Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! – Oi! Oi! Oi!!
Our Colonial Columnist continues to deliver his own views and opinions on what it is like to maintain watch within the far Antipodeans
Column by Nigel Booker
Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! – Oi! Oi! Oi!! Aussie! – oi!, Aussie! – oi!, Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! – Oi! Oi! Oi!…and so goes the national chant of our Antipodean colonial brethren. Like most sport chants, it is highly emotive, catchy, impulsive and as imaginative as a piece of coal. Perfect for all the Neanderthal sport fanatical masses who get so impassioned about athleticism. Like those ghastly office and social media bores who have been converted into the cult of CrossFit and insist that it is the true savior of mankind – as if flipping a tractor tire or squatting with a dumbbell above your head improves your physical or spiritual quality of life. I was brought up in a farming community and I can honestly say, never once, was I situationally positioned whereby the only way out was to flip a tractor tire over and over again. Not even once in fact. From my recollection, every time I came across a tractor tire lying on the floor I simply walked around it. Maybe the endorphin release is linked to the same psychological effect of being released from tortuous captivity. But CrossFit is optional and therefore, basically, like sunburn – a self-inflicted injury…. I digress. Bloody CrossFit!
Anyway, as you may or may not know – depending on how much time has been stolen from your life by the whole Brexit debacle and the fantastical ‘cirque de solei-esque’ pantomime that is British politics. I cannot begin to tell you the merriment and mirth we have enjoyed down here watching this ‘Game of Thrones’ meets ‘House of Cards’ with a Dr Who twist – old Nige Farage punching the huge UK self-destruct button before jumping in his tardis and disappearing to a parallel universe where he gets to keep his job as an MEP but holds no accountability for Armageddon…! Where was I….? Oh yeah, you may or may not know that the Olympics is coming. You may think that you can feel the buzz in the air, however, that’s probably just Zika virus laden mosquitos, and you should cover up. Sorry.
So the point of my ramblings in mainly about the difficulty of supporting Australian sports teams on the international stage. Not because they’re crap and it’s embarrassing like an overpaid English football team beaten by Bjork’s mates. No, not at all. It’s because you never really know who or what you’re supporting.
You see, being an English sports fan is easy. Do you know what they call the England football team? It’s the England football team. Do you know what they call the England hockey team? It’s the England hockey team. Do you know what they call the England rugby team? Come on now, surely you can guess…..it’s the England rugby team. So imagine the headache induced by trying to work out what team is playing whom at what sport down here. Let’s start with a simple game. I will give you the sport and genre and you try to guess the name.
So, an easy one to start with, the Men’s National Rugby Union Team? It’s the Wallabies, obviously. What about the Men’s National Soccer Team? It’s the Socceroos. Ok, to keep it gender fair, what about the Netball Team? A girl’s best friend, it’s the Diamonds. You see? It’s nigh on impossible to know who or what you are supporting. Here’s a list of only some of them;
- Women’s National Rugby Union Team – Wallaroos
- Men’s National Rugby 7’s Team – Thunderbolts
- Men’s National Rugby League Team – Kangaroos
- Women’s National Rugby League Team – Jillaroos
- Women’s National and Olympic Soccer team – Matildas
- Men’s Olympic Soccer Team – Olyroos
- National Athletic Team – Australian Flame
- National Cricket Team – Baggy Greens
- Women’s Cricket Team – Southern Stars
- Australian Swimming Team – Dolphins
- Men’s Waterpolo Team – Sharks
- Women’s Waterpolo Team – Stingers
- Men’s Basketball Team – Boomers
- Women’s Basketball Team – Opals
- National Cycling Team – Cyclones
- Men’s Field Hockey Team – Kookaburras
- Women’s Field Hockey Team – Hockeyroos
- Men’s Ice Hockey Team – Mighty Roos
- Women’s Ice Hockey Team – Mighty Jills
- Men’s Lacrosse Team – Sharks
- Women’s Lacrosse Team – Sharkettes
- National Tennis Team – Cockatoos
Now, it’s possible to see that in some cases, the name is repeated, so you have to be sure what you are supporting. Luckily, due to the fact that the Australian culture is one for abbreviating names, if you holler ‘Ca’an the Roos!!’ there is a fair chance that you are supporting a winning side…especially when the pool we’re given to play here is somewhat…easy. Let me give you an example.
The Socceroos were not in Euro 2016, because Australia is not in Europe; however, Australia came second in the Eurovision song contest and so by some strange rationale spouted by Socceroo fans, if the Socceroos were in Euro 2016 they would be in the final. This from a team that is so bad that they are pooled against Azerbaijan and Qatar for qualifiers and still lose. In fact, you don’t need to follow the Socceroos to know when they win because the media spouts Brexit level baseless lies and promises on the rare occasions they win with such claims as ‘this is our time for world cup victory’ and ‘Socceroos take on the world’ etc. It’s fun and sort of endearing in the same way you watch a dad let his toddler kick a ball past him to score a goal and you think ‘bless, that’s sweet.’ I’m not joking! The following appeared in the news here;
“The Socceroos have reached their highest FIFA ranking in four years, rising 17 places to 50 on the latest table. FFA says it’s the first time Australia have been in the world top 50 since 2012, with the impressive rise coming after smashing World Cup qualification wins last month. Ange Postecoglou’s team beat Tajikistan 7-0 in Adelaide and Jordan 5-1 in Sydney to qualify for the next stage top of their group. It’s the first time in the top 50 since 2012. It places Australia second in Asia behind Iran (42) ahead of the next World Cup qualification draw as the Socceroos have jumped past South Korea (56), Japan (57) and Saudi Arabia (60) in the past month.”
However, since this story was published in April, Australia has dropped back down to 59th.
So with the impending Olympics in Rio looming over the horizon like a Kilroy on a wall, we are hoping for a better medal tally than London 2012 from our boys and girls in Green and Gold. I will be incredibly interested to hear the sports pundits at the opening ceremony comment upon the vast amount of Australian supports wafting their colours aloft and supporting their side. How they differentiate the Brazilian Green and Gold from the South African Green and Gold from the Australian Green and Gold will be a feat in itself. As will actually bothering to watch it due to the time difference – we’re 13 hours ahead. I’ll leave that to the nocturnal sports fans.