selecting the Australian cricket team. This is simply shit logic, not to mention ageist, and disregards the fact that cricket is not necessarily a young man’s game, despite what they’ll have you believe.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, men in their early 20s were not cunts more mature than they are now. That’s irrefutable. The rise of reality TV, social media and T20 cricket – all avenues to instant fame – was still decades away. Therefore, against this backdrop, players learned the true value of grafting out innings of substance,”earning their stripes” and forging a test career.

Waugh: mature beyond his years

Rogers is from this era. No one else in the Australian cricket team is. We need this final vestige of yesteryear if we are to prosper.

Test cricket, proper and pure, is anathema to everything about the mentally lazy 21st century society. A large proportion of Australians are now upwardly mobile yet unsure what to do with their sudden wealth. We drift aimlessly between careers and relationships, but lack the application to truly understand why we do so. Those who do have a “solid” career, “significant other” and a “nice” house remain unsatisfied; a growing dissatisfaction lurks beneath, irrepressibly.

Rogers is proven. He has amassed a veritable fuck-ton of runs – so let him play! He may be 36-years-old, but look past the bookish glasses, melanoma-prone skin and date of birth, and you’ll see that Rogers is also a metaphor. A final link to a forgone era where men were men and Twitter/Facebook were just silly fake words yet to be invented.

Seriously?

Sure, they’ll probably pick Dave Warner to open with Shane Watson. And they may blast a 300 run opening partnership in the third test by tea on the first day. But it won’t have the same galvanising effect that a staunch 86*at stumps would have on the team.

Give me Rogers. Give me staunch, unattractive cricket that will make the viewers turn off in droves. In this grotesque era of million-dollar IPL contracts, 300% T20 strike rates and Tweeting fucktards, we need simplicity. We need to be annoyed by slow run scoring and dour batting, basically, for our own good as well as that of the Australian cricket team.

Fuck Bürgen® Soy-Lin® bread; I want WonderWhite.

By Dave Edwards

 

A Rough Timeline Of Sporting Posters On My Bedroom Wall

1990-92: Allan Border playing a wristy square cut with a grill-less helmet;

1992-93: Mal Meninga taking a hit up; Tony Modra taking a trademark leaping mark, David Campese mid-goose step;

1995-6: Split poster featuring Waratahs Tim Gavin and Sam Payne. Also, several NSW Blues cricketers (Waugh brothers, Michael Slater, Michael Bevan) engaged in elegant strokeplay;

1996: Sun Herald liftout of Manly v St George grand final matchup;

1997: Glenn McGrath front on action shot (wrist cocked during his ‘gather’) during those days when the Australian One Day cricket strip had lightning bolts all over it. A general proliferation of “team posters” torn out of Big League;

1998-2000: A heavy focus on Rugby League Week and Big League liftouts, too many to mention. Laurie Daley featured prominently, I’ll say that much. Several Sports Illustrated ‘models’ crept into the mix, too, despite their tenuous sporting link;

2001 – current: Nothing. Hoping to develop an appreciation for modern art sometime soon.

By Dave Edwards

The Sydney Swans Are Really, Really Liquid

If the Sydney Swans football club was a business, it would be ‘liquid’ as fuck.

The team is simply overflowing with assets. Just take the midfield for example: names like Josh Kennedy, Daniel Hannebury and Kieren Jack lead the competition in basically every statistic imaginable – with young players like Tom Mitchell exploding onto the scene this year.

They’re so deep in the midfield that Jude Bolton, the club’s “heart and soul” and best midfielder over the past decade, has been moved to the half-forward line, where he’s hungrily racking up possessions like an investment banker on a bit of Tuesday night gear.

“Come on lads, it’ll help us work harder”

The Swans boast an enviable corporate culture, testament to their “everyone buys in” no dickheads philosophy. The club looks after its players/employees and, in turn, is able to generate amazing amounts of good-will that many clubs can only aspire to.

The Swans first became business-like under former coach Paul Roos, who implemented this club culture. He decided to create a “leadership group” – kind of a ‘C-suite’ executive tier – and made players accountable to everyone else for their actions. What’s more, Roos pursued atypical recruiting avenues, scouting players from (often overseas) basketball and rugby union backgrounds. He basically redefined the role of the modern AFL coach: approachable and innovative, with a strong business nous.

British chef Jamie Oliver had a documentary-style TV series a few years ago, Jamie’s Kitchen, in which he trained a group of disadvantaged youths with the end goal of offering them chef jobs at his high-profile eatery, Fifteen. By throwing these youngsters – many with drug problems – a career lifeline, Oliver was able to extract the best out of them at a time when everyone else had lost belief in them.

Every piss-weak opinion article needs an analogy, right?

Similarly, it is amazing what the Sydney Swans’s collective mentally is able to bring out of its own recruits. The club has been effectively the Jamie’s Kitchen of the AFL world, bringing in troubled players such as Barry Hall and Kurt Tippett and having them “buy into” the Bloods culture – and having that gamble repaid in full.

Being appreciated at work is important for any employee. If your boss doesn’t give a shit about you and sees you as a commodity, you’re unlikely to put in your all for the organisation. That’s why the Swans have succeeded over the past decade to foster a strong blend of young, talented players and mid-career recruits. By treating everyone equally and putting no-one on a pedestal, the Swans’ corporate culture is rightly held up as industry standard.

Even though the Swans are currently missing a host of gun players – Adam Goodes, Lewis Jetta, Sam Reid, Lewis Roberts-Thompson, etc – you could be excused for not even noticing their absence. The faith that coach John Longmire has shown in fringe players like Jesse White, Dane Rampe and Jed Lamb is such that they are making a case for inclusion even when the injured players return.

The Swans share price continues to climb because analysts continue to rate the stock highly. The 12-month outlook is strong and the near-term gains outweigh the risks. HOLD.

By Dave Edwards