Readers' Submissions

Silly Seasons



Yah, it’s that time of the year again. When groups of grown men chase an inflated bag of pigskin… Err… Sorry. It’s NOT pigskin. They spent almost half an hour on prime time just describing what space-age materials and processes were used to put the thing together AND keep it round longer. Or why the designs and colours keep changing. Different sponsor, different colour. I think. What was wrong with the brown strips of leather stitched together over that orange rubber bladder? Well, at least the bladder usually outlasted the leather, and would last a few seconds longer than the inflated balloons I used to give my Boxers (of the canine variety) to play with…

Pop! And the boxers are looking around madly for the balloon that has suddenly disappeared, but with the bladder, it was Fssssh! And then they’d be chewing on this saliva and dirt-covered thing while it still had some air left in it. Heh.

In essence, I don’t think the game itself has changed either. Only the media coverage of it. Evidence of this manifests itself in the mornings when you see the obviously bleary-eyed devotees trying to make a sham of getting through the morning, and picking up only as it gets nearer to kick-off time. I’m sure salary packets, too, or at least portions of it, change hands regularly. In the old days, it only happened at the final, part of the reason being the sponsors only wanting to cough up for that one particular game.

And talk of sponsorship. In the old days, I believe sponsorship meant that the sponsor had the privilege of advertising his (or her) particular product at a particular match or series of matches. You paid a certain amount for a slot, and you’d get advertising space. So back then you’d see competing product billboards alongside one another, to attract the attention of the fan. Not any more. These days, sponsorship seems more a case of one-upmanship, with a single mega-sponsor forking out for a whole series of games.

So imagine the consternation of a certain well-known beverage producer that was sponsoring a game, when a whole sea of fans turned out to support their home team, wearing bright-coloured shorts and jerseys sporting their teams colours AND the logo of a competing brand of beverage blazoned across both. The sponsor approached the organisers and complained. So what did the organisers do? They bowed to the sponsor’s pressure and banned the fans from entering to watch the match in those outfits without providing any other alternatives. I am to understand that these fans watched the match in their underwear (or less), which was acceptable to the sponsor, and I would guess, the organisers. What is the game coming to, when the fans (who pay good money to get into the match) are affected by the whims of the sponsor?

I’d rather watch two lots of boxers with different coloured jackets jump around for balls or balloons.

Food for thought. What if you substituted a balloon for the football in a major match, and when that suddenly went Pop! You’d be left with a bunch of hairy, sweaty guys looking around while scratching their scrotums and wondering where it went? Heh, heh.
You can see I’m impressed.

At least I’m not deprived of any sleep by anyone shouting ‘Goal!’ at two in the morning in my house; fortunately the nearest neighbours who have an active interest in the series live outside of earshot. My wife and her sisters do sometimes follow some games, but it’s usually their home side, and I’ll tolerate the noise at the final match where I think practically the whole country will be up. At least my wife will be watching and I get to use her pillows to cover my ears. An extra few beers helps mellow the trauma.
Just another month to go. And just when you think that’s all to suffer through, this pops up…

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Everytime I boot up my computer, it has a nasty habit of defaulting to the home page at ninemsn_dot_au. I’ll usually let the page load up, then quickly skim through before getting on to where I want to go. This caught my attention.

McNaught fights to stay in pageant

Hmmm. What’s this now, who’s Mac Nought? Oh, no! It’s Another Thing that’s going to keep my wife and the rest of the world up at some odd hour, glued to the TV.
The Miss Universe Contest.

Quoted from the article:

“McNaught fights to stay in pageant

Wednesday June 28, 2006

Australian Miss Universe contestant Erin McNaught has urged pageant officials to take a closer look at topless photographs before ruling her out of the beauty contest.

Ms McNaught, a Brisbane model and science student, was crowned Miss Universe Australia two weeks ago and has her plane ticket booked for the finals in Los Angeles on July 23.
But pictures of the beauty wearing only her undies and a cowboy hat, published on the cover of last week's Zoo magazine, have landed her in hot water with international pageant officials, according to media reports.

Snip, snip…

She said since being crowned Australia's Miss Universe, she had turned down offers to do nude pictures because of her involvement in the pageant.”

Sooo…

The Miss Universe Contest. A contest, organised to get all the best-looking women in the world, categorised by country, to go on stage, say inane things about saving the world, then, one by one, in a series of catwalks on the stage, first fully clothed, then with less and less on at each succeeding round, until they’re finally parading in their underwear… And the organisers want to ban her because somebody saw her tits?! What a farce.

The contest itself appears to be to be an internationally sanctioned and televised strip show. With just a lot of glitter to disguise that fact. While there’s probably just as much glitter at Tiffany’s in Pattaya, at least they’re not disguising anything.

Some excerpts from previous contests (may have been heavily edited for clarity)

“My name is Miss Totter Hams from the Untied Kinkdom, and I want to save all the endangered animals of the world…” (Gives vapid smile and unwraps mink stole from around shoulders amid loud applause)

“My name is Miss Holly Woody from the United Estates, and I want to say a great big ‘Yeehaw!’ to all of you..” (Thundering applause, bats eyelids with unusually long eyelashes amid lots of wolf whistles…)

“My name is…..”

Well hurry up and get it over with! When do we get to the underwear part??!!

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So while it’s silly season in most parts of the rest of the world, in some parts of the Land of Smiles it’s low season. Football (soccer to some people) has taken its’ toll, so in another universe, the parades on the stage are largely unappreciated for now. Even though most have dispensed with their underwear…


Stickman's thoughts:

No comments today….unless someone can give me a couple of extra hours!