Thursday, February 09, 2006

Tuffers the party pooper

When I read about the Allan Border medal night coming up, I was instantly reminded of Gideon Haigh's view of it as a rather tepid, over orchestrated show not worth the hype. Having watched, with some bemusement, a good part of last year's show, I could readily relate to Haigh's sentiments. But then, this is the age of the 'awards' shows, so the Allan Border medal night is just another speck on the horizon. At least, people at this particular event are well behaved. Rather too well behaved, one would think. Not surprisingly, Channel Nine decided to sex it up a little bit this year, without quite offending anyone Janet Jackson style. Australia is probably quite relaxed about it all anyway (or so I think) and thankfully there is no Michael Powell or FCC. Oh I'm sure there is an equivalent organisation somewhere in the bureaucratic scheme of things, but that is beside the point. Some were offended in the end, and none more than Ricky Ponting it appeared. To be honest, for once, it wasn't a lame TV idea of fun. Having Phil Tufnell mock the very centrepiece of the show, the Australian cricket team and in particular its outstanding icons, took some genuinely original thinking and a striking courage not often on display in this age of faux-reality. Ponting should lighten up, really. And take it in his stride the same way many Australians have done, including newspaper columnists. A columnist in The Age made the point that for years the Poms were at the receiving end of all manner of ridicule, so they had pretty much earned the right now to have a go at their rivals. To attack Tufnell's comments based on his Ashes or other cricketing achievements, though factually correct, is just plain silly. As someone mentioned, Tufnell was just being Tufnell. Perhaps Ponting, Warne and Gilchrist should really thank Tufnell - now they have an added incentive, if they needed one, to regain the Ashes. They can then start dishing it out once more! As for the show itself, believe me, it desperately needed the controversy. Even the winners were so predictable - The Age got them exactly right - well, it's not exactly rocket science (oh I hate that phrase!). It gave the papers, fans and talk radio all something to talk about. God knows we all need some comic relief in these times of sanitised television and depressed political environs, as hard as that is! - NK

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