The Hughes Blues

Posted: November 29, 2014 in Sport

Tragic, plain and simple. By all accounts, and irrespective of any sporting talent, he was a genuine nice guy who showed some of the prima donnas in sport how to handle the ebbs and flows of professional sport with grace and dignity. One is reminded of the old adage about a parent should never have to bury a child. One can only imagine the pain and suffering of the family. In reality though why is so much coverage devoted to this one event in a world where tragedy occurs every day? If easily offended maybe stop reading now although really should you be following this blog anyway??

I noted in other media commitments that while the 2014 version of news reporting allowed me to keep up to date with any new developments, once the tragedy was confirmed it would have been great to get in the old time machine and whisk back to 1970. There the news would have been relayed on the 3 pm Radio news and we would have had time to digest it before some more information would have been supplied in a dignified and short news story by Mike Higgins on the 6pm bulletin. Once. Fast forward back to 2014 and the golf is rightly interrupted to bring the sad news to the nation. Then the nonsense starts and we have a Kochie eulogy rolling out within 5 minutes. Fuck me slowly. For the next hours we see a “news” station bringing us every minute detail, every celebrity sighting at hospital, every moronic tweet from non sporting clowns including Clive Palmer!! Of course you can turn off the TV as I did but it still burns me that is how media behaves these days – and of course three days later shows no signs of abating. Channel 9 is televising the funeral – Why?? To catch a glimpse of Warnie and see if he has a new squeeze, or better still a new rug?

The Gabba test has been postponed and it was always going to be a tough call. With the funeral in Sydney on Wednesday it is a bit much to expect players to attend as they would certainly want to and then get to Gabba and prepare for test next day. Not sure what the answer is but believe they need to get back to playing as soon as possible. No one expects Mitch to steam in at 150k in that first over and let fly but eventually he will – because he has to. That is cricket and it is a professional sport generating a shitload of money. Remember the Alex McKinnon tragedy. Ok he did not die, but still catastrophic. Who could imagine footballers tearing in again in tackles after that? But they did. Within 6 weeks we had head high tackles, lifing, spearing……. its human nature .

Time for a reality check. Phillip was a talented good cricketer and a fringe test player which makes him in the top 30 cricketers in Australia say. Maybe top 100 in world? He was never going to be a great of the game but likely would have played more tests. His technique ensured he would unlikely ever be a permanent test fixture. One thinks of the first time diving judge at the Olympics who gives a 10 to the first dive he sees. Where does he go from there? So as tragic as this event this, especially for the family and friends, what would the coverage be if it had been Michael Clarke for example – or Sachin Tendulkar? We already had the message from the Queen. Maybe the Pope and then its only old Whiskers himself. Another old adage is a “picture paints a thousand words” and there have been some wonderful and respectful images in recent days including the leave the bat out or stopping sporting events at 63 minutes. There has also been the ugly side of human nature with the “Phil Hughes Memorabilia” framed images on sale at Ebay the next day ala WWOS tat.

There is tragedy everywhere if you look for it and often it can come down to simple bad luck as with Hughes. The storms that ripped through Brisbane could easily have claimed a life – maybe a child caught under a crashing tree. Luckily it did not. On a side note – why does the media have to dumb everything down? Apparently there was 97 tonnes of rubbish to be cleared away after the storm. Gee I cant fathom how much that is – cue gifted reporter ” in other words the equivalent of 24 elephants” WTF?? I looked at CLP all confused. She simply replied “imagine 106 Giraffes dear” Ah ok thanks, that makes sense.

When this event first occurred and we saw the images of him falling flat to the ground we were shocked and concerned. The distress on fellow players only intensified our concern. Most people suspected the worse I imagine and this was confirmed 48 hrs later. All the right things were said, including concern for the bowler. But then the media machine kicked into hyper drive looking for that unique angle or simply to quench what they consider the undeniable thirst for news that the great unwashed have. I am more in the Joe Friday mold folks – “all we want are the facts”. Instead we get caught up in the media dragnet.

Eventually there will a semblance of return to normal for the sports mad Aussie populace. Cricket will go on as did Rugby League.

But there can never be a return to normal for the Hughes family ever again. No amount of well intentioned “reporting” can ever change that. Lets leave them in peace

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