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Friday, March 24, 2006

Travelin' Commonwealth Man

Ahhhh the new day has dawned and although it's dawned on my sore shoulders and back, it's off to Melbourne for the weekend. Can't wait to get out there on the open road, point the car in the right direction and just go. I think we both need the break in scenery and there's nothing wrong with living the hotel life for a few days. Does you good to be able to just get up and go without making the beds and the other crap that goes with it - that's why maids get minimum wage. To clean up after messy bastards like me.

Leave today, back Monday afternoon.

I've noticed that there's a general apathy when it comes to the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. I know they're happening and every so often we'll sit and watch them, but seriously, they're just dull. There's nothing there that excites me that much, having said that it was great to see Scott Martin win through and get a gold with his final throw in the discuss - and what a throw it was. Generally though these games will go down in history as one of the most boring ever held. I do wonder if it's more to do with the lack-luster television coverage (someone might want to check Ken Sutcliffe for a pulse because I think he died a while back) or for the overall lack of interest. Without the big names in the pool, (Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett) the swimming just hasn't reached any great heights, and we've never really had a great number of track stars at the one time. Sure, there's been shining lights and superstars like Cathy Freeman, Debbie Flintoff, John Landy, Ron Clarke and the like, but we've never had any strong numbers, a strong team. Australia is a team of individuals when it comes to track and field. And other than Scott Martin and the brilliantly entertaining John Stefferson, the athletes just don't show any real personality - they've all the charm of potted plants. Still we did score gold in Lawn Bowls and Squash.

Let's hope that the closing ceremony is a damn sight better than the opening ceremony, the 'highlight' of which was seeing a tram flying over what appeared to be a Monopoly board and the ever present screeching Media Whore (what a shock eh? This woman would sing at the opening of a can of Fanta, but only if there were a danger that someone else might do it instead) playing to not quite sold out MCG crowd - I think they had more people in there for the 2004 AFL Grand Final. It also didn't help that the images show that Prince Phillip nodded off before the end of the ceremony, showing just how interested he was in the whole thing. For the millions we're paying to have the useless royals here you'd think he could at least stay awake past 9pm. Oh, and we all knew that Ron Barassi could do this stunt well before last week.

The games are so poorly attended that the games officials have now given away more than 18,000 free seats for various events, on top of the nearly 14,000 free seats they gave away for the closing ceremony. The fine folk at the Chaser tried paying people to take tickets, but to no avail. So what makes these games so dull, and what's made us so uninterested as a nation? I can remember watching the Brisbane games all those years ago, and the nation being swept up in the fever that surrounded it. These current games? I'm sure that there's people who don't even know that they're still on, nor do they care.

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