More Unsporting Than Us

There are some fairly insufferable celebrities floating around the hallways of the Australian socialite scene these days. A smorgasbord of sub-par offerings is enough to close my front door and deadlock it abruptly. The paleo chef Pete Evans' and his interminable spreading of gastronomy gospel makes my parsnips shrivel and elderberries shudder. He might know his Pomme Frites from his Parfaits, but his vacuum packed, freeze dried face makes him look like the Archbishop of a menacing cuisine cult. But even once you escape Parmesan Pete, you're swamped by sickening soliloquy's from the Panel of "The Project". If listening to Carrie Bickmore stumble her way through the most mild of political debates annoys me, I can't even begin to think how the intellectual lioness and credible journalist Leigh Sales feels. As for Steve Price and Waleed Aly? You'd be flat stick finding more self-importance at a Tony Robbins seminar.

The stairway to heaven has always been sport for me. Watching a Neanderthal clobber someone's melon with a swinging forearm often settles me down. There's a sense of escape in witnessing a savage assault from heavyweight slugger Chris Lynn as he clobbers them onto Vulture Street. It is as good to me as a bunger after a Ronnie.  However given that sport is now a very big branch of the entertainment tree, it's inevitable that the detestable would infiltrate the once sacred ground. Which brings me nicely to the rivalry that seems to eclipse all of the aforementioned pillocks in the sea of silliness.

Forget Tyson and Holyfield, or India and Pakistan... Kyrgios and Tomic scrapping tooth and nail for the coveted crown of worlds most infantile blockhead is the most captivating of all, at least for the media. The two most colourful clowns in the circus make no apology for their insanely erratic episodes, and a small part of me prefers that over the mendacious smile of other sporting titans (Clarkey I'm looking squarely at you). But their list of misdemeanours is a mile long, and the average punter is fed up. You know them all already. Kyrgios seems to surrender faster than a French battalion. The slazenger wielding provocateur has slung mud at anyone within his radius, from the media, to fans, to tennis Australia and even just Tennis itself. Not to be outdone, Tomic has gone straight to the epicentre, insulting his chief rival-in-buffoonery. Now that's a duel that even Zoro wouldn't want a bar of. A few months ago the tennis world watched in bewilderment as Tomic began wilting under the scorching Acapulco sun. The mercury soared to a roasting 28 degrees, or a brisk winters morning in the great southern land. Doesn't sound like much but I have it on good authority that centre court felt more like 29, which is borderline torture. Amnesty international should launch an investigation.

But as I read the comments from all and sundry, I don't think we should be winding our chords too tight over them. People seem personally insulted that they are morons. There's a bloodlust and outrage against them that I just can't understand.

Harkening back to an on field sledge by the gentleman and giant of English cricket Andrew Flintoff, allows me to see the lighter side of the lunatics. Addressing an overconfident and talkative Caribbean youngster, Freddie quipped;

 

"This game's got a funny way of biting you in the arse mate. We'll see where you are in 5 years"

 

I suspect in 5 years time we'll all reminisce about that cavalier Spaniard who refused to lay down. Or that Swiss master, abound with grace and glory. When all the sludge and sediment has decomposed, only the diamonds will remain.

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Tom Redman