The sad demise of a Sporting Empire



  • As New Zealand and Australia get set to do battle on the sporting field once again, this time in the Bledisloe Cup, the one-time pinnacle of International Rugby, i think it is only fair that we, as kiwi fans, take a moment to spare a thought for our Australasian cousins. The realists among them are starting to come to terms with the reality that their star has faded, and they are no longer the sporting superpower they once were.

    Around the turn of the century, Australia could lay claim to being the best all-round sporting nation on the planet. Not a huge population, they still managed to excel in a number of discipines:

    • Tennis: Their two best players in Hewitt and Rafter spent time at #1, and won multiple Grand Slams. The Woodies, particularly Woodbridge, could lay claim to being the best doubles players ever. It was a golden time

    • Cricket: Undisputed kings of all forms, unbeatable at home, nigh unbeatable away, with a host of all-time greats; and in the discussion as the greatest cricket side of all time

    • The Olympics: Sydney was a triumph of an event, with the home nation taking home 58 medals, including 16 gold. THis flowed in to 2004, where they took their tallies even higher, across a huge number of sports

    • Motor Cycling: Mick Doohan was coming off 5 straight MotoGP championships, while Troys Corser and Bayliss were winning Superbike titles repeatedly

    • The Socceroos were assembling their greatest ever side that would eventually get out of the Group Stage of the World Cup, including such luminaries as Cahill, Kewell, Schwarzer, Viduka, Aloisi, Bresciano

    • And of course rugby. 3 super sides were always at the pointy end. The Reds topped the table in '99, The Brumbies were tussling with the Crusaders for the claim to be the best team in the comp. And this flowed to the Wallabies. '99 World Cup. 01 Lions. Multiple wins over the All Blacks, legit claim to be the best team in the world.

    And this isn't an exhaustive list, their league team was more dominant, it seemed no matter what they played, they won. A true golden age.

    Compare and contrast with today

    • In tennis, their two best players are a couple of douchebags universally reviled by their own fans, who can't even be fucked playing at Wimbledon

    • The cricket side has slipped to 4th in the world records, and closer to little old NZ than the top of the table. Series losses home and away are now the norm, rather than a cause for shock. Players were on strike a week ago because they couldn't afford to buy a 2nd Italian sports car

    • In the Olympics, Australia's plummet down the medal table has been stark. Medal totals have halved, and again, they are closer to little old NZ than the top of the table.

    • Do they still ride Motor Bikes? Daniel Riccardo seems like a bit of a dude in F1, but hardly in a position to actually win anything.

    • The Socceroos are in a fight to qualify for the next World Cup, despite playing a bunch of impoverished nations.

    • And of course the rugby. Super teams winless against NZ opposition. One team fighting their death in Court. The Wallabies are unable to bank a win at home against Scotland any more. Grass roots on it's knees. A bad Bledisloe series, and the public could switch off, for good this time.

    So, dear All Black fans, while you are having your pints this weekend, celebrating the return of test match rugby, and the opening of the once-revered South Hemisphere competition, take a second and commiserate with our trans-Tasman cousins. They are going through a tough time of it, it's never easy getting used to a new reality.

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  • cant recall who it was I heard on the Radio this morning speaking to Devlin, may have been Marto, but he reckons Grass Roots is in good health with good numbers turning up for club games and the like, but after that it's fooked.

    This is all cyclical isn't it?



  • Could be cyclical or could be a return to the norm.

    Apart from a golden age of about 20 years mid 80-mid 00's The Wobblies have traditionally been pants



  • Yeah nah. When we're stinking up the sporting world in the late 90s early 2000s with a disastrous rwc, one gold at the Olympics , the kiwis being also rans and the black caps being..... well the black caps I was living there and remember what the media and fans were like.
    I'm s very petty person about these things and theyll find sympathy between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.



  • Fuck, is there a Bledisloe on this weekend?

    I'd planned to go get shitfaced at the Subbies semifinals, watching our rivals go around.



  • Best AFL teams in the world though. 🙂

    Plus their ladies did win the Sevens Gold.



  • @chimoaus how is their World Cup going?



  • @NTA that's the spirit!



  • @jegga said in The sad demise of a Sporting Empire:

    Yeah nah. When we're stinking up the sporting world in the late 90s early 2000s with a disastrous rwc, one gold at the Olympics , the kiwis being also rans and the black caps being..... well the black caps I was living there and remember what the media and fans were like.
    I'm s very petty person about these things and theyll find sympathy between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.

    That's about the only good line in Major Payne



  • @mariner4life said in The sad demise of a Sporting Empire:

    @chimoaus how is their World Cup going?

    Doesn't appear to be going well judging by the french game.



  • I should add, while I'm too busy to give a fuck about most things, the cricket ranking does sting a bit.

    @mariner4life said in The sad demise of a Sporting Empire:

    • The cricket side has slipped to 4th in the world records, and closer to little old NZ than the top of the table. Series losses home and away are now the norm, rather than a cause for shock. Players were on strike a week ago because they couldn't afford to buy a 2nd Italian sports car

    So in a not-so-rare mood of bitterness at having to take pity from a Kiweenslander, I say:

    0_1502793770885_ae764cfd-83d7-489c-8491-6516fd02b435-image.png

    Eat that.


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