I was tootling around town yesterday afternoon and to take my mind off the IDIOT IN FRONT OF ME WHO DOESN’T KNOW WHAT AN INDICATOR IS AND I WONDER WHY THEY PUT SO MANY MIRRORS IN CARS I’M NOT REALLY THAT VAIN OH LOOK I CAN SEE THE MAN BEHIND ME AS WELL HE DOESN’T LOOK VERY HAPPY, I turned on the radio.
Unfortunately for my blood pressure it was tuned to Radio Luvvies, and there was a panel of the aforementioned luvvies talking about – wait for it – the cricket (starts at 13″ 35′). The discussion had got to the point where one of the luvvies was saying that she’s not really a big fan of cricket but thought Saturday’s match was maaavelous, and isn’t it appalling that all the matches aren’t screened free to air and the gummint should do something about it.
So you have done nothing to support cricket by way of turning up or paying some money or even paying attention, and in return you think you should be able to have the enjoyment of particular moments at your pleasure delivered directly to your living room.
It does not occur to you that Kane Williamson has been assiduously preparing his art for 22 of his 24 short years. It does not occur to you that Shane Bond, our bowling coach, will leave our shores after this World Cup because he’s been made a much better offer by people with seriously deep pockets, and he’s got his family to think of. It does not occur to you that this spectacle is created by thousands of people working long hours across a huge geography.
It does not occur to you that New Zealand has a population of only four million people, and we’re doing very bloody well to scrape together a competitive team at all, and that if we want to keep just some of that talent together we’re going to have be somewhere in the vicinity of the ballpark when it comes to salaries.
It does not occur to you that if you want the best people on your side, you’re going to have to pay to develop and keep them.
No. You just want to arrive for the sharp end of the exciting bit to share in the glory, and you don’t want to pay a brass razoo for it.
It’s an attitude that spreads across many fields of human endeavour. I want top class doctors and nurses and engineers and plumbers and electricians and managers, but they should all be doing it for the occasional sniff of an oily rag and the higher glory of serving the Great Me.
Yes, some sports people and lawyers and executives are paid generous sums for their talents. But when the difference between winning and losing is measured in millimetres, that’s the real world price of success. And the quid pro quo is that if they’re not doing the business they’re gone burger by lunch time. (Or should be, and that’s another discussion.)
Some final advice for the luvvies. If you only want to watch the occasional match of cricket or rugby but don’t want to pay the Sky subscription, pop down to your local pub and buy a glass of Pinot Gris. You’ll get the wine with the sport thrown in for free, and you’ll meet a whole bunch of actual real people as a bonus.