Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Who's Afraid - update #8

In tomorrow's Daily Telegraph, I fully expect to see a searing, in-depth investigation into the culture of on-field and off-field violence in rugby league...by Tom Smithies, or maybe David Davutovic.

That, after all, would be the logical follow-up to this breathless beat-up.

Josh Massoud, I'll have you know, is the current News Awards Sports Journalist of the Year. What on earth is the News Awards, you ask? Oh, an orgy of self-congratulation dreamed up by the Murdoch press when they felt they weren't getting enough Walkleys. One of the stories for which Massoud received this honour was, apparently, the extraordinary journalistic scoop of asking a few questions over a reclusive former Socceroo captain's garden fence, and getting no significant answers whatsoever. Groundbreaking stuff.

But I digress. The key point, of course, is that Massoud is basically a rugby league writer.

That's worth remembering when he launches into a torrent of emotive language in describing the unsavoury incidents at Saturday night's Sydney v. Melbourne encounter:

...horrifying scenes...thuggish behaviour on and off the pitch...stone age of fire and brimstone...despised spirit of the now-defunct NSL...wicked consequences...a disturbing ritual...

It's bad, folks. Personally, I'm considering leaving the country before the streets degenerate into hellish lawlessness.

I need barely add that Saturday night's behaviour was absolutely mild compared with some of the things that occur as a matter of course, on and off the field, in the NRL.

One of the most laughable aspects of the article was that, in searching desperately for a damning quote in relation to the Griffiths "incident", he eventually has recourse to...a rugby league referee!

(Next time a particularly brutal incidence of eye-gouging occurs in a league match, I trust that Matthew Breeze will be consulted as to the appropriate punishment.)

May I suggest, once more, that an appropriate response to Mr. Massoud's cynical denigration is not to write him a fiery, vitriolic reply. He will enjoy it, and will continue with more of the same in future.

Rather, the best that fans could do, in my view, is to simply ignore such provocative rubbish, continue to come to games, support the sport in all its forms...and not do stupid things like throwing bottles at under-performing referees.

It would be wonderful if the likes of Mr. Massoud were given nothing to bite on.

Spot on mikey, as per usual.

It's best ignored. There is no point replying as thats exactly what he wants.

Just quietly, I see worse in the first five minutes at a cricket match. All they ever report on is the amount of people ejected, which is usually more than 100.

It's amazing how people like Massoud manage to find employment - then again, its a sad fact that 90% of sports writers in this country are largely incompetent.

It's fitting then that a rag like the Tele employs them.
I think you are being unfairly negative towards Mr. Massoud.

He clearly deserves his award for his groundbreaking ability to push through the strict maximum-three-syllables per word restrictions on hate pieces.
How dim would you have to be not to see through it ? Oh, Telegraph reader dim...
In full agreement - it was laughable - especially the Harrigan quotes - but by season three we now expect it from news ltd papers - and as you say, you know when they don't use a regular A league writer the story has been set up as a hatchet job.

I was at the SFS game on Saturday night - as a snapshot, the seats near me were full of friendly families and kids - two weeks ago I was at the SFS in the same unreserved section for the Manly NRL semi where the seats near me were taken up by a large element of obnoxious drunks young and old.

Meanwhile good crowds continue to attend the A-League - like the almost 13k at Gosford on Sunday - with many new spectators amongst them.
Great post Mike. I was so angry I also had to write something
...Great post Mike. I was so angry I also had to write something...

Good stuff gweeds. Have replied on your blog.

And just to mention it here as well: some of the SFC fans have suggested making a banner for the next game simply detailing the average number of ejections in the other football codes (and the cricket), compared to football. Should make interesting reading for the usual News Ltd. football refuser suspects.
Great piece Mike, you really are a chip off the old-man's block - first heard about it on 2ky this morning - it's all the goobers wanted to talk about - and then when i saw it was massoud it all made sense - the guy is a dead-set puppet of phil rothfield, the telecrap sports editor, a leaguie if ever there was one.

You can just picture the editorial meeting yesterday, rothfield and his league cronies - chesterton and gibson - winding up young josh, and off he goes.
What surprises me is the way Foxsports has joined in.
Along the same lines...the SANFL Grand Final (AFL) took place in Adelaide on the weekend.

4 flares were let off by centrals supporters and reported as...

""The Bulldogs humbled the Roosters by 65 points at AAMI Stadium in front of a crowd of 30,400. Exuberant fans set off flares at either end of the ground after Central's first goal, and a third was let off in the last quarter."


Yet a flare let off at Hindmarsh...its those 'soccer hooligans' again.
John: "What surprises me is the way Foxsports has joined in."

It's a wishful thinking myth that FOX has pecuniary interest in growing soccer. FOX's pecuniary interest is in its sports audience, most of which watch other sports on FOX. If soccer grows to the extent that a) a free-to-air contract becomes financially viable, and b) other football codes suffer, then FOX has everything to lose. FOX's money has been spent to contain soccer and monopolise it, not to develop it further. That becomes clearer all the time. It's just good business.
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