One of the contributors at the Baggy Green Blog, Dan Stapo, sent me an article that really brought me some perspective.
We have all been guilty of speaking out in frustration against our team. Generally, here at the blogsite, it tends to be more so with regards to the actual performances on the cricket field. We know we couldn't do any better, but we also know how much time and passion we put into following the Baggy Green in any contest.
The feeling is only enhanced when you stand behind your side even when things begin to really test your frustration levels, e.g. The 2010/11 Ashes series.
This blogsite has always been about just discussing the game -what we think is best for the game - and showing total support to the side under the circumstances, but I also feel if you couldn't say it to the cricketers face, don't write it out!
However, the point where players personal lives are questioned or insulted is unaccetable.
I have never seen reason to question a players conduct unless it directly reflects as a direct insult to the Baggy Green and the supporters.
This article that Stapo sent me, was written bloody well by Will Swanton, who also admitted that even he has been guilty of using the criticism card, but there is a fine line between The Hate Club and Baggy Green loyalists who simply get frustrated for the side.
This could be related to many of our players like Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz and even Shane Watson a few years back.
We just want to see them do their best and make us proud. When they go through these form slumps and you can see it affect the team, if is frustrating cause there isn't a great deal you can do about it, other than continue to show your support, which at times seem ridiculously optimistic.
At the end of the day though it is far more rewarding when supporting and player and they come right, for example; Ricky Ponting's century during the World Cup quarter final.
The article is scanned and some files are a few MBs, so you can either open them to view in your browser or save them to your hard drive.
Have a good read and hopefully, like it did for me, it will open your eyes and ensure that you never fall into the shallow world of the Hate Club.
Will Swanton nailed this article and it was somewhat upsetting as well to read it, but he put things into perspective professionally.
I have also purposely excluded one page of the article. I don't know if the bloke in the crowd was flipping the bird at our guys or some of the Pom players, but it's not clear enough as to what the intentions of the bloke portrayed in the image were. So I opted to rather leave that off for a somewhat respectful reason.
Given I have little to no interest in the IPL this time around besides seeing how our Aussie players perform (so far very average given the competition's hype is fading), after a very insightful chat with my cricketing mates on Twitter, we had some good opinions shared regarding Twenty20 cricket, the proposed Big Bash league and the way the modern world's trends and value systems shifting is having a direct affect on the game.
Stay tuned for when I get the opportunity to share more on this, in the meantime, join Twitter and join us for the random moments of discussion.
The Hate Club - By Will Swanton - © Inside Sport Australia (May 2011 issue)
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