Six prominent Aussies with a case of the dreaded “yips”
The yips. It’s an old golf term which refers to golfers who lose the ability to putt. They stand over the ball and they tremble. They quake. They can barely hold the damn club, let alone propel the ball into a hole that suddenly appears the size of a thimble.
The term has since migrated across to other sports. Beijing gold medallist Steve Hooker today admitted that he has the pole vault yips. He just can’t place that pole in the right spot anymore, and his London campaign is in severe jeopardy.
If it’s any consolation Steve, you’re not the only person struggling to get your mojo back. Several other prominent Australians across all walks of life have totally lost the ability to do the thing they were once pretty good at. Here are five more prominent cases of the Yips. The Punch heartily invites more suggestions from you.
Once upon a time, the Julia Gillard was considered a strong-willed, smart operator who got things done. Then she became prime minister, and pretty much immediately lost the ability to do anything. Since assuming our highest office, Gillard has suffered the carbon tax yips, the pokies yips, the Malaysia yips and 53 other kinds of yips. The worst has been the “real Julia” yips. When you suffer an existential crisis in front of the whole nation, what hope do you have of getting your mojo back?
The once-dominant TV network keeps threatening to return to its former lofty perch – and failing. Excess Baggage was going to be the reality smash hit of the century. It failed. Returning wunderkind Jamie Durie was going to save the network with a smile and a flash of his pecs. He dudded out too. Today is going OK, but only because thieves broke into Sunrise and stole the set. The decision to recast Kerry Packer in Paper Giants is just another example of extreme yippery in Willoughby.
Apart from bits falling off their planes, and endless industrial relations struggles, and sponsoring crap teams like the Socceroos and Wallabies, and cancelling all their flights one really busy weekend, they’re actually not going too badly. Which is a bit like saying Ian Baker Finch (Australian golf’s most famous yipster) cut a very handsome figure at the 19th hole bar.
Sam came, then Sam got shafted. Anthony melted down on morning television and Jeff’s still asleep. And to make matter yet worse, the Wiggles lost money last year. The flawsome foursome just can’t take a trick at the moment, and the kids know it. When the four year olds turn against you, you know it’s time to visit the yip doctor.
He sooked because his ancient business model collapsed. Then sookily insulted online entrepreneurs. Then tried to become one himself when his sooking backfired. Then Wayne Swan effectively called him a sook. When that happens, you know you could whinge for Australia. Will Australia ever sing “Go Harvey go!” again? Perhaps not. Gerry’s case of the yips has the rancid smell of permanence.
So how to break the yips?
Easy. Just ask Michael Clarke, the man who couldn’t get anyone onside for a decade, then went out and made 329 runs. To the people on the above list: channel your inner 329. Except for you, Julia. You’d need to make about three million and 29.
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