Sports yesterday, today and tomorrow celebrate great victories whether on the local, national or international stage and everyone loves a winner in sport.
The reality is that for every winner there are necessarily oodles of ‘also-rans’ and ‘runners-ups’ – it is the nature of both team and individual sport.
And hype is everywhere. To promote an upcoming fixture the media energizers the hype and it is advertised and heralded at every turn. This is what hype does.
The question remains of course, when the team or athlete does not perform according to the hype, who picks up the proverbial pieces.
This very week we saw two very different reactions.
The French Open Tennis winner Australian Ash Barty, the under-dog, the unassuming lass from way west of Brisbane, a provincial town called Ipswich, did the astonishing thing and won the thing.
Hype was not permitted. This young lass like us, spoke ordinary, no million dollar minders, no media team protecting every word – one of us.
Then consider the Matilda’s, the Australian women’s soccer team. I was listening to the national broadcaster radio two days before their World Cup match against Italy. Dead certs! Winning, it seemed was a matter of simply turning up.
Hype was front and centre of this miracle squad. They’d done and that, specific players were beyond belief. It seemed as though each player has their own boot lace tie’r upper‘r …. Sadly, they appeared to believe the hype. Not a sensible voice on the bus.
After losing the match and travelling to the next World Cup venue it was reported they entered the motel through a side entrance, no one was allowed to speak to the media, look at the media, wave to the media, smile at the media … out of bounds. Untrustworthy.
Finally it seems someone got on that bus and told them the realities of fake news – hey, hype is not the real world. It media cannon fodder so the media moguls can fill their coffers. Moreover, true champions realise that out in the bush, newspapers are cut into rectangular shapes for the out-back dunny’s.
We all witnessed the recent Australian federal election where hype had one side winning hands-down – when the results came in it was just the opposite – and one national broadcasting commentator with false news hyperbole exclaimed “we lost” – that’s real bipartisan hype.
Pity someone didn’t alert the soccer girls to the realities of the federal election..
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html