Monday, August 27, 2007


Who's Afraid? - brief update #7

Another A-League season, another bit of condescending sideline scoffing from the Fairfax media. This time, rather than the bully-boy put-downs of Peter Fitzsimons or the eloquent insanity of Michael Duffy, we have a series of snide remarks from the often quite readable Richard Hinds.

The oh-so-patronising tone is masterly. Some of the comments (such as those concerning guest players) are, in fact, pertinent. But the point needs to be made yet again: no other major sport would be the object of such subtle ridicule in the mainstream media. Not one.

There is one observation in Hinds's piece, too, with which I take particular issue:

You broke down the old ethnic barriers that had made those of us who liked the game feel like lepers at NSL clubs.

Never mind the arrogant exclusivity implied in the word "us" above, the distortion of the truth inherent in the above statement will be obvious to anyone who followed the NSL.

Sadly, the myth that (a) the NSL was made up entirely of ethnic clubs and (b) they treated "us Aussies" like scum has gained considerable currency since the inception of the A-League. For the record, I never felt like a leper in the years I watched (and supported) Sydney Olympic, despite the complete absence of Greek blood in my veins.

Hinds wants a reaction, but it's just getting so boring reading football bashing articles every year. He is a douche bag, but not worth the effort.
There's a delightful irony about Hinds attempting to be both witty and slating about Football, whilst choosing to ignore the major issues with crowd trouble at AFL games.

Fitzsimons, you can ignore: his articles can't be taken seriously because he professes to only 'know' Union...he knows he's ignorant, so any carping from him sounds just cute, and taking him seriously is stupid.

Hinds is yer atypical white-bread Aussie journo. He's still wrapped up in the eighties when it comes to football, and because of that, there's no point in taking him seriously either.

He's a guy that revels in hate-mail; he likes to generate a response. Whenever a mail comes through to him after an article is printed, it's a victory for him no matter whether it's positive or negative.

But it's not like he's ever going to be usurped by a better journo. Let's face it, the best the Herald has for Football is the likes of Cockerill, Foster and Hall.

They don't exactly set the bar high down there in Darling Park.
Since 1997-1998, at least half of the NSL (and a slight majority from 1998-1999 onwards) were not "ethnic" clubs.
Aside from some clumsy polemic, such as the one you have highlighted Mike, Hinds' article isn't too bad. Good publicity for the League overall in my opinion. In a way the sort of defensive, patronising praise he delivers is the best kind of praise - it's real. He's certainly not speaking on behalf of the FFA.
Think some of you are being way too harsh on Hinds. He is one of the better columnists in Australian sport and in my opinion has always been fair.

His style is tongue-in-cheek and I liked this article. The ethnic thing is a stereotype, but the truth is irrelevant (as are statistics). Perception is all that matters and for many years the perception was that the NSL was an ethnic league.

Much more positives than negatives about the game in Hinds' article.
I wasn't too concerned with the article either. At least the Fairfax media give a nice balance in their reporting. It may have come across as slightly patronising, but just be comforted by the fact that his kid loves our game and the A-League.

I was far more concerned with the treatment of The Weekend Australian. On the weekend of the first HAL Round, the only article they had on the league was this one from Louis White -,,22302594-2722,00.html

Incidentally, he wrote another negative article just after the first season on the league's combined losses for the first campaign. He sounds like a nasty piece of work.

It may be dealing with facts, but he quite conveniently overlooks the overall positives of the league, as does that rag of a paper in general. If only they reported the NRL's losses...

It's interesting, but even the much maligned Daily Tele and The Hun have provided some decent coverage for our league in recent weeks. Yet the so-called national paper - from the same Murdoch stable - has provided woeful, agenda driven reporting since the inception of the league.

As far as I'm concerned, our coverage has improved vastly in the last two years, but The Australian and Channels 7 and 9 are still foremost among the enemies of our game. Even Melbourne Bloody Storm receives more free-to-air exposure on the News 'services' than Victory, despite only having a third of our crowds!
Exactly guys, i ahte how everyone rags out the old NSL

just realise that the NSL did produce some great players, Viduka anyone? Bresciano? Grella?????

I dunno if its just me.. but the NSL at one point in time seemed like a FAR more technical league than the A-league is atm (which is about 90% physical play atm)......
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