Feb 132007

"Come on sports bloggers. When the going gets tough the tough get going. Surely someone can crank out a few well chosen cliches and some penetrating analysis, even from the depths of mortification."

This heartfelt plea from Ken "Troppo" Parish has rested with the Bannerman for some…..ooooh, 15 minutes now. That’s long enough to consider something he read in a blog comment screed as worthy of note. There’s something in that plaintive request, and it’s not only built around a distinct lack of coverage in the ’sphere of some errant game of thugby which may or may not have captured the attention of a scant few for a brief period of time. It’s to do with the fact that, yes, we tend to blog about inconsequentialities like politics, when there are more important pursuits to be entertained in virtual text. There’s the keystone of Australiana. That essence of cultural value. Sport. No, no you idiots. Not the kind you actually get involved in, heavens no! The kind you watch from the comfort of your lounge sofa with a bowl of guacamole dip and corn chips close to hand. The kind with intermittent commercials permitting the replenishment of bodily fluids, which is essential when indulging in sporting activities. The kind with commercials lengthy enough to accomodate the voiding of bodily fluids created by the imbibing, and so on.

Given that Bannerman has only recently returned to the ’sphere, he’s not quite full bottle on what the present day smorgasbord of blogmania in Oz provides these days. Apart from the almost obligatory attendance to things which occur in the city of circular roads and arguments at randomly varied times of the year. There are bloggers who tend to focus on their own state patch, of course, but are they really serious bloggers, Bannerman wants to know? Surely if you’re not castigating Canberra, ragging Rudd or howling at Howard & their respective crews, you’re not a serious blogger. Or are you?

In times long past, when West Australian uni students considered themselves adults and News media journalists played at being comedians, there was a blog under the rather incongruously cumbersome title of ’Ubersportingpundit’ run by some chappy with the handle of Wickstein. Neither seem to exist in the ’sphere any longer, although Bannerman recalls seeing Wickstein in the Troppo comment list. The aforesaid blog used to cover most forms of sporting endeavour, although Bannerman notes with some concern that memory serves to recall a dearth of Australian motorsport. There was all the usual body contact sports where balls of all manner of ellipsoid shapes were employed. A smattering of coverage of the round ball contest, copious coverage of the leather & willow game, the merest smearing of the little white ball coverage and the very sniff of high-octane roundy-roundies from Europe.

There was probably some other stuff…..boche, lawn bowls, shuffleboard, ten-pin, ladies tennis (no-one watches the mens…do they?) but to be quite frank, Bannerman never really visited the site all that often. You see, Bannerman isn’t a ball sport fan. Oh, maybe an occasional 6.5km walk chasing a round white ball with a wonky club, but apart from that, he’s just not a ball sport fan. Does that make him a pretend Aussie? Surely not, because Bannerman follows the epitome of all Aussie sporting undertakings. The most expensive, the fastest, the most ego-boosting sport even for those gradually bloating from beer gas on their lounge sofa. V8 Supercars. Really a true spectator sport, given that participation requires a gab gift, multiple marketing contacts, backing finance in excess of six figures and a family connection to the auto industry that’s at least two generations deep. Probably why motorsport in this country, in fact any country for that matter, is usually considered an elitist sport. What the hell! Bannerman likes to rub beer-bellies with elitists. He still has his signed Dick Johnson Team Australia Racing t-shirt to prove it. The nikko is a little faded and the shirt yellowed at the collar, but it does prove that consorting with money will get you more than a rash.

So, yes, sport bloggers. Where the fuck are you!??? There is more to blogging life than budgets, elections, politicians and circular arguments. There’s motorsport for one thing, and this year, Bannerman intends seeing through the V8 Supercar championship from start to finito. Race commentary, memories and maybe if you’re really lucky bloggers, a blow-by-blow from a weeks worth of the ultimate experience from Mt Panorama. That’s a trip in the wishing right now, but those who fail to plan…..

By the way, just what is a signed race program from the Lakeside, May 3 1992 round of the Shell Australian Touring Car Championship worth? The signature? Peter Brock’s of course.

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