Peter Holmes a Court is to be applauded for his anti-pokie stance for the Rabbitohs Leagues Club. I think many in clubland are probably sick to the stomach at the enormous gaping maw that sucks in profits and spews out human wrecks, such have the once fairly innocuous clubs become. Has Holmes a Court merely had the guts to go where others would follow if it didn’t mean tearing up their bottom line and flushing it?
I don’t know if any of you go to clubs at all, but I’ve been to a few recently and the impression one gets is of a new age church, devoid of spiritual value, but rich in ritual (and bleeping noises), a soothing cocoon of mediocrity with a tithing system that is designed to relieve you of not ten but ninety percent of your income. It’s a good place to get fat too apparently. Food is definitely cheap and plentiful.
We can not ignore that Homes a Court has the hefty assistance of a heavyweight Aussie Hollywood star behind his enterprise and it is here that reality intrudes a little into an otherwise hopeful development. Holmes a Court advises that pokie income will be replaced by sponsorship money, which has no doubt been rolling in once the star power garnered all that free press for the ailing Rodents. Attributing it all to the squeaky clean family friendly image of the team and club is like John Howard attributing the economic boom to workplace reforms.
Rather than quibble about it, however, how about we just begin enlisting an Aussie Hollywood star to adopt a footy club each? Kidman for Easts (or whatever they’re called these days), Ledger for the Sea Eagles, Errol Flynn for Newtown…
Although it wouldn’t surprise me if they don’t have better things to do. It’s possible that the pokies have been propping up a sport that ought to have been relegated to SBS Sunday evenings long ago. It takes serious money to hype such a humdrum procession into entertaining television. Those commentators charge by the tautology you know.
Personally I stopped watching about ten years ago. Last night I started watching a new sport. Women’s soccer. Australia into the quarter finals of the World Cup, crucial last minute goal (how I roared), grace, skill, heaving bosoms and hardly a dive to be seen. Now that is good tv sport! Just ban the pokies and be done with it.
UPDATE: Canberra’s Polish Club follows suit.