We all hate gamesmanship, except when it suits us
Outrage, outrage, outrage. Defending Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is a cheat who robbed Sloane Stephens of a spot in the final, blah, blah, blah.
Yeah, well I ain’t gonna minsk words about the Belarusian’s belligerent behavior. You ask me, Azarenka cleverly used the rules to her own advantage.
Now, before anyone squawks “yeah, but her fake injury break was flaunting the rules!” let me squawk the following right back at ya’.
Do you support a football team? OK. And have you ever cheered on one of your own players who is adept at “milking” a penalty or free kick? Course you have.
Fact is, gamesmanship is part of all sport, whether it’s injury breaks in tennis or soccer players writhing in agony on the ground after suffering a vicious invisible tap on the shoulder.
We Australians are an odd lot. Most of us are angry at Azarenka today because we don’t like people who change their story and above all, we detest fakers. That’s one of the major reasons soccer struggles to capture the broad public imagination in this country.
Ah, but when the faker is one of our own, well now, we kind of don’t really mind it that much.
By the way, did anyone see the Melbourne Stars players stand around in the Big Bash this year after a rival player was floored by a bouncer? Not one Australian player approached the batsman to see if he was OK. Not one.
I’m a lot angrier about that than I am about some Belarusian pulling a few sneaky tricks which may or may not have been within the bounds of the rules.
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