Grandstand Guessing Game


It may come across as a little contradictory, coming from the editor of an online newspaper dedicated to denuding the ABC of half its budget, but ABC Grandstand is a big part of my weekend routine. The Coodabeen Champions in the morning have me chuckling all afternoon, the sound of the footy reminds me of the chill of winter, while the sound of cricket reminds me of “shorts and t-shirt days.”

imageSo, moving on from this guff, am I the only one who notices that whenever the results of a women’s sports match are announced, they never tell you which sport was being played? I am always left to deduce which sport it was from listening to the scores; 86 -12 means we thrashed the Solomon Islands in netball, or was it basketball, 188 -156 means “Australia” beat the Poms in a 50 over One Day International. And the fact that I don’t recognise any of the names means it must be women’s sport.

We know why they do this, of course. Politically correct rules of language demand that if everybody knows what the sports announcer means when he says “Rafael Nadal has won the Australian Open,” it is presumed sexist if in the same report, they use the wording “Laura Geitz has top-scored for the Australian netball team against the Solomon Islands,” rather than “the Aussie captain has top-scored for Australia against the Solomon Islands,” leaving you to figure out for yourself that because she scored 47 “goals” it must have been netball, rather than “points” for basketball.

This morning, John Faine, who I have often begrudgingly acknowledged actually feigns impartiality once in a while, or at least plays devil’s advocate, was (tongue in cheek) “punished” for not knowing that an Australian Women’s Rugby League, with even an Australian representative squad, exists, by being forced to carry out a “chilli challenge” to raise awareness about raising awareness.

So, I know it was all in good fun, but let’s not pretend that we don’t know what is going on here. “Progressives” know instinctually how language affects thoughts, deeds, and one’s sense of reality. They are applying it on the ABC very deliberately – the XYZ’s dreams would come true if we could get its hands on the memo doing the rounds at the ABC directing news reporters not to mention which sport a female athlete or female team plays.

In the meantime, I will keep applying my powers of deduction.