Tag: Twitter

Old Guys Rule!
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Old Guys Rule!

Talking over the weekend with a couple of mates, firstly at a local fashion outlet (never thought I‘d say that in a column) and subsequently at a restaurant over a beers we were lamenting the youth of today. The typical prejudiced laden chatter of your typical 40 odd year old blokes wallowing in the mire of middle age.  The centre of the conversation was the fact that Murwillumbah fielded more than there fair share of 40 year olds in their reserve grade league fixture versus Ballina last week. Not only that but one of their number (who is 51) scored a try to become surely the oldest player to score in NRLLL competition ever?).  Also among the meat pies was an ageless prop who notched a brace in the Trojans rugby union win over Grafton. A myriad of other sports tell similar tales of aged exploits. Whilst we were to a man in gobsmacked awe of their exploits the inevitable questions arose as to why they were in these situations in the first place as there are hatfuls of sporting options for over 35’s to amuse themselves.  Sure, some compete because by dint of genetic happenstance they can (and more importantly are allowed), but all of them? It seems not.  Some have to play to ensure their team does and therefore avoid the sporting ignominy of forfeiture. This led, quite naturally to stereotypical ramblings trotted out regularly by Grumpy Old Men in their sermons: ‘the young are lazy, too many computer gadgets, Gen Y have no loyalty’ and of course the hackneyed ‘it wouldn’t have happened in our day’!  That’s as may be but do we have the right to expect them to do as we did? Just because we trained apparently without question and come rain, hail or shine on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm does it mean they should too? I’m not suggesting the magic bullet is a swift return to sensible haircuts, an instant Twitter ban, black boots and jerseys made of a cotton/polyester mix rather than Teflon.  Far from it. I’m suggesting us oldies, as temporary keepers of the sporting flame should view things not from our misty eyed perspective but from that of a young adult confronted by an unfettered and option filled life. The world has changed but has the sporting world changed similarly?

This post first appeared as Monday’s Expert in the Northern Star on April 13th

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Follow Me… Follow You

Apart from during an Olympic campaign and probably the awesome trans Tasman netball deciders I’m not sure I’ve ever witnessed more anticipation in women’s sport than for the Matilda’s tilt at the world cup that kicked off last night in Germany. They are an incredibly successful, annoyingly young outfit with an average age of just 22 years and seven players under 20. They represent Australia’s most credible chance of success on the global stage in the round ball game for at least the foreseeable future. But it’s not just on the field that they are setting new standards, off the field they have embraced social media and have placed themselves at the vanguard of the nexus between sport and this global phenomenon.  Many sports administrators, invariably male and over thirty-five have found it difficult to comprehend why some of their younger charges are so entranced with the ‘big two’ of Facebook and Twitter. I was of a similar disposition until I mceed a sport and digital media conference in Sydney last year. Mid way through a range of presentations that were as gobsmacking as they were at times incomprehensible that that big light bulb went off above my head. I finally ‘got it’ but more than that I got the fact that unless we embraced such things, communication would become ever harder. Trying to get young adults to read emails, watch tv at scheduled times on a screen in the corner of the room or listen to the wireless is useless as the options now open to them defies belief. All have a place but have been largely superseded in a heady technological age that is destined to continue. I jumped straight to Twitter and almost immediately I was swept up, sucked in and seduced. I’m not one for people telling me where they are drinking coffee as some are wont to do, but Twitter is a great disseminator of information – information from all over the world that in most probability I wouldn’t have seen or heard about.  And it continued as I started following few athletes to gain greater insight and yes, even more information. It’s one reason why I (@drsportbiz since you ask) will be following the Matilda’s (#gomatildas) and some of the brilliant talent such as captain Melissa Barbieri (@bubs_11) or their ageing coach Tom Sermanni (@tomsermanni) not just on my old fashioned tv but also on my phone, my tablet and my computer.

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Twittering Classes

Some interesting times with regard to the use of social media and in particular Twitter. Hot on the heels of the Twitter rants of Kevin Pietersen and Dimitri Mascarenhas as well as numerous other sporting examples comes news that Stephanie Rice has lost an endorsement deal due to her Twittering. Do our sporting stars realise that social media is just as public as a speaking engagement, a press show or an interview in a newspaper I wonder? Some would say such media has an even greater reach than the more huimdrum mainstream. Jaguar’s decision will become the tip of the iceberg as savvy companies seek to distance themselves from the naive stupidity of their endorsees.

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