BBC BLOGS - BBC Sport: Tom Fordyce
« Previous | Main | Next »

The downer Down Under

Tom Fordyce | 13:22 GMT, Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Just when you thought you'd had all your Christmas presents, you wake up to find another beauty left under the tree.

Rip off the wrapping paper, and there it is - Australia's sporting supremacy, smashed into hundreds of tiny pieces.

For sports fans around the world, battered into weary submission by years of Australian dominance, the sight is as sweet as it is surprising.

A first home cricketing series defeat in 16 years? Allowing a touring team to successfully chase down 414 in the fourth innings, and then escape from 184-7 to 459 all out in the next match?

It isn't meant to be like this. Ordinarily, Australian conquers while Britons capitulate. They do the exercise, we do the eating. They do the success, we do the self-deprecation.

puntblog.jpg

But South Africa's triumph over Ricky Ponting's boys, and the preceding series defeat in India, are only two aspects of it.

There's a decent argument that this has been the worst sporting year in Australian history.

Linger, unless you're in green and gold, on the following results from 2008 - the ultimate austrannus horribilis, if you will.

  • Sixth place in the Olympics medal table - an acceptable showing unless you see where Great Britain finished. It's hard to say what must have been more painful - failing to win a single men's swimming gold, or having to watch your sports minister don a Team GB tracksuit top
  • Losing the rugby league World Cup for the first time since 1975, to a side beaten 30-6 in the tournament's opening game, and then having coach Ricky Stuart quit in disgrace after being caught abusing the match officials
  • Being beaten in football World Cup qualifiers by China and Iraq
  • Not having a single male or female tennis player ranked in the world's top 50
  • Having an Aussie golfer leading the Open going into the final round, only for him to then to card a seven-over-par 77 to finish six shots behind the winner

It gets worse. You might have missed it at the time, but Australia also lost both matches in the annual International Rules Football contest against Ireland (Aussie Rules meets Gaelic Football).

The mulleted Simon Whitlock was vanquished by Wales's Mark Webster in the final of the BDO world darts championships, while Australia's only Grand Prix driver, Mark Webber, broke his leg cycling at his own charity event.

And while the Wallabies might have gained partial revenge for their World Cup defeats by England with the thrashing at Twickenham in November, they were also spanked by the All Blacks in their last three meetings.

ausblog.jpg

Now - all this may just be a blip, a freakish one-off never to be repeated.

Cricket fans in particular will be wary of celebrating too loudly, fearful that, like a monster in a horror film, the Aussie corpse will suddenly flick open an eye and stagger to its feet, roaring wildly before devouring every Englishman within reach.

It's happened before. Look what followed last time anyone dared dream that the beast had been slain, after the Ashes in 2005 - it went back into its cave, re-grew all the severed limbs and ripped England to shreds in the following series.

It's also not as if British sport had a year untainted by failure. The England cricket team were also dismantled at home by South Africa and away in India, while its rugby team in both codes went from bad to worse.

Then again, what about Lewis Hamilton? Wales's rugby team? Scotland's Chris Hoy? Not to mention the other 46 Olympic medallists?

It was the business in Beijing which seemed to hurt Australians most.

As sports writer John Birmingham wrote in his Olympic blog, "Frankly I don't care where we sit on the tally as long as it's somewhere in front of those gappy-toothed sock and sandal wearing (expletive deleted to comply with revised BBC guidelines)."

Christmas is a time for overindulging in a guilt-free manner. So with that in mind, enjoy this unprecedented Aussie anguish as much as you like, unfettered by fears of what might happen next year.

Australia - allow the rest of the sporting world this brief moment in the sun. We have every expectation that we'll be eating humble pie for Christmas dinner this time in 2009.

Until then, let the schadenfreude flow.

Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 4:36pm on 30 Dec 2008, Michael Owen - No7 - SAVE 606 wrote:

    A very clever, light hearted article, and a very enjoyable read. But, Tom, and i'm afraid to say this, your warning is spot on. I imagine that we can expect a resurgent sporting body within Australia over the next year...

    Lets hope we are ready for it...

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 5:01pm on 30 Dec 2008, Mark wrote:

    Australia fought hard in this series but in reality they are a shadow of their former side.
    I would say currently they are below the West Indies in terms of talent and only slightly better than Bangladesh (Bangladesh have a superior batting line up).
    Amazing to think how 2 players carried them through so many games, what chances of unearthing another Warne, players like this usually only come along once in a lifetime?

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 5:06pm on 30 Dec 2008, Monocotylidon wrote:

    i love wotchin da ozzies fail nd dat just sums it all rite up

    thanks 4 such an enjoyable read

    loved it?

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 5:06pm on 30 Dec 2008, Monocotylidon wrote:

    i love wotchin da ozzies fail nd dat just sums it all rite up

    thanks 4 such an enjoyable read

    loved it!

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 5:07pm on 30 Dec 2008, Michael Owen - No7 - SAVE 606 wrote:

    Whilst I did not expect the current decline that Australia find themselves in, to say they are below West Indies in terms of talent, is an outrage. Mitchell Johnson? Ricky Ponting? Michael Hussey? Andrew Symonds? Brett Lee? They are still moulding as a team, the gap left by Mcgrath, Warne and Langer are massive, the Australians are still adjusting.

    Bangladesh are an up and coming side, and with the right direction and focus, can soon become a very tricky opposition, especially in Bangladesh. But Australia's batting line up is far, far superior to that of Bangladesh's...

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 5:39pm on 30 Dec 2008, snowy_ajw wrote:

    A wonderful recap on Australia's failings in the past year - nothing better to watch than Aussies getting beat!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 5:51pm on 30 Dec 2008, Jordan D wrote:

    Maybe they'll lead us into a false sense of security until they thump us in the Ashes.

    That's one prediction I'd like to be wrong at.

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 5:54pm on 30 Dec 2008, Saintsforever wrote:

    Sure it's not been a great year for Australia, but it's hardly a worry for them considering how they normally do.
    What would be better is for the British media to actually report the achievments of our own sports stars outside of football cricket, rugby and tennis more effectively. Then it wouldn't come as such a surprise to the general public when they do really well. Most of our successful athletes in the Olympics were previous Olympic and/or World champions so I expected them to do well.
    I don't really like articles like this, since you are getting close to lowering yourself to the level of the Australian tabloid media. I also don't agree with the generalisation that Brits capitulate. Losses come from not being good or prepared enough.
    Country for country we are strong at most sports and in sports that are properly organised we are very strong. This points to an Australian-style setup where if you put the money in and get the structure and attitude right, you will be successful. Nationality becomes irrelevant.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 5:56pm on 30 Dec 2008, Konrad wrote:

    "I would say currently they are below the West Indies in terms of talent and only slightly better than Bangladesh (Bangladesh have a superior batting line up)."


    Not quite. The West Indies have one world class player (Chanderpaul). The Australians still have several, despite lacking in the bowling department.

    And how can you compare the Bangladeshi batsmen to the Australians? The Australians have three batsmen who average over 50 in Test Cricket. An average of 40 would be phenomenal for Bangladesh.

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 6:15pm on 30 Dec 2008, JohnSmiths2 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 11. At 6:50pm on 30 Dec 2008, AndieRae wrote:

    Jaques, Symonds, Lee, Watson, Clark all injured. They'll be back for sure. As for the rest, yippee! Get that Team GB trackie on! You beauty!

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 7:07pm on 30 Dec 2008, Duneworld wrote:

    Englandman makes a few very good points.

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 7:43pm on 30 Dec 2008, Mike Martin wrote:

    Tom: I wouldn't worry about Australia losing to China and Iraq; they qualified for the last WCQ stage with a match to spare and fielded an experimental side against China.

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 8:07pm on 30 Dec 2008, newmarket1978 wrote:

    Absolutely love it. First thing I have done the last few weeks is look at the score in the morning. Could not believe my ears when they said the saffers had a first innings lead of 60 odd. Thought I was hearing things. We all know it will be a blip and revenge will be forth coming, probably next year. But by god it feels so very, very nice to have a gloat. It has been a long, long time. And yes I will enjoy the moment whilst it is here. Long may it last. Now come on and whitewash them and demote them to number 2.

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 8:13pm on 30 Dec 2008, rockrjg2008 wrote:

    isn't Lleyton Hewitt Australian and in the World's Tennis top 50?

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 8:16pm on 30 Dec 2008, Brian Walsh wrote:

    Cadel Evans was my highlight - talk about bad loser!!!!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 8:26pm on 30 Dec 2008, BakkiesXV wrote:

    Cadel Evans second again in the Tour de France.
    First Gold Medal in men's pole vault.
    A rare silver medal for a white woman in the Women's 110 metre hurdles.
    The Wallabies beating the All Blacks 34-19 and winning getting away wins in SA, Paris and Twickenham for the first time ever in the same season.
    That golfer is over 50 and a part timer showed up most of the field.
    The Socceroos are one of the form teams in Football, only lost twice under their current coach.

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 8:34pm on 30 Dec 2008, Mark wrote:


    Outrage :D Hitler was an outrage, and Stalin not my post.
    Moulding the team is about right though, this lot have more mould than a piece of old cheese, no way are they good enough, if England don't marmalise them then that will be England's fault for screwing up (again) this lot are not up to it.

    'Whilst I did not expect the current decline that Australia find themselves in, to say they are below West Indies in terms of talent, is an outrage. Mitchell Johnson? Ricky Ponting? Michael Hussey? Andrew Symonds? Brett Lee? They are still moulding as a team, the gap left by Mcgrath, Warne and Langer are massive, the Australians are still adjusting.

    Bangladesh are an up and coming side, and with the right direction and focus, can soon become a very tricky opposition, especially in Bangladesh. But Australia's batting line up is far, far superior to that of Bangladesh's...'

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 8:35pm on 30 Dec 2008, waldovski wrote:

    I'm neither an Aussie nor an Englishman, but I have to say even when Australia seem to be at their weakest, the Englishmen cannot help but put their massive inferiority complex on public display through articles such as these. The author was really clutching at straws with the football, F1, tennis and golf examples.

    "It was the business in Beijing which seemed to hurt Australians most."

    No, it was the cricket and the rugby league that hurt them the most, but I can see the motive for deliberately misleading the readers by innocently picking something that England actually did better than Australia at (Did I say England? I meant Britain. It's the same thing anyway; it's not like the "home-nations" want separate teams or anything right? Oh) as opposed the disasters that are the England cricket and RL teams.

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 8:39pm on 30 Dec 2008, Mark wrote:


    Greg Norman was a credit to anyone over 40 let alone 50, an unreal performance in the Open.

    'The Socceroos are one of the form teams in Football,' ? Thats scraping the barrel slightly.

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 8:39pm on 30 Dec 2008, wirral18 wrote:

    BakkiesXV could you name the teams the socceroos have beaten over the past couple of years?? would be interesting to see if any of them contain 11 professional footballers.

    Why has everyone gone on about Australian sport for the past few years they have been VERY lucky at the olympics. Take out the swimming what are they good at??

    Australian cricket has been on the slide for years and have been very lucky they had some of the best players the game has ever seen in the same team at the same time. And looking at the ones coming through i could see them sliding down the rankings further year on year.

    We Brits forget all the sports we have world champions at, why hasnt anyone mentioned boxing?? name an australian boxer. Our athletics is improving, especially in the womens. name some australian athletes???

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 8:39pm on 30 Dec 2008, mave4iona wrote:

    The last point in post 18 has to be one of the funniest things i've read in ages! I'm sure the socceroos are one of the form sides in the world right now, and beating teams like Fiji and China must be quite a challenge!

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 8:44pm on 30 Dec 2008, Mark wrote:


    It's called banter and humor do you have those where your from?

    I'm neither an Aussie nor an Englishman, but I have to say even when Australia seem to be at their weakest, the Englishmen cannot help but put their massive inferiority complex on public display through articles such as these.

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 8:51pm on 30 Dec 2008, mave4iona wrote:

    I think you'll find it's humour! I think you'll find it's more to do with having to put up with Aussie gloating when ever they win something.....it's just nice to turn it around every now and then!

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 8:53pm on 30 Dec 2008, AussiegoonerAussie wrote:

    The socceroos beat The netherlands earlier this year, nonetheless its being a rather disappointing year this year for all the aussies.
    But don't count us out yet or underestimate us!.

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 8:55pm on 30 Dec 2008, 8598craig wrote:

    As an unashamedly biased Aussie sporting fan, it has been a slightly tougher than usual year! Without making too many excuses, with a population nearly triple the size of Australia's, Great Britain should beat us in an Olympic medal tally and should consider it a failure if they don't. Coming 6th with only the 51st highest population in the world isn't too bad an effort, beaten perhaps only by Jamaica.
    To the cricket, replacing Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist and Langer is impossible but the future is still bright. The domination that we've seen for the last 15 or so years may never happen again and the resurgence of India and South Africa is great for the game. Below the West Indies and only slightly better than Bangladesh.....! You probably need to watch a bit more cricket mate. Watch out England in 2009!
    Having a half-hearted shot at Mark Webber is a bit lame considering he was raising money for children but I'll let that one pass through. Hopefully 2009 is the yeat that the UK's bubble will burst around Lewis Hamilton and you will realise that he is possibly the least popular and most uncelebrated World Champ around the rest of the globe.
    Fair call on the rugby league, can't find an argument for that one. Darts??? We had someone in the final of a World Championship??? Well there you go.... Didn't exactly hit the headlines Down Under.
    Anyhow, enjoy our brief slump on the world's sporting fields.... Bring on the Ashes!

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 9:04pm on 30 Dec 2008, Mathna wrote:

    Advance Australia Fair...... Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 9:06pm on 30 Dec 2008, yorkshiresno1fan wrote:

    Make no mistake, The Austrailians will be up for the ashes in 2009. It's great to see them presently on their knees and there's a new world order in South Africa and India, but England aren't the team they were in 2005 by a long chalk. It'll be close but I still think the Aussies will shade it i'm afraid. I'm not talking my country down - just been realistic. England have to get past a resurgent West Indies first...

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 9:23pm on 30 Dec 2008, boils wrote:

    The Aussie obsession with beating England is pretty funny, childish and funny again. Mostly in jest I know.

    If only they gathered today, wrote it all down and put it to film we wouldn't have to be exposed to the dribble that is the film Australia!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 9:25pm on 30 Dec 2008, roverinboro wrote:

    I admire the Aussies for how they have managed to punch above there weight in terms of population in the sporting field.

    But they are such bad sportsmen, when they win they boast about not having decent competition and when they lose its everyones fault but theirs!!

    They need to take that giant colonial shaped chip off their collective shoulder and realise they are an excellent country in their own right and can give other countries a bit of credit without appearing weak.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 9:40pm on 30 Dec 2008, syd-boy wrote:

    Darts, are you serious????????

    I think you'd struggle on finding a dozen people in Australia who knew anything about that.

    Also in the football, we lost to China after we'd already made the next round and are currently leading our group and close to qualifying.

    Fair call on everything else though. Mind you if we have to suffer one in every 10 years or so just to enjoy the other 9 we'll live with it.

    It's not really even every 10, when was the previous time GB topped us on the Olympic medal tally? About 20 years I think.

    Sorry, we just can't help ourselves.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 9:45pm on 30 Dec 2008, roverinboro wrote:

    syd-buy you really can't can you? Even when you pretend you are joking, you actually mean it!!

    So sad, even the kiwis have a sense of self deprecation but you boys.......

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 9:55pm on 30 Dec 2008, twinhonnisoit wrote:

    On recent form the England cricket team is worse than the Australians were against the South Africans. (With a few exceptions: KP, Strauss, Swann)

    The Australians will find it tough going when they go to South Africa in the New Year but who wouldn't! If they lose again they will be even more frantic to beat England in the summer.

    That's all folks.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 10:08pm on 30 Dec 2008, tykeinperth wrote:

    I've had to put up with almost 10 years of stick from the locals (2005 excepted!), so to see the Aussies crumble against South Africa was very satisfying. I see it as my duty as a Pom to support any team that play Australia. They were a great team, but the depth, and it seems the spirit is no longer there in Ponting's current side.

    As for the next Ashes..... well it's anyone's isn't it?

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 10:11pm on 30 Dec 2008, Barry Eva wrote:

    This is SUCH A GOOD REVIEW.. I have made sure all my sport loving English cheering family have read it. Great thanks so much for sharing

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 10:18pm on 30 Dec 2008, JobyJak wrote:

    It isn't just a couple of players retiring that has caused this huge defeat.

    There was no McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist or Langer during this series. These four players were all match winners on their day and the sad fact is that their replacements are nowhere near their level, ability wise. Even players like Lehman and Martyn have not been replaced adequately.

    It looks like Australia is on a slippery slope going in one direction, DOWN!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 10:20pm on 30 Dec 2008, Tom Fordyce wrote:

    Ah, you've got to love ending the year with some good old-fashioned Aussie v GB banter. I'm fully expecting to wake up tomorrow morning to a deluge of outrage from Down Under...

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 10:32pm on 30 Dec 2008, duxbuc wrote:

    love it when gobbie aussies lose.
    even sweeter when at home !
    notice the ground was nearly empty on the final day , such bad sports.
    nice way to finish off the year.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 10:44pm on 30 Dec 2008, bbdoggy wrote:

    The Socceroos should qualify for 2010 but after there will be a problem, this is an ageing squad with the majority of players nearly or over 30. South Africa will be the last hurruh for the likes of Schwarzer, Moore, Kewell, Chipperfield, for Cahill, Grella, Emerton, Bresciano this could be their last chance too as there is not really a great deal of talent coming up.

    The A-League is at best Division 2 standard, Adelaide may have got to the Asia Champions League final but Asia isn't the gold standard of football. For the real situation look away from the Socceroos who played in the 2006 World Cup and you see that there are very few players, like Scott McDonald, who are playing in the top leagues.

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 10:58pm on 30 Dec 2008, wattablogger wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 41. At 11:04pm on 30 Dec 2008, Michael Laurence wrote:

    Unfortunately, the Aussies will be back. Such a sports obsessed nation will not take this lying down.
    Australia has a massive chip on it's collective shoulder, especially when it comes to the 'mother country'.
    They are the GDR of the southern hemisphere. The East Germans thought that regularly topping the Olympic medal table made them a great country.
    It didn't. Not even close.
    Am I saying Australia is a totalitarian communist state? Of course not. There is no Stasi in Australia. There is a similarity, however, when it comes to heavy state investment in sport. I seem to recall that after their poor performance at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane the government decided to take action. State funded sports academies sprouted all over the country. Just because they finished behind England in the medal table! We saw the same reaction this Olympic year. It's deeply pathetic. They are the world's worst losers. Exhibit A: their reaction to losing the Rugby League World Cup Final to New Zealand. They talk about 'whingeing poms' but the Aussies take the cake.

    I remember Barry Humphries once said that Australians have an inferiority complex towards the British... and that it was entirely justified!
    Excelling at sports doesn't make you a great nation. Australia is, and always has been, a global backwater.
    Aussies, you need to get over yourselves.

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 11:14pm on 30 Dec 2008, SuperStrikerShivam wrote:

    After getting whitewashed in India, i could see that they haven't got a 'good' side anymore, and England have a chance next year.

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 11:29pm on 30 Dec 2008, bozarts wrote:


    A past (Aussie?) all-rounder commented on the BBC cricket website:
    "As for the seamers, it was scary what Troy Cooley did for the England fast bowlers and I can't understand why he's not doing it for Australia."

    What is the story regarding Troy Cooley?
    Is he now not working for either the Poms or the Aussies?
    If he really worked wonders for the Poms in the UK Ashes series, why is he not employed by either team?

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 11:30pm on 30 Dec 2008, ashers1812 wrote:

    While I suspect there will be a resurgence soon by the Aussies in sport, they will gradually find themselves having more years like this one than previous.

    The main reason is because they only have a population of 20 million. Other countries with HUGE numbers are catching up and will eventually supersede 'punching above their weight' nations like the Aussies and even eventually us British (60 million).

    The 2 reasons why the Australians did so well is due to 1. Their ferocious winning appetite and 2. The excellent sporting infrastructure which allowed them to squeeze every last drop from the talent pool.

    While they still maintain that fervent desire for success their model of training and producing Champions is being copied and replicated (to greater success) elsewhere and as such this century will see the country slowly slip to somewhere in the middle division.

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 00:03am on 31 Dec 2008, pma2049 wrote:

    Tom,

    Have to laugh your blog was read out verbatim on the very popular Sydney radio show the Big Sports Breakfast over here in Australia, then discussed on air via various callers over a two hour period..

    Your comments got the goat up of presenters no end... They came out with there usually stuff about us being Great Britain at the Olympics not England. That they beat England at league and Union this year etc etc... that our Cricket team will loss the ashes to Australia in 2009

    Just think its great your blog was the topic of a radio phone in here in Australia. How proud you should be....

    Cheers....Peter in Petersham, Australia.... keep up the Aussie ribbing it makes my day!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 00:16am on 31 Dec 2008, markmol wrote:

    very good article,

    as an aussie, i am glad the last 2 series have shown that Ponting is not a good captain, still a good cricketer, no imagination with bowling changes execpt when it may have cost him a match suspension for slow over rates.

    the Yarpies showed in both tests that if you
    are willing to build an innings you can post big scores, the Australians tried to blast shots rather than building an innings, hats off to the Yarpies they played very well over the first 2 tests.

    time to rebuild the team, no sentiment for what players have done in the past, get rid of Hayden, Symonds & Lee

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 00:56am on 31 Dec 2008, briandi01 wrote:

    I cannot believe the vitriol being poured on Australia!!

    Banter is one thing, but this blog is degenerating into outright hatred!!

    Sure we've not had a great sporting year but it hasn't been that bad (apart from the cricket that is, and even that was half expected).

    Face it, as much as you think you are, you Poms are absolutely no different to us Aussies. You love to win and don't like it when you lose (especially when you don't expect to..)

    ....and as for Australia being are cultural backwater, what the hell does that mean?


    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 02:58am on 31 Dec 2008, StumpyOz wrote:

    I'm a middle aged Aussie, and I thought the article was good value. Lighten up people!

    I'm probably going to be accused of being un-Australian, but here goes.......Pride comes before a fall. Always has, always will.

    There's a few of our precious sporting personalities' egos that have had an overdue deflating of late. Get over yourselves, or buy a box of tissues and have a good cry.

    You win some, you lose some, at the end of the day you look your competitor in the eye, take their hand and say "Well Played". It's not that hard, or too much to ask for.

    Show grace both in victory and in defeat. Be an ambassador for your country. Don't act like a petulant 4 year old. Might even gain some respect, other than the begrudging variety.

    Is is coincidence that 2 of our biggest geese are called Ricky? Boys (and I mean that literally), learn something from the way Graeme Smith conducted himself at yesterday's press conference.

    And as for our "sporting" press - don't even start me. With a few exceptions, what a bunch of knobs!

    Will we come back? - I doubt it.

    Will we learn to win (albeit less frequently)with humility? - I hope so.

    Will the rest of the world give a fat rat's behind about us - I don't think so.

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 03:07am on 31 Dec 2008, WolfInSydney wrote:

    Re briandi01 "and as for Australia being a cultural backwater, what the hell does that mean?"

    As a pom in Aussie, I thought I'd reach out and help you here, with the help of my OD.

    Culture is a "refined understanding of the arts and other human intellectual achievment." A bit like understanding the wit in the original article. It will come, in time, just work at it.

    Now a backwater is "a place remote from centre of activity or thought". I'm not sure this one can be overcome I'm afraid.

    You win some you loose some I guess. Like in sport.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 07:15am on 31 Dec 2008, TheFlyingBadger wrote:

    TykeInPerth

    "I see it as my duty as a Pom to support any team that play Australia"

    if you hate the country so much, why don't you go back to england? It's all about assimilation mate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 07:25am on 31 Dec 2008, metallicinglewood wrote:

    having had the privilige of playing cricket for a season in perth in 2005- 2006 i can tell you that the standard of club cricket is so much higher it is hard to believe so enjoying the demise of the national side may not last to long. however i believe we can win the ashes this coming summer. when a side loses all time greats like warne and mcgrath also world class players like gilchrist and langer you are bound to have dip in performances ,by all means enjoy it while it lasts because it wont last long.

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 08:04am on 31 Dec 2008, AussieCityFan wrote:

    You Bitter Bitter Poms... Having to drag someone else down to make yourselves feel better! Can't you enjoy your own good sporting performances without bringing rivalaries into it all.

    One only hopes we see another Ashes whitewash on your soil this time and in 2010 we see the socceroos progress further than english team (who by the way lost to the French this year if we are taking score!)

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 08:41am on 31 Dec 2008, eirebilly wrote:

    Morning all;

    I am not English or Australian so here is my unbiased review.

    OK, the Aussies did not have a great year in sport but they will hit back hard.

    This GB thing is starting to get on my nerves a bit as well.

    When a sports people form Scotland, Wales or NI win something then they are Brittish, when they lose then they are known as Scottish, Welsh or from NI.

    When the English win then they are known as English and when they lose they are known as Brittish.

    The simple fact is, The English and the Aussies have a rivalry, not the rest of the iles.

    You are riding on the back of the Welsh and Scottish achievements (coupled with some English achiements) to have a cheap shot at the Aussies.

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 08:47am on 31 Dec 2008, Airborne1 wrote:

    Good article, but one question you mention the Welsh rugby team, Scotland's Chris Hoy so why not England's Lewis Hamilton?

    ENGLAND is a country and shouldn't be forgotten - we are most certainly NOT Britain.

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 08:58am on 31 Dec 2008, eirebilly wrote:

    Also, is addition to my previous post. You are also riding on the shoulders of the Irish International Rules Football victory (not English), The Indian and SA cricket teams victories (also not English) to have a cheap shot at the Aussies.

    I say again, The rivalry is between the English and the Aussies NOT Brittain and the Aussies.

    Most Aussies have no problem with the Scottish, Welsh or NI and vice versa.

    rant should now be over unless i think of more :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 09:01am on 31 Dec 2008, Rhino-Dragon wrote:

    A mention of Australia beating England at rugby but no subsequent mention of Wales beating Australia. How about that for unbias BBC reporting? Tom Fordyce if you wanted to create an English only blog why didn't you say so at the very start?

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 09:40am on 31 Dec 2008, alext wrote:

    Please don't kick the Aussie's when they're down. It's very un-British.

    Rather we should congratulate India and South Africa and New Zealand, as well as the British Olympic team (and even the Welsh rugby team).

    And we should worry about future dominance of Indian cricket.

    Leave the kicking to the Aussies. They're quite capable of kicking themselves. (In fact, they do losing more gracefully than winning).

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 10:08am on 31 Dec 2008, mjm5011 wrote:

    Good article Tom, although I think some people are getting a little too hot under the collar about it!

    I don't understand why everyone's complaining about you using the examples of India and South Africa to take a so-called "cheap shot" at Australia. The whole point of the article was to highlight that it has not been Australia's best year for sport, and as such, using the India and South Africa examples are a perfectly valid way of highlighting that point.

    If the Australians choose to make questinable selections (eg Cameron White, Matthew Hayden) then that is their fault, not anybody else's.

    Furthermore, if some like to think that this article is bitter invective, I'd like them to read the sports columns of Sydney Morning Herald and other respected newspapers, especially around times of big clashes between England and Australia. I remember being out in Sydney before the final of the Union World Cup in 2003 in 2003, and a lot of the writing was xenophobic at best.

    The Australians have not had a good year. Accept that and, depending on whether you're Australian or otherwise, look forward to or fear the inevitable Australian comeback. As Englishmen, we all remember the whitewash that came after the Ashes win in 2005, and the impressive resurgence of the Aussie front row after their mauling in the World Cup. Australians can't dominate everything all of the time, and should be gracious enough to accept that fact and rebuild, as other sporting nations have had to do.

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 10:14am on 31 Dec 2008, RealBlackKnight wrote:

    Agreed with the results in the Cricket and Rugby-L very disappointing but good for the respective sports that someone else wins every once in a while.

    On the Football front though this was probably our best year yet. Top of the final WC qualifying group and our best ever FIFA ranking (28). Sure, we are minnows but definitely on the way up. Like the other sports mentioned are we really expected to be the best? It's not like we invented them :)

    Final note - I like how it becomes "English" success when English folk are doing well but when they're not the net goes wider and it becomes "British".

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 10:30am on 31 Dec 2008, steelEdwinS wrote:

    Well, Australia has 20 million inhabitants, GB has 60 million.

    Has GB 3 times as good as Australia.

    Don't think so.

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 10:56am on 31 Dec 2008, gromm9 wrote:

    A well written article, but the very fact we're taking so much pleasure in their rare moment of mediocrity just goes to show how fantastic they are at sport. Australia is the greatest sporting nation in the world bar none (no, I am not an Aussie), and if we were honest we would bet on an Aussie to show more heart, grit and skill than anyone else 9 times out of 10. We may have pipped them in the medal count, but remember they only have a third our population.

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 11:14am on 31 Dec 2008, panamaroadotahuhu wrote:

    I have seen a lot of this sort of thing since the Olympics. Someone has already said "pride cometh before the fall".

    To be fair ( as Peter Beardsley might put it ) quite a few UK based contributors have recognised this.

    As a kiwi I admire the Australians for their guts and drive, even though we are on the receiving end of quite a bit of punishment from them. I am sure that being next door has raised our game in a number of sports.

    They'll be back. Someone has already pointed out that they made a better fist of beating the Saffas than England did this year, so keep the open top bus on hold.

    The League victory was sweet but England should look more at their pretty poor performances in that competition than bag the Aussies. I'm pretty sure that most Australians did not share the views of their coach - listening to the commentary they were pretty fulsome in their praise of the Kiwis.

    Their rugby team is improving and the record between Aus and the ABs was two hidings on either side and a pretty close run victory in the last game. Robbie Deans may yet prove our nemesis in 2011 ( and will never be allowed to return to Canterbury if that is the case ).

    The Olympics argument is particularly galling. The miracle is that a nation with a relatively small population has done so well over the years. Again, I think they'll go back to the bunker in the Blue Hills and re-emerge the stronger for it. Just imagine how it will feel if they are above Team GB in the medal table in 2012. Some of the jibes above will then taste like ashes in Pomgolian mouths.

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 11:15am on 31 Dec 2008, tequilatime wrote:

    Why don't you Brits focus on improving your own sport rather than slagging off us Aussies? The Australian media takes pride in Australian *wins* not opponents *losses*.

    I don't see how you can claim a bad year in Australian sport as a British victory?

    Spend more time focusing on your so-called national sports (case-in-point: Soccer. When's the last time you won anything meaningful in that? Let alone qualified for finals berths?)

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 11:28am on 31 Dec 2008, Very_Agricultural wrote:

    Some people still don't seem to understand the England / Britain thing.

    In some sports, we compete as Britain. So Chris Hoy is British in the olympics.

    In some sports - eg football - we compete separately. We are separate.

    In individual sports, most brits will support brits and do not really worry about Scottish, Welsh or English. Andy Murray is both Scottish and British, Lewis Hamilton is English and British. Win or lose.

    In some sports, including the 3 main team sports against the Aussies, we do a bit of both. In Union, the British Isles play as the Lions. In League, Great Britain someitmes competes in tri-nations.

    The cricket team is England and Wales, and a skilled Scot may play for England (Gavin Hamilton the last example, not Lewis's brother).

    I know it's off the point but a number of the posters are either mischieviously or just ignorantly missing this.

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 11:30am on 31 Dec 2008, alext wrote:

    What's all this crap about England wins and British losses?

    The Olympics were a British success. Welsh rugby was a Welsh success. Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray were Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray successes.

    As for Australia, yes they'll be back, but perhaps not as strongly:
    - India is poised to dominate cricket. You could almost say India is cricket and cricket is India.
    - I can't see NZ rugby union being eclipsed by Australia anytime soon.
    - The Olympics are getting harder. Big countries like Britain, which previously weren't bothered (1 Gold in Atlanta) have woken up. China has made it a national priority.

    Gromm9 - Australia the greatest sporting nation (per capita)? Maybe - quite a few small countries can claim that. Here are the medals per capita rankings from Beijing. If you add in Winter sports Norway would climb right up the table, and of course, this doesn't take into account the most important sport which would push New Zealand and South Africa right up.
    1. Bahamas (1) - 307,451
    2. Jamaica (7) - 311,592
    3. Slovenia (5) - 401,542
    4. New Zealand (9) - 463,717
    5. Australia (38) - 542,127
    6. Armenia (5) - 593,717
    7. Estonia (2) - 653,802
    8. Lithuania (5) - 713,041
    9. Bahrain (1) - 718,306
    10. Belarus (13) - 745,059

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 12:01pm on 31 Dec 2008, Einveldi wrote:

    When you decide to mix "English" and "British" so liberally you only invite such a backlash. Unfortunately, for many of us north of the border such an ill distinction has become synonymous with the BBC.

    But to get back on topic, write the Aussies off at your peril. You can only applaud their approach to sport, because no country with such a small population is so routinely successful in such a wide array of sports. They are improving in soccer, amongst the best two or three in the world in cricket and both codes of rugby, and have produced a number of outstanding individuals in athletics, golf and tennis, a Formula One world champion and three Olympic *winter* gold medallists to go with their 100+ Summer golds.

    That has to be respected and they are NOT a nation in decline.

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 12:30pm on 31 Dec 2008, ali13ali13 wrote:

    Definitely not a great year for Australian sport but I have still enjoyed watching our teams in action. The Kangaroos played some wonderful Rugby League at the World Cup, and are still by far the best rugby team in the world of either code. NZ played brilliantly in the final, and needed all the 50-50 calls to go their way to get the win.

    As for the cricket, well it's obvious we are not the side we used to be. All great teams have to come to an end at one point, and we need to unearth some great bowlers. I can see us being off the top spot for a few years now, probably hovering in the top 4 or so nations. However, I look forward to enjoying more competitive matches and a return of the days where I was desperate to see us win. In fairness, in recent years I have attended most cricket matches with the hope of seeing a close contest, not necessarily an Aussie win.

    And as for football, I thought the article was a bit harsh. We are currently going very well in World Cup qualifiers, and I'm sure I read recently have reached our highest ever World ranking. Only a major stumble can stop us getting to South Africa from here!

    As for all other sports and especially rugby union (just thought I'd mention this as the BBC spends far too much time obsessing over this very boring sport), who cares!

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 2:05pm on 31 Dec 2008, wingcommanderthrush wrote:

    Er, leave the Scots and the Welsh out of it mate. It's the English who have a problem with the Aussies, and if you don't try to hijack Hoy, Murray, Harrington, and Wales Grand Slam winners your left with a year when the Aussies stuffed you at Rugby League, Rugby Union and your cricketers failed to shine. How many English tennis players are in the top 50, how many englishman won golf grand slams?

    Dine out on Australias recent problems and remember this, what they've achieved this year would be a relatively good year for the English!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 2:58pm on 31 Dec 2008, wombletiltheend wrote:

    Er... we're proud of Britain's acheivements and the contributions, whether from Scotland or Wales or wherever were excellant.

    Hardly 'hijacking Hoy, Murray, Harrington'. In those sports we competed as a team together, they were brilliant.

    England has a strong sporting tradition and are in the top 10 in the three major sports. The Welsh contribution in the cricket has been great over the years as well. As recently as 2005 Simon Jones was a spearhead of our attack.

    Please don't accuse us English of dining out on home nations success as we appreciate how well competitors from the home nations have done. We have plenty to be proud of as an individual nation and as part of a united team.

    Here's to a 2009 with success for the Lions, the GB tennis team, and home nations competitors.

    Looking forward to Ashes and Lions in South Africa particularly.

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 3:56pm on 31 Dec 2008, druss_the_legend wrote:

    Sporting supremacy? Around the world?

    1) no one outside of the roughly "commonwealth" nations cares about cricket (which is about as athletic as darts or snooker) or the various forms of egg-chasing.

    2) every host nation does well at their [insert sporting event here], no one should have expected a repeat of the sydney medal haul

    3) Iraq and China have better football players than Croatia B err I mean Australia. Guus Hiddink is a genius and Australia briefly overacheived while he was in charge

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 4:31pm on 31 Dec 2008, jammaonthedrag wrote:

    Only thing Australia can beat anyone to at the moment?New Years Day, best savour it

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 4:33pm on 31 Dec 2008, wombletiltheend wrote:

    You realise that your 'commonwealth' countries are:

    England 50m
    Sri Lanka 20m
    New Zealand 5m
    Australia 20m
    Pakistan 170m
    India 1,150m
    Bangladesh 150m
    Zimbabwe 15m?
    South Africa 50m

    A LOT OF PEOPLE, hardly a select few interested in cricket.

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 4:48pm on 31 Dec 2008, wirral18 wrote:

    Post 61 has forced me to comment again. 'Aussies are the best sporting nation bar none'

    why do people keep believing this hype???

    Football - No
    Cricket - Not any more and wont be for a long time
    Rugby U - No and havent been for some time
    Boxing - Never
    Tennis - No and wont be for some time
    Motor Racing - No
    Overall Olympics - No (the swimming has boosted the aussie medal table up every year, mainly due to thorpe and hackett) the fact that you can win 7 medals in swimming alows the medal table to be distorted for so many years in favour of the aussies. Name 5 australian athletes???

    What are they the 'worlds best' at??????

    And as for the british thing its completely the other way round. If its an englishman doing well there british, if its a scot doing well he's a scot always has been!!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 5:13pm on 31 Dec 2008, tour_contact wrote:

    Up front - I am an Aussie.

    I liked the article but then the contributing comments featured the typical Aussie bashing that I have come to expect from a UK based blog and English people in general. I have lived here for eight years and have seen and heard it all. As a nation you really aren't in a position to point the finger at others for gloating (extensively) when winning.

    For a variety of reasons - some of which have been referred to here - I think Australia's position on the world sporting table will slowly drift downwards. We have been fortunate to punch above our weight for a long time in a large number of sports. As I fear we wont have this time for much longer I would like to take a moment to glow in some basic information:

    OLYMPICS
    Medal Table:
    Atlanta: Aus 7th, GBR 36th
    Sydney: Aus 4th, GBR 10th
    Athens: Aus 4rd, GBR 10th
    Atlanta: Aus 6th, GBR 4th

    Medal Table Per Capita:
    Atlanta: Aus 7th, GBR 49th
    Sydney: Aus 4th, GBR 37th
    Athens: Aus 3rd, GBR 29th
    Atlanta: Aus 7th, GBR 15th

    What I like is that we have done it in lots of sports - in Sydney we won more medals in more sports (18) than any other country. Since 1996 we have generally been around 12 - 14 sports. (Beijing 12 for Aus; 11 for GBR).

    For this I have used IF basis (i.e. diving, swimming, Synchro and Water Polo are one IF only and therefore medals in 3 of these only count as one sport; artistic, rhythmic and trampolining are one IF only; Flatwater and Canoeing canoe/kayak are one IF only). In each case the number of "disciplines" in which medals are won would be higher. We may never achieve that again as some countries start to specialise in individual sports.

    Answering the question of one blogger "which sports other than swimming are Aussies good at?" Apparently quite a few.

    RUGBY
    Number of registered players
    Aus: 82818
    Eng: 698163

    There are two questions here
    i) why aren't you 8.4 times better than us?
    ii) why don't you stuff all the other six nation teams every time when they have a miniscule playing base when compared to you? i.e. Scotland 32,000; Wales 47,000; Ireland 114,627; France 282 000;

    CRICKET
    We are definitely on the decline, but for almost 14 years we were almost unchallenged number one. Definitely an achievement to be proud of. I suspect that the Indians and the South Africans will really now be the force(s) to be reckoned with.

    SOCCER
    Nothing to boast about here but hey, it's not our national sport ... ;-)

    Some other stuff that is incorrect in the responses:

    1. Australian Sports Institute was set up after we had a dismal performance at the Montreal Olympics in '76 NOT after we "lost" at the Brisbane Comm Games in '82

    2. Culture - actually means "the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time" (Cambridge Dictionary) not an understanding of arts and other human achievement - that seems an selective and elitist usage of the word

    3. There was a mention of athletics (name an Australian athlete) - Australia finished equal on the Athletics table with GB at the Olympics (1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze each)

    Actually this has been fun and is meant in the same good nature as the article but I am sure there will be some Pom somewhere who carries on about it.

    P.S. I am conflicted about the whoel Greg Norman thing. An amazing performance for someone his age; but i don't think there was anyone who didn;t belive that he was giong to choke on the final day - apparently we have produced the world champion in that one also.

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 6:29pm on 31 Dec 2008, dodger9 wrote:

    re: tour_contact's post
    Results per capita? Number of registered rugby players? Since when have Australians needed such excuses? I could go on about the better facilities, weather and space that you have which suits sport much better but I won't. I'll just enjoy the amusement at reading such stuff from an Aussie desperate for excuses.
    Bring on the Ashes!
    Good blog article by the way.

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 6:56pm on 31 Dec 2008, tour_contact wrote:

    dodger9

    what excuses - I thought it was more a poor indictment on English sporting performance and I was enjoying what Australia had achieved when we most probably shouldn't have.

    As I said originally "I am sure there will be some Pom somewhere who carries on"

    Didn't take long. I am sure there will be others - bring it on folks, you know you can't help yourself

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 7:10pm on 31 Dec 2008, Weagles wrote:

    I love reading so many Englishmen sinking the boot into Australia to try to make themselves feel better then describing Australia's sense of inferiority towards them. Is it a total lack of self-awareness and wishful thinking or an exercise in subtle English humour? I'm hoping the latter.

    The author of the article seems to have a sense of humour (I assume he's writing tongue in cheek) but the rest is mostly petty bitterness.

    WolfinSydney: "win some loose some" do they? Writing that while taking a condescending tone regarding language is hilarious. I love being lectured about culture by a nation which apparently needs a pair of headlighting norks inside the front cover to buy a newspaper.

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 9:17pm on 31 Dec 2008, Arthur Brede wrote:

    Can't be bothered to read all of it, but you seem to have left out Oz Stoner in the Moto GP who. despite powdering his nose and Ducati bending the fuel rules, lost out to Valentino the Great. But at least VR let him win Philip Island so he didn't throw all his toys out of the pram.

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 00:03am on 01 Jan 2009, Newportbrissie wrote:

    Happy NY to all from a Brit in Oz. "England" is so right, the olympics hurt Australia the most, particularly the cycling and to a lesser extent the swimming/sailing. However, the most disgraceful sporting activity here is the pathetically easy qualification Australia has for the football World Cup in SA next year. Not one of their opponents would have a snowballs chance of getting to SA from any European group and Australia would struggle in most of them. Looking at the various groups there are many Euro teams who cannot qualify because of numbers, yet would dispose of this current Aussie side. As for the Ashes England (who themselves look weak, particularly in the bowling department) can be sure of galvanised oponents.

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 01:25am on 01 Jan 2009, bravotwodingo wrote:

    In the words of Russel Crowe (born a Kiwi by the way), never underestimate the Aussies when they're down or have their backs against the wall. Be warne-d: Don't count your Ashes eggs yet.

    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 01:49am on 01 Jan 2009, bravotwodingo wrote:

    I've got to say that it's terrific to see England doing much better at sport recently but please don't take yourselves too seriously like we do in Australia. When it comes to the World ever noticing us, sporting achievements is all we have to rave about here. Let's admire and enjoy the athletes' efforts and not only the medals: Not all sporting heroes were also sporting greats (I so do miss Eddie The Eagle).

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 01:59am on 01 Jan 2009, ozzy-marty wrote:

    we get a good laugh here in oz about how you britts support any team that takes on our aussies such as we witnessed here in the rugby league world cup,we can only assume that because your national teams are so hopeless you need to try to find winners to support..it must be quite humiliating for you..anyhow we aussies are a loyal mob and we still back our boys to beat your english team or world eleven or whatever their called these days...by the way just in passing we have dominated world cricket for ten years just in case your papers fail to mention it..

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 02:02am on 01 Jan 2009, hollywollyzaler wrote:

    One year of bad results isn't really a thing to get in such a lather about.
    English cricket fans are usually grumpy because of such a protracted slump of the national team. What will be more interesting than the current poor Ozzie performances will be what happens in the next year or so. Don't know about the other sports but Ian Chappel wasn't very optimistic about the chances for a quick restoration of the Australian cricket team. We might see our Commonwealth friends have to become a bit more like us ie, sardonic and self-depreciating, just so as to be a able to deal with it!

    Aussie v Brit spats are always amusing...long may they continue....lets not change a thing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 02:11am on 01 Jan 2009, Newportbrissie wrote:

    Further to previous comments regarding medals won per capita the Aussies have a good argument. However, what they do not conveniently tell is that Australia spends MORE per capita on sport, particularly elite athletes through various Institutes of Sport, than ANY other country in the world.

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 02:43am on 01 Jan 2009, Sevenseaman wrote:

    To have gone fishing in Cricket, Rugby, Tennis and swimming in the same year are symptoms that may have their roots in some very logical reasons.
    In cricket at least I can say the single most massive set back has been the retirement of the greatest spinner of our time, Shane Warne. He was an outstanding matchwinner for Australia.

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 03:22am on 01 Jan 2009, acmexo wrote:

    britain may have done well in the olympics but most of the medals were for crap sports.

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 04:16am on 01 Jan 2009, mousetrapinventor wrote:

    Allthough I'm english, proud, and currently hammered, the aussies will hammer us in the ashes 2-1 or worse. We can't bat with any kind on consistancy and our bowlers blow hot and cold. And dont get me started on the wicket keepers............

    The aussies revival (however sweet their fall from grace was) will start with a comprehensive ashes win.

    Having said all that, hasnt moores assembled a REALLY good county side (albiet a rubbish test team)

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 07:15am on 01 Jan 2009, captainSaffer wrote:

    With all this written about the Australians being a bit paranoid etc spare a thought for South Africa. We win the World Cup in 2007, have a wobble in the tri-nations but comprehensivley thrash England at Twickenham. In cricket we beat England in England and then go on to win our first series in Australia in 100 years of trying,yet we hardly get a mention. The Proteas are now serious contenders for the top spot in world cricket. Graham Smith who the barmy army used to slag off is now described as "inspirational" by the BBc. The Springboks are now referred to as "the mighty Springboks" once again on BBC, yet no-one writes blogs about how well we have done or how we have managed to punch above our weight.

    Complain about this comment

  • 89. At 08:18am on 01 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    21,

    The socceroos beat Holland 2-1, who are ranked fourth in the world currently.

    41,

    Australia a 'global backwater'? The million odd poms who have immigrated to Australia might disagree. Regarding the argument that 'excelling at sports doesn't make you a great nation', I have seen this used before and it is utterly pathetic. You call Australia a 'global backwater' then tell Aussies to 'get over themselves'?

    In the Mercer top 100 most livable cities 2008, Australia had the second highest average, after Germany. The global ranking of the world's most livable cities is based on 39 key quality-of-life issues. They include political stability, currency-exchange regulations, political and media censorship, school quality, housing, the environment and public safety. England on the other hand, had only 2 cities in the top 100. London - 39 and Birmingham - 55.

    In the Economist's World's most livable cities 2008 Australia had the highest average of any country, with 4 cities rating in the top 10 including Melbourne 2nd.

    That 'global backwater' is starting to look pretty inviting isn't it?

    Yes, Australia had a particularly bad sporting year but as many other have mentioned, we will be back will a vengance!

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 11:46am on 01 Jan 2009, Faustino wrote:

    The first time I saw tv, I watched the last two days of the 1955 Ashes series, when England regained the Ashes. A lifetime bias was set.

    A little later, my now wife began watching cricket at the MCG, where her uncles were members. We first met on neutral ground (the Indian Himalayas), but since we moved to Australia, the sporting rivalry has been intense ... and the results generally in Australia's favour. The debacle v SA has made my Christmas; and I'm finding that the guest room is quite nice, all things considered!

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 1:38pm on 01 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Mr Fordyce,

    Have you been reading my 606 article:'is there a crisis in australian sport' that I posted in the summer?

    You could add to the points that you make in your article that, since 2003 at the latest, the balance of sporting powwer has been shifting away ro Australia to Britain.

    Beijing 2008 is part of a trend that includes Rugby world cup 2003, Hattons win over Tszu in 2005, the Ashes win in 2005, RWC 2007,etc.

    Complain about this comment

  • 92. At 3:09pm on 01 Jan 2009, blikemike wrote:

    I say "take the good with the bad".
    Make the most of it you Brits, Englishmen or what ever else you like to be called...most of us Aussies can handle a little stick from a nation of try hards. We all know you lot have got pretty thick skins, having to endure endless years of sporting failures can do that to a nation. But checking the list of GB/English achievements for 2008...hilarious, quite sad that this meager little list is enough to make you lot go all giddy in the knees. I have spent many a years laughing out loud at the efforts of your Cricket side, your Football team (failing to qualify for Euro 08 LOL!!!) and the sad medal hauls at past Olympics.
    2008, yeah we Aussies have certainly taken a leaf out of your book. The RLWC was a real kick in the guts but the better team won on the night. The Olympics were a failure...mainly cause we finished behind Great Britain. And the Cricket...all great teams fall sooner or later. India and South Africa are on the up and delivered...well done to them. Lets see how the Pomes cope come mid year when we do battle for the Ashes. If ever there was time to grab the bulls by the horns this is it. Time will tell if you guys can rise to the challenge and keep the pressure on the Aussies or if...as usual, you fall into a bumbling heap of under achievers.
    Make hay while the sunshines...you all know how quickly the clouds can roll in over Mother England...and 2008 will just be a distand memory.

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 3:22pm on 01 Jan 2009, gstonesunited wrote:

    You were lucky we didn't win the international rules by a lot more points than we did....

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 3:53pm on 01 Jan 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    I think it is a wonderful thing that Australia is giving up its fascination with sport.

    With luck, the anti-intellectual culture will recede and we can finally, thankfully, get that piece of rubbish from off the southern cross, and have a real flag for a real nation.

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 7:36pm on 01 Jan 2009, dazarama wrote:

    What fabulous journalism. Well worth the license fee! Well done Fordyce! Top notch.

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 8:12pm on 01 Jan 2009, thesman76 wrote:

    As a Brit who lived in Australia for a year (nice weather but that's about it) I find these Brit-Aussie exchanges mildly entertaining but ultimately unfulfilling. The fact is we all know Britain is the greater country - we virtually created the modern world, what more do you want? The Aussie chip on the shoulder is because deep down they know sport (and their nice weather of course, well done on that by the way) is all they will ever have to challenge the Mother Country's eternal supremacy over them. What gets them is the fact that whenever their nation's story will be written, for all time it will start with three words - Made By Britain, and that for the next three centuries (more?) their head of state was/is British and their flag was a quarter British. Many people in America (if they don't confuse them with Austria!) think Britain still actually owns Australia and rules it as a colony (nothing to do with us anymore my American friends, all their own doing!). It will forever be thus and no Ashes win or swimming gold can change it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 9:36pm on 01 Jan 2009, Spitcane wrote:

    Re: "It isn't meant to be like this. Ordinarily, Australian conquers while Britons capitulate. They do the exercise, we do the eating. They do the success, we do the self-deprecation."

    Olympics aside, it wasn't the Britons who did the beating of the Aussies, especially in the Rugby League and the Cricket. It amazes me how selective the Brit Press is, taking pride and credit for NON-Brit results!

    And. no, I'm not an Antipodean or Indian.

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 9:47pm on 01 Jan 2009, Spitcane wrote:

    The 2009 Lions will only stand a partial chance if they omit England players, none of whom deserve a place at the moment anyway, AND if the Boks are as complacent as they were in 1997, which is unlikely.
    The 1997 Lions DID win the series, but lost the try count by about 1 - 9 if I recall correctly.

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 10:42pm on 01 Jan 2009, madmullah wrote:

    It's always funny to read a pommy's desperate gloating, even when they gloat they sound like losers! They have the 'ex-imperial' chip on the shoulder like Spain and Italy. And they gloat when England beats the "home nations", but mostly they claim Scottish and Welsh success as their own (e.g. Olympics).
    From an Aussie point of view the rugby and football were pretty good years, and apart from Cavendish beating McEwen to the line every day, Aussies were pretty happy with the TdF - it was unfortunate for Evans that he had to race the tour on his own while Sastre had a team of drug-filled heroes towing him to the line.
    But the Olympics and the cricket were tragedies. Don't expect an aussie comeback in the cricket for 3-4 years, we could cope without our retired champions if we had a decent captain instead of timid sulky schoolboy Ponting, and if our selectors weren't tied to their old Queensland drinking buddies.

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 11:02pm on 01 Jan 2009, matthewfrommiskin wrote:

    Lets not forget the magnificent Welsh rugby team's win against the Aussies at the Millenium Stadium in November. After years of having the endure the arrogance of the Aussie rugby fan, this victory was very sweet and the our friends from down under left the stadium with their tails firmly between their legs. Little Wales, population 3 million, certainly socked it to Aussies !!!

    mattfrommiskin

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 00:05am on 02 Jan 2009, mashton72 wrote:

    I like Tom's wit for the most part but schadenfreude is as ugly as being tight fisted or overly competitive. From the outside it's just not pretty.

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 02:19am on 02 Jan 2009, ollywray wrote:

    As an Aussie having lived in England for 6 1/2 years and now just returned, I find a few things here amusing.. I wore a dress to work for a day following a bet on the Ashes in 2005 - .. Little was mentioned of a 5-0 triumph later on. An article in early 2004 or late 03 when we lost 1 test to India just after we lost the 03 rugby world cup stated that our dominance was over. A 16 win winning streak should have been mentioned later (the 2nd in 6 years). I think you all just need to get over each other...

    In a bar after England beat us in the quarter finals last year, a group of guys came up and started at me (in a group of Englishmen) - I simply turned to them and let them know it's harder to be a gracious winner than a gracious loser - I congratulated them on their win and said the better side on the day won... All 3 lager louts stood there in dismay.

    There's a heirarchy in the world - when in Guatemala for example, the Aussie and the Kiwi gang up on the Brit. Then a yank walks in and all 3 start on him.. It's called BANTER.

    We're all the same, and as some Brit's pointed out, we do come from you guys, but less and less so every year. Comments about our tabloid press when you have the Star, Sun, Daily Sport, News of the world - need I go on????

    So continue the BANTER, having wild cracks at sporting teams, as you'll find as many each way as the other EVERY year, in one way or another. However leave the 'Greatest Country in the World' comments out because none are true. It's open to your interpretation - I like living in England but hate football morons, the papers, the weather and people's ill found pride of the past (when if the people who are alive now were alive then England would be speaking German)... I love Australia but hate the bogans and some ignorant people, aswell as the grinding hatred for losing that I somehow have inherited by being one.


    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 02:49am on 02 Jan 2009, treemendousaussie wrote:

    Well, well, well.
    Kick us when we are down.
    When we win the Ashes series this year 3-0 then what will you say.
    Everyone knows that there are three good sides playing test cricket. India, South Africa and Australia. Then comes daylight...

    Maybe if England can get some more South Africans into there side they may show some backbone.

    Hey rafalinho, stop sniffing petrol... and join the real world.

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 02:54am on 02 Jan 2009, treemendousaussie wrote:

    HEY ALL ENGLAND SUPPORTERS,

    Why don't you join up with rest of Uk and play under one team. Then with 4 countries into one you may get better....

    Enjoy the Winter
    Ha Ha Ha

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 04:30am on 02 Jan 2009, MelbourneMike wrote:

    I am in a different situation to Ollywray (102) but have the same views-I am a Pom living in Oz. I have deep suspicion of people who gauge their national worth by Sport-It is only a game!! Such extreme views stinck of the Soviet era as it was all they had going for them.

    Fortunately I find most people here get over these things quickly and move on. Let's see what the Sydney test brings.

    As an aside, my oppinion is that the rot set in when performers' wages ( be truthful-that's what they are-not sportsmen/women any more) went stratospheric, and they all became "Prima-Donna's".

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 05:03am on 02 Jan 2009, Sevenseaman wrote:

    To be gracious in defeat or ungloating in victory are extremely difficult ideals to live. In a perfect world it should be ok to celebrate a win without going oberboard. 'I am the greatest' was a chant invented by Mohammed Ali himself. A psychological mind game or a boast?
    The lessons a loser learns from a defeat and the hard unforgiving self analysis are more important than merely cedeing supremacy to the winner. But to say the better team on the day won, is gracious.
    Everyone loves the underdog. Indians, and now the South Africans are rubbing the Aussie nose into sand. The cricketting world at large is in a celebratory mode over the Australians' discomfiture. Is it all a vicarious pleasure? Not so to my mind. Much of the general glee must be attributed to the Aussie arrogance that marked their dominant years in the game. The West Indians and ealier the South Africans dominated the game but no one ever heard of sledging as a psychological ploy, an expedient to secure the objective.
    There were some tentative essays into this field during the recently concluded test match series between India and England. Only a bit of banter that never deterioated into a serious ploy.
    The Australian era will not be really nailed unless and until England put it across to them in the forthcoming Ashes series. The onus is on England.

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 09:13am on 02 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 108. At 09:17am on 02 Jan 2009, Aquila (At it again eh Ed?) wrote:

    I was enjoying this thread just a little, looking forward to the bit about Wales beating the Wallabies in the rugby.

    There's the bit about Aus trouncing England and then ....... nothing?!

    All fairness to the Aussies on that though. They were generous and sporting after that rare defeat.

    Shame our BRITISH journos chose to omit it.

    Australia is good enough at sport that a temporary dip in form is not going to worry them too much.

    Now if it runs to a second year ....

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 09:19am on 02 Jan 2009, Aquila (At it again eh Ed?) wrote:

    Hey notachucker! Nice to see you mate.

    The exception that proves the rule! There was me being all nice about your countrymen and here YOU are slagging off Wales because you are a sore loser.

    Shame!

    Such a wonderful country otherwise. Still we have bitter people in our country too.

    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 09:33am on 02 Jan 2009, keynotespeaker wrote:

    notachucker (89): Australias win over Holland in football came in a friendly. You'll have to forgive me if I don't read too much into those...

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 09:38am on 02 Jan 2009, getdownmonkeyman wrote:

    Until players of the calibre of Warne and McGrath can be found, Australia will never be as dominant as they have been. I think the opportunity to bask in the glow of Autralia's averagness, will be here for a while yet.

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 09:49am on 02 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    Yo Soy Un Gringo,

    Take a look at post number 41, he is a Welshman and the reason I was giving it to the Welsh. It has nothing to do with losing in the Rugby, Wales were the better side and although it was very close, Australia never looked like winning. I have mentioned this numerous times.

    keynotespeaker,

    There is no such thing as a friendly in sport. You play ever match to win. I'm sure you didn't take much out of England's win over Germany in the recent "friendly"?

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 09:55am on 02 Jan 2009, JDSutton wrote:

    Your wrong about one thing btw, australia werent spanked 3 times by nz, we won one, lost one by 4 points and got thrashed by 19 in another, and it wasnt a terrible year for australia, it was just and average year, you seem to believe its the end off the world for australian sporting australia are just a dominant country in a quite a few sports, mabye it should focus on a smaller range off them. It was a disapointing year, but who cares it happens to the best of them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 11:05am on 02 Jan 2009, ozinuk1999 wrote:

    Your comment:

    "....Wallabies were also spanked by the All Blacks in their last three meetings...."

    WRONG

    Sat 26th Jul 2008: Australia 34 - 19 New Zealand

    If your going to write an article like this, at least get your facts right otherwise where is your credibility?

    And lets not forget TeamGB's £265m for Beijing & £550m for London 2012. I would expect 4th on the medals table as a MINIMUM return on investment...... Australia's investment for 2012? AUD$30m.

    Thats not sour grapes.... thats the difference between achieveing success with hardwork, natural ability and talent versus buying it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 11:22am on 02 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    I see my comment is being moderated, absurd! I get to sit here and read about people comparing my country to East Germany, calling Australia a 'global backwater', talk about "the mother countries eternal supremacy of us" and saying my countrymen have an inferiority complex, yet the slightest mention of a few little truths about FGB (Formerly Great Britain) and my comment get moderated. Typical.

    I will edit a few things and post it in sections as I'm very keen to see which parts were inappropriate considering the contents of many other comments.

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 11:49am on 02 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 117. At 12:16pm on 02 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Anyone else staggered by the hypocrisy in post 114-ozinuk-comments on financial investment ib sport?

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 12:24pm on 02 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    thesman76,

    You say that you find these exchanges "mildly entertaining, yet ultimately unfulfilling", then, proceed to tell us why FBG (Formerly Great Britain) is better than Australia?

    The funniest part about all this is; all that the inhabitants of FGB (admittedly mainly the English), much like the French, have, is your history. You have achieved nothing remarkable since the glory days of the so aptly named, 'old empire'. FGB has made a huge mess of every 'colony' and it has been left to us to pick up the pieces and evolve into the safer, more politically-economically stable and more educated cities that we enjoy today (to name just a few of the 39 criteria used, again, see Mercer 2008 most liveable cities survey). At least the French still have their language. 'English', if you can call it that, in England, has degenerated into 'junowaimean innit'.

    I also cannot believe that you are making fun of the yanks. After all, they saved you from imminent defeat in both world wars.

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 12:51pm on 02 Jan 2009, edlove wrote:

    It must be all very reassuring for you Brits to have finally won an event or two. So please accept my gracious congratulations, however, as an Aussie, i do now take great enjoyment out of seeing the crowning jewel of any Brit, a knighthood, be devalued so heavily as to mean absolutely nothing. Hoy wins 3, yes 3, golds at one Olympic games and receives a knighthood. Great effort that, Ian Thorpe won 3 golds with his arms tied behind his back, Hoy wins his on a tool made for making travelling easier. must make everyone so proud!
    To see a combined 4 nations, with around 60 million people, enjoy so much beating a nation of 20 million criminals brings a tear to the eye.
    So enjoy, oh, and dont take this as bitterness, I am enjoying this long standing sporting rivalry finally becoming competitive.
    Bring on the Ashes!!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 1:14pm on 02 Jan 2009, middles wrote:

    There's nothing quite like our English/Aussie sporting rivalry. No better atmosphere at a sporting event than when our teams meet, whatever the outcome!

    Love it :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 1:16pm on 02 Jan 2009, Go_On_Mog wrote:

    WHat a load of Rubbish some people are writing on here! The Aussies may have a had a bad year by their standards, however they WILL be back like a big, sore pain in the @rse!! thats why we love to hate them so much, If it wasn't for the Aussies pushing the boundaries of sporting prowess/excellence over the last 20 years where would that have left BRITISH sport? without all the cricket/rugby/olympic hammerings and pain would we have got off our butts? or continued to dwell in mediocrity? This British (and it is a BRitish affair) obssesion with beating the Aussies is great, it's what makes sport worthwhile, roll on the Ashes......however this post has attracted way too much attention, it has overshadowed the real National success story of 2008, WALES

    1. Rugby- Grand Slammers, World Player of the year, and the only home nation to give all the Southern hemisphere sides a 'Game'.
    2. - Boxing - Earlier in the year this little country had 3 World Champions! Joe Calzaghe - who has won this award the last two years - cemented his place as one of boxing's all-time greats by stepping up from the super-middleweight division he ruled for more than a decade to beat American greats Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr at light-heavyweight.
    3. Football - FA Cup Finalists, and a solid start to the world cup qualifiers
    4. - Olympics - In a bumper year of accolades, Wales had three Olympic gold medallists in cyclists Nicole Cooke and Geraint Thomas, plus rower Tom James.
    Swimmer David Roberts also triumphed in Beijing, taking four golds to bring his all-time Paralympics haul to 11 golds.
    5. - Rugby League....Erm, Cletic Crusaders reaching the Superleague.
    6. Golf, Tennis and all the rest - Who Cares.

    3 million people.....Wow, marvelous stuff


    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 2:12pm on 02 Jan 2009, MikeFay wrote:

    I suspect whichever team wins the Ashes it won't mean as much as it did in 2005, since I expect both England and Australia will get stuffed in their tours to South Africa...

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 3:05pm on 02 Jan 2009, LovesportPerth wrote:

    On sports in general I can't imagine Australia can maintain the standard and regular success of the last 25 years across so many sports.

    Sport is a huge part of Australian culture. Doing well in international sports of any kind is a huge part of our culture. AFL or Aussie Rule dominates the west and southern states and takes a huge bite out of the sports talent pool for other codes of football and other sports like cricket or athletics....

    Countries have noted the political and economic benefits of their sporting teams or individuals doing well and the Aussie models of coaching and preparation seems to be a national export.

    Well done to Wales, South Africa and India. in beating the Aussies of late in various codes. I think it important to share that we do love winning. We especially love beating the English because we think it must get under their skin and because we have shared history and wonderful cultural ties. we also think that in time you'll get your turn...hopefully not too soon and not too often!

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 3:42pm on 02 Jan 2009, UKKiwi01 wrote:

    I still believe Aussie had a better sporting year than GB.

    Even at their worst they are better.

    And don't take too much pleasure from the Saffas, Indians and Kiwis doing the damage on Australia. This article wouldn't be worth writing if it was based on British victories against Aust.

    And the Olympics don't count - in reality, with the population and funding in GB, they should be top 3 every time. Their position relative to population and funding is mid table at best.

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 4:22pm on 02 Jan 2009, Mosmancol wrote:

    I'm Irish and I love living in Australia. However I get great satisfaction in seeing them lose. Unlike Europeans they only support their team when they know they will win. Their matches, be it football(soccer) rugby league or union are always void of atmosphere or crowds. Go Ireland, England, Wales, France, NZ. Anyone but Australia!!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 4:37pm on 02 Jan 2009, jumpinjuniper wrote:

    As an Aussie living in England, I had to laugh after the 2005 Ashes every time a stranger told me to get back on the boat with all the other Aussies. It’s just friendly banter between the countries right?
    Well, this article seems to say that Aussies need to learn a bit of humility about our sporting endeavours. While an entertaining read, can you say with a clear conscience that this article was written in all fairness? I think it's a mighty dig at a nation when it's down.
    Yes, enjoy your successes! You deserve to enjoy them, but show the same decorum you wish to see from the Aussies.
    And as for those Brits in Australia cheering for every team against the Aussies, remind me why you’re living there? I now support all Australian AND British teams. It's only fair to support the country that is my host nation. Yes, be proud of your heritage but don't reduce yourselves to "Winging Pom" status. Lets get over stereo types and enjoy great sporting successes like the adults we claim to be!

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 4:39pm on 02 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    The fact that you mentioned the oylimpics meads that you expected to lose to a nation with a third of your population. This is your problem

    Complain about this comment

  • 128. At 5:30pm on 02 Jan 2009, GevilDevil wrote:

    Let not forget the Springboks 53 - 8 humiliation of the Aussie rugby team in Ellis park this year, the biggest defeat by Australia, EVER.

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 9:59pm on 02 Jan 2009, ozy_gus wrote:

    typical POMS, next you will be stating Australia are the best team ever if they thrash you again in the Ashes

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 11:50pm on 02 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    Hey Gevil,

    That's right, I forgot about that... Remind me, where did Australia finish in the tri-nations table? I seem to recall being above SA but I could be wrong?

    I also find it very amusing that everyone seems to think the Australian general public care so much about the Olympics, I certainly don't. China just proved how much of a joke the whole competition is. Everyone, including the athletes, trainers and officials, know that 8/10 competitors are involved in either blood or chemical doping and they are almost powerless to stop it. It has simply become a competition of, 'who has the most sophisticated chemists'? The Olympics has been like this for years and yes I'm including Australia too.

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 01:27am on 03 Jan 2009, Kipper wrote:

    Whoa their boys,
    I,m as English and patriotic as they come but one bad year.......watch you backs world as far as the sports, Aus is renowned for, is concerned and the rest. I wish we would have a bit more time to enjoy this ..Blip.. but not for long I fear.
    Unfortunately.
    Kips

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 05:24am on 03 Jan 2009, Black and White and Ram All Over! wrote:

    In response to 19 there are 1000's of articles like this in Oz (and NZ come to that) does that mean that they have an inferiority complex to us?

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 11:18am on 03 Jan 2009, confiseur wrote:

    I love the rivalry and its mostly conducted in good spirit....respect the Australians tremendously...one curious anomaly is boxing though where they are suprisingly very poor.

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 11:45am on 03 Jan 2009, CrusadersFan1 wrote:

    I find this English small man syndrome quite funny...considering which English teams have beaten Australia.

    Cricket - SA, India
    League - NZ
    Rugby - NZ, SA, Wales (England????)
    Netball - NZ

    I only see GB leading Australia at the Olympics...don't you have the gumption to compete as England, Wales, Scotland?

    Being a Kiwi, I caution you about saying too much - less you will have to take back later on

    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 05:27am on 04 Jan 2009, LovesportPerth wrote:

    125, I don't agree with the point about crowds only supporting when they expect an Aussie win. As a regular at the WACA I have so often been proud of the reaction of our crowds to foreign performers..massive positive applaus for Sth African players making big runs etc.

    Everyone I know perfers our country to win, but they're better when they are close wins and best when they are unexpected. We have been spoilt with many wins and that does change expectations and crowds reactions to results.

    I agree about the often lacking atmosphere at our sporting grounds though. Perhaps more due to our distance from close rivals and the one sided nature of the crowd which flows from that. Maybe the mid-st. beer!

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 8:05pm on 04 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Any one else amused by crusadersFan 1 (post 134) comments about Britain 'only' leading Australia at olympics, whereas it was NZ who beat Australia at cricket,rugby union,rugby league ,and netball (!).

    So, beating Australia in five sports which are not played worldwide is more impressive than finishing fourth in Olympics medal table?

    I dont think so!

    And, what about boxing, motor racing, Tour de France?

    Are Australiain top ten association football nations-no.

    Are England-Yes.

    It really is amusing to witnessantipodeans grasping at straws as they subside beneath the waves of sporting failure.

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 04:52am on 05 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    archleftback,

    I have already stated my views on the Olympics but did England really beat Australia? No. FGB (formerly Great Britian) did, but not England.

    Hoy (Scotland) 3 golds
    Cooke (Wales) 1 gold
    Thomas (Wales) 1 gold
    James (Wales) 1 gold

    England total gold = 13
    Australia total gold = 14

    ;)



    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 06:24am on 05 Jan 2009, Newportbrissie wrote:

    I see the SCG is living up to it's worldwide reputation as the worst prepared wicket in world cricket, the current pitch towards the end of the third day is nothing short of a disgrace. Even at the end of the second day its unevenness was shocking. It's dry, totally under prepared and should be reviewed by the ICC. If they cannot prepare a better cricketing surface then the SCG should be struck off the calendar.

    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 09:54am on 05 Jan 2009, Oliver wrote:

    I am so utterly sick of hearing about Australian sport in the English media. I don't care, I really don't care about Australia. They are not the yardstick against which all sporting achievement is measured. They aren't even particularly bitter sporting rivals! Honestly, the Ashes win was three and a half years ago. Let it go. This constant fawning is pathetic.

    Complain about this comment

  • 140. At 1:57pm on 05 Jan 2009, kish96 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 141. At 3:11pm on 05 Jan 2009, chivalrousdiesel69 wrote:

    Fellow brits, heed my warning- Show me someone who underestimates the aussies and I'll show you a fool! They will be going all out, as they always do, to retain the ashes in the summer and will raise their game to do so. The day we forget that is the day we lose.

    Also, while im all in favour of good natured aussie bashing, I dont like this description of australia as a global backwater- how many Anzacs have fought and died for british and european causes and so cemented their place in history? Thats not the actions of a global backwater.

    Good natured banter- yes, disrespect- no!

    Complain about this comment

  • 142. At 6:22pm on 05 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Notachucker,

    Mate,

    Your argument smacks of true desperation.

    This 'argument' about 'four countries into one ' wasn't made when Australia was on top.

    then, there were snide coments at the expense of the 'Brits'

    British athletes have historically competed asBritish in several sports since organised sport was invented andsport in these islands continues to be funded on a British basis

    ChrisHoy has said that he is proud of BOTH his Scottish and British identities and sees no contradiction between them.

    You only ignore the reality of these British bonds because you are desperate to retain some shreds of sporting dignity.

    Isn't it time for inhabitants of the various states of the Australasian continent to try and find something other than sport in which they make a distinctively excellent contribution, difficult though hat may be?

    Hasn't 'Australia' been a federal Commonwealthth since 1901?

    Where is the political unity in Australia?

    Shouldn't we disaggregate Australia's medals?

    Complain about this comment

  • 143. At 00:35am on 06 Jan 2009, Billy_Blighty wrote:

    chivalrous diesel I think you are lost mate. This is the BBC sport site. If you want to bang on about the war I am sure there are plenty of historical interest threads you can join.

    There is an advert for the cricket still running on TV here imploring fans to show up since there is "nothing like watching the Ausies flog the Proteas." Talk about arrogance. It made watching the flogging of the Aussies by the Proteas even more satisfying. And no I won't be leaving the country since allegiance to the national team is not a condition of my visa.

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 07:56am on 06 Jan 2009, knucklehed wrote:

    I'm an Aussie and I loved the article, it was fun and lightedhearted.

    I enjoy the banter between our countries... for the most part.

    But some of the HATE and nastiness beggars belief - that's from both sides.

    Thing is i don't understand it, i love england and the english. I Also love beating them in sport however that is an indication of how closely tied we are as nations. We've a number of 'poms' at work.. great blokes fit right in. Other than Kiwis the english are to my mind the most similar.

    Austalia is in so many ways the product of England and i'm deeply proud of our heritage. But some of the venom coming from both directions is very disappointing.

    Yes Australians often do place too much importance on winning but it's like an adolescent seeking approval.
    And in using that as a metaphor Austraila is just emerging as an adult nation. Give us a break - some very nasty comments on this blog about Oz.

    And to you Aussies who react SO vehemently... HELLO!!! talk about hook line and sinker. What are you 12 years old?!

    Banter yes... love it... bring it on. Just leave out the abuse.

    As for the cricket... can we give the Saffers SOME credit please. What a performance!

    Can't wait for the ashes.

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 09:49am on 06 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 146. At 11:09am on 06 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    archleftback,

    Hoy says this because he is a successful athlete. He is proud to be BOTH British and Scottish because athletes like him are only accepted by the English, and therefore called British, when they succeed. Andy Murray is another prime example.

    "And the 'coloured' was interesting, too. Policemen were 'coloured', convicted criminals were 'West Indian', and purse-snatchers were '***-***'. But when a black runner came first in a race against foreigners he was 'English'. If he came second he was 'British'. If he lost he was 'coloured'. If he cheated he was 'West Indian'."

    Paul THEROUX. "The Kingdom By the Sea"

    'British bonds'? You could have fooled me. This is a feeble excuse so you can bask in the success of others. You only have to take a look through this message board and see how many of your non-English, 'British' compatriots agree with the 'British bonds' statment.

    Yes, you are completely right, British athletes have competed as Britain in severeal sports since organised sport was invented, which only highlights your poor record and makes it even more pathetic. When the argument was/is mentioned is irrelevant.

    Distinctively excellent contribution? Some Australian backpackers have made some in England, which now that I think about it, can be attributed to your recent sporting success.

    Take a look:

    http://www.news.com.au/travel/story/0,26058,24649706-5014090,00.html

    As for our contributions other than sport, you only to do a little reading to find them, but I understand if it's beyond you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 12:49pm on 06 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Notachucker,

    Cripes mate but your steaming.

    Hadn't realised my brief comment would have such an effect.

    I'll reply at greater length later.

    Dont fancy Aussies chances much in Australian Open.

    Your old mate,

    Arch Leftback

    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 1:32pm on 06 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    Old mate,

    Steaming? What gave you that idea?

    I don't fancy our chances either but that young 'British' fellow should do quite well (all things aside a fantastic tennis player). Ah, yes, we could go on all day couldn't we?

    A 'British' friend of mine suggested that the reason so many poms immigrate to Australia, apart from the weather, is because Australia is in fact more like the old Britain (before the politicians got their hands on it) than Britain. What do you think?

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 3:23pm on 06 Jan 2009, braveHoward wrote:

    I do love the majority of the replies from the convicy's, SORRY, Auzzies.

    This has been a major blow to their pride listening the radio stations in Sydney this morning.

    Highly amusing....Come on England..and we all know Hamilton not Hoy should have won SPOTY ! ! !

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 3:45pm on 06 Jan 2009, bob styles wrote:

    Looks good on them doesnt it mate? Ponting is about as gracious as a croc is likely to be having just eaten hes evening meal. Ponting is not only an a..........s, hes a poor captain to boot.

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 7:27pm on 06 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Notachucker,

    I promised to reply to your post 146 when i hadmore time it its dificult respond to your points because they just seem to involve intemperate abuse, invective and assertion.

    As far as I can gather, you deny that Britain exists and that it issimply a fiction intended to make up for England's alleged sporting deficiencies?

    Well, a moments thought revels how silly this argument is, dont you think?

    Apart fro cultural, histoical and political factors, take the British Lions. They illustrate how Celts and English play with passion for each other , even though they've competed passonatly against each other in Six Nations.

    You cant claim to know that Hoy's sense of Britishness is opportunistic; he seems very sincere in his declaration of loyalty.

    What's the point of your referencs to race and colour? Do thy reflect pride in 'White Australia's' treatment of its abriginal population?

    You have no problem reconciling Australian identiy with the Pacific Islanders and Argentian's who have played rugby for Australia?

    What is their loyalty to Australia? What is Australia's loyalty to them.

    Mate,
    You should't have to send me liks regarding Australia's non sporting achievements; these should speak for themselves.

    Finally,what makes you asse that I am English?


    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 02:19am on 07 Jan 2009, Kevin747 wrote:

    Whilst I agree that we are having a bad year sporting wise, it always makes me laugh when our cousins in the mother Country count sportsmen from 4 different nations as a single entity. What country is Great Britian exactly? Maybe we should team up with the other Asian countries and call ourselves Great Asia, then re-tally the medal count.

    Sound fair?

    Kev.

    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 06:38am on 07 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    Old mate,

    I don't deny Britain exists; you seem to read into things in my post that aren't actually there and then argue against them, it's quite ridiculous really. Take a look at how many people on this board have called themselves British. I think you'll find that most people make the distinction.

    What does Australia's 'white Australia policy' have to do with anything? Just felt the need to dredge up some of Australia's old skeletons? Well please don't start that battle, as we all know that England's history is less than rosy.

    The 'coloured' sportsmen is an example of English exploiting other nationalities and claiming them as their own, only when they succeed. It's quite simple really. I'm sorry, I thought the connection was a rather easy one to make, but I will simplify further posts for your benefit.

    Australia, as you mentioned, has/does have many players across all sports who are born in different countries BUT if they play for Australia, they are Australian, win, lose or draw! That is the difference.

    You state "isn't it about time that Australia made a distinctively excellent contribution other than sport?" Then say achievements should speak for themselves conveniently ignoring my point BEFORE you said that, that the achievements are all there to see, you only need to look...

    As for the link, if you took the time to actually look at it, you would have realised that it is a joke.

    I would assess that you are English based on previous posts about England's sporting success in boxing, rugby and cricket but of course I could be wrong. Care to correct me?





    Complain about this comment

  • 154. At 08:46am on 07 Jan 2009, GSvanZyl wrote:

    As a South African I am very proud of the series victory in Australia. This pride is mainly due to the fact that nobody achived this during the last 16 years.

    But lets be realistic - Australia will bounce back - and quickly. They are a proud nation and I respect them for their attitude and skill in sport.

    I cannot wait for their tour of South Africa.

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 09:09am on 07 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Good Morning Notachucker,
    Mate,

    Your'e not living up to your name. Your'e throwing down some dreadfull stuff-rather like aussie bowlers..?

    I'll reply later when I've picked the sensible bits from the assertion and intemperate abuse in your latest post.

    Tieng my kangeroo down sport,

    its your old mate,

    Archleftback

    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 10:20am on 07 Jan 2009, panamaroadotahuhu wrote:

    A couple of things to add.

    I think its South Africa who should take a bow for what they've achieved.

    Speaking of which, if Pietersen ( the proud Englishman and best batsman ) has resigned as captain it's not looking good for unity in the face of Aussie decline later this year. Aussie also won the last test against South Africa - a bounceback just in time?

    To number 72 - thanks for the extra million people. As far as I am aware NZ has just over 4 million people.

    To number 136 - quite a few people play the five sports mentioned, although I can't recall the New Zealand cricketing success against Australia. Also we had a kiwi win the Indy ( I think ). We have a woman tennis player who is progressing nicely too.

    I don't think the antipodeans are grasping at straws here - only trying to counter this tide of English/British schadenfreude. Each step takes us closer to the black flag with the silver fern as the national flag.

    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 11:14am on 07 Jan 2009, waikato_fc wrote:

    Cultural backwater??

    Can only assume the people saying that have never been south of Cornwall ... As a Kiwi is sometimes pains me to say it, but Australia is a great place - and culturally pretty cutting edge and progressive ... For those of you in England talking about cultural backwaters, all I have to say to you is ... Leicester, Nottingham, Swindon, Reading, Staines ...

    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 11:26am on 07 Jan 2009, RFelsman wrote:

    Nice effort Tom. Team GB may have beaten us at the Olympics courtesy of a sensational cycling team (isn't Chris Hoy a Scot?) but the Poms rarely excelled again this year on the sporting front aside from Lewis Hamilton's GP victory. We thrashed you at Twickers (like all the Southern Hemisphere teams) and mauled your hapless league team. As for the football, we beat you at Upton Park last time we met! Oh, and if we beat Japan next month we'll qualify for another World Cup Finals in a football code that is still considered a minority sport in this country. As for other sports, you forgot to mention our World Champion netballers who beat England yet again! We also have the world female surfing champion and Casey Stoner was the 2007 Moto GP Champion. The list is endless... as for our cricket team.. we are contending with the retirements of greats such as Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist and Langer.. little wonder the rest of the world have caught up! The Proteas are an excellent team but there wasn't much in this terrific series. We'll be back whilst your Hooray Henry cricket team fight each other!

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 11:43am on 07 Jan 2009, panamaroadotahuhu wrote:

    Nice one Waikato.

    I really do hate bagging a place where I have lived happily for nearly 20 years, but when the same old tired tripe is recycled like Christmas turkey its a case of defending your place of birth.

    Kiwis living in the UK do get quite a bit of stick about our native land being culturally bare, backward, insular and isolated.

    I'm sure the Aussies get the same sort of stick ( and I think this article is an extension of that ). What Aussies probably don't have to suffer are Pomgolians confusing them with Kiwis - a weekly occurence for me over the past 18 years. Lusten - ut's fush and chups!! Or better still, Whakarongo mai, ko te kupu tenei a te Aotearoa!!


    As for Australia and New Zealand being cultural backwaters - I'll think you'll find us far more outward looking than your average Pomgolian - we see the oceans surrounding us as a gateway not a moat. I have lost count of the number of times I have corrected natives of this land in their ignorance of their own history and language, so work on that before handing out the punishment to us.

    New Zealand has, at long last, recognised that it has lots of cultures rather than an outdated mono-culture and most importantly have recognised a culture that preceded by a few centuries the establishment of a European one. I think the same is true of Australia.

    Haere Ra

    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 11:55am on 07 Jan 2009, waikato_fc wrote:

    panamaroad, just started re-reading Michael King's history of NZ ... great stuff ...

    I've lived in England for about 3 years now and constantly get asked where in Australia i'm from - which I don't really mind ... it's worse when Americans ask where in England i'm from!

    Still feeling a bit like a tourist here, I try to get out and about as much as I can in the UK and Europe - and you'd be amazed at the number of Londoners I meet who have lived here for 40, 50 years and have never been to half the places in their own country i've already been ...

    Like the analogy about a gateway rather than a moat mate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 1:24pm on 07 Jan 2009, panamaroadotahuhu wrote:

    Thanks Waikato

    I really did want to avoid any form of anti UK rant ( mainly because my Dad is 50 years in NZ and still hates the ABs and disses the homeland, but he'd never go back to Ireland - and I wanted to avoid falling into the same trap).

    The part of England I live in is beautiful and the locals appreciate that I mention this ( ad nauseum ). I have found tons of friends over here - particularly now that we have moved out of London ( which suffers from the usual big city agenda ) and I am very settled indeed. This myth about Pomgolians being reserved is bo11ox.

    However, I still find it very difficult to hear calumnies about the homeland - particulalry from people who have either never been there or have only visited on holiday. I've lived and worked on three different continents and have to listen to blokes at the local who haven't left Hampshire telling me how New Zealand is stuck in the 1950's. I then email my brother ( who picks up the message on his Blackberry on the beach at Mount Maunganui ). One of these days maybe we'll be settled enough in our own skin just to wave it off with a dismissive pat on the head. I think we are maturing a bit in this respect, but when you're being ganged up on it's hard not to come out swinging.

    Good to see your reading the King book. I dip in and out of that often, and Barry Gustaffson's biography of Muldoon, as well as my videos on the Land Wars. I always thought Von Tempsky would make a great subject for a film.

    Are you a Hamiltonian? I spent a couple of years there as a child. Lovely place - if a bit far from the sea.

    Complain about this comment

  • 162. At 2:20pm on 07 Jan 2009, hakluytbean wrote:

    At 08:41am on 31 Dec 2008, eirebilly wrote:

    This GB thing is starting to get on my nerves a bit as well.

    When a sports people form Scotland, Wales or NI win something then they are Brittish, when they lose then they are known as Scottish, Welsh or from NI.
    ------------

    Tbh that analysis is getting on my nerves. When a team wins fans of the team celebrate this by highlighting the name of the team. When Arsenal win a match no-one talks about how well their French players have done, they talk about Arsenal. On the other hand when a team loses no-one likes to draw attention to it so the team is referred to indirectly or by other terms. With British teams you'll find that English players also have a separate identity for this purpose, something like, "unfortunately the Yorkshireman totally stuffed up the finish to the race and so failed to win". It's just simple psychology.

    On your other gripe for some reason you've understood the article to be about how well the English (or British) have done this year, but actually it's about the relatively bad year the Aussies have had.

    I'm not English or Australian either btw.

    Complain about this comment

  • 163. At 8:11pm on 07 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    Archleftback

    your argument about pacific ilanders being no australia is an apsolute joke mate. How can someone ho has lived in australia almost all there lives no be australian if they want to. also if australia and new zealand and the pacific ilands all team up and became osciana you would be the firt to complain but it is the same princible

    Complain about this comment

  • 164. At 12:53pm on 11 Jan 2009, greatAussiematt wrote:

    Hmmm yes agreed. Interesting column. Unfortunately for said writer, although factual, also a touch biased. Australia lost to China Big deal, Iraq were Asia league chapmions ,did England make the euro's? Australia still sit on top of group A. Ahead of both Japan and China with a favourable home draw.

    South Africa did beat us fair and square, in fact they smashed us.At least we have a captain that is from Australia..... oh wait that's right the turnstile of English captains has again eecked it'self around to try and destroy another great promising..... blah blah blah he's finished Andrew Strause. When it comes to the crunch, Australia havent lost a world cup game in two and a half tournaments,they hold the champions trophy, hold the ashes and there's nothing that gets a full blooded aussie cricket... Sport lover going than beating you gapped toothed, whinging, aussie bashing no-hoper, pale skin, warm beer drinking, good for nothing POM's in your home turf!!!It's been 8 long years since we done it.

    Now, the Olympics. We won something like 9 silver's in the mens swiming. yeh yeh yeh big deal. But, you see the events we lost, and see the events that Michael Phelps won ( buy the way very unlucky not to get intl athleate of the year!!).... take the hint. As a per capita rating go's we were still #1 nation on the olympic medal tally so not more can be said.

    As to our future... well thats a political debarcle. The Australian people for some reason think climate change, interest rates, first home buyers incentives and a Prime minister that speaks cantonese, are more important tha spending money on sporting developement. Thats why we have elected Martin Prince (Kevin Rudd) as our Prime minister. So go forth England.. you have about 8 years to cash in on our mis-guided ways on sport. Make hay while the sun shines, because we wont be down for long.

    Complain about this comment

  • 165. At 1:43pm on 11 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Rfelsman.

    In post 158 you say that Great Britain 'only' beat Australia at the olympics,where they topped Australia in rowing ,sailing, boxing, and cycling to name but a few sports.

    When you say Britain only beat Australia in olympics your're trying to make out that it s one isolted sporting event; it actually comprises dozens of sports and is therefore a good indicator of the general level of sporting attainment achieved by the two countries,

    I addition, what about word cycling champonships, world boxing championships-why are Aussies so bd at boxing?- Cavendish in Tour de France-only one australian stage win to four british wins-world road cycling championships, too.

    what about the fact that Britain has a top four male tennis player and Australia doesn't and that the Enlish football team s ranked 8th in the world and australia's 28th?

    Not to mention Lewis Hamilton.

    Yes, Australia did gain a rare win at Twicknham against a young enlad eam in transition but then lost to Wales.

    At least you've still got the minogue sisters to give something to Aussies to sig about on the world stage.

    Complain about this comment

  • 166. At 1:46pm on 11 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Michealc, post 163,

    Mate I'd like to reply o your post but cant understand either the text or your point

    Complain about this comment

  • 167. At 1:53pm on 11 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Notachucker post 153

    If you are not arguing that Britain does not exist as a sporing entity why did you invest so much energy in earlier posts disagregating medals won by British nations to 'prove' that Australia finished above 'England' at Biejing. you must accept that Australia's achievement at Beijing was inferior to that of Great Britain.

    I note that you agree that Australia's achievements beyond sport are a bit of a 'joke'

    Couldn't make much sense of the rest of your post as it seemed to consist mostly of abuse rather than reasoned argument.

    Complain about this comment

  • 168. At 00:51am on 12 Jan 2009, carnasaints wrote:

    Folks, I honstly get sick of all this venom. It is not neccessary. I am British, have lived in Australia for 32 years, have an Australian family etc etc. Yes like most Brits I support ABBA, (Anybody But Bloody Australia), but this comes mainly from having to listen to the excruciatingly xenophobic and jingoistic Australian press. Most of the conception that Aussies are bigheaded comes from this one place. Some of the things that I have heard and read about the British and especially the English would have riots in the streets if it had been said about any other nationality, but because it is the Brits they get away with it. Aussies are like every other nation you have good and bad. I have met English people in Australia that I can't stand, while I have Australian friends who I love dearly. All this back and forth only gives ammunition to the jaded hacks of the Australian fourth estate who have nothing better to do than pour vitriol on over a million people who live in their country. Please BBC I know its tempting but please don't descend to their level.

    Complain about this comment

  • 169. At 6:17pm on 12 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    o yeah thats coz your stupid mate

    Complain about this comment

  • 170. At 8:36pm on 12 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Michaelsc-post 169

    Are you descended from Oscar Wilde or George Bernard Shaw?

    You must be to be able to think up such a witty retort to my post.

    Complain about this comment

  • 171. At 4:25pm on 13 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    O yeah coz your was so much better

    Complain about this comment

  • 172. At 2:24pm on 14 Jan 2009, bluestevenPayne wrote:

    the best syt in the world was to see crying assies after defeat
    best syt in the world :):):)::):):)

    Complain about this comment

  • 173. At 3:34pm on 14 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    michaelsc post171

    Mate,

    Good to see that the standard of wit you set in post 169 wasn't just a flash in the pan

    Keep these gems a-comin'

    Complain about this comment

  • 174. At 5:37pm on 14 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    O yeah but your just one of those fat internet nerd who sit at home all day pretending to be interested in sport to try and get friends.

    Complain about this comment

  • 175. At 5:25pm on 15 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    michealsc, post174,


    I think your last post revealed quite a lot about your own domestic circumstances, mate !

    Complain about this comment

  • 176. At 9:08pm on 15 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    what? i think you've got some type of problem

    Complain about this comment

  • 177. At 12:33pm on 16 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    archie,

    I thought achievements had to speak for themselves? Why did you bother responding? Your inferiority complex playing up again?

    Again, I never said Britain doesn't exists (your orginal arugment), I merely stated that Britain USES the 'British' argument when other nations achieve. And I'm not sure how much engery it takes you to write a sentence but I certainly didn't expend much stating that England finished behind Australia in the medal tally.

    Complain about this comment

  • 178. At 7:24pm on 16 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Michaelsc post 176

    Mate,

    I think that , once again, you have unwittingly revealed more of your pyschological frailties than you would have liked.

    Try and gain some release over the weekend

    Complain about this comment

  • 179. At 7:31pm on 16 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Notachucker,-post 177-

    Can't help wondering why its so important for you to allege that England finished behind Australia in medals table.

    Incidentally, in at least one event, it was an english competitor that finished behind a Scot; had not the British system permitted and facilitated this,it would have been an English competitor, not an Australian, who would have the gold.

    Still puzzled as to your sporting perspective,

    but relieved that you've still got the spunk to keep posting,

    Your old mate,

    Arch leftback

    Complain about this comment

  • 180. At 7:34pm on 16 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Michaelsc,

    Mate ,

    I've just noted that I've spelled 'Psychological' incorrectly in replying to your post 176.

    but you probably noted that, didn't you mate.

    Archleftback

    Complain about this comment

  • 181. At 11:30pm on 16 Jan 2009, notachucker wrote:

    Archie,

    I'm glad we agree that England uses the British system to permit and facilitate success.

    You made a small error here so I'll take the liberty of correcting it, seeing as you seem to enjoy doing it to others.

    "Incidentally, in at least one event, it was an English competitor that finished behind a Scot; had not the British system permitted and facilitated this, it would have been a SCOTTISH, not a BRITISH competitor, who would have won gold."

    Just because a Scot won and an Englishman came second, doesn't equal (if you take FGB [formerly Great Britain] out of the equation), more gold medals for England; it just means less for FGB. Having Scotland compete separately doesn't change where they finish in a race, does it?

    Well Archie, it was fun while it lasted but I guess it had to end sometime. Thank you for your contribution, it will soon be forgotten.

    All the best
    your Aussie superior,

    Notachucker ;)

    Complain about this comment

  • 182. At 12:57pm on 17 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Notachuker,

    I dont really understand the point you're making;but then again, I guess I'm just supposed to reel in the face of your Aussie assertion and aggression rather than argument.

    The point that I was making is that even if one plays your game of disagregating British medals it still would not 'prove' that 'Australia' finished above England in the medals table.

    I have to ask the quetion again:given that you agree that Great Britain ,an aythentic sporting entity, finished above Autralia at he Beijing olympics, what comfort oe it give you to try to 'prove' hat Australia finished above England'

    Its a imple direct question my old mate.

    Please enlighten me.

    The last lines of your post 181 lead me to fear that you might not be coming out for the next round; incidentally, why are Australians so bad at boxing-Rusian imports like Kosta Tszu notwithstanding?

    Complain about this comment

  • 183. At 9:14pm on 18 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    archleftback

    you just don't have a clue do you mate, you don't achally understand what everyone is saying do you? all you do is say the same argument over and over again. and you argument is pretty flawed in the first placed so why dont you sit down have a nice relax and try to come up with an argument that achally makes sence ok?

    Complain about this comment

  • 184. At 09:35am on 19 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    michaelsc-post 183

    Mate,

    I had hoped that you might have gained some emotional and mental peace over the weekend!

    Look,

    You've got to learn to accept your limitations and manage the frustration that leads to such anger.

    Who knows-your spelling might improve.

    Thinking of you,

    Archleftback

    Complain about this comment

  • 185. At 6:07pm on 19 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 186. At 6:49pm on 19 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Michaelsc-post 185

    Mate,

    Good to recieve your pungently and pithily expressed-if idiosyncratically spelt -emission!

    Sorry to hear that your'e feeling a bit crook.

    Do you think that you might be in danger of a technicolour yawn because you've been contemplating Australians-and their island boys-sporting demise?

    Mate,
    Crack open a tinny and try and purge yourself of your anger and self loathing.

    Your'e always in my thoughts,

    Archleftback


    Complain about this comment

  • 187. At 7:03pm on 19 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    mate just because i spell words wrong on a sports article doesn't mean i am an idiot

    i think that maybe you should do something constructive with you life other than criticize other people spelling mistakes.

    just because australia didnt do as well in the olympics for once doesn't mean that they are in a sporting decline. Australia has a population of like half of england but even with the extra people of scotland and wales you still only just beat us which is the first time in like 30 years

    what did you mean by island boys? if you mean people that weren't born in australia playing for australia then maybe you should look at the current "england" cricket captain... and the one before that. also england's rugby team has and has had heaps of players that weren't born in england so before you criticize other nations sports team maybe you should have a long hard look at your own.

    Complain about this comment

  • 188. At 7:05pm on 19 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    also name a world sports event that england have won in the past 2 years

    Complain about this comment

  • 189. At 6:09pm on 20 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Michaelsc-posts 187-188..



    Mate,

    Good to see you've recovered!

    Not so good to read you trotting out the stale ,lame, arguments about howell Australia does given its lack of population etc.

    Australia had nothing to distinguish itself as a nation other than sport and consquently invested more of its GDP than other nations.

    Britain did not bother to significantly invest in sport until recently-with, I think you agree, spectacular resuts.

    English competitors have drubed their Australian counterparts in boxing, cycling, rowing,etc, and defeated the Australian Rugby Union team in 2007.

    My comments on Australia's sporting imports of Islaners-not to mention Argentians, Russians and others was in response to comments like those you made in your text about England's cricket team.

    You comment on my criticisms of your spelling-at least I had not made the kind of comments you've made in post 176 and others.

    Maybe these are what passes for witty banter in Australia and its island depenencies.

    Mate,

    Your never out of my thoughts.

    Shame about Leyton Hewitt today

    Archleftback

    Complain about this comment

  • 190. At 6:35pm on 20 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    mate
    thats an absolute joke, how can you say australia import Argentineans, russians and islander but england don't? name 10 current australia athletes that compete for the national teams that haven't lived in australia for the majority of there life.

    Also you never named a sport england were world champions at....O wait thats because you can't.

    How exactly did england drub Australia at rowing? Also "england's" best boxer is welsh and there best cyclelist is scottish so they hardly drubed us at that too.

    28 - 14 i believe was the most resent rugby union score and 52 - 4 in the league. Cricket was 5 - 0 and even the most resent game in football we won. so achally resently we've beaten you more than you've beaten us, so surely if we are in a sporting decline then, by your own logic, so are you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 191. At 5:01pm on 21 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Michaelsc-post 190
    Mate-I was just thinking about you!

    The 'soccer' game was in 2003. It was a friendly when England made 11 substitutions at half time. England stands at 8th in Fifa rankings and when England beat Croatia in April, will go 7th;Australia are currently 28th.

    In rowing, British rowers finished obn top of rankings in world championships in 2007/8, breaking a German monompoly of 11 years. British rowers topped medal table in Beijing.

    In cycling world championships before olympics, British clists toped medal table;Australia did not gain a single gold. Mark Cavendish won four stages of Tour de france; there was only one Australian stage win.

    Lleyton Hewit has been knocked out of Australia open and most Australians are there only as 'wild cats'. Andy Murray is ranked fourth and a favourite to win it.

    Lewis Hamilton is world motor rcing champion.

    In the recent Australian Youth Olympic Festival British competitors won 26 golds

    Rahul Dravid, the Indian batsman said he was more impresed by English bowlers than Australia's; can you really look forward to this years Ashes?

    Yes, Australia won a rare victory at Twickenham in 2008and won a rugby league victory; but how do these isolated successes stack up against all the successes achieve by British-the majority of them English-competitors?

    Welsh Joe Calzaghe may be Britain's best boxer but Britain has at least half a dozen other world champons who are Englsh;Australia has none. Australia's lamentable record in boxing explains why it imported Russian Kosta Tzsu, who was flattened by Enlish Ricy Hatton in 2005.

    I dont undrstand why your'o uptight regarding 'England' when I'm coming from a British perspective. Nevertheles, i hope that y dmonstration of English sporting success fills in he gaps in your knowledge.

    Look Mate,

    I understand that you've got to grasp at a few straws of recent -few and far between Australian successes against England and I dont blame you for it-

    You know that your mental health is my main concern .

    Dont you think for a moment that you ever leve my houghts mate.

    archleftback



    Dont understand your logic Cobber.

    Complain about this comment

  • 192. At 6:01pm on 21 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    Mark Cavendiah is Manx not english and Andy Murray is scottish

    Complain about this comment

  • 193. At 6:10pm on 21 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    But
    Did Australia beat Engalnd in football? yes
    Did Australia beat england in cricket? yes
    Did Australia beat england in Rugby union? yes
    Did Australia beat england in Rugby league? yes
    Did a Manx man beat the Australians? yes
    Did a Scot beat the Australians? yes
    Did england? No
    Did a Welsh man beat the Australians? yes
    Did england? No
    Did a english man beat Australians? yes
    Did GB beat Australians? yes
    Did England? No

    So achally mate the scores are
    Australia 4
    Isle of man 1
    Scotland 1
    wales 1
    england 1
    "Great" Britain 1

    Also before you say "I'm coming from a british perspective so we won more" if we include all of osciana you would not hve won more

    Complain about this comment

  • 194. At 11:37am on 22 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    My old Mate!

    Michaelsc


    You've almost understood.

    Great Britain is composed Of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, etc.

    Competitors from these parts of Great Britain, competing as Great Britain, won 19 medals to Australia's 15 at Beijing; your'e right ;Britain is superior to Australia at sport.

    Lets talk England. The success of English competitors is sometimes submerged in GB or UK success;Bradley Wiggins, Victoria Pendlton, Rebecca Romero,James de Gale etc.

    You go back to that friendly in football 2003; you remember that England beat Australia at Rugby Union in June 03 aqnd October 03, again in November 2005 and October 2007.

    In 2005 England beat Australia to win Ashes.

    In football England is 8th in FIFA rankings and Australia 28th

    Mate,

    I regard myself as a teacher to you.

    In addition to correcting your logic and knowledge of sporting history I feel that I ought to correct your spelling of key words.

    'Oceana' is spelt 'O-C-E-A-N-A'.

    'Actually' is spelt 'A-C-T-U-A-L- L-Y'

    Your educational level is going to imptrove mate!

    You island boys dont get much of a crack in Aussie schools do you.

    Your old mate

    Archleftback

    Complain about this comment

  • 195. At 3:43pm on 22 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Mate,

    Michaelsc,

    Did you spot the deliberate mistake?

    'Oceania' is actually spelt 'O-C-E-A-N-I-A' !

    Didn't I read that Great Britain gained more gold medals than Australia and New Zealand combined at Beijing?

    Waiting with eager anticipation for your reply,

    Archleftback

    Complain about this comment

  • 196. At 6:03pm on 22 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    mate if were going back in time to get results how about you look up Australia's 51 -15 battering of england in rugby union or Australia's 30 year dominance of the Ashes or the medal tables from 2004, 2000, 1996 etc

    Also we are the most successful nation in cricket and rugby league and aussie rules and join most successful in rugby union so if you want to go take results from a long time ago by all means go ahead.

    Also i haven't finished my education yet and i go to school in the isle of man and they definitely dont consider themselves british

    Complain about this comment

  • 197. At 6:05pm on 22 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    Also i know you were like "Australia's population doesn't matter" yes it does as englands alone is bigger and also england poor more money into sport than Australia so you got that wrong as well

    Complain about this comment

  • 198. At 6:41pm on 22 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Well done that boy!

    He can't spell,'assess the significance of individual sprts events or sporting history but he keeps stepping up for punishment.

    Ready for your homework?

    First, the 51-15 game. England historically send undercooked teams down to Southern hemisphere
    given the demands of Guinness premiership.

    Does that game,or the recent Australian victory at Twickenham really outweigh all the Union games that I mentioned?

    Secondly-pay attention now- Australia finished above Britain in 1992 ,1996, 2000, and 2004, but the Modern Olympic games history extends from 1896-2008. I think that you'll find Australia's olympic success to be a 'blip' in the longer historical scheme of things.

    Thirdly.your mode of argument seems to consist of accusing me of errors that you have comitted yourself. It was you who went back to Upton Park in 2003.

    Fourthly. You say that Australia is joint most successfull Rugby Union nation in the history of the world;England have knocked Australia out of the World Cup three times, winning t in Australia in 2003.

    Fifthly Australia 'rules at Aussie rules Thats like saying that the USA is best team in world at american Football; aren't New zealand presently world rugby union champions; champions in a game that is hardly played worldwide.

    Sixthly. I know that England's population is bigger than Australia's and that England/GB now 'P-O-U-R-S' not 'P-O-O-R-S' significant amounts of money into sport but Australia has been doing that for years.

    Schoolboy logic may suggest that because Australia's population is smaller than England's that Australia is out performing England/UK; but its not just a matter of population;its a matter of political will to direct money to sport. Great Britain finished above Germany-80 million-and Japan 100 mllion at Beijing.

    Now,
    You go off and finish your homework. If you are doing it on the computer, use the wordspell function

    Your old Mate,

    Archleftback

    Complain about this comment

  • 199. At 6:43pm on 22 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Michaelsc

    You'll note that I said New zealand are currently world rugby union champions.

    You know that I meant world rugby league champions dont you mate.

    You probably know that they deprived Australia of that title recently.

    Complain about this comment

  • 200. At 7:16pm on 22 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    ok are you ready for your homework now

    Firstly the 51-15 game. yes england sent a under strength team but that doesnt mean that we didnt beat you. the fact that you used the "demands of the guinness premiership as an excuse fro this proves that you don't watch rugby. The guinness premiership is the easiest competition in professional rugby. and also the worst
    Again you have proven that you know nothing about rugby as australia have beaten england at twickenham in 2004 and 2008 and haven't lost to england on home ground since 2003. Also if you check on the IRB you will see that Australia are currently ranked 3 whilse england are 5 or 6

    Secondly i think you will find that "great" britain's resent medal table win was the first in 30 years with, i believe, is long enough to show it isn't a blip

    Thirdly i am not accusing you of any thing all i did was quote the most resent football score and if that happened to be in 2003 then you just have too deal with it

    Fouthly England knocking Australia out of the world cup three times don't mean that Australia are not the joint most successful team. And i think you will find that in 1999 we won it on your ground.

    Fifthly Aussie rules may not be played world wide but we are still the best at it and whilse new zealand might be the league deserving champions from the way we played in the final doesnt mean we are not the best. you must remember that we smashed them in the group stage.

    Sixthly it seems you dont really have a point here you just proved mine. yes australia used to pour money into sport but not as much as england do now.

    i think you will find schoolboy logic doesn't suggest that england population is bigger it proves it. and you cannot say that population doesn't make a difference just look at china

    from what you have been saying i think you should be the one who does some homework mate.

    Also you always seem to ride on the back of other country's success like the league for instants england didnt win it new zealand did so if i use you logic england not qualifying for the euro means that is another australian victory.

    Why do you constantly criticize my spelling? yes i am not too great at spelling but this is a computer website not an english GCSE and with todays technology my spelling doesnt matter for most of this as course work is done on computer.

    you won't win this argument mate until australia actually have a sporting decline and even then your floored argument and losing mentality will probably make you throw that away too.

    Complain about this comment

  • 201. At 7:20pm on 22 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    As you would probably notice when you analysis all my spelling i forgot to end the quotation marks but i am sure you know what i mean

    Complain about this comment

  • 202. At 7:38pm on 22 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    Isn't it past your bed time?

    You cant seem to think up any original ways of insulting me.

    You see, as I said in my last post you simply adopt my way of putting you down and try and employ it against me-'O.K ready for your homework' you write

    Where have I heard that before?

    You then itemise you points 1-6 ,etc.

    Can't you be more original?

    I'm not sure whether you are being delberately obtuse but you seem to completely miss the population point

    The fact that i mention other countries successes against Australia is meant to show that Australia is in sporting decline in relation to othr nations as well as Great Britain;the Beijing results speak for thmselves as far as Britain is concerned.

    Australia won RWC in London in 1999; England won it in Sydney in 2003.

    You dont really answer the point about Aussie rules and league being minority sports.

    I criticise your spelling-I could criticise your grammar too (use of languistic rules,not your dads mum)
    because it seems to indicate a real level of ignorance.

    School tomorrow Michaelsc!

    Complain about this comment

  • 203. At 7:53pm on 22 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    mate you actually don't have a clue do you
    I said ok ready for your homework too show you that you are not always right and i used the points 1-6 as a way of easily answering your points without confusing your obviously fragmented mind.

    How is my use of grammar on a computer anything to do with this argument?

    "Australia won RWC in London in 1999; England won it in Sydney in 2003" i know i already said this

    Australia may not have dominated sport last year as much as they usually do but they still preformed much better than england

    WE HAVE A SMALLER POPULATION THAT YOU SO YOU SHOULD HAVE MORE SPORTING DEPTH AND MONEY TO SPEND SO YOU SHOULD PREFORM BETTER THAN US USUALLY

    Why do you mock me for being a school boy?

    do you even play sport?

    Complain about this comment

  • 204. At 12:29pm on 23 Jan 2009, archleftback wrote:

    michaelsc-post 203.

    Oh,mate,mate,mate!

    It's just dawned on me that your'e craving attention!

    Look,

    I dont think that I can take that burden up.

    Try and be more attentive in class and improve the presentatation and construction of arguments in your homework-try and write to the question and not trot out assertions that can't be substantiated,or which may even have beenshown to be silly- and maybe the teachers will pay your more attention.

    Mate,
    I know those Manx kids can be rough, but join in the schoolyard games; they'll accept you eventually.

    Most of all, mate, get out there and play some sport (you'll get better at it!)

    Its much healthier than bashing the keyboard in your darkened room-really, it is; and you'll feel so much healthier

    Mate,
    This is Archleftback,
    finally saying 'over and out' and wishing you life less lonely

    Complain about this comment

  • 205. At 3:42pm on 24 Jan 2009, michealsc wrote:

    whatever mate
    i actually can play sport and playing in the common wealth youth games here in two years so why dont you go back to your 9 till 5 dead end job and leave us all in peace

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.