On a quiet spring afternoon in the Florentine Hills, TPA’s Ben Shine quietly slipped into the empty and unguarded Italian National Football Museum and Training Base, Coverciano. Unaccompanied, he perused the displays of World Cup glory and retraced the footsteps of idols Maldini, Baggio and Sacchi. He shares his experience here. Continue reading “I Sneaked Into Italy’s National Football Museum”
A strong cohort of SCG members – mostly of the Baby Boomer generation – are silently opposed to Pink Day, despite its positive connotations, The Public Apology can confirm.
Day Three of the annual Sydney Test is unofficially known as ‘Pink Day’, with proceeds going towards breast cancer awareness. Attendees are encouraged to don flamboyant pink-coloured attire in support of what is universally acknowledged as a good cause.
Milton Bradfield (not his real name), 67, and a third-generation SCG member, said he feels unfairly pressured into wearing pink coloured clothing to the cricket.
“I pay $3,000 for my membership fees and I want to attend all five days in the clothes of my own choice: pleated slacks with a generic polo. I really resent having to don a grotesquely oversized hot pink cowboy hat simply to reflect my support for what is admittedly a noble cause,” he said.
For others, Pink Day is a source of anxiety. Harold Baker, 79, admitted that he was forced to borrow his wife Martha’s scarf for the occasion.
“I was at a complete loss for what to wear today. We didn’t dress like this in the ’50s,” the war veteran said.
The Public Apology understands that this silent majority will keep their mouths shut and begrudgingly support Pink Day, in fear of being publicly called out by muscled, upwardly-mobile douchebags in the 24-35 age category – who have enthusiastically taken to the event.
Jaryd Smith, 23, from Coogee, said that Pink Day allowed him and his mates to dress up like cross-dressing construction workers without having their sexuality questioned.
“Unless there is a kitschy theme associated with a cause, I find it really it difficult to get behind,” he said.
The Public Apology understands that Smith is also planning to grow an unsightly moustache later this November, despite his staunch, well-documented personal belief that people suffering from depression should just “harden the fuck up.”
By staff writers
Paul Gallen is the human representation of the NRL. If he is depressed, it means Rugby League is also depressed.
Rugby league has been showing classic signs of depression for years.
It has been having trouble remaining interested in daily life. It no longer enjoys once pleasurable activities such as international football – it’s simply been going through the motions for the past decade and a half.
Rugby league also engages in self loathing, reckless behaviour. It makes decisions, like trying to make new friends in Melbourne, which have the unintended effect of turning it’s existing friends in Sydney away.
Rugby league feels helpless and hopeless. Caught between not knowing whatever it wants to be a global entertainment package or a tribal sport with strong Australian roots and rusted on local support, it is riven with a deep existential angst.
Rugby league needs time out. It needs a break and a bit of separation from the negative influences in its life. A weekend break to Bali will not be enough. It needs a one to two year sabbatical in Barcelona, Berlin or somewhere equally foreign.
But rugby league will need more than a break. It will also need psychoanalysis. It needs to lie down on the couch and have a 50-year-old woman with horned glasses and a Germanic name gently probe into its past.
Over the course of twelve one-hour sessions, rugby league will drill down into its own psyche. Deep insecurities stemming from a troubled family life will surface. Events including the messy divorce of parents Kerry and Rupert in the mid 90s, which resulted in the abandonment of children Rabbit, Steel, Bear and others, will be identified as a key driver of rugby league’s current malaise.
But the therapy sessions will go beyond blaming family for all of rugby league’s troubles – for rugby league must accept responsibility for its current predicament. The alcohol-fuelled benders, domestic violence charges and steroid abuse, viewed so often as a symptom of rugby league’s problems, will come to be seen as a fundamental root of the problem, and something that must be addressed in its own right through a series of courses on anger management and substance abuse treatment, as well as daily Transcendental Meditation.
There will be crying and there will be anger, and rugby league will have to ask itself a lot of hard questions. It will go to some pretty dark, disturbing places, yet with the guidance of our therapist, a solid support network of family and friends, and some good old fashioned hard work, rugby league may one day be healthy enough to regain its place as a functioning and contributing member to Australian society*.
By Ben Shine
*This article is not intended to cause offence to those suffering mental illness. For anyone facing difficulties, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.