Don’t tell anyone but I love Australia more than most of you would imagine. For the opportunities it has afforded me and for the life I continue to revel in. But most of all I love Australia for the nation’s abiding adoration for all things even tenuously linked to sport. And I’ll be darned if I can remember a better illustration of how sport transcends everything than this past week… As you may be aware climate and conditions have combined and conspired to produce the best hatching potential of locusts since Bradman was a babe. A perfect storm of truly biblical proportions is predicted. There will literally be billions of the buggers around, a veritable plague that will devour anything green from Yarrawonga to Yackandandah and everywhere in between. Endless news items of impending doom have been greeted with stoic and typical Ockerness. Out West such events are taken in your stride, a fact of life, an obstacle to be overcome. On the coast we seem to have a curious disconnect, as if it were happening in a far-flung foreign land. Well, that is until a clear and present danger to our sport is mentioned! A casual observation that the encroaching hoards may threaten iconic sporting events and sane men and women run around predicting the end of the world and issuing press releases! Yep it seems that if by dint of weather or intent, the locusts find Flemington that first Tuesday in November then there is a real threat that the Cup itself may be postponed. Don’t they realise this its’ 150th running!? It’s not because the ladies who lunch will find all manner of fascinating etymological specimens in their fascinators but more a serious concern for the safety of jockeys piloting 600kg of horseflesh! Should the march continue then it might even affect the Ashes Boxing Day Test! Mobilise the armed forces, call for reinforcements this is an emergency! Forget the physical, emotional and financial suffering a swarm the size of Spain could inflict, whatever happens the sport MUST go on! We’re a strange bunch!